Before I go into anything, I first have to admit: I have been remiss in posting. I am sorry.
My life is kind of insane. I have been writing about the making of the brand but I'm going back months and months to catch you up on where we are now. At this moment, I'm in the midst of a major deal with potential investors (this close -- holding fingers a centimeter apart) and don't want to jinx it so no details... we're running out of funds... we're manufacturing for a ton of reorders (thankfully but you have to lay out serious cash before we get it back!)... marketing and PR is ON... I have five interns, working from my apartment (on the floor, a bridge table in my living room, two in my kitchen (my poor husband is losing it -- no quiet and he is the man behind the operations of this gig). I can go on but I will throw up, it's so much.
Meanwhile, we just launched a fabulous contest online -- it's called Kiss and Tell Your Huge Lips Skinny Hips I.D.!
Here's the deal -- upload a photo of yourself and choose the color that represents your style. You can vote, review, and share. We're going to choose the ultimate grand prize from the top 250. She'll get a sexy trip for two to NYC and a personal tour of my inspirations for the shades of Huge Lips Skinny Hips! (You'll see that below!).
But there will be burlesque with the famous Veronica Varlow -- totally hot performer who has danced for Sir Elton John, Marc Jacobs, Heidi Klum!
This is her, below!
Oh, there may be some shopping for Kate Moss pieces at Top Shop... perhaps a little private pole dancing at S-Factor. You'll shack up at the chic Smyth Hotel in Tribeca. We'll dine over Lychee Martinis at my favorite spots.
The Most Viral winner will become a Purple Lab brand ambassador and get our products before anyone else for a year. And there is more.
Check it out!
Now, back to where I left off...
We had the packaging look and feel down. I was happy as can be. The mock-up of the component came back from China. C'est parfait! There is nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment of seeing your vision come to life.
I now needed to figure out the colors of the six-shade gloss line.
I polled my makeup artist friends -- I am blessed with having a few fabulous ones! I asked them what colors they would bring to someone's house if they had no idea what that person looked like or what color their skin tone was. They unanimously came up with the same replies: a light pink or nude, a rich pink, a red, a peach, a color, and clear.
Now, some labs have specific color departments where their sole mission is to create a variety of hues. Mine didn't. So I did my colors the old fashion way -- I spent about $800 at Sephora, buying every key shade I could find. I got empty pots and mixing sticks, rolled up my sleeves, and went to town on my coffee table.
A few hours later, both arms were covered in what appeared to be Indian paint. There was gloss all over the cowhide rug (oops!). My lips were raw from applying and rubbing off and applying and rubbing off and applying... you get the point. But I had six ultra chic, universally-flattering, sheer shades in front of me that I was dying over!
Then the really fun part -- naming them! It was like giving birth to six babies at once (call me Angie!). Their monikers came easily -- as if they named themselves.
Nude-ish pink was Kitty Poledancer, inspired by my favorite form of exercise. I have been taking pole classes at S-Factor, pole dancing playground where Kate Hudson, Teri Hatcher, Gisele, and Mel B. play. In the studios, large, open mirrorless rooms, lit by LED candles, with multiple poles, no men are allowed.
Meow! The perfect nude-ish pink. Sheer perfection!
At S-Factor, the music is always hot. And the teachers encourage you to get in touch with your femininity and sensuality, a part of ourselves society tends to push down. What I love about S-Factor is not necessarily what it has done for my body, but what it has done for my mind.
The girls in class tend to wear little boy shorts. Little and shorts? NOT in my vocabulary! Every week, I attempted to wear them but the minute I saw myself in the mirror - stretch marks, big thighs and all -- they came off my body and on went the yoga pants. Now, there were plenty of plus-sized women in class -- and for some reason, they seemed to wear the shorts just fine. In fact, they looked absolutely stunning and confident, writhing on the floor, slinking up to the pole, spinning around like delicate ballerinas. Why were they so comfortable in their skin when I couldn't be?
I felt envy. I wanted to wear shorts and look curvy and beautiful, too. The problem was that I was in my head, not in my body. One day, we were learning to climb. You need skin on the pole to do so or you'll slip. It was shorts and climb or never get passed level 2! I ran to the lobby to buy the shorts and chose to not change in the bathroom lest I get deterred by an evil mirror. Although it took me about ten minutes to loosen up -- and get it through my thick head that no one in the room was looking at me and thinking, "ugh, she is gross!" -- the minute some Nine Inch Nails (Download some seriously sexy tracks now!) blasted, I unleashed the pole dancer within.
