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Company Behind the Curl : : Sade of Crazy Natural!

Company Behind the Curl : : Sade of Crazy Natural!

company_behind_the_curl_lacocobella-02Howdy! Excited to share another Company Behind the Curl! If you missed my last one (which was the first), check it out right here, I featured the owner of The Gud Stuff, Milele :o)  The Company Behind the Curl is the sister series to my Girl Behind the Curl series, and I feature the brains/masterminds behind some of the brands of the products I talk about here on the blog!

So the other day I reviewed the African Black Soap by a company called Crazy Natural Inc., and now I want to share more about the brand through the voice of the owner, Sade! So with that said, let me introduce the beautiful Sade!

Sade Perkins

What inspired you to create your own line of natural hair care products?

I created Crazy Natural Inc because I saw a need for affordable all natural hair and body care products specifically marketed toward the biggest niche in the haircare industry, African American women. Most of my competitors who claim to be all natural are in fact not natural at all. While testing and trying these products myself I found it difficult to find real all natural and organic products in my local beauty supply and chain stores. When I finally found a few natural products at Whole Foods I noticed the marketing lacked a connection factor with me as the consumer. I decided to create a brand that is unequally designed to catch the eye of the African American haircare consumer, as well as fill the need for all natural/organic hair and skincare products that not only serve multiple needs for the hair and body but are affordable as well.

Do you use your own products? Which is your personal favorite and why?

Yes, I love using my own products. My personal favorite is the Shea Body Butter. I love it because its a great hair dressing as well as body moisturizer. I’ve replaced my old hair grease with my organic whipped Shea butter. It leaves my hair super soft and feeds my scalp all the yummy oils in the butter.

How did you overcome any hardships or challenges in your own natural hair journey?

I symbolically did my Big Chop around the same time I started my business to let my hair grow as my business grows and to remind myself that only with love, patience and kindness will either grow successfully. May is my 1 year Big Chop anniversary as well as one full year of being in business. And the journeys for both have been really similar. In the beginning it seemed like it took forever for either to grow even an inch. Now I can say one year later both Crazy Natural Inc and my hair are successfully flourishing.

Crazy Natural Inc Shea Coconut Deep ConditionerCrazy Natural Inc All In One Oil

What inspired you to select the ingredients that appear in your products?

I chose my ingredients because I wanted all natural oils with skin moisturizing, healing and toning properties. The oils are good for both skin and hair use and are proven to help hair growth.

What styling tips do you have for any products in your line?

All of my products can be incorporated into your daily natural hair routine as well as for professional styling. My All In One Oil is a wonderful hot oil treatment as well as a hair, bath and body moisturizer. My Shea body butter not only conditions and moisturizes hair and skin but can be used as a daily hair dressing to help promote growth and protect hair against breakage. My African Black Soap Shampoo is made with raw African black soap and other natural oils that works as a great detangler, softens rough, dry hair and penetrates the hair with natural oils, which not only detangle hair but help promote healthy growing hair as well.

What can you recommend for people experiencing dry hair?

I would recommend anyone suffering from dry hair to first wash and condition with my African Black Soap Shampoo and Shea Coconut Deep Conditioner. Then follow up with a hot oil treatment with my All In One Oil, let it process for 15 minutes, wash hair then style hair in a twist out using my Shea Body Butter as you twist. This will lock in moisture as your hair dries. This is a process I use myself once a month to keep my hair deep conditioned and to keep it moisturized and healthy.

What do you feel encourages overall healthy hair?

I believe keeping natural hair moisturized encourages overall healthy hair. Co-washing bi weekly and shampooing once a month will keep your hair clean and healthy.

What is a frequent mistake you’ve seen naturals make?

The biggest mistake I feel new naturals make is not having enough patience while in transition. Many of us don’t realize that’s it’s a mental transition as well as a physical one. We can no longer use the same products or do some of the things we used to do with our weave or relaxed hair. We have to embrace and become comfortable with our textures at whatever length we may be at.

 What advice would you give to someone who may be considering going natural?

There is no such thing as not having the right texture of hair to go natural. I want all women of color to know no matter her texture, she too can return to her natural curls and it will grow!

