Meet Shaunna Legatos
VN: When I asked someone what the first word they’d use to describe you is, they said “Spiritual”. I couldn’t agree more with this description. How has your life journey led you to living a spiritual one and what do you do dailv to be spiritual?
SL: Spirituality is a huge part of who I am. For me, being in touch with the flow of the universe helps the success of everything I do. If you aren’t first calm in your own mind and body you can’t do your best work and giving my clients and loved ones my absolute best work every time is a top priority for me.
Getting to this point of spirituality certainly was a journey. In life, there are so many experiences that we all go through. Some are traumatic and dark and some are simple and beautiful. Good or bad though, they all help to mold who we are and the way we choose to deal with them decides the trajectory of our life. When you fall on your ass and truly hit rock bottom, you see It really is that simple; it’s time to decide. For me, I wasn’t happy with some of my past decisions and I was not willing to take the easy way out and stay in a place of hurt when I needed to step up for me and family. This meant digging way down deep and finding the spirituality inside of me. This spirituality became the lighted path to myself awareness and unconditional love for myself that is now a driving force in my life.
Not only was it a journey to get here, but it continues to be one every day, which I thrive on now. I love knowing that with every sunset I have the chance to better understand myself and my gift of helping others to spiritually heal. Day to day I find grounding in things such as; self-reflecting daily; noticing what triggers me, burning my palosanto sage to center myself, taking care of my “many” lush plants and clearing my healing stones “for real,” I even dance every night with my fur babies and I do a lot more than that! Everyone has to find the methods that work for them but as an artist, one of the biggest ways I process is through my passion. I keep my hands busy with creations and that allows my mind to filter through my thoughts and really process how I am feeling and in helping who I impact that day.
Spirituality is beautiful because there is no one way to describe it. To me, it’s allowing yourself to be true to all aspects of you with no shame understand YOU and love it. Everyone’s power is being authentic, BUT real and raw about it. It is inner knowing, faith, and staying open to the amazing people and things that will be brought into your life all because you are in a clear and positive space.
VN: Shaunna, vou and I met many years ago when you started doing my hair and makeup. What got you into the beauty industry and do you see yourself in it for the coming years?
SL: I have always been guided to art, dance, music, photography -anything art based -at a young age it always inspired me. It always gave me a sense of calm and was my escape in a way. Growing up I loved all aspects of art. It was such a deep healing for me. Anything I could get my hands on expressing my creativity I loved doing! It grounded and rooted feeling I had purpose. It was such a passion for me on all levels!
I knew I wanted to work independently, to have my own business and feel like I wasn’t working a day in my life and with art that was it for me. That is when I realized hair and makeup would be an amazing fit for all those aspects! I remember making a vision board years ago to inspire and manifest my goals thinking I’d love to make someone look like that in a photo and its crazy to see where I am at now.
That’s why I pursued modeling as well. I wanted to dive all the way in and knew it would build my confidence, and understand my craft as a whole. I wanted to work around passionate artists on all levels -dance, fashion, music, models, photographers. There is an energy there for me that is so beautiful. It all comes down to passion! If it sets your soul on fire follow it! THIS IS MINE!
My biggest turning point that made me realize how much deeper makeup and hair was for me -beyond the service- was about the impact. The deep, genuine connections I have made along the way. There was one moment that stuck to me the deepest that showed me my passion was so much more rooted to something larger than I ever felt makeup was.
I was working at Sephora starting out, and a woman came in. She was burned at a very young age from a very traumatic experience. She needed reconstructive burn surgery and skin grafting. She said to me I couldn’t fix her she was embarrassed said she felt she looked like a monster. She hated looking in the mirror, and I felt for her.. to live like that I couldn’t even imagine her pain. Making her feel beautiful “and that she was enough” and worthy of feeling beautiful was all I literally wanted. And what she deserved to feel. Her family was there to support her because she probably would not have come in if she didn’t have the support. That took so much courage for her. She said she didn’t want to be disappointed by fear that she was so vulnerable to doing in the first place.
It took her from 17 to 42 to finally create the courage to see herself as beautiful again. I felt her pain so deeply I wanted so badly for her to feel beautiful and see beyond and the women she feels. When I was done creating lashes eyebrows lip line color correction she started crying. AT THAT MOMENT, she let her hair down called her husband and was glowing for the first time in her LIFE! I knew I was living my soul passion then. It was so humbling to see this ! We all cried and that experience changed her life and mine!
I will always continue to grow my love for this “JOB” but to call it a job doesn’t feel right. It is so much more beyond that for me. It’s an honor to be there emotionally; and to help people see their inner and outer beauty! Those moments are priceless to me!
VN: When you talk about all of the things you do and are inspired by, I can’t help but feel inspired myself. You work hard on your goals and persevere through life’s obstacles. What experience led you to being strong and being the woman vou are todav? What kind of advice would vou want others to take from this?
