Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I'm a Pittsburgh Beauty Examiner for is more than just another writing opportunity, it's an outlet filled with credible, passionate, and knowledgeable content producers who express their words through individual expertise.
When I heard the sad news about Yahoo! Voices (or Yahoo! Contributor Network) closing earlier last month, I applied for Examiner. The next day I was sent an email saying that I was accepted. Although I really cannot say too much about this website, as I have only been a contributor for a month, so far it seems great. I am definitely looking forward to contributing, that is for sure.

To visit my Examiner page, simply click here right now.

Monday, August 4, 2014

My Top 5 Favorite Nude Lipsticks by MAC

From left to right: Myth, Fleshpot, Close Contact, Viva Glam II, and Crème d' Nude.
About the lipsticks...
Myth is simply a light nude with a satin finish. It's neutral, which I love. This is one of my favorite nudes by MAC because it works fantastic with my skin tone.
Fleshpot is best described as a pastel pink-beige. It's very faint and possesses a satin finish. I love the color payoff of this particular nude, as it simply works.
Close Contact is not as nude as the other lipsticks, but I enjoy it because it is a stunning amplified peach shade. This lipstick is limited edition, however; I am hoping that MAC decides to include this particular shade as a permanent selection.
Viva Glam II is simply a nude mauve shade with a satin finish. As one of MAC's best selling lipsticks since it's release in 1997, this is clearly one of the best nude lipsticks by Makeup Artist Cosmetics to date.
Crème d' Nude is what I would called a creamy warm nude. Almost like a pastel peach with a hint of beige. The finish is different from the prior lipsticks I have mentioned as it's more than a creamsheen finish.

Friday, August 1, 2014

DIY Beauty: How To Make Body Butter

Body butter is simply the infusion of a cream and a lotion. It is excellent for every skin type and is one of the best beauty essentials around. The question remains, is it possible to make your own body butter? Absolutely.

The ingredients you will need are:

1 Cup of Shea Butter
1/2 Cup of Coconut Oil
4 Tbsp. of Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. of Vitamin E

First and foremost, you will want to prepare your shea butter. Using a double boiling medium, place your shea butter on the top. Melt generously. Continue stirring. 

As you are stirring, you want to simply combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix generously. You can also combine them into a stand-alone mixer where you can combine and mix them together. 

For dry skin, add:
2 Tbsp. of Lemon Peel Oil
2 Tbsp. of Rosehip Oil
1 Tbsp. of Sea Buckthorn Oil

For oily skin, add:
1 Tbsp. of Tea Tree Oil
1 Tbsp. of Apricot Kernel Oil

For normal skin, add:
1 Tbsp. of Argan Oil
1 Tbsp. of Sweet Almond Oil

For combination skin, add:
1 Tbsp. of Jojoba Oil
1 Tbsp. of Sweet Almond Oil

For sensitive skin, add:
1 Tbsp. of Argan Oil
1 Tbsp. of Apricot Kernel Oil

For blemish skin, add:
2 Tbsp. of Tea Tree Oil
1 Tbsp. of Jojoba Oil

For mature skin, add:
2 Tbsp. of Lemon Peel Oil
2 Tbsp. of Sea Buckthorn Oil
1 Tbsp. of Argan Oil

For stressed skin, add:
2 Tbsp. of Orange Peel Oil
1 Tbsp. of Lemon Peel Oil
1 Tbsp. of Apricot Kernel Oil

This is fragrance-free, however; you can add your essential oil of choice to give your body butter the scent you want. NOW Foods has an extensive selection of essential oils. Continue mixing everything together until it forms a whipped yet butter-like consistency.

Congratulations! You have just made your own body butter. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Beauty Talk: Exclusive Interview with YON-KA Paris

Yon-Ka Paris
Established in 1954, this French skin care brand is one of the pioneers of aromatherapy. It is also one of my favorite brands. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Katherine Tomasso, the National Director of Education at YON-KA Paris. Here is what she had to say...

