Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Interview: Renee Rouleau, Celebrity Esthetician 7/6 @ 6pmC

Renee Rouleau, celebrity esthetician, skin care expert and founder of her namesake beauty line & spas (voted #1 by Allure Magazine readers), joins in for a half hour segment discussing maintaining a luxury line, the current state of the spa industry, and her unique 9 skin types approach to skincare. She spent a portion of her childhood in Wisconsin, so we're claiming her as a homegirl.

Review: Purely Cosmetics Mineral Makeup

Robyn Bloom's first foray into mineral makeup came at a Los Angeles mall. Succumbing to a makeover for her daughter, she soon found herself paying $60 for mineral foundation, with a brush added for free. The results were so nice on her daughter, she decided to make the hour and a half long drive back to get one for herself. This time it was still $60, but no brush. When it came time to reorder, she tried to save herself a trip and pick it up online - and found it was priced at $85. That's when she took a look at the ingredient list and decided she would tackle the mineral market on her own.

Her company, Purely Cosmetics, celebrates its second anniversary this August, and Bloom couldn't be more pleased. She has focused on a line that incorporates the key ingredients that make mineral makeup such a hit, while leaving out micronized and inexpensive fillers. Why is that important? Mineral makeup is often referred to as healthy makeup due to lack of parabens or other preservatives. Micronized titanium dioxide is a recent, common additive in beauty blends, providing sunscreen and adhesion. However, tests have proven that micronized materials break the blood barrier and can pool in the brain. Scans have shown pockets of titanium dioxide in the brain of participants. While the long term effects aren't known, the presence of makeup on the mind seems far from healthy.

Bloom was also able to tackle the markup issues on the makeup. Purely Cosmetics foundation runs well below the $60 price she once paid. There are a multitude of shades to select from, with a reasonably priced custom blend. It doesn't end at foundation. There is a beautiful array of eye shadows, versatile powders, blushes, makeup brushes and other accessories.

Shipping world wide (read site carefully for details), Bloom sells via her website at www.purelycosmetics.com

Personal Experience:

I try to avoid micronized ingredients, so I was very happy to find Bloom does not use it in any of the products offered.

During pregnancy, I had melasma (skin darkening/reddening) which is quite common. However, it didn't completely go away after giving birth. Because of this I wanted to stay with foundations that provided stronger coverage, and wasn't convinced mineral makeup could provide what I needed.

It took a few tries to get the application to my satisfaction, but here is what I found:
  • The product is buildable, so you can increase coverage with additional layers
  • A silk & pearl primer is also available, which increases staying power
  • You can build this on top of liquid foundation, if needed
  • This product stops the dreaded sheen
  • There is no mottled meltdown, a problem with any other type of foundation
  • The line is very affordable
The shadow colors I tried are very pretty, somewhat sheer. I played with a combination of two colors that reminded me of one of my favorite nail polishes, OPI's Hollywood Blonde

  • Rose Beige (base)
  • Champagne (overlay)
I'm also fond of the burnished copper, cappuccino. Blue violet is a spectacular color that reminds me of a favorite creme eyeliner Max Factor used to make.

One of the best things offered in the accesories department?
These slip right over the bristles protecting them from damage. I've never seen these before and they are invaluable for protecting your investments!

Bloom is offering an exclusive 10% discount on minimum $10 orders for any item on the site, including the new Diamond Finish, through July 15, 2009. Use code sol at checkout (lowercase, case sensitive).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Interview: Makeup Artist Victoria Stiles

What is it like to live your dream as a makeup artist? Victoria Stiles shares the touching story of how she started, where she is today, and where she hopes to be in the future. We laughed, we cried. Read on:

Following is the transcript for the BlogTalkRadio interview with Makeup Artist Victoria Stiles.

At the end is a Bonus section, with three questions answered off-air.

Welcome to Solessence’s Fashion by the Lake on BlogTalkRadio. I’m your host Hillary Fry. Today we’re going to interview Makeup Artist Victoria Stiles. She has been involved in makeup artistry for events, celebrities, print, editorial, fashion, television and film since 1997, she’s pretty much covered it all. In addition she’s an editor at Beyond Beauty Basics, covering major events and launches. Let’s get her on the line.

VS: Thank you for having me

Just wanted to jump right into it and ask you: When you first got the makeup artistry bug, how did that go about? Did it seem like an attainable dream?

VS:When I was growing up in high school, I would always do my friend’s makeup. Robin, who is one of my very best friends, and who is still one of my very best friends, would always let me play on her face, and test out different products, and all that type of stuff. She would basically be my real life doll. Her mother sadly passed about 8 years ago. (Pause, clearing throat) I’m actually cracking up because (clearing throat) this was actually a very sad time for us. Her mother passed about 8 years ago from breast cancer, and she encouraged me to pursue a career in makeup. If it wasn’t for her, I really would never have thought to pursue the career.

So until someone mentioned it to you, it wasn’t even a job opportunity. It was just something you enjoyed doing

Yes. It was always something I enjoyed doing, and she just really encouraged me throughout the process, just said, “This is your craft. You know what you are doing, and people need to know.” (clearing throat) – could we take a break for one moment? I’m sorry…

Sure, of course. While you are gathering your thoughts, I just wanted to mention, going from that point and jumping ahead, you’ve received glowing reports on a shoot you did at the Pentagon with (actor) Gary Sinese. One thing that was mentioned was your integrity, your professionalism. You were working in 90 degreee heat which, with makeup in that kind of weather, is pretty challenging. It has been mentioned on that high of a level your work and your craftsmanship, and it’s beautiful to hear that it started with a friend, that she saw that in you.

Yes, yes. Thank you, I’m a little bit more stable now. I just haven’t talked about that in a very long time, and just talking about that brought back a lot of warm feelings. I just remember her words of encouragement, and they’ve just stuck with me throughout all these years. Honestly, if it wasn’t for my friend’s mother, like I said, I would never have thought to pursue a career, and I’m very thankful to have those words in me. And yes, working with Gary Sinise at the Pentagon was very amazing. He is such a gracious actor, I mean, just what he’s done for the military. He’s got the band called Lt. Dan Band, and he will go overseas and perform and just really get the troops up and together, give them a spirit and everything. He’s a beautiful person.

You had this opportunity to work with him, and it started with someone mentioning that this is what you should do, but how did you actually turn that into reality? Did you know places to start schooling? Are you self-taught? Did you already know someone in the industry?

