Monday, March 10, 2014

Let's Keep it Clean, Shall We

I feel the need to address something that perhaps doesn't much occur to the general consumer, but very much affects all consumers!
This is the topic of GMP.
GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practices.
Sounds boring, I know, but bear with me.
GMP does NOT mean-"well my place looks clean, and I wash my equipment in between making products, or I wash my hands before I start whipping up my product awesomeness!"
GMP is an actual set of manufacturing standards set forth by the FDA to ensure safety for the consumer as well as the manufacturer. These practices are what allow for recalls if products are found to have been tainted, but also to ensure that most never need to be recalled!
The FDA has very strict guidelines, some would say not strict enough, but I find the fault lies, not in the regulations, as much as the fact that the industry of cosmetics manufacturing as a whole, is a self regulated industry.
To the lay person what this means is: cosmetics manufacturers within the United States are SOLELY responsible for employing Good Manufacturing Practices.
Things like; Using FDA approved ingredients FOR THEIR APPROVED PURPOSE ONLY, have their own inspection process, Batch testing including a reserved sample of each batch AND written notes for every batch, understand and employ proper labeling, and these are just the tip of the iceberg. The FDA rarely gets involved in the manufacturing process unless there are complaints.
To me, this is both good and bad.
Good in that, the current self regulating process does allow for small, Indie brand manufacturers.
In recent years, talk of the more involved FDA process has been discussed- the results, as proposed, create such fees as to drive most Indies out of business altogether.
The bad, is then the result of NO true surety of GMP by any cosmetics facility.
Bet you didn't know that one, did you?
This all boils down to: It is MY JOB to know and follow all the FDA regulations, AND to have in place GMP.
The good news, they are easy to find. See them HERE: FDA Good Manufacturing Practices
When I taught my manufacturing classes years ago- I actually handed my students the FDA regulations as part of the instruction kit, and where to access the rest of the information as well.
I will also tell you, the FDA are excellent at answering any questions you may have over the phone, and I have called a rep myself, and had my questions promptly answered. THEY WANT to help, they WANT you to be safe.
And Manufacturers they WANT to protect you as well, both physically as well as financially.
I just recently heard of an Indie Soaper- who had neglected to wear goggles during the making of soap. She had Lye splash into her eye, and damaged the eye. It took ten years, but she was finally able to have surgery to repair the damage. For any that don't know Lye is very caustic, and safety measures are a must including the absolute use of safety goggles at all times!
I myself wear a mask, and have a fine dust particle filtration system built into my manufacturing
my mask
facility, directly under where I grind my products. Because I am asthmatic, I am particularly careful to not breath in dust all day long. To that end I have a specialty mask, and it is one sized to a woman's face. When i first started I could only find ones suited to a man's face and was forced to either cut them down, thus rendering their effectiveness less, or have them ill fitting- to the same result.
The mask also has the added benefit of not allowing my breath, or any germs if, say I am coming down with a cold, but unaware, these will not be breathed over my products.
To protect the end consumer.
I also diligently wear gloves EACH AND EVERY time I manufacture or package products. This is non-negotiable, as hands can quickly and easily spread germs throughout products.  To ensure no problems arise from the use of gloves, I use non-latex, non-powdered, vinyl gloves.

I do think one of the benefits in buying from an Indie Brand, such as mine, ensures you are getting a product that I VERY MUCH care about WHAT goes in my jars, AND HOW! I believe in transparency, hence why every ingredient I use is listed on my website, along with a brief description of why, and what it is for. To inform my consumer, so they may make the best decision. I have met many women who are allergic to corn- well glad to know that I use Non-GMO, Organically grown Cornstarch in 5 of my Setting Sheers. (All but Luxury Sheer, which is a Finishing Powder). Cause who cares how it's grown, or if my products are GMO, if you are allergic to an ingredient. 
The GMP is a little harder to ascertain, but if you see cute little pics of them whipping up their latest  -(pick a product)- and they are not wearing gloves, will you think twice?
 and to my fellow Indie's, Let's Keep it Clean, Shall we?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Savoring Simple: A Clean Beauty Story

Clean Beauty, for those not in the industry, is the effect of putting makeup on a face, so strategically that the person, model, client, bride...looks flawless and as if they are wearing NO makeup. At All.

