My love affair with Baobab Oil

I am absolutely in love with coconut oil!!! Madinina Kiss uses coconut oil as the carrier oil for all of its products, especially my body oils.  I have to confess…I have been introduced to baobab oil.  I am going to be an adulterer.  I am not proud of the term. I am admittedly cheating on coconut oil.

So as much as it pains me to say this, yet excited at the same time, Madinina Kiss will be launching its Body Oil Collection with Baobab oil.  After careful research about the healing properties of the oil, some–not all–of our body/massage oils will be made with Baobab oil.

Before I get into baobab oil, let’s just talk about the benefits of body oils in general.  Oil has been deemed the black sheep of the beauty business because of its greasy nature.  However, the right natural oils can keep your skin moisturized, smooth, and glowing — and even fight breakouts.  Depending on the type of oil you use, it absorbs quite wonderfully into your skin.  My first love, of course, is coconut oil.  Here is why:

 

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Coconut Oil:

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Coconut oil is great for people with sensitive skin, eczema, and dry hair.  I recommend coconut oil, as a body moisturizer, but not everyone likes the smell of coconut oil.  So it is best to use it as a carrier oil.  As a solid, coconut oil’s creamy texture makes it the perfect light moisturizer to slather all over. The light tropical scent that lingers after it’s applied is a delight to me. There are so many other benefits to the use of coconut oil, in and out.

Baobab Oil:

See the tree below? Big, strong and Black…

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Regarded as the largest succulent plant in the world, the Baobab tree – [Adansonia digitata] is steeped in a wealth of mystique, legend, and superstition wherever it is found in Africa. Called the Tree of Life for its almost mythical powers, it provides food, water, shelter and traditional medicine.

The Baobab tree is found in very remote areas of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and other tropical African countries where suitable habitat occurs. It is restricted to hot, dry woodland on stony, well-drained soils in frost-free areas that receive low rainfall. Surrounded by the sounds and smells of the African bush, these iconic trees can live up to 2000 years and the biggest Baobab tree ever recorded has a circumference of over 43 meters.  Now that we got that out of the way…

I am going to have an affair with the oil that this tree produces.  Baobab Oil. Pure goodness from the Mother Land.  I am cheating, with Baobab Oil.  I feel guilty…not really!  Madinina Kiss will be using this oil as a carrier oil for its body oil collection.  I am so excited.  I understand that it has a nutty smell, much like my favorite butter, Shea butter, so it is going to be excited to use it.

Baobab oil is made from the fruit seeds which are extracted and air dried in the hot sun.  Madinina Kiss will use Baobab oil across the collection for its excellent softening, healing and regenerate skincare properties:

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> Rich in powerful antioxidants which protect skin against free radical damage.
> High Vitamin C content (6 times more than an orange) assists with skin elasticity.
> Vitamins A and B firm, tighten and hydrate skin.
> Omegas 3, 6 & 9 fatty acids help maintain the integrity of skin cell membrane.
Are you as excited as I am? I am not leaving my first love the coconut oil. I may just combine the two to make a new exclusive line of our body oils.
Stay Tuned for the Madinina Kiss Body Oil Summer Collection.
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Coconut Water for the Hair?

I started this blog because I have a deep love for coconut.  I mean everything Coconut.  Now that Spring has sprung and Summer is fast approaching, it is time to start thinking about how to keep our bodies hydrated during the hot months.

Nothing says “thirst quencher” like good ‘ole fashion H2O… Nevertheless, a personal favorite alternative is Coconut water.  My favorite brand o coconut water is Vita Coco.  It si the closest thing on the market that has retained the refreshing taste of the coconut water; it’s like truly drinking it right from its natural state.

With that said, I had a conversation today with a fellow dancer (yes, I am a dancer) and she told me that she uses BOTH coconut oil AND coconut water as part of her hair care regimen…SHUT THE RONT DOOR!

See what she has to say:

Fabiola and I at Innervisions: The benefits of coconut water for your hair.

I am also sharing this recipe that I found on the Vita Coco Website for a cool refreshing anytime drink:

COCO MINT LEMON GIMLET

Coconut water good for the body AND Hair?

Join me as I embark on the 90 days Coconut Water Hair Care Challenge.

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Spring Your Body Into Action

Get your body Summer Ready!!

As Madinina Kiss is entering its second quarter, we have been behind the scenes working hard to bring you- our customers and followers- another great product just in time or the warmth of the Spring and Summer.  Madinina Kiss will be re-launching its Body Oil Collection!