VS: I would say I am definitely more self-taught. I did not go to a professional school. Growing up, besides working with my friend’s makeup, I would get tips from fashion publications. I think I was the only kid in high school that had an actual subscription to publications like Vogue. I would sit on my bathroom floor and open the magazine and play with my makeup, whatever makeup I had, be it Covergirl, Wet n’ Wild. I would just go to town on my face and practice, practice, practice, and then I started practicing on my friend Robin’s face. So it was just studying the techniques handed down by pros that were printed in the publications, to actually studying the pictures, to taking that and practicing on my face. It was really the very first layer, the basis, to my makeup technique. From there I actually started work with MAC cosmetics and I was with them for about five years

Was this job at a mall?

I worked at one of the freestanding stores (Tysons Galleria in Virginia) and I worked there for about five years. That was really a priceless opportunity, because working with the general public you work with all skin types, all skin tones, all ages, and it’s a great experience. You learn what products work for what skin types, what looks well on this skin tone, that skin tone, what works for this eye shape, that eye shape and that really helped to hone my skills. Through MAC they actually gave us some opportunities to work on larger productions, and I had an opportunity to work on a Cher production that was here at MCI center in D.C., as well as Missy Elliott. So they gave us some opportunities to branch out beyond selling products to consumers

When was the moment that you made the leap, you know, the point where you said, “I’m actually a bona fide makeup artist.”

VS:Well, when I worked with MAC, I had that experience under my belt, and I started doing freelance makeup in 2004, mainly for weddings. It was a couple of years of work with weddings, working on my own, that I started to branch a little bit more out to do more of fashion and beauty and commercial shots and stuff like that. I guess I thought, I came to the realization that this is my career and this is my profession, when I started working with some agencies who booked me out for jobs. I felt like a real, bona fide makeup artist, professional makeup artist, and I could handle just about anything.

Tell us a little about the different types of jobs you’ve had. How does it differ when moving from print to celebrity, or working with an agency?

VS: Being based in Washington DC there is a lot of commercial jobs. I’ve worked on anything from a Wal-Mart print ad, that type of commercial job, to visiting national publications like O Magazine, Glamour Magazine, who were doing basic lifestyle shots of people for articles. Then also television stations, both local and national. I’ve worked with ESPN, who was here for one of the games, and worked with Emmitt Smith and all of the newscasters for the actual segment of the show. There are also a lot of visiting celebrities, especially now with Obama in office - there are all types of events going on. It’s like we are now going to get a name, the Washington D.C, area. We’re now coming into our own and yes, we’re here and we can be hip and trendy too, we seriously can! So there are a lot of celebrity events here now and I get to work on a lot of those as well. (Editor's note: Stiles was also selected as makeup artist for Deborah Norville for the Inauguration Day events)

Do you have a preference for the type of makeup you do?

I love beauty makeup, and I love doing beautiful makeup with pops of color, so I’d say I like to do the fashion editorials, that genre of makeup. I don’t get to book that a lot here in DC. I find I have to travel to New York, which is fine. That would be my preference, but I enjoy doing the clean, pretty makeup for commercial. It gets a little more glammy for red carpet, it’s great. I like the more creative makeup, but don’t get to do that a lot here.

Do you have line favorites or do you mix it all up?

VS: I do have my favorites, my go-tos. I definitely mix it all up. I found a great resource to be able to mix it all up: The Make Up Show in New York. You get to see so many brands and talk to all of these vendors and play with makeup. I think I came back from that show with makeup swatches up to my elbows. The main brands I use, I love Face Atelier foundation. It’s beautiful, especially for print or beauty – that type of photography. It gives a nice skin look and a nice healthy glow. If I need more of a matte look, I obviously would go with something that sets with more of a matte finish, so I use Graftobian as well. Colors, I love pops of color like I was saying. Yaby Cosmetics, which is great (yabycosmetics.com). It’s based in Toronto. She has some new hues (the creator) and she’s also a makeup artist so she understands color. Also with drugstore brands, I love Max Factor Vivid Impact Lipcolor, that is one of my favorite lipsticks right now.

Max Factor?

VS: Max Factor Impact Lipcolor. I love!

But they’re leaving.

That’s what I heard, what’s up with that?

They’ve actually been slowly pulling out of the market (read initial post here). I first realized it a while ago when I went into a store and they didn’t have the product and I thought, “What store doesn’t carry Max Factor?” The sales have slowly eroded. They are doing really well overseas; the founder was originally from Poland. It’s doing really well there but they figured they needed to cut their losses and just pull out of the US. But it’s incredible because Max Factor essentially founded Hollywood makeup as we know it, so to lose them is a big loss to (US entertainment and cosmetic) history.

VS: I definitely agree.

Stock up lady.

(laughs) I plan on it.

Now, this is pretty exciting. There is something you’ve got out that shows your great use of color. You’ve got a fantastic book out. How did you get that started?

VS: Well, it’s a funny story Hillary. I just wanted a professional book to send to my clients, some of my ad clients and even my wedding clients, planners; just something they could have that they could put out on their coffee table, that my name would be on it, that it would be fresh on their mind. So I created a book on a self-publishing site called blurb.com, and it’s a hardback book, and it displays all of the poppy colors. I created this book and sent it out to some of my clients and blurb.com actually ended up putting up as one of their Staff Picks. I thought that was great. From there, a couple of makeup artists got together with me and said, “This is such a great book, we want to promote it.” They happened to be bloggers, started promoting it on their site, and its definitely grown. I didn’t even mean it to go in that direction. It was just a self-published book that I created for my clients and now people are buying it from blurb.com

It’s really nice because 1) it’s showcase your work, 2) it gives people an idea, a way to study your techniques, and 3) it’s just a beautiful book to have out on a coffee table.

VS: Yeah, the cover itself is one of my most striking shots. It’s the one I use the most for icons – I’ve been relating that shot to brand myself. The shot was taken by a very talented fashion photographer in New York, Jaime Nelson, and a lot of her work is, again, poppy stuff.

In terms of what is coming up ahead for people, what is trending in makeup?

