Lifestyle futurist and self-care activist Shel Pink believes that to lead both a pleasurable and purposeful life, one must slow down enough to be observant, mindful and actionable. Shel and I share a passion and career in natural beauty, she is the embodiment of her philosophy and she is now sharing it with us in her oh so inspiring new book Slow Beauty.
I am very excited for you to get to know her and learn about the Slow Beauty philosophy.
Tell Odacité beauty lovers a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to launch SpaRitual.
I believe that to lead both a pleasurable and purposeful life, one must slow down enough to be observant, mindful and actionable. As a child, many years before holistic lifestyles became mainstream, an organic diet, the importance of regular massage, alternative healing methods and the minimization of toxin exposure within our environment, were instilled in me by my mother. It had always been a way of life for me, so embracing yoga, meditation and Ayurveda during my college years was a natural extension of the principles that have grounded and shaped my thinking about beauty, health and wellness. For me beauty, health and wellness have always been interconnected, and I’ve always been passionate about exploring and understanding where and how they converge, and why that’s important for our overall wellbeing. I launched SpaRitual in 2004 to begin a dialogue about the hot button ingredients in Nail Lacquer, and a year later we launched the body care range. Our Vegan stance from the onset is our act of compassion. Our Body and Nail care products are used professionally by service providers in the best spas around the world for manicure, pedicure and body treatments. We developed the formulas to be safe for professional use because they are using the products day in and day out, and because of their relationship with their clients, there is the perfect opportunity to educate consumers on choosing healthier beauty products, and why that’s important. SpaRitual has always been a platform for elevated conversations about wellness, health and beauty.
We love your Slow Beauty philosophy, how did the phrase come to you and what are its basic principles?
Thank you! I’ve been practicing Slow Beauty my entire life, yet it wasn’t until 8 years ago that the phrase Slow Beauty showed up in my mind. I was going through the motions of checking multiple e-mails, voicemails and social media channels when I realized the world had changed forever. It felt super fast and distracting, and showed no signs of slowing down. During this time we were hosting my son’s class pet Torti, the Tortoise and he mesmerized me. I observed him moving around the house and he seemed as if he was in this constant state of meditation. He was just so slow, and that was beautiful to me, and then I had what in Zen is called a Satori moment and the phrase Slow Beauty appeared.
The basic principles of Slow Beauty are to take a philosophical approach to beauty, incorporate seasonally based rituals and recipes into your life daily, monthly, and yearly, and then map it out each season so you have a roadmap to follow to keep you focused and engaged in the process.
This book is my wellness autobiography. It is about accessible wellness, and an invitation to readers to establish and document their own personal wellness journey. I share a lot of tips, exercises and insights with readers on how to develop a sustainable self-care practice. The book is very interactive and fun.
Your new book Slow Beauty: Rituals and Recipes to Nourish the Body and Feed the Soul is all about finding moments to breathe, practice self-care and take life at your own pace. Can you share some tips from the book on how to practice wellness at home?
First tip is to define your own beauty standard. We don’t need to follow the standards set by the beauty industry. We are each beautiful in our own unique way and I encourage women to take an empowered stance to what makes them uniquely beautiful and to own it. There are exercises in the book that help women to reflect on identifying their needs, connecting with their inner rhythm, and what beauty means to them and the Slow Beauty Mapping chapter shows how to engage meaningfully in their personal practice. In addition I recommend taking a seasonal approach to wellness. Just like the external seasons change, so do we and it’s important to adjust our wellness practices to support our changing needs each season. Some basics are daily self-massage after the shower. I like to use the SpaRitual Earl Grey Oil Salve for the fall/winter seasons and/or one of the fall or winter oil blends (recipes in the book). Bringing in breath work, daily movements, and intuitive eating practices are also an important aspect of self-care and all are deeply nourishing. To increase compassion for self and others I highly recommend a Tibeten meditation practice called Tonglen. This practice decreases feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression by helping us to let go of deeply rooted obstacle states of mind. The effects are feelings of joy, presence and calm.
We are in the middle of a new season. What changes are you making in your daily routine to embrace Fall?
Fall is characteristic of self-discipline, structure, organization and deep inner strength. As the leaves change colors and fall from the trees, we are invited to also let go of that which no longer serves us. I use the Tonglen meditation practice in the Fall to aid me in the letting go process, and I also identify three needs to focus on for the season. For this Fall I’ve identified that I need organization, dance and optimism, and I’ve made commitment to myself to do what it takes to invite all three into my life in meaningful ways. For beauty rituals I am doing dry brushing to let go of toxins, and in my daily self massage I use more oil and deeper pressure to pacify the anxiety often kicked up in the fall season, and to hydrate and tone my skin. These are just a few ways I use Slow Beauty to embrace the Fall season.
What is the ultimate beauty practice to you and why?
Meditation. Meditation. Meditation. It is scientifically proven that meditation helps to slow the aging process, and reduces stress, and that in turn helps us to feel more joyful and look more radiant.
Lastly, could you tell our beauty lovers what your all-time favorite Odacité product(s) is and how you use it in your skincare regime :-)
I’ve been a huge fan of Valerie and Odacité since its inception. I love many of the products in the line. If I need to pick just one then I will pick the Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser. I use the cleanser in my evening face ritual. I love that it comes with the facial sponges and the tip on how to use them to encourage lymphatic circulation.