Anastasia Soare is the undisputed queen of brows. Her unique shaping method has not only cultivated a star-studded following (J-Lo, Madonna, Kim Kardashian and Oprah are fans), but Soare’s business-savvy has allowed her to established an entirely new genre in the world of beauty, near single-handedly spearheading the comprehensive eyebrow grooming movement.On her recent trip to Dubai for the official launch of Anastasia Beverly Hills in the Middle East, I sat down with the beauty mogul to talk beauty, business and of course, perfect brows.
So how did it all begin? Why brows?
I went to art school in Romania where I studied technical design. My art teacher used to tell us that the easiest way to achieve emotions on a portrait was to change the eyebrows. I studied Leonardo da Vinci‘s Vitruvian Man and how the human eye is designed to recognise this perfect proportion or the Golden Ratio, which basically what we call “beauty.” I also went to beauty school and trained as an esthetician. When I came to the United States I didn’t speak a word of English and it was the only job where I didn’t need to speak the language. So I started doing facials and waxing but I couldn’t understand why nobody in Hollywood paid attention to eyebrows. I used da Vinci’s theory on perfect ratios to develop my own techniques for shaping brows and I created a brow kit. Back then it was the fashion to have untouched brows, so it was a challenge to find products and to educate women in brow grooming.
Now that you’ve cracked the market, you actually have a whole range of makeup products not just for eyebrows. Does it bother you that people still refer to you as the “Queen of Eyebrows”?
I started an entire category in the beauty industry. That’s a big deal! It was a breakthrough. So no, I don’t mind at all.
What would you consider to be the turning point in your career?
It was in 1998 when I went on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She’s one of the most powerful women in the world and when she speaks, people listen. I did her eyebrows live on the show and since then it really took off. She is one of the most incredible women I’ve ever met. For her 50th birthday she invited 50 of her closest friends for lunch at the Bel Air Hotel and I was one of them. It was like getting an Oscar!
What are you yet to achieve?
I’m a Capricorn, I have to climb higher and higher! My dream is that every woman on this planet has at least one of my products. I want all women to be able to learn about beauty and makeup.
How has social media affected the beauty industry?
It’s had a huge impact. I used to travel from city to city to teach women in department stores how to do their eyebrows. Now I’ll post one tutorial and 60,000 women will see it. It could be a woman at the top of Machu Pichu! Social media has really taken everything to a different level.
I feature a lot of famous bloggers and makeup artists on our blog but I also like to support people with not so many followers. It gives them hope and helps them see that someone is noticing their work. This isn’t an easy job, there are lots of obstacles; but when we feature someone we want them to feel that they should keep going.
Out of all your products which is your favourite?
It’s hard to choose as I make all my products with so much love. But if I had to, I would say I love to use Brow Wiz, the Clear Brow Gel and the tweezers. We’ve created products to address every possible eyebrow need; if you’ve over tweezed, if they’re too dark, too light, too thick, too thin, believe me we have something for it. I still do eyebrows in the store and I read the comments on social media because I need to hear what women need and want to be able to provide them with the best.
What are your top tips for reviving over-tweezed brows?
You definitely need to use the brow serum once a day and in the meantime use the brow stencils. But you should only ever grow back one row of hair at a time. You’ll never be able to let your eyebrow grow back fully, but one row of hair is easier to achieve. It’s easy to fill in, and once that row has grown back, you can let another row grow and so on until you achieve your desired look.
We’ve seen everything from super thick to completely bleached out brows. Where do you think the trend is headed with brows?
My theory is that the way you shape your eyebrows should be according to your bone structure and your natural shape, which is why I believe the shape should never change. You could be trendy with colours, go darker, go lighter, go ombré, use tinted gels. Right now it’s all about feathery brows. But the shape should always, always stay the same.
What shapes do you really dislike?
I really don’t like when brows are too short or when there’s too much space between the eyebrows. It changes your features completely. It can make the bridge of your nose look too wide or your eyes look too far apart. Its changes the proportions.
How do you feel about tattooing?
It’s so popular here! I feel that Middle Eastern women have the most beautiful eyebrows and I feel sad to see that they tweeze them off and get them tattooed. I just don’t understand it. I mean I get it when you don’t have brows or they’re naturally patchy. But to tweeze them off and then tattoo them back on again? I’m a little lost.
Anastasia Beverly Hills is available exclusively in Sephora in the Middle East. Click through the gallery to see the range of products.