All Things Beauty soldiers on through the pandemic
The pandemic has changed many things, even the make-up we put on.
Charlene Grant, owner of online make-up store, All Things Beauty, saw a drop in sales when the health crisis began last March.
“Before Covid-19, most of my sales came on the weekends,” Ms Grant said. “People would e-mail me and say: ’I am going out and need this real quick. Do you have it?’ Obviously, there is not much need for that now with people staying at home a lot more. I still have sales coming in, but they have dropped.”
She thought that lipstick became less important to people when they started wearing a mask every day, or working from home.
But the 29-year-old entrepreneur is continuing on.
“I have a lot of people interested in eyebrow products and eyeshadow,“ Ms Grant said.
But she does not see people going bolder with their eye make-up.
“Now that we are in winter, no one is buying the colour palettes,” she said. “They are going with the neutrals. If they want to go bold they probably have a special event going on like a birthday, or some type of celebration. That is when I notice they want the bold make-up, but right now, everyone is neutral.”
She fell in love with make-up in her early teens.
“When I was starting to go out, I would see my older sister putting on make-up,” she said. “Then I would try and follow suit. Back then I was using my hands for everything. Now I have learnt the art of brushes. That makes a big difference.”
Studying business at York University in Toronto, she loved wandering the streets of the city looking for make-up stores. Sephora and MAC were some of her favourites, but she also loved finding smaller, independent stores.
“That was always an adventure for me,“ she said.
Coming back to Bermuda after graduation was a shock. She could not find the make-up she liked, and it was expensive to order from overseas.
“I thought, I can't be the only one going through this,” she said.
So in 2016, she started All Things Beauty, selling the brands she loved, Fenty Beauty, ColourPop Cosmetics, Juvias Place, Sacha, and more.
Her customers are typically millennials, but she has one customer who was as young as five years old.
“She wanted to know about her eyes,“ Ms Grant said. ”So I gave her an inexpensive palette with a brush. She is now experimenting and is so happy.“
Ms Grant is also popular with local make-up artists.
“I have more than 100 clients,” she said. "I have a good amount of repeats."
She tries to take part in vendor pop-ups, but has not been able to take part in any since Covid-19 hit Bermuda.
Ms Grant does not give lessons in make-up application, but her customers can get ideas and information from her Instagram feed.
"I try to make it educational," she said. "I try to post things about how to apply make-up, and how to get it all off. That is also a part of taking care of your skin."
Ms Grant said sometimes people forget the skincare aspect of make-up, which is why she also sells face masks, facial scrubs and things like that.
Her prices range from $5 for glitter to a make-up palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills for $65.
She reaches out to some companies to try and get the wholesale prices.
"I do have contracts with some of these companies," she said. "That is how I am able to keep the prices so low. People just want to look their best. I really try to keep my products affordable."
For Ms Grant, the hardest part about running the business has been finding balance. She works full-time as a technical officer at Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority, and is studying for a master’s degree in management at the University of Liverpool Online.
One of the rewards for running the business is seeing people happy.
“Make-up makes people feel beautiful,” she said. “It gives them self-confidence. Sometimes I wake up with dark circles under my eyes. I put on a little concealer and I feel a boost about myself. When you are going out, make-up completes the look.
“I am happy that I can help girls achieve that. It is also great that I can help bring products that they can not easily get here. Some girls reach out for personal products. If they see something they are interested in, they say can you bring this in for me, and I say, sure, why not?”
For more information see her on Instagram @allthingsbeautybda, e-mail email@example.com, call 517-2307 or see www.allthingbeautysbda.com.