Beach bodies come in all shape and sizes.  It’s about health, beauty and self-love in the skin you are in.  As such we must take care of our skin, for it is the first line of defense for our temple. For those of us that are beach lovers like myself, salt water is not only known to do great things for your hair (hello, texture), it’s also widely believed to be good for your skin in addition to other healing properties.  That said, a long day spent in the sea can also leave your skin feeling a bit dry and dull. As a person who spent many summer days at the family beach house, I can tell you that coconut oil was my best friend, and still is.  It acted as a water repellant leaving my sea-salt wet skin moisturized.  So the dryness and dullness others experienced, I did not.  Unlike, our pool lovers, the chemical treatment in the water is not good for the skin at all.  I would not recommend applying any natural body oil before entering the pool, but definitely immediately after.

I know that sometimes making the switch from body lotion from body oil can be challenging, especially if you see “oils” as greasy”.  And while some may still initially balk at the idea of smoothing it onto their skin after a shower or bath, beach or pool time, the benefits are undeniable, especially when you see the results first hand.

Did you know that coconut oil is a natural sunblock? Yes! It provides and SPF of about 4 which blocks 75% of UV radiation. 75% protection is about 45 minutes of sun exposure.  Madinina Kiss oils are made with coconut oil as a base oil, which seals moisture into your skin and protects the body from sunburn as long as it is used correctly., and then we add other oils such as almond, olive, jojoba, for added moisture into your skin, keeping it hydrated, fresh-looking, and protected against environmental factors including smog and other pollutants.  Madinina Kiss Oils typically prefers using coconut oil alone, but sometimes we like to switch things up and add a lightly scented mixture. And I’m not talking about the cloying, manufactured scent of store bought concoctions, but something customized, earthy, and beneficial. This is where essential oil-infused body oil comes in.

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Our customer favorites have been our Lover’s Brew, Lemon Fresh and L’Anse Mitan (named after the town where our beach house is located in Martinique.)

Still not convinced? Check out 10 Awesome Uses for Madinina Kiss Body Oil

1. Manicure. Rub a dab of body oil on your cuticles to soften.

2. Pedicure. Rub a generous amount of body oil all over your feet. Put on thick cotton socks and allow the oils to soak in. (Do this before bed for extra oomph.)

3. Perfume. We know most of our customers don’t like perfumes or synthetic fragrances (we don’t either!), but if you like the subtle scent of clean citrus in our body oil, apply a few drops along pulse points for a light fragrance. (Pulse points are behind the ears, knees, wrists, elbows and neck area.)

4. Shaving “cream.” Rub generously on legs for a close shave. Using our body oil may also reduce shaving irritation and eliminate the need for a post-shave moisturizer.

5. Frizz-buster. Place 1 or 2 drops of body oil into your hands and run lightly through the hair. (This also helps with dry ends!)

6. Deep-conditioning hair treatment.  Rub a generous amount into your hair before bed. Comb it, pile it in a loose bun on the top of your head, place a towel over your pillow, and hit the hay. In the morning , shampoo as usual and enjoy your luxurious locks!

7. Body exfoliator. Make a basic sugar scrub mixing a 2-1 ratio of sugar to body oil. Mix in a small bowl or jar. Rub gently into skin in the shower and rinse off. You won’t believe how soft your skin will feel!

8. Bath booster. Get lux in the tub by adding our unique mixture of nourishing essential oils that leave your skin feeling silky smooth.

9. Lip softener. Make your lips extra kissable by mixing 1 TSP each of brown sugar, vanilla extract, and body oil; gently rubbing into lips; and wiping off with a warm wash cloth.

10. Paw lubricant. Does your puppy get sore, cracked paws from walking on hot sidewalks in the summer or from cold, dry winter air? Rub some body oil on her paw pads for healing and relief.

 

 

Susan L. Taylor on Why we need to Support Black Owned Business

It’s not a race thing, it’s not an ethnic thing, it’s a community thing.  Americans are quick to become defensive when we as African-American declare to “recycle the Black Dollar”. “Support Black Owned Businesses”.  We are not seeking exclusion, we are seeking inclusion in the American Dream.  I stand by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, in his I have a Dream Speech, saying : “In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check…It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. (My Lord) Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds… We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. (Sure enough) And so we’ve come to cash this check (Yes), a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom (Yes) and the security of justice. (Yes Lord) [enthusiastic applause]”

I want my check. I am an African-American Female Business Owner of a Natural Hand-Made Bath Body and Hair Products Company.  Mainina Kiss. In the article, Susan L. Taylor revealed how “each of us has everything we need to live free and fully and wonderful.”  

She cautioned, “It doesn’t mean that our lives will not fall apart.” What it does mean is that if calamity strikes, we “can use it as a wake-up call.” 