That being said, it is the hardest makeup job to do, and do well.
It takes a lot of practice, the right product choices, and the right placement of said products.
It also takes a good bit of restraint- and a very trained eye.
After all, there is nothing to hide behind in clean beauty- no distracting bit of color- or a "Hey, Look at Me!" smokey eye.
It is also the foundation, literally- of every other look!
if you cannot do a Clean beauty look- you can not reasonably book yourself as a makeup artist.
And if you are looking to book a makeup artist- you should certainly see examples of this in their portfolio and website.
Many times the look comes down to a great, perfectly matching foundation, a concealer, or corrector, and a color product to enhance and create warmth to the skin, that looks like it is coming from within.
 I also truly enjoy the strategic, and subtle use of a highlighter.
These 4 items should be a staple in every woman's makeup bag- and every artist's kit!
we started with this look
built to this

and finally to this!
and yes, all Fortunate Face Minerals were used!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Into the Cosmos

Color of the month! I want to start highlighting some of our colors- and truly introducing them to you- letting you get a feel for them- and, of course, you can ask me any questions you may have!
Because I am a small independent mineral makeup company, where everything is handmade by me, and to my specifications, I get a lot of creative freedom. The idea that I can dream up a color, and then make it- is one of the most alluring aspects to this job! I also love when YOU dream up a color and ask me to make it!

And I especially love when real women inspire a new color. This one is for a wonderful, beautiful woman who is a diva in looks and style, but not attitude!

The color is a rich satin black with multi layers of sparkle to add dimension & depth (hence the name Cosmos). This color will really twinkle!

Cosmos on lid

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Get Radiant with Pantone's color of the Year-Radiant Orchid

In case you are not familier with Pantone, they are the, Self proclaimed, "World Authority" on color. And whether or not you have ever heard of them, they do have a great impact on all the products you see, and buy, and often work with, or just paint your room. They offer palettes of colors for everything from business, design, interior decor and well as furnishings, soft goods, and, of course, makeup!
In the past few years we have certainly seen the vibrant trend really showcased in the Pantone choices. For 2012 the color was Tangerine Tango a very vibrant, tangy sahde of orange- beautiful, fun but not all that wearable for everyone.  My closest shade is Tangy-Eyesahdow and Succulent Cheek Color.

These shades would look great on Deeper skin tones, and anyone with a sense of fun and adventure. But, admittedly are not going to be for everyone! (not even myself gals)
 In 2013 we got Emerald. A gorgeous shade, one of my favorites actually is greens/teals and always a first choice for me for most things. BUT, again can often be a little bit of a challenge to wear. Brown eyed, slightly deeper to dark skinned gals had it a bit easier- as some of these shades look amazing with brown eyes- I have to say I am quite the fan of this Dramatic Look and I re-created it using a few of my own shades-(just to name a few)

But, for 2014- I am so happy to say that Pantone's color of the year-Radiant Orchid is easily one of the MOST wearable colors! There is a shade or tone to fit any skincolor, eye color, hair color- you name it!!!! I am happy to say that At Fortunate Face Minerals we offer more than just a few shades for Eyes and Cheeks (most can be used on lips as well!) Two of my personal favorites are Divinity Eye Shadow and Fearless Cheek Color.


For even more of the FFM Radiant Orchid inspired colors, check out our Fortunate Face Pinterest Page. All colors can be purchased at out website and range between $13.00-$17.00.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Why is it so HARD?????

The most challenging aspect of doing this job, and having my own cosmetics company is not, despite what many people may think, creating the products themselves. That, actually comes quite naturally to me, as my college science background gives me the Chemistry knowledge of ingredients, and my makeup artist background gives me the expertise in color theory and HOW great makeup should function.
No, what truly Stymies me- and perhaps always will is Selling myself. Not my product, though it definitely affects that too, but myself as a brand.
I KNOW- my products are really great- enough of you have told me that it MUST be true, I use it myself both personally and professionally and to this day step back and shake my head and say- "Wow! THIS stuff really is good!"
Now, that doesn't mean it's for everybody- and that everyone is going to think it's God's gift (though I know to me it is!)
That I can accept- because makeup involves a lot of personal choice.
What I struggle with, is approaching vendors, or people to believe in my line enough to invest in it. I ask real money.
Don't get me wrong I DO it- because at the end of the day- my product is worth being made uncomfortable! And if they talk to me- and really ask me questions- they can SEE and HEAR just how passionate and knowledgeable I am about my line and makeup as a whole.
But- I can honestly say that it s hard- the most difficult- I am open, friendly, outgoing, outspoken, and even loud.  am NOT shy! So much so- that people will have a hard time believing this next sentence- but it is 100% true-
I am VERY reticent about approaching ANYONE when it involves me asking for something if it will in any way benefit myself.
I know I am not alone in this- and I know that it's not charity I am asking for. I also know my business cannot succeed, let alone thrive and grow unless I continue to move past any reticence and DO IT anyway!
So while I will always grapple with this, and probably not jump on as many opportunities as I even should.
I will NEVER give up on doing it- and pushing myself outside this zone, because truthfully nothing worth having comes easily, and if I don't- well, really, WHO WILL? Plus  I KNOW everyone deserves to have a FORTUNATE FACE!