This is a great question, and you’ll find a link to this post in the Duplications for Patreon subscribers section of the blog.
The way it’s worked so far is that when someone posts a duplicate product idea, I take down all the information and analyze the ingredient list, then see if it’s do-able at home. This means that I either have or could order the ingredients easily for the product. If there are tricky to find ingredients, I consider whether or not those are essential for the product.
If it looks like I can get the ingredients, I consider how hard the product would be to make at home. For instance, to make an oily gel in Sucragel AOF, I need a paddle mixer. I don’t have one of those, and I’m sure most of my readers don’t, so I’d give that a miss.
And I’m interested in what we can learn from the product. I’m not likely to duplicate Jergen’s hand lotion as we’ve made that a thousand times, but I’ll take a serious look at some novel Korean skin care product, for instance.
If all this works out, I start working on a sample formula for the product. If it seems like I can get close to the original product, then the formula goes into my lab book and I try making it as soon as I can.
When I can afford it and if the product is available to me, I buy it to see what it’s like.
I know I can’t get to every formula, but I’m trying as best I can! Although my goal was to create the duplication in the month in which it was suggested, if I have to order ingredients or do something special, that means it might be a month or two in the making.
I have printed out every single suggestion made to me from July 2016 onward, and every month I review that pile and see which ones I could make.
TL;DR – I review every single suggestion you make for duplication, and make my decisions based on ingredient availability and ability to make it at home.