Taylor later shared how the African-American community is losing ground and that we need “able, stable Black people” to “link arms and stand for something, link arms and aims with a plan.”

Earlier during her remarks, the former Editor-in-Chief of Essence said, “Every dime spent is a political decision made.” 

Taylor suggested when corporations perform actions that disproportionately impact African-Americans, we as a community “need to take account of that and stand up and say to that organization, ‘This cannot happen on our watch.’” At that point as a collective body, Blacks should then apply economic pressure to the entity by refusing to patronize that corporation.

“The only thing understood in capitalism and in capitalist society is money and it’s all tied to Wall Street, it’s all tied to profit,” she said.

Later during her address, Taylor shared how taking a few minutes a day in silence can open the ears to hear the “still small voice” inside. This simple practice allowed her the opportunity, as well as insight, into how to forward her career to astounding heights.

So on today, International Women’s Day, support a Women Owned Business. #BeBoldForChange

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Miko Branch, Entreprenuer of Excellence

In my last blog post, I wrote about the women who made it possible for me to believe that Madinina Kiss is going to be the next beauty empire in this nation, even internationally.  I am so glad that Miko Branch, thought well enough of “us” sisters, to leave a blueprint so that we as African-American women can continue to leave our mark in the beauty industry.  I am grateful for Annie Malone, and Madam C.J.Walker for the footprints left, that women like myself, can follow.

And then there was Miss Jessie’s.  Two sisters, Miko and Titi Branch of Japanese-American and African-American parents, re-igniting the Natural Hair Movement and revolutionizing it.  Unlike our foremothers, Annie and Madam C.J., who were meeting the need for “straight hair” Miss Jessie’s was reclaiming our natural hair.  I remember it so well.  I will admit that I did not understand what was happening at the time.  But I knew, it was something.  It had to be in the air…lol. I no longer desired to have my hair chemically treated.  I don’t remember how I came across the Miss Jessie’s Curly Hair Movement—but I remember traveling to D.C. to get that “curl” pattern.  Miss Jessie’s LLC, is the company behind the premium hair care product line, Miss Jessie’s, that caters to the diverse spectrum of all curly and textured hair types. Miko founded the company with her sister, Titi, and they named it after their beloved and fiercely independent “do-it-for-yourself,” and “tell-it-like-it-is” paternal grandmother – Jessie Mae Branch.

Miko and Titi Branch were from “around the way” as I too live in Queens, NY in the same area of South Ozone Park as they did, and still do.  So it makes me proud, not only as an up and coming pioneer in the natural beauty industry but also as an African American woman who shares community ties.  Sadly, in December 2014, Titi passed away.

 

Miko carries on the legacy Titi Branch and continues to develop innovative, original and effective solutions for textured hair needs. She has received numerous accolades for being an innovator, pioneer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and leader.

Miko also is the author of the national best-selling business memoir “Miss Jessie’s: Creating A Successful Business from Scratch – Naturally” (Harper Collins) and has been recognized by WWD’s Most Influential Women in Business, Ebony Power 100, and the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award. She has been featured on the March 2016 cover of Black Enterprise Magazine as a result of her remarkable business acumen.

Miko on the stages of life women go through (including women entrepreneurs)

• In your thirties, you get to know how who you are.  You start to tap into how you are built. 

• In your 40’s you are going to embrace and love yourself.  What you did in your previous decades affects you now. 40’s is the decade of satisfaction or regrets. It’s a transitional time.  This decade is a time where you get to make some changes and you still have the opportunity to make corrections. 

• In your 50’s, it is what it is–just accept it.

As CEO of Madinina Kiss, a natural, handmade Bath, Body and Hair Company in NYC, I am honored that Miko will an Honoree at the women’s organization I belong to- The National Association of University Women where Miko will be awarded the 2017 Entrepreneurial Excellence Honoree Award. Click on flyer to attend this event

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Miko is my inspiration, as I read for the third time Miss Jessie’s “Creating A Successful Business From Scratch…Naturally”.  With my planner and book in tow, Madinina Kiss is building its empire, brick by brick, stone by stone.  I cannot wait to meet her in person!

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Beautifully Yours,

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On Her Own Ground-Madam C.J. Walker

I will admit that I don’t know all of the African Americans that made an impact in the way we live today.  I don’t know every inventor or entrepreneur.  But I was pretty sure that I knew enough to have a decent, intelligent conversation about certain people. Harriet Tubman, Fredrick Douglas, W.E.B Dubois, Nat Turner, and my favorite Madame C.J. Walker. So when a trivia question was asked about the First African American Female Millionaire, I was the first to answer “Madame C.J. Walker!!!”  Wrong!…what do you mean wrong? As the CEO and Founder of Madinina Kiss, a Bath and Body Products Company, Madame C.J. Walker has been my inspiration…still is.  She is my role model. But she had one too. Her name is Annie Malone.   In my recent blog, entitled The Mother of the Black Beauty Industry, I wrote about Annie Malone who is recorded as the U.S.’s first black female millionaire based on reports of $14 million in assets held in 1920 from her beauty and cosmetic enterprises, headquartered in St. Louis and Chicago.

