Star power in the age of so­cial media

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

Make-up artist Huda Kattan has made the suc­cess­ful tran­si­tion from blog­ger to beauty mogul after launch­ing the top-sell­ing Huda Beauty faux eye­lashes in 2013. Now of­fer­ing a prod­uct range of cos­met­ics all over the world and with 15.4 mil­lion fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram, the Dubai-based en­tre­pre­neur is the num­ber one beauty in­flu­encer in the Middle East.

But un­like her in­stant make-up tu­to­ri­als, suc­cess didn’t hap­pen just like that. At the re­cent World of Fash­ion event at the Mall of Emi­rates, Huda was can­did about the real chal­lenges of cre­at­ing your own brand and be­ing a so­cial media su­per­star.


Huda says start­ing some­where is al­ways the big­gest hur­dle. When she was work­ing on launch­ing her lashes, Huda ad­mits she didn’t have the bud­get for a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher. So she did was she knew best, took a selfie, and from those shots came the iconic eye im­age on the Huda Beauty pack­ag­ing. She said: “It’s that first leap and some­times it can seem over­whelm­ing; some­times you could be so far from your goals. But if you try mak­ing that first step, things will start to get eas­ier.

“We some­times get into a jive, and then some­times we want to give up and I feel when you’re about to give up, it’s the time where you’re about to hit suc­cess, so keep go­ing.”

She says slow­ing down is not in her fu­ture: “We have 40 em­ploy­ees now so peo­ple de­pend on us, we have re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. We also sup­port our fam­i­lies and that does keep us push­ing.”


Har­ness­ing the power of tech has been es­sen­tial in Huda’s busi­ness, to “know what’s go­ing on in the world be­cause it’s go­ing to evolve even more”. But this comes with great

re­spon­si­bil­ity as well. In a re­cent pho­to­shoot, Huda felt the images, though beau­ti­ful, seem a lit­tle provoca­tive, and as a mum-of-one and pub­lic fig­ure, she said: “I don’t feel like post­ing them on In­sta­gram; I wouldn’t want my daugh­ter seeing them.

“We have a so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, es­pe­cially peo­ple with a lot of fol­low­ing. So­cial media is a great way to in­spire peo­ple and a place to be as car­ing and shar­ing as pos­si­ble.” She added that we should be mind­ful of our on­line ac­tions and aim to make a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence.

“Women have this in­cred­i­ble pres­sure and I think it’s re­ally beau­ti­ful to be sup­port­ive of each other.”


The so­cial media star ad­mits to hav­ing no real so­cial life. “I re­mem­ber I was sit­ting on my couch one night and ev­ery­body was go­ing out. I re­ally wanted to go out too but I had to fin­ish a video,” she said.

It’s a mat­ter of choice for Huda, but she doesn’t have any re­grets: “Once I had my daugh­ter I de­cided to fo­cus on my busi­ness and fam­ily, so I had to give it up. It was a sac­ri­fice made back then and it does haunt me a lit­tle bit. But you can’t have it all.”

So apart from work-re­lated trips, Huda feels she won’t be tak­ing any real va­ca­tions in the com­ing years, but the re­ward of the team’s hard work is enough.

“Women have this in­cred­i­ble pres­sure and I think it’s beau­ti­ful to be sup­port­ive.” – HUDA KATTAN

HUDA BEAUTY: Make-up artist Huda Kattan says she sac­ri­ficed go­ing out for her busi­ness

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