VS: One thing that I noticed this February at (New York) Fashion Week for Fall 2009. You automatically think Fall/Winter you think really heavy makeup. It is actually opposite this upcoming season. It was very clean, very pretty, minimal makeup. I actually worked on two shows this past February, Alexandre Herchcovitch and Rad Hourani. Both shows were just clean makeup. Alexandre Herchcovitch did incorporate a little bit of color, just very light color on both the cheeks and the lips. More like a coral, a natural flushed hue. Rad Hourani, on the other hand, was just a very plain face, completely perfect. So the skin was perfected, emphasis on skin, nude colors. It’s an interesting look going into fall. Like I said, a lot of times when you go into fall you do smoky eyes you do vino lip shades and that sort of thing, but it’s definitely more clean this year. So that’s coming up.

So the coral is extending past summer into fall.

It is. It is almost like coral is meshing into fall. I don’t know that it’s like rumors related to the “recession look”, you know, minimalist. I don’t think so. I think it’s just pretty, a pretty look.

Do you touch on skincare at all? You talk about the perfect face. It starts with skin. If your skin isn’t really up to speed, your makeup isn’t going to look that great. Do you have any recommendations?

Yes. Although I’m not a dermatologist, I always encourage my clients to visit with a dermatologist to get a skincare regimen down. A basic skincare regimen would be cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. I love eye cream. I think every woman starting at the age of 19, 20 at the latest, should be using an eye cream. However, I don’t like using eye cream with alpha hydroxy in it – that pulls skin. I like more of a moisturizing eye cream. So, I encourage my clients to visit with a skincare professional, because you are exactly right. If the skin isn’t really smoothed out or the tone of the skin isn’t good, you put on more makeup. And the more makeup the heavier the look. It’s nice to start off with a fresh palette for optimal results with your makeup.

I wanted to ask about the alpha hydroxy. Does that mean you are against chemical peels?

Not against chemical peels, just the alpha hydroxy in moisturizer. They are meant to pull the skin tighter, and I just think, just in my experience with it, it pulls the skin and then the skin will gently release over time. So you are constantly pulling and releasing, which makes the skin loose over time. So I’d rather just have a daily moisturizer when using skin care products, just a moisturizer without the alpha hydroxy around the eye area. Chemical peels are okay. I would say once every few months or so.

For people who are looking to become makeup artist, do you recommend involvement in professional organizations? If somebody is in Kansas, what are they supposed to do?

VS: Well, I really enjoy Michael DeVellis’ The Powder Group. They have Makeup Artist Summits all over the US. Maybe not Kansas, but they are a great resource for artists. They offer pro-to-pro, hands on, workshops. I actually took a workshop last October through the Powder Group at the Makeup Summit. I took James Vincent’s editorial beauty workshop, and going into it I thought, “Editorial Beauty! We’re going to learn all of these creative looks!” Y^ou know, more pops of color, maybe really dramatic eyeliner. He actually focused his editorial on clean makeup. Totally opposite of what I was thinking. But he incorporated some great products to highlight and bring forward the natural beauty of the face, and the end result, it was amazing. And he used very little makeup for it. I think I learned a lot through that, and I think any other artist interested in pursuing a career will learn through these artists, through these presenters through the Powder Group function. It’s a fantastic resource.

I think that’s a great recommendation. In speaking with Billy B, he’s done a lot of work with (Powder Group), speaking tours, and we were speaking about clean makeup. He said “Everyone wants to learn the crazy stuff, but clean makeup is sometimes the hardest thing to do. To really look like you have no makeup on takes a good hand.”

It really does. It takes great precision. Some artists even use a magnifying glass to go over the face.

In terms of personal projects, what do you have coming up?

I have a couple of personal projects coming up for editorial submission. I have shoots at Millbrook Farms. It’s a fashion shoot by a fantastic stylist that was handpicked by a photographer that I’ve worked with. This photographer I actually worked with in Paris last fall. I also have a lot of plans aside from makeup. I just have a love for blogging, and I really want to develop my blog, www.makeupartistbackstage.com. I started doing an insider’s look at beauty and trends, basically through my eyes, what I’m seeing behind the scenes. I’d really like to focus on developing more blog posts that give inspiring makeup artists a look at the industry, how to get into it, and more information on the actual process of everything.

That will be another great resource, and interesting to follow you on your trails too.

VS: It’s a fun and exciting roller coaster ride, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Can you project what you’d like to be doing, say, 10 years from now? Do you have anything specific?

I would say, further down the line, I am based in D.C. and I would like to travel a bit more with makeup. I got a taste of it last fall working in Paris and I absolutely loved it and would like to travel more, experience more. I found that East Coast makeup is very different from West Coast makeup.

How so?

Victoria Stiles with Olivia Thirlby, "Juno"
Just different trends with each. West Coast is high gloss and very sharp photography. East Coast, in New York it’s just this very clean, airy, pretty makeup, very romantic almost. So I’d love to travel a little more, learn a little more on techniques worldwide.

How would people go about booking you for a job?

They can go through my website at www.victoriastilesmakeup.com , and I recently acquired www.victoriastiles.com . Either way they can reach me through my website. I have a contact form they can fill out as well as a direct email address.
Director's Cut: Three Questions Answered Off Air

How did your opportunity come about for the Paris shoot?

A photographer I mainly work with, http://www.nicholasjbara.com, was hired
for the job to work with Melody Gardot. He suggested me to her and her label, Universal/Verve Music Group. I guess they liked what they saw, called me on the last day of NYFW SS09 and asked if I could get on a plane the next day.

Melody Gardot's cd cover - Ad in London Tube

What is your personal skin and makeup routine?

VS:Minimal on both. I use a basic Cleanser, Toner, Moisturizer SPF 15, and Eye Cream -- all from one of my favorite indulgences The Body Shop. Makeup, when I actually wear makeup myself, I use Face Atelier foundation, Graftobian cream blush, Liquid liner, Bad Gal Lash Mascara, and MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick.

Barring the new fall trends, if you could only highlight one, is it lips or eyes?

VS: Classic lipstick shades in true reds, burgundy, and coral.
Victoria Stiles is giving away one of her books, "Makeup Artist". For a chance to be randomly selected, please enter your name, using a valid email address, in the comment box below. Selection will be made July 1st, 2009.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson: RIP ?

UPDATE: Going with TMZ that Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest today. Sadly, the brilliant talent that he was, he will forever be remembered for his love of PYTs.

Starting to lose too many from the 70s and 80s folks!


What a week! For the last hour or so we've been waiting on confirmation of Michael Jackson's status. Some sources are confirming he died at home and couldn't be revived, others are saying he died at the hospital, others that efforts are still being made to revive him.

Farrah Fawcett: 1947 - 2009

Farrah Fawcett has passed away.

