The founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills was in Dublin for the Brown Thomas Style Summit and to launch the exclusive new Brow Bar shaping service.
When it comes to perfecting your brows, Anastasia Soare has it down to a fine art – a skill, she says, she first learned at school.
"My art teacher was always talking about how if you want to draw a portrait, and you want to change the emotion of the portrait, you change the eyebrows," she told an audience of enraptured beauty editors and influencers ahead of her masterclass at the Brown Thomas Style Summit. "He introduced me to the Golden Ratio Theory that Leonardo da Vinci applied in all of his work. I realized that, in school, my eyebrows were pencil-thin, and in pictures, I look surprised all the time. So I wanted to find the perfect shape for myself. I felt like I had to share that secret with every single client and woman that I knew."
Once upon a time, brows were not the big business they are today. "Believe it or not, in the early '90s, there weren’t eyebrow products. When I started doing eyebrows, for a year, I didn’t even charge my clients because they didn't consider it a service to be paid for." She knew though, that once her clients had seen the change, they wouldn't go without eyebrow shaping again. "There is such an instant change, it is impossible to not come back. The human eye is encoded to recognize balance and proportion, which is why eyebrows are so important. It's one feature on our face that gives harmony to every single other part of the face."
Having built a base of clients who loved their new brows, Anastasia Soare started to develop a line of brow products. "I rented a space in Beverly Hills and I started really paying attention and doing a lot of eyebrows, based on the theory I learned in school on how to draw a portrait. You have a piece of white paper and you start with a pencil to draw in, to kind of create a 3D. By shading with a black pencil you create cheekbones, you create eyes, you create the nose."
It dawned on Anastasia that this wasn't just a theory for eyebrows. "I realized that make-up is exactly the same thing. By using dark colours, ‘contouring’, you create dark colours to minimize certain parts of the face and you use light colours to enhance certain parts of the face. Blending is one of the most important things in make-up. When you draw a portrait, you have to shade, and use more or less pressure on the pencil. It is exactly the same thing when we do our make-up."
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The Leonardo da Vinci Golden Ratio has shaped the entire Anastasia Beverly Hills range. "Every product that we use, we use it based on the foundation of the Golden Ratio. We not only give you the products but we show you the right way to use them."
But back to brows. How do we use the Golden Ratio to create the perfect brows? "Eyebrow hairs are darker than the base, obviously," says Soare, "so you use a base that is lighter than your hair and you use strokes that are as dark as your hair. Use whatever as a base, like powder or Brow Wiz, and create strokes of hair with a darker colour. Then, you blend. Use a darker colour and add more pressure from the middle towards the end and go lighter in the front. That's the best way to do it! Then use a clear brow gel to settle the colour and hold the hair throughout the day. It should be the last thing you use. You can use it again during the day just to refresh if you wish to."
Her favourite products, she thinks, are Brow Wiz or Pro Pencil. "I like to use this to outline the eyebrows for a natural look. It's so creamy and easy to use. If your client has drier skin, use a drop of oil and dip it into it." If you're someone in a rush, she says that Brow Definer is the one for you. "It's so easy. You have three sides; the thick side, the medium side and the really thin side. Draw with the thick side and outline the eyebrow underneath and on top, blend, and then with the thin part, create strokes of hair. This is the fastest way to do eyebrows."
Now, for the big question. What are we getting wrong with our brows? "The most common mistake is tweezing too much or making the space between brows too big. They tweeze too much thinking that this opens the eyes, which is not the case, because the eyebrow is too short, which destroys the balance on the face. It drives me crazy to see this! You always want to mimic natural eyebrows."
And if we're still struggling with the effects of the 90's brow? "That Pamela Anderson look! In the '90s, when everybody had pencil thin eyebrows, everybody wanted the Pamela Anderson pencil-thin eyebrows. I used to say, "this doesn't look good! Please! I can't, I refuse to do thin eyebrows!” It took a really long time to convince women that eyebrows should be shaped according to everybody's bone structure and natural eyebrow shape - not pencil thin eyebrows. They don’t look good on anyone."
There is only one solution for you, says Anastasia. "Latisse is the only thing that helps growth, that helps the hair to blossom but you have to use it all the time. The moment you stop is the moment your hair stops growing. The hair is only going to grow if it's a dormant follicle. If the follicle is destroyed it won’t work."
Photography by Anastasia Beverly Hills.
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