Anastasia Bezrukova, Founder of Minori Beauty

She's been a commodities' trader, a beauty buyer and is a Certified KonMari Consultant, but now has her sights set on her own mindful beauty brand that she's launching in May.

Anastasia is truly a Renaissance woman, as you'll see, and is a wealth of insight and wisdom when it comes to all things minimalism. She has such a great perspective informed by her unique experiences, and we can't wait until her brand launches this May.

Let's start off by having you tell us a little bit about your background, and what you were up to before you created Minori.

My background is quite unusual. I grew up in Montreal, and studied finance in college. My first job was actually as a commodities' trader; I bought corn, soybeans and wheat from big industrial farmers. So, it was as different from being a beauty brand founder as you could possibly imagine! That experience taught me so much about negotiating, as well as about building relationships with people from different backgrounds.

From there I moved over into purchasing for the food and restaurant industry, and then finally made my way into retail buying, where I really felt at home. I immediately fell in love with that industry! I loved to work with small, indie beauty brands! This was back in the day when Jamie Schmidt was starting her deodorant brand. Side note, I actually remember having a call with her as she was looking for an e-com partner in Canada! Working with these entrepreneurs and seeing what they could create definitely reinforced my entrepreneurial drive.

I continued to be a beauty buyer for several years and eventually moved to New York City to join IPSY, which is a beauty subscription box company. That was as much of a "dream job" as a corporate job could ever be for me. But finally, after a few years, I said to myself, "you know what? I've always known I wanted to start my own thing, and life is too short." A wild set of circumstances (a terrible makeup trial prior to my wedding and a visit to Sephora) made me realize that there aren't beauty brands for people like me...who don't wear a ton of makeup. In the end, it was my love for minimalism and mindful consumption that inspired me to start working on Minori.

"Finally, I said to myself, 'you know what? I've always known I wanted to start my own thing, and life is too short.'"

That's amazing. Was your love for beauty cultivated during your time as a beauty buyer, or were you always passionate about beauty and beauty products?

I grew up during a very different time where teenagers weren't as crazy about makeup as the Gen Z generation is now. Growing up, I struggled with acne. This was back in the day when your options for skincare were very limited and everything I tried didn't work for me. And, I should mention that I was terrible at doing my makeup as a teenager! I was abusing my poor skin by trying to cover up my blemishes with layers of powder foundation, and participated in the trends of overplucking my eyebrows and filling my waterline with black eyeliner… I guess that's just the early-to-mid 2000s for you!

When I eventually grew into the confident adult that I am now, I started using way less makeup and let my skin show through even if it's not perfect. That's when I fell in love with the natural makeup look. Just some mascara, a little bit of brow gel, a very natural cream blush, natural cream highlighter, a little bit of gloss, that's it.  I also realized that I'm not the only one who prefers a natural makeup look. Despite having watched all the transformational beauty tutorials on YouTube over the past years, most of us still gravitate to a much more natural, simple and elegant makeup look in our day-to-day life. That’s why Minori's focus is on creating the most beautiful makeup essentials that are meant for everyday life, and meant to be used up to the last drop!

As a side note, we're so excited for you to launch because we totally speak your language when it comes to makeup :)

Thank you so much! I'm very excited too. We're definitely going into this industry with the goal of encouraging people to buy products that they will actually be able to use on a daily basis and encourage them to be mindful consumers in everything that they buy. Our sustainability mission is to inspire our generation to change the way we consume and to buy fewer, better things from companies that align with our personal values. As you can see, minimalism can take many different forms!

You make such amazing recommendations, we could sit and read your blog all day. Tell us a little bit about how you find these amazing discoveries.

Well, I would say that because I have been adopting a more minimalist lifestyle for the past five years, I actually do not have a lot of things. The brands that I mentioned on Compell'd are ones that I have discovered while living in New York City or San Francisco. I love walking around West Village or SoHo looking at storefronts of boutiques, go in, try and touch things, and maybe fall in love with a brand right then and there; or alternatively go home and do some additional research to make a very mindful decision before investing into a piece. I also try not to follow any big fashion influencers because I'm very afraid of getting sucked into the mindset that I need to buy into every latest trend. I did that in my 20's… and realized that it didn't make me happier, and instead kept me pretty broke for an entire decade. I'm kind of sad that it took me so long to discover that I can be much happier while owning less stuff - that's why now I'm so adamant to talk about minimalism and mindful consumption with others!

We love that tip about being very selective about who you get recommendations from to stop consuming more than you need or want to, before it starts. What other tips do you have for making more intentional purchase decisions?

Make an "approved purchases" shopping list! Write down what you think you need for the season or the month, and stick to it! For example, I'll write down that I need a new winter jacket or a few new tops. Anything else I buy that is not from this list, is likely to be an impulsive and unplanned purchase. Another easy tip is when a new shopping impulse comes up, write it down or add it to your cart, and let it sit in the cart for 30 days. If in a month you haven't forgotten about it, then maybe consider buying it.

So speaking to your experience as a Certified KonMari Consultant, do you have any tips to help people digitally declutter?

Digital clutter is so hard to deal with! So my advice for digital decluttering would be to use Compell'd :) The whole concept of Marie Kondo's method of decluttering is that it's supposed to be a once in a lifetime marathon where once you've completed it, it becomes really easy to handle the day-to-day things that come up. But with digital, it's almost impossible because the volume that comes in is extremely difficult to handle. I think that if you are doing the full Marie Kondo process you will handle your digital clutter at the same time as the paper category. You start with clothes, and then you do books, and then papers. And when you finish papers that would do your digital files. Ideally, you go through your old laptops, your current laptop, your photos and all your emails. It will probably take you close to 10 hours, but it will feel really nice to have that done. Trust me, unless you tackle your digital stuff, that decluttering marathon will not feel complete. We absolutely have to do it. And then for day to day life, I think using Compell'd is very helpful.

"Trust me, unless you tackle your digital stuff, that decluttering marathon will not feel complete. We absolutely have to do it. And then for day to day life, I think using Compell'd is very helpful."

Thank you so much, Anastasia! We cannot wait for Minori to launch, and treasure your amazing lists so much.

February 3, 2021

Stay in the loop on the latest Compell'd Connoisseurs, the lists we're loving, and other topics we can't get enough of.

Thanks for joining us, we're excited to have you.
Shoot! Something went wrong. Please try again.