Fashion Friday Spotlight: Midnight Magic and Lingerie Trends

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This week I had the opportunity to interview Robin Molyneaux, the owner of a local lingerie business, Midnight Magic. Midnight Magic is a great little store in St. Albert, Alberta, which carries everything a specialty lingerie shop should: bras ranging from sizes A – N, a variety of cup-sized swimwear, nursing bras, mastectomy bras, shape wear, and men’s underwear. With a focus on excellent customer service, great quality product, and a wide selection, Midnight Magic is a great place to shop for all of your lingerie needs. I also snapped some photos of a bit of product they have in store, so check out the interview and take a peek in store or on their website to see some amazing items for every size.

 

I would love it if you could give me a brief history and introduction to Midnight Magic

January of this year we are 20 years in business now. We started off just selling lingerie from regular to plus sizes. We sold our first bra and thought, “well I guess we should sell bras”. We have now become one of the top sellers for mastectomy bras, as well as selling bras up to an N cup. We do both small and large cups, but have a wider range of larger cup sizes, as well as cup-size swimwear in larger cups. We’ve really branched into mastectomy, and we are AADL approved, we have been involved in various charity work, fundraising, as well as a big supporter of breast cancer research. It’s been really fun to see the development and change of a small business.

 

You carry a huge range of product! Could you highlight some lingerie trends you have available in your store for the coming season?

We are back to pink hues, lots of lacy pieces, as well as bamboo fabric, which is soft and sensual feeling. It also makes a big difference who is doing the shopping, whether it’s the man or the woman doing the shopping. As well, many women are looking for boudoir pieces so they are going for more corsets to get that edgy look. I find there are also a lot of grey pieces coming in. There are also a lot of blue pieces arriving, and in the fall we will see the deeper, vibrant tones of navy and deeper blues. Red is becoming more of a basic in fashion versus a fashion colour, and for many people red bras are the new neutral. Back-seam stockings are also very popular, as well as garter belts with hold-up stockings, which is very vintage inspired. A social trend would be that more men are coming into the stores, not only shopping for women, but also purchasing the product we carry for men in the store.  When they come in though, they say “give me a dozen!” and then they’re out of here, no lingering or shopping around in here.

 

What are your recommended products for Valentine’s Day?

We often suggest pieces that are easy to fit, like a chemise. If a man comes in to shop for lingerie, a chemise is an easy piece to purchase. We also have cup-sized lingerie which is great for a larger bust, like an H or an I cup. We also suggest the variety of massage oils we carry, that is a huge hit for Valentine’s Day. Another popular piece would be our stockings and garter belts, many men come in to purchase those as gifts. If someone is having trouble picking something out, or isn’t sure of sizes, a great idea is a gift card. Of course, it’s a good idea to give one of our gift cards with something else to wrap it in, like a massage oil or a pair of Hanky Panky underwear. And then go pick up that bottle of wine – an absolute necessity.

 

What are your most popular items in your store?

Definitely the Hanky Panky underwear, as well as the Saxx and MyPakage underwear for men. They are our most popular for sure. Of course, our bras are extremely popular, especially since we carry a wide range. For lingerie, I have to say chemises are very popular, especially in chiffons or fabrics that aren’t very clingy. Chemises that come in a stretch lace are also very popular.

 

I hope this post has inspired you for your Valentine’s Day shopping, or to get that specialty lingerie for your next boudoir shoot!

 

 

 

Pink Champagne

The following is the story of a heroic, brave, and inspiring woman who battled breast cancer. Every woman has her own story of how breast cancer has affected their lives, here is hers. You can see the pictures from her photoshoot here.

 

Pink Champagne

By the time this post is up, I will be celebrating my 2 year cancerversary (a term coined by survivor Hollye Jacobs).  Yay! Let’s drink pink champagne!

My chemo and radiation treatments ended in October 2013, and so did using the “cancer card” whenever I wanted to get my way.  Using the cancer card was a technique I would “occasionally” utilize to guilt my family into getting my way. The classic phrase that stems from me having cancer is this one: “Can you get that for me?  I have cancer.”  Yeah… all manipulative triumphs come to an end and thankfully so has my treatment. My cancer adventure endured through some 15 months of treatment and included 2 surgeries, 6 rounds of chemo cocktails, 30 radiation treatments and 6 months of bizarre reactions to hormone therapy.  And I drank no champagne during the adventure either. Sigh.

