Photo: Courtesy Huda Beauty
Huda Kattan says she hopes to kickstart the next generation of entrepreneurs with Huda Beauty’s latest campaign. Inspired by her brand’s origin story, the new EM[POWER]ED makeup collection has launched alongside a one of a kind campaign. Aspiring entrepreneurs can win one of three start-up prizes, each including a US$6,000 prize to go towards their budgeoning business, along with an exclusive mentoring session with Kattan.
Photo: Courtesy Huda Beauty
“As I have been on the journey learning to love myself even more deeply, I’ve started to feel more empowered,” Kattan tells Vogue Arabia. Famously, Huda Beauty was founded after Kattan secured a US$6,000 loan from her sister Alya, funding what would become one of the biggest beauty brands in the world. “The loan from my big sister meant and means the world to me. Not only was it what I needed to create our very first product – and that was a lot of money for both of us at the time – but it was such an incredible symbol of support and belief in me,” shares Kattan. “That huge gesture gave me the courage and the resources to chase after my huge dream and that’s exactly what I want to empower other people to do. When I first started the Huda Beauty Blog, I never imagined that I could create a business and sustain myself from my passion, but Alya encouraged me to push the boundaries, take risks, and has been there for me every step of the way.” By paying this act of support on, Kattan hopes to fund another’s dream. “Because of my journey, I want to be that person for someone… a big sister for our community! Now it’s my chance to pay it forward and empower others all over the world,” she explains. “By doing this, I hope to encourage the development of new skills and the continuation of creative endeavors in the beauty realm.”
The lip kit trio. Photo: Courtesy Huda Beauty
Following the bold themes of empowerment and creativity, the new EM[POWER]ED collection includes a brush set, lip trio kit, face gloss and mascara, among other beauty essentials. “The EM[POWER]ED collection was inspired by my personal journey of self-worth, and this collection aims to empower everyone to dream big, believe in themselves, achieve it, and celebrate themselves and the people around them,” shares Kattan. The EM[POWER]ED eyeshadow palette includes 18 shades of golds, coppers, browns, and neutrals, plus a QR code that leads to the campaign entry page. “To me, empowerment is about accepting and embracing every aspect of who you are and then unlocking that superpower that is in in every single one of us,” Kattan tells Vogue Arabia. “By doing that, you have the power to change the world and everything around you for the better. This collection empowers me to live my best-life with versatile, buildable, and perfect-for-all occasions shades and formulas.”
Photo: Courtesy Huda Beauty
Future entrepreneurs can apply from the Huda Beauty EM[POWER]ED grant by scanning the EM[POWER]ED eyeshadow palette QR and completing the microsite application.
Photo: Courtesy Huda Beauty
There’s no reason to not turn a work event into a date night when being recognized for your billion-dollar beauty brand, and no one would agree more than Huda Kattan. The businesswoman behind Huda Beauty was recently honored with a prize for “disrupting what it means to be beautiful” at the inaugural Time100 Impact Awards in Dubai which she attended with her husband, Christopher Goncalo.
For the evening, the two served up timeless couple style, with Goncalo in a black suit and bowtie, and Kattan embracing a fierce yet feminine vibe in a matching statement dress. The sleeveless black number featured a figure-hugging silhouette in a ruched material and a mermaid-style hem with layers of fabric, and also came with sheer elbow-length gloves. For the star-studded evening where Kattan was awarded by Tyra Banks, the beauty mogul switched from her usual blow-dried mane to equally voluminous but lengthy curls. Her new locks were pulled back in a half-up-half-down style, showing off the dazzling jewels on her neck. They matched perfectly with her makeup look for the event, which included a pinky nude pout and sparkling, metallic eyes.
Kattan, who is also a strong advocate for transparency with beauty filters on social media, took the opportunity to once again call attention to photo editing and its impact on mental health with her look. Kattan shared two images of herself in the flattering dress—one raw, and the other slightly edited—to show that things may not always be what they seem on Instagram. “Most of us don’t realize how great we look in person and the truth is, cameras DO NOT capture how beautiful you look in real life,” she captioned the post. “Having said that, I understand the pressure to want to edit photos, but the truth is, we all have gone way too far and don’t accept ourselves anymore. It sucks because we all edit photos and then feel pressure to keep editing and we end up being a part of something we don’t really support.” She added, “I wanted to share with you how I would have edited the pic to show you guys how much we might not realize photos are being edited that look like they fit on Instagram, but not at all how we look in real life!”
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Amina Muaddi, Huda Kattan, and Nadine Nassib Njeim. March 2022, Vogue Arabia. Photo: Tom Munro
The March issue of Vogue Arabia celebrates two significant milestones – it’s the fifth anniversary of the world’s leading fashion title being published in the Middle East, and it is also the biggest one ever produced, at 500 pages. To mark this important moment, the cover features three Arabian powerhouse women representing Arabia on the world stage: accessory designer Amina Muaddi, actor Nadine Nassib Njeim, and beauty mogul Huda Kattan. Together, they are a powerful symbol of the modern Arab woman, shattering stereotypes of the submissiveness of the past: they are strong, striking, entrepreneurial, and in charge.
The theme of Arabian women taking the region global runs throughout the magazine, as this special anniversary edition sets out to amplify their ever-increasing reach and influence around the world. At the head of the most in-demand makeup brand in the world, Huda Kattan shares her incredible story of launching faux lashes from her kitchen with a US $6,000 loan from her sister to today running a record-breaking beauty empire. Sharp, candid, and empowering, Kattan talks about the discrimination and alienation she felt growing up Arab in the US, moving to Dubai and promptly getting fired in her first job, and the complexities around running a global brand with your family. “As you get popular and people start to criticize you, you really go deep inside and start questioning yourself, going through peaks and valleys of extreme anxiety. Today, I’m not ashamed that I don’t have it all together. I am a hot mess some days… Actually, I’m a hot mess almost every day – and I don’t have it all figured out. It’s OK.”
Amina Muaddi also knows about feeling the pressure of success – and still excelling. As the most sought-after shoe designer in the world, she is busy building her own empire – or, as she says, “I see it more like a universe.” Her distinctive shoes are seen on every celebrity from the Kardashians to Rihanna, yet Muaddi propels herself forward with instinct. Sitting down in Paris, she opens up about personal losses in her life – including the loss of her friend Virgil Abloh – and surrounding herself with a close-knit group of confidants. “God tests you for a reason and that’s my outlook on life. I go from zero to a hundred very quickly, but I don’t hold grudges. I’m fiery and passionate. I’ve surrounded myself with people who genuinely love me and that’s happiness.”
For Lebanese actor Nadine Nassib Njeim, poise and confidence come naturally. A potent symbol of female force in the region, Njeim believes success is about setting goals, working hard, and challenging yourself – and always staying positive. In her interview, Njeim also revisits the painful Beirut explosion, and how the tragic event changed her, not holding on to small things anymore and valuing what is really important. “Positivity proves that life will remain beautiful and will go on, regardless of the difficulties a person is going through.” The superstar also reveals the price she has paid for fame: “The worst part of being Nadine Njeim is losing your private life, because being famous and successful – the price is too high.” She reveals that while she won’t be on screens this Ramadan season, she is preparing to launch her much-anticipated cosmetics brand.
Carla Bruni and Farida Khelfa. Photo: Kiki Xue
As always, Vogue Arabia is at the forefront of championing female voices. The anniversary issue also features conservationist Dame Jane Goodall in conversation with sustainability editor-at-large Livia Firth, talking about why there are still reasons to hope in a world filled with uncertainty. “Humanity is at the start of a long, very dark, and dangerous tunnel and right at the end there is a little star shining… that’s hope – but it’s fundamental that we realize that hope is about action, not just wishful thinking.” In another inspiring feature, lifelong friends Farida Khelfa and Carla Bruni model the latest couture, while French actor Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu – the iconic Emily in Paris villain – further defies age conventions by showcasing the season’s most striking looks. All three discuss life, love, and getting older, and why they feel more confident and powerful than ever. “When you have a similar soul, that’s how you connect. We come from different places, but she is my sister,” Khelfa says about Bruni.
Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu. Photo: The Bardos
The March issue also shines a spotlight on the new Saudi musicians to listen to now, while model and social entrepreneur Elisa Sednaoui Dellal finally finds her way home to Egypt after two years of a pandemic-enforced separation, in a moving feature where she visits, for the first time ever, one of her architect father’s most personal projects. Reconnecting with her past and future, Sednaoui Dellal shares, “What makes me Egyptian is my love for life and human connection.” The edition also salutes Aquazzura on its 10th year in a special shoot with Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece and Denmark, and gets a fascinating look at the extraordinary works His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani is lending to the Hôtel de la Marine in Paris – The Al Thani Collection includes Islamic works highlighting the art of Ottoman Turkey, Safavid Iran, and Mughal India, showing the sophistication of painting, metal and woodwork, ceramic, and hardstone-carving from a rich and revered culture. This being the fifth anniversary issue, the pages also feature celebratory stories about fashion, entrepreneurs, rising stars, and the region’s biggest talents.
Elisa Sednaoui Dellal. Photo: Ämr Ezzeldinn
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Last night, Vogue Arabia brought together a selection of local and international stars, influencers, designers and royalty to celebrate 50 years of the United Arab Emirates at the second edition of the Ball of Arabia. Held at Raffles The Palm Dubai and presented by Level Shoes and Audi Middle East, the gala dinner wasn’t like any of its kind. Co-chaired by Ingie Chalhoub, Huda and Mona Kattan, Mona Zaki and Zuhair Murad, the once-in-a-lifetime celebration highlighted the very best of the region with a series of cultural experiences curated by the General Women’s Union, and also paid homage to the nation with an all-gold dress code.
Naturally, Vogue Arabia’s line up of guests joined in the festivities in a series of show-stopping gilded ensembles. While Huda Kattan chose a strapless Michael Cinco number, sister Mona Kattan posed for cameras in a full-sleeved Zuhair Murad creation dotted with pink and green jewels, and Ingie Chalhoub designed a champagne gold gown for the evening out. On-screen icon Mona Zaki also went with Zuhair Murad for the evening, picking a caped embellished gown with a risqué slit, which she later switched for a shorter, party-ready gold outfit with playful cut-outs. Another star who changed their look during the celebration was Dorra Zarrouk. The Tunisian actress walked in dressed in an armor-like gilded creation, and later slipped into an elegant off-shoulder gown by Géyanna Youness Haute Couture.
Never one to shy away from high-shine glamour, Ball of Arabia’s host, Jessica Kahawaty was among the first stars to arrive at the venue. Her pick: another Zuhair Murad, doused in sequin work and topped off with a full-length cape. Then there was Rym Saidi, who walked in wearing pleated gold Rami Al Ali maxi. “Gold is the most beautiful, luxurious color,” she revealed to Vogue Arabia while describing her look for the evening. “It’s almost Christmas, the end of the year, so tonight is a great occasion to wear gold.”
One of the most noteworthy gold ensembles from the evening came via former cover star Rawdah, who had her golden moment in a sparkling abaya by Tina Steffenakk Hermansen, complete with matching gloves. To check out more must-see celebrity looks in gold from the evening, start scrolling.
Mona and Huda Kattan. Photo: Instagram.com
Mona Zaki in Zuhair Murad. Photo: Dazl Production
Dorra Zarrouk in Jean Pierre Khoury. Photo: Dazl Production
Rawdah in Tina Steffenakk Hermansen. Photo: Dazl Production
Rym Saidi Rami Al Ali. Photo: Dazl Production
Jessica Kahawaty in Zuhair Murad. Photo: Dazl Production
Dana Hourani. Photo: Dazl Production
Andrea and Karen Wazen. Photo: Dazl Production
Miriam Abadi. Photo: Dazl Production
Nargis Fakhri. Photo: Dazl Production
Her Highness Sayyida Basma Al Said. Photo: Dazl Production