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K.I.S.S (Keep it Simple and Stylish)

keep your style simple and keep it pushing!

Category Archives: Hair Care

It won’t be long before every household is using KEssentials bath and beauty products-curing one ashy body at a time! 

KEssentials Founder Kattiann Samuel

We first met Kattiann Samuel and her fantastic all natural bath products a little over a year ago and it seems that Samuel is well on her way to fame and fortune!  Within the last year Samuel states that not only has she maintained her loyal client base but she’s also acquired new customers most notably comedian Donnell Rawlings.

Rawlings, who is most famously known for his appearances (Ashy Larry) on the Dave Chappelle Show, met Samuel on Facebook where Samuel, who is a huge fan, jumped at the opportunity to present Rawlings with her amazing products!  At his girlfriend’s urging Rawlings sampled a few products from KEssentials’ bath line and he was hooked!

. . . Donnell tried the scrub in the shower and upon completion of trying these magnificent products he ran out of the shower butt naked and glowing (from the scrub) to call Kattiann to commend her on her product line . . . ”

In fact, Rawlings loved the products so much that he decided to work with Samuel on creative branding for a special line of products named after his popular stand up performance titled Ashy to Classy.  The first products from the line include a balm specifically designed for men with bald heads and an exhilarating scrub called HEAD (Rawlings’ favorite).  The products come in an array of aromas including: Mandarin coconut, lavender basil, lemongrass sage, midnight pomegranate and mango.  For full effect there is also a lip balm called Lip Service which comes in Caribbean coconut.

Rawlings and Samuel are currently working on new products for the line which are sure to be as successful as these two creative entrepreneurs.  Purchase these products and more online at

More about Donnell Rawlings

Donnell Rawlings, a D. C. native,  always knew he had a  knack for making people laugh even at an early age, but it wasn’t until he accepted a challenge to get on stage at a comedy club after heckling other comedians that he realized his true calling.

Courtesy of Blake Sunshine

Fifteen years later, Rawlings is still leaving audiences in stitches worldwide. For more information on upcoming dates for Donnell Rawlings visit his website at and follow him on Twitter: @donnellrawlings

Photo of Donnell Rawlings and editorial contribution courtesy of Blake Sunshine


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Long before going natural was a fad, Lauryn Hill was rocking it!  Hill’s hair helped to define not only her own beauty and individuality but also that of the hip hop culture.  To this day it remains a beautiful expression of black woman everywhere!

Lauryn Hill

Long gone are just the European influenced weaves worn by woman of color.  More and more sisters are expressing themselves with amazing afros and kinky twists reminiscent of who we are and whence we came!

Thank you Lauryn for being one of the first to show us how our black is beautiful!

Lotta locs for Lauryn Hill

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On my recent journey back “home” to the chemically freed and natural hair that I lost so many years ago, I have had the pleasure of experimenting with some of the best natural hair care products on the market today. I was so pleased to see that I had many options to choose from.  The hard part was choosing just which one worked best for me.  I quickly learned that the key to selecting the best product for your hair is based solely on “knowing” your hair type.  Whether you are “transitioning” from previously chemically relaxed hair

Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding 16oz jar $38

(me), maintaining naturally kinky hair or looking for a product to lock your hair in twists, there is a product made specifically for you.  After much research, my search ended with Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding.

Not only did this product give me the perfect curl but it also provided a healthy shine that really complimented the highlights in my hair.  And the best part is my hair was neither greasy nor heavy, and the curls last ALL DAY!!!  Just a little bit goes a long way, so the hefty $38 cost for a 16oz jar is really well worth it!

Who’s Miss Jessie?

Miss Jessie’s was founded by sisters Miko and Titi Branch.  Being of mixed descent (Asian and African-American) the Branch sisters know first hand the challenges of managing and styling naturally curly hair. Using their paternal grandmother’s home remedies for hair care and her name for their company (Jessie Mae Pittman) the sisters began selling their products in and around New York City and have been a leader in the industry since 2004.  Their first product and still their most popular of their extensive line is the Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding.  I can attest that this product not only manages curls, but it also adds shine and definition without the greasy feel or look often found with other curling products.