 Crazy Natural Inc Shea Body ButterWhat advice would you give to someone who may be considering starting their own natural hair product line?

I want anyone who is considering starting a business to know that it is very possible and anyone can do it. I started Crazy Natural Inc with less than $200. I chose to utilize social media and free marketing sites in order to capitalize and turn my business into a profitable one.

Anything else you would like to share about your company and or/hair experiences?

I want Crazy Natural Inc to be a common staple in every natural hair care regimen. I hope to build an empire and leave a legacy to pass on to my family.

 How can we learn more about your products and get our hands on them?!

My products can be purchased at www.CrazyNaturalinc.ecrater.com and I can be followed @CrazyNaturalinc on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

 Thank you Sade for allowing me to learn more about you and your brand!! :o)

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Girl Behind the Curl….Meet Jennifer!

Girl Behind the Curl….Meet Jennifer!

Hello beauties! This week’s beautiful Girl Behind the Curl is Jennifer from Dallas! (she’s my second Jennifer from Dallas I have featured too! lol) She is a long-time transitioner who, like me,  finally gave in and did the big chop! She keeps her regiman simple and goes with what she knows works for her hair! Read more about how she mane-tains her silky curls!

Meet Jennifer!

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Introduction : : Do share a little about yourself!

Howdy y’all! I’m Jennifer, 26, recent grad school graduate, and a Dallas-ite living in New Jersey.

In the beginning : : What inspired you to go embrace your natural-ness? OR If you’ve been natural since forever, what inspired you to never get a perm?

My journey to embracing my curls began after what I call my “hair struggle” period. During that time, I was a broke college graduate moving back home, studying for graduate school exams, and not giving my hair a second thought. My hair was thin, growing unevenly, and badly damaged. I wanted to try something new; so I stopped get relaxers and wore weaves. Re-locating to the NYC metro area exposed me to various women with different curl patterns embracing their hair. Watching the different styles all the you-tube gurus were doing also inspired me. I took out my weave and transitioned for 13 months until I finally did the big chop in May ’11.

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Relaxer Days

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Big Chop May 2010

Mane-tain : : What is your weekly/monthly regimen like? If you have color in your hair, how do you maintain it’s health?

My regimen has been the same since I became completely natural. I wash my hair once a week with a shampoo, either Herbal Essences or Creme of Nature; no, they aren’t sulfate-free but I don’t fare well with a dirty scalp. Then I use a super creamy conditioner, rinse it out, and detangle and twist my hair in four sections with a deep conditioner. I don’t have a sit-under dryer so I improvise by tying two grocery bags around my hair and blowing my hand-held hair dryer around my head for about 10 minutes. An hour later, I rinse out my deep conditioner and do the “LOC “(Liquid, Oil, Cream/Moisturizer) method. The liquid is water followed by my leave in, Paul Mitchell’s The Conditioner, next I use any oil I have available such as olive oil, and seal everything in with a mix of Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioning Hair Repair Cream and Elastic QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Moisturizer.

Your uniqueness : : How would describe your hair and how do you like to wear/style your hair daily? i.e. wash-n-go’s, twists, straight, protective styles, etc.

My hair is like the weather. My curls will be happy and bouncy for two days and then out of nowhere it will be a big frizzy mess. Twist-outs and Braid-outs are my staple go to hairstyles and helps keep my hair tamed. I’ll usually use the texture I gain from the twist out to do a texturized bun, up-do, or wear it down. On bad weather days, I will keep my hair twisted up, create a bang up-do with the twists and wear a beanie to save myself from damaging my hair.  After you have heat damage you never want to go back, therefore I only get my hair professionally straightened twice a year. I have tried and failed numerous times with wash ‘n go’s; my main issue, is when it dries all my “hang-time” has become a shrunken Jheri curl mess.  Mini-twists are another go to in cold weather months. They are versatile, keep my hair moisturized, and when I take them out I have curls that last for at least another week.

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Choosing favorites : : What are some fav products you can’t live without or would recommend to someone else? How do you use them?

