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 www.SibuBeauty.com 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!
For more information about Neocell, please visit www.neocell.com today!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fashion Talk with Laura Byrnes: Exclusive Interview with Pinup Girl Clothing

Fashion designer Laura Byrnes, CEO
and creator of Pinup Girl Clothing.
Located in the heart of California lies the best selection of vintage designs and representations of the retro era, Pinup Girl Clothing. As one of the best places to shop, they offer an extensive selection of timeless classics that have been modernized to captivate your inner and outer hauteness. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the woman who started it all, the amazing Laura Byrnes. Here is what she had to tell me...

(Q) Hello Laura. How are you? It's great to finally talk to you. I am a big fan of your work. First and foremost, I just want to say that everything at Pinup Girl Clothing is just so fabulous. It's almost as if it brings me back to a different time. The timeless designs are classic, but yet have such a modernized appeal to them which I truly love.
Hello Sarah. I am great. Thank you so much.

(Q) For all of those fashion fanatics reading this interview, can you tell them a little more about Pinup Girl Clothing? I am also curious to know, what inspired you to create this store? Tell me a little more about this...
We started in 1997, but we didn't launch the website until 1999. I was pregnant with my first daughter in 1996 and I received some baby clothes from my aunt for my baby shower. I thought they were gorgeous and adorable. It turned out they were homemade. I was so intrigued that I decided that I wanted to make clothes for my baby. So, I had my husband's mom give me a couple of sewing lessons, so she did. After I learned the basics, I decided to get a sewing machine and just started progressing from there. So, at first I was just making baby clothes. Once you learn how to make a pattern for baby clothes, you tend to learn more from there. Babies are great to start on. I truly recommend that if anyone wants to sew, definitely get a baby.

(Q) Hahaha, that is so cute. I love this story!
They are little barrels with arms and legs. You don't have to worry about their shape. You can learn from there. I didn't start out using a lot of fabrics, while learning to sew, so in case I would mess it up because if you mess it up, you can start over. So, from there, I started making my own clothes. It was the late 90s and I'm a punk rock chick, and I couldn't find anything in the stores that fit my style, so from there I decided to make clothes for myself. I have been into fashion since I was 13. From that point, I actually got pretty decent. I was starting to make my friends clothes. It just kind of snowballed from there. The first 2 years, one of the reasons we didn't launch the website was because I was very busy, doing commissions for people. I was making clothes. I really enjoyed swing dancing designs. If you have ever watched the movie Swingers, it is pretty much the precursor to big pinup, vintage scene that is happening now.

It just kind of grew from there. So, then I launched the website. We grew really slowly. We were making clothes custom up until about 2003, I think and then we switched to production. We did that because we were getting so busy and at that point we were losing money. Trying to do so many custom pieces, it took too long so sew each piece and we only had 6 in-house seamstresses. They were constantly busy. We did everything from clothes for burlesque dancers to swing and exotic dancers, you name it. So, we just kind of grew from there. It's interesting, I remember getting interviewed by a local paper about vintage inspired clothes. They called me up and proceeded to ask me questions. One of them was something along the lines of "what are you going to do when this trend is over?" and I told them that I don't think that this is a trend. There is always going to be a market for well fitting, classic, high quality clothing that flatter people's figures.

(Q) Most definitely. It's "in" forever. I agree with you.

Exactly. So basically, the classic 50s silhouette has actually never gone out of style. It's been reinterpreted, but there has never been an era since then when the basic shape disappeared. Even what Dior was doing with the wasp waist. If you read his biography, you will realize he was born in 1905 and his mother was a Victorian woman. And she in the early turn of the century would wear corsets and very structured clothing. Dior was inspired by that. You know, the corseted waist and he just put full skirts on everything along with the corseted waist. That was his innovation. The fitted bottom full skirt, fitted waist, aesthetically has not gone out of style since the 50s. Maybe in the 70s people were going in another direction, but even then you could find the wrap dress. But that is how we started.
Hawaiian Hideaway Dress with Bolero by Deadly Dames
in Orange Floral Stripe.

