If kindness had a voice, it might belong to podcaster and influencer Shawlini Manjunath-Holbrook. From her home in NYC, Manjunath-Holbrook spoke with Kinder Beauty about her family, her rescue pets, and her love for cruelty-free wellness (she's a proud Kinder Beauty subscriber).
But her tone is not care-free; it’s tenacious. While she might exude positivity, Manjunath-Holbrook also acknowledges the hardships in the world around her and insists on perseverance. Whether it’s spending time with her loved ones, working on her podcasts, or advocating for animals, Manjunath-Holbrook is unstoppable.
On podcasting as change-making
With her content creation, the actor and podcaster has gravitated towards compassion from the get-go. “I love feel-good content and how it's so helpful for your mental health,” Manjunath-Holbrook told Kinder Beauty. “You can be kind to yourself when you are practicing self-care."
One of the ways she practices self-care is by producing podcasts that interest her, including by way of her partnership with the Hallmark Channel on the podcast, Bubbly Sesh, and her self-produced podcast, Feel the Good—which she describes as her “weekly journey to engage in conversations that promote positivity, education, wellness, spirituality, and personal empowerment."
On cruelty-free beauty
It’s this desire to promote compassion through action that initially brought Manjunath-Holbrook to Kinder Beauty. Her discovery of Kinder came by way of her love for animals. “I'm a big animal advocate, and, initially, it started with trying to find cruelty-free make-up brands and then, skincare, body, etc.” Manjunath-Holbrook explained. “When I found Kinder Beauty, I instantly connected with the company's mission, and I loved that their products were vegan, cruelty-free and personally curated. It's really nice as a consumer to be able to know that what you're purchasing is not doing harm to animals or our environment."
Her interest in animal welfare dates back to her childhood in Augusta, Georgia. “I grew up vegetarian," she says. "My whole family is Hindu vegetarian and so I think at an early age, I understood that was a kind way to be and that all life should be respected. [...] That was the first step in my journey to caring about animals and their welfare.”
On animal advocacy
Manjunath-Holbrook began rescuing animals with her family when she was very young. “Our family pet was a stray cat who we rescued. My sisters who were much older than me started rescuing dogs, and that inspired me,” she explained. “Then, when it was the right time, my husband and I rescued two dogs who are now part of our forever family."
Nowadays, the unflappable influencer and mother lends her time to animal non-profits, advocates for changes in animal legislation, and aims to raise her daughter “to have respect for all living beings, respect for the environment and practice kindness.”
After moving from Georgia to NYC as an adult, Manjunath-Holbrook says her wellness routine shifted—and she’s been grateful to Kinder for pointing her in the right direction when it comes to cruelty-free beauty. “I think the biggest change for me, beauty-wise, has been the winters here in NYC,” she said. “My skin is a lot drier. I really make it a priority to hydrate more and moisturize."
As far as her go-to beauty items, Manjunath-Holbrook confesses that it's the serums she loves the most. "Some of my favorite products that Kinder Beauty has introduced me to have been the Earth Harbor Naturals products, the Dirty Lamb Ultra Night Serum, and the Save Anti-Pollution Sleeping Mask."
As she continues to look forward, Manjunath-Holbrook has some kind-but-mighty projects on the horizon. Her podcasts drive her to continue sharing comfort through artistry, and she continues to work on new acting projects whenever she can. Wherever Manjunath-Holbrook's journey takes her, however, being a change-maker with her content will always be what drives her. “Most importantly, I'm passionate about learning more on how I can live more of a cruelty-free lifestyle and doing what I can to help promote animal advocacy, adoption, kindness, and compassion.”
Natalya Anderson is a writer, award-winning poet and former ballet dancer from Toronto.