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The Wellness Questionnaire with Shelly Marshall, Founder of Beauty Shamans

Discover how this spiritual and holistic esthetician learned to embrace self-love

After struggling with acne and self-image, Shelly Marshall made it her mission to learn how to care for her skin. As part of her journey, she became an esthetician and came to understand that ingredients hold the key to radiant skin and overall health and wellbeing. She also discovered the benefits of seaweed, a potent source of nourishment. With her knowledge of the skin, its cellular structure, nurturing ingredients, and essential oils, she created Beauty Shamans, a line of non-toxic beauty products formulated to nourish the skin. As the seaweed began to heal her skin from the outside, she realized there was more healing that needed to be done on the inside. That’s when she began exploring empowering rituals and habits that would help heal the skin from within. Incorporating seaweed products, innovative skincare tools, and ancient healing practices, such as massage, reflexology, and lymphatic drainage, Marshall launched a brand designed to offer a truly holistic approach to skincare. The name Beauty Shamans is intended to convey the idea that beauty is a mindset and a way of living. Here, Marshall shares how turning her skincare into a spiritual practice transformed her perspective.  

What does wellness mean to you?

To me, wellness means being at peace with where you are in your life or on your health journey, accepting what is and being excited, curious, and open about what’s to come. 

Is there a specific fitness activity that you love and why?

I recently started combining different yoga poses with intuitive movement, and my body has been loving it. I turn on some soothing music, close my eyes and just move in whatever way my body tells me to. I love this kind of exercise because it involves constant movement (I definitely get in a good workout) and forces me to be in my body instead of my head. It allows for total freedom of movement and stirs up my creativity for the rest of the day. 

What is your favorite healthy beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and do you have any
insider tips for preparing it?

When it gets warm out, I drink my signature Skin Glowing smoothie almost daily. It’s easy to prepare, hydrates the skin, clears the complexion, and boosts collagen. I see a huge difference in my skin when I’m drinking this regularly, and the ingredients are basic items, so it’s not difficult to pull together. 

Skin Glowing Smoothie:

Handful of spinach

Handful of strawberries (fresh or frozen)

Handful of blueberries (fresh or frozen) 

Half of a chopped cucumber 

Juice from half of a lemon 

1 Tbsp of raw honey

4 Tbsp of hemp seeds (for protein and omega fats) 

Water or coconut water to desired consistency 

What is your greatest wellness achievement?

I would say that to the outside world, my greatest wellness achievement was overcoming my chronic acne and launching a skincare line that helps others heal, so they no longer need to conceal. However, that wouldn’t have happened without my own inner transformation first. So, I would say that my biggest wellness achievement was traveling down the road of self-discovery and coming to love what I saw in the mirror. Once I started speaking to myself the way I would my best friend, I began treating myself differently, and that changed how I felt inside, how I looked on the outside, and how others were responding all around me. Once I turned my skincare routine into a spiritual practice, my perspective and consciousness completely shifted, and from then on, my “work” just became an expression of my soul. I truly believe that to heal the world, we must heal ourselves first. I share techniques on self-massage and self-love, but I had to master it myself first. 

What is the best piece of wellness advice you have ever received and from whom?

My husband is a wise old sage in a young man’s body. He has offered many pieces of wellness advice that I’ve chosen to live by, and each has improved my life and helped me tremendously on my path. Two favorites:

Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up. In other words, constantly being on the go and trying to force something to grow or be completed is not always the best or quickest way to get the result we want. Sometimes we must slow down and trust that things will unfold exactly how they ought to. I have less stress when I remember to let go a little, leaving room for time and synchronicity to work some magic. 

The wisest people in the world are not the ones always talking, they’re the ones who are always listening; leave a gap between stimulus and response. When you really listen to what people say, without being primed to respond as soon as they close their lips, amazing things can happen. When you feel triggered to respond to something, pause first, give whatever was said some space. In the silence you can learn a lot about others and yourself. 

What do you think is the most overused word or words in wellness?

I think the word “holistic” is not only overused but misunderstood as well. I feel that very often in the wellness industry the word holistic is used to imply that something is natural or organic when that is not what the word means or refers to. It comes from the older “holism,” and the idea that something can’t be understood in isolation but only as part of a larger whole. When we speak about a person’s “holistic lifestyle,” we might imagine someone meditating during yoga, eating organically grown salads, and inhaling essential oils for a stuffy nose. That can be part of it, but it’s important to remember that for some, listening to heavy metal music, staying out late with friends, or getting Botox might be part of their holistic lifestyle. In other words, it’s what makes that particular person feel whole, happy, and healthy. In my opinion, the word “holistic” should really be re-learned in the wellness industry.

Do you have a secret health or wellness tip you would like to share?

Yes, oil cleansing. There are so many skin benefits to oil cleansing. First off, oil is a magnet for dirt, makeup, and air pollutants that get stuck in the pores. When you massage an oil into the skin for the purpose of cleansing, you not only moisturize and soften the skin texture, but you are also encapsulating all the gunk on the skin so that it can be easily wiped off. Oil cleansing is great for regulating sebum production, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, and incorporating some blood-stimulating massage into your routine. 

What is your favorite self-care routine?

My favorite self-care routine is performing lymphatic drainage with one of my gua sha tools. I love that this ritual is slow, therapeutic, and produces amazing results for my face. I’m prone to getting puffy eyes (especially if I eat something salty), and I’ve realized that while moving through a slow paced gua sha routine, it also gives me the opportunity to check in with my nervous system and anything that’s been keeping my heart rate up that day. So, it’s usually a win-win. My anxiety gets some relief, and my face looks more alert and rested. 

About The Author
Heather-Mikesell-author-1

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent, abcnews.com, jetsetter.com, outside.com, and wellandgood.com, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.