You’re Cheap, And You’re Not Pretty Enough

Sounds hurtful, doesn’t it?

If someone said this to you, it would probably make you angry.  You might think about slapping that person in the face.  I found these words hurtful and confusing.  Though they weren’t said about me personally.  They were said about my brand.

Sometimes I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle.  Since I started this company 23 years ago, it has always been my mission to create products that would help people.  My products also had to incorporate wholesome ingredients, and they needed to be affordable.  The very first product I ever created, our Herbal Aftershave, was designed to ease the irritation and discomfort associated with shaving.  From there I went on to make a 100% natural deodorant made from only four ingredients and a highly moisturizing lip balm.  These very first products are still made the same way today.

I’ll never forget many years ago when I was still making products in my kitchen and selling them out of my house, an old farmer came to buy some of our Hard Working Hands.  It was a moisturizing balm that was good for very dry skin.  He was a soft-spoken gentleman, wearing overalls and a well-worn flannel shirt.  As he pulled the crumpled five dollar bill from his pocket to pay me, he explained that he had been to the doctor for his condition, and nothing he had been prescribed seemed to help his cracked skin and dry hands.  But my balm worked.  It healed his skin and took away the discomfort, and it didn’t cost him a fortune.  He smiled and thanked me.  My heart melted.  I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life.

A few years later when we introduced our very first color cosmetic product – our lipstick – I met with a group of buyers at a well-known natural grocery chain to introduce them to Honeybee.  There must have been 20 people in that room as I nervously explained all the healthy ingredients in the product, and how we created colors so that there’s something for every age group and ethnicity.  I passed around samples, watching their reactions as they swatched the different colors and applied the product.  They loved it!  I felt euphoric!  Amongst all the excitement, someone shouted out, “how much does it sell for?”  Feeling my price was a bit too high, but knowing it had to be there because of all the advertising I was expected to do along with the store free fills, I sheepishly replied, “It’s $7.99.”  The fervor quickly died down, and the mood of the room changed.  “$7.99?  That will never work.”  Ugh, I was devastated.  I thought my price was too high.  But then I heard, “It’s too cheap.  No one will buy it.  You need to charge more.”  Charge more?  Huh?  “Yeah, you should be charging at least ten bucks for this stuff,” another buyer chimed in.  “People will see it’s only $7.99 and think it’s junk.”  “But look at the ingredients!” I defended.  “You can see my ingredients are better than the competition.”  “Doesn’t matter,” said the first buyer.  “People expect to see a certain price point in our store.  If you’re below that, the perception is your stuff isn’t as good.”

Several years have passed since that learning experience, yet I still face the same challenges today.  I hear that our products are TOO affordable.  Or that our packaging needs to look like it costs more; maybe add a nice box with some foil embossing.  Imagine being turned down because of these reasons.  Not because the products don’t work, not because they’re not healthy formulas, but because they don’t fit in with other similar brands who charge more for their products and package them differently.

I’ve been doing this long enough that I know ingredients, and I know how much they cost.  A friend recently purchased a natural product, and paid $36 for the tiny 0.2 oz jar.  The ingredients were coconut oil, castor oil, beeswax and jojoba.  I can tell you the contents of this jar literally cost pennies.  BUT the jar itself was a lovely frosted thick glass jar.   And it came in a box.  My guess is that the company had about a dollar in packaging.  So why charge $36 for this item?  I can’t answer that.  Maybe they were told that they needed to charge more to be taken seriously, and they listened.

The company who chose not to work with us because we are too affordable, carries this $36 item, along with about ten other brands just like it.  It’s what they’re known for – selling only high-end beauty products.  Of course, that’s not what they tell you in their store and on their web site.  No, they say they sell healthy, clean beauty products.  Only natural products that pass their tough definition of clean.  They mention nothing about price and affordability.  Though I have yet to see anything they carry that sells for less than $20.00.

I’m not crying sour grapes here.  Really.  I just wonder what the motivation is.  Is it money?  Is it bragging rights?  I see it on Instagram.  These people who post about having spent $150 on a particular face serum or $80 on a popular eye shadow palette.  It’s like they’re saying, “look at me, I could afford to spend the money for this item”.  But then they say nothing about the efficacy of the product.  Sure, you bought the item but does it really perform any better than something that costs less?  Maybe it makes them feel special.  And who am I to judge that?  To me, it just doesn’t make sense.

So here I am, left somewhere in the middle.  Our products are not cheap, mass-produced items spat out by a mega-corporation, nor are we the she-she froo-froo luxury products that will give you bragging rights.  We are in this no man’s land of products with really good ingredients and formulas that really work, that look pretty and are also affordable.  Maybe this will be a niche someday.  I certainly hope so.  For now, I guess I’ll just enjoy the solitude.

Five Tips to Help You Pack When Traveling

Summer time means travel for many, and with airline baggage fees being through the roof, plus stringent TSA regulations, your packing game needs to be on point.  Here are some tips that can help.

  1. Know The Rules

Any liquids must be in a resealable container that is 3.4 ounces or less and all containers must fit in one clear, plastic, resealable 1-quart-sized bag. You will need to take this bag out of your carry-on luggage when passing through airport security.  So either be super-efficient about packing all of your toiletries into one bag, or pay the fee and check a bag.

  1. Get Creative

Many products can do double duty.  For example, our Cosmopolitan Eye Shadow Palette can also serve as a highlighter (Angelic), blush (PS Pink) and contour (Kashmir).  So you’ve really got four products in one small palette.

