Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Friday, February 15, 2013

Meet SpaRitual Founder, Shel Pink

I am a huge fan of Spa Ritual.  I discovered their nail color line shortly after becoming vegan, searching for "good" products to put on my body that matched what I was putting inside my body.  To my delight, I learned the company offered a whole line of beauty care that fit my new lifestyle.  They had me at their nail polish, but their philosophy and business ethics made the company a favorite with me.  Then, I learned about founder, Shel Pink's Slow Beauty movement and I knew I had to get to know this amazing gal better.  Lucky for me (and you!), she agreed to answer some questions about her business, philosophy and lifestyle.  This is one lady who is doing it right in my book, living the good life out loud and proud.  Read on for inspiration and ideas!

VM: Tell us about Slow Beauty.  What does it mean and how did this idea come to you?
SP:  Slow beauty is an alternative approach to beauty in the fast world. Today, beauty is all about quick fixes like fillers, Botox and plastic surgery.  Instead slow beauty makes us beautiful from the inside out with relaxing rituals and products that are good for you and free of harsh chemicals.  It is beauty rituals that are pleasurable, rather than painful and punitive.  Slow beauty helps people slow down and nurture the mind, body and spirit therefore producing visible results.

I am very big on connecting the dots.  I saw a recurring theme for myself and friends and family that life was moving too fast, and that the technology and social media avenues available to us were beginning to tether us to an over productive lifestyle that was causing a lot of stress. At the same time I had been working in beauty for almost a decade, specifically in sustainable beauty.  I saw that a new conversation could begin, was beginning to take place and that beauty would expand to include
health and wellness.  Beauty has for so long been about quick fixes.  What if we slowed down our approach to aging instead of "racing against time"?  What would that look like?  Feel like?  These were the questions that I had.  And that's how Slow Beauty came to be.  It was a series of observations, and questions.

VM: For those interested in living slower, what 3 things do you suggest people do now to get started?
SP: I would say that meditation is a great place to begin.  I have a regular meditation practice.  It really centers me, and helps me to slow down to make better choices, and decisions about my priorities in life.  There are also studies to show that a regular meditation practice reduces stress, and the signs of aging.  People who practice meditation look years younger.

Abhyanga Massage - This is a daily self-massage practice from the Ayurvedic tradition.  The health, beauty and wellness benefits are vast.  Some of them include: increase strength and stamina, promotes a healthy night's sleep, improves vision and gives your skin a healthy glow.  Add Abhyanga massage to your daily beauty routine to elevate it to a ritual.

Seasonal Cleanses - Give your central nervous system a break.  Find a seasonal cleanse that suits your lifestyle and rid yourself of toxins of the mind, body and spirit that build up daily.  We often treat our cars better than we treat ourself.  This is our body.  Connect with it, love it, take care of it.

VM: Is Spa Ritual a part of Slow Beauty?  How does your line fit in with Slow Beauty?
SP: Slow Beauty is a movement.  SpaRitual supports and promotes that movement.  At SpaRitual we offer 4 unique states of slow beauty.  Each state is a multi-sensory experience with our products that contains a signature scent and color palette.  You can enjoy a unique state at home or go to a spa or
salon to receive a manicure, pedicure or body care service with our products.  The 4 States of Slow Beauty are:  Close Your Eyes, Look Inside, Instinctual and Infinitely Loving.  An easy way to remember the 4 states are in the mantra:  Close Your Eyes, Look Inside, find your Instinctual
self, be Infinitely Loving.  Each state has been developed to address a specific mind, body, spirit type. For Example: Close Your Eyes is for the sensitive mind, body, spirit.  The essential oil of that state and the color palette have been selected to soothe, and calm the mind, body, spirit.  

VM: How did you come up with the idea for Spa Ritual?  Was it important for the products to be vegan?  What types of ingredients go into your products?
SP: Long before people were talking about living green and eating organic food, my mom was teaching me when I was only a teenager to read the labels on food and beauty products. She thought everything you put in and on your body should be good for you.  But like every other woman she still wanted
to look beautiful and loved beauty products.  She searched for products that were better for you despite the fact that there were very few options back then.  So when I started working at Orly I wanted to bring a healthier approach to the nail care and beauty industry.

It was important for the products to be vegan, free of harsh chemicals, and as organic as possible.  For our body care line we use a high percentage of certified organic ingredients and fair trade ingredients.
For our nail color and care line we are free of DBP, toluene, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin.  This spring we launched our color collection MEDITATE.  This collection of 6 shades contains an eco-cert certified mbamboo ingredient that strengthens the nails up to 35%.

VM: What trends do you see in beauty products today?
SP: Pastels shades with a twist are big for Spring.  Blue and Green pastels are sophisticated with a bit of an edge.  Texture in nails and more attention to texture in body care products.  How does it feel?  This is the question.

