ITV This Morning Q&A with Anastasia Soare


Anastasia Soare Interviewed By ITV for This Morning Segment
1) When did you first become interested in makeup?
My earliest beauty memories are of going with my mother to the salon when I was young and getting my nails painted. I would watch her and other women get their hair done, or get facials, and I remember the special camaraderie that always seemed to permeate between everyone within that space, trading news, jokes, and encouragement. Then, when I was a teenager, I remember a painter friend of my mother’s would bring me back materials from Italy, smuggling them into Romania, since they weren’t allowed at the time. He restored churches, and I used to make eyeshadow from a green pigment (the color was in fashion at the time). He’d also bring back mascara, and I remember it had a head like a toothbrush and it didn’t yet come in a tube. Romania was very secluded, but I always wanted to be ahead of the curve. 
2) How did you get started in the beauty industry?
While I’ve always been interested in beauty, I got a job as an esthetician out of necessity. I was an immigrant, and it was work I could do without needing to speak the language. While working, I noticed a glaring gap in the market — no one was paying attention to their eyebrows. I had this stroke of inspiration that maybe the same Golden Ratio I learned about in school could be applied to shaping brows, bringing balance and proportion to my clients’ faces. I developed a three-step technique based on the theory and began to offer brows as a separate service. When demand skyrocketed, I went from renting a room out of someone else’s salon to opening my very own flagship salon in Beverly Hills. When I realized there also weren’t any cosmetics on the market for brows, I created my own and ABH single-handedly carved out a new category in beauty.

3) You moved to the US from Romania aged 32 (is this right?), What obstacles did you face when you first moved to the US?
When I moved to the United States, I knew no one and I couldn’t speak English. There are certain challenges you encounter while navigating a new country that only other immigrants can truly understand. I was constantly on a mission – to convince the bank to give me a credit card, to convince the landlord to rent me the salon space, to convince detractors that eyebrows could be big business. I was working extremely long days as a single mother, trying to lay the foundations of a future for us. I love this Mahatma Gandhi quote, ‘Every night when I go to sleep, I die. And then the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.’ I sacrificed so much when I left Romania, but I knew that I wanted to create something for myself that would give me purpose each and every day. During my hardest times, remembering this quote helped. I believed in my vision, and that is what kept me going. I’ve learned to never give up and never take no for an answer. 
4) When you were working as a beautician, What made you realise there was a gap in the market for new products? 
When I started, no one was creating products specifically for brows. To complete the perfect arch for my clients after shaping with the Golden Ratio Technique, I would fill in their brows with my own homemade mixture of eyeshadow, aloe vera, and Vaseline. But of course, they would go home at the end of the day and wash it off. They wanted something they could use as part of their daily beauty routine. I had to start completely from scratch. There were months of traveling to Italy and going back and forth on the development of the formula to ensure that it performed at the quality I needed it to. When I launched the first Anastasia Beverly Hills product line in 1998, it was the first thing of its kind on the market. Products for brows? It was radical. But even with this launch, it wasn’t as though a switch flipped immediately. It was ten to fifteen solid years of advocating for brows with every client, news station, and press outlet, but I was determined. I wanted my name to be synonymous with brows. 

5) How did the Anastasia Beverly Hills brand come about? What did you want to achieve with the brand?
The core of Anastasia Beverly Hills has always been the Golden Ratio. I learned about this concept in art school in Romania. We would study highlight and shadow, balance and proportion, and I thought, if the Golden Ratio could bring harmony to art, architecture, and the body, why not eyebrows? It turns out that brows shaped and tailored to an individual’s distinct bone structure are truly transformative. The result unlocks this sense of balance and suddenly, all your features appear to be in correct proportion. Properly shaped and filled arches also make you look alert, rested, and even take years off the face. It is instantly more flattering, but in a way where no one can pinpoint exactly what’s different. I always knew I wanted to do something of significance, and by offering first a service to a beloved set of clients, followed by the launch of a product line for beauty lovers around the globe, I felt the incredible bloom of community. I truly believe that makeup has the transformative power to truly affect someone’s life. Customers are essentially inviting us into their homes, their routines, the way they choose to present themselves to the world. It’s a very intimate experience, and I’m so proud that ABH gets to be a part of that for so many people.