  1. Sample or Travel Size

Sure our sample sizes are great for trying new shades on your skin, but they also make perfect travel companions.  Five shades of eye shadow would take up quite a bit of room in your makeup bag.  But you can pack lots of our little samples into a very small space, and not have to limit your color options.  Also, our soap samples are perfect for those overnight stays where you don’t know what (if any) amenities will be available.  And they’re great to take on camping trips.

  1. Gift Sets Do Double Duty

Our gift sets are a great value but they are also perfect for packing.  Why pack that 8 oz bottle of our Alcohol Free Hair Spray when the 2 oz size in our Happy Hair Gift Set takes up less space?

  1. Be Smart About Size

Our shipping manager Karla got a nasty sunburn last year, and the only thing that soothed it was our Facial Toner.  And personally, I can’t live without our Herbal Aftershave which I use to clean cuts and scrapes and any other malady I inevitably encounter while traveling.  But why make room for bulky bottles, when you can use this trick instead:  fill a small snack baggie with 10 cotton balls, and then pour in enough aftershave or toner to wet the cotton.  Seal up the baggie and you’ve got a little first aid kit to go.

Have a favorite travel/packing tip?  Share it with us!

 

Proper Makeup Etiquette For The Girl On-The-Go

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Running from one place to another, whether in early mornings or long commutes, can be rough. Those solid fifteen minutes to an hour sitting on a train can become vital time to get yourself looking and feeling ready for your day. Applying makeup while on public transportation is nothing to be frowned upon or embarrassed about; rather, it can be seen as use of otherwise ‘dead’ time.

Now, there is an etiquette to doing your makeup without disrupting fellow commuters and avoid eye rolls. Here are some Honeybee approved etiquette guidelines to putting on your makeup on-the-go.

Don’t take up more than one seat. We all pay the same price for our cramped commute. Be courteous and limit yourself and your possessions to one seat. The new mother who has been up since 4 a.m. will thank you.

Don’t use strong smelling products. We understand you want to smell nice, but everyone in your train car may not want to smell like you too.

No plucking, clipping, or trimming. There is a fine line between beauty and personal upkeep. Plucking your eyebrows, clipping your nails, or trimming of any sort are habits better kept in your bathroom at home.

Don’t make putting on your makeup an excuse for taking a seat. Common courtesy and giving up your seat for someone else makes your far more beautiful that any amount of makeup can.

Keep it simple. Use multipurpose makeup. You shouldn’t be hauling your entire collection of makeup with you on your commute. Select a handful of quick and easy applicable products that can be used in multiple ways.

Our Honeybee Beauty Ambassador Erin Bell shares “Bathroom toilet paper or paper towels work as a great multitasker to simply blot skin anywhere from an oily t-zone to lips.” Also, speaking of multipurpose, she adds “Lipstick can be used as a last minute blush”.

Share these quick tips with a friend and have a less stressful on-the-go fix up!

How Often Should I Wash My Hair?

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Most of my teenage and adult life, I’ve washed my hair every day. My hair is long and fine and looks yucky if I don’t. But lately there’s been a trend to NOT wash your hair as often, and I must say I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. So is this a healthy trend for your hair (and mental wellbeing) or not?

According to the experts, there’s no one good answer to how often people should shampoo. It usually comes down to the kind of hair you have and your personal preference.

Shampoo washes away natural oils on your scalp, so if you do it too frequently, you may dry your hair out, leaving it prone to breakage. For the most part, you definitely want some oils (sebum) to remain in your hair to provide moisturizing and a protective barrier on the skin and hair.

Really only a small group needs to shampoo daily. Those with very fine hair, someone who exercises and sweats a lot (or someone living in very humid place), or people with very oily scalps may need to wash their hair every day.

The type of hair you have matters too. The thicker your hair and the less oil, the less you need to shampoo. People with dry hair or curly hair can wash much less frequently without problems.
For the average person, every other day, or every 2 to 3 days, without washing is generally fine. And it’s also recommended to never go longer than 14 days without washing.

In recent years, more and more products have become available to extend how long you can go between washes. And people are coming up with different methods to keep hair looking good. Dry shampoos are powders that work to absorb oil, so it doesn’t sit on the scalp as much. Leave-in conditioners can help to reactivate your hair style. Some people even choose to skip the shampoo, just wetting and conditioning between shampoos instead.

Aside from products, there are other measures you can take to extend your time between washings without looking frumpy. Try parting your hair in a different place. Maybe try the chic braids that are so popular on Pinterest. Opt for a fun ponytail or bun with cute hair accessories.

As for me, I’m still trying to figure it all out. I have found that our Alcohol Free Hair Spray can make my Day 2 hair look pretty darned good. It’s water-based, so it safely reactivates my hair style without harsh chemicals which could dry it out. By Day 3 I’m attempting some sort of pony tail or poorly-created braid. I can’t go past Day 3. I just can’t. I won’t.

Brow Beaten

Brow Beaten

My latest unhealthy beauty obsession is my eye brows. Fuller brows purportedly create a more youthful look and can accentuate other facial features in a more flattering way. Social media is flooded with images of Cara Delevingne and Lily Collins with their Amazonian bushy brows, and Desperate Housewives perma-angry ‘Scouse brow’. They all seem impossible to achieve despite the myriad of YouTube videos showing you how to draw, paint, sculpt, contour and create the perfect brow.

In my effort to copy this look which I tell myself I MUST have, I have been the way of the brow powder, the brow pencil and even the hardcore brow pomade…and failed miserably with each one.

Continue reading “Brow Beaten”