Just like those in fashion, beauty brands, whether major ones like L'Oréal and M.A.C Cosmetics or smaller independent ones, are giving back in various ways amid the coronavirus pandemic. And this has included executives like Huda Kattan opting to forgo their salaries to minimise the impact the COVID-19 crisis has on their workforce. The Founder and Chief Executive of billion-dollar cosmetics empire Huda Beauty has become the latest high-profile figure to make the move in a bid to protect her employees during these difficult times.
Dubai-based Kattan, who employs 267 people, will not be receiving her salary for the rest of the year. Family members linked to the business are also refusing their wages until the end of 2020. These include sisters Mona, the Huda Beauty Co-founder and Global President, and Alya, the Chief Instagram Officer, as well as husband Chris Goncalo, the COO, and father Ibrahim, the supply chain’s Senior Adviser.
“With everything happening in the world right now - people are fighting for their lives, concerned about their health, trying to keep their loved ones safe, all while trying to put food on the table - the pandemic that we’re experiencing has, without a doubt, had a dramatic effect on the global economy and businesses of all sizes, including Huda Beauty.
“Our teams are, and always have been, at the heart of everything we do at Huda Beauty. We’re a family business and we consider each and every member of our team to be a part of our family,” the Iraqi-American beauty mogul told Arabian Business.
What’s one thing we all need right now more than ever? UNITY. I’m proud to stand in solidarity with my fellow leaders in the beauty and wellness industry for the launch of #BeautyUnited —the largest industry wide effort to support frontline healthcare workers combating the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the real heroes, and we can come together to immediately support them with protective equipment and essential medical supplies #beautyunited @thebeautyunited
The company that was valued at $1.2 billion as of 2019 has had to close several centres and delay make-up launches in the wake of government-imposed lockdowns.
Kattan, who used to be a make-up artist, has already donated $1,000 to 100 independent make-up artists, knowing the financial brunt hands-on creatives are feeling as self-isolation measures continue. She told The Business of Fashion: “I was living job to job… what if I had my daughter at that time and I was alone? What would I do for food, what would I do for rent?”
The mega-influencer is also joining fellow leaders in the beauty and wellness industry for the launch of #BeautyUnited, which she described as the “largest industry-wide effort to support frontline healthcare workers combating the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Kattan, who was named one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet by Time Magazine and Digital Innovator of the Year 2018 by Women’s Wear Daily, first got noticed on YouTube and a beauty blog she launched in 2010. By 2013, she founded Huda Beauty, which boasts products ranging from false lashes to skin foundations and eyeshadow palettes. She owns 51 percent of the business that has seen staggering commercial success, with the rest owned by family members or set aside for an employee option pool.