Fawcett, suffering from cancer that was detected in 2006, was the ultimate beauty icon for many years.

The poster that changed her life.

She played Jill Monroe, one of the key characters in hit TV show Charlie's Angels. Originally developed as a vehicle for Kate Jackson (Sabrina Duncan), Fawcett catapulted to fame but left after only one year.

There was a bumpy road ahead, both personal and professional. Rumors of a controlling husband were rampant, and Fawcett soon divorced her husband Lee Majors, lead actor of the "The Six Million Dollar Man" series. Actor Ryan O'Neal was to became the love of her life, staying by her side and proposing again the last week of her life. Professionally, she gained critical acclaim in "The Burning Bed" and later tried to tie her love in for art with a provocative video for Playboy. She never quite achieved stardom for her work, but the world continues to be fascinated by her beauty.
Farrah, commonly praised for her "California" good looks, hailed from Texas.
This swimsuit poster, a style commonly shot and sold during the 70s, was one of the fastest selling in the world. The beautiful smile, hair and lack of nipple pads made men of all ages flock to get a copy on their wall. Fawcett went on to represent beauty products and had a necklace created in her name. How I'd love to have one of these!

Rest in Peace, angel.

Update to Submerged Blackberry post

It worked! My Blackberry is pretty near perfect. It should make it to upgrade day. Keep in mind I have the dinosaur side scroll wheel, so the length of life is impressive in itself.

As per original post, I accidentally drowned my phone. Within a few hours of placing it in a sealed plastic bag full of rice, the huge droplets of water that were clinging to the inside of the screen, and the condensation were all gone. I left it in for 48 hours and intermittently returned to the bag and found all traces of moisture had been wicked away. The crazy Rorschach patterns all over my screen were all gone.

What is more beautiful than quality design and engineering? I am once again thankful and impressed with RIM.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

BlogTalkRadio - Makeup Artist Victoria Stiles -6/24/09 11am Central

UPDATE: Victoria is giving away a copy of her book, Makeup Artist: Skin Beauty Color. Leave a comment (be sure to log in with your valid email address). We'll randomly select on July 1st.

Don't forget to check out the interview!

What is it like to live out your dream as a makeup artist? Victoria Stiles will share her tips and tricks for getting into the trade, as well as her personal experiences as a MUA based out of the Washington DC area.

Stiles has worked for events, celebrity, print, editorial, fashion, tv and film since 1997. In addition, she is an editor at Beyond Beauty Basics and covers major events and launches for the beauty industry. Stiles has recently published "Makeup Artist -Skin Beauty Color" showcasing her work.

Hear the Interview Wednesday 11am Central

Victoria Stiles Website
Purchase the Book

Monday, June 22, 2009

Personal Moment: Run like there's no tomorrow

If you have been on this site before, you know that our family loves dogs. If I was smarter, I would also have acted like the media and penned my obits well in advance of the need, way before I had to type through teary eyes.
Our boxer, referred to as my dogter, died last night. She would have been 9 1/2 years old today.

She had suddenly taken a turn for the worst with the high humidity and heat, and I thought I would be bringing her in to be put down. I always thought I would tell my child the truth about a pet dying (or anything, really) but when faced with the possibility of crushing and confusing a 4 year old, I became conflicted. As one person stated, they didn't realize until they were 25 years old that their family pet had not run away. Was it better to say she took off?

After polling this question I got a few hilarious responses on what to say:
  • The dog decided that after many years, he felt he was ready for a change--it's nothing personal.
  • Your father and I haven't been getting along well w/ the dog and we feel that it's best for everyone if we just took some time
  • The dog was adopted by a richer family w/ cuter children. I'm sorry.
  • The dog is serving on a petit jury?
  • Look. Just cite "creative differences" and leave it at that!
After a good laugh I found heartfelt answers that all had the same thread:

Tell the truth. A four year old will understand. It will help shape the child to learn to deal with death.
One person mentioned that if told the dog ran away, the child might be holding out hope that it would one day return. Not one person advocated lying. I don't believe false hope is healthy, and it was comforting to realize that by teaching my son to deal with an issue when it was presented it would help him deal with life in general.

I put that exercise into motion sooner than expected. Our beloved Boxer passed away shortly after my husband came home. A complete daddy's girl, I believe she waited to see him one last time. We then were faced with sending the child back to bed or letting him see his pet. And he wanted to see her.

By the time we all stumbled into the vet, we were sleepy and weepy eyed. They brought us into a room to say goodbye. It may sound creepy, but I feel it brings closure. My son gave her loving pats and kisses. He asked if her spirit would now go into a human body and become a person (he had recently seen the movie Fluke, where a person's spirit went into a dog). In the end, he mostly asked if the doctors would make her walk again and when she was coming home. And I was grateful he felt he could ask.
The vet gave us a book to read, called Dog Heaven. It helped to read about the place where "dogs don't need wings because God knows dogs love running best. He gives them fields. Fields and fields and fields."
My son kept repeating, "fields and fields and fields." I recommend it for any family with dogs.

For the people who share the love of a pet, especially a dog, you understand. We were a four dog family, and this is the first loss our son is experiencing. She was also the first dog to join me and my husband, making us an official little family in 2000. It seems fitting that she is the one to show our son first, how to love, and second, how to grieve. Our boxer was incredible in so many ways. She treated my son as if he were her own, never once so much as growling when he would tumble, ride her like a pony, tug on her silky ears. She had a way of laying down wherever my son was, especially when he was sleeping, as if she wanted to block his possible roll off of the bed/sofa/etc. She was beautiful, very smart, fun and lovingly protective. Thanks so much for being our girl.

Oh No She Didn't: Fetishes

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wet n' Wild - Tales of the Submerged Blackberry

Want to know how it turned out? Here is the updated post.

Want to use your phone in the shower? This is how you do it.

Weeks away from being able to get my freebie upgrade, I slipped my blackberry into a pocket in the stroller and saw it brightly flash. I thought that was odd, but it wasn't until I had to reach back in to grab keys that I realized the pocket was filled with water. That flash of light was the cry of a Blackberry I witnessed drowning.

This wasn't my first. Several years back I was taking a bath and son gave my phone the old Nestea plunge, tossing it in because he thought the phone was a natural appendage, er, I might need it. That phone survived after taking the battery out and letting it dry out overnight. This is also an example of why phone insurance is so handy.

