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My eHealth Radio Interview

Here is my interview on eHealth Radio. If you would like to listen to the podcast only, here is the link.

Becky Sturm, CEO/Founder of StormSister Spatique, an online retailer of Lotions, Potions and Serums for hair, skin, nails & body joins the show. She tells Eric what she would change about the beauty industry,  inexpensive skincare tips for problematic skin and more great information.
Having spent 26 years in all aspects of the salon and spa and boutique business, as well as growing up in her grandmothers' salon has given Becky Sturm a well-rounded perspective of her industry. Her experience performing haircare, skincare and nailcare service as well as a vast knowledge of salon and spa beauty/grooming products has led to her recent foray into product development. The beauty industry is embroiled in much controversy about product ingredients, self-regulation and improper labeling as to what is considered "natural" and "organic". These issues a…

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Enjoy your kith and kin.

Cheers!

Mane Maintenance

My favorite shampoo,Rare Elements Pure Shampoo, & Essential Conditioner make it into The Zoe Report.

Here is what Rachel had to say:

Okay, I admit it, I am a hair care junkie. I love every aspect of mane maintenance from getting a blowout to styling sprays and playing with different ‘dos. I even love the classic 1970s movie, Shampoo—Goldie Hawn is everything!—and envy each actress’ bombshell tresses. In my commitment to keeping my own locks just as fabulous, it all starts with the essential shampoo and conditioner elements…Rare Elements, that is.
Formulated without parabens, sulfates or silicones, both of today’s Rare Elements products—the Pure Shampoo and Essential Conditioner—achieve eco-luxurious results without harming your hair. Obsessed. The Pure Shampoo utilizes a black seed healing herb, Kalahari oil and African watermelon seed oil that cleanses and strengthens your hair without drying it out. Then, the Essential Conditioner infuses your locks with moisture and nut…

IN Fig+Sage

INtelligent Nutrients’ Anti-Aging Skin Care line has received many awards in various categories in Fig+Sage’s “The 2010 Best in Natural Beauty Awards.” Just a few of the categories include Best All Around Line, Best Facial Cleansers For Anti-Aging and Best Facial Oils For Dry/Aging Skin!

The following is the Fig+sage review:

It's no secret that I'm skeptical or that the increasing use of the word "organic" is partly to blame. When it comes to organic beauty there's a lot of hype in this biz and I'm sure that if you aren't already aware, soon you will realize that companies are using the word to get your attention. This can be a good and a bad thing. On one hand, products need to be labeled so we know which ones are organic - but on the other hand it has caused some companies to falsely label their products. Not everything stamped with the word "organic" means it actually is organic or that it's effective or superior. My overwhelm…

I Want You!

I have an interview on eHealth Radio on Thursday and I need your help.
Please ask me any beauty/personal grooming questions you may have. Leave your questions either in the comments section here or email them to becky(at)stormsister(dot)bizI will answer them all and let you know which ones were used in the interview. Thanks!

Cuticle Care

Do you have an important event and your cuticles look like you've missed your last hand treatment? Massaging a little NONTOXIQUE Cuticle & Nail Balm into them beforehand will give it time to absorb and give your cuticles a fresh moisturized and hydrated look, disguising all imperfections. Especially great trick for brides!

My Roadmap

About 6-8 months ago I was interviewed by Beth Schillaci in regard to Social Media and its importance to small businesses and entrepreneurs. I never imagined my two-cents would actually be published! Yippee!

Read all about it in Beth's book, Your Social Media Roadmap - Navigating New Strategies for Small Businesses. Page 56, specifically ;o)

Many thanks to Beth for giving me this opportunity!

BABYBEARSHOP is Lucky!

One of our favorite products will be getting some face time in the January edition of Lucky Magazine!

You heard it here first, so keep your eyes peeled!

It Does A Body Good

Excerpt from the December edition of American Spa magazine. By Gary Goldfaden, M.D

There is a key ingredient to healthy skin that is one of the most dynamic substances the human body produces. This vital substance has the power to activate more than 2,000 genes. It controls everything from normal bone growth and immune system response to healthy eyesight and neuromuscular function. It is absolutely essential to the long-lasting health and beauty of skin through its involvement in skin cell metabolism, growth, repair and protection. This largely overlooked nutrient is vitamin D.

A True Skin Saver
Every skin cell begins its life deep in the base layer of the epidermis. As these immature cells detach and migrate upward to the surface, they go through a series of complex changes in both form and function. The rate at which these cells divide, the nature and timing of their changes, as well as their transit time to the surface, are all controlled by growth factors and other mo…

Striking Oil

Excerpt from the December 2010 edition of American Spa magazine. By Nanci McArdle.