(Q) Hello. How are you? Tell me more about the Yon-Ka Paris brand...
This year marks 60 years of YON-KA Paris, a leader in aroma-therapeutic spa treatments and products. Founded in France in 1954 by the Muhlethaler family, a trio of health and wellness enthusiasts and visionaries, the collection was first founded on the principals of total body detoxification and regeneration. High standards of quality and safety lie at the heart of YON-KA values. Crafting phyto-aromatic skin care products for the face and body is our passion, as well as a means to help people experience a complete total body wellness and sensorial effect, which is so special and unique to the brand. The YON-KA Paris experience is heightened by the olfactory and sensorial notes of the scent and complexity of each individual product, which itself heightens the effectiveness of the treatment and the technical nature of the product. Ever since our creation, our team of scientists have been devoted to the selection of innovative and evidence-based natural ingredients with acute efficiency. Currently, rigorous R&D, advancements in botanical science and our unwavering commitment to nature positions us as a leading expert specifically in the area of Age Management.

Our at home spa collection for "Aging Well" is based on three tenets: the Age Defense collection includes products formulated specifically to address the first signs of aging. Age Correction features corrective care products for the visible signs of aging. And we’re thrilled that later this year we’ll launch Age Exception, a brand new category of products formulated to address the multiple needs of mature skin due to various hormonal imbalances linked to advanced aging. Age Exception showcases our full commitment to nature, and science and research, resulting in elegant, high performing products. Knowing the impact that highly skilled professional touch can have to a persons’ over-all sense of well-being, an international team of YON-KA expert therapists developed a series of high touch manual techniques now integral with the YON-KA Paris luxury spa experience, a truly incredible and transformative one.
We’ve also developed specific and tailor-made spa treatments for face and body, emphasizing high touch. The YON-KA manual technique is inseparable from the world of our aroma-therapeutic collection. It’s an expert and subtle alchemy between the professional’s hand, the hand that feels and gives, and the instrument that prolongs and reinforces it, the vitalizing and pre-dosed essential oil that optimizes it. In harmony with the customer’s needs, it takes place within a holistic and personalized approach to deliver the very best that the product has to offer, a visible result and a real sensation of improved well-being, all whilst ensuring the highest performance and tending to each individual. We truly believe that there is such beauty to be found in human touch as expressed with the YON-KA face and body techniques. As a result, high touch expertise is one of our brand values and our motto…. "The Art of Touch – A Touch of our Art".

(Q) What inspired the creation of this brand? How did the idea and evolution of Yon-Ka Paris come about?
The simple answer is plants! Our phyto-aromatic actives are carefully selected and scrutinized from more than 130 plants. More specifically aroma-therapy and phyto -therapy, is the therapeutic use of aromatic essential oils and plants extracts respectively, and have different actions and benefits to the finished product. Our advanced formulas carefully pre-dose essential oils and extracts into a complete and effective finished product. One of our first products, EMULSION CONCENTREE contains an exclusive and treasured formula that blends 5 aromatic essential oils that have been stabilized into water based emulsion. Due to the specific actions of each one of the essential oils, including their synergistic effects EMULSION CONCENTREE has extraordinary detoxifying and regenerating properties. Lavender, Rosemary, Cypress, Thyme and Geranium marries important and versatile skin care actions with the beautiful, fragrant aromas of the Mediterranean basin. We’ve named this complex "Quintessence" and even today Quintessence is the DNA of the brand:

• Fine lavender from Haute Provence (lavandula angustifolia) with calming, healing and anti-inflammatory properties.

• Rosemary from Morocco (rosmarinus officinalis) with antiseptic, regenerating and toning properties.

• Geranium from Egypt (pélargonium graveolens) with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and healing properties.

• Thyme from Spain (thymus officinalis), excellent stimulant with powerful antiseptic properties.

• Cypress from Provence (cupressus sempervirens) decongestant and powerful nervous system regulator.

Used in various concentrations in 70% of our ranges, always pre-measured to ensure absolute safety and optimum results, Quintessence increases the effectiveness of the ingredients it is combined with and provides an olfactory experience that can be relaxing or energizing depending on what is needed.

