I am always searching for a lipstick that is better than all other lipsticks. The color, texture, application are all important features. It is typical personal behavior to go off on a solo journey in search of the next great product for my precious pout.
Having been a professional make up artist for a little over a decade, I have grown accustomed to a kit, chock full of colors, textures and finishes…a Benjamin Moore of the lip color world, if you will. This comes in handy, as I am a hit with teenagers and at parties, since I have at least five varying colors and textures in my purse at any time.
Please note that I have never said I was particularly deep…just unapologetically me. Kidding aside, the fact is, a lip color can make or break the final product of the entire face. And make up on or off camera is a serious business.
I found myself on a stronger hunt than usual for “THE” lipstick that would change my life (or at least change my month) and in my research, I kept coming across Huda Beauty.
I knew Huda Beauty as the number one Beauty Instagram account and that the product was launched by a beauty blogger. The Huda Obsessions Eye Shadow Palette was also featured in AlphaLuxe.com “Holidays Gift Guide 2017.”
But it was time to learn more.
I also needed to own the Huda Beauty Lip Strobe in “Ritzy” seen on Tamra Judge on the ‘Real Housewives of Orange County Season 13 Reunion’, as soon as possible…
The findings were not just interesting, but downright as beautiful as the product itself.
Huda Kattan and Huda Beauty
Huda Kattan was born on October 2, 1983 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to immigrant parents from Iraq. She attended the University of Michigan, Dearborn where she majored in Finance.
On account of a job opportunity in the Financial Sector, Kattan moved to Dubai in 2006, a position she would find herself leaving a short time later and relocating to the United States to study make up in Los Angeles.
Working as a make-up artist stateside, her clients included Eva Longoria and Nicole Richie.
A return to Dubai, led to a coveted career milestone for Kattan where she began working as a Revlon make-up artist (clients included Cartier and Mercedes) and at the urging of one of her sisters (Kattan is one of four children) started a beauty related blog on WordPress called “Huda Beauty.” Following the blog, Huda launched a YouTube channel and Instagram account by the same name.
“I knew that beauty sometimes felt a bit unattainable and cold and I really wanted to change that. Ultimately, Hudabeauty.com became a place for people to feel beautiful and comfortable, and to share” – Huda Kattan
The blog offered tutorials and make up tips and with a brisk rise in popularity, it was not long before Kattan founded Huda Beauty the cosmetic line in 2013. The first product to market? False eye lashes.
Kattan chose lashes as her introductory product to market, out of necessity as she often customized lashes for her clients because she could not find ones that fit varying shapes. The lashes both synthetic and faux mink are wearable one to fifteen times and are vegan and cruelty-free. The band is cotton to provide ultimate comfort, ease of application and pliability for eye shape. She found herself fielding enquiries on where to purchase her lashes.
Her sister Mona suggested she start her own line and another sister Alya was the initial investor providing $6500 for the first batch of products. Kattan invested $10,000 for packaging. Note that Kattan’s fortune is now estimated by Forbes Magazine at $550 million (Forbes, July 2018) and growing.
Retail sales hit $1.5 million in her first year and $10 million in the second with the help of Kim Kardashian, a vocal fan of the lash line.
Sephora Dubai was the first to bring Huda to the public.
The product assortment grew quickly to include lip, eye, face, and a multitude of palettes, all modeled by Kattan, who is also the face of her brand.
“I have been a blogger, I have created social content, I have worked as a makeup artist, I have worked with manufacturers to create products in the lab, and I am the face of a brand.” – Huda Kattan
Insistent of being “fun and sophisticated” Huda Beauty strives creates products that fill a gap in the industry, developing product features that fall short in other lines. Her pulse on innovation did not disappoint the pubic or her social media fan base, as Kattan was declared one of the “ten most powerful influencers in the world of beauty” by Forbes magazine and was chosen one of “The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet” in 2017 by Time Magazine.
Social Media speaking Kattan was earning $18,000 per sponsored post, ranking her at #1 on the “2017 Influencer Instagram Rich List” and currently Kattan has over 29.4 million IG followers @hudakattan.
While offers have been pouring in for acquisition, Kattan is following her instinct and has sights set on growing the brand to compete with the colossal players in the beauty business. An investment from TSG Consumer Partners, investors in the beauty world, including IT Cosmetics, Smashbox and e.l.f. is helping make that vision a reality. Revenue for Huda Beauty for 2018 is estimated around $300 million and a U.S. office is expected to open on the West Coast by year end. Currently the business operates out of Dubai.
Huda Beauty for the Lips
While I love the false lashes, my focus is on the lips, so it was time to do the test.
First, Huda Beauty’s Liquid Matte, which uses a comfort-wear formula with an exclusive complex to maintain lips’ hydration, was tested on yours truly.
I am reluctant to try matte formulas because they often dry and seep in to the fine lines of the lip. I do not like to feel dry and the winter weather is usually even more of a reason that I would avoid this type of product.
I was dazed and delighted. This formula is hydrating, maintains some moisture, yet stays put on the lips. A small amount goes a long way, as a thin coat provided enough color that stayed on through lots of water and coffee.
The color, “Sugar Mamma” is a nude with a peach undertone; perfect for a little pop of color to set off green or blue eyes. “Heartbreaker,” a more dramatic, burgundy red is fabulous on darker skin tones and off sets brown eyes beautifully.
Next I tried on Huda’s Lip Strobe.
In short, it is a fun product.
I purchased “Ritzy” Lip Strobe, a semi-sheer champagne with a generous dose of pink iridescence. It does what a gloss should do in terms of hydration and wear ability. Where Huda really makes the mark is in the shine.
I prefer to keep Ritzy for night time use. All the lip strobes are designed for wear alone or on top of your favorite lipstick, offering an excellent opportunity to get creative.
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Writer with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. Her credits include Sales and Marketing for Handbags with PRADA USA Corp., followed by a jump into the world of beauty as an Esthetician, then Spa Manager at Jurlique, Spa Manager and Client Relationship Manager and Digital Business Development coordinator at Amore Pacific where celebrity clients were and remain confidential and her column, “Ask Angela,” was featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. She has also been a contributor for beauty to Shape and Fitness Magazines.
A side job as a Hospital Victim on “As the World Turns,” and a correspondent on the now defunct lifestyle web series “Tangerine Living,” Angela is no stranger to juggling multiple positions and has built quite the resume.
A move to NY’s Hometown Paper, The New York Daily News as Training and Employee Relations Manager with a night and weekend gig as make up artist for runway shows, (she studied in Los Angeles with Amy Ward) including Vogue Bambino and multiple commercials, Angela became a Mom, her best and most important credit to date. Since motherhood, Angela has been a Brand Ambassador for the skin line Patchology, featured in Saks Fifth Avenue in store and on air with CBS News segment “Patch me Pretty.”
She has been a beauty guest for QVC, a blogger for thelaughinmommy.blogspot.com (currently on hiatus) and the founder of her own social media communications business, helping business owners to share their digital voice. Actively involved with Smart Children with Learning Differences and the NYC Public School System, her most favorite down-time hobby is discovering the best in beauty, travel and fashion finds around the United States.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a BSc in Communications and Writing, where she appeared on the University Union News as an Anchor and on The Beat of Syracuse, Z89 as a DJ, when we still recorded on tape. (Yikes.) Angela has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
In her spare time, precious and few, you can find Angela running, practicing yoga, taking her son to one of his sports practices or getting beautified. “Working with Alphaluxe is a unique opportunity to share what I am most passionate about. Living your best life. If it were up to me highlights, spray tans and manicures would be mandatory, is a true honor and privilege.”
She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.