(Q) I have to tell you Laura, I truly love that you got so in depth with this. When it comes to fashion, you truly know what you are talking about. That is so impressive.
Thank you. I am obsessed when it comes to fashion. I take it very seriously.

(Q) You know, I can tell by not only talking to you, but looking at your website and your work. It shows in your work, as a result. So, I wanted to tell you that I am amazed at how gorgeous the designs are. I wanted to ask you, currently, what are best selling pieces right now?
We have a lot. We actually got to a point where we had to separate the lines. Internally, we have a category called "Classics" as these are styles we cannot keep in stock. They sell out so quickly. We started to budget to keep those in stock as much as possible. I would say the top sellers would be the "Monica Dress", which I find amazing because if you look at the Monica it is this super sexy, fitted wiggle, cocktail dress and you think to yourself where would I wear that? It is our top seller right now.

My "Laura Byrnes Trousers" were a sleeper in the beginning. At first I think people were afraid of them because it's so hard to find a good fitting, pair of pants. I think women wear jeans because they will accentuate and mold to your body over time. Denim tends to give over time, so it kind of keeps that shape. People buy denim because it's easy and they can get it to fit. It is really hard to find a pair of good fitting trousers. I just want to say that we are so lucky to have such a strong social media following. We interact with them, as much as they interact with us. We love our customers as much as they love us. When the customers started posting photos of themselves in the trousers, it was amazing to see. The woman in the 2X looked amazing and the woman in the extra small looked amazing. I love to see women of all sizes wear them. We did the trouser in about 9 different colors and patterns so far, I think.

The "Vamp Dress" along with the "Vamp Top" which is a basic wiggle dress, with a cute bra top. We can't ever keep it in stock. So, to be honest, we have quite a few top sellers, but the trousers, the Monica dress, the Vamp dress, and top come immediately to mind.

(Q) That is amazing. I was going to tell you too that I absolutely love the Birdie Dress, the Jessica Dress, the Heidi Dress, and the Vamp Dress along with the Gia Dress. All gorgeous. I wanted to ask you, where do you get the inspiration to name these dresses?
The very first dress I named was when I realized I had to go into production. I had to stop making custom because I was going to produce my very first line of dresses. I had to choose 6 or 7 styles at that time, so I was sitting with a friend of mine at a diner actually. We were talking about how we wanted a basic dress. The "Nettie Dress", a cute little sundress with spaghetti straps. The woman I was having dinner with was named Jeanette, but we called her 'Nettie' for short, so I am drawing out the dress. She says to me that she always wanted a dress made out of the candy dot. You know, the candy sheet of candy dots? Well, I thought it would be so cute to have little dots of all different colors. So, she came up with the print for the very first Nettie. That was when I said to her that this will be called the Nettie Dress. So, we named that particular dress after her.

I love it because usually when manufacturers do a design they give it some sort of weird letter or number designation. I am a very visual person and I am terrible with spreadsheets and numbers. I can do geometry and all of that abstract math. I find it easier to identify the dresses by names. So, we started naming them after models, friends, and even customers. The "Heidi Dress" is named after pinup model Heidi Van Horne who was modeling for us at the time. We have so many dresses named after our models. We have a "Micheline Dress" as well as a "Masuimi Dress" and much more. The "Ella Dress" is named after a customer. I've named a dress after my sister, as well as, my mom. A lot of our dresses are named after people we know, etc.

The Harley Dress by Pinup Couture
in Bright Blue.
(Q) That is amazing.
Yes, it is a great way to identify the dresses. We also try to envision the person inside of the dress. Sometimes it will be a classic celebrity. For instance; the "Sophia Dress" was named after Sophia Loren. The "Rita Dress" was named after Rita Hayworth. So, we imagine and envision the woman in the dress and that is basically how we kind of do it. It's very creative and a lot of fun. It's also very easy to remember.

