Conscious Beauty and Beautiful Minds
Jill Turnbull began her beauty career immediately after high school — starting as a part-time assistant, which then evolved into a four-year apprenticeship.
For the next four decades, she worked hard and lived out her dream as a professional hairstylist and makeup artist, working with leading publications and professional athletes such as The Washington Ballet, all while still working independently as a hairstylist.
It wasn’t until 2019 that Jill decided to develop her own line of beauty products. The idea came to her after working on a Vogue Italia editorial shoot with David Attenborough and Prince William. The issue focused on sustainability and environmental issues, so her task as the lead stylist was to find beauty products that were 100% sustainable, and after extensive research and countless calls with leading brands, she wasn’t able to get a guarantee of 100% sustainability in writing — and that shocked her.
Realizing that we really had not gotten far with sustainability in the beauty and hair care industry was a game changer for Jill’s career, and it motivated and inspired her to create her own line of fully sustainable, ocean safe, 100% plant-based hair care, makeup, and skincare — an opportunity for which she is profoundly grateful.
What was the first beauty routine you adopted as a child or teenager? Which emotions do you connect with this memory?
My first beauty routine was actually embracing ocean water on my face. My Mum was never into beauty; she would go to the salon for her weekly shampoo and set and used Ponds Cold Cream for her skincare, so it was never really a thing for me growing up, but I loved the way the ocean felt on my skin.
Living so close to the ocean, the waves, sand, and ocean breeze were my beauty therapy and routine. I would bottle up a jar of ocean water and use it throughout the week on my face and hair. As a teenager, I always joke and say my skin and hair were always the best when I was on my ocean beauty routine!
CONSCIOUS BEAUTY — What meaning do you give this term?
The term conscious beauty describes a brand’s values, focusing on health and the environment. It’s about full ingredient transparency, using only the most natural, sustainable, ocean-safe ingredients, and using sustainable packaging to help reduce any negative impact on our planet.
Consumers have the right to know what they are putting on their bodies and should feel comfortable and confident knowing they are protected. Our responsibility is to provide consumers with products that are good for them and the environment yet still highly effective.
Which aspects of sustainability in beauty are especially important to you?
Growing up in eco-conscious Australia, where we were issued egg timers for showers to reduce water waste, I’ve always been very conscious of the water crisis and environmental issues. Because of this experience, the blue beauty movement has always been especially important to me. As a beauty professional, it’s alarming how much the beauty industry has had a negative impact on our environment, marine life in particular. At least 350 million gallons of shampoo and its unregulated ingredients flow down the US drains annually, damaging waterways and killing marine life. Most of the plastic in landfills' 552 million shampoo bottles yearly is not recyclable, and much will wind up in the ocean.
It’s our responsibility to work towards a bluer future, and that starts with cleaning up our oceans by using reef and ocean-safe ingredients, avoiding any chemicals that are harmful to our ocean life and the environment, adopting a zero-waste packaging policy and or/avoiding the use of plastic in packaging entirely, and offering refillable and reusable options.
When do you consciously feel beautiful?
For me, consciously feeling beautiful has been and is very subjective. It’s tied to the things that are inside us as much as it is to our physical appearance. As an older woman, I believe we become more beautiful as we get older. You constantly hear things like, “You’ll start to lose…”, but I actually think as we get older we gain a whole lot. When I see an older woman with smile lines, reflecting joy and laughter in her life, I think to myself, “What isn’t beautiful about that?”
Did your approach to beauty change within the last 1–2 years?
My personal approach to beauty changed due to COVID. I used to wake up every day and felt like I needed to put on a full face of makeup, which used to bring me confidence. The pandemic has forced me to slow down and appreciate all the little moments. I still love to wear makeup, but I no longer feel the need to HAVE to wear it. We are all so beautiful inside and out; we should look to beauty to enhance what we have instead of covering it up.
I also embraced the shutdown to laser focus on my beauty brand, taking the time to work on my blue beauty beliefs by surrounding myself with the right people, farmers, etc., to create effective formulations that are clean, vegan, and ocean safe.
How would you like to see the image of beauty change within the next 5 years?
There is this narrative that older women are not beautiful, that we “lose our beauty” as we age, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. First, beauty is from within, and our body's changes should never be used against us. We must control this narrative with less superficial beauty standards by embracing all the beautiful things our bodies have experienced over the years and recognizing that the depth of beauty goes far beyond the surface. Society continues to put immeasurable pressure on women, especially as we get older, to “stay beautiful” or “stay youthful.” This conversation we continuously hear in the media negatively reflects women’s self-esteem. Many women fear growing older because of this, but we should be celebrating it.
What or who inspires your beauty routine?
I believe in ”you are what you eat” and that food controls your health, and I put a lot of effort into that lifestyle — eating clean, drinking tons of water, etc. A natural raw ingredient beauty inspiration for me is Jeong Kwan, a Buddhist nun who lives in the Chunjinam hermitage in the mountains of South Korea. She is one of the best chefs in the world, and she refers to her garden as “my playground,” and her plants are her “children.” Beauty, to me, comes from within, and it starts with the things you put in and on your body.
What is your best beauty advice to others?
Over the years, I’ve picked up many tips and tricks invaluable to my beauty arsenal. My favorite way to feel beautiful inside and out, confident and strong, is to put on a little lipstick and sprinkle a little dry shampoo powder into my hair. These quick and small efforts help make me feel better about myself when feeling no-to-great. I instantly feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Is there anything you would like to share that we have not asked you here?
As I always say, you should never have to compromise your health for beauty. If you are starting your journey into clean beauty, here are a couple of easy swaps you can make.
Cleansers: traditional facial cleansers and body washes can contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which makes them foamy. The foaminess doesn’t do anything for your skin, and SLS can, in fact, cause irritation. Since we use cleansers all over our bodies, this is a significant switch to make.
Moisturizers: these often include cheap filler ingredients (like petroleum) and synthetic emulsifiers and preservatives. Since hydration is essential for our skin, I recommend using an alternative packed with nourishing ingredients from the earth that is just as effective.
CONSCIOUS BEAUTY AND BEAUTIFUL MINDS
THANK YOU! Follow Jill Turnbull Official — Blue Beauty Essentials — on Instagram.
Demee Koch about the MEDIUM interview series on CONSCIOUS BEAUTY:
Hello! I am a serial entrepreneur with more than 2 decades of experience in the health & beauty industry. This interview series is intended to create awareness about the movement of Conscious Beauty.
We are in a beautiful time of Conscious Beauty — you may have heard of this term, but what does Conscious Beauty mean, and why does it matter?
For us, beauty is a way to love — it is about self-care, art, nutrition, exercise, life, and self-love. I invite you to become part of a movement that redefines beauty. Let’s empower beautiful minds.
Thank you for being the change. I’m looking forward to learning from you. Reach out to me via LinkedIn.
Conscious Beauty at Jill Turnbull Beauty is our way of empowering you with transparency and choice. You'll be able to identify clean ingredients, cruelty-free.