Feb2017

The case of the missing product listings…

That probably sounds more mysterious than necessary, but it is true.

Sometime over the weekend, I noticed that the shop page here on the site wasn’t displaying all the products.  I still have no idea why not, but with the assistance of our lovely site manager, it seems to be fixed now.  So if you were looking for lip balm preorder flavors that you couldn’t see? You can see them now.

Speaking of lip balm pre-orders. we’re just waiting on about 3 more of those before they go into production, so place your pre-order now.  We’re really looking forward to making these!

Of course, our wonderful and wacky scrubs are available too.  Given how cold it’s been in so many places this week, those scrubs sure will come in handy.

Feb2017

So, let’s talk about shipping!

Wow, that sounds boring.

But the thing that causes the greatest number of questions? Exactly that. Mostly of the “wow, is it really that much?” variety. There’s several problems when it comes to shipping, most of which I’ve managed to resolve today, but the fixes are imperfect. I’m going to break down the various issues here and explain how I’ve patched together a solution.

1. Priority Mail. – Domestic.

Right now, the stuff we make is best shipped via priority mail. The reason why is simple – temperature.  Coconut oil will liquify if it gets too warm. As tight as the caps may be, and as well as I try to vacuum seal the baggies I put everything in to avoid any leakage, once our scrubs are shipped, we have no idea how they’re stored in transit. So the shorter the time between leaving here and arriving wherever you are is the best bet.  However, the USPS’s smallest size in a padded flat-rate mailer is 9″x12″, which is way larger than what we actually need(if you’ve gotten an order from us, you already know this.)   They don’t have an option for a 6×9, which would be ideal.  If I use a 6×9 anyway and label it as a package (choose your own box) the shipping rate is *higher* than if I just use their flat rate 9×12.  The actual rate for shipping such a thing is a bit over 7 dollars.  This does not include all the packaging inside the envelope or obviously the time it takes to get all this stuff together.

2. First Class (regular) mail.

The reason this wasn’t an option is that the USPS no longer allows you to print first class postage from their website. They only let you print priority and express mail labels.  Shopify, who is the company we use for our shopping cart, only allows “carrier based pricing” in a MUCH (much) more expensive plan than we have. (this seems like sort of shooting themselves in the foot on this, but whatever.)  Stamps.com will let you do it, but it’s subscription based – you need to pay them 16 bucks a month *just to be able to do it*.  That’s why until now, I couldn’t do it.  However, Paypal is now allowing you to do this on the merchant end. So, basically, if you want something shipped with first class mail, pay for it using paypal, and  we can now do that!

Result:  Shipping on domestic orders is now $8 for priority (it’s about $7.20, and the 80 cents is for the internal packaging and handling) and $4 for first class mail (it’s about $2,70 for shipping, but it’s got more paperwork and stuff to do on my end, plus I have to add in the mailer, since those don’t come for free from the post office.)   More options, significant savings for everyone.

3.  Priority Mail – International

This option is still the best way for things to go from point A to point B, but people don’t really know how expensive it is.  Shipping priority international *really is* that expensive. In fact, it’s more expensive than we were charging for it.  Here’s two examples:  One lip scrub set sent to Canada?  $23.95.  That’s *just the shipping*.  The same lip scrub set sent to Australia?  $33.95. Again, that’s *just the shipping*.  So the $20 flat rate we were charging was actually less than what it was costing us.  So as crazy as it sounds, the reality is more crazy.

4. First Class (regular) mail.

The same issues as above apply, but the real problem is that determining a rate for each individual country is a problem.  So I’ve basically created a rough average of $15. (most places we ship to seem to hit at $13 and change for the shipping itself, and the rest would cover the rest of the packaging.)

Result: I’ve created a first class international option for $15 based on the products we currently have (it’s weight based so it will take adjusting later when we have different stuff.) However, depending on the order, it may need minor adjustments (to big orders for example.)  but even at the lowest point, international shipping costs over $13 no matter what option  we use.  Ive also raised the cost of the Priority international shipping to $25.  It averages out, *mostly* over the various places we send things to.  But seriously it’s all shipping. It’s not us.

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In other news, if you want fancy flavored lip balms, now is a good time! We’re still taking pre orders on those, in the same flavors as our scrubs.  Bonus, they’re not as fragile as our scrubs and so tubes are great!  You can get them right here:  https://beautiful-freak-cosmetics.myshopify.com/collections/all

Have  a great weekend, everyone!

