Monday, December 27, 2010

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 are a major concern for Becky and her clientele and she will be addressing them with her own brand that will launch in the spring of 2011.

Transcript of Interview with Becky Sturm

Eric Michaels: If I could change anything about the beauty industry, what would it be?
Becky Sturm: That beauty companies did more to clean up their ingredient lists. There are many controversial ingredients that do not need to be in personal grooming/beauty products. We should start by adopting the European standard.

Eric Michaels: What are some inexpensive skincare tips for problem skin?
Becky Sturm: It is imperative that problematic skin be cleansed morning and evening.  Skipping one of the daily cleanings perpetuates the problem. Wipe down phones (office, cell, landlines) daily, with a wet wipe. There is a lot of bacteria on phones. Change your pillowcase at least once per week. More often if possible. Our faces spend a lot of time on a pillow. That is a huge breeding ground for bacteria.

Eric Michaels: How often should hair be shampooed?
Becky Sturm: No more than once or twice per week. Ideally, no more than once per week. Slowly work up to this by rinsing on the days you would usually shampoo. Rub scalp as if shampooing, rinse thoroughly, add a bit of conditioner to the ends if needed and then 1/2 of the styling/grooming products used on the previous wash/rinse day. Work slowly up to this goal. You will save a lot of money on product/salon services and hair and scalp health will be improved. This regimen is especially helpful to those with curly/wavy hair.

Eric Michaels: How often should body exfoliants be used?
Becky Sturm: Two to three times a week is ideal. Not every day. Exfoliating is important for skin and body health. The face should not be exfoliated more than once or twice per week since facial skin is much thinner than the skin on our bodies. Too much exfoliation can actually cause skin problems through small abrasions.

Eric Michaels: Can any grooming products do double duty?
Becky Sturm: Your shampoo can certainly be used as a shower gel. Leave-in conditioners make great body moisturizers and work well as anti-static remedies. Shea butter is great as an all over moisturizer, cuticle balm, and hair balm for short curly hair.

Conclusion Tip: Add some pure shea butter to your winter skincare regimen by working a small amount into clean hands and patting gently over moisturizer. This seals in the healing/hydrating properties of your moisturizer and gives an added protection to skin in the winter months. This tips works for face and body.

Web Site:

Thanks for the opportunity, Eric!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

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 nutrients for an all-around rejuvenating experience. What are you waiting for? Lather, rinse, Rare Elements! xoRZ

Availability: Rare Elements Pure Shampoo ($34) and Essential Conditioner ($44). For additional retailer information, visit

Thursday, December 23, 2010

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 overwhelmingly positive experience with Intelligent Nutrient's Anti-Aging Skin Care line proved to me these products live up to their claims and exceeded my expectations.

First, some background - back in June of last year, I announced that the founder of AVEDA, Horst Rechelbacher, was on the cusp of launching his very own USDA certified organic hair and skin care line. I was invited to the press event in NYC held on June 11, 2008 where Horst drank his own certified organic hair spray out of champagne glass to prove that his products are safe, non-toxic and natural. (Though I don't recommend it, I admit that I've also sipped the hair spray out of curiosity).

I've been using all four products in the line exclusively since for the past 2 months and I’m absolutely hooked! Within just two days I realized my skin looked and felt differently than it had in a very long time. Stubborn redness that wouldn't cease with any other product I owned (and man, do I own a lot of them) was quickly reduced and breakouts were eliminated (something I still struggle with in my thirties). The dryness I thought was the cause of winter continues to haunt me well into summer, yet these products provide the nourishing hydration my skin craves. For the most part, I believe products are most effective when used with others in the same line and I feel no differently with these. You'll likely see the best results when using all four products in conjunction with each other and the great part is that they're designed for EVERY skin type:

Certified Organic Anti-Aging Cleanser :: It's fresh and pure aroma makes my nose and face happy morning and night. Not a typical consistency for a facial cleanser - does not foam, nor is it a cleansing milk or lotion; it's more like a gel, though not clear in's evident that it's packed with pure botanicals contents, by the way it looks, smells and acts - not to mention it's stellar ingredient list. Since the white plastic bottle isn't see-through I can't tell how much I've used, but I've used it twice everyday for two months and it feels (from weight) like I have a good amount left, hopefully another month's worth.

