There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. — Rumi

Anu Essential owner Anu Prestonia celebrating

The 2023 Vernal Equinox will take place on Monday, March 20 at 2:24 PM PDT, heralding the official arrival of spring. But for Anu Prestonia, who is the…

  • founder of  Anu Essentials,
  • founder and CEO of Khamit Kinks, Inc.,
  • culture-maker, 
  • perfumer, 
  • wellness entrepreneur, 
  • consultant in the beauty and salon industries,
  • certified Hatha Yoga instructor, 
  • Reiki practitioner and natural hair advocate, 
  • global warming/climate change activist, 

…it’s always time to start “anew”!

After calling a Brooklyn brownstone home for 24 years, Anu blogs about her move to Waldorf, Maryland with a mixture of the hilarious and the hellacious. She writes in her post “How Packing to Move Felt Like It Was Killing Me,” “I didn’t truly realize how much stuff was hidden in drawers, closets, and all kinds of nooks and crannies that don’t get used on a daily basis.” By the end, she writes, “I felt like a zombie.”

Anu recounts that when she was young, she breezed through frequent moves with the mantra, “Have comb, will travel,” making her living as an expert braider. With the passage of time came more stuff. And then even more stuff. Although she had spent months prior to her most recent relocation sorting, donating, gifting and discarding many items, stashing the remainder in storage to stage her house for sale, the reality returned like gangbusters: so much, too much stuff, in spite of her diligent efforts. In addition to her own belongings, including beloved artwork and, vintage kimonos. Anu recalls, “what really compounded my move in a most time-consuming and financial way, was also having to move my business Anu Essentials, which was quite substantial – all those products, bottles, jars, labels, shelving and 5-gallon pails of products, not to mention, over 400 bottles of essential oils, and etc.”

Sound familiar?

Anu sitting at her Perfumer Organ at her Brooklyn home

Anu warns that even if you’re feeling comfortably settled in your home, an annual springtime purge is a good idea. “For those of a certain age who do not tend towards minimalism, and are planning to move at some point, start decluttering now. I highly recommend getting rid of what you don’t really, truly love, need, or use. And, if you are already planning to stay put, and therefore believe it’s OK to keep everything you own, think of those who will have to handle your belongings when you’re gone. Believe me, as much as they love you, they will begrudge the extra burden of dispersing too much stuff! So do consider letting some of it go.”

Here are some favorite affirmations from Yin yoga by Kassandra that helped Anu get through the changes:

While she’s clearly a cosmic entity, chatting with Anu via Zoom reveals an earthy, warm, grounded woman who immediately makes a stranger feel like an old friend. She shares that her choice to leave B’klyn was influenced by her need for a less congested and harried lifestyle; “I needed to see nature when I stepped outside my home – more space inside and outside of my home.” Now she’s happy to have traded her vintage digs for a pristine townhouse with perfect new plumbing. “Old houses can be charming if you’ve got those long pockets,” she says.

Our talk turns to pearls and flaky skin. Read the full article on Dry Brushing written by Anu Here

As a sometime-jewelry designer, she’s a fan of Tahitian and baroque sea pearls, loving how “the more you wear them, the more they glow on your skin.” When I mention that the writer Colette famously retired her favorite pearl necklace because she felt the strand drew attention to her aging neck, Anu chuckles. She recommends Burt’s Bees Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore Face Scrub for skin that’s looking a little crinkly. “And wear the pearls, they need you to wear them,” she says. She’s cautious on the subject of chemical peels, preferring a less-invasive, less-abrasive physical exfoliator to keep skin smooth.

“So many things we do in our youth come back to haunt us,” she says. “I was a sun worshipper, and I would get so dark that people who knew me wouldn’t recognize me!” The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it’s always shedding and molting. With age, the process of cell turnover slows down, even to the point of creating dreaded ashiness on legs and elbows. She suggests dry brushing for the body and limbs, Yin yoga (vs. too-darned-hot Bikram yoga), warm drinks including August Teas versus cold beverages, and oil. “Oils, in our salad, for our hair, for our skin– oil is the lusciousness of life, especially as we get older, because age dries everything out,” she says. She formulates her signature line with grapeseed, avocado, pomegranate, hemp seed and jojoba with natural Vitamin E as a preservative, using these as the “slip and glide” component needed for a DIY Qi Gong “face lift” facial. She also recommends a professional salon facial once or twice a year to keep skin balanced and energized. She’s fond of using Rose Water as a refreshing, mild toner.

For spring, she urges us to “create and find spaciousness in life.” Start by whisking away debris: the debris of dry, dead skin cells from our sluggish skin, and the silent, steady accumulation of unloved stuff in our dwelling spaces. “It doesn’t have to be overnight,” she says. “Clear the air, literally. Open the windows, and burn some frankincense, sage, cedar. Get that stale, stagnant air outta there! You hopefully will begin to see and think with a little more clarity, so you can start the process of separating from the things in your life which no longer serve your spirit.”  She’s a fan of fragrance, but warns against those mass-market plug-ins that mask unpleasant odors with synthetic, petroleum-based perfumes. “Those synthetics can kick up skin irritations, eye, nose, throat irritations, especially when you breathe in those fumes 24/7 in a closed environment.”

Anu references the ancient Lenten practice of relinquishing a luxury (or a bad habit) as a valuable exercise, even for those who are not practicing Catholics or Orthodox Christians. “I’m sacrificing some things that are non-material this year,” she shares. Some people sacrifice cigarettes, meat, butter, sweets, alcohol, television, TikTok, and that’s all fine. But says Anu, “…the effects of sacrificing a negative mental or emotional habit are really liberating.” Doing this, she says, may be a key to what’s most important at every point in life, but becomes especially evident with age: “Being beautiful on the inside, which is the deepest expression of our beauty.”


Find Anu here:



  1. Arit says:

    Oh Anu! How inspiring and beautiful is this interview!?

  2. Jennifer Ivey says:

    You are a true gem and live your life in all four directions !!This article shares your spirit and love of life! Keep blessing the universe !!! FABULOUS YOU!!!

  3. Dr.Debra Valentine-Neblett says:

    You are truly amazing. I am Dr.DebraValentibe,Esq. I am the wife of the late Gerald Neblett
    Diane’s Neblett youngest brother. You did my hair in September of 1982. I have never forgotten you. You stuck with my soul. In the hours it took for you to finish my hair, you made me become aware of the Woman I wanted to become. Through up and downs good and bad I am that Woman who knows her worth and her destiny and most importantly my inner and outter Soul. Thank you so much and you are an Angle of God and I am happy for your success. And so happy to have meet you!

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