In all honesty, my cancer adventure would have been unbearable had it not been for my neediness to lighten things up, laugh, enjoy copious amounts of Starbucks CDL and whine about our ridiculous health care system in this country and province.  Not allowing myself to wallow in self pity gave my family license to laugh with me, make fun of me and, ultimately, gave us all the strength to take on the gravity of this horrible disease.  My positivity and sense of humor helped me journey through circumstances that were beyond my control. Oh, and when I say sense of humour, it doesn’t mean that I am funny, witty or quick with a comeback.  Quite the contrary, but I always looked for the funny side of things, and my family members who are funny, often had me in stitches.  Thank-you family.

THE DIAGNOSIS

After turning 50, I began treating myself to an annual mammogram.  Gotta love menopause!  For 4 years, my results always came back clear and I expected nothing less as I didn’t have any of the typical risk factors in my life. That fall, as I expected, my results came back clear and I was sailing into November and a lovely autumn…my favorite season.  A few weeks later, I noticed the lump when I was adjusting “the girls” to strike the upward salute yoga pose in my bra (versus downward dog, the place they naturally were drawn to go).  I knew that lump wasn’t there the day before, and now suddenly there it was.  I had just had a clear mammogram weeks before, it couldn’t be cancerous.

Fast forward 10 days later, I finally see my doctor as the damn lump was still there.  I was so hoping it would disappear, but that gut feeling deep down inside told me it just wasn’t going anywhere.  It was a whirlwind after that.  Another mammo, ultra sounds, bone scans, more biopsies and needles galore impinging my precious booby. Then the unforgettable call from the doctor, “I am afraid I have bad news, you have breast cancer. Blah, blah, blah, blah.”  I never heard another word after he said the c word, “cancer”. I was scared to pieces; a co-worker had recently passed away from breast cancer. However, my husband and I cried for all of 5 minutes and then we determined to kick this shit to the curb.  We must celebrate our strength!  After a glass of pink champagne of course.  My husband drinks whisky.  No bubbly for him.  More for me.

I learned that one should never have cancer in December.  There apparently isn’t a doctor who treats cancer in our city, province, or country who works from December 15 through to January 15th.  I guess that’s because cancer doesn’t grow at Christmas time. Seven weeks after my diagnosis, I am finally in surgery for a lumpectomy. It didn’t go well. Three weeks later, I had to do it all again, as they didn’t get clear margins. Lumpectomy to chunkectomy. My original diagnosis was stage 2.  Waiting 7 weeks for surgery with an angry tumor growing like a Kardashian tweet, catapulted my cancer to a stage 3B now with lymph node invasion.

How did I get cancer anyway?  Every patient asks that question, wanting to assign blame somewhere.  My cancer began manifesting, according to my cold and unfeeling oncologist, more than 10 years prior to being diagnosed.  She said contributing factors to my cancer were likely stress and bad luck.  WTF – bad luck? I had none of the risk factors (genetic, environmental, etc.) and considered myself relatively healthy. Other than the occasional indulgence of pink champagne, plain champagne, champagne with hibiscus flower, champagne mimosas, Kir Royale, Prosecco and my addiction to Starbucks, I had no bad habits.  Cancer was so not on my radar. And neither was bad luck.

 

THE TREATMENT

I lost my hair, my finger nails, toe nails, sense of taste and really missed my eyelashes and eyebrows.  We (my family) celebrated the hair loss with a buzz cut party! My cousin (hairdresser) was on the phone guiding the process! After it’s buzzed off, you have to “bic” it she said.  Bic razor. Oh yeah.  We all played with the wigs and joked that my future son-in-law and I had the best bald heads in town.  There was no more pink champagne in my life during this part of the adventure. I became addicted to bubbly Perrier water instead!

As my treatment progressed, I wanted to distract my mind away from the challenges of chemo and focus on something important.  Renovating our basement! The timing to get reaaaally nice stuff was NOW.  I may have abused the “cancer card” just a little during this time, but hey, I now have Swarovski drawer pulls and door knobs in my bathroom.

