We’re the world’s biggest beauty spenders. At last count, we spent a whopping Dhs110bn a year on beauty products according to the latest figures from Euromonitor International. We’re also overachieving in the digital world too with Dubai-based beauty mogul Huda Kattan boasting the most-followed beauty account on Instagram, thanks to her 25 million followers and being declared among The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet by Time magazine. Not content with taking the beauty world by storm with her own sell-out range, Huda Beauty, she’s now entering into the realm of reality television with Facebook Watch show Huda Boss, all while changing the way the world communicates about beauty.
After Huda, our second and third top beauty influencers are Kuwaiti bloggers Dalal Al-Doub and Sondos Alqattan, both of whom are covered. With over two million followers apiece, they both represent the majority of women in the Middle East who wear a hijab. When a woman’s hair is considered to be one of her main beauty expressions, when she wears a veil, her make-up becomes paramount.
And as a region, we’ve never been afraid of a strong beauty look. Take Queen Cleopatra – who would wing thick, black eyeliner around her eyes in Ancient Egypt in the belief it would protect her from evil, just as much as make a beauty statement – as a case in point. Around the same time, kohl was gaining popularity in the Middle East, which Bedouin women originally wore as a means to protect their sensitive eye area from the harsh desert climate. Now evolved into the modern-day cat-eye that we all know and love, the Arabian beauty trend has very much become an iconic part of the language of make-up.
We’d like to think Dolce & Gabbana had all this in mind when the Italian designer duo brainstormed their latest launch in the region. Following in the footsteps of the brand’s first collection of abayas and hijabs in their signature colourful prints aimed at its Middle Eastern customers, Dolce & Gabbana now have designs on the beauty market. Dolce & Gabbana Beauty has created a new Abaya make-up collection aimed specifically at the Gulf by celebrating the grace and elegance of the Arabian aesthetic. Conceived to enhance our characteristic Arabian big almond-shaped eyes and envy-inducing thick eyebrows, a sophisticated and strikingly feminine make-up look has been created to be specifically fashioned with a shayla.
Not the only ones taking inspiration from the region, Dubai-based make-up artist and beauty entrepreneur Natasha Zaki – the brains behind the Instagram beauty brand Glossy Make Up – recently launched her Cleopatra Collection. Inspired by Natasha’s Egyptian heritage, the lashes transform you into your very own version of a modern-day Cleopatra with a sensual eye-flick effect, while bringing together the past, present and future of Arabian beauty in the blink of an eye.