Although I am a firm believer that it is the technique and not the product; I do have a few staple products. Cantu Shea Butter Leave In was the first product I used when I was transitioning and almost two years later I still love it. It doesn’t weigh down my hair and leaves my curls very well moisturized. I also love the new Cantu Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque. The smell is great and you can use it as a deep conditioner or leave in.

Drop some knowledge : : Do you have a marvelous hair practice/technique you’ve learned and wouldn’t mind sharing? OR is there something you’d like to learn more about?

I have experienced so many people tell me, “I can’t go natural because my hair doesn’t look like yours”. Whether you hair waves, curls, or kinks; it’s just that, your hair. Love it and it will love you back!

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K.I.T. : : How can we stay connected with you? i.e. website, e-mail, social media, etc.

Playing Catch-up…Essence Mag & Precious Curls

Playing Catch-up…Essence Mag & Precious Curls

What it do chicas!?

I wanted to share a couple things with you. First I want to say how grateful I am for the reception of my blog and my La Coco Bella “brand” if you will. I started this blog this past March not really knowing what I was getting myself into and wondering if people even cared for “another natural hair blog”. I must say I am so pleased with the response I have gotten over the last few months. I believe that if God places something on your heart, it is positive and HELPS others, He will grant you favor and give you success in whatever you do! I always reiterate that this is NOT a vain pursuit and I am not really seeking to gain anything from it except to help someone along their way in their hair journey.

So I say all that to say this, along this journey, others have taken note and continue to feature my story on their personal blogs which also led to Essence Magazine taking note of how huge the natural hair community is on Instagram!

Today I was featured on fellow curly blog, Precious Curls! Check out my feature HERE. I sometimes feel like I am saying the same thing over and over but as long as I reach at least ONE new person who has never heard of me then I am satisfied :o)

Lastly, last week, Essence Magazine made a post on their instagram account (@essencemag) asking who people’s favorite natural hair instagrammers were. Well the other day, they posted on their website, the top 100 voted and I was included! It made my day :o) and also introduced me to 99 other natural hair curlies I may never have heard of! SO much inspiration! Here is the link to my little shout out lol and be sure to scroll through the others and follow these ladies on Instagram!

I give all glory to God for sucesses big and small. Only He knows why this is happening :o)\

Just wanted to share this with ya :o)

Girl Behind the Curl…Jasmine!

Girl Behind the Curl…Jasmine!

Happy Monday! Start your week off with a fresh dose of curlspiration!

I found this curly beauty on Instagram and fell in LOVE with her hair! Had to see how she manages these lovely locks. Read below! Enjoy :o)

Introduction : : Do share a little about yourself!

My name is Jasmine, I was born and raised in London but originally am half Nigerian and half Portuguese.  I work full time as a housing officer with adults with mental health and substance miss use issues and is also studying part time to become a social worker.

In the beginning : : What inspired you to go embrace your natural-ness? OR If you’ve been natural since forever, what inspired you to never get a perm?

I decided to go natural because I thought it would be a cheaper option for me at time as I was a full time student with no part time job, so tryna maintain good health of my hair was becoming a struggle as the little money I did have coming in was not going to be prioritized on my hair.  Also at the beginning of my hair journey I grew an obsession with tumblr lol and I became inspired by so many beautiful women embracing the curls and looking good whilst doing it. It really did give me the encouragement I needed to stay on my hair journey as transitioning is a long process and can become overally frustrating when you are having to manage two textures at the same time.

Your uniqueness : : How would describe your hair and how do you like to wear/style your hair daily? i.e. wash-n-go’s, twists, straight, protective styles, etc.

I love to wear my hair out and for it to look as big as possible! I rarely do twist outs, braids outs, etc. or anything like that because I feel my curl pattern is defined enough so 99 % of the time my hair is a wash and go. I occasionally have it up in Mohican and sometimes will straighten it but not very often. For protective styling I tend to put it in box braids or have it braided up underneath a u part wig I’m not really good with the whole protective styling thing on my natural hair as I love my hair to be out and look wild lol as I think it gives your whole look a bit more of an edge.

Choosing favorites : : What are some fav products you can’t live without or would recommend to someone else? How do you use them?

