- Introduce yourself.
Hi! My name is Stef Mars, and my pronouns are she/her. I live in the Pacific Northwest, around the
greater Seattle area. I graduated early from high school in February 2014 along with a college
Associate’s degree. I planned to become a dermatologist, but became pregnant with my son. Becoming a
mother inspired me to change my path to Medical Aesthetician, and eventually Nurse Practitioner. This
allows me to also be family focused as well as career focused. I am a licensed esthetician and NAC, and
I’m currently in the process of becoming an RN. I am extremely excited about my future!
- What inspires you everyday?
My son, my community, my family; I suppose inspiration comes in many forms to me. I also believe that
passion and inspiration go hand in hand, so I look for inspiration in almost everything I do. My own
failures oddly inspire me because they light a fire inside of me for improvement. Before my son, my true
inspiration was just to help people with their skin, which I believe is a map to the body. But seeing the
way my son has grown encourages me the most to keep it pushing throughout my journey and expand
my horizons. I adore being a mother.
- What are some of the words of wisdom you live by everyday?
I know this sounds stereotypical, but “fake it till you make it.” Being a single mom is extremely hard. The
world doesn’t go easy on anyone, and sometimes confidence can take you further than experience. Not
to mention, I don’t drink caffeine and have dietary restrictions. I suppose “you are what you eat” is a no
brainer for me. And honestly, Nike had a point when they marketed, “just do it.” Just begin to get your
checklist done. It feels good to achieve things, even little things! My favorite words of wisdom, although
another popular saying, are “this too shall pass.” In a good way, negative situations will pass by thanks
to time. But then again, beautiful memories shall also pass. It’s a good reminder to stop and smell the
roses before the petals fall. To me, true words of wisdom remind me of both the yin and the yang.
- What are some goals in life you would like to complete?
Becoming a Nurse Aesthetician and writing a book (or few!) I will also continue my education to become
a Nurse Practitioner. As a Nurse Aesthetician, I want to focus on working alongside a dermatologist or
plastic surgeon before opening my own business for cosmetic injections. Working in the Burn Unit at
Harborview Medical is my current step. I want to help people feel healthy and beautiful, inside and out.
- What are some of the struggles you faced in life and how did you overcome it?
I have had a couple experiences, such as losing a lot of my hair at 19 and getting about 8 injections of
cortisol to encourage growth. I’m also a domestic violence survivor and have gone through miscarriages.
But a struggle that truly changed my life happened when I was only 15; I endured a severe face burn. My
older sister asked me to try proactive with her when I had just used the St. Ives apricot face scrub.
The combination of the two was so overbearing on my skin that it resulted in a chemical burn. My
boyfriend at the time cheated and had given me an internal staph infection that I was unaware of. One
sneeze invited an infection called Impetigo. I spent one year taking antibiotics to get rid of it and the side
effects. I slept in gloves to keep from itching and washed my face with antibacterial soap. I completed
about 4 months of high school from my own bed. All of this presented enough damage to the skin that I
was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis. A reaction that I now rarely have, but, it was due to allergies
regarding sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), latex, pretty much all cosmetics, and more. It’s been over 10 years
and I am still unable to use anything with SLS in it. After that experience, I was inspired to find a routine
and heal my body. I became passionate about nutrition, lifestyle, and skin. Specifically, I wanted to know
about the depths of the integumentary system and beyond. I want to help heal people like I figured out
how to heal my own body.
- What is one way you’d like to make an impact in the world?
Overall, generating good energy. Helping others to see how truly beautiful they are by encouraging good
skin health as an esthetician, for example. I am really focused on encouraging others to live passionately
and positively. A simple, but notable, impact on my end is raising a kind son. If I can just make sure that
the little human I brought into this world is kindhearted and driven with good intention, then I have
made at least one positive impact. Some influences are small like a pebble in water, but important
- What else would you like to tell the world about yourself?
It’s hard to sum up my life in 7 questions but if you want to take any advice from my journey, I would say
stand your ground, trust your intuition, and stay head strong. Asking questions makes you curious not
weak. Be yourself, fearlessly. Step out of your comfort zone. Love without expectations. Don’t forget to
be gentle with yourself. Everything will fall into place, sometimes you just don’t have all the puzzle
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