(Q) Wow, that is amazing. I wanted to tell you that your styles are so cute and timeless, but I truly see a modernized appeal that is so unique and haute.
I am always inspired. In fact, I have a ton of reference material. I actually collect old magazines, catalogs, and so on. It's very easy to open up those books, take a look at a vintage dress, and copy it. But to me, it's well, 2014. Hahaha. There is a lot of variety and different styles out there, but I find it easy and fun to take them and update them for the modern woman. Sometimes the styles from that generation were odd. If you look at the sleeves on some of the dresses from that time, you will notice how some are almost down to your elbow, so it's not really a half sleeve or even a quarter length sleeve. I don't know what kind of sleeve it is. So, when I see a beautiful vintage dress and I get inspired, the first thing I correct are the sleeves.

(Q) That is fantastic. You are truly talented.
I don't want to sound arrogant, but I consider myself to be a designer. I learned to make patterns and from there, I executed those patterns into my designs. I don't consider myself to be a manufacturer.

(Q) You know, that doesn't sound arrogant at all because you are just telling the truth.
Well, sometimes women kind of get shamed for telling the truth. I don't know if you have ever noticed that.

(Q) I have noticed that. I think that definitely has to change.
Initially and also as a designer, I have had some dresses that were very close to inspirational pieces. Sometimes you look at something and you think you can do something to better to it. To me, if you are going to call yourself a designer what you need to be doing is taking your own inspiration and creating your own items. It is ok to base it on anything. No one creates something from nothing. When I read about Christian Dior, he was heavily influenced by my other favorite designer Charles James. He isn't as well known because he was very difficult to work with. Dior had the personality. Charles James was an engineering genius, but he was difficult. He always came in after deadline and over budget. When you look at Charles James work 10 years before Dior, you can see what Dior took inspiration wise and as a result, he credited him. So, to me everyone takes inspiration from something or someone. You want to be identifiable. When you see a woman walking down the street wearing our dresses, you can tell it's our dress. We wanted the dresses to be modern, but also harken back to its roots and original silhouette from the middle of the century.

(Q) That is amazing. You know, I wanted to tell you that the first thing that I noticed about Pinup Girl Clothing is the fact that you have collections, as well. Everything from 'Party Glamour' to 'Spring Fling' etc. I am looking at all of the dresses and they are so original, so classic, and so unique in a sense where it's current and haute. I also love the fact that you use all different kinds of patterns too. I also love the fact that you use models with all different types of body types, as well. There is nothing more shameful and sad than fashion and brand discrimination.

I have a little problem with that, with discrimination. I hate hearing when it does come up. When mainstream designers are asked about it, they always come up with the crappiest reasons. They are just cop-outs. They say "well, that's the sample size and that can't change." Why do you have only these models that are tiny? The magazines say "well, we have to use a size 0 because the samples from the designers are a size 0." It is just wrong.
The Jenny Dress by Pinup Couture
in Dark Purple.

(Q) I agree with you 100% Laura.
It's like a whole entire circle jerk just circling the drain. They always go with a size 0 and don't know why. I'm sorry, but you know why. You know why? I will tell you why. Because it's all about high-end fashion and the only people who are buying it are very rich people. Very rich men, in particular with their very rich girlfriends or wives. Do these very rich men require their women to be that size? They are dressing their trophies. The consumer, the average woman who is buying clothing is all different shapes and sizes and that is the reality of it all. I recommend the book "The Theory Of The Leisure Class" by Thorstein Veblen. He is the man who coined the term conspicuous consumption and he speaks about this in his book that whenever the elite do something, everyone below it starts to copy it because they want to be seen as better than they are and it creates this kind of feedback, this kind of pattern of the only thing anyone ever wants to do. Then, people are scared to change it. Going back to the models, if they use a model that is a different size (say a size 10) than the average model (a size 0), what is going to happen? Well, the truth is the woman who is the size 10 will be happy and she is going to look at that size 10 model and know how the clothing is going to fit her. To me, it's logic and has always been logic.

