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    The Queen of Brows: how Anastasia Soare transformed eyebrow care

    Silvia Ihring

    Entrepreneur Anastasia Soare has achieved worldwide success with her beauty treatments for eyebrows – simultaneously proving that a naturally shaped brow is always the best option

    Anastasia Soare leans forward and starts marking at the beginning of her eyebrow, next to the bridge of her nose. “It’s a bit thin here,” she says, using the Brow Pen, (an eyebrow pencil shaped like a calligraphy brush), to draw tiny hairs on the lightly covered patches. She admits to making the mistake that so many did back in the ’90s of overplucking her eyebrows, causing hair not to grow back in some areas. “My eyebrows were round and so thin, as if they were drawn with a pencil,” she says. “In photos from back then, I always have a surprised expression on my face.”

    Soare doesn’t look shocked today, though. No, as the founder and CEO of American cosmetics label Soare Beverly Hills, she is considered to be one of the first to bring global attention to the important role eyebrows have in framing a woman’s face. She was also one of the first to establish eyebrow care as an integral part of any daily beauty routine. 

    Soare Beverly Hills got its start in 1997 by selling eyebrow pencils, brushes, and gels. But in the decades since, it has expanded to include makeup products for the eyes, lips, and face. And today, Forbes estimates that Soare’s company is valued at roughly $500 million.

    Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pen.
    Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pen. Image: Supplied

    During our interview, which takes place via Zoom, the founder sits in her office in Los Angeles, looking like a well-styled California power entrepreneur. She wears a pink jacket with numerous gold bracelets, and her long, wavy hair is as bright and golden as the Santa Monica beach. Thanks to the right tools, her eyebrows are wide and dense, forming a harmonious arch that begins above the inner corner of the eye, reaches its highest point just before the last third of the eyebrow, and ends at the extension of an imaginary line between the nostril and the outer corner of the eye.

    The shape is based on a method Soare developed using the ‘Golden Ratio’ principle to determine the perfect eyebrow for each face. Acting as evidence for Soare’s success, on the office dresser are signed illustrations of stars including Sharon Stone, Oprah Winfrey, Heidi Klum, and Kris Jenner. All of them are Soare’s customers and close friends, and they also attended a dinner last year to celebrate her 25th brand anniversary. “I’m so grateful to these women because everything started with them,” she says.

    More precisely, everything started with a bold decision, like so many success stories. Soare was born in Romania, where she studied art and architecture. “Life there was shaped by the communist regime; it was very isolated, you couldn’t go anywhere,” she recalls. Then, in 1989, she immigrated to the USA. “I might as well have landed on another planet. I didn’t speak English, and for the first six months, I just cried. But I knew that wouldn’t get me anywhere.”

    La Palette Sourcils by Chanel. Image: Supplied

    Soon, she met an employee of a beauty salon in Beverly Hills, who got her a job. She started with hair-removal services and facials – and was allowed to take care of Cindy Crawford as her first client. “All the supermodels came to me – Stephanie Seymour, Naomi Campbell, Tvwalisa Soto. I didn’t know who they were because I had never heard of them in Romania,” Soare recounts. 

    Soon, many celebrities heard of Soare in Beverly Hills. Her client base grew, but she was dissatisfied with her own appearance. She realised it was because of her eyebrows. “I remembered what I learned in art class about Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Golden Ratio’, the theory of proportions that the eye finds particularly harmonious.” Based on this principle, she developed a ‘Golden Ratio’ for eyebrows – and applied the technique to herself first, then to her clients. 

    This was so well received that she opened her own salon in 1992. Six years later, she was allowed to treat her clients’ eyebrows live in front of millions of TV viewers on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show. “That was my Oscar moment. After that, the phone didn’t stop ringing,” says the eyebrow specialist. 

    Diorshow Brow Styler.
    Diorshow Brow Styler. Image: Supplied

    But why is this part of the face so important? “The eyebrow determines your facial expression,” explains Soare. If you look at the silent movies of the 1920s, you’ll see that the actors wore very dramatically shaped eyebrows. This was intended to convey their emotions.”

    And in everyday life? “The perfect eyebrows always ultimately depend on the natural shape to ensure a harmony in the face,” says the expert. However, for decades, women preferred various trends, not always flattering. “Marlene Dietrich and Jean Harlow wore very round and thin eyebrows in the 1940s and 1950s, making them look more mature.” This was followed by tapered eyebrows in the 1960s and 1970s, wild bushy brows in the 1980s, and matchstick-thin arches à la Kate Moss in the 1990s.

    Of course, there are trends today as well – from the “lamination” look, perfectly arranged and brushed straight-up hairs, to bleached eyebrows. “The good thing is, you don’t have to pluck your brows to achieve a certain look. There are so many products that you can use to simply mimic it for a short time,” she says as she reaches for an eyebrow gel and demonstrates, with one effortless stroke, just how simply it is done.

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