I don’t use too many things on my hair, but my staples are Trevor Sorbie beautiful curls spray for curl definition and dark and lovely corrective leave in conditioner along with cantu Shea butter repair cream for retaining moisture in my hair. I also use water, coconut, castor, jojoba and rosemary oils all mixed up together to seal my ends.

Drop some knowledge : : Do you have an awesome hair practice/technique you’ve learned and wouldn’t mind sharing? OR is there something you’d like to learn more about?

I’ve learned that you just have to find what works for your hair and stick with it! You don’t have to try out every single product out there for natural hair just because it works for someone else. Don’t compare your hair with others, just be confident with what’s on your head and it embrace it!!!

K.I.T. : : How can we stay connected with you? i.e. website, e-mail, social media, etc.

Instagram: Jas_Bukola

In case you missed it…

In case you missed it…

…here are my #shameless plugs of other natural hair blogs that have graciously featured me :o)

Check my interviews and be sure to follow these blogs!

The Good Hair Blog 4/4/2012

Curly Nikki (repost from The Good Hair Blog) 4/10/2012

Loving Me Naturally 4/20/2012

Kurlee Belle 6/11/2012

Henna Sooq   6/15/2012

Black Girl Long Hair  6/17/2012

Girl Behind the Curl…Kelley!

Girl Behind the Curl…Kelley!

 Introduction : : Do share a little about yourself!

Young marketing professional originally from Evanston, Illinois—outside of Chicago. Attended Howard University, in D.C. and now I reside in Brooklyn, NY and I work in Manhattan.

I enjoy cooking, crocheting, traveling, meeting new people and Dance Central on the Xbox 360 Kinnect.

In the beginning : : What inspired you to go embrace your natural-ness? OR If you’ve been natural since forever, what inspired you to never get a perm?

I’ve never had a perm, but I’ve always pressed my hair—which can be equally damaging with the ongoing heat. My sister and best friend did the big chop, and I was inspired to go natural as well. I refused to cut my hair, but it did take awhile for my hair to become fully curly again.

I was absolutely terrified at first—being that I am employed in corporate America—but surprisingly, it has allowed me to be step out and be noticed among the crowd in a very positive way. I can’t imagine going back to straight now!

If you’re on the edge, go over! BE FEARLESS. Going natural is good for your hair. If you invest in your hair, it will pay you back in dividends!

Your uniqueness : : How would describe your hair and how do you like to wear/style your hair daily? i.e. wash-n-go’s, twists, straight, protective styles, etc.

I set my hair with a wet two-strand twist. In between washes, I do a try two-strand twist to keep my hair crinkly.

Choosing favorites : : What are some fav products you can’t live without or would recommend to someone else? How do you use them?

I feel so typical saying this, but I love Miss Jessie’s. Although their products can be expensive, and there are other ways to mix your own concoctions to get similar results, I stick to it because it’s just easy to put it on and go.

I use the Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo, Super Sweetback Treatment and Curly Pudding. I use the Baby Buttercreme as a daily moisturizer.

I also keep jojoba oil, peppermint oil and coconut oil on deck! I mix peppermint oil with the shampoo—using jojoba as a carrier—to stimulate my scalp and hair follicles. Research how to peppermint oil, because if you apply it directly to your hair/skin it can be a severe irritant.

One of my favorite products of all time, however, is the Hair Therapy cordless heat cap. You heat it up in the microwave and it gives you up to 30 minutes of a great deep hair conditioning treatment.

Drop some knowledge : : Do you have an awesome hair practice/technique you’ve learned and wouldn’t mind sharing? OR is there something you’d like to learn more about?

Good color is key! Color makes your hair more fun and it makes you more confident when taking that step to go natural. However, bad color will break off your hair. I take care of my hair without going to a professional salon, but there is one thing that I will not do myself, and that is coloring my hair! I trust my stylist, and know that he uses high quality hair color and helps me choose a color that looks fun but still natural.

K.I.T. : : How can we stay connected with you? i.e. website, e-mail, social media, etc.

All readers feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or want to share stories!

Girl Behind the Curl… meet Precious!

Girl Behind the Curl… meet Precious!

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone has had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I was so happy to have Monday off! But as always, back to reality (i.e. work)

How bout we start the week off with a little hairspiration :o) Meet Precious! She has a beautiful spirit and all around inspiring woman. You’ll get a sense of what I mean when you read her story below!

