Whether you've heard of Anastasia Beverly Hills because of its high quality products and its famous eponymous neutrals eyeshadow palette, or because it's part of the prize package on RuPaul's Drag Race, it's regarded as one of the most successful makeup brands. Founded by Anastasia Soare in 1997, the brand is worth a whopping $3 billion, and it's often featured on lists of top makeup product reviews.
Anastasia's daughter, Claudia Soare aka Norvina, is the president of the makeup company. She's also starring as an assistant host on makeup vlogger James Charles' new YouTube series, Instant Influencer. While you may not have heard of Norvina before, as a top leader at Anastasia Beverly Hills, her reputation surely proceeds her.
With the confusion surrounding her name, many have wondered about Norvina's background. Is Norvina transgender? Read on to find out more about the Instant Influencer star, and what she said about constantly being asked about her identity.
Who is Norvina?
Claudia Soare aka Norvina was born in Romania in November of 1987 to the future "Eyebrow Queen" herself, Anastasia Soare, and ship captain Victor Soare.
Anastasia wed Victor nine years before Norvina's birth, and he eventually left his wife and daughter in Romania for several years while he sought asylum in the United States.
Upon giving birth, Anastasia wanted to name her baby Norvina, which was an homage to her late grandfather's name, but she was barred from doing so because it was not Romanian.
Instead, she settled on the moniker Claudia Norvina because a woman who had given birth shortly before her had given her daughter that name. From the start, she always intended on calling the child Norvina.
Though Norvina went by both Claudia and Norvina during her upbringing, she ultimately decided to go by Norvina professionally because the name was more distinct. As fans will know, Norvina has a vibrant makeup palette named after her that features deep, bold colors. She kept this collection separate from the Anastasia Beverly Hills brand because she didn't want fans to think that she was going to go against the signature neutrals.
In 1989, Anastasia and Norvina joined Victor in the U.S., and the family ultimately resided in Beverly Hills. Anastasia worked as an aesthetician in L.A. when the family moved, and she focused on giving her clients shaped eyebrows based on their bone structure.
Though she didn't speak much English at the time, she gained a strong reputation among celebrity clients, including Faye Dunaway, Naomi Campbell, and Cindy Crawford. She rented out her own space, and she founded the makeup brand in 1997.
Their new home in the U.S. also inspired the brand's name of Anastasia Beverly Hills.
Before becoming the president of ABH, Norvina worked behind the scenes. She worked at the front desk, before moving on to the sales and marketing aspect of the brand. In 2012, her mom let her begin to work on the makeup end of the company.
Is Norvina transgender?
In January of 2019, Norvina addressed the Twitter users who had crassly wondered whether or not the makeup expert was transgender. Though it wasn't anyone's business, nor should it have been a concern to her followers, Norvina took the speculation as an opportunity to express her thoughts on the matter.
"Asking me if I'm trans or a drag queen as subtle shade, is not an insult to me," she wrote. "Drag queens have taught me how to be unapologetically me, it’s the most accepting community for every kind of beauty. Welcome to 2019 tho[ugh]."
Just a few months later, Anastasia Beverly Hills launched a collection with RuPaul's Drag Race alum Alyssa Edwards.
New episodes of Instant Influencer drop on Fridays on YouTube.