Certified Organic Anti-Aging Mist :: Entirely refreshing and soothing, this perfectly preps skin for moisture. I like to spritz it on after I use blush or bronzer to eliminate the powdery look or on hot and humid days for an afternoon pick-me-up. After using twice a day, everyday for two months, I've used a little less than half of the bottle. (Glass bottle)

Certified Organic Anti-Aging Moisure :: I apply a very small amount every morning before I apply makeup and the beauty of it is that it absorbs quickly and produces a fabulous non-greasy glow. For really dry skin, use after apply the Serum. Since the plastic bottle isn't see-through I can't tell how much I've used, but I've used it twice everyday for two months and it feels (from weight) like I have a good amount left, hopefully another month's worth.

Certified Organic Anti-Aging Serum :: I love and recommend the entire line without reservation, but this is hands-down, the superstar product of the bunch! One look at the ingredients and you'll find totally natural, skin-loving ingredients like argan oil, red grape seed oil, pumpkin seed oil, black cumin seed oil and carrot seed oil. Other products use these ingredients, but most use just one or two - it's rare to find all of them in one product and another rarity is the use of black cumin seed oil, a powerful skin healer. Horst has found the perfect combination to hydrate and heal skin, heal and ward off blemishes and plump wrinkles (yes, I've noticed a reduction in mine - especially around my eye area). I use this at night all over my face (including under eyes and eyelids), neck and decollete. The smells is lovely and something I look forward to using it. After using 1-2 drops twice a day for the past 2 months, I've hardly put a dent in this bottle. I'm confident this will last me at least 6 months - a great value! (Glass bottle)

Improvements Noticed ::

+ Redness eliminated

+ Breakouts banished

+ Wrinkles reduced

+ Pores minimized

+ Perfectly hydrated

+ Glowing skin

No matter your skin type or age, these products are designed for you. Think you're too young to use "anti-aging" products? Consider this - it's easier to prevent wrinkles than to get rid of them once they happen. Like clockwork, I started to really notice wrinkles when I turned thirty. With my thirty-second birthday just a couple weeks away, you better believe I won't let these out of my grips anytime soon (or ever!). In fact, I haven't found a skin care line I love this much since last year. The Cleanser, Mist and Moisture were the only skin care products my sister used while she was in the hospital a few weeks ago for the birth of her baby girl and my mom, who is more concerned with anti-aging is using and loving the Serum.

Intelligent Nutrients is not affiliated with AVEDA. Rechelbacher founded AVEDA in 1978 and sold it to Estee Lauder two decades later. This is not an AVEDA endorsement.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

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)biz

I will answer them all and let you know which ones were used in the interview. 


Sunday, December 19, 2010

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!

Friday, December 17, 2010

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!

Friday, December 10, 2010


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!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

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 molecules that are triggered by the presence of vitamin D. The skin loses and must replace about 40,000 cells every minute. If enough vitamin D is not available to fuel this process, replacement cells won’t be manufactured quickly enough. Inevitably, the outer layer of skin becomes thinner and more fragile and begins to sag from a lack of adequate support.
The skin has its own immune system that serves as the body’s first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. When microorganisms attack, they secrete extracts that stimulate the production of vitamin D in the skin. The innate immune system responds by producing a substance called cathelicidin, a very powerful germicide that also helps promote the development of blood vessels and encourages new cell growth.
The skin is extremely susceptible to free radical damage because of its high metabolism and fatty acid content. Free radicals deteriorate the skin’s structural support and decrease its elasticity, resilience, and suppleness. The skin protects itself from this oxidative destruction through the presence of natural antioxidants. One of the most powerful of these is vitamin D.

