Exclusive: Natalie Manuel Lee Discusses New Episodes of Beyond The Surface

If you are looking for a soul-soothing, life-changing, spiritual-pick-me-up then stop what you’re doing and tune into Beyond The Surface. 

“Dorion Renaud (the founder of Buttah Skin) and I, both saw the need for conversations that served a greater purpose. The intent behind Beyond The Surface is to uplift our voices, showcase the beauty behind our stories and serve our culture,” Natalie Lee shares with ESSENCE exclusively. “With the plight of humanity, we felt it was imperative to have a dialogue about transitions in life, motherhood, and the balancing act we all do with our careers, finding the silver lining in the “bad” and navigating the uncertainties in life. One of the greatest ways to serve is to tell your truth and when you share your story, it can be someone else’s survival guide.”

Beyond The Surface, executive produced and hosted by Natalie Manuel Lee returns with all-new episodes featuring intimate sit-downs with AARMY co-founder & fitness expert Angela Manuel Davis, actress Vanessa Simmons (BET’s Games People Play, Monogamy), reality TV personalities & twin sisters Malika Haqq & Khadijah Haqq-McCray (Keeping Up With the Kardashians), and singer-songwriter Melanie Fiona. Each discusses juggling parenthood with their perspective occupations, dealing with love and relationships, and how they prioritized their mental health during the pandemic, among other topics.

“Whenever I’m thinking about who to sit down with next, it’s important to know one thing: that they will be honest and truthful about their journey,” Lee explains. “Each guest is hand-selected with that in mind, and it’s our main priority. For this round of interviews, I wanted to specifically highlight mothers, and share with our audience that there is no one way to be a mom– each of us have our own methods and more importantly, our show is a judge-free zone.”

The digital series highlights the stories that have inspired the lives and careers of Black creatives and changemakers in their respective fields. The shows are available on the Buttah Skin platform, which was founded by Dorion Renaud, the founder of Buttah Skin, the world’s #1 organic, cruelty-free Black-owned skincare company, which is offered in Bloomingdales, HSN, Ulta Beauty, and other specialty retailers around the country. And when Queen Beyoncé gives you her seal of approval—you know you’ve got a great product!

“We’re in a time where we are all looking for truth, reliability, and authenticity and that is what Beyond The Surface is,” Natalie M. Lee tells us about the need to create this web series. “These conversations intentionally highlight the struggle in each guest’s life to show that every challenge we face is a great offering for growth and change and to trust that God will work everything out for good. Remembering the troubled waters, we go through are not intended to drown us, but to cleanse us.”

Tune in with a glass of wine on May 6th, just in time for a little Mother’s Day soul sustenance.

Here is the exclusive sneak peek for our ESSENCE sisters!


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