Beauty mogul Huda Kattan was recently tapped to share her professional opinion in a documentary doing a deep dive on inclusivity in makeup. Titled, The ‘Apartheid’ in the Beauty Industry, the Sky News feature highlights the British Beauty Council’s criticism of the market due to its lack of inclusivity, and its impact on people of color.
Born to Iraqi immigrant parents who settled in the US, Kattan started her brand Huda Beauty in the year 2013 with the aim to cater to diverse skin tones and consumers. “Being inclusive is hard,” she tells journalist Sabah Choudhry in the documentary. “It takes so much work. When I used to go to the factories and I’d say I need a deep or richer shade of foundation, they’d sometimes put black pigment in the formula. That’s why a lot of richer skin tones look grey,” she remarks. “It’s harder to serve a community who doesn’t have a skin tone that hasn’t been worked on so much. This isn’t ‘I really care about inclusivity’. This is ‘I need to care about inclusivity because people will get mad.'”
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The two-time Vogue Arabia cover star acknowledged the progress that has been made in representing diverse women, but said that there is a long way to go. “There’s still not enough care and consideration taken when they’re creating the products,” she said. “I mean, you can use people of many different ethnicities in a campaign, but that’s just not enough. It’s a good start, but it’s so far beyond where we should be in this day and time. So I would say absolutely, it’s still failing all people of color right now.”
A few other prominent personalities featured in the documentary were Dr Ateh Jewel, one of the spokespeople for the British Beauty Council, and Lydia Amoah, author of the Black Pound Report 2022. The trio discussed at length deep unconscious biases, the “legacy of colonialism” and how the “big players” all play a role in contributing to the non-inclusive practices in the beauty and makeup industry.