Feb2017

PREORDERS – LIP BALMS!

People liked our lip scrubs so much they wanted balms in the same flavors.  Think of it like fancy goth chapstick.  🙂  You asked, so we’re doing it.  We’re now taking preorders on lip balms in all of our current flavors.  You can get them on our store page. 

We will start cooking them up as soon as we have a few orders banked so we can grab the supplies  we need (shouldn’t take long, really.) We expect to ship within 21-30 days (the holdup is always labels)   However these are BALMS and not scrubs so:

  1.  You can get tubes in ALL flavors, even individual ones.
  2.  The tubs do not come with a teeny spatula, because no one needs a teeny spatula for lip balm
  3.  The balms are not vegan because they contain beeswax, but are still cruelty free and Rupert and Rerun approved.

Unlike our scrubs, these will work fine in tubes, since they are melted completely into a liquid and poured and will not liquify at the temperatures the scrubs do.

Also, all our current scrub orders have been shipped. We’ve got a clean plate, so go get some!

 

Jan2017

Ready to roll!

Our last batch of stickers and mailers has arrived, so all orders should ship at some point this week. The new tube design and these (temporary) tubs (our final design will be a bit different but these are fine for now) are MUCH easier to fill, so we hope you’ll love them too. If you haven’t placed your order yet, waiting for us to get all our new supplies in, feel free to do so right now! We’re good to go. Also, how do you like the new product shot? This is what Bitter For Sweet looks like in person (mostly. the lid doesn’t have the flavor on it- the side does.) This one is refrigerated to give it that nice smooth top, but when it warms up to room temperature it becomes easily spreadable and ready to scrub your lips to a perfect pout.

Oct2016

Release the bats.

This was a long time coming.

Yet I sit here with a blank page wondering what to say.

So uh… hi. I suppose I should start at the beginning.   bf-consumption-promo-poster

Back in 2011, I got frustrated with the lack of goth appropriate options for makeup in Second Life.  I wanted makeup that I would actually wear in real life– it’s just that what *I* would wear in real life is more like what other people will only wear in a virtual environment.  I didn’t do it alone.  I had help from my partner at the time (a lot of help, honestly.) But after a while that didn’t work out, and Beautiful Freak wound up being a partnership between three friends beginning in 2012.  I still owned it, but we were a team consisting of two designers and a storyteller who wrote our ad copy, (and will manage our Facebook page).  That’s still who we are, though now we have the aid of a site designer (thank goodness, because none of us have the patience for that.)

But in the past few years Second Life changed in ways that made our continuing to work there more and more frustrating.  The time:return ratio got badly skewed to the point where all of us collectively threw our hands up in frustration. I’d been buying a lot of indie cosmetics at the time, and one night as I was flipping through instagram I thought “Wait. Don’t we already own an indie cosmetics brand?” So I got in touch with everyone and it was agreed, that not only did we own one, that we should make the leap into meatspace.

That’s how we got here.

Now as to where we’re going — right now we’re just starting simply. You know, you have to learn to lumber like a zombie before you can fly awkwardly into furniture like a bat (What. This analogy works.)  We’re taking pre-orders on our very first product. We have lip scrubs in wonderful flavors to help keep your vampy pout soft and delicious that we’re calling Lips Like Sugar.  We have five flavors, plus a special, seasonally limited flavor that you can get for *free* when you buy a set of all five.  All five regular flavors are named after songs, since that’s how we (still) roll around these parts. All of them are vegan except for the seasonal flavor (which contains honey, so use your discretion on that one) Though they are scrubs intended to keep your lips exfoliated and kissable, they are all edible, so no worries if your babybats break into your stash. We even have them in two sizes so you can get the amount that’s right for you.  We’ll of course add flavors, and products and get feedback and change things and have successes and failures like everyone else. But we have to start somewhere, and that’s right here, right now.

Because these are pre-orders we expect to be shipping within three weeks. We had hoped to make it before Halloween but it just didn’t work out that way(My fault. Delayed by oral surgery.) So it looks like we’ll ship for (US) Thanksgiving.  But that’s okay.  Everyday is Halloween around here. Believe it.

We’re opening the coffin to all the Beautiful Freaks out there. Come join us, because Normal is Overrated.

-AK