Becoming a Balm-Shell: Interview with Pin Up Balms Creator Henriette Burbank

Creating the perfect pucker may seem as easy as applying cherry Chapstick, but with hundreds of products that promise smooch-worthy lips that would even make Angelina Jolie pout, how can we choose which tube will leave us feeling oh-so-seductive? The secret to a sexy kisser is merely taking a step back in time. With a little help from Mother Nature, native New Yorker Henriette Burbank founded Pin Up Balms, a delicious collection of all-natural lip balms made with soothing ingredients, such as avocado oil and vitamin E. Pin Up Balms are packaged in retro slide-top tins, adorned with gorgeous bombshells, inspiring us to reveal our inner sexpot with silky lips that are worth smiling about. They come in over 40 irresistible flavors, ranging from white chocolate raspberry to margarita magic. Burbank took the time to talk to us from her California home on creating Pin Up Balms.

How did you become involved in creating lip balms?
As a child, I was always mixing up some type of concoction with my grandmother in the kitchen. Back then you didn’t throw anything away! We melted lipsticks that had reached the end of the applicator and got at least a month’s worth of use out of it.

With beauty and fashion always being so forward moving, why did you choose to create a lip balm line that takes its cue from yesteryear?
I wanted to re-capture the nostalgic essence of this treasured era, so I combined the classic pinup artwork of the 1940’s with natural cosmetics to embody the fun and sass with sophistication of the slide top tin, thus the evolution of Pin Up Balms. It was homage to my mother, whose classic style has always been an inspiration.

What makes your lip balms different from anything else that shoppers can find in a department store?
Our lip balms are made with a lot of love. No balm leaves the line before its time. It’s a celebration of womanhood on all levels.

What are some ways shoppers can have gorgeous, healthy pouts?
What I want to emphasize is moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize! The cellular layers of skin on our lips are very different from the skin on the rest of our bodies. Our lips do not have any oil secreting glands, which generally help the body provide a natural layer of protection. Our bodies need water, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids to keep your skin hydrated. Don’t forget vitamin B2; my grandmother swore by it! We lived on avocados, watercress salads, and homemade yogurt. I recommend that you dab on a bit of lip balm everyday before you apply lipstick. Our beeswax lip balm not only creates a moisture barrier, but it also prevents lip staining, making lipstick easier to remove.

Talk about some of the ingredients that are used in your lip balms. How are they beneficial?
Pin Up Balms uses a conditioning formula that contains five natural ingredients: avocado oil (an organic UV protectant), beeswax (a natural emollient), apricot kernel oil (good for hydration), Vitamin E (a natural antioxidant), and our proprietary natural blend of flavor oil.

Out of all your lip balms, which one would you say is your favorite and why?
I love all of our balms, but I would have to say that Love That Lemonade holds a very sentimental, ‘pull out the handkerchief wipe the tear away’ place in my heart. What do you do when life hands you lemons? You make lemonade flavored lip balm. That’s just what I did.

You’re originally from New York City, is this true? If so, when and why did you decide to leave the city?
I was born in Brooklyn and we moved to Long Island when I was in the second grade. Leaving New York was very difficult, the early ’90s were rough on the economy and particularly in NY with the stock market crash and retail giants toppling. I honestly never dared the thought of leaving New York, but when I went to visit my sister who was an officer in the Navy stationed here in San Diego, I fell in love. La Jolla reminded me so much of Long Island although things moved at a much s-l-o-w-e-r pace. Meeting my husband who was in the Marine Corps, stationed here in San Diego, basically solidified the decision to stay and make a new home here.

Why are all things vintage in style?
We have proven in history that ‘what’s old is new again.’ This has been amplified time and time again as we explore the various so-called ‘trends’ that can be characterized as a ‘blast from the past.’ Vintage style is classic; it’s heroic and the possibilities are endless.

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