HOW TO MAKE YOUR MARK AS A BRAND
Star power in the age of social media
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.
CREATING A NAME FOR HERSELF
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.”
A BIG RESPONSIBILITY
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