Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our First Ever Giveaway: Pucker Up for Mac's Smack

It's only been seventeen years in the making, but today I have my first ever giveaway.....Mac's Smack lip balms + skin care products by McKenzie Payne.

To enter our giveaway for a trio of lip balms + an Ultimate Fix, leave a comment with the phrase "Pucker Up".  As a bonus, tell us about your first kiss.  Check back on Friday when we announce the winner (to be selected by random.org). - THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Congrats, Abby!

I met McKenzie Payne during my first week of high school in ninth grade gym class.  I was the "new kid" in a sea of 14-year-old strangers.  I probably should've been more self-conscious about my size 11 sneakers, but I was too distracted by the fact that my Henrico County standard issue dark green and yellow gym uniform made me look like a moldy pickle.

Enter McKenzie.

McKenzie was the prettiest girl in my gym class (who also knew the secret to at least looking like a cute pickle - rolling the elastic waistband of your gym shorts).  And not only was she pretty, she was also nice. I ran into McKenzie at Staples buying school supplies later that first week of school. She walked right up to me, recognizing me as "the new girl" from gym class, gave a friendly hello and even introduced herself to my dad and nephew.  It was such a small gesture (and a mature one at that), and it was the first time I remember thinking to myself that maybe this whole new school thing wouldn't be too bad.

Flash forward a few years, and McKenzie is still as lovely as ever both inside & out, now with two boys and a mini-empire of skin care products to her name (literally). She's the founder of and force behind Mac's Smack, whipping up small batch balms and soothing skin care products from local and organic ingredients in her hometown of Hanover, Virginia.

I sat down with McKenzie (okay, so we emailed) to ask her a few questions about herself and how Mac's Smack came to be, although admittedly it was sort of hard to type because I couldn't stop slathering my hands in Ultimate Fix.  Seriously, it's the best stuff ever. I want to bathe in it. It's smooth and buttery and smells even better than my favorite Mrs. Meyer's candle.

(My husband stole my Vegan Soother.  You can buy me a replacement here.)

When you were 16, what did you imagine your job would be? 
I imagined I would be a sales representative with a rad surf apparel line.

Where's the strangest/weirdest/most unique place you've lived?
I've lived in Richmond most of my life but I'd have to say the most unique place I've resided would be an old historic house on the bay.  We did a lot of crab catching.  We would sit on the pier with chicken legs tied to a stick catching crabs on the Chesapeake Bay.

How did you get into making lip balms?
I've been obsessed with lip care products since I was a little girl.  I would hound my dad to take me to the store to purchase "lip stuff"...

Fast forward 20+ years, I had these two beautiful little humans who changed everything about me including what I purchased for our family to eat and use on our bodies. Most of the labels I read contained ingredients that I couldn't pronounce and had no idea what they really were. That did not sit well with me so I decided to make products with some real ingredients to improve your skin and do the least amount of harm to the environment.

What was the first thing you made?
I spent a good chunk of time in the kitchen trying to perfect the lip balm formula.  The idea was to create a balm that was long-lasting without leaving a waxy residue.  Once I had the formula down, I introduced the vanilla orange lip balm that I named Luke's Dreamsicle.  We recently shortened the name to Luke's Dream, after my little brother who passed away. A portion of our proceeds goes to a Scholarship Fund in his name that provides financial assistance to those in need.

What's your drink of choice?
Caramel latte. Hot or iced depending on the weather.

If there were a film about your life, what would the title be?
Let Go.

When I say this stuff is magical, I'm not exaggerating.  It's right there on the label.

To enter our giveaway for a trio of lip balms + an Ultimate Fix, leave a comment with the phrase "Pucker Up".  As a bonus, tell us about your first kiss.  Check back on Friday when we announce the winner (to be selected by random.org). - THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Congrats, Abby!

Mac's Smack is currently available in 21 retailers located in Virginia, Maryland & North Carolina, including four Whole Foods. You can also purchase online at macssmack.com.

Thanks, McKenzie!   (And don't forget to enter!)


  1. Pucker Up!

    My first kiss was in 8th grade on the back of a bus on a school trip to Hershey Park. It was with my "boyfriend" (aka we would hold hands sometimes) at the time, and he was the bad boy in class. I believe later he went to juvie!

  2. The first time I REALLY puckered up, I was a freshman in high school, rehearsing for our spring musical. It was GREASE of course, as most school musicals are, and I was playing Jan. I sang a cute little song on stage with the boy playing Roger (a JUNIOR with a CAR, and that was a big deal because I went to an all-girls Catholic high school and he went to a PUBLIC school), and then our director made us really kiss. Like, there was tongue and it was gross/awesome.