But back to the latest disaster at hand. I was in a panic because I had been trying to locate the cable to download my data. For a replacement cable I had a $29 quote from a Verizon mall cart, $20 Verizon store and then a $2.95 Verizon quote, with none in stock. I found the cable, but decided to get my run done first. What a mistake. It looks like I may have to resort to the phone I had in college. (Originally $14.99 at Target)

Looking back I should have done what I did after the bathtub incident - wait. I thought if I could get the data downloaded before the phone died I would be okay. While the phone sprang to life and started hourglassing toward the familiar, I began to plug everything in. Then it died. I tried to dry it off further. It was such a humid day nothing was working. I propped it in front of a fan. I waited overnight. Each subsequent plug in led to less of a light before it would fail.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, here are the basic steps for trying to save your phone:

  • Immediately dry off the phone
  • Remove and dry battery. Do not insert back in
  • Using towels, cradle the phone and rotate, removing as much water as possible
  • Using a fan or blow dryer on cool setting is an option. Do not use heat, as you need to avoid condensation
  • Insert your Blackberry into a bag of rice to help wick out the moisture. Close bag, keep sealed for 48 hours or more.

Once this period has passed and it seems the phone is dry, reinsert battery. If done before the circuits are dry, you risk shorting out the board.

If you are reading this because you are in the same situation, remember, patience is a virtue.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Auto-Tune#4: toxic soil & jacuzzi version

Auto-Tune the News --- ooooh, dey back

Exceptional fast food and exceptional dance moves. God Bless America!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Expert Corner: "I'm Going to Age Gracefully"

When this reader sent in a request for advice on coloring his grays, I knew straight away I should call in the big guns. My thought is women love a silver fox, but his main goal is to "age gracefully".

Let's see what these top Hollywood style influencers say he should do:


Clinton Kelly (Macys Make Over America and What Not to Wear)

I wouldn't color it. If so, it's practically a lifetime commitment. Also, because it's short it will grow out overnight!

Syd Curry, Celebrity Hair Stylist

His hair looks about like mine.  I'd say
use a level 4 neutral based brown.
Leave on for about 20

Ion Brand at Sally Beauty is one suggestion

Abbey Theis, Nick Arrojo Studios (Oprah, Sebastian Professional Spokesperson)

The best advice is to get a process
called "flying colors" with a color level
that is his natural level but with an ashy
undertone. The flying colors would be
adding back his natural tone so he
doesn't have as much grey, and there
is less obvious line of demarcation
than doing a single process (meaning the re-growth will not be
as obvious). This will ulitmately blend the greys away. Using the
ashy tone will let the colored hair look natural, because warm tones
on men's hair is a big give away that they color their hair.

A special thank you to Clinton Kelly, Syd Curry and Abbey Theis

Review: Huge Lips Skinny Hips

Here is the latest post on the this brand by Purple Lab and Karen Rabinovitz

When I first received my tube of Huge Lips Skinny Hips lip gloss, I was just a smidge skeptical. The taglines for the product include "Double Duty Beauty" and "The Yummiest Lip Plumper Equipped With Hoodia (That's right girls, the appetite suppressant)." Hoodia is widely reported to work well, but in such tiny amounts? More on that later.

I love this product.

  • Packaging: Humourous purple hourglass shaped outer box. Inner clear lip tube.
  • Color: I have Red Shoes. It isn't too dark, and is stunningly complimentary.
  • Feel: There is a slight tingle to the product. Not so much it hurts, but enough to notice.
  • Look: This is a matte/soft sheen product.
  • Wear: Non-stick, no problem with hairy lips (if you know what I mean)
  • Taste: The taste and smell are wonderful. Although there is saccharin involved I also believe one of the natural components is adding to the sensation.
  • Angle: The use of Hoodia is for a reminder, rather than active weight loss additive. The story is if you wear the gloss, you'll remember to watch what you eat.

Formulator Karen Robinovitz has a fun backstory at her Purple Labs website. I'm hoping to swatch these colors, because I feel it is very difficult to judge on the website. There are also many layers to the site, so make sure you rollover to get apt product description, arty movies, etc.

Natural/Organic gals: Even though there are a number of oils, this product does not fall into either category.

Huge Lips Skinny Hips can be purchased at Amazon via b-glowing.

Biting off more than they can Choo? H&M launches luxury accessory collaboration

H&M launches their first accessory collaboration this November with luxury shoe and accessory line Jimmy Choo.

The line will be available to the masses with a limited rollout. Prices will float under the $300 range. Jimmy Choo proper can retail over $1000 per pair.

It isn't all stilettos either. Men will also have an opportunity to afford staying stylish.

Will the public warm up to such an exclusive line going mass (the art of massclusivity)? If past launches of lines in Target, TopShop and the like are any indicator, there will be long lines and sold out success at the end of the day. Mark your calendars, shoppers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The worst LV knockoffs I've ever seen

Yes, they are Chinese.

Above: The Real Deal
Below: These little LEGO Louis Vuitton were created by Chiu Keung.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Syd Curry, Celeb Hairstylist: Assistant Position Available

Due to an exciting two weeks ahead for Syd Curry, my interview with him was moved up to last Friday. I'll have the transcript shortly. Update: Read interview HERE

In the meantime, Syd mentioned he is looking for an assistant. If you are a hair stylist based in the Los Angeles area, have experience with hot rollers, pin curls, anything and everything beyond the "flat iron and blowdry" look, you might have an opportunity to assist the legendary Syd Curry.

Please review his extensive portfolio at sydcurry.com and contact him through his MySpace page to discuss an incredible opportunity.

Spotlight: Teecyle Tim of Teecyle.com & his SXSW Pepsi Win

This is a transcript from the interview with Tim Cigelske. Photo at left by Troy Freund
Welcome Back to Solessence BlogTalkRadio, and right now we’re going to have a little Spotlight. We’re going to be talking with Teecycle Tim (of recycled t-shirt biz, Teecycle) and discuss his winning Pepsi's 60 Second Pitch grant.

Why don’t you give us a little background on your company?

TT: Sure. Well, Teecycle started a little over a year ago, and it's kind of a hobby that evolved into a little bit more. It’s still a side business. I don’t know if I should call it a hobby, or a part-time business or what, but my full time job is at Marquette University, and this is growing bigger and bigger by the day. But the background is, it is just a used t-shirt website. It started off with the idea that I just like vintage, old t-shirts, and I couldn’t believe no one was selling them online in a centralized spot, so I just started with the website and it’s kind of picked up steam ever since.