(Q) That is so amazing and I have to point out that I love the way that you think, as well. You definitely lay it out there in a sense where you can speak for the vast majority of status quo society. We live in this society where people believe a woman should be a size 0. Sometimes even lower than that to look beautiful.
Women should be "screw you". We don't sit there and criticize men. We don't sit there and say in order for men to be accepted they should be this height or this size, etc. No one sits there and criticizes the man if he doesn't have a wash board stomach. It just doesn't happen, you know. The fact is, women are pressured. When a woman starts criticizing another woman it is one of the most damaging things ever. This creates tension among women and how they view each other. Then, they try to police and judge other women. When something goes against what is accepted as normal, they find themselves feeling inferior. When society in general turns against someone because of how they look, that is wrong.

(Q) Most definitely.
When I started my company, I didn't start it to become rich or famous. Sure, it was nice to have the means to put food on the table and a little bit of money into my daughters college fund. I didn't come from a family with money. I started it because I just wanted to be secure and just be happy. I also started it because I wanted to make other people happy. In fact, that has always been the ultimate goal for me. I want my customers to be happy and it certainly doesn't make them happy to only see one type of woman to represent a brand. You hear all of these people making excuses for why this is happening. So, I felt that if I was going to do this and I was going to sell clothing in all different sizes, I had to put my money where my mouth is and feature models of every single size.

The same goes for ethnicity, as well. I see people who make excuses why they won't use a model of a certain ethnicity. To me, that is an element of racism there. They are afraid of using a model who is not white is going to bring down their brand. "Oh no, it's going to appeal to the urban people" and so forth. No it is not. Use the Latino models, use African American models, use everybody. Using all ethnicities will bring you a lot of customers and I welcome anyone and everyone to shop with us.

High Waisted Shorts by Laura Byrnes
in Parrot Print.
(Q) That is so great. For all of those fashion fanatics and enthusiasts reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for Pinup Girls Clothing?
We try not to think too far ahead. We are always constantly creating something new. This year has been all about polishing everything. We are working effectively, as well as, efficiently. Getting everything done that we need to do. Our customer base in the last two years has really expanded. It has been great, but does take a toll on our production capacity to keep up. So, this year we have been concentrating on increasing production and so, we do look ahead, but we kind of let our instincts and our customers guide us. For instance; we hear from customers "well, why don't you have this?" or "why don't you have that?" One thing that is coming up soon is that we are launching a maternity line within the next couple of months.



(Q) That is amazing!
I was pregnant in 2012 and in 2013, so every time I posted a photo of myself in Pinup Girl, fans and customers would ask for a maternity line. Some of the clothing already works, however; once I got a little bigger, I had to alter some of the styles. And as a result, everyone suggested that I start a maternity line. So, that is what is coming soon and I am very excited about it.

We would also like to open up a couple of new stores. That is on the back burner right now. It is something we want to focus more on in the future. We are kind of just letting our instincts guide us. We also don't believe in growing super quickly.
For more information about Pinup Girl Clothing, please visit www.pinupgirlclothing.com today.

Victoria's Secret Store Reviews: Gallatin Valley Mall in Bozeman, MT

Victoria's Secret at the Gallatin
Valley Mall in Bozeman, MT.
On April 12, 2014 (a few months ago from today) I decided to pay a visit to the Victoria's Secret store in Bozeman, Montana. Located in the heart of Bozeman on 2825 W. Main Street at the Gallatin Valley Mall, I was determined to find some panties to match some bras that I purchased from the Victoria's Secret website.

As I approached the Victoria's Secret, I was greeting by the associates. They were very courteous yet attentive. I was actually surprised at how swift I was approached. One of the associates who went by Liz was extremely helpful.

I looked around the store to kind of observe the ambience and was pleasantly surprised to see how clean the store was. Everything was nice and neat. I noticed that the store itself was relatively small, as it consisted of three giant rooms. The Victoria's Secret store in Bozeman is definitely one of the smallest stores I have been to.

