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The Beauty Connoisseurs

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Since it Can't be Priceless...

I promised to start adding a splash of business development posts to the blog, so here's the first.

One of the most important things to consider when you're looking to launch a product is the retail price. Often, potential clients ask me... "How much will the product cost?" Unfortunately, that's not a question I can readily answer. There are a number of factors to consider when thinking about the final cost/price of a product including the ingredients, volume (how much is in the bottle), packaging, target market and profit margin. I encourage clients to determine what price will suit their target market and also how much profit they would like to make per unit BEFORE we begin the project. Everything else can be adjusted along the way. Often, a contract manufacturer can deliver the results you seek within your budget. The key is to know up front.

While catching up on my reading, I stumbled upon an article on Entrepreneur.com about landing major retail placement. Among the tips was planning ahead for profit. Read that article here

I added it to my bookmarks for future reference, I recommend you do the same.

Here's to the Glam Life!
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hope For Your Mani

I was watching The Rachel Zoe Project with my bestie earlier this week and of all the things to comment on, she said "Is her nail polish chipping?!" Yes, Rachel Zoe's nail polish was chipping and frankly it always is. Like most girly girls, I absolutely love nail polish and I simply hate when it chips. But the truth is, nail polish just can't be great on natural nails.

Why not?!

Nail polish is made of plasticizers, film formers, solvents etc that temporarily adhere to the nail beds. Women that wear nail enhancements like acrylic, gel or wraps don't experience chipping within a few days like with natural nails. The difference is, our natural nails have oils and moisture that prevent the nail polish from really gripping the surface. Nail enhancements create a barrier between the natural nail and the nail polish that prevents oil and moisture from inhibiting the performance of the polish. In addition to that, our natural nails are flexible. When our nails bend, they create minor cracks in the film (nail polish) that eventually result in chipping. Since gels and acrylics are rigid the polish doesn't have the chance to crack.

That's the bad news, here's the help...

I don't typically need my nail polish to last for too long because I can only wear it when I don't have lab work. Of course, I'm the exception, everybody else at least wants one full week. The key is to create a barrier between your natural nail and the nail polish. That barrier should also make your nails stronger and prevent a lot of the bend and crack issue. Nail glue to the rescue! This is a cheap trick that you can try at home. It causes no damage to your natural nail and it doesn't take a lot of time to do. Buy a small bottle of that brush on nail glue and apply a THIN coat to your natural nails. Let it dry and proceed with your normal nail polish application fun... basecoat, 2 coats of polish and top coat.

Let me know how much longer your mani lasts now... Here's to the Glam Life!

Oh, manicurists, leave a comment with any other tips and tricks you may have to help mani's last longer. Thanks!
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Monday, August 16, 2010

EVERYBODY Wants One...

I get inquiries for all kinds of product development ideas. Usually, the products I'm asked to develop have differentiable features, but one thing I hear probably 85% of the time is *drumroll*

"I want to patent my product."

Is that even possible?

Yes, it is possible to patent a cosmetic product, but it's not likely. Most of the time my prospects believe they can patent the formula to keep it safe from being reverse engineered or reproduced. Unfortunately, that is just not the case. You cannot get a patent on a recipe and a patent certainly won't keep the formula safe. Securing a patent on a cosmetic requires scientific innovation. The patent is not so much on the end product as it is on the process or key ingredient that makes the product unique. The process or key ingredient must be completely new or have a completely new use.

Even if you can, I don't advise it...

When you file for a patent, you must give full disclosure of the product. I'm talking detailed descriptions of the ingredients, the equipment used, the exact formula etc. This kind of transparency means any and everybody has access to the product that was to be the ticket to your million dollar dream. Contrary to popular belief, patented cosmetics can and will be knocked off...legally. Think about it, lip plumpers and eyelash growth products have both been patented. But there are so many of them, who knows which was the original? and what's more, who cares?

My best advice is to develop an amazing product and file for trade secret protection. This way, the most important ingredient that makes your product a cut above the rest can remain a secret. With trade secret protection that ingredient never has to be exposed... Think Colonel Sanders(KFC)and Pepsi. Nobody has done chicken or Cola the way they have.

So while I know it sounds really cool and important to hold a patent on your fabulous product, it's likely more trouble than it's worth. I don't say this to crush dreams.. That's just not what I'm about. I say it only to make you aware before the dream gets too big and is crushed by reality. Think about what's really important-- having a patent, or having a results driven product that makes millions for you in the long run :-) Do you homework and take it to the bank!