A Modern Epidemic
The skin can synthesize approximately 10,000 IU of vitamin D after just 20 to 30 minutes of summer sun exposure. Unfortunately, between the ages of 20 and 70, about 75 percent of this ability to produce vitamin D is lost. In addition, today’s predominantly indoor lifestyle and widespread use of UV-blocking sunscreens have severely decreased the amount of vitamin D the average person produces.
Other limiting factors play a part as well. Darker skinned people need five to 10 times more exposure to synthesize the same amount of vitamin D as lighter skinned people. It is now estimated that roughly 75 percent of all teens and adults in the U.S. are vitamin D deficient. To make matters worse, most of the active vitamin D the body is able to produce is used to help build and maintain strong bones, not nurture the skin.

StormSister Two-Cents: We have almost gone off the deep-end in regard to sunscreen lately. I don't believe it needs to be applied daily, unless you work outside.  If you are going to spend more than 30 minutes or longer in the sun, I don't find it necessary to apply it.
A bit of sunscreen applied to the face if you will be in bright sunlight for 15-20 minutes, is recommended though.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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 oil is so versatile, the demand for the ingredient is rapidly increasing. “Recently, in the U.S., we realized that there are many uses for argan oil,” says Katharine L’Heureux, founder of Kahina Giving Beauty, a line of products containing 100 percent natural argan oil. “It can be used on the skin, in the bath, to condition dry lips and cuticles, and to remove makeup. I actually swallow a teaspoon a day for even healthier, more glowing skin.” At International Orange (San Francisco), Kahina Argan Oil is incorporated into facial treatments, during which the oil is massaged into the skin to deeply moisturize it. “The antioxidants in this oil help to protect the skin against free radicals that cause the signs of aging while also hydrating, balancing, and restoring skin’s elasticity,” says L’Heureux. “It is an excellent natural treatment for all skin conditions, including eczema and acne.”
Another benefit of this multi-tasking oil is its anti-inflammatory effect, which makes it especially useful to help reduce swelling after cosmetic procedures or waxing.
Using products that contain the ingredient also has a philanthropic angle. All argan oil sold today is produced by womens’ cooperatives in Morocco, which share the profits among local Berber women, providing healthcare and education. This was one of the reasons L’Heureux created Kahina Giving Beauty. “Not only did I notice an immediate improvement in my skin when I discovered argan but I was also intrigued by the story of the Berber women,” says L’Heureux. “It struck me that I could create a skincare line that women would want to use and help the Berber women at the same time.” Aveda also supports the cooperatives by not only purchasing the oil but also donating $20,000 to help fund the purchase of equipment to automate the labor-intensive processing. So, incorporating argan oil into your treatment menu is a win-win: you are not only boosting your bottom line but also contributing to an important cause, all the while helping your clients look good.

StormSisters Two Cents: Though Argan oil is all the rage, please look at all the other ingredients that accompany this oil in so many hair and skincare products that are available. One great ingredient amongst many unhealthy ingredients does not a great product make.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

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.


Irely Intimates – (

Classically beautiful intimates for women embracing a secret side

StormSister Spatique –  (
Lotions, Potions and Serums for Hair – Skin – Nails – Body

Bethany Lorelle – ( )
Fine Handcrafted Accessories since 2001

Attagirl by Kedrin – ( )
Creative Custom Crocheted Accessories

Urban Junket – ( )
Work – Life – Bags

Parfait 10 – Natural age-defying relief for hands and feet.

Foat Design - ( )
Durable urban and eco-friendly yoga wear

Post-Accessories – ( )
Accessories inspired by the forms and theories that define the various  movements within the history of art.


432 Wabasha Street South, St. Paul. December 16th: 4pm-9pm December 17th-19th: 10am-4pm

Thursday, December 2, 2010

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 be broken down into three categories: vaso-protective activity (protection of cutaneous capillaries), antioxidant activity (anti-aging effect), and iron chelating activity (additional antioxidant, anti-aging effects).

