The widely-known details on Huda Kattan go as follows: self-made beauty mogul; founder of an international beauty empire; a Libra; and an Instagram following count on @HudaBeauty (45.5 million) nearly 15 times that of the population of Dubai, and that’s only one of her accounts. But for all that you do know, there are some facts you probably didn’t know about the Iraqi entrepreneur. Below, we round up ten notes, some unexpected, on Huda Kattan.
#1: The Beauty Blogger is a Southern Belle
The Middle East’s foremost beauty blogger was born in Oklahoma in 1983, and when she was two-years-old her family moved to Tennessee, and eventually Boston. Her Iraqi mother and father emigrated to the United States to teach Biology and study Mechanical Engineering, respectively.
#2: Kattan is a Middle Child
Her siblings include two sisters, Mona (youngest) and Alya (oldest) and a brother named Khalid.
#3: Heidi Was Her Nickname Growing Up
Living in Tennessee, Kattan was known as ‘Heidi’ while her younger sister Mona was called ‘Monica.’ “I wanted to go by Huda, but people thought it was so weird. But when we moved to Massachusetts, people were like, ‘That’s such a cool name! They would even tell me, ‘You’re from Iraq; wow, that’s so cool!’” she revealed in a 2015 interview with Vogue Arabia’s Caterina Minthe.
#4: Huda Met Her Husband of Over 10 Years When She Was 16
Kattan met her now-husband, Chris Goncalo, at the University of Michigan-Dearborn where she studied finance. The couple moved to Dubai in 2006, and welcomed their first child, Nour Gisele, shortly after.
#5: The Beauty Maven Was Introduced to Makeup By Her Older Sister Alya
Although Kattan trained to be a makeup artist in Hollywood, her first experience with beauty products came through her sister Alya, who is ten years her senior, she revealed to Minthe. By the time she was 14, she was sculpting her sister’s eyebrows. She began blogging in 2010, and reached worldwide mainstream fame within the past couple of years thanks to her viral beauty hacks, tips and cult products. Now, the Huda Beauty Blog boasts 45 million views each year and her makeup line is stocked in more than 1500 stores worldwide.
#6: The Famous Huda Beauty Eyelashes Are a Result of a Gap in the Market
The almost-always-sold-out false lashes, which launched the HudaBeauty empire in 2013, were born when Kattan couldn’t find what she was looking for in the market— so naturally, she decided to make her own. Today, the beauty maven boasts an entire range of products that are stocked in more than 1500 stores worldwide from mascara, eyeliner, and liquid lipsticks to highlighter palettes, foundations, and a coveted collaboration with Tweezerman.
#7: Estée Lauder is the Entrepreneur’s Business Inspiration
In her May 2019 cover star interview with Vogue Arabia, Kattan cites the American makeup mogul as her role model on her long quest to transform not only the cosmetics industry, but also the world. “We want to be this generation’s Estée Lauder. I love Estée Lauder. Founders with vision are the ones who change the industry. They change the world. We have a long way to go, but I want to respect that. We’re hiring all the right people to do it.”
#8: Huda is a Vocal Advocate for Self-Love
Although Kattan is known for expertly touting full glam more often than not, the Arab influencer is an inspiring champion of acceptance and self-love. Frequently speaking out on the importance of recognizing one’s own true beauty, Kattan revealed in a recent interview with Elle magazine that she too struggled with self-confidence for a long time. But, as a mother to a young girl growing up in an age of social media, she hopes to “first and foremost” teach her daughter this crucial lesson of positive self-identity. “I want her to feel really good about herself because if she’s trying to please other people, we all know the other person is going to be upset. You can’t please everyone.”
#9: The Dubai-based Entrepreneur is Always Finds Ways to Give Back
From donating $500,000 to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement to hosting the Global Gift Gala in solidarity with women’s empowerment and gender equality initiatives, Kattan refuses to sit on the sidelines of progress. Instead, she uses her far-reaching platform to raise awareness and generously spreads her success to enact social justice. “We know in order for things to change there needs to be disruption,” she confided to Vogue Arabia last month. “We want to support everyone as much as we possibly can and make as much impact as we possibly can. We want to be change-makers.”
#10: The Beauty Aficionado has Diversified Beyond Makeup
Following a still-growing billion-dollar global beauty empire, Kattan has begun diversifying her brand to encompass far more than just makeup. Foraying into fragrances with Kayali and most recently skincare with already cult-favorite Wishful, Kattan is constantly on the lookout for new ways she can tap into solving our unfulfilled beauty dreams.