For the past five centuries, the indigenous people of Morocco, known as the Berbers, have recognized the myriad benefits of argan oil, which is extracted from the kernels in the nut that is inside of the fruit grown on the argan tree. Before modern times, the Berbers would collect undigested argan pits from the waste of goats that climbed the trees to eat the nuts. The pits were then ground and pressed to make the oil, which was used for cosmetics and cooking. Over time, more and more benefits have been discovered in argan oil, which naturally contains essential fatty acids and vitamin E, making it an ideal ingredient to incorporate into spa products and treatments. Today, it is harvested and processed in a more sanitary process with the help of machines, but Berber women are still responsible for extracting the oil by using two rough stones between their knees to crack the nuts. And because …

The No-Storefront Storefront

You're invited!

– Sairey Gernes, of Irely Intimates, has generously opened her design studio and manufacturing facility on the West Side of Saint Paul for a local, women-owned, small business boutique shopping experience.

Come and mingle with other fabulous women and experience a uniquely intimate shopping event. Enjoy fun, relaxing shopping  for others (as well as yourself - we won't tell!), a perfect finish to your holiday shopping. Enjoy a bit of vino and nibbles as well.

Featuring:

Irely Intimates – (www.irelyonline.com)

Classically beautiful intimates for women embracing a secret side

StormSister Spatique –  (www.stormsister.biz)
Lotions, Potions and Serums for Hair – Skin – Nails – Body

Bethany Lorelle – (www.bethanylorelle.com )
Fine Handcrafted Accessories since 2001

Attagirl by Kedrin – (www.attagirlbykedrin.com )
Creative Custom Crocheted Accessories

Urban Junket – (www.urbanjunket.com )
Work – Life – Bags

NONTOXIQUE – (www.nontoxique.com
Parfait 10 – Natural age-…

Berry World

Blueberries: The Best of the Berry World
By Ada Polla, Alchimie Forever®

Blueberries have made it into the consumer media and
popular advertising campaigns as a healthful fruit to eat,
filled with antioxidants, colorful, round, and delicious. The
Vaccinium myrtillus L. fruit, known in English as bilberry or
blueberry, has powerful protective properties which have
been known and utilized since the Middle Ages, and have
been described in literature since the beginning of the
20th century. Today, blueberries have laid claim to the title,
“the most powerful antioxidants of all.”

However, there still is limited awareness of the potential benefits of blueberries for the skin. Several compounds, in particular polyphenols (including anthocyanins, resveratrol and iron chelators such as quercetin and myricetin) and vitamins, have been isolated from the berries and leaves of the Vaccinium myrtillus L. plant. Thus blueberry extracts exert many beneficial effects on the skin, which can essentially …

Monday Reminder

December 6th is the last 1st Monday of the season, at The Commodore.

79 Western Ave. in Saint Paul.
4pm-8pm

Unique, exotic treasures from world travelers, artists, designers, collectors & antiquers.

Join us for COCKTAILS, SHOPPING & MUSIC

WILLIE MURPHY playing the grand piano

Hope to see you there!

Small Biz Saturday part 2

Unless you have been living in a cave, you have heard about Small Business Saturday. Dually sponsored by The 3/50 Project and American Express. (I wrote about it on November 11th.)

It was such a huge success that AMEX is now extending it to all AMEX card holders until December 31st!

To support small business this holiday season, American Express is extending the offer to give $25 back to Cardmembers who register & use their card at a small business ANY day through 12/31. Register now! All small businesses that accept Amex are automatically enrolled. For everyone else, whatever the form of payment, shop small!

Whatcha waiting for? You know AMEX has the best rewards program out there!

And again, a HUGE thank you to all of my amazing clients for participating and spending your holiday dollars at my online Spatique and with other small biz's around the country. We cannot thank you enough. Truly!

Friday - Monday Mashup, baby!

We all know the terms. Cyber Monday, Black Friday and now Small Business Saturday.
So, whether you're shopping storefronts, online or both, this is the weekend to get rollin', kids!

Mash them all up and receive 25% off of your online purchases at StormSister Spatique, as well as our Twin Cities personal delivery service for $5 (regularly $10-$20), this Friday thru Monday.
Minimum order is $50 to receive discount.
Enter MASHUP upon checkout.
Sale is for in-stock merchandise only and cannot be combined with other promotions.

Enjoy your holiday and travel safely.

Sing it, Sister!

I was asked by my Crave Momma, Kathy Hanson, to read a Strib article about "buying local" and to let her know what I thought.

