About Bili Beauty and the Founder
Welcome to Bili Beauty!
For as long as I can remember, I have been a long-time lover of all things beauty related. The fascination with makeup started when I was a baby and would sneak into my parent’s bedroom to play with my mother’s makeup collection. Thinking nothing of it at the time, my relatively conservative Indian parents were amused to see me smear makeup on my face and stomp around the house in my mother’s high heels.
My fascination for all things beauty continued to evolve as I grew older. I was in middle school when I tried buying a face powder at a nearby drugstore and was disappointed when I couldn’t find my specific shade of brown. I felt like my skin color didn’t matter and I made a lofty vow to myself that one day I would create makeup for every skin color in the world. As I approached college, I was pressured by my Indian cultural expectations to be a “good Indian girl”- go to Pharmacy school, become a Pharmacist, and take over my dad’s Pharmacy business (nothing of which included beauty). But after a few years of studying a subject that I was passionless about, I decided to follow my heart and transfer to FIDM in Los Angeles where I changed my major to business with a focus on the beauty industry. It didn’t take long to realize that this was the right move!
As the years went on, I began to notice how my Indian people were rarely represented in the American media (movies, news, advertisements, etc). Given that I worked in the beauty industry, it was especially upsetting to not see Indian models in beauty campaigns. I felt like that 12 year old girl again at the drugstore; feeling neglected and underrepresented. After 6 years of working in Marketing and PR for the beauty industry, I quit my job to commit to my original vow. I was determined to create a makeup line that celebrated my beautiful Indian culture while creating high quality products with clean ingredients and high pigmentation that showed up on all skin tones.
I am a born and raised California girl, and am extremely proud to be South Indian. My entire family originates from Kerala, a state located in South India which is considered one of the top ten paradises of the world. But as a first-generation Indian American, I didn’t always feel this proud while I was growing up. Never seeing someone who looks like you in the books you read, the toys you play with, or the movies that you watch, takes a toll on your confidence as a child. The world was essentially telling me, “You don’t exist.”
So, to my fellow brown people who never saw themselves in the Saturday morning cartoons, the main lead in a romantic comedy, or the face of a fashion magazine, I made this beauty brand for YOU. I honor you for who you are- I love it, I embrace it, and I promise that Bili Beauty will celebrate everything that makes you unique.
Sarah Sophy Thomas