Please tell us about yourself, Shanesha…
I grew up in Gardena, California and Los Angeles, California. Due to school and travels, I have lived all over the U.S. and also in Cuba when I was a study abroad student. I am Visiting Scholar-in-Residence at a local college and I do several other things in addition to that. For one, I am passionate about educating others about the importance of all natural and organic beauty. I believe that it has been made out by some to be a luxury when it is really imperative for long-term health!
How long have you been on your all-natural path, and what inspired you to be on it?
I have been on my natural path for about 6 years now. Shortly after I got married, I discovered www.Etsy.com and all of the amazing natural products that dedicated and talented artisans were creating. Natural products and their aromatherapy helped me through difficult times, and discovering them made me passionate about sharing with others. I try not to be too “proselytizing” to others about going “the natural route” but many times I cannot help it! I like to think that people appreciate the exposure even if they think I’m a little too insistent.
What makes you choose ‘the ANB’ and what do you like about it?
I feel that ANB chose me, in a way. I was searching for natural products, truly natural ones that were made from scratch. I did an internet search and the rest is history. At ANB I found so many resources: informative articles, truly natural companies, product reviews, forums – it just goes on and on. I especially love the samplers, through which I was introduced to some fantastic companies like Grateful Body, Evan’s Garden, and Monave, companies who I continue to purchase from directly. There truly is nothing like ANB online; it seems that other networks have broad definitions of “natural” to generate more involvement, or they produce content that seems popular rather than truly transformative and educational. I love ANB because for 10 years they have stood by the strictest standards and continue to be the leader in natural and organic beauty and living. I’m so thrilled to be working with ANB.
Which products and/or DIY recipes have you tried from our sites and what are your favorites and why?
I love Grateful Body. They really know it by now, haha. I was so thrilled to attend and cover their Open House in April 2013 because I truly believe in what they are doing. I love every product they create and outside of the products that I make for myself, Grateful Body is heavily represented in my skin care routine. As for makeup, Jenulence and Monave produce excellent products. I use their mascara, lip glosses, and tints. I really love Evan’s Garden’s and Dawn to Dusk Essentials’ perfumes as well. There are so many favorites that I cannot list them all here. I have tried a few recipes from ANB, including those from Jeanne Rose, Li Wong, and Sharon Houghton. I feel like there is still so much to explore!
What would you tell a friend about choosing all-natural beauty products?
I tell my friends all the time that all-natural beauty products aren’t a luxury; they are absolutely necessary for living a healthy life. Our skin is constantly exposed to fluctuating conditions. It absorbs so many pollutants on a daily basis. This is why it’s extremely important to regularly feed our skin the best products. When you take a lavender rosemary sea and epsom salt bath, for example, yes, it’s luxurious, and you are benefiting from the aromatherapeutic effect of the essential oils. But it’s also cleansing your skin, revitalizing it with nutrients, and assisting in restoring lost moisture – true necessities, right? I think the fact that many people view natural beauty as an “extra” or as something for the wealthy may have something to do with their cost as compared to those of conventional drugstore products. But once people realize how concentrated and effective well-made natural products are, they are converted for life. I’m on a personal mission to help others realize that natural personal care is a requirement, not an extravagance. Every human being is absolutely worth natural, luxurious-feeling products just as they need and deserve truly natural and organic foods for optimal health.