Inside A Mega-Famous Beauty Blogger's Massive Makeup Closet

Photo: Courtesy of Creative Closets UAE.
I thought I knew beauty until I moved to the Middle East. Even though I have more than 10 years of experience writing about products, ingredients, trends, and covering backstage at Fashion Week in NYC, beauty in the Middle East feels like it's in a league of its own. I quickly learned that if you want to really know beauty in this region, you would be amiss not to get to know Dubai-based beauty expert Huda Kattan, more commonly known by her IG handle @hudabeauty.

The American-born Iraqi makeup artist has tended to famous faces like Eva Longoria and Nicole Richie, as well as members of the Emirati royal family. She grew to be one of the most successful and recognized Instagram stars and businesswomen after launching her lash designs at Sephora.
I’ve met a lot of people in the industry in my years as a writer and editor at Allure, but I can say, hands down, that she is easily one of the biggest connoisseurs of beauty I've ever encountered. I first met Kattan when I interviewed her for a story during a short stopover in Dubai. She impressed me so much that five months later, I decided to pack my bags and move from New York to Dubai to join her team. What I’ve learned during my day-to-day in the office is that Kattan is really and truly a well of beauty knowledge. I learn something new from her every single day. (Rubbing potatoes on your skin twice a day to lighten your underarms? Yep, it works.) Having spent so many years in the industry, it’s refreshing to see that she still gets giddy when she comes across a great new product.

So when Kattan shared that she converted her master bedroom into her “dream closet,” complete with an attached bathroom, I had to see for myself how someone who owns over 10,000 beauty products (and that’s not even counting the ones in her office) organizes her life.

“My closet is my sanctuary,” she says. “We didn’t grow up with a lot of money, so it’s the small things that make such a difference to you as a person and give you that fuel to work hard. My closet is one of those things. That’s why I put so much energy into this.”
Keep clicking to get an exclusive peek into Kattan's personal beauty wonderland. Our tiny medicine cabinets are seething with jealousy.
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Photo: Courtesy of Creative Closets UAE.
Dressing Table
"Putting makeup on is very meditative to me, so seeing something really beautiful around me while I do that was very important to me. When I want to relax and unplug, I’ll play some classical music and do my makeup here. I have meetings in here, my Skype calls happen here. The lighting is also great to do my ‘Get Ready with Me’ videos."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
Candy Jars
"Growing up, I wanted to live in this fantasy world where makeup was displayed like candy. Now, I like to play on these things — it all comes alive to me when I put pretty, colorful makeup in a candy jar. I think it speaks to my inner child."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
"I love displaying things like art. I put my perfume on mirrored trays. You can put anything on there — you can even put your toothbrush on one, and it makes everything look more beautiful and royal. I picked these up from a furniture store here called The One."
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Photo: Courtesy of Creative Closets UAE.
"Ever since I read something about Beyoncé having so many wigs, I just wanted a ton of them. The reality is, I am a mom and there are a lot of days I don’t even get to wash my hair or do my nails, so I always like to have press-on nails and wigs for those times. It helps me express myself and how I feel that day without needing the time and energy put into it."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
Lip-Gloss Jars
"Even though we’ve thankfully grown as a company and I’m able to spend more now, I still hold on to, How can I make things look really expensive without it costing a lot? I like to put expensive makeup on inexpensive decor, and it makes it look so elegant and beautiful. The glass jars here are from Dragon Mart, which is basically like Chinatown here. You can find these here in different sizes, and they’re maybe $4 or $5. Putting your lip glosses in things like this...[looks] artistic and fun."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
"I love real flowers, but I don’t put them in my closet. It’s not the right place for them — there’s no light, and they’d just die. So I typically get fake flowers like these."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
"Growing up we never had candles around, so I think that’s why I like having them around even more now. I like my closet to smell flowery — I really love the scent of Diptyque and Fornasetti candles. [The Fornasetti here] has a light smell of sandalwood. I like that it looks like a funky piece of art. It adds a little character to the room."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
Labeled Drawers
"I have drawers and drawers of makeup that I’ve labeled and am still organizing. I go through them every [few months] and donate them. My mom goes to different parts of the Middle East, like Jordan and Iraq, and you’d be surprised how obsessed they are with Maybelline! They’d even take a used product — it’s crazy. I just give them to my mom to donate. They freak out over some of these drugstore brands, like L’Oréal and Rimmel London — they just love it."
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Photo: Courtesy of Creative Closets UAE.
"I got my closet done by Creative Closets [Ed. note: a bespoke closet service], but I definitely think you can do things on a budget, too. My first closet was done by Ikea, and I spent $3,000 to do the whole thing — a big investment for me at the time. I got this chandelier from Dragon Mart for $200. I’ve had it for seven years, and thought it still fits with the aesthetic of my new closet."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
"Shoes to me are decor; so are bags. I think things like those should be displayed as art. I don’t think they should be hidden away."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
Beauty Vitamins
"I keep beauty vitamins like these ones from Hum Nutrition on my dressing table, so I can remember to take them. [Health is] really important to me."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
Tweezer Tray
"I like to have all my necessities in little containers like this. My tweezers and scissors, and my facial razors — which I do use — are all here."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
Eyebrow Drawer
"I like to keep my eyebrow and eyelash conditioners here. I get a lot of these clear containers from Muji."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
"Probably the weirdest place I’ve gone to pick up decor is from a place in Covent Garden in London. I have a thing for matryoshkas, and I got this one from there... I just thought there is something powerful about her."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
"Some people buy magnets when they travel. When I go to a new country, I go straight to the pharmacy to pick up beauty products, and then I’m off to buy sunglasses. I love the big, mirrored ones I picked up in Korea. I used to have them in drawers and I kind of hated that they were hidden away. I like how these are displayed on a shelf [near the door]. I come here, look in the mirror to see what works, and I’m off.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
Bath-Bomb Vases
"My baths are really important to me. I take [a bath] every single day for at least 10 minutes. It’s my time to unwind and just not think of anything. I’m obsessed with Lush’s Bath Bombs, and definitely splurge on them. I love to see the pop of color, so I store them in these clear flower vases."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
Mother-Of-Pearl Bowl
"This bowl is really important to me; I got it from the Maldives. I hadn’t vacationed in four years, and that trip made me think about how short life is and [that] you should just enjoy it and not work all the time. This bowl is a good reminder for me to take more vacations."
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
"I definitely buy more makeup than I get [sent to me]. I think a lot of bloggers will wait for people to send them products, and I consider myself a blogger but also a beauty enthusiast — so sometimes, I just can’t wait for people to send us products. I have this weird need to try everything — it’s so bizarre."
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