Welcome to Beauty Boss, a reoccurring series in which we spotlight the power players driving the beauty world forward. Consider this your chance to steal their get-ahead secrets, and grow from the real-life lessons they’ve learned on the job.

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Beauty Boss
Credit: Huda Beauty

It feels like nothing can stop Huda Kattan. The makeup artist, beauty blogger, and founder of Huda Beauty has millions of followers (29.9 million, to be exact), her influence on social media undeniable. Her eponymous brand is worth approximately a cool $200 million. In the summer of 2017, she was dubbed one of the most influential people on the Internet.

Still, Kattan doesn't rest on her laurels.

"My husband and I love the saying, success is not owned. It’s rented, and rent is due every single day, and I really and truly believe that," Kattan told InStyle. "You need to constantly out-do yourself and constantly improve yourself. When you think you’ve made it, you need to keep pushing because the person next to you or your competitor is also getting better, and you need to be able to stay ahead."

Kattan is doing just that. She just launched Huda Beauty's first sub-brand, a fragrance line called KAYALI, and has plans to break into the skincare market very, very soon. Here, we chatted with Kattan about her beginnings in beauty, what makes a great beauty blog, and more.

How did you get your start in beauty?
I’ve always been obsessed with beauty, but never realized I could actually make a career out of it. I lost my job during the recession after working in the financial sector, and I was lucky enough to turn my hobby into a career after my sister Mona encouraged me to train as a makeup artist. I went to Los Angeles and trained as a makeup artist, and it was honestly the best move I could have made. I was surrounded by so many talented and creative people, so I just knew I was in the place I was meant to be.

Before you launched your product line, you created a blog — what was that like?

I launched the Huda Beauty blog eight years ago to share everything I knew about beauty and to connect with people. I wanted a place to share my honest opinions, give makeup advice, and recommendations. My blog invited women into this world of beauty and makeup, which can sometimes be intimidating, but I really made it as accessible as possible. When we launched the brand, we had the same philosophy: We wanted to change lives, and we wanted to inspire.

So how did the cosmetics brand come about?

When I was working as a makeup artist, I wasn’t satisfied with the style and quality of false lashes that were available at that time. To get the look I wanted, I often ended up stacking and customizing the lashes myself to suit the client’s eye shape. After receiving several inquiries about the lashes I had customized, Mona suggested I start my own line. My older sister Alya lent me some money to get started, and I promised her I would pay her back. I told her that even if nobody bought the lashes I would wear every single pair and pay her every time I wore one — and she agreed! The brand later launched at Sephora in Dubai Mall in February 2013 with a small lash collection, and then we really just grew from there.

Where do you get your ideas for new products?

As a brand, we are fun yet sophisticated, and we are always innovating! Any time we create a new product, we raise the bar and make sure that whatever we are creating will fill a gap in the industry. We want every product to serve a purpose. If there isn’t a need for something or there is already an amazing product available, then we won’t create a new one. We take a lot of inspiration from our social family — we are always asking questions and taking their feedback on board. We lean on them a lot more than they probably realize, so every product launch feels really collaborative.

What’s next for Huda Beauty?

We really want to disrupt the beauty industry. We are actually at a really exciting stage right now as we are just about to launch our first sub-brand under the Huda Beauty umbrella. We have just announced KAYALI — which means ‘my imagination’ in Arabic — and it is the most gorgeous collection of fragrances. We have created four scents, and they are all designed to be layered to create a really unique and distinct scent that is individual to you. Layering is such a cool concept, and it’s something that we practice in the Middle East a lot. We really wanted to make layering mainstream. We also have plans to launch a skincare brand in 2019 — which is also independent of Huda Beauty with its own brand identity — which is a really exciting challenge for us.