The story of Anastasia Soare, better known as Anastasia Beverly Hills, has all the makings of a Hollywood movie with a happy ending. Arriving in the United States penniless and without a command of the language, the young Roman was determined to live the American dream. A visionary, self-made woman who has built a beauty empire by creating a pillar hitherto untapped by cosmetics giants. Between mathematical equations, studies of Leonardo da Vinci’s work, and supermodels, the “Queen of Eyebrows” has ascended to heaven. Meeting in Los Angeles with a star entrepreneur.
I left Romania determined to succeed in the United States. What convinced you that you too can become a successful entrepreneur?
Anastasia bracelet : I lived in Romania under one of the most brutal and moderate communist regimes for freedoms. I had only one thought: to leave the country at all costs to settle in the United States, namely in Los Angeles. Why ? In my opinion, the United States was a country of freedom, opportunity and success regardless of your origin, religion and gender. I knew that if you worked hard, you could touch the stars one day. Paris, London, Berlin … Europe did not convey this “American dream”, for me the possibilities remained limited.
Somewhere, has the story of your compatriot, Olympic champion gymnast Nadia Comaneci inspired you?
Absolutely! She was and remains the heroine of generations of Romanians. He is a living legend! In her domain, she was also able to change the course of her destiny. Today we are close friends and I am glad to have her in my life.
When you don’t speak the language of the host country, you don’t have any savings and you’re looking forward to succeeding at work, where do you start?
Many professions were necessarily closed to me, so I turned towards the world of beauty by working as a beautician. An area where gesture and know-how are more important than word. Also, I understood that I had to strategically choose where to rehearse, so I worked out in the Beverly Hills area rubbing shoulders with those who made Hollywood. You also have to accept the reality: work hard, seven days a week!
When did you have this vision that would shape the world of cosmetics and beauty differently?
After a few months of working on the site, I began to wonder about the complete lack of cosmetic treatment on my eyebrows. For me, it was crazy, we were still in Hollywood, in the Temple of Glamor! I am from Romania, we have already treated this area before any treatment at the institute. One day, I had my eyebrows retouched at home and the next day everyone was telling me I was different, prettier, and that something had changed. We thought it came from my hairdo or somewhere else, but no one was able to tell exactly where the change came from. I still laugh today!
From that moment on, I knew there was a real topic to be investigated. In my youth, I had studied art, literature, and architecture and told myself that there was a key in these three disciplines to explaining the ability to harmonize the face—through proportions—with which one could make a work of art aesthetic and attractive. I went back to the library to study all these concepts about the “golden number” (golden ratio) so dear to Leonardo da Vinci. Or how the smallest change in position can lead to the sublimation of an object. Behind the Golden Ratio®, there is a mathematical equation that I wanted to replicate on humans to determine the perfect facial balance.
anastasia bracelet: My goal was to make this new theory of the golden ratio understandable to all women far from me. A woman who feels beautiful in herself will feel confident and ready to move forward in all areas of her life.”
I patented my discovery and then tried to convince my employer at a time when we needed to use the Golden Ratio® in our work. But he didn’t believe it! From there, I redoubled my efforts to open up a space of my own that was very small in order to introduce this new technology to my clients. I couldn’t stay away from Beverly Hills and the first clients who started asking me to do their eyebrows. Word of mouth worked more and more because I also made my own accessories and makeup where there was none!
At the time, how do you explain this skepticism among the cosmetics giants who never understood the importance of investing in this area?
Mouth, skin, and eyelash makeup worked so well that these mainstays focused all of the industry’s attention. Nobody is interested in this place.
What was your biggest challenge?
Resist those who told me to stop dreaming, and there were many of them! For them, if no one in the industry is interested in this field, there is no need to make an offer. I used to believe that eyebrow beauty is understood as a mathematical formula, science must be combined with beauty. Also, convincing the celebrities was a real challenge because they cited the expertise of their makeup artists who didn’t incorporate in-depth work on the brow area. When you are a visionary, you have to expect a lot of skepticism. Besides, when I think about it, I say to myself but where did I find all this strength, this energy, this conviction to never give up?!
I think my goal in making this new theory understandable to all women was beyond me. A woman who feels beautiful in herself will feel confident and ready to move forward in all areas of her life.
These are the supermodels that first made you famous
At the beginning of the 90s it is necessary to reframe what was the phenomenon of supermodels with the leaders, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell … They were the queens that everyone ripped! In my tiny cabin in Beverly Hills, I started babysitting Cindy Crawford and soon had her co-workers. For the sake of anecdote, a famous exotic woman named Jennifer Lopez just arrived in Hollywood and I also took care of her. Today, JLO is still one of my clients. Every day, I told myself that if I could convince someone, I won!
Twenty-five years later, Anastasia Beverly Hills is a cosmetics empire. You are on the list of Forbes 100 most powerful billionaire businesswomen. How have you managed that other challenge of maintaining your lead over the years?
I was inspired by an amazing woman: my mom. She taught me not to take a no for an answer. At the beginning of my journey as an entrepreneur, I made mistakes that were every time a lesson for me. I have always put the consumer at the center of my interests by creating products based on their needs. Thanks to my rich experience in the salon, I have gained great knowledge of communicating with very diverse clients, whom I learned to listen to. Our sense of innovation allows us to hold our own because we create more new products than any other brand. We work to understand each person’s skin texture in order to adapt the products to as many people as possible.
I’ve always followed closely every stage of the manufacturing process in the lab: nothing comes out if the formula, the product doesn’t meet the level of requirements I expect. My customers deserve the best. So I don’t take anything for granted.
I think there was also a role in the digital technology that my daughter Claudia knew how to use. In 2012, I understood the challenge of being on social media by getting close to our community, especially on Instagram. Eleven years ago, no brand had revealed itself in this way on the catwalks. In fact, when we launched our makeup line, we knew very well what customers’ expectations were.
How do you respond to these people who want to look like celebrities?
I tell them there is a nicer goal to achieve, which is to work to become the best version of themselves!
How do you plan to participate over the next decade?
Outside of business, I always want to work to have a bigger impact on communities. “Giving back” is very important to me. There is nothing more satisfying than giving without expecting anything in return, to mobilize for the cause of your move. Amol Shelter welcomes women and children who are victims of physical and sexual violence and it is very important for me to help the less fortunate among us. When they can make a fresh start, it gives me great joy.
I also want to reach out to all women to encourage them to believe in her, in their dreams. To this end, I lead several networking actions to facilitate connections and create synergies in the business community.
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Anastasia Beverly Hills
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