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Shari Siadat did not plan to start a beauty brand. In fact, the idea for TooD, the beauty brand she wound up founding, came to her in the process of writing a children’s book, of all things.
The inspiration came from her experiences as a child and first-generation Persian American in small-town Massachusetts, where she was bullied—primarily for her unibrow. That’s what the book was going to be about, too, a girl with a unibrow. The beauty norms that pervade American culture had left Siadat feeling ‘less than’ from a young age (“maybe as early as first grade”) and took her a long time to combat.
During the writing process, she explains, “I told my book agent that I had an idea for a complementary product to bundle with the book—a colorful glitter brow paint—that kids with or without a unibrow could wear to celebrate this region on their face, like a superhero mask.” Ultimately, the book went on pause while Siadat explored the wide world of color cosmetics, “taking inventory of texture, color, longevity, and performance.”
Starting a beauty brand, an industry Siadat had no background in, meant that, “for the first time in my life, I was tied to zero expectations and zero outcomes for a venture. I just knew I wanted to create something clean and fun, without any disruptive hormones or chemicals. I wanted my daughters to be able to wear it without worrying.” Siadat’s prior experiences included background in the corporate world, and both the fashion and art industries, and, of course, motherhood. The combination turned out to benefit her, even as an industry ‘outsider.’ She asked herself “can we create a company that does everything we wish all companies would do?”
The answer lies in looser definitions of who TooD (or, makeup in general for that matter) is for, where it should be used, or why. The brand, Siadat says, is for people “3 to 93,” and she believes it represents an end to what she calls “curated diversity.”
As far as what that means—the answer lies in fact in looser definitions—of who TooD (or, makeup in general for that matter) is for, where it should be used, or why. The brand, Siadat says is for people “3 to 93,” and she believes it represents an end to what she calls “curated diversity.” It’s a concept you can probably almost picture—the campaign image with a just-diverse-enough range of models depicted, all of whom still meet classic, societal beauty standards. TooD is more for those ready and willing to embrace ‘imperfections’—like coating unibrow hairs in metallic paint.
The “metallic paint” in question is the brand’s Brow Color Cream, which comes in 10 colors— yes, from an iridescent pastel pinky-lavender to a metallic graphite—you will want them all. In spite of the product’s name, the brand encourages you to put the brow color cream wherever you want “ eyebrows, armpits or collarbone - as long as you are celebrating who you are,” the site says. (Note: I’m not super bold with makeup—so I go with eyelids and use the creams as super easy-to-apply shadows.)
Siadat points to the Turn It On Soap Brows and the accompanying TooDBrush as products she thinks everyone should have on their radar, too. “I love all of our products, but I think the Turn it On Soap Brows may be my favorite,” she says. “It’s such a fun way to make your brows stand out by fluffing up all those tiny hairs into really natural or bold looks. They make all brows—unibrow or not—look full and beautiful. It’s a product designed to really highlight—and not hide—natural features,” she explains.
So often, makeup is tied to ideas of self-improvement. TooD is meant to disrupt that notion. For TooD, makeup should also be about play. Siadat sees her brand as presenting customers with an opportunity to “let go of the restrictive expectations of how we should look. I want to build a community and see what people do with it — how they get creative with their own visual identity,”—and there’s no shortage of inspiration in supply on the brand’s Instagram. “There is so much freedom in permitting yourself to try on all of the identities you have inside.”
5 More Reasons To Love TooD:
- To celebrate TooD founder Shari Siadat's birthday this year, TooD Beauty donated 100% of sales revenue for one week to the Ali Forney Center.
- Turn It On Soap Brows is flying off the shelves (the first drop sold out in 11 days).
- After experiencing pushback from the modeling industry about her unibrow, Siadat felt it was important to make sure her inaugural campaign featured another BIPOC mother with a unibrow and her child front and center in the campaign images.
- From sustainable packaging using FSC paper and recycled tins, soy and food grade ink and creating reusable makeup tools to cut down on single use q-tips, to ensuring ethically sourced mica was the key ingredient was key ingredient for brow color creams—every aspect of brand development is mommy approved.
- TooD is short for attitude and it’s about freeing us from a collective beauty standard that’s obsessed with perfection—color outside the lines.