I didn't find it a terribly well-done article (I believe the online version is now different from the printed version as there has been much banter between Ms. Hanson and Mr. Alexander) but I am not a huge fan of the Star Tribune. I'm more of a Pioneer Press girl.

Below  is a copy, word-for-word, of the discussion between the two.
______________________________
Steve,
While I applaud your effort to educate consumers and/or business owners about shopping local with your article today I must tell you I am terribly disappointed in the lack of effort made to substantiate the facts and promote shopping local this holiday season.
You missed the mark on all counts if you were trying to help businesses, educate consumers or connect your readers (consumers) to local businesses. 
I don't have time to provide you with the links that are readily availabl…

In-fused Chocolate

Excerpt taken from Turby and John.

I already sort of  liked it before I tried it. I’m always up for dark chocolate since it’s loaded with antioxidants, and we all know that antioxidants neutralize free radicals. This chocolate bar has fancy ingredients like organic meals from raspberries and cranberries and organic oils from pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and raspberries. It’s also made with organic blueberries and organic lemon essential oil. You can definitely taste the lemon, but it’s just very subtle and very tasty.
Check outIntelligent Nutrients Innercalm In-fused Chocolate for yourself, and browse the rest of their products while you’re at it.
Read more about the benefits of dark chocolate, and how much you really need to get an antioxidant boost, in this neat Care2 article.

Green Beaute

Taken from the Ultimate Skincare & Beaute Report.

Looking for eco-friendly, cruelty-free hair care that is effective enough to cleanse yet gentle enough to for an oncology patient to use? Green Body Green Planet has created such a formula.  I must say, at first I was skeptical due to past experiences that left my hair clumpy and knotty.  As per the instructions, I wet my hair very well and worked the shampoo for Revitalizing into my mane with fingertips and hands, concentrating on the scalp.  Cautious to not over use the shampoo due to its high concentration of essential oils, I shampooed only once and rinsed well before moving into the second phase of this glorious experience-Revitalizing Conditioner!
Common conditions such as dandruff and eczema are no match for this uber natural proprietary blend of rosemary, ylang ylang and geranium essential oils.  Is your hair on the brink of massive chemical over-kill?
No problem!  Processed hair is effectively handled with care…

Anti-Aging Beauty Tips for 40's & 50's

Taken from this article.

1. Stop Showering
Yes, that's right - stop getting squeaky clean! One of the hallmark signs of one's 40s is drier skin, which turns into wrinkled skin. While everyone knows to moisturize with face creams and body lotion, why not try to preserve the body's natural oils, too? Unless you are super sweaty or smelly, you probably don't need to showerevery day. Baby wipes work wonders to keep your personal areas clean in between shower days. While you might freak out at first, give it a go for a week to see how your body adjusts. You will probably find, like many less-clean converts, that your body and hair looks so much better when you allow your natural oils to stay on your skin!

2. As you age, your skin gets thinner, showing blood vessels and making it fragile and weak. Again, over drying and lack of moisture adds to the thinning. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

3. Sink Your Teeth In
Want to know one of the weirdest things that age …

Under Cover

Great video. Even I've been doing it wrong!

I love this tip. A lip brush is the trick? I know it's considered a "concealer" brush, but it's just a lip brush.
I've always used this compact as my cover up.

LaunchHer

How jazzed am I to be included in the latest issue of LaunchHer!

LaunchHER provides the boost that women owned brands need by featuring new and fresh companies as well as providing professional public relations, branding, business development and positioning tools to start-ups.

Rollers

When Wyndmere sent me a sample of each of these Roll-Ons to try, they were a big hit with me as well as with friends and family.

The highest quality essential oils mixed with a jojoba carrier oil in a blue glass bottle (protects oil from light), with a handy-dandy roller-ball. Makes for very easy application.

I apply mine to temples, back of neck or bottoms of feet. The rolling motion against the skin is very soothing.

Peppermint is one of my favorite oils as it is very effective for headaches.

The reason I apply to the bottoms of the feet are:The pores on the bottom of the feet are large, the skin is less sensitive and the feet have many nerve endings and reflex points.

Some Nail Salons Are Feeling Green

Positive change is happening in the world of a manicurist.

One major step would be to incorporate this polish remover in their routine.

Cool Swag

There's a new kid in town. Swag 52. And, I'm very excited. Stay tuned!

Step into the world of SWAG52. This is the only place in town to find the best products at the best prices. Every week, one of our contributors will star in a video showcasing a luxury retailer who is sharing special pricing with SWAG52.  Watch the video, buy a product voucher or SWAG52 certificate and find yourself sporting the latest designer trends, traveling with the best gadgets, or crossing off those elusive holiday gifts at significantly reduced prices.  With featured items you'll never find at regular discounts, SWAG52 provides affordable extravagance for the serious shopper.