So did you initially do this to boost your own inventory? Or really was it the intent to resell?

TT: It was a good excuse to get as many used shirts as I could in my house, with the rationale, to my wife, that I would get rid of them someday. And I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t really keep any shirts that I found through this. You know, there are previous shirts in my closet that I wouldn’t get rid of anytime soon. But if I started keeping some of the shirts I gained from this, it would just be game over for our house, because there have been quite a few that have come through the doors, and gone out now, all over the country, all over the world. But the nice perk of it is, I do get to sample the shirts, I do get to wear them, get to model them, get my friends to model them, so it’s a nice little side perk of it.

I think that is one of the fun things about your site, is that you – for people who haven’t visited – you’re putting on these shirts, and you put people in funny modeling situations, then you go all over. How did you come up with that?

TT: Well, when I first started the site I just had shirts on the floor that I took pictures of…

That’s a pretty common format you see (on ebay, etsy)

TT: Right, yeah, pictures of the shirts themselves, and it is really boring. Not just someone visiting the site, but for myself. I’m like “I’m going to get really bored of the business if all I’m doing is taking pictures of shirts on my living room floor.” And I think I first convinced my wife to put them on and go in the backyard. And she had no clue (embarrassed laugh) that her photos would end up all over the Internet. There have been some articles written about Teecycle and they’ve pulled her photo, and it kind of evolved from there. I realized its kind of fun to model tee-shirts all over the city, in all different kinds of situations, and since then we’ve done photo shoots everywhere from Lake Michigan to the Washington Monument to the National Mall in Washington DC to when we go hiking. Just wherever we can just to add an element of fun when you throw in a silly photo shoot with it.

So you’re saying it’s a hobby, but even as a hobby you’ve got a lot of things to do to get it all into an action. Did you have this name beforehand? Was it a nickname into a business, or has the business handle become the nickname?

TT: Oh the Teecycle? The origin of the name, I had some lame name to start with, like The Tee Shirt Recyclery or Shirtcycle or something, and my wife Jess is like, “That’s not going to appeal to many people if you call it that.” I don’t know where it came from exactly, Teecycle. It became my online entity. Merged into one where Teecycle Tim became a way to market Teecycle.

It seems to have all flowed so easily for you. Have you had any real challenges up to this point? You’re getting press, selling shirts.

TT: I guess you hear this from most people who start projects that grow more than they expected it to, but it is more work than I thought. I’ve now kind of reinvented the format a few times. It started out as, well, it was going to be a website first and I thought that was just going to be too hard, so it became a blog. And I’ve changed it from Blogger to WordPress, and now I have my own software, so I’ve migrated it to that. Just some of the format changes and how I have just had to deal with certain things that came up – like shipping overseas. That came up pretty early on. I was thinking, you know, this is a small potatoes sort of thing, and right after I got started it got picked up by a t-shirt blog in San Francisco. I immediately started getting orders from England and I’ve had orders in Australia and Malaysia and, it’s little things like that you didn’t plan or expect in the beginning that you learn to deal with along the way.

Who knew? Now, do you have any outside help at this point, or is your wife working with you (other than in the “unsuspecting model” position)?

TT: (laughs) Yeah, I think we trade me doing household chores for convincing her to model as much as possible. We definitely bartered – you do the dishes and I’ll model for you now. She’s definitely now doing more of the business side of things that I don’t necessarily have expertise with. She has a background in management so it works well with that. But it’s been primarily me, and then an outpouring of support from people who have like-minded environmental ideals on the Internet, and a lot of local business and local organizations have helped us out when they can. It’s pretty encouraging.

Do you have an idea of how many shirts you’ve shipped worldwide?

TT: I don’t know how many I’ve shipped worldwide. I think about 329 total. I keep a running tally on the site, so I don’t know globally, but Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, so a couple more continents to go, but we’re getting there.

You’ll probably hit them, especially after the news of this award. Now, Pepsi thought your simple idea was pretty impressive, and gave your a $4500 grant. Congratulations.

TT: Thank you.

There was a lot of competition for that – why don’t you give us a little background.

TT: Sure. It was kind of just a whim I entered that contest. There was a “60 Second What’s Your Pitch” contest. All you did was call a number and say in 60 seconds or less why you have a business idea that’s both viable from the business side, and has a positive impact on the community. When I got the first email from them I was expecting it to say “You didn’t qualify.” Instead it said “You are a finalist,” in this nationwide contest, and a couple of weeks later I got an email that I again was not expecting that said “You’re the winner”. So I ended up getting a $4500 grant, which is kind of overwhelming for a company whose only revenue has come from selling $7 used t-shirts and donating a dollar of that to a local non-profit. Now, suddenly having a budget. So we have to be smart about what we’re going to use it for and plan on the long term, hopefully, and not just “Oh we have this money now, what should we do with it.”

Will Pepsi offer you any guidance on it or are they just cutting you a check?

TT: No, they are just handing it over, just mailing a check. Fortunately in Milwaukee there is a pretty good budding entrepreneur business organization named BizStarts. I have not been very active with them and I hope to be more active in the future. And because I work at Marquette, it is kind of a nice deal that they are starting a certificate of Entrepreneurship this fall and it’s good timing. I’ve enrolled in that, so during the Fall I might get more business savvy, more business sense to go along with this crazy idea.

You’ve got a real life lesson for the class.

TT: Exactly.

Now, you also mentioned the dollar donation. That’s pretty cool. You are doing green in two different ways: 1) recycle t-shirts, which would normally end up in landfills and 2)donations. Let’s talk about the donations you are making.

TT: When I first started this, a couple of things: I had done river cleanups, we live right by the river, and I wanted to help a non-profit. I’d also read, right around the time I’d started, a great book I recommend to everyone called “Let My People Go Surfing” by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia. It’s a really quick read, but he lays out his business and environmental philosophy and what they’ve done to be as green as possible, an eco-friendly company. And in their goals, they don’t even have to make a profit, they just have to take care of the environment as best as they can, and profits will take care of themselves after that. So I figured if I am using these shirts in one way to be environmentally friendly, I can also give back. So early on I formed a partnership with the River Revitalization Program and donate a buck to help rivers and trails. To date it’s been over $300, and it’s kind of nice.

I read once, I can’t remember who said it, but someone made a comment that you were one company that did so much with so little, and it is true. You said it’s such a little idea, but it has made a lot of people happy, contributing a lot to the area, and, obviously you are getting rewarded back already, so congratulations.