When I first spoke with Liz, she was adding inventory to the store and folding panties out near the display. I informed her that I needed some panties to match some bras that I purchased from the website. It was then that proceeded to pull out my iPhone and show her images of the bras that I purchased.

She was extremely helpful and even suggested several things to me, hence why I felt influenced to purchase other items that I wasn't looking for. In fact, I ended up making several "unplanned" purchases that day.

My only negative was that most of these women that work at this particular store did not possess strong product knowledge. When I would mention certain colors such as "Sunset Glow" or "Neon Apricot", I felt like they didn't have a lot of knowledge of the merchandise, as I am unsure they knew what I was talking. This, of course, can be improved in due time.
A look inside Victoria's Secret store #51220.


That day, I made several purchases which consisted of a Very Sexy push-up bra in Pink Daisy, a Close Up push-up bra in a bright pink color, about five different panties (two hip hug styles, one bikini, one thong, and one brief) followed by a garter thong in Lilac Glitz to match the bra I purchased. The total came to $186.50, however; I paid $176.50, as I used my Victoria's Secret rewards card (-$10).

Victoria's Secret at the Gallatin Valley Mall (store #51220) is open Monday from 10 am until 5 pm, Tuesday through Friday from 10 am until 9 pm, Saturday from 10 am until 9 pm, and Sunday 11 am until 5 pm. Would I shop at this Victoria's Secret store again? Absolutely. I was treated quite well and I intend to go back. Would I recommend shopping at this store to a friend? Most definitely. The next time you go in, ask for Liz. For more information about this store, please call (406) 582-8090 today.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Skincare Product Reviews: Freeze 24-7 SkinBlizzard Intensive Hydrating Facial Serum


When it comes to skin care, Freeze 24-7 believes in instant gratification. Located in the heart of New York City lies one of the best skin care brands around, Freeze 24-7. Recently, I had the opportunity to try Freeze 24-7's SkinBlizzard Intensive Hydrating Facial Serum. What did I think?

PROS
Not only does this reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, it prevents them from coming back. After using this product for a week, I noticed that my skin looked incredibly healthy yet youthful. After using this serum for two weeks, my skin was incredibly hydrated in a sense that it felt soft and supple.

Although I use this serum on my face, I love to use this serum on my stomach and decolletage. I like to go tanning sporadically and I believe this serum really works on other areas of the body aside from the face.

Whether you suffer from dry skin, dehydrated skin, dull skin, or aging skin; this serum will work amazing for you. Plus it is fortified with an array of amazing ingredients that work together to deliver wonderful results.

I really love the fact that this serum is paraben-free.

This product was NOT tested on animals.

CONS
This amazing addition by Freeze 24-7 contains an array of ingredients. Some of them include grape seed oil, retinol, and more. If you are allergic to any of these ingredients or you suffer a reaction from them, you may want to refrain from using this product.

If you have extremely oily skin, I don't think you would benefit from using this product.
Freeze 24-7's SkinBlizzard Intensive Hydrating Facial Serum is available at Freeze 24-7 or your nearest Freeze 24-7 retailer for $95. Would I use this product again? Absolutely. Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes. Especially if you suffer from dry skin and are looking for instantaneous hydration.

For more information about this product, please visit www.freeze247.com today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Skincare Product Reviews: Freeze 24-7 IceSerum Advanced Brightening Facial Serum

Located in the heart of the big apple, Freeze 24-7 is an world-renowned skin care brand that emphasizes on utilizing the latest developments in cosmeceutical technology. Recently, I had the opportunity to try Freeze 24-7's IceSerum Advanced Brightening Facial Serum. What did I think?

PROS
One of the best things about this serum is the texture. Even though it's relatively light, it is quite effective. I noticed that my skin felt hydrated immediately after use and when I looked at myself in the mirror, I noticed that my skin looked amazingly radiant and healthy.