6) What do you think has been key to a successful business?
 From the very beginning, we were committed to quality. We never launch anything you’re not in love with ourselves. People remember how you treat them, the quality of what you’ve recommended and created. We put our customers first and make sure they know that we have their best interests in mind. We’re always working to give the community something innovative that fills a distinct niche, whether it’s the first assembled Contour Kit, a new unbudging Lip Stain, or the cult-favorite Brow Freeze formula. During the early days, the educational aspect of showing women how to use our brand-new-to-market brow products was critical to their success, and education remains a  brand cornerstone. We know that when an individual decides to incorporate a new product into their beauty routine, it’s done so after careful consideration. You’re much less likely to try a product if you don’t know how to use it, what it’s good for, or what it can specifically do for you. We now have an entire department devoted to education, so that our community can see tutorials, follow step-by-step guides, and read up on pro tips. Finally, inclusivity is a firmly held value. It’s simple — beauty is for everyone. It doesn’t know age, gender, race, or sexual orientation. Color range and representation have always been paramount goals, which I think you can tell when looking at our launches. I believe a testament to our success is that, yes, we are in the business of beauty. But what makes you feel beautiful is something that can also make you feel powerful, and the community we’ve created realizes that. They know our commitment is to their personal journey.

7) You’ve worked with some incredible people throughout your career, can you tell us about some of the most memorable people you’ve worked with?
I’ve been blessed to craft the brows of so many incredible, beautiful, and talented women. It started with the supermodels in the 90s. Naomi Campell, Cindy Crawford, Michelle Pheiffer and more heard about me through word of mouth. No one else was doing eyebrows at the time, and the agents would send them my way. I’ve spent years working with Oprah, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian. I’ve even done the brows of First Lady Michelle Obama. I am constantly inspired by innovators, boundary pushers, and strong, vibrant women who strive to have it all, so these longtime clients have been a joy throughout my career. Ultimately, I love all my clients and I’m proud of the relationships I’ve created with so many of them. 

8) Who is your favourite person you’ve done makeup for?
An early turning point and incredibly special moment was when Oprah brought me onto the Oprah Winfrey Show to do her brows on live national television. I still remember what it was like to get that phone call. Oprah wants me to do her eyebrows? The Oprah? It felt like winning an Oscar. After the episode aired, the phone wouldn’t stop ringing at the salon for months. She is still a client of mine, and also a dear friend.  

9) What have been some of your best career highlights?
 Watching my daughter’s creativity blossom. She has been instrumental in the development of our color category and as acting President. Working so closely with my daughter has been incredible, and it brings me such joy that she is so completely in love with what she does. 
Experiencing the tremendous growth of our community, especially on social media. It’s amazing how close-knit of a community 20 million people can feel like, but it does! We love our community; we love showcasing and encouraging new talent. Every time we repost someone’s work, it’s like we’re cheering them on, and I think our fans recognize this genuine connection
A couple years ago, I traveled back to Romania for the launch of Anastasia Beverly Hills in my home country. As I came full circle, I realized that I had reached a special point in my life that was almost perfectly divided by time lived in Romania and time lived in the United States. It was a surreal moment to come full circle. my Romanian origins gave me — heritage, endurance, and resilience, and I am living my American dream because of my Romanian roots. 

10) What do you hope to achieve in the next 10 years?
 I know that I want to constantly improve. I want to be innovating, releasing new products people love, and amplifying diversity and freedom of expression in the beauty community. When I envision the future, the edges are fuzzy. It’s like Michelangelo, who started chiseling from one piece of marble until the figure slowly materialized, only then getting a glimpse at the finished work. My motivation gets renewed as new pieces are revealed, and I can then assess what the next steps should be. As far as concrete accomplishments, if I could get a Brow Wiz into the hands of every single beauty lover in the world, I would be happy.

11) What has been your favourite makeup trend / look in the last few years?
 I’ve seen a surge in wanting to strip down rather than cover up, and we’ve been trending towards easy, lifted, natural, and minimal beauty. I love our Luminous Foundation and Magic Touch Concealer for a brightening, smoothing, and correcting effect with a second-skin finish. Brow Freeze Gel gives my brows a classic and polished laminated look with a few swipes, and it pairs beautifully with Brow Powder Duo to disguise areas of sparseness. Our cream formulas are also a must - Cream Bronzer, Stick Blush, and Stick Highlighter. They’re weightless, buildable, and blend like a dream. Last, Lash Sculpt Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara for super-natural extension-effect lashes. 

12) If you were only allowed to use one makeup product, what would it be? / What is your favourite staple product?
 I’ll never go without an ABH Brow Wiz. It handles both shading and fine detail, can fill areas of sparseness as well as add an extremely soft and natural dimension. Basically, I can create perfect brows no matter where I am. 
My ultimate way to use Brow Wiz: Start by outlining the overall shape. Next, use the pencil to fill in areas of sparseness, continuing to apply in tiny, hair-like strokes. The thin tip of the Brow Wiz grants unparalleled precision, creating a texture that mimics your own natural brow. To finish, use the spoolie end to blend throughout. If you want to set your brows for the day, follow up with Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel.