Hillary Dannels wearing Mentality Bon Bon holding a custom painted Nerf Gun in Tetrachromes.
Hey, everyone! Gosh we've been busy. It's been three full years since we stepped away to kick Arminex International, Inc. square in the balls for what they did to the nail polish community. It's been quite the adventure, but we are living proof that we, you, and anyone can stand up against an oversized bully, knock them flat on their sorry ass, and change the world. We are also proof that the average person can go toe to toe with millionaire socialites and be victorious, successful, and survive to tell the awesome story. Yes, we found justice in the end, but it took all of our focus, and an unbelievably monumental effort.
One of the things we're most proud of is having very recently paid off one of the credit cards associated with all the remakes that we did for our customers. I mean yikes, I hope none of you ever have to dump out the value of your business and extend all of your credit in order to remake products after another business pulls the bullshit Arminex did, but we are on our way to fully recovering. That's just who we are. We refuse to give up, even with all the nasty trolls that even unto today still continue to spew misguided and misinformed hatred. (Angry Monkey points at trolls and then laughs)
Hillary modeling Mentality Hard Candy, Top hat bezels in Mentality Sideshow and Mentality Carpe.
One of the most ridiculous rumors that we heard was that we were making our own base. That is one of those that actually makes my explode. It’s like, but, do you even understand how hard that is? The nitrocellulose required comes from Dow Wolff Cellulosics. They make Walsroder, mixed with your choice of plasticizer and wetting agent. Don’t worry, you can’t buy it. Pretty much no one can. They for certain won't sell it to you if this was the first time you read that product name, and for sure the government tracks all of it that is sold, and puts some serious transportation guidelines on it, effectively limiting its distribution patterns, because it’s ... wait for it, wait for it, an explosive. Like for real blows up. This is stuff that people don’t actually want to handle and the really big ugly reason why no one makes their own base. No one in their right minds wants to actually handle nitrocellulose outside of a light industrial setting, using anti-static equipment specially designed to process said explosive in stainless steel vessels without exploding all the things and the people.
That said, I encourage, no I implore you to go to school and learn this kind of information for yourself. If this kind of thing interests you, go get the kind of STEM field education and certifications that you think qualify you to mess around with nitrocellulose. Big deal. Huge. Huge deal.
Also, the hectorite, you can't have it. They're not gonna sell it to you. It's like the height line on rollercoasters. You have to be this level of actual legitimacy before the people that sell that stuff will sell it to you in the volumes you would need purchase to make it worth anyone's time to talk to you. That's just the realities of the business.
Danny wearing Mentality Verdegris on the sail boat.
So, how on Earth did we survive? The internet masses have come up with some really interesting versions, but the actual the truth of the matter is far more boring and yet infinitely satisfying to people that understand. We did it through accounting. We kept detailed and explicit records of everything. (CPAs across the land just stood up and started cheering)
They said, show us everything. Our lead investigator hand wrote a book in front me. He wrote a book. An actual large empty book, was filled with writing and just everything. In retrospect, a book was written about what we showed to the FDA. The second investigator kept another smaller book, but still. That's some epic level of bookkeeping on everyone's behalf. Stuff you don't think about while you're busy trying not to crap your pants. Like when I was trying to convince the EPA that I wouldn't throw paint away, because I just wouldn't. Meanwhile, I'm pulling down the bags packed with our soda bottle recycling that was being stored outside in the shed on top of empty mixing bottles that we saved. It is my observation that no one actually expects you to have kept the things from the regulations, much less to have even read them.
If stranded on an actual desert island and you could wish for one thing ... Danny modeling Mentality Loess.
So, when you say you kept samples, what do you mean?
Pour off a bottle, yes an entire bottle. Take notes and label it. It is your proof of work. Now, put it up and you don’t get to use it, ever, but you have to keep it. Oh, don’t lose it in case you need it. Because you might need it, and completely crazy end of the world stuff only happens in movies and to Mentality Nail Polish. Who else would ever need to prove where every single ounce of nail polish base came and went to? Seriously, save everything. It takes up space too, which is a real pain in the ass. Oh, and don't throw it away. The EPA is a real bummer unless you're doing it right. If you just so happen to be doing things correctly and can answer all their questions appropriately, then they turn out to be rather helpful and supportive and can offer real guidance. You just have to be doing things correctly. Seriously, the EPA was terrifying. They don't screw around about the environment out here in California. You have to be able to answer every single answer correctly to avoid fines, which means you have to look up disposal requirements as well. And, you have to know this information before anyone knocks on your door, and be actually adhering to it.
That said, we still have the original mixing bottles for Mentality. Our ability to reference our work goes all the way to the beginning. We have boxes full of mixing bottles all colored to the pigments used. They're actually quite beautiful. It's part of the art behind the scenes of our efforts to document our efforts. Work which although seemed meaningless at the time, turned out to be real life savers when isolating out specific complaints and then being able to cross reference with batches, bottles, and even the original barrel and purchase orders which allowed us to file a credible complaint with the FDA and stomp some serious butt.
I present unto you, Nutella, on Anna's Ginger Swedish Thins. Danny modeling Mentality Verdegris with Mentality Gregarious accent.
What to do when all ape shit breaks loose.
Do not let this happen to you. It is horrible. It feels like the end of the world. And, the only way to get clear of it is to engage in loads of hard work that you may never get back. It's when you question your own self worth and the justification to try even harder than before, because just surviving is gonna be the hardest thing you've ever done. You have to be strong. You are already stronger than you have to be. Just don't quit. The government won't let you, so just get up and keep going.
How prostrate should I be?
This is going to hurt.
What did Mentality actually go through?
We requested a federal review of our product via the MedWatch complaint mechanism at the FDA, after completing a voluntary recall with detailed records of customer complaints, and were able to isolate batches to injuries, convincingly by using the accounting and sample records we still maintain. Basically hell. Yes, it was hell.
Walker's Pure Butter Shortbread with Nutella, not for the faint of heart. Hillary modeling Mentality Hard Candy topped with Mentality Glitz.
Which brings us to other serious topics that newcomers to the cosmetics scene might not know. You have to ship correctly. I wish I could make it more clearer, but do not ever ship illegally. Do not ship out of the country unless you are IATA certified. It's expensive. I've had that certification before for international shipping. Every government in the world will know who you are if you make it that far. For domestic shipping, you have to declare your company to your local Post Office. We received clarification and approval on our shipping methods from no less than the Office of the Postmaster General, and were asked for it by no less than the FDA. The shipping records that you will create by shipping with the US Post Office, UPS, FedEx, will serve as permanent records of your business dealings and are the final answer if you are ever asked if you are shipping correctly. There is a right way to do this, and the wrong way, which is illegal. Don't risk it!
Danny modeling Mentality Verdigris topped with Mentality Harvest. Hillary modeling Mentality Bon Bon topped with Mentality Adorable.
When you face hard times though, you have to have a safety net, someone to turn to when it's just really hard and you want to give up, and the meany faces won't stop telling lies. The harshness of social media is not for the feint of heart. It is easy to become calloused, but ever so more important that we remember what it is like to have to look someone in the eyes to have a conversation. Human contact alters our conversations. Everyone I tell our story to in real life is always floored that we survived, but we have each other, and we have our family. That's where we we've been at since this all started. We've been at home, raising our family, teaching them to never quit, to learn everything they can, and to dream all the dreams.
In the end, we have each other. Ours was a romance before we ever stated Mentality. I have always told my wife that everything I have ever created has been for her. She always has been and remains to this day, my best friend.
Nutella should never be eaten alone. Always share your Nutella with people smaller than you.