Huda Talks Beauty
Discovering a passion for beauty at a young age, Huda Kattan spent her teenage years making up the faces of her two sisters, Alya and Mona, and numerous school friends. Going on to train as a make-up artist in Hollywood, Huda then moved to Dubai and launched her blog Hudabeauty.com in 2010. Filled with video tutorials, product reviews and top tips on how to enhance and embrace natural beauty, Huda’s blog has gone stratospheric in the beauty world.
If you want to transform your beauty look in an instant, make Huda Beauty your go-to for dramatic lashes and the just-launched, super-easy-to-use Lip Contour Pencils and Liquid Matte range. We caught up with the make-up artist-turned-entrepreneur to talk make-up evolution, the beauty industry and her can’t-live-without products. Plus, discover Huda's super-simple guide to applying and removing false lashes in the exclusive video above.
When did you know you wanted to work in the beauty industry?
By the age of nine, I kind of knew that beauty was something that I wanted to have in my life. I didn’t know that it would actually be my job or my career, or even a lifestyle or business that I could get into. But I knew that I had a strong attraction towards it and I knew that I was good at it. When I was 14, I was doing my sister’s friends’ brows and they were all in college and I wasn’t even in high school at that moment - I was just in junior high. So I definitely knew there was something there. When I got into make-up - when my parents finally allowed me to - I was 26 or 27 and things just took off; I finally was doing what I was supposed to do and it felt like I wasn’t being someone I wasn’t. Everything was sitting in the right place and everything was going the right way. So by the time I was in my late 20s and I knew that was what I was doing, boom, everything just took off so fast.
Looking back, how has your make-up look changed over the years?
My make-up has changed a lot. I feel like my make-up changes almost monthly. I’m always trying new products, always learning new techniques. I think as a make-up artist, a beauty blogger and a creator of make-up I am influenced heavily by content that I see everywhere so my make-up is always changing - I’m always learning new tricks. I’m one of those people who believe that no matter at what stage you are, no matter how much you know, you can always learn something new. So I’m constantly learning from people that I interact with, people who we meet and people who we see. My make-up has probably changed most dramatically over the last 18 months as I learned how to make the skin really look airbrushed, and I definitely wear more make-up than I used to wear. It’s definitely cakey, I wear a lot of make-up and I don’t have a problem admitting it but it’s something that I also understand not a lot of people want to do. So when we’re making products, we also take into mind that not everyone wants that look, so I try to adapt it according to what other people would like.
What has working in the industry taught you about beauty?
I would say it’s made me a bit pickier about beauty. I’ve always been detail-orientated, but I think I’ve become more detail-orientated over the last three years that I’ve been working in beauty. It’s definitely taught me that you should take people seriously no matter what their background is or what they’re doing, and understand that beauty can not only be a career - it can be an empire. A lot of people didn’t take me seriously when I first started, and I think now they understand that beauty is something that is largely understated and so important to women. It doesn’t need to be something that is just ‘oh it’s about the way I look’ - it’s about the way you feel and I think that’s possibly the most important thing that we try to tell people about. It’s about feeling pretty, it’s not about looking pretty. So I think it’s largely understated but hugely important.
What would be your five desert island beauty essentials?
I like a good eyelash serum and a good skincare product. And then I would take a Crème de la Mer lip balm. I would take some coconut oil because I feel that coconut oil is the cure-all. I would also take eye-liner. Tweezers actually, I would take tweezers because I’m so hairy.
You trained in Hollywood and live in Dubai - how do the ideas of beauty differ in the two locations?
If you’d asked me this question 10 years ago, I’d have said they were completely different. But now beauty has definitely become much more uniform globally. They still are very different; in Dubai, they love their contouring, they love their liner but it’s definitely a step further than what people wear in Hollywood. So in Hollywood people love to do all these make-up steps, whereas in Dubai it’s about deeper colours - it’s a lot more dramatic. What you would wear on a normal day in Dubai is what you would wear on your wedding day in America and that’s considered your normal everyday make-up. The make-up process itself is something that is super-important to women here [in Dubai]. People pay tens of thousands of dollars to get their make-up done and they do it without really thinking too much about it. The beauty industry in Dubai is great for that reason, but sometimes it can also be a little challenging when you come from the West and are adapting to the Middle East.
If you could impart one piece of beauty wisdom what would it be?
Don’t do too much. I’m not really a huge fan of Botox and fillers; I tried them myself but I definitely stay away from them and I think a lot of people go into them too much. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely do a few things here and there but I think people should try and be natural. Take really good care of your skin and play with make-up rather than doing things to your face and altering it, you’ll find you have much better-looking results. Make-up, at the end of the day, is supposed to make you feel great, beauty is not supposed to make you feel worse about yourself or make you feel you’re not in any way good enough which I think can happen sometimes. So I think it’s really important to have fun with it, feel good about it and let it encourage you to do more and to be more of an amazing person than you already are.
What’s next for Huda beauty?
Good question, we have a lot of plans. There are definitely a lot of things I that want to do. It’s so hard to talk about right now because we’re in the process of doing those things but when it’s all said and done, we would have hopefully made our mark on the world of beauty and it’s a global thing; we’re not just looking at Dubai, we’re looking at adding our touch, leaving our footprint.