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A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER

I grew up in the Midwest as a first generation Indian American. My mother was always naturally beautiful to me: She would wash her face with bar soap and put on moisturizer and go to work. The only beauty treatments I ever saw were the yellow turmeric face masks that the bride and/or groom would wear before any family wedding. (I have over 30 cousins, so someone was always getting married!)  From the colorful clothes to the joy of masking, growing up around these rich traditions instilled in me a love of color and natural ingredients in beauty products. 

The idea for Graffiti Collective was born the day I walked into a beauty store looking for something to solve my occasional skin problems—dark circles, dry skin, and monthly breakouts. I was blessed with good skin genes (thanks, Mom!) and never needed a thousand products.

 

But I was looking for the few things that really work. Looking at all the products on the shelf, I felt completely confused: Everything looked the same and promised similar things. I spent more than a decade in the beauty industry, and I knew how to read these labels, yet nothing spoke to me. I spent a year trying one face mask after another. The ones filled with natural ingredients would grow mold. The clinical ones burned my face. Most of them required set up time and clean up time and left me uncertain if it was worth the time at all. There wasn’t anything as fun or effective as the turmeric masks I saw growing up. And none were easy to apply and let me treat myself while still living my busy life. I refused to believe that the answer was to buy a dozen or more expensive products. 

Unlike most people who can’t find the product they’re wishing for, I could actually do something about it. I had the skill set and the contacts to walk into a lab and direct the development, ingredient selection, and evaluation of my masks. I worked obsessively (over 200 lab visits in 15 months!) to formulate our first four products: vegan, cruelty-free, skin-transforming masks that work as hard as you do in just 5-10 minutes. Because everyone I know could use some help with their skin, but nobody I know has endless time to dedicate to it. 

 

I use color in our masks because it’s fun and it lifts your mood. To me, Beauty doesn’t have to be so serious. I am serious about results, though. Otherwise, what are we even doing here? I use deep-cleansing clay and powerful plants that have been healing us for longer than any of us have been around. I use all four of my masks on the regular, and they reliably clear up my adulting problem spots. (Special shout out to my hardworking Street Rose!)

I named this company Graffiti Collective to honor New York City and its artists. In 2005, my life turned on when I moved to New York City and soaked up its art scene. Now, artists design our packaging so you can reuse it and let it inspire you.

 

With Graffiti Collective, I want to change the skincare conversation, break the sea of white creams, fit into your lifestyle and transform the routine into something more vibrant and effective. I hope these products bring out your natural glow—which my mother still has—and that they are a bright spot in your day and skincare ritual. 

XO, Sheila