I'm sitting here in Houston at the airport writing this post since my flight to get home has been delayed a few hours. Hey a girls got to keep herself busy after all. (You won't actually see this until Sunday which by then I will be home already.) I warn you now, this is a pictureless post since I did not get any pictures at the lab, but for those of you interested in how it went, here you go....
First and foremost I have to say it was an amazing experience. I spent the day learning so much. I wish I could share a lot more with you guys, but I am not allowed. Who knew that polish industry is so top secret! LOL! There were many things that I liked and a few things that I thought could be done differently. But isn't that always the way when you are on the outside looking in. Sometimes it takes that outside perspective to make a positive change and other times the outsider is an idiot that needs to learn a little more before offering up suggestions. So I kept my mouth shut since I'm not sure which side of the camp I fall under in these particular situations. LOL!
Did I have fun playing with the polishes? Yes!!! It was totally different than I expected. I didn't get to go hog wild and just grab what I wanted. Although being in the room with all those options, you know I totally wanted to - so they were probably pretty smart in keeping that off limits. But they did take a lot of different bases and glitters and shimmers and more out for me to play. Some they pre-mixed so I could see what they could do in certain bases, others were just put in clear bases. They didn't let me just play with raw ingredients. It was very controlled.
I brought with me all 20 colors for the remainder of 2012. These didn't include our first two collections we are putting out for 2012 with 5 colors in each collection. It hit me - we are putting out 30 colors in 2012! WOW! The down side is by creating everything so far in advance - I may change my mind and want to do something different and it will be too late. But the positive side is that everything will be ready to go and if I come up with anything else it will just be an in between collection.
We went collection by collection doing a lot of writing to describe what I was looking for and the feeling of each collection, then once we had that down it was time to walk around the room amid hundreds of options and do the work - like ok this base and that base and then that shimmer and then that... you get the picture. From there the lab is going to go and put it all together for me and send me the "final" product. Some things they had out for me to play with, made me pull some of what I had intended and do something totally different. I can't wait to share some of that with you guys. The plus side is I brought Coco's collection with me and that will be a collection sometime in 2012 and I brought a few colors to finalize with me that were asked for by bloggers and Culties and friends and that will be a collection in 2012 as well! Oh and remember when I said we may add more in between collections if I get inspired in the year? Yeah well I got inspired there and there are two in between collections already in the works! One will have 4 colors. An amazing true black opaque that shines like nobodies business and three toppers for it and then a later collection that will feature three other toppers to put over the black or any color for that matter. I originally wanted a black jelly, but after trying the two options and getting this amazing black opaqueness made, I felt I wanted that more.
Those will be the only clues I give you guys to the future collections. Now on to the question everyone is asking - what is going on with Clairvoyant? Well it turns out that the iridescent color changing flakies were not a big seller for the manufacturer who made them. So they discontinued them. Then some little girl came along and made this amazing flakie polish and so everyone else decided they would do the same and bought up all the amazing supply on this little girl! LOL - OK so that is totally narcissistic of me! HA! HA! The reality is that Flakies suddenly exploded on the market and as us aficionados know I am not the one who invented flakies, it just so happened that my flakie came after some amazing flakies and before other amazing flakies, so I am in the middle of the flakie buy out. Just a mere coincidence as far as timing goes.
ANYWAY, I have two upcoming flakies that depleted the rest of my labs supply. They can't get more because it is no longer being made. Well let me rephrase - they can get more from overseas, but all our polishes are currently made in the U.S. with U.S. sourced ingredients. All the ingredients have to have FDA approval to be used in nail polish, and by going overseas if even one ingredient is off, that can kick out the approval. So it is safer to buy from already FDA approved manufacturers. So will Clairvoyant ever come back, I'm not sure. We are going to look at options. There is are other flakie options that are not iridescent, but the effect changes, so that doesn't work. There is something else going under FDA approval now which is a new type of flakie that may work, but it can be a year before it is available. Of course there may be another manufacturer that we just haven't unearthed yet, but again all those things take time. So while we were very excited to have Clairvoyant back in stock, at this time we are deciding to do the research and come up with the best option without compromising quality or safety. I just wish the lab didn't wait until the final hour to let me know. I mean honestly, I found out the day they were supposed to ship to me! HELLO? Communication please?
With that being said we had several other different polishes coming with these same flakes, which we are now having to change. boo... the two flakie polishes for the next two collections have already been made, so we will have those - BUT these will be limited edition. When they are gone, they are gone. We do not intend to bring them back once they sell out. Well of course unless some miracle happens and we can start sourcing an equivalent ingredient, but at this point if they come back at all - it won't be anytime soon. :( It's kind of the same situation with holo's - other countries can make them, but we can't here because the ingredient isn't FDA approved. Which is another thing being worked on, so I hope that changes soon. I have talked to overseas labs, but not sure we want to really go that route as I mentioned before.
So there you have it, my visit in a nutshell. There was so much more we discussed, like the bottles (do we change them?), the caps (what kind of custom options do we have), deadlines, screen printing, storage, polish testing. etc.. Needless to say it was a very busy day and I learned a lot! I shared what I feel is safe to share, and I hope you all enjoyed the update.