Life returns. The fear subsides. My hair grew back, albeit slow, dark and curly!

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MY SUPPORT SYSTEM

I had the most incredible support in my family.  My mother came from 1000 kilometers away to wait on me hand and foot.  Besides my family, I had friends, neighbours, and congregations of people I didn’t even know, call me, write to me, and send me cards and prayers.

My step daughter ( a nurse), actually moved in across the hall from my bedroom and literally got up in the middle of the night to ensure I took my meds and to check my totally attractive drains and tubes and other oozy things coming out of my booby – things that don’t seem to faze nurses or step daughters.  My other step daughter is also a nurse, who at the time chose to do an intern round at the Cancer Institute to help me in my adventure.  I received great care from them, but not so much from our health care system.  Lesson learned – be your own advocate, don’t ever back down.

Cancer is a long adventure and it was vital that I had my husband, children, step children, sons in-laws, parents and siblings as my adventure companions.  They made me laugh, they made me puke bucket kits, made me meals, made me drinks (Perrier & lattes), made me addicted to Downton Abbey and Scandal (thank-you by the way), made fun of me and made me so proud they are a part of my life.

 

THE TAKEAWAY

People often ask what did I learn or take away from this experience.  First, I say that a positive outlook and a sense of humour do not curb or cure cancer, but it certainly empowered and distracted me from ever dabbling toward a pity party.  Misery is an option.  Cancer doesn’t make you what you are, but it will reveal who you are.

Second, I take nothing for granted, and I have stopped obsessing and complaining about all the little stuff.  It doesn’t matter if my kitchen is vacuumed today – although it would be nice if I had new cupboards in it, and maybe a sparkly bar fridge for champagne at just the right temperature!  I am grateful on a daily basis.  Not perfect, but grateful. My outlook continues to be positive, my spiritual life continues to grow and my focus on healthy living continues to improve.  I am not running marathons, climbing mountains and travelling to Bali to see if there is healthier food there.  Although I would love to go back to France and this time visit the Champagne region. I imagine they have really healthy champagne there with mountains for me to climb to get to it.

Really, what matters more now than ever, is spending time with my beloved family and treasured friends. To love well and fully, leaving God to do the heavy lifting.

I used to be particular about how things looked – from my house to my wardrobe to my yard to my weight.  Now, I am obsessed with spending time with my family.  I used to put job, house work and yard work ahead of everything, not as much now.  Things still get done, but after I re-charge and spend time with family.  I still wish my house were cleaner, my yard with fewer weeds, and that I had the body of Jane Fonda, however, those are fun wishes, not toxic obsessions.  I am enjoying loving the first of, hopefully, many grandchildren to come.  Our new grandson has brought me much laughter and a sense of hopefulness…life goes on.

There is a reason I have been given the gift of waking up today and it is the gift to share and celebrate life and love.  Until the last breath I take, I pray I will always see the positives in life and love – and enjoy toasting them with a perfectly sparkly glass of pink champagne!

-Cheryl Lovich

Breast Cancer Awareness Photoshoot

I had the pleasure of spending a warm September afternoon photographing a strong, and beautiful breast-cancer survivor. Our photoshoot together was filled with laughter, warmth, and happiness. We weren’t just celebrating her triumph, we were celebrating her journey.

I arrived at her beautiful country house in the early afternoon. She wasn’t ready for me yet as she was preparing an early dinner for her husband and family who were all farming. Without batting an eyelash she had me set up with space to do her makeup, a glass of water & snack, she quickly showered, and managed to not burn her dinner. This is a woman who is in control and doesn’t let things slow her down. Including cancer. While she had no control over how her body responded to treatments or if she would ever recover, which she told me was one of the scariest parts of breast cancer for her – she did have control over her attitude. She tried to carry on as normal as possible during her treatments, and kept a healthy and vibrant sense of humour. You can read about her journey here, where she writes a blog post in her own words, reminding us all that laughter is, in fact, the best medicine.

After a quick makeup session that had her dancing in every mirror in her house, we set off around her farm and the country side to photograph her victory! Here are the results of a very memorable afternoon with this remarkable woman.

