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Kattan vs Kattan: Sisters Huda and Mona Go Head-to-Head for Huda Beauty’s Most Anticipated Launch of 2024

Entrepreneurs and sisters Huda and Mona join forces for the launch of new shades in Huda Beauty’s biggest launch, the  bestselling color correcting collection

Photo: Courtesy Huda Beauty

To celebrate the new shades of Huda Beauty’s biggest launch, the bestselling color correctors and powders, Huda and Mona Kattan are going head-to-head in a playful campaign. Squaring off in a seriously unserious sibling rivalry, each sister will rep her complexion undertone, with Mona the face of Team Pink and Huda in Team Peach’s corner. Despite working together so closely for years, the new launch will be the first time the Dubai-based sisters have appeared in a Huda Beauty campaign together. With complementary yin and yang personalities, the Iraqi-American sisters have never shied away from speaking their minds, with their no-holds-barred honesty extending to their familial bond. With Huda steering Huda Beauty, Wishful, and Glowish, and Mona dedicated to her fragrance house, Kayali, both women credit their tight-knit family’s support – and brutally honest critiques – for keeping them real, in a conversation marked by both laughter and tears.

Huda: I wanted Mona to be a part of this new launch from the start. Originally my team was pitching influencers, and I thought, why don’t we get Mona in it? Having team pink versus team peach is a little bit like fighting and we fight a lot! I don’t think we’ve ever had Mona do anything for Huda Beauty before either.

Mona: I don’t know why you have never included me, but now that you mention it…

Huda: When have you included me in Kayali?

Mona: What do you mean? I always beg you and you say no.

Huda: Well, it’s your brand, I wanted it to be your brand. And also, I wanted to do a launch that was all about Mona because I think she’s so beautiful, but she just doesn’t take any of my advice.

Mona: Oh lies… I think we should go to the questions. So, I’m Team Pink, as the new #FauxFilterColor Corrector Cherry Blossom is perfect for my cool undertones. I love pink, for my clothes, on my skin. Giving people a little rosiness is so nice.

Huda: There’s all these weird tests to work out your undertones, the vein test, the jewelry test. I feel like the one that really tells you what undertone you have is using lipstick. I try to find a red lipstick that’s more blue and another red lipstick that’s more orange and depending on which one looks better, you can immediately tell your undertone. I’m more warm, I’m actually quite olive, so everything more orangey looks good on me, which is where the new Peach Pie shade of our Easy Bake powder comes in.

Mona: I’m on the cooler toned side and you’re warmer.

Huda: Pink was an under-eye trend that we predicted a couple of years ago in 2021. When we launched our cherry blossom powder, I knew we weren’t done with it, so when we launched our full spectrum  of under-eye correctors, cherry blossom was a shade for brightening all around that eye area. They took off and sold out immediately.

Photo: Courtesy Huda Beauty

Mona: You predicted color correcting undertones as a trend for the everyday person, this product that’s normally more for makeup artists. I’m not a professional, I’m a makeup newbie.

Huda: You’re pretty good!

Mona: No, I’m basic. Especially with complexion, I’ll struggle. But while the professional ones were too thick and heavy, these are better than a concealer but as easy to use. I can wear it every day, even when I’m not wearing other makeup.

Huda: It’s more than a corrector, it brightens too.

Mona: I think that’s why it sold out, because she made it for everyone, not just for makeup artists.

Huda: Then I told my team that I think the next trend will be peach, to do the same thing as pink did for more skin tones. We played around with the peach color as an Easybake powder and when I got my first sample from production, I was like oh my God, I love it.

Mona: You don’t give me your samples. I give you all of mine. I’m going to have to revoke my samples from your desk. I’ve been using the color correctors differently to you. You use the Peach Pie shades to snatch professionally, and I like to dab a little Cherry Blossom corrector all around the eye to hide any tiredness. It’s not really a competition; we’re using it so differently.

Photo: courtesy Huda Beauty

Huda: We do argue but I don’t think we’re very competitive. We did things together a lot as kids.

Mona: I used to follow you everywhere. You got a job at the drink booth at the fair, so I got a job there. Then you worked at a clothing store at the mall, so I joined too, then the restaurant…

Huda: Then when I started Huda Beauty, I begged you to quit your job and come work with me.

Mona: I think we’re in very different lanes. To be honest, I don’t want to sound like a loser but I’m not competitive at all. I’m competitive with myself, but I want everyone to win. I just feel there’s room for everyone, if you just stay in your own direction, and be the better version of yourself every day.

Huda: I also feel competition insinuates you’re doing the same thing in the same way as other people.

Mona: You’ve got to focus on your own desire to create, and not what others are doing. If you’re always watching your competition, you won’t be able to do better. You need to follow your own path.

Huda: We’re not in competition but as a family we give each other feedback, because we want the others to succeed.

Mona: I think naturally you will be more brutally honest with your family. When you give me negative feedback, I do take it personally.

Huda: Why do you take it personally when I give you feedback?

Mona: Maybe it’s your approach. You’re very direct and blunt.

Huda: With everyone though.

Mona: I’m maybe a little more diplomatic when I give feedback.

Huda: You beat around the bush.

Mona: I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. I’m a softie.

Huda: We both are very honest with our feedback. With launching Kayali, you kept wanting me to do it with you. But my involvement was holding you back from how you needed to be so I encouraged you to do it on your own.

Mona: Then I did therapy, and realized I’m co-dependent, and I started figuring out why I wanted to do what I wanted to do.

Huda: And you’re really, really good at what you do.

Photo: courtesy Huda Beauty

Mona: Thanks, and you’re always so honest with me and encourage me to use my voice. That’s what you’re doing now too, using your voice [for Gaza].

Huda: When I first spoke up, it was a little scary, but it’s the right thing to do. Silence would be to pretend it’s not happening and to deny their suffering. I think that’s an inhumane thing to do. A lot of people just didn’t like that I’m posting about Palestine, and it created a lot of backlash. A lot of people were really happy about it too, but we lost a lot of friends, supporters, people who were quote-unquote important. Some people are quite threatening to us as well. It’s really deflating to be honest because I’m not anti any human being, I’m just pro humanity, and then I’m essentially ostracized for that.

Mona: People have created AI videos of your face, of you saying things you would never support, fake ads for Huda Beauty.

Huda: It’s been very mentally challenging, and I would be lying if I said I was OK. Am I crying in my office every day? Yes, I’m still crying. Some friends that I’ve had for almost a decade, I’ve literally told them, I don’t respect you and I’m not speaking to you anymore because of your lack of showing solidarity for Palestine.

Mona: I really feel that we as Iraqis can relate. Our parents and extended family have gone through so much, and at the time we didn’t have a platform to use to make a difference. Social media wasn’t there to tell us what was happening. We are even more enraged because we have seen oppression to our people, with over a million dead. Can we make a change now?

Huda: I do think that people will never be the same, and we don’t want things to go back either. We don’t want people to go on and forget about Palestine, forget about the people who’ve lost so many family members, and lost so many things within themselves.

Originally published in the January 2024 issue

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