Growing up in a Persian household, TooD Beauty founder Sharareh Siadat was taught never to leave the house without a full face of makeup. "You never walk out barefaced— you always look put together because how you look is family honor on the streets, and people will talk about you if you don't look good, and that was so ingrained in me by my family," she says. "I took the roots of that messaging, but made it my own, and moved away from the parts that don't serve me. I'm very happy to go out of the house without makeup on—I'm not afraid of that—but the essence there is to be proud and honor who you are and respect yourself and your body."
It may feel odd to hear the woman who created the clean beauty world's first biodegradable glitter and electric blue mascara touting the benefits of going out barefaced, but to Siadat, beauty is about caring for and expressing yourself—whatever that means to you.
When the two of us sat down to record the latest episode of Well+Good's beauty podcast, Routine Rundown (new episodes every Monday and Thursday!), I expected our conversation to focus on her products and the work she was doing to make makeup feel more inclusive for all. What happened instead, though, was that she gave me a masterclass in loving yourself that felt a whole lot more like a therapy session than a professional interview.
Listen to it here:
In elementary school, Siadat was bullied for the way she looked—particularly in regard to her unibrow (a physical trait that we share, and that I was also tortured about in elementary school)—which shaped her relationship to beauty for much of her adult life.
"I really hated who I was and how I looked, and I did everything to conform to Eurocentric forms of beauty—waxing, lasering, tweezing, highlighting, crazy diets—and I ended up allowing that need for whiteness and Eurocentricity to really control certain aspects of me," says Siadat. "Then, my youngest daughter came out as a spitting image of me, and she was so dope, so effervescent, and so connected to herself, and I realized I didn't feel the same way about myself...so I decided to grow my unibrow back at 37 years old and face a face that I hadn't seen for 24 years. And that was the beginning—it wasn't the destination of me accepting myself, but it was a door that opened."
One of the ways Siadat embraces her spirit is through her morning routine, which starts between 4 and 6 a.m. every day. "I wake up very early, because I need to feel like I'm ahead of the world—my life is crazy and I need a second before I start hearing, 'Mom, I want pancakes,'" she says. "And I share that, because beauty starts with a connection to self."
Aside from using this time to meditate, chug water, and drink coffee, Siadat uses her free a.m. hours to take herself on a nature walk—which she doubles as a way to connect to herself through beauty. "Before I go on my walk, I'll spritz myself with rose water, and there are three or four types of facial oils that I'll mix and match so that it almost feels like a restorative skin-care treatment as I go through nature," she says, explaining that she turns to products that stimulate her senses just as much as they nourish her skin.
Shop Siadat's pre-walk routine below (don't forget to top it off with SPF!), and listen to the rest of our (so-inspiring-it-made-me-cry conversation) conversation on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
“This brightening saffron serum reminds me of my Persian heritage—I love the way it smells,” says Siadat of this dark-spot fading formula. It heroes saffron, turmeric, and licorice root to make skin look even and radiant.
There are so many skin-loving oils in this formula (jojoba, rosehip seed, argan, and sea buckthorn, to name a few), which are mixed in what the brand calls a “high vibrational environment” to create a formula your senses (and skin) will cherish. “It’s so organic—she uses the highest gradation of essential oils, so I love putting this on too,” says Siadat.
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