“I“I’ve never said that in an interview, but I was the black sheep of my family,” Huda Kattan told ELLE India. “I grew up in the States and was one of the only brown girls in the entire school. No one saw me and I felt unworthy,” she says with refreshingly candid honesty. The beauty expert goes on to explain how the idea of this imperfection led her to freedom.
“I made peace with that because I realized I didn’t feel any pressure to be perfect. It allows me to be more human and feel empowered,” adds Kattan. And perhaps it is precisely this philosophy that led her to lay the foundation for her recently launched beauty line, Em(power)ed. With that in mind, here’s Kattan in a casual chat with ELLE India about business, beauty and unstoppable…
ELLE: What does empowerment mean to you and how do you translate that into a makeup line?
HUDA KATTAN (HK): I was on the path to self-acceptance when I realized that eliminating self-doubt is helpful I feel empowered. Empowerment is not always about success; It is the joy you experience when you are who you are. It was an incredible feeling. And that inspired me to create Em(power)ed.
ELLE: How did you plan and decide on the tones, pigments and textures for this?
HK: While we were planning the launch of Em(power)ed, we were also in the process of withdrawing some pallets from the market. I wanted to add a few base shades from these palettes that people liked and were perfect for everyday routines. I believe that big palettes need to have some base tones as well. And the gold in the Em(power)ed palette was specifically chosen because it’s legendary and gives us confidence. We embarked on this story and so gold is the star shade of the palette.
ELLE: You talked about being judged based on your looks and the color of your skin. How did you deal with the negativity?
HK: I don’t usually get asked these questions because people don’t think about it often. You comment thoughtlessly. Honestly, these judgments and comments made me question my worth and abilities. It’s been 13 years since I started as an influencer and I’ve been through a lot. It seems easy to say now that my journey to self-love has helped me break free from toxicity, but it has been extremely challenging. However, recognizing and understanding a problem are the first steps towards solving it, and this acceptance is not easy. It’s taken me years to work on it and get to a point where I value myself.
ELLE: Huda Beauty’s #FauxFilter foundation and skincare line that promotes skin without a filter are both popular and make a perfect juxtaposition. How do you create a balance between the two?
HK: (Laughs) One is the opposite of the other, isn’t it? Now that I think about it, that’s as interesting a scenario as you put it. Originally I wanted to cover my skin, but then the focus shifted to healthy skin. I won’t lie, I still love my #FauxFilter foundation, but (now) I feel confident even without makeup. I think wearing makeup is normal, but you have to be comfortable without makeup and not rely on it. Huda Beauty and Wishful Skincare may seem like opposites, but I designed them to work well together. The idea is to use proper skin care before applying makeup to create a smooth base. As I prep my skin with Yo Glow before applying makeup, the elements in #FauxFilter provide the softness so the two work together.
ELLE: How has beauty consumption changed over the years?
HK: The pandemic has changed the way we consume beauty. The makeup has gone minimalist and wet, but now the ‘glamor’ is coming back. Before the pandemic, we lived for other people; We liked the glamour, but most of all that people noticed us and gave us compliments. But in recent years we started to see things in their true form and fell in love with them. I think we appreciate the process of “glamour” a lot more now.
Trend forecast for 2023?
Messy makeup is interesting. We’ll see more grunge in makeup
A favorite beauty hack?
Apply blush Hand, take it on the brush and then apply it on my face. Try a cream blush
Opinion on viral beauty hacks and trends?
I try them and end up using some of them. some not. Sometimes these are complicated and tricky, and then there are also many good ones.
Thinking of launching a hair care line?
When asked to do so a few years ago, I declined. But we’re thinking about it now
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