(Q) You have products for the face and for the body, among other things. Currently, what are your most popular products? Tell me a little more about your best sellers...
No surprise, any product which is densely concentrated in "Quintessence" is very popular with our devoted brand followers. An international leading best seller is LOTION YON-KA. Categorized as an aromatic skin tonic it’s really much more that. LOTION YON-KA is a true eau du soin daily treatment. Unlike other toners which are applied with cotton, LOTION delivers its aromatic and hydrating effects in an abundant spray. It’s an absolute must after cleansing but can also be sprayed during the day for a little aromatic respite. (It’s better for you than a coffee break!) In the Age Correction segment, two popular programs leads turnover. OPTIMIZER Duo consists of a lightweight serum and cream rich in signal peptides from hibiscus flower and lupine bean. Working with fibroblast growth factors these natural builder peptides firms and redensifies the tissues with exquisite results. Clinical tests showed how hibiscus peptides worked to stimulate fibroblasts and collagen I by +23%.
Today’s educated consumer is also aware of the need to preserve elastin which is another key protein of youth. The STIMULASTINE Duo contains boswellia, dill, out and yeast extracts to maintain the necessary elastic properties of elastin, without which the skin would atrophy. Clinical studies made to this popular duo showed impressive 3 dimensional improvements made to deep wrinkles. As we anticipate the new Age Exception category spa goers should expect the brand to continue formulating products that deliver these types of impressive results and proven efficacy.

(Q) I am always in need of a good serum. Tell me a little more about the Yon-Ka serum...
Serums are amazing and YON-KA Serum is a precious reparative and detoxifying cocktail for all skin types. It blends Quintessence into a synergy of golden plant oils which are rich in essential fatty acids, lipids and numerous anti-free radical vitamins. Besides its elegant texture and beautiful scent buyers seem to really like the versatility of YON-KA Serum. For example it can be applied to the neck and throat alone. This is great to do during your make-up free time such as going to your Pilates class or doing your favorite off hour activity. The Quintessence supports the micro-circulation so the complexion is quickly energized and radiant. A few drops of YON-KA Serum can also be added to boost your customized treatment cream which keeps the skin balanced and in a healthy mode of renewal.

(Q) What products would you recommend for someone with combination skin?
As you know many people have combination skin and we definitely have several "go to" products which address this condition. CRÈME 93 is the perfect treating and protective cream for combination skin. Rich in ylang-ylang, a white flower with a very exotic scent also has adaptogenic and normalizing properties. Proteins, lime essential oil, and anti-oxidant vitamins also help to normalize imbalanced areas of the complexion. One of our newer treating creams, VITAL DEFENSE is another effective treatment option for combination skin. Its added benefits include protecting the skin from oxidative stress and pollution so it’s especially perfect for city dwellers. Myrtle extract is its active ingredient which increases glutathione recovery rate. Glutathione is an essential molecule we produce which is essential for cell protection and longevity, the key to preserving the life of the skin.

(Q) You have body products that do various jobs, which I have to admit is quite impressive. Do you really have body products that actually make you skinnier?
Not skinnier, but healthier and more energized. The combination of aromatic essential oils, marine and plant extracts will stimulate the natural micro-circulation process. Sluggish circulation is main culprit and root cause of cellulite and/or general imbalances of the silhouette. We add heat producing extracts like nutmeg, wintergreen and thyme to our body range of products which help to promote a contouring effect. The Body Range also features toning and firming products, aroma-therapeutic body oils and treatment bath and specific body care preparations for areas such as the neck and bust.

(Q) It's really interesting that you have a line specifically for sun care. Everything from sun protection to sunless tanning. Tell me a little more about your sun care line...
It’s a very specific yet very manageable collection which includes solar protection, sunless tan options and after sun treatments. Three broad spectrum solar protection products (protects skin from UVA & UVB rays) give consumers great choices for their SFP protection. For the longest time, UVB rays were the only ones considered to be harmful to the skin. In fact UVB rays are responsible for sun burns; they accelerate the aging process and can lead to skin cancer. Representing 95% of all UV radiation we’ve learned that UVA’s are actually the more harmful and even dangerous ray. Their affects to the aging process occurs in the skin’s deepest layers resulting in damage to collagen and elastin fibers, two of the skins youth proteins. They can also damage DNA which can result in skin cancer, and they produce numerous free radicals that hasten the overall aging process.

