ANASTASIA: BROWS TO BLUSH

Byline: Alev Aktar

NEW YORK — Anastasia Soare, eyebrow architect to the stars, has built a booming business on word of mouth alone. Now she’s taking the same slow-build approach with her new signature makeup line, Anastasia Beverly Hills.
The collection of 150 stockkeeping units was introduced at Anastasia’s Beverly Hills salon in late March, and she says that the response has been phenomenal. “I wanted my client to get the message,” said the expert plucker, who established a reputation at Juan Juan in Beverly Hills, then opened her own salon in 1997, where she tends to the brows of celebrities such as Kate Capshaw, Rita Wilson and Cameron Diaz. “I’m offering them beautiful packaging and beautiful quality. These are women who drive for two hours to get their eyebrows done and they have high expectations.”
Anastasia is targeting retail sales of $1 million in 2000 for the collection at her salon.
The makeup will be rolled out to a handful of Nordstrom doors starting in June and will debut at Bergdorf Goodman in August. Anastasia is targeting a distribution of about 100 doors by the end of 2001.
Anastasia worked on the packaging with French designer Etienne Jardel, and finally settled on a French antique look with contemporary touches. “I thought we needed to combine the beauty of a vintage look with 21st-century technology,” she explained. “After all, this is the year 2000.” The compacts are faux antique silver and the lids on the eye shadows and brow powder have portholes in the middle so that users can see the shades.
“My clients say they love to display the products on their vanity and not hide them in a drawer,” continued Anastasia. “You can put everything out.”
She also paid particular attention to the formulations, choosing ultrasilky textures and feminine, wearable shades. “The feel of everything is wonderful and I went with conservative, very natural looking shades. You can be 18 or 50, it doesn’t matter — you can wear my basic colors.”
A full range of products is available, including lipstick, lipliner, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, pressed powder, loose powder, concealer, blush, oil-free liquid foundation and moisturizing liquid foundation. In addition, there are numerous eyebrow products such as brow powder, brow pomade, pre-tweeze gel, after-tweeze gel, brow gel and brow pencil. Prices range from $19 for a lipliner to $47.50 for Moisturizing Liquid Foundation. Lipsticks will retail for $20.
Anastasia started the company with partners Arnold and Deborah Simon. Arnie, as he is known, is the chairman and chief executive officer of Aris Industries, which markets apparel under names like XOXO, Perry Ellis and Baby Phat. Deborah Simon, a member of the board of directors at Aris, is in charge of overseas sales for Anastasia.
Rather than advertising, Anastasia intends to promote the line herself on TV programs and via word of mouth. “I feel confident that this makeup line will work exactly like my eyebrow business,” she said. “I already have clients who came in because their friends said, “You have to throw out all your makeup and try these products.”‘