Huda Kattan, a U.S.-born daughter of Iraqi immigrants, is one of the most successful women influencers in the world. She is listed in the Forbes’ top 50 list of the world’s richest self-made women and her net worth is estimated to be $550 million. Her make-up brand, Huda Beauty, has an estimated value of $1 billion according to Forbes.

However, things weren’t always like that. Huda Kattan used to be just another woman with a passion for makeup and beauty, until she went online and started off her influencing career.

Huda Kattan Influencer
Source: Forbes

Huda Kattan grew up in Oklahoma in a small town where, by her own words, she often felt like a stranger. Her ethnicity was different from her peers, which stirred a lot of problems and often caused her to be bullied. Because of all that, she started to wear makeup at a young age and fell in love with it. She wanted to finally embrace her name and nature, not hiding from the world anymore – and she did exactly that with her Huda Beauty brand.

After her short career in business and finances, she finally decided to quit and become a full-time makeup artist. In 2010, Huda Kattan started a beauty blog, Huda Beauty, which officially kicked off her career as an internet influencer.

The blog, that was mostly filled with “how-to” videos in regards to makeup, quickly took off and took the internet by storm. A lot of girls all around the world loved her content, and she gained worldwide fans on her social media profiles. Slowly but surely, she started gaining traction and building her name as an influencer in beauty niche. As she started to gain popularity among internet fans, Huda decided to finally start her own business, selling beauty products.

Huda Kattan quickly realized that she had a knack for business. She borrowed her first $6000 from her sister and invested some of her own money in order to push her first product to the market – premium false eyelashes that worked perfectly. Her products sold out on the first day, and the key factor was an endorsement from Kim Kardashian herself, who helped Huda build the name she has today. She sold $1.5 million in the first year, and $10 million next year, and the brand has only been growing ever since. Kim Kardashian helped a lot to build this brand, and it is a perfect example of how powerful influence marketing really is. To this day, Huda Kattan is still linked and compared to Kim, with people calling her “The Kim Kardashian of Online Beauty”.

Huda Kattan Kim Kardashian influencers
Kim Kardashian and Huda Kattan in the center

Huda Kattan now runs her Instagram account with 28 million followers, and her YouTube channel has 2.5 million subscribers as well. Most of her sales come from online efforts, purely from influence marketing from her various social media platforms. She claims she never spent a $ on marketing, and she did it all through organic, influencer efforts.

Being a true businesswoman that she is, she doesn’t want to stop there. Huda is also focused on retail sales, and her brand is the top selling in Sephora stores. Her brand sells more than 200 different beauty products that are unique. Kattan says that she eventually wants to build a brand as popular as L’oreal, and she’s on a good path to do exactly that.

We can only wait and see what happens with Huda Beauty from now on, but a $1 billion dollar brand is a pretty good start from someone who started off as a simple influencer. By the end of 2018, the brand will be in more than 900 stores all across the world, and the company will open its first U.S. office in San Francisco or LA.

Huda Beauty’s revenue for 2018 is expected to be roughly $300 million.