These are reasons why it’s essential to formulate broad spectrum filter combinations. Last year we reformulated the line to have better protection from UVA, position each product as a true anti-aging formula , while ensuring they were light weight and ultra- sheer, suitable for all skin types. Consumers are really responding to the great protection and wear ability of these formulas. After sun care options includes a repairing and soothing after sun milk that is super concentrated in cucumber, calendula, Roman and German Chamomile, milk proteins and vitamins. For sunless tanning, there is LAIT AUTOBRONZANT with DHA, shea butter, fruit extracts and vitamins. Rich in three types of tea, YON-KA Tan Prolonger give the skin a progressive glow and subtle looking, natural tan.

(Q) I have to ask, are your products really free of parabens?
We’re committed to producing safe, high quality products and stabilizing the formulas is the key to product safety. Due to some challenges we’ve had with the paraben alternatives on just a few products, we have not yet met our objective 100% to date. We’re confident that we’ll be entirely paraben free by the end of the year.

(Q) Do you test on animals? What is your stance on animal cruelty?
Yon-Ka products are not tested on animals, the safety tests are carried out according to alternative methods. In vivo tests are carried out on human volunteers under medical supervision:
Clinically tested means that tolerance tests and / or efficacy were performed on humans under the supervision of a Medical Investigator.

Dermatologically tested means that these tests were performed on humans under the supervision of a Physician Dermatologist.

Additionally, we’re certain that high quality products can be produced without being at the expense of animals. As a side note, about 75% of YON-KA’s international staff of employees is a pet owner; so our team advocates the fair and humane treatment for all animals.

(Q) For all of those skin care enthusiasts and lovers reading this interview, what would you like them to know about Yon-Ka Paris?
YON-KA Paris’ at-home spa collection has a vast range of products for both men and women with focus ranging from face, body and sun care, developed by a family driven by a passion for botanicals. The brand is currently present in over 5,000 spas and salons in over 40 countries worldwide. Rigorously trained YON-KA Paris professional aestheticians are your best resource for obtaining a beauty regime that emphasizes all of your unique needs. Advanced botanical skin care preparations from YON-KA Paris can be transformational to skin’s health and beauty as well as how you feel about the pleasures of daily skin care practices.
For more information about YON-KA Paris, please visit today.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Health & Beauty Talk: Exclusive Interview with Sibu Beauty

Founded in 2003, Sibu Beauty emphasizes on using the Sea Buckthorn berry in all of it's products. With everything from health and wellness to skin care, Sibu Beauty has been recognized by people from all over the world including his holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Peter McMullin about this amazing brand. Here is what he had to say...

(Q) Hey Peter. How are you? First and foremost, I wanted to tell you; I love the concept of the Sibu Beauty brand and the radical use of the Sea Buckthorn berry in all of the products. What inspired you to create this brand? What inspired you to use this powerful holy fruit?

I'm good. Thank you. You know, that is a great question. This is where our entire backstory comes into play. The berry is very common and grows wild in the valleys of the Himalayas. The founder of this company and the CEO is my father. He and I, as well as, my brother run Sibu Beauty together. We have ties to that part of the world because my sister is adopted from India. 

My parents were taking her to see where she came from. I would say about 10 years ago or so and in a round-a-bout way were introduced to the Sea Buckthorn berry from a friend. Then they met another guy who set up a cooperative of villagers in small towns, etc. in the Himalayan mountain valleys, which harvested this berry. They did this on a small scale. 

We were able to go in and set up a program which increased the worker's wages. It was kind of a fair trade arrangement. We increased the money they made by 500%. They increased production and gave us exclusivity to the Sea Buckthorn. This process occurred in a 3 year span, I would say. Then we started to develop products which included this ingredient.

In this process, we were able to discover the benefits of Sea Buckthorn and how amazing it was taken internally and applied topically externally. There is a lot of science around this, so it's not just hocus pocus. In fact, it's still used in hospitals in China and in other parts of Asia, as well as, Russia and in different parts of Europe. We developed these skin care products based on what the oil from the seed actually does. 

Sea Buckthorn is the greatest source of Omega-7 which is really unique. It is also quite rare. We also developed the supplement, which was something that was new, different, and relatively unknown. It was actually almost unheard of to have, like a skin care supplement. This powerful berry also has a lot more of other great health benefits too, but the skin, hair, and nail are virtually ideal. Our entire company is built around this single ingredient. 