SL: Growing up we all experience our own set of challenges. They come in so many forms; all types of abuse (emotional, sexual, physical) abandonment, addiction, death, bullying, suicidal thoughts and the list goes on. When we experience these things at a time in our life and -I have- where we are still developing. We easily start to think that is who we are now. We can let these situations and circumstances falsely define us and before we know it we are so used to displaying our defense mechanisms that we actually believe those traits are who we are. Simply put, we are lost.
Personally, I have had so many key moments in my life that forced me to be strong. It would be impossible for me to say “this one thing did it for me” because really it was a combination of so many events large and small that led to my “wake the fuck up” moment and shed light on the fact that I was living in an old mindset and needed to change. When I was 7 years old I watched as my dad pass away in front of my eyes. I stood over him as he had a heart attack and left my world. I share this with you because I want everyone who is reading this to know that this isn’t fluff, I am talking about real things and if you are going through them too you can still turn things around and live life as a strong, fulfilled person. These moments are what make you and become a voice who needs to hear it! I was blessed when I did!
The advice I would give to anyone listening is; heal your wounds. You can’t move on and become the person you were created to be if you are holding on to your trauma. Use it to your advantage and persevere; grow from it, learn from it, accept it as a thing that happened and not a thing that defined you. Healing is constant but at the end of the tunnel is unconditional love and really, what more can any of us ask for? Become a strong advocate to those who may have been where you are and your strength will speak volumes.
VN: We live in a world that has many opposing opinions on what others do, how thev define themselves, and who they love. When vou came out to the world that you were bi-sexual, did you feel more or less empowered?
SL: Its funny I just had this conversation with my 14 year old niece a year ago. She knew I had dated men and then had just been in a relationship with a women. She asked me aunty how do you label your sexuality because the kids at school are learning about all this now and I think that is a beautiful thing. I simply told her I don’t like to be labeled. I personally don’t believe in labeling myself as anything due to the fact that I am constantly growing and learning so many new aspects of myself in life and she asks “so then what are you?” I said: “I AM ME.”
I honor that all aspects of my changes in myself. Its self-growth.
I felt those words were powerful. The “I AM” for her as a kid in this present life feeling pressure to identify. I wanted her to process. I told her I LOVE A SOUL.
When I feel something deep with a soul -it is a connection between 2 people- I don’t look at the gender, label, or as a separation of two. I love both feminine and masculine, male or female. We all carry, regardless of our gender, feminine and masculine aspects of ourselves .
TO me it’s about balance and I have always felt that way. I understand that deeper now. That’s all that matters to me. Feminine and masculine is carried within each person and certain traits about someone, so for me it don’t separate body or mind. You are both energetic. Both are beautiful and yin and yang with each other. It’s just simply what I feel. I wanted to touch base on that.
VN: Most people that know you know of you as one of the best MUA × model in New England, which you are! Something not as many people know as much about you though is that you are also a homeopathic and holistic healer assisting people on their iournevs with physical and mental maintenance and recoverv with their bodies and minds. Can vou tell us a little more about this side of vou?
SL: I was so drawn to holistic healing when I started to realize how beautiful the transformation was for me. Dealing with mental health, anxiety, fear, past traumas- the list goes on. For me to be in tune with myself down to my self-awareness with my physical body and beyond to what my subconscious mind showed me was mind blowing.
I realized first with practicing reike 1-2 how deep emotions are rooted with how your body flows in clarity and responds to reaction. So many of us are conditioned to fight or flight mode. For example with me it’s hard to let go and relax.
I picked up on energies, memories, repressed emotions that I wouldn’t even have thought were possible for me. When I learned to release them it was like a weight that went off my shoulders. To actually feel that was amazing.
Then I went deeper and went to massage therapy school to implement all levels. Beauty truly starts within. Healing starts within and with my gift with makeup, I’m able to stimulate that instant gratification. I’m happy I am able to hold a safe space to go deeper with those I work with. All of these teachings for me with trusting my intuition brought me to new heights of connection in life with myself and the relationships I have been honored to work with. The challenges as I have said before led me to this and it all led to alignment for me on all levels.
I find beauty in looking in between the lines. Body responses are beautiful and say so much. The holistic healing truly brought me to a deeper level in my own healing. We carry so much physically but what we don’t realize is that all of it is tied together. If I can heal and assist the relationships I encounter on a deeper intention; even from within with simple wording or a different clear perspective before a shoot, fitness show, wedding etc -and then transform that into a single moment of “feeling” … elevated and connected in their strength.. that moment is special. My passion for makeup, creating the experience, implanting reiki message and spirituality.. this goes deep for me. It has created the deepest connections.
Victoria Nasuti created H.E.R Page – BostonMan to help tell the inspiring stories of women around Boston successfully having careers and passions at the highest levels! A published model and real estate professional herself, Victoria knows firsthand the challenges of performing your best in both a career and passion. If you or someone you know would like to be considered for the H.E.R Page spotlight, please send Victoria a message here.