Star Products:

My top picks from the Miss Jessie’s line are:

  • Curly Meringue– This light and weightless emulsion gives your hair

    Miss Jessie's Curly Meringue 16oz $38

    bouncy and behaving curls.  This product is best for use with:  Finger styles, 2 Strand Twists, spiral sets, relaxed hair with curly styling and transitioners and texturizers.

  • Curly Pudding-The world famous Curly Pudding is designed to smooth out your curls for more definition and shine. This product is best for use with: natural kinky curls that you want to elongate and define with shine!

Where to Buy

Miss Jessie’s award winning products can be purchased online at  If you are transitioning or already “natural” and you’re still looking for the right product for your hair, or even if you’re looking for some creative styles for your natural hair, (dry twists are my favorite) check out Miss Jessie’s website.  And as always, remember to keep it simple and stylish!

Before Miss Jessie's

After Miss Jessie's

Photo credit:

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Ladies, mark your calendars! On September 22, 2010 fall officially begins!  And you know what that means…. pack away those sandals and flip-flops and dust off your favorite suede shoes and boots, because it’s their time to shine!  Fall has to be hands down my favorite season and I know that I am not alone.  When else can you get away with wearing a sweater, over a shirt, paired with a scarf – all at the same time!  And can we talk about the fact that you are FINALLY able to eat whatever you want, without the fear of your “muffin top” showing!  Its fall, EVERYONE hides layers!

While fall fashion is what I live for, I also understand the importance of putting the “whole package” together from head to toe!  Having said that, please note that your hair and makeup MUST change to fit the season, just like your clothing.  Here are a few things to keep in mind to keep your style “in

sync” with the season.


The rule of thumb is when summer is gone, so are those luscious golden highlights!  Typically a safe move is to darken your hair or return to your roots in the fall and winter months, however a cool twist on going back to basics is to tone down your highlights.  Gradually removing them is the best way to get yourself and others comfortable with your new look.  Subtle changes ARE noticed!  Cropped cuts and natural waves and curls are trending for the fall, so pack up your flat-iron because you won’t need it anytime soon!  To achieve this look, I personally recommend the Bed Head Style and Texturize hair care line.  Whether you have waves, curls, or lots of locks, these products will give your hair that funky, hip and sexy style that you’re looking for!


Fellow Divas, always remember…. Less is more!  In this particular case the less that I am referring to is your lip color!  Fuller brows (still arched, of course),

lots of lashes and neutral tones on your lids are perfect for everyday wear in the fall.  A clear gloss or lightly tinted lipstick will take away the focus on your lips and give your eyes the attention that they deserve.  Trending this fall is a touch of white eyeliner to add an extra pop to your already outstanding eyes!  Day or Night the liner gives your eyes a much fuller and wider appearance.  Revlon’s Luxurious Color Eyeliner in pure white is my top pick for achieving this look!  And for a much more dramatic look for a night out on the town, switch out those neutral lids for a smoky look, with Covergirl’s Smoky Eye Look trio set!  This is a fool-proof product that makes achieving “perfect” smoky eyes as easy as 1-2-3!  As for your lips, day or night the same rules apply; keep them subtle and barely noticeable with a softer lightly tinted (metallic) gloss. Let your eyes still the show!

Be picture perfect and fall ready with these helpful tips!  And remember to always keep it simple, and stylish!

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Although I was never really a skeptic about K Essentials natural bath and body products, I decided to give the products a “real” try; after all, how can I truthfully endorse a product that I’ve never really used!  And OMG, any and all doubts that I may have had about these products being amazing were debunked!