(Q) That is amazing. This is what I love hearing. You are dedicated to using this one ingredient. This is what makes you stand-out. I have to admit Peter, I was so intrigued that you use Sea Buckthorn in everything. It has so many benefits, as well. Going back to what you saying in terms of it's usage. You were saying it could be used both internally and externally. It is not only good for hair, skin, and nails, but also the heart, as well. I don't know as much about it as you do. I was wondering, could you explain some of the benefits of Sea Buckthorn?

Sure. Of course, you are aware of the hair, skin, and nail benefits. You also mentioned the cardiovascular benefits, as well. The cardiovascular system is what is being studied the most right now. There are actual studies going on at the Cleveland Clinic, as we speak based on the Omega-7 content and what that does for your heart. It is being proven to help sort of balance your cholesterol levels. There are lot of aspects to what this does for your entire cardiovascular system that are immensely beneficial. 

In addition to that, Sea Buckthorn helps with acid reflux. It helps to fortify the linings of your gastrointestinal track. The linings of those two systems in your body are made from similar cells, so in actuality this helps with the acid in your stomach. It is great for those that suffer from stomach ulcers or mouth ulcers. Sea Buckthorn also helps with UTIs (or Urinary Track Infections) and an array of other problematic health issues which is supported by various health studies. 

The Omega-7 from Sea Buckthorn helps to make those cells repair themselves. So, if there are any problems in those cells, this will fix them. The cells will actually rebuild themselves. If they don't function, they will function once in contact with the Omega-7 in the Sea Buckthorn. It's amazing.

(Q) That is amazing! I did not know that. When it comes to stomach problems, it is in my family somewhat. I think it's ultimately amazing that Sea Buckthorn helps with these issues. 

Yeah, it's pretty cool. It is very logical if you think about it. Omega-7  is also called Palmitoleic Acid and it's the main component in skin. So, if you were to dissect the human skin, you would find Palmitoleic Acid. It is a key building block in the skin. It isn't an essential fatty acid, like Omega-3 and Omega-6 which are both the only essentials because your body does not make them. Our bodies do produce Omega-7, but because of our Western diets, sometimes we don't get the right components of this. 

It's better just to supplement with Omega-7, as it helps most people. Although there isn't much science that backs up this fact, one of the biggest things we hear are people noticing both their hair and nails growing faster and thicker, which is awesome because most women (and men too) definitely want that. Those women who suffer from hair loss notice this. Unfortunately, we haven't heard much from men yet or else we would be a huge hit. We hear that often from women though. 

(Q) You know Peter, when I became a vegetarian and then started doing vegan eating; I suffered in a sense where I lost a little bit of hair. I noticed after taking your supplements that my hair has grown back. I also noticed that after using the Sea Buckthorn oil supplement along with the oral supplements that there is a dramatic difference, as I did notice that my hair was thicker. It actually works, it is incredible.

Really? Wow, you know there are somethings out there, that you will take and you will notice some sort of a placebo effect. Our stuff is amazing stuff and you'll notice it is unique and has so many benefits. So many people do notice a huge difference. It isn't a minor difference either that is contributed to something else in your diet, etc. Pretty exciting stuff. 

(Q) I wanted to ask you, what are your most popular products? Currently, what are Sibu Beauty's best selling products? Tell me a little more about this...

The three top sellers are our juice, our capsules, and our straight seed oil for topical use. We sell a lot of soap and cream, but those three are really the most popular, as they are the essence of our brand. 

(Q) I have to admit, I am surprised your serum is not a best seller, as it is ultimately amazing. In fact, it is one of the best serums I have ever used. It is incredible. It's almost as if it corrects and repairs, as well as, prevents DNA damage. I noticed a huge improvement in my skin after a few uses. 

Part of the problem is for the industry that we sell in and cater to in general, it's kind of an expensive serum. We were thinking should we make this serum less expensive or more expensive. It's all about perception. I know there are some serums that are much more expensive that sell well, yet our serum is known to perform better. We sell a bit of the serum. It's one of our mid-selling products. It is such an awesome product and my personal favorite. 

(Q) That is amazing and I think it is incredible. Now I wanted to ask you, do you test on animals? What is your stance on animal testing?

We are a PETA certified and cruelty-free company. You should definitely like that. We are proud of this. We have the ideology to respect all living things. We are a family run business and we have animals in our family. We are naturally minded people, hence why the brand is natural. It was a business decision. We love animals.

