Even with 2.3 million YouTube subscribers, 4.1 million Facebook likes and 25.7 million Instagram followers (earning her the distinction of being one of the platform’s top 100 influencers), beauty mogul Huda Kattan feels like the real story of her cosmetics empire, Huda Beauty, has yet to be told.
“We want people to really know who we are, the sacrifices we make for the brand, says Kattan, 34, who co-founded the globally loved brand with her sisters, Mona and Alya. “The good and the bad—we want to show it all.”
With Huda Boss, an unscripted reality show now airing on Facebook Watch, Kattan does just that—taking viewers behind the scenes of her Dubai-based company, which she aims to grow into the number one cosmetics company in the world.
Launched in 2013, the Huda Beauty brand was born from Kattan’s beloved how-to makeup blog of the same name, and her experience as a makeup artist in Los Angeles for the likes of Nicole Richie, Kimora Lee Simmons and Eva Longoria. Since making its debut in Sephora with its best-selling collection of false lashes beloved by the likes of Kim Kardashian, the line has garnered a cultish following with products such as its Liquid Matte Lipstick and the 3D Highlighter Palette. In 2017, Huda Beauty was ranked one of the top 10 most googled beauty brands.
But Kattan, who was also named one of Forbes’ Top Beauty Influencers in 2017, also wanted Huda Boss to be “meaningful” unscripted television. “There was a lot of following us around,” says the entrepreneur, who teamed up with L.A.-based Shed Media (the same production team behind shows such as The Real Housewives of New York City, Supernanny and Baller Wives) to shine a spotlight on the brand. “”I’m actually shocked at how much we show.”
Take, for example, the first episode of Huda Boss, in which a producer asks Kattan what her name means to her. “I broke down and cried because I felt like such a misfit growing up where I did,” says Kattan, who was born to Iraqi parents and spent her formative years in Tennessee, where she was known as “Heidi.” Her emotional outpouring triggered an avalanche of messages from fans who could relate to Kattan’s experience of feeling like she didn’t belong. That response alone, she says, was enough reason for doing the show.
And while it took a lot of cajoling to convince her family to participate in the show — her husband, Huda Beauty COO Christopher Goncalo is “an extremely private person,” she says, and her sisters “weren’t really into it” at first — one member of the clan has emerged as an unexpected star of the show. “One thing I keep hearing is that everyone’s favorite character is my dad [Ibrahim Kattan],” she says. “I think it’s a surprise that we’re not the stars after all!”
Huda Beauty airs Tuesdays at 6 p.m. PT on Facebook Watch. facebook.com/hudabossshow.