“Self-care leads to self-love, and self-love leads to self-passion, and self-passion opens you up to be a conduit of love and light for the Divine.” I’m lying down face-up in a room in SoHo, and a woman named Mashell Tabe is intoning this sentence above me, her voice wafting over me like airborne Ambien. A lovingly laid-out cluster of crystals keeps me company to my left. As Tabe’s voice lulls in a soothing cadence, she moves a needle-tipped vibrating wand over my face, puncturing my skin. “Oh, this is good—you’re barely bleeding at all,” she remarks.
If this sounds like the start of a New Age ritual gone wrong, I’d say you had above-average powers of deduction—but you’d be wrong. This unique, soul-awakening experience was less horrifying and more healing. I left the 90-minute seance of sorts feeling lighter in both heart and spirit, with a complexion that rivaled the glow of a Glossier ad.
But I’ll back up. A few months ago, I received an email asking if I’d like to meet with Tabe, a “spiritual healer for the face and soul.” (She now actually prefers to be called a “wayshower” rather than a healer, but we’ll get to that later.) I grew up in a household where spirituality (or the “good” kind, at least) was tied solely to religion—more specifically, Christianity. Anything vaguely spiritual—from astrology to divination to, yes, healing—without being rooted in traditional Christianity was to be avoided at all costs.
Call it curiosity, or maybe one too many broken hearts, but in the past few years, I’ve found myself being drawn to the healing aspect of the spiritual realm. My desk and nightstand are littered with rose quartzes of different sizes, and I once spent a good hour in the Astrology Shop in London’s Covent Garden picking out crystals. I let astrologists I trust read my chart, and I take notes. This is all to say that recently, I’m now open to exploring different aspects of spirituality (plus, testing crystal-infused beauty products has literally become a part of my job).
This includes seeing people such as Tabe, who counts A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow and Noami Watts as clients. Besides, a common life mantra of mine is if Gwyneth Paltrow has done it, why not me? (As evidenced by this Panchakarma experience with an unexpected ending and the V-steam I experienced in a Korean spa. But I digress.)
There’s no denying the steady rise of New Age beliefs and rituals that used to be shunned by the mainstream. Maybe it’s our current dystopian-feeling political climate or the constant influx of tragedy in the news—whatever the reason, people are gravitating toward spirituality and (slowly, tentatively) embracing outside forces that help with healing. Clutching a crystal that can protect you against bad vibes (malachite) or open your heart to love (rose quartz) gives us a sense of control in an otherwise chaotic time where it feels like everything else is free-falling.
Tabe herself straddles the line between the practical and the spiritual. She started a career as a facialist and touted the benefits of micro-needling long before it became mainstream, but she started exploring healing and spirituality after going through a personal tragedy. Nowadays, she performs “energy work” on her clients before her signature micro-needling facials. Similar to reiki, she invites good energy while removing negative thoughts and energy from her clients’ hearts and bodies. But unlike others in her field, she prefers to put the power back in her clients’ hands when it comes to the actual healing part.
“I don’t call myself a healer anymore,” she tells me. “I’m a wayshower, so I’m here to remind you that the ability to heal comes from you and just reawaken that within you.” And how exactly does she do that? According to Tabe, everything is energy, and we all vibrate at a certain frequency. So when someone “steps into her vibration” and she speaks over them, she’s helping them acknowledge certain negative vibrations. Then, when those negative vibrations later come creeping back, you’re able to acknowledge them, dispel them, and say they’re “no longer allowed in your realm.”
Tabe herself has nurturing, calming energy that you can feel the moment you step into her room. (There are only good vibes there, literally—Tabe uses crystals and sound to reset the vibration so that “only those beings of love and light are allowed in.”) The first half of the session is purely healing; much like a therapist would, Tabe asked about my life and the things that were weighing on me. But there was something deeper that was leading our conversation and her questions—dare I say something spiritual?
I actually ended up seeing Tabe twice because the first time, we spent the entire duration of our appointment on the healing portion and diving deep into some of my deep-held work anxieties. The realizations I came to—or, in “spiritual speak,” the energies I got rid of—during that first session have carried over to my work to this day.
The second time, we managed to get to the actual micro-needling part (we've also discussed what micro-needling is, exactly). I was so relaxed and light at this point that I barely felt the needles puncturing my skin and telling it to regenerate collagen. This was the complete opposite of my first and only micro-needling experience a few years ago, where I not only felt extreme pain and discomfort during the entire treatment (and they even used numbing cream—Tabe didn’t) but left the appointment with skin that looked like a ripe, peeled tomato (sorry for that visual).
When I peered into the mirror after my session with Tabe, my skin looked soft, plump, and bright. I left the room feeling healed both outwardly and inwardly. My spirit was realigned as if Tabe had just cracked and rearranged it like some sort of chiropractor for the soul. It’s no wonder Tabe’s client list grows longer by the day. “The quest for beauty isn’t vanity. It’s a ritualistic form of self-care,” she tells me. And she’s right.
Even if you don’t believe in spirituality or that an individual can wave their hands over you and help you come to realizations you wouldn't have on your own, you can’t deny the power in that statement: Beauty isn’t vanity, but an empowering method of self-care. The more we care for ourselves, outwardly and inwardly, the more we are able to reach our highest potential and, in turn, give our gifts back to the world around us.
I left that night with her words echoing in my mind: “Self-care leads to self-love, and self-love leads to self-passion, and self-passion opens you up to be a conduit of love and light for the Divine.”
Would you get a side of spirituality with your beauty treatments? Tell me your thoughts below.