  3. Look, so, I was a REALLY aggressive 14-year-old, and I was really in love with a very nerdy young man named Andrew. WE were in love, it should be said, and he was great at being in love, but he was REALLY terrified of girls in general. Lots of poetry, lots of mixtapes (this was 1997), lots of long phone calls, and NO ACTION.

    Obviously, being nerds in love, we signed up for one of my school's awesome summer programs, Field Geology, which included a 3-week trip to see our country's great geological features from Wyoming south to the Grand Canyon. On our first night of the trip, after a 3-hour flight and a 9 hour drive sitting next to each other sweating in a fifteen-passenger van (WHY did we fly into Salt Lake City to drive to Yosemite!?! I don't know.), and some weird dinner at the hotel we were staying at, I excused myself from my hotel room (which was a cabin, this being Yosemite) and hopped over to his. Wouldn't you know it, his roommate was MIA. So we sat. awkwardly. on the bed. next to each other. and didn't kiss. But then his roommate came back, shit! So I excused us to the moonlit, gravel lane among the cabins and WENT FOR IT, braces on braces, and it was not bad! He participated! I was so pleased!

    Then the next day, after the National Park, back in the van, he broke up with me. Too much, too soon. I never did learn, but he did stop freaking out, and we managed to date for maaaaybe 3 months at a time, off and on, for the next four years. Oh, Andrew.

  4. Pucker up!

    My first kiss was in 9th grade. That year I took a sudden interest in taking our dog for walks where I could bump into the boy I liked who lived down the road. It was love.

  5. The first time I puckered up was in 11th grade (helloooo late bloomer!) with my about-to-be boyfriend Mike. He bet me a dime that no matter what I did I couldn't get him to kiss me. I used very G-rated feminine whiles to try and score that kiss, and had just given up when he leaned and smooched me and told me I won. After that, he would always hide dimes in a borrowed book, in my school bag, etc and I thought it was about the cutest thing ever.

  6. Pucker up!

    My first kiss happened after church when I was 7 years old. The neighbor boy kissed me on a dare! I will never, ever forget THAT!

  7. Pucker up! How sad that i dont remember my first kiss!

  8. Pucker up!

    I was in middle school. I had the cutest little italian boyfriend. His name was Gabe. We kissed on my friend's front lawn. I was so embarassed. It was magical (not)

  9. Pucker up, baby!! My memory is killing me.. I had two kisses around the first time, but don't remember who was first!! oops

  10. Pucker up!

    First kiss was in stairway in elementary school from a boy who used to kiss all the girls! ;)

  11. Pucker up!!
    My memory is failing me on my first kiss since it's been so long!

  12. Pucker up! My first kiss was in a cabin at a spring youth retreat when I was 14. His name was Thomas, and I was a little embarrassed b/c I wasn't used to kissing (especially with tongues). We wrote (long!) letters and sent mixed tapes back & forth for 3 months, and then were super awkward when on a teen adventure camp trip together that summer. We made out once, and then he asked me on a walk and broke up with me. We later became super good friends, and laughed about all that.

  13. Pucker Up, little pickle!

    My first kiss came during a field trip with my Gifted class to Dauphin Island. It was with my boyfriend of the time (an "older man" in the eighth grade: scandalous!); I crept into his dorm room and went for it- and it was the most closed-mouth, awkward thing you could possibly imagine. I immediately ran away, broke up with him the next day, and spent the next two years referring to to the poor boy as "Lizard Lips". We ended up sitting next to one another in Geography, however, and made amends (turns out it was his first kiss, too, which YOU'D THINK I'd have known at the time...)- although he DID slap me with the moniker "Monkey Mouth" to make things even.

  14. Pucker up!

    First kiss was at Golden Skateworld. Enough said.

  15. Pucker Up! Love Mac's Smack!

    First kiss was in 7th grade in between classes. The teacher on hallway patrol was not thrilled and we both were late for our next class.

  16. Pucker up sweetie!!!

    My first kiss was in the backseat of a car with my best friend from preschool. We were in our booster seats and he leaned over and gave me a big SMOOCH on the lips. I was horrified, especially when he proudly announced, "Look Mommy, I'm kissing Devin!"

  17. Pucker Up!

    NO need for the ducky lips; just give your lucky lips a smack from the Mac!

  18. Pucker Up!!! You know I always wished I had this remarkable first kiss story that I could tell my imaginary children about, but unfortunately I do not. I actually do not recall my first kiss… talk about a “dear diary” moment right?!? I do however remember the loves I have had and lost, but what has always remained by my side through the good and bad times is my love, no my obsession with lip gloss! Having developed super sensitive lips over the last 5 years I am eager to test out this naturally based product line. Who knows, maybe they will help to inspire a real “dear diary” moment ;)


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