There are two kinds of people: Those obsessed with beauty bloggers and those who don’t know what a beauty blogger is. But I’m willing to bet no matter which of the above categories you fall in, you’ve either heard of Huda Kattan, seen one of her videos, been tagged in one of her Instagrams, or tried one of her hacks. The online beauty world is a jungle where Huda is queen, and she swings through the vines with perfect contour.
Huda started blogging in 2010 and has been hugely popular in the Middle East, but the Dubai-based beauty blogger reached mainstream fame within the last year because of her insanely viral beauty hacks, striking resemblance to the Kardashians, and sense of humor. Huda takes beauty seriously (she says when people talk negatively about beauty, it hurts her soul), but she has a way of making makeup fun and interesting to people who don’t really care about makeup at all. And judging by her massive Instagram following, which wildly surpasses that of other YouTube stars, Huda’s way is the new way of beauty.
Here are 10 more reasons why you should follow Huda (if you aren’t already).
1. She has a backstory that makes you want to root for her. Surprisingly enough, Huda almost didn’t even go into beauty. She started out working in finance as a recruiter but reevaluated her career ambitions after getting laid off. “I ended up losing my job after the recession, and I was pretty devastated. I was like, How could I have been let go? I was like one of the hardest-working people. I was one of the best performers. And then my boss told me, ‘You don’t belong here.’ And at first I thought, Don’t tell me I don’t belong here! But he was right.” Not long afterward, Huda decided to move to L.A. and study makeup, a longtime passion of hers.
2. It might seem like she popped out of nowhere, but Huda definitely did her time.After finishing her studies in L.A. in 2009, Huda moved back to Dubai and began working for free for friends before landing a gig with Revlon. “I didn’t make money for years, at all. And it’s OK. Sometimes you have to find a way to make it work and kind of live for that ultimate goal.” During that time, she would work on photo shoots during the day, go to events at night, and come back home and blog afterward. She joined Instagram in May 2012 and gained massive amounts of followers every time she landed on the popular page, which is how she eventually ended up where she is today.
3. She has
a small village a giant city of devoted followers. Huda has 14.1 million Instagram followers. That’s more than 700 times the size of the small town in Tennessee that she grew up in and almost twice the population of NYC. When I first stumbled upon her page, I was intrigued simply because I was like, Who is this woman and why does she have so many followers? And then I realized it’s because she has the most unpredictable feed and you simply never get sick of her posts — like, ever. In a single day, she’ll go from posting helpful hacks and satirical videos (like T. rex hands) to regramming other artists and funny beauty memes.
4. She’s somehow stayed grounded despite all of her success. She now has an international beauty empire based in Dubai and an eponymous line of lip and eyelash products that’s sold on Sephora.com. But if you ask Huda what title she gives herself, she’ll humbly say she’s a beauty blogger. “I feel like that’s appropriate for me because that’s how I started, and I feel like that can inspire people too. Maybe people will feel like, ‘Hey, I could start out that way too!'”
5. She has a genuine love for makeup. Huda’s everyday makeup look is what you dream yours will look like at your wedding. Homegirl lives and breathes beauty, and isn’t just jumping on the Instagram beauty bandwagon. She says she’s been wearing false lashes on a daily basis before her friends knew what they were, and she even wears a full face when working out. “At the gym, I’ll totally wear full makeup. I have no shame. I don’t care, I do it. In Dubai, it’s very normal. I’ll wear a little bit of bronzer, concealer under my eyes, mascara, and [fill in my] brows.”
6. She uses social media (something commonly seen as strictly a tool for self-promotion) to help other people. When I asked Huda where she saw the future of her Huda Beauty brand going, she surprised me with her generous response. “I want to be able to create a platform where we really discover artists, where we really find people and almost even make their careers.” Huda, who is one of the few Instagram beauty stars who regularly tag and feature other artists on her own account, doesn’t want to stop there though. “I feel like we can be a little bit of a platform and give people a little bit of publicity, but I’d like to really discover a hidden talent and show them to the world and do something great for them.”
7. She knows all the best beauty hacks. She often regrams genius hacks from other beauty bloggers, but she also comes up with her own brilliant ideas as well, such as the viral hack that is tape contouring. “I remember when I was in the conference room with my team and I was like, ‘Guys, what if I tried putting tape all over my face, pounded my face with contour, ripped it all off, and then blended everything into perfection?’ And everyone was like, ‘Let’s try it!’ We weren’t really expecting it to go viral. We just wanted it to be instructive and show people a little bit of silliness, but also be very serious in technique and the beautiful finish. And it really worked! It actually worked so well that I kept tape in my makeup room and kept using it because the contour was just so sharp, it was incredible. We sometimes do things that are on the borderline of maybe a little silly, but some of them are really fantastic.”
8. She is not afraid to try things. Huda is open and transparent with her followers about the different beauty treatments she’s tried — such as lip injections and face-shaving — so much so that she’ll even post a video trying things sometimes. “Gross facials are some of my favorites. I just tried placenta facials, which felt disgusting but were so amazing. I think those really gross facials are some of my favorites as far as the results you can get.”
9. She keeps it real. It’s easy to get caught up in the vanity of the social media world, but Huda constantly reminds her followers that she’s really just one of them. “I actually think it’s kind of a good thing for people to see you without makeup. I try to show myself in pictures and on Snapchat all the time without makeup on. I think it’s important to remind people that we all are simple people, ultimately.”
10. She’s always ahead of the beauty game and she’s about to be even more so. Her Huda Beauty products (which consist of lip liners, false lashes, and recently announced liquid lipsticks) are dope. The only business regret she has is not acting on her brilliant ideas sooner. “I remember before contouring, before anyone had a contour kit, I was like, ‘Guys! We need a contour kit.’ Before liquid lipstick, there was only a Revlon liquid lipstick, I was like, ‘Guys! We need a liquid lipstick.’ But I’ve always waited too long. And I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to make sure we have an inspired idea, and I want to make sure that if we love it, we go with it. Why wait?”