Pérsona Cosmetics Owner, Sona Gasparian, Is Changing the Beauty Blogging and Social Media Scene Through Inclusivity and Female Empowerment
Written By: Jessica Ourisman
Photography Provided By: Pérsona Cosmetics Sona Gasparian Pérsona Cosmetics
Meet Sona Gasparian, the Armenian beauty guru behind Simply Sona, a beauty, lifestyle and fashion blog based out of Los Angeles. Gasparian first entered the scene as a YouTube sensation, whose fan-favorite videos paved the way for her own lifestyle brand and line of cosmetics, Pérsona Cosmetics. With over 10 years as a professional makeup artist under her belt, she took to social media to share her vast beauty wisdom on a platform with great potential. “After discovering YouTube, I realized that I could bring my knowledge and love of the makeup world to a much larger audience through blogging and social media,” Gasparian shares.
With a combined social media following of one million, her digital success is undebatable. Her growing fanbase opened the door for the beauty’s entrepreneurial spirit to shine through, bringing her lifelong dream of owning her own cosmetics line to fruition in 2016, proving to young women around the world that pursuing their passions really can lead to a successful career.
Upon Pérsona’s unveiling, the makeup artist and beauty blogger was able share her love of cosmetics with her audience in a more interactive way. However, as Gasparian can attest, becoming a public figure comes with certain burdens. “It’s a lot of responsibility knowing young girls follow and look up to me, so I try and be extra careful with what I post or say,” she says. “But of course, it is also very exciting to know that I am empowering girls to go after their dreams.”
Gasparian’s success makes her a trailblazer in the beauty industry, especially in the Inclusive Beauty movement. As the mainstream media has been criticized for historically overlooking women of medium-skin tones, Gasparian works with some of the industries biggest names—Clarins, Estée Lauder and Neutrogena—to encourage and show women how to highlight their natural beauty with products that are affordable and inclusive. Not only is Gasparian collaborating for change, but she’s also creating it as well, managing to develop eye kits, eyeshadow palettes, liquid lipsticks and highlighters that complement a range of skin tones.
Founding Pérsona Cosmetics is a milestone in her career. The success of launching her own makeup line didn’t come quick or easy. Ever since she was a little girl watching her mom work in a salon, Gasparian was inspired to be a part of the beauty industry. Getting to this point in her career has involved a great deal of hard work, from studying at Makeup Designory (MUD) and working at MAC Cosmetics in the earlier stages of her journey to rapport-building with her audience and creating a community among her followers.
“A huge factor in the blogging world is trust,” says Gasparian. “Starting my own brand was always a goal for me, so once I felt that I had a stable community of followers that trusted me and believed in what I was doing, I knew it was time to make that goal a reality. And so, Pérsona was born!”
The line’s first season consisted of some of the cosmetic industry’s most popular products: three matte shades of liquid lipstick, 12 hues of eye pigment—both matte and shimmering—in a compact palette and three different tints of millennial-adored highlighters. The line’s popularity (highlighter sales are limited to three per customer) is a likely indication of the greatness to come. Meanwhile, each of her products is infused with her personal taste and vast knowledge of makeup.
Each of her beach-themed highlighters bears a special significance to the bubbly California woman. “I love the beach and that glow you get after spending a few hours under the Cali sun,” Gasparian says. “I wanted to replicate that glow with my highlighter collection. As far as shade names, each of these beaches [Laguna, Zuma and Del Mar] are very near and dear to me. I have such beautiful memories soaking up the sun and relaxing on these beaches!”
Pérsona Cosmetics demonstrates Gasparian’s ability to attune to the industry’s beauty trends. From shimmering highlighters perfect for accentuating cheekbones to must-have matte lipstick and eye pigments picked for complementing brown eyes, Gasparian’s makeup line successfully taps into cruelty-free and ethical cosmetics, two themes that are shaping the contemporary beauty market and aiding the industry’s emerging push for the future of cosmetics.
Now a seasoned boss lady, Gasparian continues to be thrilled by the process. “Aside from launching the brand, all the positive feedback has been the most exciting part for me,” she says. “It’s always so nerve-wracking to hear what people think of your product, especially with the world of social media. But every comment, story, direct message and review is always so exciting and makes the whole process worth it.”
The opportunity to provide feedback should be the green light to give Pérsona Cosmetics a try.
When else will we have the opportunity to influence the future of the brands we love? Gasparian welcomes everyone, whether they’re a makeup pro and new to the cosmetic world, to try her products with video tutorials about how to use Pérsona Cosmetics to “get the look” whether it be an everyday look or a dramatic smokey-eye for a night out.
“We have some very exciting new developments for Pérsona Cosmetics in 2018 and 2019,” she says. As for the future of Pérsona Cosmetics, Gasparian leaves us with the promise of more to come, and we’re ready for it—clean makeup brushes, new beauty blenders and all.
Sona’s Skincare Routine
Step 1: Cleanse with the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel.
Step 2: Apply serum. In the mornings, use Clarins Double Serum, and at night, the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair. Breaking out? Use iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance Plus.
Step 3: Use a Jade Roller.
Step 4: Moisturize with La Mer Cool Gel Cream.
Step 5: Sunscreen! Apply PCA Weightless Broad Spectrum SPF.
Favorite Face Feature: “Definitely the eyes. There is so much more you can do to make your eyes pop compared to other facial features,” says Gasparian. “I love how versatile you can be with color on the eyes!”
Sona’s Beauty Icons: “I am inspired by a ton of makeup artists. Lisa Eldridge, Mario Dedivanovic and Pat McGrath have all been such an inspiration to me. Each one is so creative in their own way,” explains Gasparian.
Must-Try Beauty Hack: “To make your eyelashes look fuller and more defined, tightline both the top and bottom with a long-wear eyeliner!” suggests Gasparian.