Graffiti Collective: Effective & Empowering Skincare

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I don’t know why we haven’t pushed ourselves to think about how we can be thoughtful formulators while being really bold.

When Sheila Patel left her corporate beauty role, she took a step back to think about what she could do next that would really push the envelope. She spent months trying just about every face mask on the market and came to realize that the ones made with a scroll-stopping selfie in mind (you know, those glitter-infused unicorn masks) had skimped on benefits for your skin. With her background in product development, she knew that you didn’t have to sacrifice these benefits to be Insta-worthy. In the months that followed, she set out to create her own collection of powerful, effective, and selfie-worthy skincare products.

She launched Graffiti Collective, a name inspired by her interested in street art culture, in 2018 with four vibrantly-hued, vegan face masks. “Vegan doesn’t necessarily need to be bland,” says Patel. “I don’t know why we haven’t pushed ourselves to think about how we can be thoughtful formulators while being really bold.” Combining raw, natural ingredients and safe science, Patel spent 14 months formulating the masks to get that perfect balance of effective and expressive. “I am really proud of them. I won’t put something on the market that I don’t believe works 100%,” she says.

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Graffiti Collective founder Sheila Patel

Pure Grit, an exfoliating mask made with walnut shells, is a rich royal blue. Clean Slate, a bentonite clay and aloe infused mask comes in a bright teal. Where she could use natural colors (like mineral mica in the Hustle & Glow mask) she did and the other colors come from cosmetic-grade pigments. “I know where they come from and I also know they are in percentages that are much lower than you imagine,” says Patel. The colors are bold and striking, but Patel’s focus was really on ingredients that benefit the skin. Her brightening and soothing Street Rose mask combines kaolin clay, sweet almond oil, oat protein, and natural moisturizers zemea and shea.

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With Graffiti Collective, Patel also wanted to build a skincare brand that felt empowering. “Skincare is focused so much on problem areas and on fixing things. It makes you feel like there is something you have to make better,” she says. “I just don’t believe that. I believe you embrace your face and forget your flaws.” The intention is for the masks to be applied a bit like warpaint, encouraging you to feel good about the skin you’re in. And if they make you want to take a selfie along the way, even better.

All Graffiti Collective formulas are vegan and free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

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