Mastering the Boudoir Booty

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You’ve taken the plunge and booked a boudoir photoshoot. You’re excited and your head is filled with fantasies of your pictures looking somewhere between Playboy and Victoria’s Secret cover models. You envision your hair blowing in the wind with your body loosely draped in flowing chiffon, your skin glowing, your eyebrows on point and the battle is strong between your come-get-me lips and your too-hot-to-handle eyes. Somewhere during your fantasies of being on the cover of a hot romance novel, reality dawns on you – someone is going to see your bum! Panic sets in, you make an appointment with a squat doctor in hopes of whipping your tush into action, but how can you possibly get your bum from flap jacks to a shapely behind in just a few weeks? Relax! With a few simple tips you can rest easy about your booty on the day of your photoshoot.

Tip 1: Exfoliate

Dry scaly skin is never attractive. Your photographer can only do so much with retouching skin textures before you start looking inhuman, so scrub those dead skin cells the day before or the day of your photoshoot. Don’t cheap out and use your face exfoliating scrub just because it’s already in your bathroom cupboard. Splurge and get an exfoliating scrub that is designed for your body to ensure a soft rump. Many spas and salons will also offer a scrub treatment where they exfoliate you while you lay down and relax. I only recommend this spa treatment if you have no issues with being touched.

Tip 2: Moisturize

Maybe it goes without saying that you should moisturize your skin, especially after you exfoliate, but avoid lotions that are greasy or leave residue. I recommend moisturizing at least an hour before you head to the studio to avoid leaving lotion stains on the chairs and satin sheets. Talk to your photographer about using moisturizers with a high sheen. If you have a favorite lotion that is designed to make your legs shimmer, informing your photographer will help her adjust her lighting to avoid hot spots or glare on your legs in the photos.

Tip 3: Avoid Tan Lines

Tan lines are very difficult to remove in post processing, some photographers will even refuse to attempt to retouch tan lines – so it’s best to avoid them. If you plan to tan or a spray tan before your photoshoot try and avoid undies to eliminate the dreaded tan line on your rear. Makeup can sometimes help even out a tan line. Most photographers, like myself, offer a professional makeup artist with boudoir sessions, so ask your makeup artist to try and soften the lines with makeup. At All Things Pink Photography we use airbrush makeup which helps. Makeup can also be applied to your rump to minimize the appearance of bruises, pimples, and stretch marks.

Tip 4: Make Friends With Your Photographer

A good photographer has all the tools she needs to ensure your booty looks its best. Lighting techniques can sculpt a tush to appear larger or smaller so it’s important to let your photographer know how you would like your rump to be showcased. Posing can also alter the look of your rump. Arch your lower back if you want your rump to appear fuller. Remember, the closest body parts to the camera will look larger, so if you want a smaller rump push your tush or hips away from the lens.

Finally retouching is another tool in your photographers belt to help your rump. Don’t worry about bruises, cellulite, stretch marks, scars, or pimples; your photographer can zap those away. It’s important to communicate to your photographer what concerns you have so she can help you achieve the look you want. We want you to look your best and love your photographs so anything we can do to help, we do it!

Tip 5: Relax! Love Your Booty

If you’re tense and self conscious of your booty, it will show in your pictures, especially since we tend to ‘clench’ when we’re tense. Relax and let your bum be its beautiful self. Don’t worry about how you look, that’s your photographers job. You just need to show up, take direction, and feel beautiful.

 

 

Fall/15 Trend: 1970’s

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This spring we saw an incredible 1970’s influence in the fashion world, especially with bohemian festival wear. This fall we will see a continuance in the 1970’s trend, but a bit more chic and tailored than the summer trend. Think earth-toned outfits of mixed patterns and textures, suede boots and jackets, and chunky statement accessories. There will still be an influx of floral garments, but a contrast of geometric patterns and blunt lines will also be popular.

