When you first consider making your own products it's exciting, adventurous, sparkly and shiny. Then you delve deeper into the world of ingredients and it very quickly becomes overwhelming. The lists featured on product side walls can be very intimidating, you've more than likely never heard of most of the ingredients, and it is very easy to feel like the only kid that didn't hand in their homework.
Fear not, no one starts out making a Coenzyme Q10 serum. Start small, gain some confidence and then move up in the world. I am going to ask you to consider a few things though before you spend a single Rand.
1. What is it you are looking to do? Make 1 pot of lip ice? 10 body scrubs for your bridesmaids or to start up a business? It is an important thing to think about. It will determine how much you spend, what kind of equipment you need, how much time and energy you exert on researching and sourcing and most importantly - how much of yourself are you willing to invest in your enterprise?
2. What is your vibe? Do you want a product that is natural? Mostly natural? Natural and organic? Synthetic? A combination of some of a few bits of everything? Does it matter? Think about it carefully as it determines every step you take from here on out.
3. Show me the money. It is absolutely not necessary to spend a month’s salary on anything. Start with one recipe, see how you feel about it. I have made all the mistakes so that you don't need to, and spent kajillions of Rands on nonsense to spare you the expense.
4. Know thyself. The best thing I did was to stay true to who I am. I don't wear nail varnish, straighten my hair or touch my brows. If I had made products to address any of those areas, I would have lost interest and ended up drinking cheap champagne all day long, to make up for my shortcomings. I made what I wish existed. Things I want to use and that inspire in me a relentless pursuit of creative perfection. Whatever that means to you.
5. Failure is my guru. I have thrown away thousands of Rands of dismal experiments, into the bin with my eggshells. I have cried and freaked out and sworn, I have given up, eaten, restarted, rested, avoided, drank too much coffee and fought with myself. Failure is glorious. No book or article has ever taught me as much as my own impatience and lack of knowledge. Learn, move on. It all comes together in the end.
6. The formulating ancestors. So many people have done this before us, they worked stuff out and are out there in their thousands imparting beneficial knowledge. Fly solo little birds but remember, suffering is not necessary. Don't be a lotion martyr. Jump onto Pinterest, take a course, ask me or educate yourself through the beautiful efforts of others.