BEAUTY ENTREPRENEUR ANASTASIA SOARE REVOLUTIONISED THE APPROACH TO BROWS, YET STILL CONTINUES TO GROW HER EMPIRE
Beauty pioneer, creative visionary and powerhouse entrepreneur Anastasia Soare is Founder, CEO, and driving force behind Anastasia Beverly Hills, one of the fastest-growing brands in the global beauty industry. Soare immigrated to the US from Romania without language skills or financial means, instead leveraging a fierce resolve and education in art and architecture to fuel her entrepreneurial vision and unique approach to beauty.
This tough work ethic helped Soare launch her beauty empire, which began as brow products before expanding to an entire make-up range. Unlike the new-gen beauty brands celebrating overnight success thanks to social media, she has had to work solidly on her namesake brand, Anastasia Beverly Hills which was launched with a Beverly Hills flagship salon in 1997 and the company’s first product line in 2000. It was while working in a beauty salon that she noticed no one was doing brows, and six months after she opened her own salon Cindy Crawford walked in and from there the other supermodels followed.
The brow-shaping service, later patented as the ‘Golden Ratio’ method, has gone on to become a staple service and enduring new category in modern beauty. Based on Leonardo da Vinci and her studies in architecture and art, it establishes the shape of brow through math’s and proportions that would best suit a client’s face shape. Soare continues to push boundaries today, expanding beyond the brow category with the company’s leading prestige cosmetics line. Her capacity for driving growth through innovation and organisational focus on customers has become a hallmark of her leadership and the Anastasia Beverly Hills brand.
Tell us about Anastasia Beverly Hills and what the motivation was behind launching the company?
I had the idea in 1996. I wanted to create products that my clients could use every day. At that time, I was shaping eyebrows in the salon, and I was motivated by the challenges my clients faced trying to find brow products.
What brought you into the world of beauty and prompted you to decide to create your own brand?
My interest in beauty developed naturally. With my art background, I learned quite a lot about proportion and the principles of beauty. In Romania, brow shaping was the norm but in the U.S. the service wasn’t widely recognised. I began offering brow shaping to my clients and out of necessity, I began developing brow products.
What is your earliest makeup memory?
I have fond memories of visiting the salon with my mother every Sunday. It was a treat to get the full beauty experience together, manicures and hair styling, we would get the works.
Why focus on eyebrows?
Eyebrows provide balance to the face, and the right brow shape can enhance your overall look. Brows that are shaped according to your bone structure and facial features allow you to achieve harmony and symmetry.
Was it always your goal to grow a beauty empire?
I wanted to prove to myself that I was capable of succeeding with my passion, even though I wasn’t sure how it would manifest. My clients believed in my technique, and soon after, they believed in my products, and I am truly grateful for that. Coming to the U.S. afforded me the opportunity to chase my dreams.
How did you go about creating Anastasia Beverly Hills?
It started organically. I began making brow products for my clients because many of them wanted to recreate their brow look at home. Expanding the line to colour products flowed naturally as well. We developed products based on the same principles that were at the core of my brow technique which traced back to science and facial aesthetics. From there, we began connecting with people through social media, educating them on our products and our philosophy.
What challenges did you face launching a small independent beauty company?
When I decided to take a leap of faith, many people thought I was out of my mind. I was in America with my daughter, I didn’t speak English, and I didn’t have access to funding. It was a challenging task to convince my landlord that I could afford to pay for my rental space with eyebrow shaping, but I believed I could do it.
What has been key to the development and growth of your brand?
Social media has been an amazing tool for us. The relationship we have built with our beauty community means a lot.
How has your role changed as CEO as you have scaled the company up?
My position has evolved to meet the company at every stage. The growth we’ve experienced has allowed me to do more of what I love every day, equal parts business-driven and creative.
What part of your job would people find most surprising?
People are often surprised that I’m involved in every aspect of the company. I feel it’s important to be hands-on and to collaborate with my team as much as possible. I like to play an active role in all operations, my biggest role is to invigorate everyone so they can be their best. That’s my goal.
What personal qualities to you attribute most to your success?
Perseverance comes to mind. I’ve met challenges, but I overcame them by believing in myself and I feel it’s my duty to encourage others to do the same.
With such a busy work schedule, how do you maintain your home and personal life?
I make sure to turn my phone off before bed so that I allow myself time to rest. I love reading, I take time to travel, and I love musing through home decor, and taking on home projects. I also spend time with my family on Sunday’s, we cook dinner and enjoy each other’s company.
Tell us which milestones you are proudest of to date?
Introducing a new category in the beauty industry was a true milestone for me. Creating contour and glow kits also proved to be big defining moments in my career.
What would you consider to be the turning point in your career?
Sharing my brow shaping technique on Oprah. It was a major opportunity to display my technique to viewers all over the world.
You have grown a huge amount since your launch, what is key to keeping this growth sustainable?
Listening to our customers has been a major part of our growth. The support we’ve earned from them is why we continue to experience growth. They are talented artists of all levels who share our passion for beauty.
What are your go to resources for keeping up to date in the beauty industry?
I love reading Women’s Wear Daily and I check Instagram frequently to stay in the loop.
How has social media impacted the beauty industry?
Social media has made it easier for beauty brands to connect and engage with people all over the world. We’ve been able to share in this online community of beauty lovers and really listen to what they are passionate about and learn more about what they want to see from us.
