Iraqi-American blogger-made-entrepreneur Huda Kattan, aka Huda Beauty, is the third most powerful beauty influencer in the world, according to a list recently released by Forbes.
Kattan, who is based in Dubai, is one of ten influencers featured on Forbes' list of top beauty gurus from around the world. The makeup artist, social media star and entrepreneur is the only Arab or Middle Easterner to make the list.
"She – with her two sisters – oversees a beauty empire that includes false lashes favored by Kim Kardashian," Forbes states. "Her makeup line is sold in Sephora – a sure sign an influencer has made it."
Born and raised in the United States to Iraqi parents, Kattan ditched her career in finance to to become a makeup artist. She moved to Dubai in 2008 and started blogging in 2010.
As one of the first beauty bloggers in the Middle East, Kattan built her fan base with Youtube videos highlighting the latest trends, and sharing how-tos and product reviews. She is mostly known for her face contouring technique, in which she uses tape to highlight the structure of her face.
The beauty icon has been dubbed the "Kim Kardashian West of the beauty influencer economy" by the New York Times, for drawing comparison to Kardashian's looks, style and strong family ties.
In 2013, Kattan and her two sisters introduced a product line called Huda Beauty with a collection of fake lashes that were a huge hit in the Middle East. Since then, Huda Beauty has become a staple in the cosmetics industry, featuring best-selling lip liners, liquid matte lipsticks and an eye shadow palette that beauty bloggers swear by.
According to the New York Times, Sephora - the French chain of global cosmetics stores - was surprised at how well Hudy Beauty's lip liners sold, as lip liners are not often in high demand. Sephora's senior vice president for merchandising said Kattan's lip liners were "one of the biggest launches in years".