With her waist-length hair and bohemian glow, Shiva Rose, is the epitome of natural beauty. We sit down with the holistic goddess to talk about her blog TheLocalRose.com, her chemical-free, natural skincare line, and choosing a holistic life.
“We lived in Iran for the first ten years of my life. My father is Iranian and my mother is American with an Irish, Native American and German background. We lived in a rural area of Iran, but when I was ten we escaped during the revolution. I had to grow up really fast. When we got to American we lived with my American grandmother in California. It was really hard adjusting. I never quite felt like I fit into the Iranian community because I am half. I never fully felt American and I never fully felt Iranian. My love for old movies and books saved my life. Going into that world gave me something to be passionate about and escape to. My mom always told me I should take typing so I could get an office job, but I was like “No! I want to be an artist.” When I was fifteen I started acting. I did independent films, I wrote screenplays and plays. I was so passionate about theatre and I loved story telling. I feel like that’s what I get to do now through my blog and products – tell a story.”
The Local Rose
“I started my blog six years ago. I was going through a very hard time. I was diagnosed with three autoimmune diseases (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren) and I was going through a divorce. My heart was broken and so was my health. I wanted to get back to the land and heal myself. Western medicine didn’t help me, so I searched out Ayurvedic medicine and ended up going down the holistic path completely. I started growing my own food, threw out all toxic chemicals, eating completely organic, doing daily spiritual meditation, and yoga. And I started to document this process on my blog. It was interesting because it just started from there, but I realized a lot of people were struggling, too, and they connected with what I was writing about. I didn’t know where The Local Rose would go, but I loved it and that was the most important piece.
“Living a holistic, chemical-free life is a little bit harder, yes, but there are so many options now. You just have to seek them out. You can grow a garden, even on a tiny balcony, or go to the farmers’ market. If you can go to the farmers’ market later in the day when they are willing to give things away or haggle, it makes it more affordable. Some places it’s more expensive to live organic and toxic free, but hopefully that will change. And as far as chemicals in household products, you can read labels. It’s harder, much harder, but things are changing. If you want something and you want to make change you can make it happen.”
My heart was broken and so was my health. I wanted to get back to the land and heal myself.
Shiva Rose Skincare
“For a long time, I was using my own face oils that I would make and people were always asking me about what I was using, so it kinda started from there. Three years ago I came out with my rose face oil, my first product, and now there are six pieces in the collection. In Iran, roses are revered. I grew up and there were roses everywhere. They would use rose water for a lot of the food and skincare. Roses are a part of the culture. My American grandmother was named, Rose, too. So my skincare brand, Shiva Rose, is a combination of my Iranian and American heritage side and the love for roses. Most of the products have rose oil, but not all of them. Some of the products I make myself. I make my face oil and bath salts, and a lab in Oregon makes the others. My glow balm is amazing. A lot of people love it because it gives a glow to the skin. It has coconut oil, frankincense, rosehip seed oil, argan oil and camellia. I love my eye cream, too, because it really works. It takes away puffiness. I use it every morning. And my radiant rose water is great. It gives minerals to the skin and rehydrates with jasmine, camellia, and rose oil.”
Beauty from the inside out
“The more studying I do on Ayurvedic medicine the more I realize that beauty and good skin has to do with what you eat. Skin is tied to the digestion. I eat a lot of fats because I’m older and I need to keep the fats and the oils in my skin. Once I started eating more ghee and coconut oil, I noticed more moisture in my skin and less wrinkles. I’m ten pounds heavier than I was in my 30s and partially, it was because I wasn’t eating enough fat. I was vegetarian, but I ate a lot of pasta, muffins, wheat; a terrible diet that contributed to a lot of my inflammation. Now, I weigh a little more, but I’m so much more healthier and with less pain. I eat a lot of fresh vegetables, roasted vegetables, and soups. All gluten free. I was a very strict vegetarian for twenty-five years, but now I’ll have bone broth once in a while.”
“I’m in the process of creating an Ayurvedic course that will be available on MindBodyGreen.com soon. It will be all about beauty from the inside out. It will cover food you can eat, recipes, masks you can make and basically, how to achieve radiant beauty. It will be a downloadable video series on non-toxic, holistic beauty, and then a book will come out later on.”
Any advice for young women out there?
“Failing is an opportunity. When you have a setback, if you change your perspective, it can be a bouncing off point to go further. There’s a Buddist saying about turning poison into medicine. It’s about taking the negative and turning it into a positive. I love that concept.”
-As told to BOND EN AVANT
Photographed by Amy Chang