Vaso-Protective Activity

Flushing, rosacea, and facial redness result from the dilation of fine capillaries located just beneath the epidermis.
While there is no cure for rosacea, there are a number of preventative measures that enable a better control of the symptoms and a minimization of facial redness. Any product that promotes the health of capillaries, delaying their dilation and eventual collapse, contributes to a management of those symptoms.
Blueberries play a role in the management of flushing symptoms. They tighten and protect fine capillaries thanks to anthocyanins, and are thus ideal in skin care products targeting redness-prone skin. The vaso-protective effects of blueberries began to be described in the 1960s, when the fruit’s capillary resistance and permeability were first analyzed. Since, studies have confirmed that blueberries increase capillary resistance.

Antioxidant Activity

The fact that antioxidants are essential in maintaining the skin’s youthfulness is now a well established concept.
The key purpose of antioxidants is to neutralize free radicals, which are primarily caused by excessive UV exposure.

Antioxidants aim to prevent, stop, or repair these various reactions caused by free radicals. Specifically, the anthocyanosidic extract, a powerful scavenger of free radicals. They inhibit lipid citrin coloration and prevent the production of elastase, which is involved in the loss of suppleness and dehydration.

Iron Chelating Activity

Iron has often been featured in the health and consumer press in the context of anemia (i.e. iron deprivation). While many have discussed the various ways of ensuring appropriate iron intake, whether through diet (red meat and various fruits and vegetables), or through the daily use of supplements, few realize that there is a dark side to iron, namely excess iron.

Excess iron is involved in a number of diseases, which all have an oxidative component (whether cardiovascular, brain, or muscle diseases), as well as in premature skin aging. Indeed, free iron is involved in various chemical reactions that lead to the production of the hydroxyl radical, one of the most harmful free radicals.

Once again, blueberries play a key protective role. Indeed, research has shown that quercetin and myricetin (two types of flavonoids found in blueberries) have iron chelating properties, meaning that they minimize the formation of free radicals stimulated by excess free iron and UV light.

So eat your blueberries, but put them on your face too!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Monday Reminder

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

79 Western Ave. in Saint Paul.

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


WILLIE MURPHY playing the grand piano

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

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!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

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.

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 available but you did not talk to Cinda Baxter of Project 3/50- a HUGE resource and nonprofit founded here in the Twin Cities for the SOLE purpose of supporting shopping local. She has facts and figures galore that will definitely "prove" the benefits of shopping local. Any number of her data points are quantifiable and you can find them easily. The most common fact is that "about" .77 of every dollar spent stays in our communities when you shop local and "about" .47 stays in our communities when you shop big box. By stating that it's hard to prove the benefits of shopping you gave the reader an out and provided them with no incentive to shop local!  Multiplier effect is yadayadayada to an average reader. Dull stuff. Make it resonate! 

If your goal was to help businesses- you should have contacted any number of shopowners who have figured out how to use social media and the press and made it a point of focus in your article not a throwaway sentence in your last paragraph. There are several organizations, non profits, that are devoted to supporting local. You didn't mention any helpful organizations or groups that help build connections and educate floundering businesses in this recession. 

If your goal was to educate your readers- provide the list of local businesses that Metro IBA has on their website. Or go to any number of sources to find it yourself and post it. If it was in the business section and not intended for consumers- do you not think business owners shop over the holidays? 

Why didn't you mention all the benefits to buying all your holiday needs at local stores and NOT big box? Don't buy your kitchen supplies for Thanksgiving at Williams Sonoma or Crate and Barrel- shop Marie Dwyer's Cooks of Crocus Hill and support local! Her family is here, she pays taxes for schools and roads and hires local employees who also pay taxes! Why didn't you mention shopping the local bookstores that ARE viable, rather than mention the one that closed? Common Good Books is a member of Metro IBA and you didn't mention them. They are a rare breed and you got bogged down in taxation rather than give a solution! 

Your article did not energize me as a business person or a consumer to feel the responsibility to shop local this holiday season. It was boring and focused on businesses that are not top of mind this holiday season. Toys, gifts, stocking stuffers kitchen wares, clothing, restaurants are all destination spots this season and you gave nothing to the reader to help them make educated decisions on where to spend their money.  There are over 150 women owned local businesses that have been shouting SHOP LOCAL for years and years. Any number of them would have been happy to give you more exciting and helpful information. 