 

Key Pieces to Invest In

For the fall, these are the pieces you will want to have in your closet:

  • Bell-Bottom Jeans These will be a great casual staple this fall and winter. Get a pair in dark denim to keep it sleek, and faded blue denim for a more relaxed look, or have some fun with earthy-coloured denim. You may have the urge to raid your mother’s closet for these, but there will be many amazing options in store as well!
  • Chunky Platforms – Really any sort of platform will do here, or an alternative would be a stacked, sturdy heel. I suggest a clunky version of the penny-loafer, a knee-high suede boot, or an ankle boot.
  • Long textured jacket Fur is in again! There are so many great faux-fur or vintage fur options. Another textured option would be patchwork, tweed, or suede.
  • Wide-Leg Flared Trouser A wide leg trouser is the perfect piece for just about any woman. They lengthen legs and create a longer silhouette, and are great for the office. Any neutral colour will do here, and a herringbone or tweed weave would perfect these trousers even more.
  • Chunky Accessories – Look for necklaces with big geometric beads, blunt and square handbags, and geometric bangles and earrings will be great accent pieces.

 

How To Style

Styling your fall outfits doesn’t have to be hard, just stick to neutral, earthy tones with statement accessories and you will be fine. It will be easy to go overboard with the ’70’s inspiration, so be sure to pair your outfits with modern garments to keep your style up to date.

Casual – This is the perfect time to break out those faded bell-bottom jeans. Pair with your favourite t-shirt and converse shoes to keep the retro vibe. No need for accessories here!

Office – Pair a wide-leg trouser with a matching vest and a light-coloured flowy blouse. Keep the accessories light, but feel free to pair with those great penny-loafer platforms to keep you looking sleek.

Cold Weather – This is where the amazing duster coat comes in! Pair your jacket with knee-high boots, a suede skirt and turtleneck to keep warm. Don a wide-brimmed felt hat and chunky necklace and you’re good to go.

Going Out – Any sort of retro style micro-mini dress will work here, but bell sleeves will be a great thing to look for in a dress. Stack up those bangles, load on the necklaces, and add in some earrings. Candy-coloured eyeshadow with a bold cat eye and a neutral lip will be the perfect makeup for your evening, and any platform shoe will make an incredible outfit.

 

The 1970’s fall trend is going to be an easy one to style and incredibly fun to wear. Be sure to invest in classic pieces that will last to keep your peace and love lasting through the years. And if you dig the ’70’s as much as I do, book a 1970’s themed photoshoot with your photographer!

 

Lingerie for the Wedding Season

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We understand planning a wedding is hectic. There are a million different things to think about – photographers, menus, and gowns, just to name a few – and lingerie is no exception here. Luckily, we love lingerie and have some suggestions for all the moments when you will be relying on your lingerie to make you look your best!

 

1. Boudoir Photo Shoot

Many brides love to give their fiancé a special gift of photos from their boudoir shoot, and this is a very exciting time to wear lingerie. Basically anything goes in this part of your wedding season – have fun with it! Wear pieces that show off your favourite features, from the silk chemise to your fiancé’s go-to button down shirt. For a guide on how to shop for your boudoir shoot, check out this post, and be sure to ask your photographer for recommendations, as they will probably have some great ideas for you!

 

2. Rehearsal Dinner

You will most likely be all dolled up in a cute and fun dress this evening, trying to forget all the stresses of the coming wedding day. This is a great opportunity to wear lingerie that makes you look like you’re calm, cool and collected. I suggest opting for a slip underneath your dress to make you look sleek, smooth, and to minimize lines under your garment. And remember, just because it is a slip doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There are so many options here, but as a soon-to-be bride I highly suggest going for classic white silk with lace trim to keep up that bridal theme.

 

3. Wedding Day

The lingerie you wear on your wedding day will depend on the gown you have chosen. Overall, something supportive, strapless, and low-back is what many brides are looking for underneath that princess gown. I suggest going for a seamless, shaping bustier paired with some shaping underwear if you are looking for firm structure. If you’ve purchased a gown that fits you like a glove and don’t need structure, splurge on a pair of delicate, lacy white or skin-toned knickers to treat yourself.

 

4. Honeymoon

Your honeymoon is another great way to pamper yourself with lingerie. I recommend going all-out with this, and treating yourself to everything from a soft new white negligée for sleeping in to an ultra-sexy playsuit – and of course you’ll need all new bra and panty sets to show off to your partner! Keep in mind your honeymoon destination while shopping, and opt for lingerie that suits the location, for many that means keeping it light and cool while they relax in a hot and sunny location.

 

 

Organizing a wedding can be hectic, but hopefully these tips have answered a few of your questions and given you a ton of inspiration for your wedding lingerie collection.