INTERVIEW: Huda Kattan of Huda Beauty talks London, life and her beauty loves
Culture Whisper chats exclusively to Huda Kattan, Instagram’s most famous beautypreneur on her favourite London addresses, female empowerment and what’s next on her beauty radar…
Culture Whisper: What are your favourite London places?
Huda Kattan: I’d have to say Selfridges for most things! They just have so many beauty brands, and it makes it simple just to go in and get everything I need in one trip. I also love going to the Lush store – it’s so cute inside. I’m obsessed with the Bath Bombs and the Rose Jam shower gel!
CW: When in London who styles your hair?
HK: I always call on my favourite hair stylist, Dom Seeley, when I’m in London. He’s based just north of central London and he’s amazing! He really understands my hair and not many people do!
CW Let’s talk nails – any tips and toes experts in the capital?
HK: Normally, I have my nails done in Dubai and I almost always go to SoH Dubai when I do. Last time I was in London though, we were shooting for the cover of Cosmopolitan and there was a manicurist on set. Her name is Kim Treacy, and she did an incredible job! She was so talented, worked super quickly and gave me the most natural, nude nails that photographed super well.
CW: Workout or walk out?
HK: When I’m in London it is typically for work and let’s be real, I don’t have time for fitness or the gym during those trips. My family and I love to do family walks through Hyde Park, though – my daughter, Nour, absolutely loves it there especially around the festive season. I think we ended up going to the Winter Wonderland about 3 times in one week.
CW: Where do you grab a bite to eat?
HK: Last time I was in London, I went to the Elan Café with Nour and we were so obsessed. It’s every influencer’s dream. The café is covered in pink everything and there are a million photo opportunities – the flower wall is insane. The environment is so happy and bright that it puts you in such a good mood. We loved every inch of the café, including the lattes and croissants!
CW: Favourite part of London?
HK: I absolutely love Knightsbridge; it’s such a cozy area and super close to so many really cool shops and restaurants! I always feel at home in this neighbourhood of London and it’s never too packed or crowded, so it’s pretty manageable.
CW: Preferred department store?
HK: It’s definitely a tie between Selfridges and Harrod’s. I love how modern and chic Selfridge’s is and their new restaurant upstairs, The Brasserie of Light, is unbelievable. The design of the space and the massive, crystallized flying horse is just incredible. It really makes you feel like you’re in a fantasy world, which I love when I’m shopping because it gives me an inspirational vibe. Harrod’s, on the other hand, is a timeless classic and I love it for that reason. I always know exactly what to expect and love the people that work there – they are always super sweet! Their afternoon tea is one of my favorites as well. My family and I love to do that when we’re in town and especially love Harrod’s during the holidays. It makes me feel like I’m in an old movie.
CW: Any after work hangouts?
HK: I love going for dinner at Hakkasan when I’m in town, and my family really enjoys it as well. The atmosphere is great in there and we love ordering a bunch of different things on the menu and just sharing family-style. The food is so good - it’s definitely one of our spots!
CW: Any British brands worth travelling here for?
HK: There are definitely some amazing designers that have roots in London! I typically go for brands that really flatter my hourglass shape, which is honestly pretty hard to find. I do have some incredible Alexander McQueen pieces that I love and that fit me really nicely. I have some simple, staple pieces from Christopher Kane as well which have worked super well for my body. Definitely a big fan. Stella McCartney’s Kids line is also one of my favourites for Nour! I love the bright colours and patterns – it’s super youthful and fun!
CW: Best budget buys?
HK: Vaseline! It’s the perfect beauty tool to extend the life of your fragrance. Apply it to any area that you would spray perfume and then spritz your favourite scent! It’ll last for hours and help you smell beautiful for the whole day. I also really love Neutrogena Face Wipes. They are super affordable and so easy to use at the end of a busy day. I couldn’t live without them.
CW: Let’s talk fragrance - what are your favourite smells?
HK: Mona [my sister] has been a huge inspiration for me when it comes to fragrance. She really sold me into the idea of layering and the complexity of scent. I don’t know how many bottles I own but I definitely don’t own as many as Mona! I used to be obsessed with Fève Délicieuse and La Colle Noire by Christian Dior! I love that they are opposite scents – Fève Délicieuse is really light and fresh, and La Colle Noire is heavier, with notes of amber and musk. I first discovered the scent when I was burning the candles at the same time and it smelled really good, so I mixed the scents and it just worked! Layering them together literally makes the most fantastic scent! I think the muskiness combined with the freshness says a lot about my personality; when I wear them together, there is a bit of mystery; it is sweet and fresh but also a bit edgy and sophisticated.
CW: Did anything surprise you about the perfume creation process?
HK: Getting the scents just right for KAYALI was a labor of love; VANILLA | 28 was the most challenging for us to perfect. The development process was so challenging that when we finally got the balance just right, we decided to incorporate the rounds of modifications to show how different the process can be for each scent. The number next to the name of each variant represents the amount of times we tweaked our formulas before we fell in love with them. CITRUS | 08 is nothing like other citrusy scents you have tried before, it’s a very feminine and hypnotic scent and mixes very well with floral notes. ELIXIR | 11 is a really sexy scent! Those two together are my favourite – I feel so confident when I wear them.
CW: Tell us what make-up colours and looks you're obsessed with?
HK: Our Matte & Metal shadows are super fun and really easy to apply and the shade range is incredible. They come in super bold and bright colors and right now I’m really into mint and bright green shadow! Super bright colours are definitely in and you’ll continue to see me rocking them in the next few months.
CW: What does the female empowerment movement mean to you?
HK: It feels really powerful to be able to embrace being a woman in the Middle East who’s not afraid to go into a boardroom and tell a room of men how it is. We’re that brand that shows women that they can have it all, and we love being that role model.