Harper’s Bazaar Arabia: Why brows?
Anastasia: I went to art school in Romania and my art teacher used to tell us that when drawing portraits, all the emotion lies in the eyebrows. You could draw the same person and just by changing their eyebrow shape, you can change their emotion – just look at black-and-white silent movies! Back in the ‘90s, everyone had those awful, thin eyebrows and I wanted to change that.
HBA: You have such a geometric and architectural way of doing brows…
ABH: In my lectures at art school, we started learning about Leonardo di Vinci’s theory on the Golden Ratio and divine proportion, which claim that there is a mathematical formula to how the human body is made up. I studied these theories, along with architecture, before starting beauty school in 1989, and I began applying them to make-up and women’s faces. I started developing a technique on how to shape brows according on your bone structure. I knew there had to be a mathematical equation to get that perfect proportion.
A model showcases the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette Model
HBA: Does social media play a big part in your business?
ABH: Of course! We were one of the first make-up brands to join Instagram. My daughter and I still handle all the social media – we don’t outsource it or have an agency helping us. I want to be as close to the brand and my customers as possible. I want to see what they’re posting and what they’re liking so I know exactly what they want.
HBA: Where do you get your inspiration for creating your next product?
ABH: From the customer. Every product I make has been designed to solve a problem. We only make products that we are 100 percent in love with. We usually have about 100 products in the lab.
HBA: Who was the first pair of celebrity eyebrows you ever worked on?
ABH: Back in the early ‘90s, I had just arrived in America from Romania and hardly spoke any English. I was working on the beauty counters in a department store and this minivan pulled up outside. Out of the car comes Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Stephanie Seymour, Gail Elliott. They were all about 19-years old and drop dead gorgeous. Naomi is still a friend today.
Kim Kardashian is a long-term client and friend of the brand
Kim Kardashian West
HBA: If you could do any celebrity’s eyebrows, who would it be?
ABH: I’ve never done Angelina Jolie – she’s gorgeous and I’d love to do her make-up.
"I’ve never done Angelina Jolie's brows," says Anastasia. "She’s gorgeous and I’d love to do her make-up"
HBA: How do you think beauty in the Middle East differs from the rest of the world?
ABH: The women here and so beautiful and they are all incredible at doing their own make-up. They have gorgeous big eyes, thick eyebrows and full lips – you couldn’t ask for a better canvas. Women take pride in their make-up here.
HBA: What are your eyebrow faux pas?
ABH: Over-tweezing then tattooing your brows on!
HBA: What are your future plans for the brand?
ABH: We are not a full make-up brand yet. We want to have mascara, foundation and all the other products for a full face of make-up. We’re developing the news products now but we won’t launch anything until the formula is perfect and I’m 100% happy.
Anastasia does Bazaar's brows - can you spot which brow is the before and after?
Products used for Bazaar's brows (from left): Brow Wiz in Taupe, Dhs98; Dip Brow in Soft Brown, Dhs98 and Pro Pencil in Base 1, Dhs80 available at Sephora
Anastasia Beverly Hills is available at Sephora