(Q) I have to ask, do you have any plans to expand the brand? Perhaps add a makeup line, a hair care line, or even a dental care line. Imagine a toothpaste with Sea Buckthorn in it. 

Most definitely. In fact, you hit on a couple of them. We launched Sibu-7 which is a new line that is not that different from the products that we already have, it is just more pure. It is all supplements. It's marketed to more than just the skin, hair, and nails. It's for everyone. We do have a number of different lines in the works which includes oral care. Hair is definitely in our future, as well. 

(Q) Wow, that will be fantastic. For all of those health and beauty enthusiasts reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for Sibu Beauty?

In a nutshell, I want everyone to know about Sea Buckthorn. It is not just another hocus pocus, trendy fad ingredient or supplement. It is something that has been used for literally thousands of years. There are 33 chapters in the ancient Tibetan medical text that includes the Sibu Yidian (Rgyud Bzhi) which talks about the uses of Sea Buckthorn. There is so much history about that. There is also clinical proof and evidence of what it does. It is amazing stuff. 

We pride ourselves in creating not just products, but life changes and experiences for our customers. We put so much of this ingredient in our products and make it effective, as a result. We treat our employees very well, too. We have created and established jobs, as well. There is a lot of time that goes into creating and producing Sibu Beauty products. 

For more information about Sibu Beauty, please visit today.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Victoria's Secret Store Reviews: Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls, MT

Victoria's Secret at the Holiday Village Mall
in Great Falls, MT.
On May 23, 2014 (a few months ago from today) I decided to travel to Great Falls, Montana where I had the pleasure of shopping at Victoria's Secret. Located in the heart of Great Falls on 1200 10th Avenue S at the Holiday Village Mall, I was very interested yet determined to find some panties to match some bras that I purchased from the Victoria's Secret website.

As I entered this particular store, I noticed that I was not greeted instantaneously. I noticed that several associates were helping other customers, so of course I walked my way over to the Very Sexy collection where I proceeded to browse the bras in my size. As I browsed, I was greeted by an associate named Sierra.

When it comes to shopping, I am always observing what is going on around me. Especially if I find myself compelled to write a review about my experience later on. I noticed that the store was quite small, but not as small as the store in Bozeman. Regardless of it's size, it was clean and neat.

As I contemplated and debated purchasing a yellow bra that I noticed, I was quite struck by the sale going on in the middle of the store. I love shopping and am always in search of a great deal, so I procceed to check out the individual containers with the bras in it. Although the selection in my size consisted of bras that I already purchased previously, it was great to find quite a few marked down that I found interesting on the official website.

I really enjoyed shopping at this particular store because Sierra was very courteous. She was helpful in a sense that she was not trying to push the sale nor was she ignoring or neglecting me as a VS consumer. I was modestly impressed with her attitude, as well as, information and knowledge of the merchandise.
Victoria's Secret Store #50776.

That day, I made several purchases which consisted of a Dream Angel push-up bra in a bright red (I think the color is cherry, but I am not sure), a Fabulous push-up bra (I am unsure of the color, but it was like a gold) and about four different panties (two cheeky styles, one hip hug style, and one g-string). The total came to $99.96. I saved $10 because I used a discount I achieved by reviewing my last in-store purchase.

Victoria's Secret at Holiday Village Mall (store #50776) is open Monday through Friday from 10 am until 9 pm, Saturday from 10 am until 7 pm, and Sunday from 11 am until 6 pm. Would I shop at this Victoria's Secret store again? Would I recommend shopping at this store to a friend? The next time you go in, ask for Sierra. For more information about this store, please call (406) 454-9161 today.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Health & Beauty Talk: Exclusive Interview with NeoCell

NeoCell is one of the best health & wellness beauty brands in the world today. Emphasizing on promoting health, NeoCell also promotes beauty and anti-aging naturally and effectively. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Shannon Hirtzel, the marketing manager of the brand. Here is what she had to say...

(Q) Hello Shannon. How are you? Tell me a little more about the NeoCell brand...
I am great thank you! Thank you for taking the time to talk with me about NeoCell. NeoCell is a brand of premium quality nutricosmetics. We introduced hydrolyzed collagen to the US market and have been leading in this category ever since.

