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Mercedian opens downtown makeup store

Sarah Torell opened the Powder Room in downtown Merced with the intention of helping people love the skin they're in.

"The theme of the store is to love who you are," said Torell, a 22-year-old Merced native.

Natural makeup products fill the store, including mineral foundations, sparkling powders and organic lip gloss.

"In here, there's something for everybody," she said. "Lipstick, lip gloss. The older women love the soaps. And we have nice lotions and creams."

She also carries candles, incense and purses. The mineral foundations are selling the most, and are gaining a lot of attention for being good for skin. It's lightweight and known for not clogging pores, Torell said.

Torell enjoys learning about different makeup products and researched all the product lines she carries in the store.

"I absolutely love everything I carry in here," she said.

Torell and her childhood friend Kayce Wiggins, also 22, operate the business together.

"It's a fun job," Wiggins said. "You actually enjoy coming to work."

They both help people find the appropriate foundation color for their skin.

"I hope that in the future, we can expand and start doing makeup and do facials and work with skin," she said.

The women give customers advice on how to apply makeup and wax their eyebrows. They also encourage women to drink plenty of water to keep their skin from drying out.

"Women come in and say they are wearing their makeup how they wore it in high school," Torell said. "You need to try new colors because it will make you feel saucy."

She said men also come into the store because they use mineral makeup to hide flaws without looking like they're wearing makeup.

Torell decided she wanted to open a business in December, and decided a makeup store would benefit many Merced residents.

"I wanted to open something that nobody else had," she said, adding that she used to drive to Fresno or Modesto to get the brands that she now sells.

Torell, who lives in Merced with her husband and two children, enjoys owning a business, as it allows her to put her family first.

"Being a mom is what I do," she said. "That's who I am. This is kind of like a hobby."

Her favorite part of the hobby is helping people. She particularly enjoys encouraging customers to appreciate their appearance.

"You get to help people so they can go out and feel good," she said. "I think confidence is a good thing.

"No matter where you come from, I think you should love who you are."