life in and around NYC is insane

Monday, September 20, 2010

how is your eyeshadow compact made?

Thinking about yesterday's blog post...and my summer job at the cosmetics company.

30 years later, I still remember all the details about my least-favorite job.

How to asemble an eye shadow compact.

The compacts were made by an outside company, we'd get the plastic shells with our company's logo and we'd have to put al the pieces together.  We'd have to glue in the mirror and the little tins of shadow and add the applicator brush, cover the shadow with a thin piece of clear plastic, add a sheet of foam to keep the mirrow from scratching and then add the label on the bottom.

the compact would be wrapped in a liner and placed in a box (this was a department-store cosmetic, not one you can buy in a drugstore).  the box would be labellled.  several boxes would be placed in a larger box, and the larger boxes would be removed from the assembly line and placed in cartons on a pallet.

the worst job on this line was cleaning the extra dust out of the compact.  the person who did that job had to wear an apron and goggles, and use a device that blasted the compact with air.  even with protective gear, the person doing this job usually wound up covered in eye shadow.

and everything had to be perfect.  this company didn't sell its "seconds" to flea markets, if the product was usable it might be sold to employees during a warehouse sale, but it would never reach consumers in the open market if it wasn't  perfect.

I remember one time, they had a group of us come in on a Saturday morning (time and a half!) to examine defective blush brushes.  there was a minor defect in the brush, they'd be useable but weren't up to company standards.  we had to examine each and every brush to prove they were all defective.

another time, they had a group of us examine perfume bottles for defective atomizers.  if the atomizer was broken, we simply threw the entire bottle of perfume into the dumpster -- in a warehouse without airconditioning, in the middle of July.  I still can't wear that scent!

but those warehouse sales....wow, what we could get, for a fraction of the price it sold for in the store....

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