As a student in her native country of Romania, Anastasia Soare unknowingly gathered the building blocks that would come to form the base of her billion-dollar cosmetics company, Anastasia Beverly Hills. Through her studies in art and technical design, Soare discovered the golden ratio—a mathematical formula manifested in nature, and used by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci to create iconic works of art—as well as the importance of eyebrows in shaping the balance and proportions of the face. A teacher drove this point home when training Soare in the art of portraiture: “He always said that if you’re drawing a portrait and you want to change an emotion on the face, you change the eyebrows,” she recalls.
With her education in art and design in tow, Soare immigrated to America in the early ʼ90s. Upon arrival, she began working as an aesthetician, where she quickly learned that although eyebrow maintenance was common practice back home in Romania, women in the States were neglecting their brows. Seeing a void in the beauty landscape, the entrepreneur began creating products to address her clients’ needs, starting with a brow-filling pomade made by mixing eye-shadow with petroleum jelly and aloe vera. Soare continued refining her brow care practice, launching her namesake brand in 1997 with a Beverly Hills salon where she patented her now famous golden ratio eyebrow shaping method. Three years later, her first product line landed on the market, infused with the same emphasis on symmetry and geometry she had learned in school.
Just as art history and mathematical theory are integral to the ethos of Anastasia Beverly Hills, so is the push to conceive high-performing products. It can be observed across the brand’s cult classics, such as the Dip-brow Pomade and Brow Wiz, which Soare dreams up in tandem with her daughter (and president of the company) Claudia Soare. Aside from their brow care inventions, the pair also revolutionized the market by introducing one of the first available contour kits, and liquid lipsticks with a non-drying formula. The brand’s holiday launches are no different, featuring a powerful, safe-for-skin glitter adhesive and accompanying cosmetic glitter that is housed in a bottle designed to prevent mess. Sometimes it takes Soare and her daughter years to develop products, due to their perfectionist standards: “Every single product that we come out with is what we 100 percent would recommend to our best friend, and I think that is the difference.”
Treating the customer like a close friend is a value central to the Anastasia Beverly Hills brand. Major innovators in the field of Instagram marketing, Soare and her daughter still manage the brand’s social media presence themselves and use it to communicate with their audience. “I am the best salesperson if I believe in and love the products that I sell, and I believe that people are the same,” the CEO and founder shares. “If you love one of our products, you’ll tell your friends and your sister or mother—it’s word of mouth.”
The product line from Anastasia Beverly Hills has remained in a progressive state of flux since its genesis in 2000, ramping up in 2014 with the introduction of the brand’s colour cosmetics collection. Multidimensional lip glosses, highlighting Glow Kits, and coveted eyeshadow palettes have joined the ranks of the brand’s iconic eyebrow offerings, and Soare plans to continue expanding until it is a complete makeup line—but not until each item has been perfected in both formula and packaging. “Everything we do is custom—it takes a very long time,” she explains.
Soare’s is a true tale of self-made success. Her brand’s near thirty-year journey began with moving to a country in which she barely spoke the language, but acute perception allowed her to permeate and shape a whole new realm in the world of beauty. When asked about the most rewarding part of the process, the mogul cites engaging with her customers as the pinnacle, “Because at the end of the day, everything we do is for them.”
All images courtesy of Anastasia Beverly Hills.