By Rhea Cartwright
alking to Marie Reynolds is akin to having a conversation with a physicist, a witch and your best friend all at once. An overflowing cup of knowledge delivered in her upbeat Southeast London accent, she has an intuitive response on how to treat the skin.
Now based in Norfolk, she still holds a regular London residency in Fortnum & Mason which sells out within mere minutes of new dates being released. If you aren't able to snag an appointment, her customisable skincare line is the next best thing and can be mixed and matched in endless combinations.
Having worked in the beauty industry for over thirty five years, it is impossible to not be left informed and in awe after talking with Marie. Here she talks to The Stack about why she has hundreds of photos of stranger's feet, the importance of a detailed consultation and how she rises above adversity.
I studied beauty therapy and of course you can calm and soothe the skin with topical ingredients but I always questioned why certain issues happened in the first place. My wellness training started with oriental diagnosis which is linked with traditional chinese medicine but I’ve trained in homeopathy, biochemic tissue salts, bioresonance and I attend annual congresses led by leading professors and neurologists on energy therapy.
I am obsessed with looking at different lines, moles and markers on the body because everything is linked. I used to stop people in the street to take pictures of their feet to show my students. It's about understanding the lines or the dots that join up the story of what you're seeing manifesting in the skin. The body interacts through cellular communications called implicit tissue memory and any experience that you have in life, your body remembers it.
I don't necessarily believe in skin types or skin conditions because it pigeonholes everyone. Take patients with rosacea for example, they can’t all be treated the same because it can be influenced by different parasitic influences and how different hormonal influences are metabolised by the liver.
We are not 2D beings, we are walking, talking, interactive symbiotic forms so there any many facets to our health and wellbeing. I don't make any wild claims, I just look at the energetic stresses and aim to bring balance and homeostasis to the person to help the body regain its energetic status quo to heal.
Your client will only tell you what they want you to know. I teach my therapists to look at how the client is sitting, how they're breathing, to look at the shape of their nostrils, to check their ears, notice what they’re doing with their mouth because it all means something. Therapists have to look at the bigger picture and not deal with clients as a one-stop shop.
I only do skin treatments at Fortnums but people visit me in Norfolk from all over the world for energy healing or colonics. I look at the energetic stresses that may be causing an imbalance physically because all physical manifestations start off with energetic imbalances. Beauty is more beautifying. It's pampering and having your nails or eyebrows done but what I do is skin health and wellness.
I try to make that sense feel real because energy healing isn’t hippy-dippy nonsense. With earthing [editors note: also known as grounding] people think its just hugging trees but they have to understand the science behind it. Five miles above the Earth is the ionosphere and we have a lightning strike or a storm, that lightning draws those ions down into those negative ions, whereas positive ions stay above the ionosphere. Negative ions have been proven to reduce blood pressure, increase antioxidants and also support the mycelium, which is the oldest living organism on Earth.
People understand earthing as the wire we put in our house that cuts out negative electrostatic energy, but they can't understand as humans, we are electrical beings. From our skin cells to our thought processes, every single thing in our body has an electrical signature. The Earth’s electrical signature is called the Schumann resonance and is used in rockets to normalise astronauts before they come back down to Earth.
Our bodies are excreting things all the time. As far as elimination, our poo is the single most important thing to understand. When we're talking about the gut skin axis and the gut brain access, you can’t blindly take some probiotics and think everything is going to be okay.
My products are potent but simple because everything we see externally is an internal response so skincare should be basic.
I never really wanted to get into skincare, because it's such a beautiful monster. There are so many things that you have to go through and then people have an insatiable appetite for new launches. You don't have to bring things out all the time! I’d love my brand to go into the US but I’m happy with where I am and with my therapies, I don't think I could physically or mentally do much more. My drive isn’t to get millions of followers or have celebrity endorsements, I’m happy with my brand and that Mrs Smith down the road loves my products and is getting good results.
I sat there, looked at my little girl, and thought: "What lessons am I giving her in life? That it's ok to let people take advantage of you and just go with the flow to get you to pay your mortgage."
I didn’t want that for my daughter. I wanted her to have to look at me and think that no matter what challenges you have in life, no matter how scared you are, you can do the right thing. I was done with her seeing me crying and being scared because even as a toddler I remember her coming to me with some tissues saying, "mummy please don't cry". You can’t overthink things emotionally, you have to think things through in a logical sense.
From PR, to photography and marketing, it was all me - I only got help eight months ago. I’m in my office early doors and often stay late at night doing treatments. My daughter has now graduated from uni and has a flat. Sometimes I get this gut-wrenching grief that I missed out on some of her childhood but she was my drive.
From starting her own business to constantly growing her knowledge, everything is a lesson for Marie Reynolds.
By Rhea Cartwright