THE GOLDEN STATEWe can't all live the laid-back California lifestyle. But we can look like we do...

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“It’s typical of Los Angeles to embrace trends before other places, and then it seems to disseminate from there.” Anastasia Soare

Fresh, radiant skin and surfer-girl hair: L.A. practically invented effortless, healthy-looking beauty. But is it really as low maintenance as it seems? Or are there Hollywood secrets at work? More and more brands are emerging from the City Of Angels, suggesting that you might be able to get a slice of Golden State beauty even if you haven't been sipping mocktails in Malibu all summer long. We spoke to California beauty gurus about how they found their niche.


From Jessica Alba to Margot Robbie, many of LA’s most famous have adopted the refined luxury of Hourglass Cosmetics. Founder Carisa Janes opened the flagship store in 2014 in Venice Beach and is now on track to reinvent the beauty space.

What would you say is the typical LA beauty look?

The typical LA look is natural, sun-kissed skin with full brows, lashes and a neutral (and full) lip. It’s about a healthy glow that suggests you’ve been at the beach all day.

How does Hourglass fit into this aesthetic?

We make it easy to get the look LA is known for. The Ambient Lighting Collection is what put us on the map, and the bronzer instantly delivers natural radiance with buildable colour. Our plumping Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss comes in several nude shades and makes lips appear fuller (lip enhancements are quite popular in LA, but this is quick and painless). Caution Extreme Lash Mascara also lifts lashes with a boost of volume, and our Arch Brow collection — especially the new Arch Brow Micro Sculpting Pencil — is just what you need to get those full, natural, LA-style brows.


You have vowed to go entirely vegan by 2020, was this partly due to customer demand?

Being a cruelty-free brand, we asked ourselves whether we should be using animal-derived ingredients at all. The overwhelming majority of our products is already vegan, but going completely vegan made sense for us. Although the decision wasn’t purely based on customer demand, our customers — and people, in general — are showing a strong interest in vegan products.

The LA look can give the impression of effortless, healthy beauty – what are your best tips for recreating this and extending the summer look?

Our oil-free Veil Mineral Primer conceals redness and really blurs the appearance of pores and wrinkles before you even apply foundation. It also repels water (and sweat) and has SPF15 protection, which makes it essential when the temperature goes up. After foundation and concealer, finish with the Veil Translucent Setting Powder. It will smooth skin and keep make-up in check from morning to night, in even the warmest weather.



Known as ‘the eyebrow queen’, Anastasia Soare has quite literally raised the stakes. Not only are Jennifer Lopez, Amal Clooney and Michelle Obama fans, but her namesake brand has also been labelled as the most powerful beauty brand on. Today, it has 19.9 million followers.

Your journey has been described as a true American success story, how did your namesake salon begin?

>When I moved to the United States, I didn’t know the language. I had left behind my family, I knew no one. I always had an interest in beauty and working as an aesthetician was a job I could do without speaking perfect English. It was while doing facial and body waxing that I noticed a glaring gap in the market — no one was paying attention to eyebrows. I began to offer brow shaping as a separate service. Demand soared, and I went from renting a room in a salon to opening my own. Later on, I launched a line of products solely dedicated to brows when I noticed they were missing from the market as well. Just like that, I had found my niche.


What was your big break and what was your hardest in developing the brand?

There were so many hard moments, especially in the beginning. When I wanted to open my own salon, I stayed in the landlord’s office for two hours trying to convince him to lease me the space. I always had faith in my vision, so I was never deterred by the nos. The year after the salon opened its doors, I received a call that Oprah wanted me to do her brows on live television. After the episode aired, the phone wouldn’t stop ringing for months.

Would you say LA caught on to the focus on brows before the UK did?

Of course I think it's typical of Los Anegles to embrace trends before most other places, and then it seems to diseminate from there. People in L.A. have simply been doing their brows for longer, trying different products, and perfecting their own style.


You studied architecture. Did this influence your Golden Ratio method?

I came to know about the concept of the Golden Ratio from a professor in art school. We would study highlight and shadow, balance and proportion. I realised years later that the same principle could be applied to eyebrows, and that it would have the power to transform a person's entire look. If the Golden Ratio could bring harmony to art, architecture and the body, why not brows?

What do you foresee as the next big trends in 2019?

I think brow ‘trends’ have finally come to an end. There have certainly been times with very particular brows, such as the over tweezing of the 90s or the very rounded curve of the 40s. Now, people are starting to realize that one brow does not fit all. This is the entire foundation of Anastasia Beverly Hills. Using the Golden Ratio Shaping Technique, the shape of the brow is determined with three measurements and is tailored to each individual’s face and unique bone structure. Personalised brows will outlast any trend.