Introduction : : Do share a little about yourself!

My name is Precious and I love my hair! I also love my eyes and my body but that is another story all together, lol. I am a graduate of Howard University – BISON! – and I received my Masters from Duke. I currently work as a financial analyst and contract accountant for a major cable network. But, I am in the process of launching my own beauty product line and I am uber excited about it!!! Also, I love music. To that end I sing whenever I can and have done bg vocals for television shows (i.e. network singing competitions), award shows (i.e. Grammys and American Music Awards) and a Mazda commercial. And, last but certainly not least, I sing in church! And, I have had the honor of preaching on a few occasions. So, yes, I am a Christian. And, I daily strive to love as YHWH, Yahshua and Ruach Hako’desh – translation God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit – love. For as Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

In the beginning : : What inspired you to go embrace your natural-ness? OR If you’ve been natural since forever, what inspired you to never get a perm?

My hair is very thick. So, when I was a pre-teen, my mother did what most mothers in the late 90s did – she put a relaxer in my hair. I did not know any better and neither did she. The goal was to straighten my hair so that it would be more “manageable” and the relaxer seemed like the best way. I maintained a relaxer throughout middle school, high school and my undergraduate years at Howard. And, over the years my very thick hair began to get very thin. By the time I arrived at Duke to do my Master program, I was over the entire “creamy crack” process. I was talking with a friend who convinced me to try to go without the relaxer, and I did for about a month and failed miserably. A month of “new growth” with relaxed ends was the craziest experience. I had no idea how to manage the new growth. I would get it pressed only to work out and have it wave/curl up. At the time wavy/curly hair that was “kinky” did not seem attractive. So, I caved in got another relaxer. This did not stop me from hating how thin was hair was becoming. My ends were atrocious and my scalp was constantly irate because of the chemicals. The summer before my final year at Duke, I finally decided “enough is enough” and made the decision to start over. I had an appointment to get my touch up relaxer and I called my stylist that morning and told her I was canceling my appointment. I was such a regular customer at the time that her response was “So, when would you like to reschedule it.” I laughed, very nervously because of course I had NO idea what I was going to do without the relaxer, I just knew I did not want a relaxer any more. After my nervous laugh, my response was, “No, I am canceling for good. I won’t be get a relaxer anymore.” Her silence at the other end was deafening and when she said, “Really…” for a split second I almost retreated but my instinct said, “stand firm” and my split ends said, “you don’t have a choice.” So, I said, “Yes, really. I’m going natural.”

That was 6 years ago. The journey has been interesting but fun. I transitioned with braids for a full year. And, that following summer I went to a natural stylist who washed/conditioned my hair and took me to a mirror and asked, “Are you ready to cut the rest of the relaxer out?” My reflection was so inspiring. I had about 3 inches of straight straggly hair. But, the rest of my crown was full of thick kinky curly perfection. When I smiled she grabbed the scissors and I have been 100% natural ever since. I enjoy everything about my hair. The texture. The thickness. And, the versatility. I can press it, blow it out, wear protective styles or wear my curl pattern and with every change it reminds me how versatile I am as a woman. And, I love that I am constantly learning new things about my hair and what it likes and does not like. My mother had the right idea when i was a pre-teen. I was a young girl who played sports and was constantly on the go. The idea of “managing” my hair was a good one. But, the approach was wrong. My hair did not need to be permanently straight. It needed to be styled in protective styles. But, American culture is and has constantly told black women that permanently straight hair is the standard of beauty and that straight styles allows us to better manage our day to day lives. Yet, American culture does not mention the studies that suggest “creamy crack” has a direct correlation to fibroids and other health issues. It does not mention the damage it does to our tresses in the long run. What I have learned in the last six years is that once I learned how to “manage” my “natural” hair with “natural” methods, life actually got a whole lot simpler.

Your uniqueness : : How would describe your hair and how do you like to wear/style your hair daily? i.e. wash-n-go’s, twists, straight, protective styles, etc.