(Q) Taking you back to the beginning, how did NeoCell get it's start? Tell me a little more about the inspiration behind the brand...
We actually have a very personal reason as to why NeoCell was started. Everyone who knows NeoCell knows Al Quadri, our President & CEO, who has a deep passion for life. After he had survived a heart attack and triple-bypass surgery his muscles atrophied and he had no energy. Until Al discovered collagen. Al began to rapidly recover and regain his lost vitality and NeoCell was born! His goal when starting NeoCell was to create products that allowed people to live younger, longer lives with abundant energy and wellbeing.

(Q) You have an array of products. Everything from total body health to joint health to antioxidant health to recovery health to muscle health to even products that work internally. I have to ask, what are NeoCell's most popular products? What are the best sellers?
NeoCell definitely has a vast lineup, but our mantra is really around promoting your healthy collagen systems. Our tagline, "the true science of collagen" really speaks to what we believe. Providing potent and pure collagen products to promote those systems in your body. That being said, our most popular product line is our NeoCell Super Collagen line which consists of high potency powders and tablets.

(Q) A product that caught my attention was the Biotin Bursts. Tell me a little more about this particular NeoCell addition...
Yes, our NeoCell Biotin Bursts, they are the newest addition to the family! We introduced the Biotin Bursts after the success of our Beauty Bursts line which is a fruity delicious collagen soft chew. The biotin category is hot right now and consumers are always looking for new innovative delivery systems that make taking their nutrients that much easier. The Biotin Bursts were a natural fit to our product line as biotin has such great benefits for your hair, skin and nails and we pride ourselves on introducing the newest innovations in nutricosmetics that consumers crave literally.

(Q) I am a big fan of Judo and when I heard that Kayla Harrison (first ever Judo Olympic Gold Medalist) was a brand ambassador, I have to admit, I was amazed. What is it like working with her?
Kayla has been a great partner and ambassador for NeoCell. She was truly inspiring for us to work with.

(Q) You have a line just for athletes titled "NeoCell Sport".Tell me a little more about this line...
Our NeoCell Sport line provides athletes and consumers alike with the ultimate recovery complex. This 4 in 1 formula was made to replenish, regenerate, refuel and recover. This dynamic complex has 15 grams of our famous Super Collagen, pure whey protein isolate, BCAAs and L-glutamine and is also fortified with protective antioxidants and vitamins and minerals.

(Q) You are always winning awards. In 2012, Better Nutrition named your 'Super Collagen Powder' a "Best In Supplements" award. You have also won quite a few awards last year with Taste of Life Essentials, Better Nutrition, and Delicious Living. How does that make you feel?
We feel truly honored and humbled. It has been so amazing being recognized within our industry as the nutricosmetic leader, but having your peers and consumers also voting is the best!

(Q) When it comes to helping others, you truly embrace this concept. Especially when it comes to "Vitamin Angels". Tell me a little more about your role in this organization...
Vitamin Angels is very near and dear to everyone’s heart at NeoCell. Since we partnered with them we are proud to announce that we have successfully assisted in the delivery of life changing or lifesaving nutrients for over 1 million women and children. Our very own Vice President, Jessica Mulligan, went on her first "drop" in Peru last August and was able to see first-hand the amazing gift of micronutrients. We hope to and will do much more with them in the coming years.

(Q) Do you test your products on animals? What is your stance on animal testing?
No, we do not test on animals.

(Q) Your products have not only changed people's state of well being and state of mind, but people's lives too. One woman actually wrote "NeoCell has changed my life." How does this make you feel?
In one word, awesome! We all work so hard here to produce the best possible products at the best possible price and we’re filled with joy and pride when we hear how this hard work has touched and or changed someone’s life. It’s not every day that a brand sticks to their core beliefs of having a deep passion for people, its products and science in its category and we are proud that others feel that too!

(Q) For all of those health and beauty fanatics reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for NeoCell?
We would like to remind everyone that you have to go beyond the cosmetic counter to have healthy skin from within. NeoCell’s products are made to hydrate, strengthen and protect the skin at the cellular level. This coupled with a healthy diet and of course your favorite topicals can as our fan previously mentioned, change your life and as we like to say, beautiful skin is always in!
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