Caitlin Iley

My experience at Evolve Beauty’s sustainability symposium & wellness retreat

By Callie Iley | 24 June 2022 | Feature, Sustainability & the environment

Evolve Beauty Uk Sustainability Symposium Wellness Retreat Header Pic

The sun was shining in London on Thursday 16 June, with the temperature soaring to around 26 degrees. With my sunglasses at the ready, I headed to Home Farm in Elstree –  which boasts over 100 acres of woodland and farmland – for Evolve Beauty’s sustainability symposium and wellness retreat.

The day kicked off with a panel discussion from Evolve, UpCircle, Sbtrct and the Soil Association, and I settled down onto a hay bale alongside other eager listeners while the panelists discussed what regenerative beauty really is, and ways in which the industry can make more positive moves and changes in this arena.

Attendees were from a variety of backgrounds, with a mix of make-up artists, skinfluencers, journalists, and more – all having a shared love of beauty and a passion for sustainability.

Following this, a second panel featuring Evolve, Bybi, Plenaire, Climate Partner and Provenance took place, with the beauty brands discussing creating a pathway for achieving net zero in the industry.

Both talks were fascinating to listen to, being well-informed and offering a unique perspective on sustainability in the industry from beauty businesses themselves.

After grazing on a tasty, vegan lunch and keeping hydrated with my refillable glass bottle, we went out to face the heat for some yoga with beauty therapist turned yoga teacher, Debbie Bard.

Setting up our yoga mats, under a tree with a clear view of all the vast open space that Home Farm offers, we began the class.

As someone who has never taken a yoga class before, I was a little nervous, but Debbie was extremely friendly and tailored the session to suit both beginners and pros. I’m not particularly flexible, nor very graceful, but the session was a success thanks to the guidance that Debbie provided.

I was surprised to learn that not only can I actually do yoga, but I genuinely enjoyed the experience and found it extremely relaxing getting to stretch out in the sunshine, surrounded by nature.

Moving on into the tipi, it was time for a lesson in all things skincare. Getting us set up with all of Evolve’s essentials, Evolve Beauty treatment specialist Gemma Halil began our masterclass by getting us to cleanse firstly our hands, and then our faces.

Starting off using Evolve’s Kalahari Dream Cleansing Oil, the facial masterclass continued as Gemma taught us all the need-to-know info about using a rose quartz Gua Sha, as well as the rest of the Evolve products we were given – the Bio-Retinol + C Booster, Hyaluronic Serum 200, and the Hydrate & Protect Facial Cream.

Having suffered with rosacea since my teens, I tend to worry about straying away from my typical skincare routine, as one small change can cause a reaction. Gemma listened to my concerns and was reassuring and helpful, offering me useful advice on managing the condition. The results – and feel – were wonderful, and I learned how to transform my skincare routine into self care.

To finish the day, I took myself (and my glowing skin) over to the ‘SouLand’ yurt for my first sound bathing experience with yoga and meditation teacher, Bodhini Armstrong.

Bodhini’s friendly face and calming demeanour had me immediately at ease, and she passionately explained to us what sound bathing is and how it works.

Armed with singing bowls and chimes, Bodhini had us lay down comfortably on our backs, and began the meditation session.

The sounds were very soothing to listen to and relaxed both my body and mind. It was so peaceful that some participants actually fell asleep!

My whole experience at Evolve Beauty’s sustainability symposium and wellness retreat was refreshing, relaxing and enlightening. I learnt a lot about sustainability, skincare, and myself, through the yoga and meditation sessions that were offered.

Getting to meet both familiar and unfamiliar faces is always exciting, and it was lovely to see such a range of people coming together to share their love for sustainability and beauty. I enjoyed getting to relax and enjoy the outdoors, which felt so far away from the madness of life both on and offline.


Evolve Beauty is available via Louella Belle.

Watch our Instagram Reel of the day, here