Anastasia Beverly Hills has tapped Filipina motorsport star Bianca Bustamante as its first athlete ambassador.
The 18-year-old racing driver and F1 academy alum will rep the brand as she makes her Macau Grand Prix Formula 4 debut on Nov. 11 and 12, creating pre-race “Get Ready With Me” content using its bestselling products and sporting the brand’s logo on the nose of her #19 Formula 4 car.
For longtime makeup lover Bustamante, the partnership marks a stride toward breaking down barriers for women in motorsport, who, according to More Than Equal, comprise just 10 percent of the sport’s athletes across all categories of competition.
“For a woman-owned brand to support a woman in a male-dominated sport is huge,” said Bustamante, adding that she, like other female drivers, has faced pressure to scale back her feminine side whilst on the track. “I’ve gotten criticism for wearing makeup while I race, but that’s one thing I’ve always loved —is the fact that I can combine creativity, beauty and motorsport, and be feminine in a male-dominated sport.”
It was precisely this resolve that drew Anastasia Beverly Hills to Bustamante.
“Bianca represents what we stand for — powerful women that are not afraid to put their makeup on and go race with men, or whatever it may be. We stand to empower women with our makeup,” said founder Anastasia Soare.
Having grappled with colorist beauty standards growing up in the Philippines, it was in part through racing that Bustamante reached a pivotal moment of self-acceptance in her self-love journey. “Motorsport has always been interlinked to finding my confidence,” she said.
“I love my skin, I love that it represents so many Filipinos out there and that I can represent us in the world of motorsport, while using makeup not to ‘make better,’ but to highlight the beauty that I have,” she said.
While the realm of sports is a new one for Anastasia Beverly Hills, so, too, was the world of drag racing in 2015 when the company signed on as a main sponsor for season seven of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” which it has continued to collaborate with since.
“We started sponsoring ‘RuPaul’ before it was mainstream — it was still considered ‘alternative’ and we got all this flack for it, but it’s important for us to be allies and to go first, when people need us the most,” said Claudia Soare, president at Anastasia Beverly Hills.
Soare sees the same potential for longevity with Bustamante, and the intersection of beauty and athletics at large.
“Bianca is such a maverick in the sense that she’s so young, and she embraces beauty and glamour to do play a sport which everyone perceives to be so masculine,” she said. “Breaking down stereotypes always comes with the territory in doing anything new for women, or for anyone. We like to be there early, and for the long haul.”