Here's to the Glam Life!
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!!

August 11, 2010 marked the first anniversary of Envie Bath and Body. While most people would've found some way to celebrate that milestone, I merely mentioned it briefly on twitter and moved on. Even the fact that I acknowledged the day as being slightly special was big for me. For some reason that is unclear to even me, I rarely "celebrate" anything that I've accomplished. It could be because I have endless goals and dreams. As soon as I reach a goal, it's on to the next. No more than a week ago, I flipped through one of my lab notebooks from college. Looking at that notebook and all the textbooks and notes it was among reminded me of just how hard I've worked to get to where I am. I promised myself that I would begin to celebrate more along my journey... starting now.

*cupcakes, confetti, balloons, and horns* HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!

In just the first year, I have managed to acquire several projects, hosted a fragrance event, had product placement in "swag bags", met a bunch of amazing people, traveled to New York and Chicago on business, written articles for a major industry mag *to be published soon :-) and positioned the company for monumental growth in the next year among other things.

When I actually think about it, I'm proud of myself. So here's my pat on the back... What's next? :-D

I hope you take the time to revel in your greatness as well! Here's to the Glam Life!
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Follow the Rules... Pretty Please?

I often have people approach me to review the ingredients lists of their personal care products. Usually they want to know if the product(s) are as natural as they claim or if the product will work. Most of the time, I'm reviewing mass market products and the ingredients lists are properly written. Other times, I'm disappointed to see that they aren't.

We've already established that I believe in natural ingredients, and also that I have great respect for synthetics... I'm equal opportunity. But when I see natural product companies failing to play by the rules, my red flags go up.. and your's should too. The FDA requires that ingredients be listed in descending order of concentration and by INCI nomenclature. INCI nomenclature is the accepted chemical naming system for the cosmetic industry. So when I see an ingredients list that looks like this (just an example):

Olive Butter, Coconut Oil, Vitamin A, Vitamin E

Instead of like this:

Olea Europea, Caprylic Triglyceride, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol Acetate

... I'm very concerned.

There is so much controversy surrounding the cosmetics industry now, so everyone needs to play by the rules. That includes companies that focus on being completely natural/organic. Even the minor details make an impact on what is "safe" or "unsafe". So while I'm all for natural products and the beauties that use them, I encourage you to demand more from your favorite companies. If you come across a product(s) that has all the ingredients listed in lay-man's terms, please give them a courteous nudge. Let them know that you know better and ask them to do better. Consumer's make the world go round, so do your part... Pretty Please? :-)

And if you really want to do your public service, refer them to me... I'll whip their ingredients lists into shape! :-D

Here's to the Glam Life!
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Eczema Relief

As you may already know, my son has severe eczema. I used a hydrocortisone compound nearly everyday for a year to keep his skin clear. After getting conflicting opinions about whether or not there would be adverse side effects, I chose to discontinue use. Instead, I looked to natural emollients to keep his skin moisturized. Evening Primrose Oil has a standing reputation for being an effective treatment for eczema and psoriasis, so I tried it. I didn't notice any drastic change in the condition of my little man's skin so the search continued. A friend of mine came by and put a little Emu Oil on his arms which instantly stopped the itching and softened his skin. FANTASTIC!... except Emu Oil is expensive 0_0

Finally, I tried Pumpkin Seed Oil. I already use it in a lot of my branded products because of all it's skin benefits, but I never put it on my son. Oh how I wish I tried it sooner! I put it on him after his bath and his skin was still moisturized throughout the day. By Day 2 of using the Pumpkin Seed Oil, I can already see his rough patches clearing and his skin does not appear dry at all. I haven't used ANY lotion, but I'm sure adding that back to the regimen will be even better.

So what's in Pumpkin Seed Oil? AWESOMENESS!

Pumpkin Seed Oil has a significant amount of fatty acids, notably: linoleic, oleic, palmatic and stearic acids. Linoleic acid helps prevent transepidermal water loss. In other words, it keeps moisture in the skin. Oleic acid is a penetration enhancer that helps transport the benefits of a cosmetic to deeper skin layers. Palmitic and stearic acids occur naturally in the skin barrier lipids. Pumpkin seed oil also has a wealth of vitamins and minerals to nourish the skin.

Word to the Wise

This is a heavy oil and a little goes a long way, so use it sparingly. Also, it has a noticeable "nutty" scent just like pumpkin seeds. Although the scent doesn't last, I recommend putting it on at night to avoid smelling like Halloween.

What have you used to treat your eczema?
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