VM: What are your top 3 products?
SP: My favorite SpaRitual products are:  Infinitely Loving Body Butter, Handprint Hand Salve, and I'm really into the color Emerald City right now.  From the MEDITATE collection I love them all, however, Energy and Introspection really stand out.

VM: If someone is new to your line, what would you insist they try first?
SP: Handprint Hand Salve.  It is the best hand salve out there.

VM: I am obsessed with your nail polish.  What are your hottest colors now?  How do you come up with the names and themes for the lines?
SP: Energy and Introspection from our spring collection, Meditate.  And... When you purchase colors from that collection 20% of the profits go to benefit the David Lynch Foundation.  DLF teaches Transcendental Meditation to people who are exposed to high stress situations, like veterans of war
with PTSD, or children from high stress families.

VM: I am on a quest to live the "good" life in all aspects of the word.  What does the "good" life represent/mean to you?
SP: To me the good life means living a meaningful and connected life, to yourself, to your family, to your friends.

VM: Can you share your favorite quote?
SP: "Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light."

Thank you, Shel!  You can check out all of the fantastic SpaRitual products here, and learn more about Slow Beauty here.  Read more about Shel below.


  • Lifestyle futurist Shel Pink captured the attention of the spa industry when she founded and launched SpaRitual in 2004.
  • With a clear idea of an enlightened consumer in mind, she called them SpaRitualists, and created a brand to honor the collective mind, body and spirit.
  • Dedicated to the ancient spa tradition, SpaRitual is committed to creating multi- purpose eco-friendly products and packaging - perfectly crafted for the enlightened consumer, using vegan ingredients from around the world, that are specially sourced, certified organic and fair trade. The formulations are also naturally colored and free of synthetic dyes. 
  • In addition, SpaRitual offers Nail Elixirs and Nail Lacquers, which are also vegan and free of toluene, formaldehyde and DBP.
  • SpaRitual is constantly monitoring sustainability issues and strives to be on the cutting edge of environmental awareness. The SpaRitual brand philosophy encourages women to understand beauty as a holistic connection to oneself and to the environment.
  • The terms “eco,” “organic” and “vegan” were Shel saw an overwhelming need for a brand that could begin the dialogue.
  • Seven years later, Shel now sees the green movement transitioning towards a discussion of slow ideals in direct response to a lifestyle that has become too fast.
  • SpaRitual will now help to define, promote and educate on its new, evolved platform, “Slow BeautyTM.”
  • As a child, decades before a holistic lifestyle became mainstream, an organic diet, the importance of regular massage, alternative healing, and how to minimize exposure to toxins in the environment were emphasized by Shel’s mother. Continuing on this holistic path, Shel discovered yoga, meditation and Ayurveda while attending college.
  • After receiving a degree in the visual arts from the University of Michigan, Shel worked at Motown Records where she conceptualized Motown on Tour, a traveling interactive exhibit chronicling the history of Motown and contributed to the Motown CafĂ© concept launch.
  • She then went on to develop and implement photography campaigns, and later co- founded the clothing brand LOBA which sold to national high-end boutiques and department stores.
  • From there, she joined Orly International in 2001.
  • Her latest endeavor, Seeing the Future Now, a creative business building think tank, is Shel’s vision of the way consumer goods companies can execute brand design, product development and launch strategies through a collaborative team effort.
  • Seeing The Future Now leads trend resourcing, ideation, market research, cross- functional strategies and business building blocks for both the Orly and SpaRitual brands. The think tank process fosters free thinking and the sharing of ideas in workshop environments. Together product development, marketing, sales, communication and education teams are inspired to originate product concepts that will meet or exceed company growth expectations.
  • Shel served on the Board of Directors for Trash for Teaching ( and the Go Green Initiative ( in recent years.
  • Her current endeavor as a member of the Board of Directors for her synagogue and a community leadership committee is the implementation of ‘’listening’’ campaigns in Los Angeles. The overall hope is to assist in creating positive changes on a variety of issues that are of concern to residents across the Los Angeles area.
  • Shel is also a contributing expert to an on- line think tank, as a U.S. expert, for global market research firm Sturm & Drang, where she envisions future beauty scenarios, sharing her insights with non-competing, global beauty brands.
  • In early 2011, Shel co-founded Bicycle Artist, a creativity troupe connecting families and students with enriching holistic creative experiences. Students are invited into the meditation of the creative process giving first hand access to artistic self-expression. The purpose: to provoke curiosity, playfulness, wonder, creativity, critical thinking, flexibility, inventiveness, spontaneity and humor in the spirit of neoteny, which is Latin for “holding youth”.
  • Shel Pink currently resides in Los Angeles, with her husband Ran and their two children Alexander and Olivia.
  • SpaRitual can be found online at