Besma documents the places she explores and the stories of those who are "doing a little more" though her blog Curiously Conscious. She shares with us the stories behind her approach to mindful living, tips on how to live more sustainably and gives an insight into her top natural beauty products in our interview below.
You mentioned to me before that you've "worn a few hats over the last three years of writing—mindful lifestyle, conscious lifestyle, wellness lifestyle". Has it been a natural progression through each, from one to the other?
I feel like it’s been a natural progression along with my own life, really. I started writing when I first became conscious of eating healthily, and now I’m conscious of the natural and cruelty-free beauty products I buy, the ethically-made clothes I wear, even the food waste I make!
What, for you, distinguishes these lifestyles from each other?
I think there are many things overlapping with a mindful lifestyle, conscious lifestyle, wellness lifestyle—they all aim to demystify decision making, leading to better choices and more happiness.
How do you approach your daily life in a more mindful way?
I suppose it’s second-nature to me now, but there are simple things I do—I carry a rucksack with essentials like a bottle, cutlery, cotton bags to be more zero waste. I ignore sales and fashion ads, and instead follow brands whose ethos I share. And I always try to give myself personal time, whether that’s a walk on my lunch break, or time alone in bed, to keep me mindful.
What is it about this approach to living that inspires you?
It’s probably cliché, but I grew up watching a lot of Disney films, and their protagonists are always good, kind, honest people. When you’re a child, you want to be them! When you’re an adult, it’s a lot harder to discern what’s good and kind and honest, but I’m finding this approach certainly helps!
It's wonderful that sustainability has become more of a movement in the last couple of years. How have you seen your audience respond to this?
It’s such a good thing—I feel happy to see it grow! I think my audience has become a lot more aware of sustainability issues, especially in their consumerism, and that’s thanks to campaigns such as Fashion Revolution or movements like Zero Waste. It’s great to feel like there’s a big group of people out there that also support what you do—it really makes a difference.
What is it that makes your want to share the stories of the "products, places and people that are doing a little more"?
I think it all started with my first blog, which was a kitsch indie music blog where I wanted to share little bands that I had discovered and loved. In a certain way it was like being a follower on social media before social media existed! Now though, I like to think that I’m helping create a greener place despite yet having the ability and opportunity to run my own green business… Stay tuned!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to live more sustainably?
I would say look at your own life first, and see what little changes you can make. Not all changes suit everyone—I still buy more plastic than I care to admit—but the little things will keep you feeling inspired. The eco-friendly toothbrush you clean your teeth with, or the ethically-made handbag that you wear—they become reminders of living sustainably and can lead to even bigger, better things.
You've reviewed so many wonderful beauty products over the years! What are your top three?