Look to American Express and what they are doing for Small Business Saturdays. amazing. 

If you truly want to do something purposeful with your writing you must provide the reader with resources and action items and a reason to shop and eat local. 

It was a fabulous opportunity to showcase what a localvore community we have and you missed the mark completely. 

Please reach out to the men and women of your community who have a "dog in the fight"  and ask questions and write articles that support our wonderful community and give your readers something to grab on to emotionally as well as physically. 

Thanks for your hard work and sorry for the candor but you got me fired up!

Kathy Hanson


We’re not here to convince people to shop local. We’re just writing about a group of people who think it’s important.

The amount of money that stays in the community isn’t clear-cut. A flier the Metro Independent Business Alliance handed out yesterday urged people not to use the standard comparison of how much money stays in the community -- 68 cents out of $1 if you shop locally versus 43 cents if you shop at national chain stores – because it’s not accurate.

To quote the filer “misleading information about the local premium has `gone viral,’ potentially undermining the credibility of all buy local campaigns and pro-indie organizations.”

I wish we had included the shop local website,
Steve Alexander

Fascinating that you don't see the need to support your local economy. "Convince"? How about present the facts and let the readers decide? It's not like I am asking you to endorse a political candidate!
Also interesting that as a reporter you did not contact any other source about the benefits of shopping local, but rather took Metro IBA's word for the misleading facts on taxes. 

If the Star Tribune is not here to educate consumers and readers about what is best for their local community- who is supposed to report on it then?

It's a fact that supporting independent businesses helps the local economy stay more viable while keeping our communities vibrant and unique.  By keeping the commerce within our neighborhoods and cities we also support all the entrepreneurs and their families who spend money within their own community, rather than send it out of state to some corporate executive with no vested interest. 

It's unfortunate you didn't write an article with a bigger and better purpose during this tough economy when so many little businesses are suffering. 

You really missed an opportunity to do some good.


I love it when passion cannot be contained. Sing it, Sister!

Monday, November 22, 2010

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 out Intelligent 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.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

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 as Australian bush kakadu plum extract (the highest form of anti-oxidant found in nature) and certified Biodynamic Avocado Oil (a natural sunscreen), protects color and restores the strength of hair.  Perfect for traveling or for use at the gym, Revitalizing Shampoo may be used as a gentle facial and body wash!  
A unique bouquet of rosemary, ylang ylang and geranium essential oils not only deeply care for hair and skin, but satisfy the olfactory during the process!
Rosemary, Ylang Ylang, geranium essential oils and Australian bush kakadu plum extract come together to give over worked, over processed hair the special treatment that will strengthen and protect it.
My personal experience with this product was lovely!  It is the morning after and I love the softness and natural fragrance of my hair.  My scalp is calm, which is something that seemed to be missing for me for a while.  I would recommend this to anyone who just wants  an effective scalp treatment.  My color is brilliant and more defined.

Friday, November 19, 2010

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 shower every 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 a person? It's not wrinkles, it's tooth color! Luckily, teeth whitening is one of the easiest things to do to improve your appearance.

4. Don't Forget Your Décolleté
What's décolleté you may ask? It's the beautiful area between your chin and your breasts, and experts say to show it off for as long as possible if you like, because your décolleté is often the last part of your body to 'go,' age-wise. To keep your décolleté looking darling, regularly exfoliate (2 times per week) Also, don't forget to moisturize this delicate area as well.

5. Stop Spots
Oh age spots, the pigmentation that is difficult to prevent and cover. If you're prone to pigmentation, it's really hard to eliminate age spots completely, especially in your fifties, but you can work a few miracles. It gradually evens skin tones, fading spots as well as scars. But you have to be diligent about using it frequently to see results, so don't slack off or your leopard won't change its spots!

6. Peel the Onion
Not satisfied with the results that moisturizing alone is giving your skin? Perhaps it's time to remove a layer or two of dead skin to see if there's something less damaged or wrinkled underneath! The good news is that there probably is!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

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.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


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.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

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.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Free Shipping Day

Free Shipping DayMark 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.