Free Shipping Day

Mark your calendars for 12.17.10

When shopping on the StormSister Spatique website on the 17th, enter this code upon checkout: FREESHIP

All of these retailers are offering complimentary shipping as well.

Make it a NONTOXIQUE Holiday!

Available November 20th-30th.

Please enter this code when shopping on my site: SISTER1

We're talking the only true eco-luxe care for the hands, feet & nails that everyones talking about.
Please enter this code when shopping on my site: SISTER2

Give gifts of NONTOXIQUE this year and let others envy how beauty-savvy you are.

Small Biz Saturday by AMEX

I just love how AMEX continues to support the small business owner!

Make the most of the first-ever Small Business SaturdaySM, November 27, 2010. A day to come together in support of small businesses. The businesses that are the heartbeat of our communities and local economies.

White Apricot

NONTOXIQUE's Parfait Ten™ Cuticle & Nail Balm featured on White Apricot.

BEAUTY TIP
Helping Hands the Nontoxique Way Ragged cuticles, brittle, peeling nails, rough skin — old man winter is blowing in and taking a toll on our hands and nails. Rather than hide them in gloves, mittens and pockets, we have become addicted to Nontoxique’s Parfait Ten™ Cuticle and Nail Balm. Like a miracle in a jar, this rich, nourishing cream transformed our “man hands,” removing any traces of rough edges. Each application dispenses vital nutrients from avocado to kiwi and myrrh, while leaving behind a thin veil of protection that prevents nails from absorbing harmful excess water. Developed by a manicurist with more than 13 years in the industry, the entire line of Nontoxique products is based on the same principles as skin care for the face. All we know is, since we became addicted to the balm, our hands and feet are perfect tens! 

Receive 25% off NONTOXIQUE Cuticle and Nail Bal…

Is Beauty Pain?

Brazilian Blowout is still the topic of conversation.
This is a letter I just received from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:

There is a saying, “beauty is pain,” which we at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics never much cared for. After a hair salon worker complained about bloody noses and breathing problems after using "formaldehyde free" Brazilian Blowout, Oregon OSHA tested the product and discovered it's up to 10 percent formaldehyde. The search for miraculously smooth hair should not cause acute pain or long-term health problems.

Because formaldehyde is a nasty chemical linked to cancer and allergies, the governments of Canada and Ireland issued recalls of Brazilian Blowout in the last few weeks, after their own tests confirmed its presence.

But guess what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has done? Nothing.

This is unacceptable. The high levels of formaldehyde in Brazilian Blowout pose a serious threat to salon workers giving the treatment on a daily bas…

Candy Bars

Local bath company, Blissful Bath, has come out with some new bath goodies:
Bath Candy, Scrub-A-Licious Bars and Bath Soaks.  And what were once shower steamers are now called Shower Vapours, with a couple of new essential oil blends in the mix.

Holiday Boutique II

When: Friday, November 12th 6:00 - 9:00 P.M.

Where: Meegan Butler’s House
703 Ottawa Avenue 651-248-5657

StormSister Spatique will be rockin' some new product!

Holiday Boutique

I've been invited to showcase my products at a holiday boutique in Stacy, MN on Saturday, November 13th. If you live in that area or are looking for something fun to do that day, please stop in.

I'll be showcasing some fun new bath and shower care items from a local vendor that day.
There will also be prize drawings every 1/2 hour or so!

Time: 2-6 PM

Here is the address: 6081 - 242nd Ave. NE
Stacy, MN 55079
Please call 651 235 3942 if you have any questions.

Bring your friends and I'll see ya there!

Small Boxes

I just love what Cinda and her 3/50 Project are doing.

Rather than hit the big boxes in search of gifts this year, whaddaya say we pop into the neighborhood shops and boutiques first? After all, they pump the greatest percentage of revenue back into the neighborhoods we live (and celebrate) in.

The Great Unwashed

This is a fascinating article.
Though I do agree with the concept of this piece, there are deodorants that are available that don't contain any controversial ingredients.
Essential oils are also great to deodorize and kill bacteria without drying out the skin.

Maiden Minnesota

Maiden Minnesota is this week. Yay!

Two of my favorite brands will be there, Greenbody Greenplanet
and  Irely by SaireyG. I am so proud of these two women and their wonderful brands and am honored to call them my friends.

Here is some video from Twin Cities Live about the event.

Do you have your tickets yet?

I'm certainly going to have my product there next year!

Misty

I love it when clients inform me of a new way to use a product. I'm all about getting more than one use out of a beauty/grooming potion.