TT: Well I really appreciate it, thanks for the kind words about that.

Visit the site, Teecycle.org, to check out current inventory or donate a gently used shirt.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

E'ry body at the Club getting tipsy

...from reading the *ahem* detailed dress code list from Decibel nightclub in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Is there ANYONE Decibel will let in? They must be trying to avoid patrons getting mocked on this site

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

BlogTalkRadio: Syd Curry, Celebrity Hair Stylist

Next week: radio interview with the talented Syd Curry. UPDATE: Read Interview HERE

Find out how life is down in Aberdeen, where he's set up a new shop, and the projects keeping him busy in New York and Los Angeles.

Syd rose to stardom as Mariah Carey's stylist, and has gone on to coif almost every notable head in Hollywood. To this day he remains a down-to-earth, in demand, talent.

Please leave questions for Syd in the comments box.

Below: Syd styles Patricia Field Show, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Let's Hear It From The Boys: Beauty Commercials

Monday, June 08, 2009

Jay-Z claims D.O.A. (Death of AutoTune)

But how will I get my news?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Dream Stamina, Pt. 1: Shane & Shawn Shoes

Transcript from the Solessence BlogTalkRadio interview with Shane & Shawn Ward of Shane & Shawn Shoes and Boardroom Rock Stars.

Hello and welcome to Solessence Radio. Today we (are talking about entrepreneurial) Dream Stamina, and featuring Shane and Shawn Ward of Shane&Shawn shoes. The second guest is Marc Paez of ManGlaze Nail Polish. But first up we’ve got Shane & Shawn. Let’s get them on the air.

S&S: Thanks for having us.

Thanks for being on today, how are things

S&S: Really good, just making things happen in NYC and happy to be on the radio

Excellent, well I know you’ve got some big news here to share, but first let’s give people an idea on your background. You started off with DETNY, correct?

S&S: Absolutely. My brother and I are originally from Detroit. We went to the University of Michigan, and right out of college (this is Shane by the way)> I started designing shoes for Adidas, for four years, and then Shawn was working at Chrysler. After four years we decided to move to New York to design our own shoe collection, and we decided to call it DETNY, which is a combination of Detroit – New York. The whole concept behind all of our shoes is that we’re taking our expertise and designing functional, super comfortable, athletic shoes in the athletic shoe industry and combining it with our sense of style - which is really hip, cool stylin’, so people out there who don’t think that really hip, beautiful fashion can be comfortable, then they’re mistaken, as you can find out with our brand.

Patented Memory Foam Comfort System

Right and that’s a really interesting combo to put together. You guys really do have some very sexy shoes, and they’ve been seen all over – red carpet, premieres – you’ve really hit the celebrity circuit. From there, you went on to Shane & Shawn Shoes, and, is that a departure from DETNY?

S&S: DETNY was our sport shoe, and all of the ladies told us “you have to design some really cool, sexy heels that are also comfortable,” so when we started making dressier shoes we called them Shane & Shawn. After having DETNY and SS together for about a year, we decided to make everything together to make it seamless and easier and started to brand ourselves. So everything is now SS, whether it is a sport shoe or stilettos.

Why don’t you name some locations where SS can be purchased?

S&S: Right now you can go online at ShaneandShawn.com, Macys NY. We also sell at Zappos.com, Shoes.com, Amazon.com

That’s a pretty good lineup. You know, even though you’ve got the background with design, and the experience, it is still a huge thing to launch your own company. What gave you the guts to do it?

S&S: That’s a great question, because, you know, a lot of people do see my brother and I on TV, in magazines, hear us on the radio – and they only see the glamorous part of it. But actually, starting your own venture, whether it’s in fashion, or whether you want to start your own restaurant or consultancy, it’s actually pretty difficult. You need to make sure all of your ducks are in a row, and I think what really gave us the faith was the fact that we’re both extremely young, we were confident that we would be successful, and we always felt that if we did fail, we could always go back and get a 9-to-5. But without family and a whole lot of responsibility, we felt like it was going to be a great time for us to do that.

So, you had factored in the failure portion as well – and it was still worth it?

S&S: Yeah, definitely. I mean, if you don’t try, you don’t know whether you’ll succeed or fail, and we had enough nerve in us, or were naive enough, to say “Go ahead, let’s go after it”, and it has been great so far. We’ve been full time entrepreneurs, right now, for 6 years, and we’re very, very happy. We tell this joke that if we do fail, we can always go back and live with our mom and she would be the happiest person on the earth if that happened.

Now you mentioned your mom, and you guys are pretty active on Twitter. She has joined you now.

S&S: Yeah, my mom, she’s retired and looking for cool things to do, and we actually set up the account for her and she’s just been hard core in love with Twitter. It has just opened up a new world for her and it’s really doing a cool thing connecting her with a younger generation. The whole idea came about, being her sons, we always received her words of wisdom through text messages, and her cooking tips, and we felt instead of her having to email all of us individually, this would allow her a greater audience and allow others to get some of that uplift that we get on a daily basis. And other people have definitely gravitated towards her, so it’s been fun for her and fun for us as well.

Well she’s really warm, and that comes across. It’s amazing how tight knit of a family you are. Do you have other members working in your company as well?

S&S: Right now we have a cousin so we do have some family, which is really great, but we did have our sister and one of our brothers really active when we first launched the collection.

Now jumping back a bit, you are primarily in the US?

S&S: Now we’re primarily sold in the US, but we do have a couple of accounts in Columbia. That’s really great for us. We do see ourselves as an international brand, and we are in the process of talking to several distributors in Europe.

And as far as your line, who is the contact if someone is interested in checking it out, picking it up for his or her store?

S&S: If someone is interested they should check out www.shaneandshawn.com and also if they want to email they can email at info@shaneandshawn.com

And guys, I feel like we’re sort of racing over the shoes, but can you tell me what’s coming for your Fall line?

Sneak peek Fall '09 - Aqua Marine Mary Janes with Ruffled Satin Trim

S&S: Absolutely. This fall collection is one we’re really excited about. The whole theme is to go more natural, and when I say more natural I mean kinda quieting down the whole bling aspect of the collection and brining in more natural leathers so that the pieces and all of the ornaments and leathers and suedes can be used with multiple outfits, so it is not so specific to the shoe. We have a few booties in the collection that are going to be marvelous. We actually, in our women’s collection, named a shoe after Sherrie Shepard. We found out she’s a big fan and it is a really beautiful bootie that is suede all over with a really cute textile collar. And in the men’s shoes, we have some rock ‘n roll boots that are going to debut and we def think catch everyone off guard. It’s combining really rugged details you’d find in a workman’s boot, but in a sleek European shape.

