The beauty influencer and entrepreneur talks exclusively to AS IF about her intense skincare and beauty routines





Introducing the AS IF Proust Beauty Confession Album, where beauty icons, artists, and influencers reveal their deepest beauty secrets, what terrifies them, their greatest icons, and their most treasured possessions.

With the current stream of influencers, bloggers, and vloggers pinning for ‘likes’ and battling to offer the "best" contouring tutorials, simply being recognizable can seem like an impossible feat. But Huda Kattan, the self-made entrepreneur and beauty mogul, who leads a business valued over $1 billion, has carved herself an enviable niche. As the #1 Instragram Influencer with over 26 million followers, she counts Kim Kardashian West and Eva Longaria amongst her most loyal clients.

Huda Beauty, her eponymous beauty brand, is the result of a beauty blog she started in 2013 at the persistence of her sisters. The brand presently retails over 140 products from eyeshadow pallets to lip gloss, raking in $200 million in annual sales.

But with a massive portfolio of success, comes a mounting amount of pressure especially as a legion of luxury designers launched their own beauty lines. But unlike other high-end beauty retailers, Kattan finds strength in real time interaction with her customers, giving them exactly what they want. Despite an incredibly busy day-to-day, you can spot the beauty icon on her Instagram or Youtube page dishing beauty lessons and handy make up tips based off questions from her followers.

Based in Dubai, it's also why she recently launched her original Facebook Watch reality series Huda Boss which documents both her personal and professional.

Now as Kattan works to create HB Angels, an early stage investment fund for entrepreneurs, particularly women founders, she talks to AS IF about her daily beauty routine, her last minute breakout solutions, and her must-have travel essentials.

AS IF: Describe your daily beauty care routine?

Huda Kattan: I have a pretty intense skincare and makeup routine! In the morning, I splash my face with water and then spritz some Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herb, and Rosewater onto my face. Then I apply a few drops of SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, and finish with the SkinCeuticals Skin Firming Cream. I also love Anne Semonin Miracle Eye Contour Anti-Wrinkle Cream so I use this everyday too. My makeup routine really boils down to what I am doing that day. I come to the office bare-faced every day and I generally stay makeup-free for most of it, unless I have a photoshoot, or I am filming a tutorial, or have an event to attend. That’s when I do full makeup – contour, eyeshadow, fake lashes (my favourite are Farah #12), brows (I swear by Benefit Ka-Brow!), and lipstick (our Liquid Matte in Bombshell is my go-to!). I would say my makeup is ‘all or nothing,’ so I’m either going to be bare-faced or totally glammed up – there is no middle ground. At night, I double cleanse with Tatcha Gel Cleanser and then the Tatcha Cleansing Oil, followed by SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, and Ren Rose O1² Moisture Defence Oil.

What is your best solution to deal with a last-minute breakout?

My skin is actually VERY acne-prone because it is so sensitive which most people wouldn’t know. I tend to break out if I skip a few steps in my skincare regimen or try new products. When I feel a pimple coming on, I always use the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – it honestly works wonders and is effective almost immediately which I love. I also like to use a ripe banana peel to calm my skin when I have a breakout – I just rub the inside of a banana peel on the affected area and leave it and it really helps soothe the skin.

What are your favorite anti-aging in-office treatments that tackle lines, sagging skin, and thinning lips?

I have tried Ultherapy and I loved it, as it naturally lifted my face so everything became a lot tighter and firm without being too dramatic. I also swear by light therapy treatment. The red light Baby Quasar helps with acne, and increases collagen production – it’s really tightened my jawline and pores, and also evened out my skin tone.

What are your favorite anti-aging at-home products that target the sensitive areas around your lips, eyes, face, and neck?

I am OBSESSED with Nurse Jamie who is based in Los Angeles. Her Triangle Facial Beauty Tool is the bomb; it literally contours my face without using any makeup. It uses high-frequency sonic technology to restore firmness around the eyes, brows, the chin, and just lifts everything. It’s super gentle on the skin as well which is great for me.

What are your top recommended products for someone with dry and sensitive skin?

I actually have very dry, and very sensitive skin myself, and I swear by Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask – it’s super moisturizing and great for sensitive skin. Sensitive skin loses moisture really easily so layering really rich hydrating creams that contain ceramides, and niacinamide will really help with keeping skin moisturised. I also use a hydrating mask once a week. I really love the Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Masks – as watermelon extract is great for dry, sensitive skin. A top tip would be to look for products with plant-based ingredients such as aloe, chamomile, evening primrose, rose and argan oil, as these are packed full of nutrients!

What are your top recommended products for someone oily skin?

A good setting powder is one of the most important steps for great-looking skin all day! You can use amazing foundations and the best primers, but ultimately without the right setting powder, your look just isn’t going to last. A setting powder is crucial to keeping your makeup locked in and matte, and the best powders will even blur imperfections.

What's your advice for fixing uneven skin tone?

I swear by SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic. I use it every single night and I noticed such an improvement to my skin tone, especially as I had quite bad acne scars and hyperpigmentation, and it evened it out so well. It’s pretty much erased my acne scars and given me super glowy skin.

Why do foundations and concealers get cakey or peel, and how can it be prevented?

I think this is really about nailing the base, and setting your skin. Depending on the formula of the product, it can cake if you use too much of it. With our Faux Filter Foundation, for example, you only need 1 pump for the entire face, but if you use more than that you might find it starts to cake because there is too much product with a very high pigment. It also depends on the nature of your skin; oily skin can cause foundation to separate, so it’s super important to have a good base that really pulls the foundation onto the skin. If you are using a luminous foundation you will want to set it with a powder to get a really flawless finish, whereas a mattifying foundation won’t require the same level of powder to prevent separation, so you need to be really mindful of the finishes of each of the products you are layering to ensure it doesn’t look cakey.

How do you effectively hide undereye dark circles without the concealer settling in your lines?

We actually just launched our Overachiever Concealer for this very reason! I wanted to create a concealer that would give buildable coverage, yet still be super hydrating so it wouldn’t settle into fine lines. Regardless of which brand you are using, I think hydrating the undereye is always the most important thing, and then baking afterward to help keep the concealer from creasing and smudging. Those two steps are super important for flawless-looking skin!

“I would say my makeup is ‘all or nothing,’ so I’m either going to be bare-faced or totally glammed up – there is no middle ground.”

What about puffy eyes?

The Jade Roller is amazing for making it look like I’ve had 10 hours of sleep on 2! The Jade stone is really soothing – I keep mine in the refrigerator so it’s nice and cool on the skin. The rolling motion boosts circulation and eliminates puffiness by removing the toxins that accumulate under your eyes. Also, using a good eye cream with caffeine is key too. The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% is one of my favorites!

What are your must-have makeup, and skin care products when you're travelling light?

My travel bag always has a bottle of OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam. Seriously, I don’t know what I’d do without dry shampoo in between washing my hair; it helps it to appear fresh, clean, gives me volume, and helps keep my style in place. My ride or die makeup is our #FauxFilter foundation in Brown Sugar. It has literally changed my skin. Benefit Ka-Brow is another must-have for me; shade number three and four are my absolute go-tos - I use the KaBrow every single day. I also always have my Huda Beauty Lip Contour Pencil in Trendsetter - I couldn’t leave the house without it.

What is your favorite face spray for the plane to keep your skin hydrated?

My skin tends to dry out quite a bit on planes, so I always pack products that will hydrate my skin when I am flying. I love the Alpha H Daily Essential Vitamin Mist – I always have it with me for long-haul flights. I spritz it on my face and it gives instant freshness and hydration!