Huda Beauty is a cosmetics line launched in 2013 by Iraqi-American businesswoman and makeup artist, Huda Kattan. The founder, Kattan, was chosen as one of “The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet” by Time in 2017, listed as one of The Richest Self-Made Women and one of the Top Three Beauty Influencers by Forbes. In the span of 5 years, the brand has built a positive reputation on some of its products, such as fake eyelashes series, a collection of foundation, eyeshadow and some face palettes. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #11 series on my blog.
In April 2010, Huda Kattan started the beauty-related blog, Huda Beauty, and a YouTube channel. She later found success on other platforms. Kattan launched a cosmetic line named after her channel in 2013. It has since become one of the world’s fastest-growing beauty brands.
As of 2020, Huda Beauty has more than 4 million subscribers on YouTube and is the number one account on the Instagram Beauty section in the world, with over 40 million followers. The contents of Kattan’s channels are beauty tutorial-oriented: Kattan shares makeup techniques, skincare routines and personal preferred beauty products from multiple brands. On Sephora.com there are currently 55 products listed for her brand.
The first Huda Beauty product was a collection of false eyelashes released through Sephora, in Dubai in 2011 and the United States in 2015. The Kardashian sisters were reported to use Huda Beauty lashes, providing an early publicity boost to the label. As of 2018, Huda Beauty has an estimated net value of US$550 million and the company as a business is valued at over a billion dollars, according to Forbes.
In December 2017, the company received a minority investment from TSG Consumer Partners, a private equity firm which had previously invested in beauty brands such as Smashbox and It Cosmetics (both of which were purchased by major beauty conglomerates — Estée Lauder and L’Oréal).
Huda Beauty offers more than 140 products online & in-store. The beauty brand has launched an entire range of products, which include lipstick collections, face palettes like highlighter and contour, false lashes, and a collaborative product with Tweezerman. Its Samantha Lashes #7, since launch, has been ranked as one of best selling and highly reviewed lash products.
In 2018, all launched products that together bring in at least $200 million in annual revenue. Time described this “an internet based beauty brand age”, as internet-to-business beauty products have taken over a large percentage from the traditional beauty market. They own a significantly growing share of the whole market.
The price of Huda Beauty’s products has been widely seen as reasonable compared to similar products that share similar markets. Though, among blog-to-brand beauty brands, that are created by YouTubers or Instagram bloggers, the price of Huda Beauty’s products are relatively high. Bloggers mostly launch beauty products for which they set a price a bit lower than the ordinary market price, as their brand names and quality usually have not been tested through time.
However, Huda Beauty’s foundation sells at 65 Australian dollars in Australian Sephora stores, while Fenty beauty by Rihanna offers a similar market-targeted foundation at 50 dollars. Also, the first-line beauty company, Estee Lauder, sells its well-reviewed foundation “Double Wear” under 60 dollars at department stores, like Westfield and David Jones in Australia.
However, Huda Beauty’s most well known product: fake lashes “#7 Samantha” still achieve success in sales, although its price is 35 dollars in Australia. While SHU UEMURA, currently the first name in eye-related beauty section, offers fake lashes around 25 Australian dollars in department stores.
In 2017, Huda Beauty announced that it would soon be debuting a foundation collection with a more diverse range of shades. Just after this, the collection been criticized by Fenty Beauty followers that “it copies Fenty Beauty’s “Pro Filt’r” foundation collection image”. Huda Beauty’s “#FauxFilter” foundations have a selection of 30 shades, while Rihanna’s brand – Fenty Beauty “Pro Filt’r” foundation collection has 40 shades. Others, however, applauded Huda Beauty for being one of the first brands to release an inclusive range of shades in Sephora stores globally.
Huda Beauty is among the best-selling cosmetics brands in Sephora in the Middle East and Harrods in London. According to The Business of Fashion, Kattan’s background as an Iraqi immigrant in America distinguishes her from other beauty influencers. She studied finance in the United States, and pursued a career as a makeup artist in Dubai.