Beauty boom

Self-made business mogul was working a ‘miserable’ day job not long ago and is now worth an estimated $550M

Huda Katton onstage during the 'Beauty's Biggest Sister Act' panel on day 2 of POPSUGAR Play/Ground on June 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for POPSUGAR Play/Ground)

Who says bloggers can’t mean big business?

Huda Kattan made the recent Forbes list of “America’s Richest Self-Made Women,” clocking in at No. 37, but just a few short years ago she was working an unfulfilling job in finance while harboring dreams of running a beauty empire. The daughter of Iraqi immigrants, Kattan was born in the U.S. and is currently based in Dubai. As Forbes put it, the finance job was making her “miserable.”

Now she’s a makeup mogul worth an estimated net worth of $550 million, with her cosmetics brand Huda Beauty founded in 2013 valued at upwards of $1 billion, according to Forbes. But her first steps into the business world started with a blog. “I noticed there were no bloggers that looked like me … nobody that I could look (up) to,” she told CNN.

Kattan, 34, now has more than 26 million Instagram followers and credits the social media platform with providing the first big boom for her business. Well, that and her first product — a line of false eyelashes that counted Kim Kardashian as a fan.

“I realized that my purpose really is to inspire people,” she said. “It has nothing to do with money, it has nothing to do with anything material. It’s really to prove to people that the little guy can make it.”

Beauty is a fast-growing segment on Instagram and YouTube, especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE where consumers spent an average of $228 per capita on beauty products in 2017, up from $168 in 2010, according to Euromonitor.

But all those women need someone to direct them to the right products, which is where someone like Kattan comes in. With a shrewd sense of intuition — and a sister as her chief Instagram officer — she proves that beauty is big business. For more on Kattan’s remarkable ascent, watch the video below.

Read the full story at CNN.

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