First off, let’s talk about just how cute the packaging is on these soaps! It comes in an attractive fish net drawstring satchel which is perfect for keeping

handmade bath soap

it mess free and secure in the shower caddy.  I had concerns about the soap falling “apart” or melting and possibly not holding up for long, especially since it was homemade and so soft to the touch.  And 10 showers later, my bar is barely smaller than the day I first opened it!  I’m pretty sure that it is due to the fantastic lather of this soap. It truly leaves your skin feeling kissably soft and smelling divine (this stuff smells incredible). My skin felt so moist, it was if I’d just applied baby oil from head to toe! Did I mention how AWESOME this soap smells?

Next on my list of must haves is the Body Butter (8oz). This by far is my favorite product.  I chose the Guava and Fig scented butter, and what a pleasant surprise- who knew that guava and fig could smell so delicious

K Essentials Body Butter

together! This shea butter based cream is pretty thick but goes on smooth, and just a little bit goes a long way.  I’ve used it on both wet skin and dry skin and have to say that it is equally as effective.  The scent is so nice that I don’t even have to wear perfume; you smell clean and freshly showered throughout the entire day!  And as for the irritation that the perfumes may cause; I even used it (butter) on my face just before applying makeup!  I’ve had no breakouts or irritation.  This body butter is truly amazing!

With the summer months upon us, it is very important to have sandal ready feet- that’s where K Essentials Salt Scrub comes into play! This thick and rich oil coupled with a generous amount of sea salts really gave my heels just the scrub they needed to leave my skin feeling soft and subtle.  I found this to be a great product to use along with my Ped-Egg, which means no more expensive weekly manicure and pedicure for me!

courtesy of K Essentials Salt Scrub

I’ve also used the scrub on my knees, elbows and palms -it’s great for any rough spots that you may have on your body!  And again, the scent is incredible -my husband really likes the way this one smells and feels! Thank you K Essentials for bringing sexy back!

K Essentials is all that I need to have amazingly young and beautiful skin!  I’m pretty sure that I’ve found the fountain of youth in these products, and I think that you will too!  And if you’re wondering, please note that these products aren’t just for women!  There is something for everyone! Check out K Essentials website for more information what they have to offer!  Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

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White Gardenia, Rosemary Mint, Lavender Sage and Island Time are just some of the amazing homemade soaps available from K Essentials, a natural bath and body products company created and managed by the very talented Kattiann Samuel.

As a hobby, Samuel began making homemade soaps for her family.  She experimented with melt and pour products purchased from craft stores that she would melt in her microwave and mold into soap, “I remember my first soap looked and smelled like a jolly rancher candy and I was so proud”.  Not long after, Samuel found out through internet groups she belonged to that what she was making with these products (melt and pour) really wasn’t completely pure and natural. Some of the products contained paraben and animal fat, so she stopped using them and began researching how to make soap from “scratch”.

Samuel tried out several soap recipes that she found on the internet, “Needless to say, it was a complete waste of oils and other ingredients, but I never gave up”.  She now credits her rocky beginnings with helping her to become an expert on herbs, oils and the nourishing values they have.  From extensive research and through much trial and error, she was able to develop a “base recipe” that she still uses for all of her soaps today!

With such influences as Bath and Body Works, Philosophy Skin Care and Victoria Secrets, Samuel branched off from just making soaps to work on a full line of bath and body products including; body scrubs, lotions, shower gels and body butters. While she is still perfecting some of these products, many of them can be found and purchased at

“I am always working on different scents…and if my customers want something that smells like (scent), they can call me and I will make it!” Samuel believes that her line truly exemplifies quality relaxation and affordable products made with care and by her hands especially for her customers, “They (customers) are my inspiration”. She is currently working on a hair-care line which will include: shampoos, conditioners, hair oils and other products for the hair; she even posts helpful consumer information on herbs and the medicinal and natural healing factors of each (hair care) on her website.  Next for Samuel is a children’s line of soaps and bubble baths-all made from scents that kids love!

“My grandmother always used to say ‘what is for you, no one can take it away’, and I live by that and believe that there’s no limit to my goal… I want the world to know my products and use them. I want to be able to walk into my store and say YES my baby is born! I’ve waited long enough, this is my time to shine”!  This is indeed Kattiann Samuel’s time to shine. With beauty shows lined up, loyal customers ready to place the next order and refer a “friend” or two and one fantastic and affordable product, K Essentials is a “star” that will be around long after others have dimmed and fallen.

