Brittany Gray gives HOLR insight to her first- class, luxury, makeup, skincare brand and beauty salon, Fancy Face, and shares tips on entrepreneurship, beauty trends, and quarantine self-care & hair tips.
What inspired you to start Fancy Face?
Fancy Face was truly started because of my insatiable love for makeup & all things beauty. I grew up as a professional dancer, singer, actor and for many years from the age of 15-26, performed as a triple threat in-front of the camera and on-stage. As you can imagine, makeup was always an integral part of that world. From as young as 3 years old, I remember scouring my mother’s makeup drawer & vanity to swatch and play with her collection. I used to love having her put on my makeup for dance competitions and recitals as a young girl and over time, I really developed a knack for making women & my friends at the time, look and feel their best. I was always the girl who did everyone’s makeup for graduations, prom, special events… as far back as I can remember really. At 15 years old, I was fortunate enough to land a role in the movie Chicago with Catherine Zeta Jones, Richard Gere and Renee Zellwigger. I remember watching them in the makeup & hair room, prior to us all heading to set, just being enamoured with the getting ready process. Seeing them transform into these powerful female characters, just inspired me so much. As much as I loved the performing arts, I really found myself cultivating this need to be a makeup artist as well. Starting Fancy Face happened when I was 20 years old. I grew up with an entrepreneurial father and an incredibly hard-working mother, so I learned a lot about business from them. When I opened FF, I was at the time in a Mirvish show called ‘The Producers’ at the Canon Theatre in Toronto. I’d perform 8 shows a week and on the weekends, before a 2-show day, I’d somehow manage to do makeup for weddings. As time went on, I really started to feel the need to develop a roster of artists that could help me facilitate all the bookings that were coming my way. At the time, there really weren’t any other teams out there that I was aware of, so I really had to learn the ropes myself and be innovative in my niche.
What sets Fancy Face apart from other brands in the space?
We’ve been around now for 15 years and have teams on both coasts. We also have recently opened our first brick and mortar storefront in Toronto which we coined the ‘Rosé Room’ and we also launched an online shop last year which showcases our own Fancy Face makeup and skincare brand. We ship Canada and U.S-wide. We primarily started out in the bridal business however over time, we have really morphed into a lifestyle brand as well. We are passionate about helping every day women of all ages and backgrounds, look and feel like their absolute best.
What are some of the key lessons you’ve learned from being a business owner?
Always follow your intuitive sense. Trust yourself. Stay authentic. Take risks. Don’t be afraid to stand out and shine a light on what makes you different.
How do you pivot as a business when something unexpected happens such as our current situation with COVID-19?
I really think you need to look for the silver lining in these situations. You have to turn lemons into lemonade. I always take challenges and think, “how can I come out of this stronger, better, more unique.” Taking this time to be quiet, dig deep and plan the next steps is always a smart thing to do. For us, we’ve really focused on educating and connecting with our following, in ways we weren’t able to before. We also are so grateful for the online shop, to be able to bring joy to all of our incredible supporters. After all, what makes a woman happier than receiving a box full of fancy makeup in the mail!?
What’s some advice you have for individuals to help them with self-care while they’re in lockdown?
I always recommend waking up at the same time you usually do, making your bed, getting dressed, turning on your favourite music, taking your vitamins, eating healthy, getting fresh air, moving your body, doing your hair and makeup, and really enlisting in things that bring you joy. Listen to motivational podcasts, consume things that uplift you and really remember what you’re grateful for. For myself personally, keeping up my beauty regimes really makes me feel good. Taking good care of my skin, fancying up my makeup… these are all things that make me feel like me.
Do you have any new collections in the works for 2020?
I’m always cooking up something fancy. You’ll have to stay tuned!
What’s a beauty trend you were seeing at the start of this year that you think will continue?
I really think that the fresh, dewy skin trend is here to stay. People are really into that “no makeup, makeup” look – especially with the skin because quite honestly, it’s just the most flattering. It makes you look youthful, hydrated and like you just came from a wonderful facial with a fabulous esthetician.
If you could give one piece of makeup advice, what would it be?
Every woman should own a stellar cream blush. We have one at Fancy Face called Lovey Dovey. It’s my all-time favourite colour for a cream blush for all skin tones, skin types, and ages. It helps wake up the face and really gives you that flushed, dewy glow. Applying it to the apples of the cheeks is a must.
What’s a hair trend that you’re seeing in 2020?
The beachy waves seem to be here to stay. Love creating this look with a 1 to 1 and a half inch wand and then straightening the ends. Volume Up by Schwarzpof is amazing for texturizing the hair. Also, scrunchies are extremely popular right now. I love them incorporated into a half-up half-down look or of-course, a top-knot.
What can you do with your hair in lockdown, that would be cute but effortless at the same time?
I’d definitely recommend accessorizing and spending less time on styling the hair with hot tools. This is a really good time to do lots of hair treatments/masks and to let your hair air dry as much as possible. Cute headbands and scrunches are lifesavers for me.