Podcast 62: Defining Conscious Beauty

Defining Conscious Beauty

Over the three years of the Green Beauty Conversations podcast, we have looked critically at almost all trending catchwords, phrases and terms used in the beauty industry. Clean, green, waterless, zero waste, upcycled, microbiome, essential, raw and blue beauty are just some we’ve covered. A term very much on the rise in early 2021 is conscious beauty.

And who better to define conscious beauty than The Conscious Beauty Union; an entity committed to informing and guiding beauty professionals such as makeup artists, beauticians and salon practitioners on how to make sound, informed conscious choices about the cosmetics they buy, use or promote?

In this episode, host and Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier talks to the three co-founders of The Conscious Beauty Union (CBU) – Khandiz Joni, Tahira Herold and Lou Dartford – to find out not only about the CBU’s role but also to drill into the fine print on conscious beauty, and in particular what it means to the wider industry as well as beauty consumers.

The Conscious Beauty Union is an informal education platform helping beauty professionals develop sustainable practices but its voice should resonate with anyone engaged in beauty.

The CBU defines conscious beauty as making informed choices about one product over another by knowing as much as we can about its full lifecycle. While sustainable beauty is about looking at perhaps single aspects of a brand or product, such as the packaging or how a key ingredient is harvested, conscious beauty takes a holistic, global view.

Conscious beauty examines categories that go beyond sustainability. The aim is for us all, from beauty industry insiders to consumers, to be able to make conscious beauty purchases based also, for example, on a brand’s transparency, promotion of inclusivity and its ethics.

Isn't conscious beauty just sustainable beauty? Discover the difference in the @FormulaBotanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast with @cbu_beauty #consciousbeautyunion #consciousbeauty #sustainablebeauty Click To Tweet

2021-04 Podcast 63 Conscious Beauty Union

In this episode on conscious beauty, you will:

  • Find out about the key differences between conscious beauty and sustainable beauty;
  • Discover that conscious beauty is about giving us the information to start our own journey towards making better beauty consumer choices and is not a prescriptive way of engaging with beauty products;
  • Realise that conscious beauty will mean different things to different people; our ability to put conscious beauty into practice will vary with location and budget and, in the case of beauty professionals such as makeup artists or salon practitioners, with the role of beauty products in their jobs; and
  • Find out that conscious beauty can mainstream if we all start asking questions everyday about our beauty purchasing habits and about the beauty brands we use.


Key take-outs include:

  • The Conscious Beauty Union offers an educational platform and movement to help beauty professionals (and others) make conscious choices about their beauty buying and usage habits. It has member-only advice, educational webinars, articles and other training and information as well as invaluable free resources on its site.
  • We should celebrate and feel proud as beauty consumers, professionals and brands of the small wins on our journey to more conscious beauty rather than feel guilty about how we engaged with and used perhaps less ethical or sustainable beauty products in the past.
  • We need to accept what we can do with the information we have at the time on a product or brand and lever that to motivate us to educate also our own audiences and circles, whether friends and family or beauty industry colleagues, partners and customers.

Meet our Guests: The Conscious Beauty Union Founders

Khandiz JoniKhandiz Joni has been a hair and makeup artist for two decades. Her entry into conscious beauty stems from in life-long interest in environmentalism which she furthered with a certificate from Cambridge University’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership and a Diploma in Sustainable Business Practice. She is a regular panelist at clean beauty and sustainable fashion events and her editorial and commercial clients include Harpers Bazaar Japan, Fashion Revolution, Absolution Cosmetics, Twelve Beauty and Hunger Magazine. She also guests lectures and provides independent training and workshops for Film and TV practitioners on developing a sustainable practice.

Tahira HeroldTihara Herold is a founding member of CBU and its Communications Director. Born and Raised in Montreal Canada, Tahira moved to London in 2006. Tahira is a makeup designer, makeup/hair artist, beauty writer and contributor specialising in using natural, organic and ethically-made beauty products to achieve the professional finish her clients expect. Her career has taken her all over the globe, working with some of the best people in film, fashion, advertising and editorial work. With a keen eye for detail and a fastidious work ethic, Tahira has created looks for a wide variety of clients from simple natural beauty to flamboyant artistic creativity.

Lou Dartford, CBULou Dartford
A founding member of CBU and its Brand Partnership and Engagement Director, Lou originally trained in theatrical and special effects make-up at the London College of Fashion. However, she soon realised that making people look beautiful was her calling. After working for many high profile clients like Vogue, Wonderland, Stylist and a host of celebrities, Lou made a conscious decision to try and make her kit as clean and ethical as it could be around a decade ago. This made Lou one of the first UK artists to take this path. Lou is widely recognised as a key player in the natural beauty world and has been voted into the Natural Beauty News Top 25 Personalities for four consecutive years.

More about The Conscious Beauty Union:

The CBU runs regular webinars, masterclasses and online chats for members as well as provides a resource library and plenty of informative blog posts on its site.

The Conscious Beauty Union
The CBU on Instagram
@cbu_beauty on Twitter

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, you might also like to listen to our episode discussing the top sustainability challenges and concerns for the beauty industry. Please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Podcast 62: Defining Conscious Beauty

Podcast 62: Defining Conscious Beauty

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.


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