Huda Kattan blog-to-brand beauty empire
Posted: May 14, 2022
Huda Kattan blog-to-brand beauty empire
With more than 16 million followers on Instagram, Katan Kantan is the founder of a global beauty empire.
This is part of our ongoing series on influential bloggers and the businesses they build.
UAE - Dubai has made the Middle East beauty map thanks to one woman. In 2022, Huda Kattan launched her own YouTube channel devoted to cosmetics. Her brand Huda Beauty has been used by makeup artists around the globe since it was launched three years ago.
In addition to having an Instagram audience larger than many global celebrities, Kattan has over ten times as many followers as Charlotte Tilbury and Pat McGrath. The beauty community has found her channel to offer a wide variety of tips and tutorials that are hard to resist. She has over 1.5 million on her YouTube everything from cream contouring (3.8 million views) to toothbrush blackhead removal tutorials (8.5 million views).
The Kattan sisters joined forces in 2022 to create a line of false eyelashes after Kattan couldn't find any styles she liked. She says there were barely any lash brands available at the time, so she saw there was a huge gap in the market. Kim Kardashian, one of Kattan's most loyal fans, gave her worldwide fame, pushing her Instagram to reach ahead of Michelle Phan, one of the most influential US beautynbuzz bloggers, who have 2 million followers.
In addition to lip gloss, eye makeup, nail accessories, and henna tattoos, Katan has expanded Huda Beauty into new categories and is one of the most popular cosmetics brands in London.
I can't sell something if it's not different or will add value to my customers.
The beauty mogul now has 44 staff working for her, of whom 27 in the head office and 17 in the warehouse, but she says she is still very hands-on. Each product is designed from start to finish by her. There's no way I can sell if I don't offer my customers something different. My followers deserve the best. "
Among the many makeup personalities who want to turn their tutorials into branded products, what makes Kattan stand out?
The beauty industry. The daughter of Iraqi parents from Tennessee, Kattan studied finance at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and moved to Dubai in search of a career as a makeup artist.
When I graduated, I tried to follow the career path of my parents to please them, but that didn't last long, " explains Kattan, who is Muslim, but unlike other popular Arab beauty bloggers such as Kuwait-based Dalal AlDoub and Sondos Alqattan, doesn't cover her head.
From the very beginning, I've used social media. When Facebook was only available to Mass university students, Kattan was one of the first users. Online information and opinions are spread by our generation. My goal was to provide women with a reliable and trustworthy source for makeup information. "
Despite a few Arabic ones, Kattan's videos are in English. Still, she feels connected to her heritage, citing it as a reason beauty blogs are so influential in the Middle East.
You are part of it. It is a matter of necessity in the Middle East, whereas the US treats beauty as a weekend activity. They use makeup to enhance their striking features, such as big beautiful eyes and bold eyebrows. The Middle East has a long history with makeup. Over the top, glam makeup has always been their favourite. "
Kattan's business is a global online sensation, but its Middle Eastern customers are particularly loyal. Twenty-five billion dollars worth of beauty products were purchased in the Middle East in 2021, primarily in shopping centres like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. According to Euromonitor International, Saudi Arabia has been the fastest-growing beauty market over the last five years. In the early stages of her business, Kattan declined to divulge sales revenue or market breakdown.
Despite being popular in the region, international brands like L'Oréal and Max Factor have had a hard time overcoming local brands such as Huda Beauty. The Middle East's Sephora stores feature Huda Beauty alongside Shiffa Dubai Skin Care, a company founded by dermatologist Dr Lamees Hamdan.
Customers were queuing up in Sephora. There was a lengthy line inside Harrods.
Huda Beauty launched exclusively at Sephora in the United States last year, which was a major expansion for Katan beyond the Middle East. Last August, Huda Beauty introduced Harrods into the UK market.