More about the founder of K Essentials-Kattiann Samuel was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She came to the U.S in the mid- 80’s and resided in Providence Rhode Island. Samuel graduated from Rhode Island Community College and worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse for 12 years. In 2000, she created K Essentials and began selling homemade soaps to her friends as well as online where she received much praise and recognition.

Charitable Works- Samuel’s recently partnered with Celebrity Stylist, Tameka Foster Raymond and The Lost One’s Foundation, an organization which helps uplift and motivate at risk young girls between the ages of 12-17. Her beauty products are donated as gifts to these young ladies and are used not only to pamper the girls during their retreats but also as a way of empowering them and raising their self-esteem.

For more information on K Essentials or to place an order log in to their website: or call Customer Service:772.446.9847.  Follow them on Twitter:@Katti12

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The mere mention of the words grooming and easy together should all but tell you that this particular piece is geared toward men.  Any woman out there can tell you that there’s nothing easy about the beauty rituals we endure on a daily basis. I could say that it’s not fair that men don’t have nearly as many things to pluck, tuck, put on, “draw” on or take off, but that would be an untruth.  The fact of the matter is they do, many of them just choose not to!   So, gentlemen, here’s where you tune in and ladies you may want to stick around for this one as well, just to make sure I have clearly debunked the top 3 myths when it comes to male grooming basics!

Myth:  Hair is a sign of masculinity.

Fact:  Too much hair is just unsanitary!  If you are hairy, it is important to understand that keeping the hair cut back or trimmed to a manageable length will help cut odor causing wetness often associated with too much hair.  Manscaping is another very effective way to get rid of unwanted hair, in fact; it is designed for men who prefer an aggressive means of hair removal. While it is both controversial and uncomfortable, it is a quick and clean option to razors and the bumps they sometimes cause.

Myth: No one notices my hands or feet.

Fact:  In the world of business, the first thing that is noticed is your hands.  Long dirty nails, and rough dry skin can be a deal breaker if you are shaking hands with a potential employer.  And as for your social life fellas,  we won’t even talk about the negative effect that dirty nails may have on that first impression that you only get one chance at with that special someone.  While it is not mandatory that your hands are soft like a baby’s bottom, it is important that they are well moisturized and well-groomed.  If your nails are long, cut them! They should have a little tip if any at all, and the nail  must be clean underneath.  Make sure you address your hangnails, they are just as unattractive as dirt under your fingernails.  Some men even wear a clear coat on their nails, which is again just an option, and really not necessary if your nails are cut back to a reasonable length and clean!  As for your feet, follow the same best practices mentioned above for your fingernails, and make sure to add these two of vital things:

  1. Make sure that your socks are clean ALWAYS!
  2. Your shoes should be clean and in good condition- not run over or run down and without laces.  Remember this key advice:  If you are wearing nice shoes few will notice, but if you are wearing dirty shoes everyone will notice.  Ask anyone about this, and she will tell you that it is 100% factual!

Myth:  I don’t have to exfoliate, that’s for women!

Fact: EVERYONE needs to exfoliate.  Did you know that a man’s skin is thicker than a woman’s?  For this reason alone, exfoliation for men is very important.  By doing this on a weekly basis it will actually lessen your risk of developing razor bumps as well as gives your skin a soft and smooth look and feel.  As we discussed earlier, hair and rough dry skin is no longer a trademark or qualification for being a “real man”.

This does it for round one, so here’s a small list of things that you’ll need to run out and buy for your new-found grooming practices:  Loofah, nail scissors, clean socks (any color but white, unless they’re for your sneakers), a fragrance free and hypoallergenic face wash or scrub, and a tub of wax- just kidding about the wax, we’ll  leave that one for the experts!  Part 2 is coming soon but in the meantime, share your thoughts and let me know how helpful these tips were for you.

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