That’s really interesting [thinking of times I’d worn Caterpillar boots as a statement, but wishing they could be tough and less construction].

S&S: And also keep in mind, stay tuned, because we launched a very small collection of handbags this past spring, but this fall, in August, we are launching the full line of handbags. So watch out, they’ll be really hot.

So they’ll be available in August?

S&S: Yes.

Are you showing anywhere?

S&S:Yes, we’ll be showing at the WSA show in Las Vegas, July 31-August 2.

That’ll be great, I have heard about those bags. That’s pretty exciting; you are expanding, going new directions. But the biggest thing is that you have just launched this huge, consulting portion of your business – Boardroom Rock Stars.

S&S: (laughs) Yes, this is great. We are really, really excited. It’s a cool name. We basically saw a need out there because there were so many people, whether they were students, or 30 something, or 60 something, they were contacting us asking “How did you guys get started?” , “How did you write your business plan?’, “I want to start a business.” Then, when the whole recession hit, there were so many people who were left without jobs, who really started thinking, “I need to not rely on a 9-5 anymore” and they started to contact us. So it was kinda like great timing, because we’d been getting all of these requests, and we found out there was really no where out there where people could go to learn about entrepreneurship and still relate to the people that were presenting to them in a cool, you know, fun way. So we just launched Boardroom Rock Stars, and it is basically where aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs can come and learn how to launch different companies. And Shane and I are not going to be the only ones having courses on our site; we’ll be having many, many other experts coming on, doing online courses, we’ll have different academies, we’ll have 24 hour entrepreneur packages where people can come and email us any time, day or night and they’ll get a response within 24 hours. We’re really, really excited and check us out at www.boardroomrockstars.com

You’re also not necessarily worried about competition; you’re actually offering a course for people who want to start their own footwear line.

Sketching out ideas for 2010

S&S: Yeah! The thing is there is room for everybody. When we first started our own footwear line five years ago, we had two mentors who had shoe companies who helped us day and night. You know, they gave us detailed contacts, they gave us their PR firms, they gave us everything they knew, and we feel the same way about the next generation of shoe designers. It’s that, there is room for them – they may end up being competition, but there is room. And if you have good product, quality product, and you market yourself right, you’ll be successful no matter how much competition is out there, so we embrace it and we want to share the knowledge.

Where do you recommend people start on the Boardroom Rock Stars, as you have different ‘academies’ as you are calling them.

S&S: Yeah, there are different packages, and I think a really good way is to search the courses section and see if there’s something there that is actually in the field you’d like to know about. But we’re going to be adding two new courses every week. If there is nothing there, I would definitely recommend signing up for 24 hour entrepreneur, which will allow them, that’s a monthly package they can purchase, they can email us anytime and we also get on the phone every now and then with them. And the cool thing is we’re doing student discounts, so if someone is in undergrad or grad school and they really want to get a head start on the competition, we give them a nice discount on the subscription. So I would say check out the courses page and check out 24-hour entrepreneur as startup packages.

Do you see people joining up in NY to meet you or keeping it all online?

S&S: Oh absolutely. We not only have people in NY reaching out to us since we launched today, but there are people on the east coast in general, some in DC, that want to meet up with us in person and take on that whole Shane and Shawn academy. So we’re seeing it all today, the feedback coming in at a great rate.

I think that’s actually valuable. We touched briefly on your background, but one amazing thing to note is that you hit your $1 million mark in your third year, so you really do have a good track record behind you. You see a lot of people just starting up consulting services, but you do have the experience there.

Shawn and Dean of University of Michigan Engineering - Alumni Awards - Top 5 in the US

S&S: Thanks. You know, we weren’t born with a silver spoon, we’ve built our company from scratch, and I think that’s what we’ll be able to relate to everyone. If someone is out there thinking maybe they can’t accomplish or get to a million dollar business because maybe they didn’t have a silver spoon, we tell them that’s not necessary. We tell them if you have hard work, a great business plan and great mentors, you can make it happen. And even if you do have a silver spoon and you do have a lot of funding, you still want to be as frugal and efficient as possible. You just don’t want to start throwing money around. No matter what background you’re from, we’ll be able to give you the right tips and right information to be successful.

Do you have any additional news you wanted to share about what’s coming up?

S&S: Shawn and I are working on a collaboration with another footwear company so that we can basically offer the styling and the function that you get with the Shane and Shawn collection but at a more affordable price for the masses. That’s something that people on Facebook and Twitter can definitely be in the know, over the next couple of months, or when we launch.

Do you have a name for the line yet?

S&S: We haven’t worked up a name yet, that’s something we don’t want to say now

I wanted to talk about your MADE episode for MTV

S&S: Yeah that was a lot of fun

You guys look sharp - always.

S&S: Thank you.

You were a good choice. How did that happen?

S&S: Well, someone from MTV productions contacted our publicist and asked if we were interested in making over a young guy in Phoenix, Arizona into a ladies man. Not making him over just psychologically, but with his fashion sense. They thought it would be great, and they brought us out there, it was a 5-week process and we had a lot of fun. I mean this guy, he wasn’t the most fashionable guy in the school, he froze up around the ladies, we def worked on his confidence, and we put him through like a boot camp basically, of being ready to talk to the ladies at anytime. We gave him a nice makeover, hair, eyebrows, he lost 20 pounds because he was overweight and we got him into a nice workout regiment. It was so much fun and I think the episode couldn’t have come off better.

Shane and Shawn with Lydia Hearst

Well now how did you guys get so smooth?

S&S: (laughter) You know what, I think it’s a matter of my brother and I; we grew up in a big family. We have two older sisters, tons of cousins, our mom is really special in our life, and I think that has a lot to do with being confident and being able to express yourself.

You’re so good. Like I said, you’re really inspiring and, it’s nice to have good role models around, you know?

S&S: Absolutely.

Well thanks again, loved having you on and good luck to you guys.

S&S: Thank you so much for having us, and keep in touch. Let’s do it again.

You can add them at Facebook, and follow Shane and Shawn and Boardroom RockStars on Twitter. If you’d like to chat with mom and read words of inspiration, follow her here.

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