Beauty mogul Huda Kattan’s entire stock of Mercury Retrograde eyeshadow palettes sold out in just one second last week as she launched her namesake brand on Tmall Global, China’s biggest cross-border e-commerce platform.
The Dubai-based brand made some of its most popular products available on the Alibaba Group-owned online marketplace. These included eyeshadow palettes, liquid lipsticks, foundations, blush and Huda’s famed false eyelashes. The brand has plans to ultimately bring its full product range to the platform to meet consumer demands. According to Tmall Global, more than 300,000 people visited Huda Beauty’s flagship store on its opening day last Wednesday.
From Blogger to Beauty Maven
Kattan founded a beauty blog out of her flat in Dubai in 2010. Three years later, she launched her first products – a line of false eyelashes, famously worn by Kim Kardashian West. Today, the Iraqi-American influencer is at the helm of one of the world’s fastest-growing beauty brands. She’s also amassed over 42.3 million followers on Instagram and was featured on Forbes’ 2019 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women.
True to form, the influencer-turned-entrepreneur turned to social media and partnered up with internet celebrity Austin Li to drive excitement for her new store opening. Kattan challenged Li, also known as “Lipstick Brother,” to create a spring makeup look on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. Li also recommended Huda Beauty’s products to viewers during a livestream on Alibaba’s Taobao Live channel, which clocked over 12 million views.
“We have always had a consumer-first approach and are constantly striving to provide them with the best shopping experience possible. As a platform, Tmall Global seems to be the perfect fit when keeping the consumer journey and experience top of mind,” Kattan said.
According to Kattan, her brand’s partnership with Tmall Global has been a completely new experience unlike any other collaboration, thanks to the variety of technologies on offer to attract and retain customers.
The brand is looking to take its digital presence in China to the next level with the e-commerce platform, including through collaborating with local influencers and brands and further connecting with fans.
“In partnering with Tmall Global, we’re hoping to connect with the beauty community in China on a deeper level to get a thorough understanding of what they need, what they are looking for and how we can best service them,” Kattan said. “This is a really strong step for us in China, and we’re excited to learn as much as we can and service this community in the best and most inspiring way possible.”
Huda Beauty’s launch comes as a time of rapid growth for China’s eye-makeup category. According to figures from Tmall Global, eyeshadow sales increased by 40% year-over-year.
This beauty boom has been driven in part by the popularity of “mask makeup looks,” a trending phrase on social media that took off when Chinese beauty influencers began sharing makeup looks to wear with surgical masks amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Per Taobao Live, a series of livestream sessions on how to create makeup looks while wearing masks attracted 8.2 million viewers on Feb. 18, and led to a 150% month-over-month sales increase of eye shadow palettes that week.
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