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Important to understand what 'consumer-led' means: Huda Kattan

Two things that set you apart from growing competition are authenticity and connection

Monday December 30, 2019 1:10 PM, Puja Gupta, IANS

Huda Kattan

New Delhi: From being a humble beauty blogger to becoming the founder of a billion worth beauty brand Huda Beauty, Huda Kattan has come a long way. Her brand started in 2013 and is now one of the most recognisable names in the beauty industry. In a chat with IANSlife, the 36-year-old Iraqi-American gets candid about her brand, her favourite makeup products and shares words of encouragement for women entrepreneurs. Read excerpts from the interview.

What do you think your brand is synonymous to?

Kattan: We would hope the word would be empowering! Through our product, our content, our story and our vision we hope everything that we do encourages and empowers everyone around the world to feel loved and included, to be their best self and to chase their dreams. Anything is possible with passion and purpose and we put that into everything that we do at Huda Beauty and we hope it shows!

What kind of makeup do you like?

Kattan: I don't think there is a specific kind of makeup that I like because I just love makeup in general, it's that simple! If I had to choose a product, I would probably choose my favourite lip pencil and brow product! I always carry my Huda Beauty lip liner in shade trendsetter with me everywhere I go. It's my go-to shade and if I don't have lipstick on me, I just fill in my entire lips for an even lip colour. My ride-or-die brow product would have to be my Benefit Brow Wiz in shade 4.5. I swear by Benefit brow products and highly recommend. Even if I have minimal makeup on, my brows are a must-do.

It may seem very emotional, but I think the two things that set you apart from growing competition are authenticity and connection. Without these two, I think it's hard to stand out and to build a loyal community despite how strong your business model may be. We do everything from the heart and our community knows it. We talk with them, listen to them and make them feel like they are a part of our journey because they are. We don't try to sell them anything we don't truly believe in and they know that. All of the content we push is extremely authentic and we still recommend and promote other products to show that it's still the case. During a consumer-led time, it's important to really understand what "consumer-led" means and to operate accordingly.

Have you ever faced any criticism for your work?

Kattan: Absolutely. There will always be haters no matter what you do. Initially I paid attention to them and I let them absorb some of my energy but after a while I realized they will always exist no matter what you do and you can't please them, so why waste your energy on them at all? I typically let the negative comments roll off my back and I focus my energy on the more positive activity going on for me and the brand and it's proven to be so much more efficient and productive for us.

Your words of encouragement for women who want to have an identity of themselves?

Kattan: Believe in yourself and surround yourself with people that believe in you as well. When you have support around you, you can do anything! I'd also say don't be afraid. It's ok to take risks and fail. Every step along the way is a learning. If you're passionate enough to persevere and keep going, then every failure will be a learning and you'll eventually get to where you want to be!

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at puja.g@ians.in)

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