The INtelligent Nutrients Anti-Aging Mist is a popular facial toner to use after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Now you can add soothing aftershave spritz and ingrown hair preventative to the list. Wherever you shave, give it a spritz!

Thanks for the tip, Sree!

Big Hair

I went to a Halloween party last night and without my knowledge it turned into a surprise party for moi! I hadn't a clue. A few tears and many laughs later......I have the BEST friends ever!


 I don't think my hair has been this big since 1984. I heart photoshop. My hair looks like "Lady" from Lady and The Tramp. ;o)
Thank you again for supporting me and my storefront these last four years. I couldn't get to this next stage without having had my little storefront and all of your support. I have the best friends and the best clients. I mean that with the deepest sincerity.

I have a VERY big week coming up. I know I have been hinting and teasing for months. It hasn't been for naught, I promise. Things are just taking a bit longer than expected.


It's gettin' close folks. I'll be in touch!

A Rarity

I have carried Rare-Elements luxury haircare for a couple of years, now.
The shampoo is creamy, luscious, spendy, but oh so luxurious! It reminds me of Alterna's White Truffle shampoo. I believe pretty much any oil can be sapponified, but I didn't know these oils even existed, let alone included in a shampoo.
One shampoo with this creamy goodness, and you'll know just what I mean! I must say that when this shampoo comes up in my shampoo rotation, I use it as a shower gel as well. I can't help it.

Oooh, and that Treatment Oil! One of the best "hot oil" treatments I have ever had. It doubles as a great body oil as well.

The following, from Hairbrained.me, 'bout sums it up.

RARE ELEMENTS is a new generation of hair care that is built on the principles of luxury and performance. Taking a modern twist on century old healing remedies and combining it with the latest technology, we have developed a simple yet effective system that has been proven to rever…

Press for Madara

It's not just me, everyone is talking about the Madara Tinted Moisturizers.

If you purchased yours late summer/early fall when they first arrived, maybe you're wondering if the moisturizing properties will be enough for the up-coming winter.
Listen to your skin. It will tell you.
Depending on where you live or your age, you may need more moisture this winter. I live in MN and I know I will! I have been practicing with this tinted moisturizer on top of other serums and moisturizers and it works beautifully!

December 6th

I've been invited back to The Commodore.
See you there with all new goodies!

Monday,   December 6, 2010        
4 – 8 pm Join us for cocktails and conversation in the renowned Art Deco bar

Willie Murphy playing the grand piano in the lobby
And What Shopping!  
Unique exotic treasures from world travelers, artists, designers, collectors and antiquers

Not to be missed.

The Commodore
79 Western Avenue North
St. Paul, MN

ecoSAFE Review

Greenbody Greenplanet receives a great review on ecoSAFE.

Hair: Greenbody Greenplanet Shampoo & Conditioner

Ooh La La! Aphrodisiac and hair care all in one?
Description: Give your hair the volume and vitality it needs with this naturally weightless shampoo. Increase hair density while adding body and control. Organic extracts of grapefruit, lavender and burdock root help cleanse the hair and scalp while keeping them in perfect balance. Color is protected and strength is restored with Australian bush kakadu plum extract, the highest form of antioxidant found in nature and certified Biodynamic Avocado Oil, a natural sunscreen. Beneficial and soothing for the skin and can be used as a gentle facial and body wash, making it perfect for traveling or the gym.  8 oz

Ingredients: Aqua (Purified water), Certified Organic herbal blend of Rosa Rubiginosa (Organic Rosehip), Anthemis Nobilis (Organic Chamomile), Lavandula Angustifolia (Organic Lavender), Equisetum Arvense (Organic Hors…

In The Loop

Attagirl by Kedrin receives some well deserved press in the November issue of Minnesota Monthly.

We have some of her hats and headbands in our storefront. Stop by!
So fun, cute and local!

Moving Day

As we are getting things ready to be packed up here at StormSister Spatique, we are noticing we have a lot of cool stuff and odds-n-ends that we won't need in our office.

Our sale continues.

The last day to purchase beauty/personal grooming products,  in our storefront, will be Friday, October 29th. After that date, you will need to call in your order to 612 716 5480 or shop online.
Our shipping is cheap or, as usual, we will gladly deliver.

We also encourage you to stop by and take a peek at our stuff since some of it is hard to explain.
Like the super cool steel square, round and rectangle pieces that we used for "frames" and display's, etc. If you are into metal, they're pretty cool.

Here is a partial list of stuff that is available for sale to anyone that is interested:
All of the tables and displays were custom made.
This table, or that table, this display or that display, this Dell 946 printer/fax/copier, a Fellows P-57Cs heavy-duty paper shredder, a bunch…