Kitty Poledancer! C'est moi! I find that gate fishnets and lucite stripper shoes make for a great pole dancing experience! I was climbing -- and loving it. I didn't care about my legs or my stretch marks or my hips or my bum. I was in the music and in my body. I came home that night with a new energy. "I'm so hot," I told my husband (you don't know me but I would NEVER have said that before!). I put on my Lucite heels (gotta love 'em -- they light up when I walk!) and the boy shorts and showed him some moves (sans pole). He was like "Who are you and whatever you've done with my wife, don't bring her back. I like this version of Karen better!"
That was the beauty of S-Factor! I felt liberated and empowered. When I walk down the street and see an awning, held up by two poles, I am known to throw a trick or two. One of my favorite "gay husbands"-- you know, the gay friends you live for? -- gave me the nickname Kitty Poledancer. And so I hoped that this color would give that sense of sexiness and self confidence to those who brushed it on their lips.
The rich pink had a hint of glitter and a warm mauve-ish hue. Sophisticated yet cool. Kind of like Kate Moss, whose style I love so much that I have a collage of tear sheets where I put my makeup on every day. When I think of what to wear, I look at her for inspiration. The steel sequence gown and cascade of curls for her "Beautiful and the Damned" themed 30th birthday party. Her micro shorts and Hunter boots and McQueen motorcycle jacket for outdoor concerts. The leopard vintage jacket, worn with everything and anything. Lingerie-inspired Dior couture with bedroom hair. No one wears clothes like Miss Kate. Hence, the name Worship Kate. May we all have her wardrobe!
Worship Kate, a chic, rich, sophisticated pink with a hint of mauve-ish glitter. Exactly what I can see my favorite supermodel wearing on her lips!
Sexy, sultry, daring red. When I looked at the red I had created, it immediately reminded me of my favorite place in the world to see red... at the bottom of Christian Louboutin shoes! There is nothing quite like the power of wearing them -- when the sidewalk becomes the catwalk. Every girl needs glittery double platform peep-toe slingbacks with five-inch heels. I pray at that cute French man's altar and developed this shade, Red Sole, in his honor.
Red Sole pays homage to Christian Louboutin -- this shade matches the signature red on the bottom of his shoes. J'adore!
The peachy tone is oh so barely there. It is sweet perfection at its finest and juicy and delicious, sort of like my favorite cocktail, Lychee Martini. The best recipe below:
2 parts U'Luvka Vodka (Have you seen this bottle? The packaging is killer!)
1 part Lychee juice (I can't say I make my own fruit. I just pour it from the jar of fruit)
A drop of agave to taste (Always good to sweeten the pot)
Two plump Lychee fruits
Serve in ice cold martini glass
Apply lipgloss to lips before sipping!
This is Lychee Martini. Sweet, smooth, delish, like the cocktail.
Now... the coral hue... tres exotic. And when I think of exotic, I automatically think of a beautiful beach, maybe St. Tropez. When I think of a beautiful beach in France, I think of frolicking in a bikini, uninhibited, not an ounce of body obsessed women. And when I think of wearing these free, liberated women, I tend to get suicidal. I'm so not that way about my thighs! So in the name of turning all of that bad, self deprecating energy into something positive, I called this gloss Love Your Thighs. All of that time wasted on beating ourselves up for the size of our legs could actually be spent doing something good for the world... with fab lips, of course.
Sexy, exotic coral -- and how you'll feel when you love your thighs!
Lastly, there was clear, the perfect addition to any lipstick or when you just want supple but bare lips. Instead of just naming it "Clear," I wanted something playful and funny. The thing that came to mind immediately: No Panty Lines. That's clear, right?
It's clear -- the way your bum should look in pants, sans panty lines! Colors were named! No need to show you clear -- just imagine glossy clear perfection, perfect for running errands when you want a little umph or over any other gloss or lipstick.
I then penned a little story to communicate the inspiration behind each shade and decided that the glosses should come with a "love letter" from me, their mother. Nothing like sharing the glamour. You can read all of the stories on our website!
The next step, once you have the colors you want, is to send them to the lab. They will then do the "color matching," where they send you a submission of their rendition of the colors you desire. It costs a few hundred dollars per color matching -- at least that is what it coste us. The lab LOVED our color names. "You're crazy," they said when they read Kitty Poledancer, "I don't believe it."
"Believe it," I said, sending them a jpeg of me on the pole, which I see as an art form, more Cirque du Soleil than Scores (for the non-NYers, Scores was a strip club that went out of business due to illicit behavior in the champagne room with some famous athletes... and I'm sure other reasons that weren't publicized in the news).
I think, in that moment, I became their favorite customer!
It took about three weeks to get the colors back and when I did, it was 100% dead-on. They nailed it. A painless process, thankfully. I was smitten and I signed off on the match.
I was getting ready to pucker up. Little did I know what was ahead...
More to come!
Purple Lab Creatrix