Who do you love to follow on Instagram?
I love following my clients. Oprah, Kim Kardashian, Khloe, Kendall, Kourtney, Kylie, Jennifer Lopez, Victoria Beckham, and Michelle Obama. I also follow Makeup by Mario, Amrezy, and Carlibel. I’m inspired by all of them.
Tell us about the importance behind celebrity endorsements, and how these relationships come about?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with beautiful, talented, and intelligent women from lots of different industries. I’m grateful for the genuine bonds we’ve built.
Tell us about why you decided to expand to include make-up too?
We expanded our range to products like contour and glow to work in unison with our brow products. Our goal was to show our customers that they could create balance, harmony, and achieve the right proportion not only with our brow products, but all of our products.
How do you create a unique product?
I think for a product to be unique, it has to solve a problem for the customer, it has to add value to their everyday life.
What was the first product you launched?
Our brow products launched first. I wanted to offer my clients products they could use between appointments to maintain their salon-quality brow look.
Can you share with us how you came up with it, and how it has gained cult status?
Our brow products were developed based on my shaping technique. There were no brow maintenance products at that time, and I wanted to help my clients feel just as beautiful at home as they did when they left the salon.
What other products do you feel are the ultimate must haves?
I absolutely love our Liquid Lipsticks, our Eye Shadow Palettes, and Contour.
What is your favourite Anastasia Beverly Hills product?
If I could choose them all, I would, but I’m going to go with DIPBROW.
Which product can you not live without, and what is currently in your makeup bag?
I always carry Liquid Lipstick in the shades Pure Hollywood and Heather. I love to keep a few brow products in my bag as well as blush.
What five essentials should every woman have in her beauty bag?
Stick Foundation is great to have on-the-go, Brow Definer to perfect your brow shape, your favourite shade of Liquid Lipstick, Blush, and of course, eyeshadow.
Can you describe your morning and evening beauty regimes?
Caring for my skin is a must. I rotate between three skincare lines using toners, serums, eye cream and face cream. I repeat the same routine at night.
What is the best beauty advice that you have been given?
To always wear sunscreen and wash off your makeup every night before bed. Great advice from my mother.
To you, what is the most common beauty mistake that women always make?
Over-tweezing is pretty common, but now we have the right products to correct it.
What are your top tips for reviving over-tweezed brows?
It’s important to study your face and your facial features. Choose the right products that will help you achieve the look you want with respect to your facial features, tools like our Stencils, Brush 7, and Brow Powder Duo are a great place to start. Remember that you want to achieve the perfect brow look for you, not the look of someone else.
If someone hasn’t really done anything to their eyebrows before, what’s the easiest way for them to start?
Our tutorials are a great place to start. You can learn so much about how to use our brow products and learn more about the technique. Next, explore the products and tools, try the stencils and Brow Powder Duo. It’s an opportunity to play.
If everyone had one eyebrow product, what should it be?
Brow Wiz. It’s so easy to use and it’s available in many shades.
We’ve seen everything from super thick to completely bleached out brows. Where do you think the trend is headed with brows?
Colour could be big. It would be fun to see unique brow shades like we currently see with hair colour trends.
What shapes do you really dislike?
There isn’t a brow shape I dislike, every brow shape is different. Anyone can improve the look of their brows with the right products and with practice you can transform brows you dislike into brows you love.
How do you feel the Middle Eastern woman’s make-up needs differ from other regions?
I believe it depends on trends and what Middle Eastern women would like to see in beauty. I think women all around the world want to feel beautiful.
Which of your products do you recommend for the Middle Eastern woman?
Middle Eastern women have beautiful eyes, cheekbones, and brows. Our Soft Glam Eye Shadow palette has warm browns and shimmer shades that would beautifully complement the eyes, our Glow Kits are wonderful, and our Clear Brow Gel adds the perfect polish to naturally full brows.
Will you be tailoring some palettes and products for the region in the future?
That would be a dream.
What is your definition of beauty?
Outer beauty is to have balance and proportion to the facial features. Being good to others and giving back are two of the most beautiful traits one could have inside.
Who is your beauty icon?
I consider each one of my clients a beauty icon.
How do you feel the concept of beauty can affect confidence, and open doors for empowerment?
There should be no physical beauty standard. We shouldn’t measure ourselves that way because we are all unique individuals. Beauty should be a reflection of who you are as a person, your struggles and your ability to be kind to others. That is where our true beauty lies.
What are some important things brides should be aware of when approaching makeup on their wedding day?
Use a gentle hand when applying makeup for the big day to create a timeless beauty look. A bride should be breath-taking, so it’s important to avoid a makeup look that appears overdone.
Can you share your top tips for getting the perfect bridal look?
A great tip is to decide what your brow shape will be a few months in advance. Also, use a gentle hand when applying makeup for the big day to create a timeless beauty look.
Which key products would you suggest having in your make-up bag for your big day?
Soft Glam is the perfect eyeshadow palette for a bride to be. The range of shades are so beautiful, you can achieve an understated bridal look or a full on glam look. It’s incredibly versatile and suits any bride.
Which celebrity bride do you think perfected the bridal beauty look?
Kim Kardashian, her bridal look was effortlessly classic.
Can you tell us about what you are working on now that you are most excited about?
You’ll have to wait for it, it’s a surprise!
What is your long-term vision for the future of Anastasia Beverly Hills?
We’re expanding globally, and that’s pretty exciting.