Friday, November 12, 2010

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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

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.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

White Apricot

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

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 Balm, today through Saturday, when shopping online at StormSister Spatique. Enter: WHITEAPRICOT upon checkout.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

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 basis, and are dangerous for customers, too.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent a letter to the FDA asking for immediate action, and now the agency needs to hear from you.

Please join us in asking the FDA to issue a voluntary recall of Brazilian Blowout products!

Even if you've never gotten a Brazilian Blowout treatment, this issue shows that we need a real change in the beauty industry. Under current law, it's perfectly legal for a product to contain carcinogens and other harmful chemicals, and the FDA doesn't have the power to issue a mandatory recall of any cosmetics. That's why the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is working to pass the Safe Cosmetics Act – a law that will close the loopholes and protect our health.

But right now, we need to get formaldehyde out of salons ASAP: Ask the FDA to issue a voluntary recall of Brazilian Blowout.

Jamie, Cassidy, Mia, Lisa, Stacy, Marisa and all of us at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Sunday, November 7, 2010

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.

Friday, November 5, 2010

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!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

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!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

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.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

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.

Monday, November 1, 2010

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!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


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!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

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!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

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, '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 reverse the signs of damaged hair. This sophisticated collection has revolutionized the professional world of hair care by developing performance driven products that now replace the antiquated use of toxic ingredients and the temporary fix of synthetic enhancers. When you step into the world of Rare Elements you will experience the international wealth of some of the most sought after natural resources and discover the lasting results and pampering luxury that only nature can provide.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

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!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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

Sunday, October 24, 2010

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 Horsetail herb), Tagetes Erecta (Organic Marigold), Arctium Lappa (Organic Burdock Root), Helianthus Annuus (Organic Sunflower) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Organic Grapefruit) extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Organic Rosemary) Extract, Persea Gratissima (Certified Biodynamic Avocado) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia (Certified Biodynamic Macadamia) Oil, Certified Organic Lotus Bean Gum, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Australian Bush Kakadu Plum) Extract, Decyl Polyglucose, Cocoglucose, Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Extract, Soy Lecithin, Sativa protein (Oatmeal protein), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Extract (Vitamin C), Organic Glycerin (Vegetable), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Urtica Dioica (Stinging Nettle), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Oil), Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang oil), Hydroxy methylglycinate (mild preservative), Trifolium Pratense (Canadian wildcrafted Red Clover) Oil, d-Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Geranium Maculatum (geranium Oil) 

EWG RATING:  SAFE/GREEN (1-2)  EWG report 

Greenbody Greenplanet offers two formulas: Energy and Revitalizing. Each formula is available unscented or scented. We chose the review the scented version of both formulas, which utilizes essential oils of ylang ylang, geranium, and rosemary to create a unique fragrance that is uplifting. Ylang ylang is also known to be a popular natural aphrodisiac! As lovely as it leaves your hair scented, it definitely boosts the chance for romance!

The Revitalizing formula is targeted for damaged or dry hair, since our tester has normal hair, it turned out sleek and shiny. This would be a good formula choice if you have curly or frizzy hair, as it adds a slight amount of weight to it to keep it tame!

The Energy formula was developed specifically for limp or fine hair, and as promised, this formula gives your volume a boost and seems to make your hair thicken. If your limp locks need a power boost, then this is the formula for you.

Mixing and matching is a great option for those with normal hair, select a shampoo in one formula and a conditioner in the other. The scent is delightful, the shampoo reminds us of a cherry lollipop while the conditioners are simply ylang ylang all the way! It's a subtle scent that will last throughout the day or night, with just a hint of freshness that lingers.

Friday, October 22, 2010

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!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

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 of wooden hangers, a Crown crock, a black roller chair, baskets, glass shelves w/brackets, frames, just stuff, stuff and more stuff.

Stop by Monday, October 25th - 29th  from 10AM to 5 PM and purchase stuff and make arrangements for pick up on the 30th and 31st.