I am versatile with my hair. I get it pressed about 3 times a year. Each time I never add any additional heat after I leave my stylist. My press lasts about 4 to 5 weeks. For the first 3 weeks I pin curl my hair so that I still have the bounce I had when I left the salon. By week 4 my natural oils in my scalp make the pin curls impossible so I will wrap it at night and wear it straight for the week and an additional week if I can get a fifth week out of it. I like getting it pressed because I can see the length. Right now it falls to about my bra strap in the back. So, that gives me a chance to shake it and really enjoy the length.

For the most part, I wear protective styles about 85% of the time. I love mini twists and my curly afro. I have not tried the micro twists yet. It seems like it would take forever to do them. But, I would love to try to sit still long enough to put them in. It take me about 4 to 5 hours to mini twist my hair but I love mini twists because I can style them in several ways. I also wear cornrows or braids. Sometimes, I will also moisturize my hair with my homemade shea butter souffle and put in big two strand twists that I will take down and wear my hair kinky. And, on a few occasions, I will wash and go but my hair requires so much moisture that the wash and go usually lasts a day or two at the most. So, I am not fond, or rather my hair is not fond of the wash and go. My texture doesn’t permit me to do it often.

Choosing favorites : : What are some fav products you can’t live without or would recommend to someone else? How do you use them?

Right now I am making my own products, which I plan to open an online store and sell in the very near future. I’ve tried many products but the more I read the more I see things in products that I, nor my hair, likes. Many shampoos and conditioners are full of chemicals or chemical subsidiaries that make my hair dry and difficult to detangle. This includes many of the products that have silicone free and sulfate free. For a while I was doing the co-wash method, which was much better than the shampoo method. But, once I started making my own products, I like the way my hair feels much better. One of my favorite products is my deep conditioner consists of yogurt extracts, avocado oil, vitamin e, honey, castrol oil, coconut oil and several fruit extracts and essential oils. My hair LOVES this conditioner. After I cleanse my hair with my special cleanser, I treat my scalp with an apple cider vinegar rinse (shout out to Coco Bella for the ACV Rinse suggestion) that has aloe vera juice, grapefruit extract and essential oils. Then, I deep condition my hair with my yogurt mix. For my deep condition I part my hair into 12 sections and two strand twist each section (3 twists front left, 3 twists back left, 3 twists front right, 3 twist back right). I take each section and smooth my yogurt mix onto that section until my hair is completely covered. Then, I place that section between my hands and place my hands in a praying position and slide my hands down my hair a few times to make sure the mix is on each strand. When I finish smoothing my yogurt mix a section, I two strand twist that section and move to the next. When I am finished I have 12 two strand twists soaked in yogurt. Then, I place a plastic cap over my hair and let it soak and absorb the yogurt and the oils for about 10 to 15 minutes. When the time is up, I rinse my yogurt mix out in tepid water doing one twist at a time (and I retwisting it once I am done). Afterwards, I add my shea butter souffle to each twist (also retwisting when I am done). I allow the 12 twists to air dry. If I have time I will place my hair in a protective styles (mini twists or braids) and let it air dry. Or, if I allowed to air-dry without doing a protective style, I will untwist each of the 12 twists and wear my hair in a curly afro.

Drop some knowledge : : Do you have an awesome hair practice/technique you’ve learned and wouldn’t mind sharing? OR is there something you’d like to learn more about?

I just shared my deep conditioner above *wink*

I would like to learn more about protective styles. I keep it simple but I am sure there are other styles I don’t know about and would love to try.

Shameless plug : : Do you have a hustle you’d like to share while you have the floor? i.e. business, project, etc. if not, that’s cool, no worries :o)

Of course! I am launching a line of beauty products that will be all natural. My company’s name is T’Sonja Beauty. I am perfecting my products and working on my website – www.tsonja.com. My desire and goal is to launch in late Fall of this year. So, I am working dilligently and I am so excited about it! I will keep you posted on when I will be ready to launch and would love for you or any one else to contact me in order to test the products for free. I would love to have feedback so that I can improve the products and know what products you like and/or love and/or dislike and think should be changed/revised.

K.I.T. : : How can we stay connected with you? i.e. website, e-mail, social media, etc.

Yes, my current email is tsonjabeauty@gmail.com