A Rising Brow Star On The LA Scene, Giselle Soto Prepares To Build A Brand
Los Angeles has spawned many of the eyebrow segment’s most famous pluckers. Think Anastasia Soare, Kelley Baker, Tonya Crooks and Damone Roberts. Giselle Soto wants to join their ranks.
The brow artist, who counts Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams and Fifth Harmony’s Normani as clients, is developing a line of vegan brow products that will be paraben-, sulfate- and talc-free set to launch later this year. First to market will be brow powder. Eventually, Soto plans to unleash a full assortment with everything from brow gels to highlighter pencils and brushes to tweezers. She’s interested in developing differentiated products like brow growth serums, conditioners and an exfoliator, noting exfoliating the skin and scalp is common, but brow exfoliation is overlooked.
“Eyebrows are hairs just like the hair on our heads. We are using a lot of products—lotions, serums, makeup—and, oftentimes, we are not wiping it off completely. All of those things clog the pores and no hair can push through,” explains 24-year-old Soto of the importance of adding an exfoliation step to a brow routine. Her upcoming brow exfoliator will decongest pores and help circulation along with aid hair growth.
To begin, Soto will sell her products via a direct-to-consumer model on her website and out of her Melrose Avenue studio as well as in local spots around LA. “Women that I’ve trained and inspired now have their own salon or suite or they work at a salon,” says Soto, seeing her protégés’ businesses as natural fits for her products. Her long-term vision for the brand is for it to enter large beauty retailers like Sephora or Ulta Beauty.
Threading is Soto’s pet peeve and for good reason. Five years ago, her brows were terribly botched by threading. To remedy the bad brow job, an 18-year-old Soto spent hours in front of the mirror teaching herself how to properly shape her arches. “My OCD kind of kicked in,” she laughs. “I stood there for a while, but I was able to design two symmetrical brows, and I was really happy with them.” It didn’t take long for friends and family to ask Soto to clean up their brows. She enrolled in beauty school at Lu Ross Academy in Ventura to turn her amateur brow practice into a professional gig and became known for producing super symmetrical brows.
“I’m myself with celebrities, and I’m the same way with my other queens, my loyal clients who keep my business up and running. I think people see it for what it is, and they trust me.”
After graduating at the top of her class, Soto took a job at Kelley Baker Brows in the LA neighborhood Venice. “I wanted to bring my expertise to LA,” says Soto. “I felt like my work deserved to be there.” She didn’t spend a long time at Kelley Baker Brows, though. Soto recounts, “I was blessed to work with her for about 10 months and, then, I was let go out of nowhere, which was really bumming to me because I loved where I worked and who I worked for.”
In 2016, with Kelley Baker Brows behind her, Soto invited clients into her 400-square-foot apartment for brow appointments. She says, “I never wanted to work for anybody ever again.” A year later, Soto moved her business out of her apartment and into her studio on Melrose Avenue. Her brow technique relies on a mix of waxing and tweezing to nail the perfect shape, and she also offers microblading. Her brow service rates run from $65 to $80, and microblading is $800.
Using Instagram to build a following, she caught the attention of celebrities like Williams and Normani. Soto believes her genuine personality and consistent quality sets her apart from competitors in the brow field. She says, “I’m myself with celebrities, and I’m the same way with my other queens, my loyal clients who keep my business up and running. I think people see it for what it is, and they trust me.”
Soto puts on private classes for novices looking to improve their brow skills and professional artists seeking tips from an expert. For those dipping their toes into a beauty career, she advises, “Focus on investing in your skills and expertise” rather than a fancy physical space. She says, “People were coming to my home. It was a small studio. So, if it’s a storefront or just a small space and it looks decent, OK, cool. People are not going to mind if the outcome is great.”
Feature photo credit: Jennifer Johnson