After using this product twice a day for a week, I noticed that my skin looked smoother and my skin tone was practically even. After using this product for two weeks, the results increased amazingly.

I go tanning sporadically and as a result, I noticed a little bit of discoloration on my arms. I used this serum on my arms and after a week, the discoloration virtually went away. Whether you suffer from age spots, uneven skintone, or hyper-pigmentation, you will benefit from this product.

The scent of this product is amazing because there really is none. I am extremely finicky when it comes to fragrance and I could not find anything overpowering in this product, which I really like.

This product was NOT tested on animals.

CONS
Some of the ingredients in this product include: white strawberry extract, pure resveratrol, licorice root extract, mica, sodium hyaluronate, and more. If you are allergic to any of these ingredients or suffer any reactions to them, it is key to refrain from using this product.

Freeze 24-7's IceSerum Advanced Brightening Facial Serum is available at Freeze 24-7 or your nearest Freeze 24-7 retailer for $95. Would I use this product again? Absolutely. In fact, I just used some 20 minutes ago. Would I recommend this product to a friend? Most definitely. Especially if you notice any age spots and/or hyper-pigmentation issues.
 
For more information about this product, please visit www.freeze247.com today.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

DIY Health: Vagina Detox

The other day I decided to try what is referred to as a vagina detox. As my period concluded for the month, I wanted to try something new. What is a vagina detox? Well, it is basically vaginal steaming using an array of herbs or to put it accurately an herbal steam facial for your vagina.
This type of treatment for your vagina has been used in ancient medicine. Although the results vary, they have been known to heal an array of issues such as anxiety, depression, irregular periods, bladder infections, yeast infections, infertility, vaginal cysts, hemorrhoids, and even scarring from childbirth. You can read about it here. (http://www.naturalnews.com/041487_vaginal_steaming_womens_health_traditional_medicine.html)

What was my motivation for trying a vagina detox? Just curiosity. I don't suffer from any problematic health issues at the present. I just wanted to see what this latest craze was all about.

So, what do you do exactly? You choose your herbs that you want to include in your detox. It is critically key to choose wisely, as if you make a bad decision, the result will be a consequence of your poor choice. You want to make sure that you use herbs that are most suitable for your individual health needs.

Basil, as well as, rosemary are very common when doing this type of detox because they possess antimicrobial properties. I didn't really do research before I tried this, so I decided to go with: cardamom, saffron, dandelion, ginger, and black tea along with rosehip oil.

After you choose the herbs you want to use, you want to prepare your water. I am well aware not every woman owns a facial sauna or facial spa, so in case you do not; just use a pan. The water must be filtered, as this is what works best.

Once you have added your water, it is important to add your herbs. I also decided to add (as I stated previously up above) an essential oil into the mix, simply because they work as a natural serum for sensitive areas. When you look at your steaming medium, the water should be boiling, depending on what kind of medium you are using to do a vagina detox. If you use a facial spa or sauna, you only have to wait 5 minutes and if you use a pan, you may wait 15 minutes.

You want to squat over what you are using, so that your vagina makes contact with the steam. You will want to do this for 15-20 minutes, depending on your tolerance. For your first time, I wouldn't recommend going over 30 minutes. If you don't feel like your vagina is receiving any treatment, you can maximize your experience by wrapping a towel around your waist, covering your entire bottom area. This will create what is referred to as a "tent" so that no moisture will get out and will prevent any air from getting in.
After the time has lapsed, you will notice some cramping. I found out here (http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/2013/05/06/yup-i-am-gonna-talk-about-vaginal-steam-baths/) that the cramping is simply normal after doing a vagina detox because it is basically the uterus getting rid of the toxins or any stagnant blood. Very interesting to know. After the cramping went away, I endured a rather soothing sensation which was quite stimulating.

I really believe a vagina detox is very crucial to our health. As women, it is key to never neglect our important parts of who we are. The benefits are astounding and I am looking forward to trying my next steaming treatment very soon.