#CNILux: Huda Beauty – Making Its Mark
Global phenomenon, make-up icon, and exceptional influencer are just three ways to describe Huda Kattan, the vlogging sensation to emerge out of Tennessee and who now boasts an Instagram following of 18.8 million. But despite scaling the dizzy heights of online success, the 33-year-old’s down-to-earth and mindful nature is her secret weapon.
“Luxury and fashion can be so intimidating – but you need to make people feel welcomed,” the self-starter told Suzy Menkes today at the CNI Luxury Conference. “When you find a way to make people feel like they are comfortable it’s inspiring – we celebrate the differences in people and we think about how we feel as a brand and how we want other people to feel.”
The brand, Huda Beauty, was introduced in 2013, and now comprises lip liners (her favourite), liquid matte lipsticks and an eye shadow palette to complement her signature false lashes collection. Entering a fiercely competitive market such as the make-up arena could be seen by her competitors as a disruption to the field, but it’s not something that the delightfully cheery Kattan takes on board.
“When you want to make a point resonate you can be seen as disruptive,” she said, adding that for her, pursuing her brand is about keeping a healthy perspective. “The world is moving so fast, you need to take a minute and a step back and see the way that everything is from a different perspective.”
Perspective is something Kattan has in leaps and bounds, especially when it comes to catering for different price points. “I didn’t grow up wealthy and did a lot of DIY (make-up),” she explained, “so we think about those things and try not to forget about every single person and different type of person there may be. Today, you can touch people all day through social media and using different types of strategies to let people know who you are… Being able to hit everyone in every aspect is important to us.”
Safe to say that the brand is targeting everyone in every aspect, boasting records such as 1000 per cent growth in sales between months – and is gaining traction in regions such as the Middle East – where “people make it their job to look good – they express themselves through beauty and fashion and fragrances” – and also all around the world.
“In the digital era, we are all global citizens and there’s something great about that,” she said. “We’re all influenced by trends going on in different places and we embrace so many different trends, and if you understand that globalisation is happening, you can create in a great way.”
Kattan is still cautious in taking steps forward, telling Menkes, “You can get caught out, thinking that you’re doing great, but you have to be mindful and understand what you’re doing and not get caught out by any kind of success.” But it’s safe to say her grounded attitude and bubbly nature will always be her USP.
“It is more impactful, more than ever right now, to be an individual – that’s special to where we are. It is so incredible to be different,” she said, having told the conference: “Give a woman a really amazing lipstick and she’ll take over the world.”