Photo Credit: Matt Doheny Photography
YouTuber, beauty influencer, and entrepreneur, Sasha Anne has made a name for herself commanding internet attention through her makeup tutorials and beauty transformations. Her popular YouTube Channel videos and tutorials currently average 18,000 views. As a makeup artist and entrepreneur, Sasha wants to inspire other girls to achieve their dreams. She has recreated several incredible cosplay makeup styles including Elsa and Anna from Frozen as well as a number of informative hauls and reviews. The Shorty Awards, also known as the “Shortys”, is an annual award show recognizing the people and organizations that produce real-time short-form content across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch and the rest of the social web actually recognized Sasha’s work by awarding her a Shorty Awards Audience Honor for empowering young women with her Gal Gadot and Wonder Woman inspired transformation. Sasha has also worked with high-profile makeup artist Dani Fonseca, who happens to be one of Lady Gaga’s makeup artists.
Since she was a child, Sasha has been fascinated with faces and facial expressions. When Sasha was eight she was diagnosed with dyslexia – a condition that explained her difficulty and hesitation to use speech to express herself. She turned to music and art as ways to express herself. She taught herself to watch people’s faces and expressions carefully to help her understand the language they used. Faces spoke to her. Not words.
When she turned 11 she discovered makeup and made a leap from drawing faces to drawing on faces. This was it for Sasha – her “ah-ha!” moment. Her world changed and she embraced this unique way of expressing herself.
At 13 she launched her own YouTube channel and reached out beyond her familiar circle of friends and started sharing her discoveries with other young girls across America. She started creating how-to tutorials for different looks and exploring different products. Her following quickly began to grow and engage with her. As questions started to come in, she would take time to respond thoughtfully and advise younger girls as they tackled their own challenges. Sasha is a natural role model like a caring big sister.
Her love of makeup inspired her to establish her own lip gloss beauty line called “Teeny Wee” Lip Gloss which was in fact, developed and founded by Sasha when she was only 17. Equally as important as her love for animals. Teeny Wee Lip Gloss is cruelty-free as compassion for all animals and a personal gesture of love for her dog Chloe. Launching her own cosmetics company is a dream come true for Sasha. Her goal is to make people smile when they see her videos and make a difference in people’s lives.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Sasha Anne to discuss her journey as a beauty influencer and entrepreneur and here’s what went down:
1. Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I’m 20 years old and a student at FIT in NYC. I started my YouTube channel SashaAnne when I was a freshman in High School and focused on makeup transformations. I was nominated for a Shorty award at 16 years old for my Cinderella Makeup transformation and won a Shorty when I was 17 for my Gal Gadot/Wonder Woman empowering women transformation. I strongly believe in the power of makeup as a way for young women to express themselves. I was painfully shy as a child and teenager. I am dyslexic and as a child words were challenging. Makeup allowed me to be whomever and whatever I want to be. It emboldened me. The strength that I found carries me through everyday life whether I am totally barefaced or made up.
I was very recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I will be starting treatment in 10 days and hope that the inner strength I found will carry me through the harder journey I now face.
2. Can you describe your journey? When did you start?
As my YouTube channel and my social media presence increased in popularity, I had an idea for a tiny lipgloss during my Senior year in high school. I envisioned a lipgloss small enough to tuck into a tiny pocket. I persevered, asked friends and family for help, and started my SaahaAnne brand with the launch of five tiny lipglosses. Those sold out and I’m currently launching a new product line which will be out within a few months. Production was set back by a few months because of COVID.
3. What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
The SashaAnne brand is growing beyond lipgloss and we are relaunching a few surprise lifestyle products within the next few months. We have been working on the concept and packaging for a few months and I’m very excited.
4. What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers?
I am very active on all social media platforms. I have recently revamped my website SashaAnne.com where you can see everything that I’m doing and get to know me and my personal journey. My blog is going up as well.
5. What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
My business has only been up and running for two years. It took a year for it to gain traction and I attribute that to my social media presence and my makeup transformations on YouTube.
I gifted my lipglosses at various fashion events such as Teen fashion week in New York City and that helps with audience awareness.
6. How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?
The tiny lipglosses which were the first product I launched stood out because they were so small and easy to take anywhere for a touch-up. They fit in the tightest jean’s pocket and smallest purse. They were moisturizing and highly saturated with colors I mixed myself.
7. What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
Once the SashaAnne brand sold out two of the more popular colors of lipglosses in late February, I had to decide whether to continue to produce the lipglosses or relaunch a new product line. I decided to relaunch. It was a big decision but while we are in the midst of the COVID pandemic, I came to the occlusion that lipgloss is probably not a realistic product to be manufacturing.
8. What mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
The three mistakes that come to mind are:
a. I should have done more research when sourcing packaging.
b. I was impatient. Patience is very important. You need to do it right the first time.
c. I tried to do too much myself. You need to get the right team in place to help.
9. If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
There’s not much more I could have done differently. I was 17. I had an idea. I was passionate and ambitious and I am glad I made mistakes then. I learned from those mistakes and won’t make them again.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Take a breath and think before you leap.
What advice would you give to a newbie influencer setting up their first business?
You absolutely must find people you trust in the industry. Do not be afraid to ask for help. It’s a lot of hard work so make sure you are prepared for the time commitment.