Grazia cover stars Huda and Mona Kattan on feeling disheartened by today’s influencers

And why Dubai helped fuel the Huda Beauty success story
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Grazia cover stars Huda and Mona Kattan on feeling disheartened by today’s influencers

Lights! Sparkles! Gold! Confetti! You only needed to spend a minute at Huda Beauty’s Facebook watch party to sense Founder and CEO Huda Kattan’s desire for guests to feel extravagant, feminine and special. Grazia walked the glittering black carpet laid out at the Jumeirah Emirates Tower hotel in Dubai before joining Huda and sister Mona Kattan’s conversation about why it was important to them to make their web series Huda Boss a reality.

“I wanted to show people our life, because I know a lot of people want to start their own business and understand how it works,” Huda started. “On social media we don’t show every aspect of our lives – we actually make everything [look] perfect. I felt the need to show that things are not always planned. As a mother I feel an incredible amount of responsibility to show the truth.” For those unfamiliar, Huda Boss follows the Iraqi-American CEO’s life with sisters Mona (Global President)and Alya (Chief Instagram Officer), husband Chris Goncalo (Head of Business Operations) and Huda and Chris’s eight-year-old daughter Noor Giselle (Cuteness Coordinator), as she runs her multi-million-dollar brand and tackles personal challenges along the way.

Thirty-six-year-old Huda is a prime example of how social media platforms give you the opportunity to build any business you want (Huda Beauty most definitely did not have a million-dollar investment to kick-start its existence). “We’re finding out that we can like different things and not just have to like what the popular people like, and I think that’s really amazing,” Huda pointed out. But the star had a stern word for today’s influencers shaping society. “People misunderstand what it means to be an influencer. If you’re an influencer, it’s really important you’re in touch with your fanbase, because they made you and you’re responsible for them. Influencers can’t forget this. It’s disheartening when they do.”

The star admitted, “Obviously there are some things I don’t share, like [moments] with my husband, but people have followed us since the beginning and I feel we owe [them] the true story.” Mona, 34, picks up the thread, adding, “I had an issue with being vulnerable and admitting my mistakes, but Huda told me being vulnerable is human, and it’s important for children watching [the show] to know this.”

Mocktails named after the brand’s key moments and products – Life Liner with Armenia cherry syrup and lemon juice and Like A Boss featuring apple juice and mint leaves – were circulated before Mona reflected on season one, which aired in June 2018. “We were working too hard, and I saw the pressure Huda was putting on me. But I remember realising she’s just really obsessed with her goal and she wants to make diamonds out of everybody…” as Huda interjected, “This reality show is like therapy!” Mona continued, “I do also think that being in Dubai was part of our success – it’s a start-up culture, a land of visionaries.”

Huda Boss may zoom in on the family’s drama, and the party perhaps exuded flashiness and excessiveness, but it’s clear to Grazia that Huda Beauty’s ethos is 100 per cent real, and we commend Huda for showing her unfiltered life, blemishes and all. 

Watch new episodes of Huda Boss every Tuesday and Wednesday on the Huda Boss Facebook page.

Photos: Supplied

The new issue of Grazia Middle East is on shelves now.