We chat to one of the most recognised names in beauty about her skincare line, Wishful.
In the past 11 years since launching her blog and YouTube channel, Huda Beauty, makeup artist, blogger, and entrepreneur Huda Kattan has become a worldwide name in both beauty and business. It’s almost impossible to not know who she is. To date, she has amassed a cult-like following digitally, with 4.14 million YouTube subscribers and 2.2 million followers on Instagram, and her expertise in product development and brand-building has led her cosmetics company, also named Huda Beauty, to a valuation of over $1 billion. If that isn’t impressive, we don’t know what is!
Always an innovator and natural entrepreneur, Huda co-founded Huda Beauty in February 2013 with her sisters Mona and Alya, debuting hand-designed faux eyelashes, initially sold in Sephora Dubai. It went on to become a global success, which prompted them to dive into makeup, starting with lip contours and lip kits. These became highly coveted and was almost always sold out in Sephora!
Having built her makeup empire, which now consists of everything from eyes to face, lip, and body products, Huda shifts her focus to skincare by launching Wishful last year in the midst of a global pandemic. In an interview arranged by Sephora Malaysia, she tells us all about it:
What made you decide to take that leap from Huda Beauty and to Wishful?
“No one would ever guess this, but I care more about skincare than makeup! Even though I started with colour cosmetics, Huda Beauty, I have always posted a ton of content about my DIY skincare hacks and products that are so important for prepping skin before makeup application. Beauty junkies who love makeup should care equally as much about their skin, for the best results! After struggling through my own skincare journey of finding what works best for my skin and how it translates to confidence, I decided I wanted to share that with the world. It’s what I wished for, for my skin.”
It’s only been a year since the launch of Wishful and yet the world has changed so much. Has COVID-19 affected your brand? If so, how?
“People are wearing less makeup but are using a lot more skincare, so honestly, we could not have launched Wishful at a better time. We’re still conscious of the economic hardship, but we are happy that we can provide products that our community really wants right now; products and content that make them feel good about themselves amidst this global crisis. We’re continuing to listen to them through these hard times, as well and continue to ideate and develop products that fit their new lifestyle.”
What do you plan to do to better take care of yourself this year?
“I cannot emphasize the importance of mental health and wellness enough, especially now. This past year made everyone very fragile and I have had to learn when to communicate when I need time to recharge and reset. When COVID-19 first hit, I cared most about my team and I’s mental health and wellness above anything else. I made sure they knew their jobs were going to be protected and I did that by forfeiting my salary for the year, and my family followed suit. With everything going on in the world, job stability was the last thing I wanted my team to worry about. I also offered them monthly wellness days where they can use the time to do what fills their cup. And, they now have access to my life coach, Kira, who gives them the tools to navigate through tough times in and out of work. Kira has been so amazing for all of us during this past year.”
What’s one new thing you’ve learnt about skincare or the beauty industry since launching Wishful?
“ It’s not new to me, but all people want is authenticity and realness and that’s what we always aim to give them. With skincare specifically, I feel like I always see ads with photoshop and I’m just like “WHY??” With Wishful, I made the conscious decision to not photoshop anything. All of our marketing is real skin on real people who are using our product. It wasn’t easy to get in front of the camera with no makeup on, but I did it and it’s made me a lot more confident and a lot stronger over time. We want to set a great example for everyone else around the world to feel good enough in their skin to share their real, unfiltered, unphotoshopped faces.”
What are some ways you are giving back during this time?
“This past year was a huge give-back year for our family and the brand, even beyond us forfeiting our salaries. We donated over $100,000 to over 100 makeup artists who were affected by COVID-19, donated $500,000 to NAACP during the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, donated thousands of new products to healthcare workers on the frontline, and gave proceeds to Doctors without Borders. I wanted to make sure our community felt supported during the toughest year to-date and we have plans to continue this type of support in the future.”
What’s your go-to quick-fix product after a weekend of Netflix bingeing and junk food?
“I’m all about gut health! After a long night of junk food, your gut needs to detoxify. If you keep your gut healthy, it will have a positive effect on your skin. My favorite things to drink that benefit my gut are bone broth and kombucha – you can’t go wrong with either one.”
What’s the one product we need to try from Wishful and why?
“Yo Glow! I think everyone would agree with me on this one too. It effectively removes the dead skin and dirt that builds up over time, which prevents the foundation from going on smoothly. We launched the brand with just the Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub (RM180) bout a year ago and it’s already won an award, it’s that good. A lot of people thought it was very strange that I was launching my skincare line with a single scrub but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Wishful is meant to give you the perfect foundation for flawless makeup application.”