Thursday, March 31, 2011

Limerick and More...

I'm trying to get a bit more consistent at blogging...there are a ton of fun, and interesting things that go on every week at SN, and I just don't get the time to blog about it all.

First, I'd like to thank you all so much for your support of the newest collection, and for your feedback on the gumballs.  New formulas are a tough process.  I once met a chemist for an ingredient manufacturer who spent a year working on the formula for a single bath bomb.  An. Entire. Year.  She went on and on about flash foam and coco betaine- and I knew I'd found a kindred spirit. 

That's sort of what it takes to make a good formula- you can have every advantage possible- knowledge, ingredients, skills etc. but when the rubber meets the road it's an entirely different ballgame.  When you start with piles of ingredients that don't do a whole lot on their own and make it into something usable there's a hundred different ways to get it right, and about a million ways to mess it up.

Eye shadow primer has been the bane of my formulating career.  It's the single trickiest formula I've ever tried to make, and I've been working on it for years.  There are easily 200 different revisions on that formula, and I'll probably still think about it when I'm in the old-folks home.

Version 1 of the Stick 'Em primer was well liked by everyone- but the manufacturer who made the silica that we used went out of business.  So Version 2 came out- and I still rather like that one.  Version 3 was a test formula that was included in the MAC packages- and now we have Version 4 that was gumballed last week.

We're getting feedback on that one- both good and bad.  Honestly, I learn more from the bad reports than the good ones, so I try not to discourage dissent.  I like Version 4- I'm proud of the formula.  It's pretty much all natural, and in theory, you could even eat it.  I also like the way it makes colors pop, but doesn't make mattes look funky.

We'll most likely release that one because I do think it has its merits.  The other important part about new formulas is that we sell them with integrity.  Not every product we make is going to be a perfect holy grail for everyone- it just can't happen.  So, we need good information for the descriptions- did it work for you, how did it work, if it failed why do you think it failed.

Pretty much any information that would be helpful to someone purchasing the product is great to have.  It's why we gumball. I think it's part of what makes us SN.

There's a thread on the forum relating to the Primer if you get a chance pop in and let us know what you think about it!  If you're not a member of our forum, you could also just email us through the Contact Us form on the web site.

Onto the next subject...the Gift With Purchases :)
When we started doing the Mystery Adventure Club I started writing little notes about each GWP color- why I made it, what went into it, my inspiration etc.  It was a popular feature of the packages, and for a while I blogged about them too.  I'm not sure why I stopped- other than I tend to make them on Friday's and then go home and utterly crash.

So, continuing with the tradition I owe you all a few writeups for the GWP colors.
Limerick was the GWP the week of St. Patrick's Day.  I've actually been to Ireland briefly, and it really and truly is green. They get so much rain that the entire island is just lush with green.  Rather than do the expected green I went with blue.  More specifically, a dirty blue.  Because limericks (at least the memorable ones) are well- dirty. Blues aren't super hot sellers for us, so I added a bit of copper so you'd have a chance to match it with something other than blue.  It sort of ended up purple-ish, but I think it was an interesting color.

Emporium was what I call a "scratch" color.  Twyla Tharpe talks about the process that she calls "scratching" in her book The Creative Habit (great read if you're into creative things)- she just goes to her studio and does things.  Being busy, stretching yourself, making yourself be creative are sort of habits.  Some weeks I have a very clear vision of the color I want to make, and other times I go in and just kind of scratch at it until I get something I like.  Some of my favorite colors were made that way- Sari started out with my wondering what would happen if I used a lot of boron nitride in a color.  Blanket Fort started out as a quest to make something that felt soft like a blanket.

Emporium riffed off of Hug Me.  I liked the way Thea used a strong interference and backed it up with an entirely different color- so I played around with that theme.   I like the pink overlay.

This week's color is Shake It!  It's inspired by a song.  Not just any song either...this song:

It's written, and performed by Tyler Barks this amazingly talented rapper.  I found him on the new website which is a totally fun site.  It's people who will do all sorts of things for $5- so I hired Tyler to write a rap.  Can you imagine being an 18-year-old rapper, and getting an email from some crazy woman in New York to write a rap about makeup?  For $5 I wasn't expecting a whole lot- mainly a fun little experiment, and a way to support the arts.

And he did it!  He totally pulled it off.  If you want to see any of his other work he has his own Youtube channel:

Susan said we have a $5 rap and a $3.50 video, and I couldn't agree more- it's something I hacked together, and I have no talent for video production.  But the song is fun!  If you do have a talent for video production and want to make a video for this song hit me up...there's a gift certificate in it for you.

Next week we're switching things up just a little bit.  Instead of doing a gift with purchase product we're sending you all a little magic trick, and a coupon code in honor of April Fool's Day (no foolin').

Apparently this has turned into a I'll sign off for now.  Thanks for reading if you've gotten this far :)


  1. LOL what a great song, Shake It is a great shadow as well. Thank you for the stories behind the's nice to hear how they came about. Keep up the AWESOME wwork =D

  2. I love the song he did.....AWESOME and cute. Sorry there is no talent for doing videos, but I have a talent to apply SN and that makes me happy =:0) Thanks!!