I am currently re-reading On Her Own Ground which is only the first comprehensive biography of one of recent history’s most amazing entrepreneurs and philanthropists, it is about a woman who is truly an African American icon in the beauty industry.

Learning about Annie Malone only confirms what I know: Someone has already started building the bridge on which I will walk.  Madame C.J Walker had Annie Malone and I have Madame C.J Walker and Miko and Titi Branch of Miss Jessie’s Products.  I am currently reading Madam C.J. Walker: Building a Business Empire and Miss Jessie’s “Creating A Successful Business From Scratch…Naturally”  I want to know what they did to make their businesses great.  From slavery to millionaire… From South Jamaica Queens, NY (Where I am from) to Millionaire.  If they can do it, so can I.

Madinina Kiss recently re-launched its Hair Care System, called Madinina.  We currently have the Madinina Conditioning Hair Butter made primarily with Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Neem Oil and Kokum Butter, which is a customer favorite.

So in honor of Black History Month, I will be reading about Madam C.J. Walker, the business woman.  I cannot wait to learn from her because Madinina Kiss is going to be the next Bath and Body Products Empire!

 

How are you honoring Black History Month?

Unveil the Beauty Within

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The Mother of the Black Beauty Industry

 

Madam C.J. Walker, Shea Moisture, Carol’s Daughter, Madinina Kiss.  These are are some of the descendants of Poro Beauty Products.  So why has the mother of this trillion dollar industry not given the respect that is rightfully hers?

As the owner of a natural skin care company, I can let the month dedicated to Black History Month go by and not talk about the woman who paved the way for Madinina Kiss and other African-American female owned business like mine to be in existence.

Who is the Mother of the Black Beauty Industry? Annie Turnbo Malone. Perhaps you have never heard of Annie before. If not, you’re in good company. Most everyone reading this page has never heard of Annie.  And if you are in the African American hair care or cosmetics industry, Annie is the “mother” of what you are doing. You are about to meet a remarkable woman…

Before Madam Walker, Rosa Parks, Mary McLeod Bethune, Oprah Winfrey or Cathy Hughes there was Annie Turnbo Malone (aka Annie Minerva Turnbo Pope Malone and Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone), a remarkable woman who made her mark during the early 20th century.

Malone is recorded as one of America’s first black female millionaire based on reports about her beauty and cosmetic enterprises — Poro — headquartered in St. Louis and Chicago.

Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone (August 9, 1869—May 10, 1957) was an African-American businesswoman, educator,  inventor, and philanthropist. Annie was two years younger than Madam C. J. Walker. She had launched her hair care business four years before Sarah Breedlove (later known as Madam C. J. Walker). In the early 1900s, Madam Walker worked as a “Poro Agent” for Annie for about one year.

Annie Malone is the “mother” of the African American
Cosmetics, Hair Care &
Beauty Industries

PORO BEAUTY PRODUCTS — from  Freeman Institute Black History Collection

ANNIE MALONE’S LEGACY: Credit Where Credit is Due

Malone’s business failure tarnished her image. Her former employee, Madame C.J. Walker, often overshadows Malone because Walker’s business remained successful and more widely known. Walker is often credited as the originator of the black beauty and cosmetics business and the direct distribution and sales agent system that Malone developed.

Many historians believe Malone deserves more credit for her devotion to helping African Americans gain financial independence and her generous donations to educational, civic, and social causes.

HER LEGACY STILL LIVES ON: St. Louis honors her memory with the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center whose mission is “is to improve the quality of life for children, families, elderly and the community by providing social services, educational programs, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.”

St. Louis honors her memory with the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center whose mission is “is to improve the quality of life for children, families, elderly and the community by providing social services, educational programs, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.”

Did you Know?

 Annie was one of the first in Missouri to own a Rolls Royce
        * Annie paid over $40,000 in taxes alone…in 1926
* Annie owned a whole city block in Chicago
      * Annie’s philanthropy was legendary
* Annie gave diamond rings for five years of service
    * Annie gave cash awards for savings accounts & home purchases
* Annie trained well over 75,000 women entrepreneurs
 * Annie  trained Madam C.J. Walker to be a “Poro Agent”

Click Here for More Information about Annie Turnbo Malone