Although most beauty enthusiasts are familiar with French and K-beauty trends, many are now looking to the Middle East for inspiration, thanks to a host of popular and engaging influencers who are sharing their love of beauty, fashion, and makeup. Making a name for themselves with followers in the thousands and millions, these noteworthy women are collaborating with beauty and fashion brands as well as creating their own. They’re also shining a long overdue light on Middle Eastern beauty traditions and trends.

Huda Kattan — @hudabeauty

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The undisputed champion of influence is Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty. With approximately 48.1 million followers, this self-made beauty entrepreneur found her calling after being laid off from a recruiting job in finance in 2009. Inspired to explore a career in makeup by her sister, Kattan eventually launched a beauty blog, which grew to become the Huda Beauty brand when she saw a gap in the false eyelashes market. The company is now valued at more than a billion dollars. Born and raised in the U.S., Kattan is the daughter of Iraqi immigrants. She later moved to Dubai where she founded her booming beauty empire and continues to inspire followers with her makeup tutorials and more. Kattan recently stepped down as CEO of Huda Beauty in order to spend more time focusing on what she loves, creating products and content to share with the world.

Fouz Alfahad — @therealfouz

A Kuwaiti makeup artist, influencer, and entrepreneur, Fouz Alfahad got her start sharing makeup tutorials and fashion advice on social media. In addition to collaborating with various brands, such as MAC cosmetics, she also opened a beauty salon, The Real Fouz Beauty, in Kuwait, and created her own makeup collection, By Fouz Beauty. Style-savvy trendsetters will find plenty of fashion inspiration here.  

Mona Kattan — @monakattan

Mona Kattan may be Huda’s younger sister, but she is making her own mark on the beauty scene. In addition to being a cofounder and global president of Huda Beauty, Kattan is also the owner of The Dollhouse, a popular beauty salon with two locations in Dubai. In early 2020, she introduced her own YouTube channel and continues to inspire her Insta followers with a host of inspirational memes, self-help tips, makeup tutorials, and fun giveaways. Her infectious, positive energy is like a daily dose of sunshine.

Maya Ahmad @themayaahmad

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A cycling instructor at Motion Cycling in Dubai, Maya Ahmad is a self-proclaimed beauty junkie, a makeup artist, and a content creator. Originally from Lebanon, she shares her love for travel along with makeup tutorials, beauty and fashion inspiration, and fun Tik Tok videos. Despite her love of makeup, Ahmad doesn’t hesitate to share a makeup-free selfie now and again. In fact, her transformative posts in which she goes from natural to glam are some of her most popular.  

Marriam Mossalli — @marriam.mossalli

Based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Marriam Mossalli is the ultimate female entrepreneur. She is founder of the luxury marketing firm, Niche Arabia, which represents a host of established brands, such as Mercedes Benz, Cadillac Arabia, Fendi, Piaget, and Harvey Nichols. In 2018, Mossalli published Under the Abaya: Street Style from Saudi Arabia, which provides a look at the Saudi fashion scene as well as progressive Saudi women. She is a former news journalist and a features editor. Mossalli created the “Life & Style” section of Arab News, the leading English daily in the Middle East. A contributor to publications such as Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Marie Claire Arabia, and Hia magazine, she is also frequently called upon to comment on the luxury market for outlets such as CNN, Al Arabiya, and MBC. An advocate for female empowerment, this #GirlBoss shares a mix of fashion, family, life in COVID lockdown, and more.