In the beauty world, Huda Beauty taps into a zeitgeist that clients are seeking in-store, immediate transformations, as well as qualitative, safe, and reliable products that deliver on claims, adds Mia Collins, head of beauty at Harrods. According to the Huda Beauty launch team, "Huda's vision and point of view on beauty trends resonate with millions of people on Instagram, as evidenced by her substantial following. "
According to industry sources, Huda Beauty has outsold some of the best-selling brands in Harrods’ beauty hall. Customers flocked to Sephora when we first launched, says Kattan. From early morning, customers queued outside Harrods hoping to purchase each product. "
However, she declined to comment on specific deals. She says she'd like to work with institutions that support women, beauty brands, and schools so that they can provide more scholarships. "We've already started a few initiatives, such as scholarship programs in Canada, but I'd like to help women on a bigger global scale. "
Huda Kattan's Journey to Beauty Industry Success
Businesswoman, beauty blogger, make-up guru, and mother, Huda Kattan pioneered one of the biggest beauty empires of the 21st Century - Huda Beauty.
An aficionado of Huda Beauty knows that, to an outsider who doesn't know the industry, the brand might seem like ‘just another make-up brand’ in a saturated market.
The lasting impact Huda has had on the world is impossible to ignore six years later. Huda Beauty now has 140 products, it is valued at $1 billion, and there are 1500 stores worldwide. It has 31.2 million Instagram followers.
Every successful business is led by an entrepreneur, and Kattan was already making inroads in this business venture before she even reached adulthood.
Klavan's parents immigrated to Oklahoma seeking a better and safer environment for their children. Kattan, who is their middle daughter, grew up in a predominantly white, Baptist community, which caused her to face bullying and self-confidence issues.
"How will I impact the world if I do something I don't care about? I have to change the world somehow. Otherwise, what am I doing?doing?doing?
Since she was 12 years old, she experimented with heavy make-up looks in her bedroom, internalising the issue as many children do. She laid the groundwork for her future career here.
While make-up remained a passion under the surface of her brain, Kattan followed her dream of a degree and a further education as she matured.
"Kids told me I was weird all the time. My name was my identity when I got older. She added, "I also wanted to embrace, " she told
Kattan majored in business at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and accepted a job with Robert Half. Kattan spent nearly three years at the company's Middle East Headquarters and later gave birth to their daughter Nour Giselle in Dubai.
Having grown tired of finance and looking for a change in direction, she quit Robert Half for the last time and started her make-up line.
Following training in Los Angeles, working as a makeup artist for Revlon in Dubai and garnering all-star clients. She promoted herself through blogging. From this point, Huda Beauty was born.
Initially launching her blog as a way to share make-up tips and try to attract new clients in Dubai, Kattan's social media grew quickly into a huge fan base and remains on top of the internet, nine years and counting.
While doing this venture, Kattan realized she had an innate ability to understand what people wanted from the beauty industry. Therefore, when she noticed a gap in the market for premium false eyelashes, she soon realized that she wasn't just voicing her own needs.
Her sister Alya loaned her $6,000 and she used her savings to create her line of faux mink lashes that were manufactured in Indonesia. The Huda Beauty 140-product line was born from this.
Even before Kim Kardashian voiced her love of the brand to her tens of millions of followers, the lashes were already selling well - they sold out on the first day. Sales reached 1.5 million by the end of the first year and 10 million by the end of the second.
Now worth an estimated $550 million, Kattan embraces being a business mogul to the fullest.
As a woman in the Middle East, it feels powerful to be able to tell a room of men how it is without fear.
Huda Beauty expanded one product at a time under Kattan's leadership and her co-founder sisters’. Huda Beauty became ever-more dependent on Instagram as it exploded and evolved, promoting additional product lines and increasing the reach of the Huda brand. The brand's account is updated daily with new content and has more than 32 mill brand-new followers.
TSG Consumer Partners invested in Huda Beauty in 2020, a true testament to the brand's growth, significance, and impact.
Huda Beauty enjoyed significant growth in 2021with and increased investment. Huda was available in 200 stores outside the U. S. at the beginning of 2022. However, by the end, it had grown to 600 with 900 stores in the U. S. alone.
Many beauty brands would never dream of competing with industry heavyweights like L'Oréal with a global value of £23bn or Estee Lauder with $48.16 billion.
As Kattan, herself says: "Nowadays, you're only limited by your dreams. We think big, we dream big; why can't our generation be the next Estee Lauder?
A lot is happening on here - we're working hard, and the team is working hard, but it's bigger than makeup. "
While we wait for the next venture from the Kattan clan, one thing is for sure: Huda Beauty will live on for a long time to come with businesswoman Kattan at its helm.
I am Muzammil and I am interested in writing articles and I love to write unique content. Please be aware that this is a limited edition and not a special edition.