What I Learned About the Huda Beauty Empire When Mona Kattan Slid Into My DMs

A few weeks ago, after I wrote about the #BeautyBoss brunch crew that includes Kim Kardashian, Jen Atkin, and Huda and Mona Kattan, Mona herself slid into my DMs. Casual, I know. She graciously thanked me for the article, and I straight-up swooned when she called me "darling."

Does that make me an honorary member of the #BeautyBoss squad? Probably not, but talking to Mona let me pretend I was. I can't think of any beauty junkie who wouldn't want in on the Kattan Empire. After all, Mona is sister to Huda, who is often cited as the most influential player in the beauty world today.

Along with giving the world such covetable products as the Lip Strobe, 3-D Highlighter, and Desert Dusk Palette, Huda is also followed by 20.5+ million people on Instagram. So, of course, a social media maven such as Huda needs an equally fabulous team supporting her every 'gram.

We all know what an "Instagram husband" is — maybe you're lucky enough to have a social-media-savvy boo of your own who's always ready to snap pictures of you looking your best. Well, Mona is Huda's Instagram sister, which we like to think of as a fierce mix of IG hubby, business partner, and best friend.

Read on for everything you need to know about how to be the perfect Instagram sister, plus an exclusive update on what's really going to happen with the #BeautyBoss brunch crew. (Hint: new products could be in the works!)

Step 1: Know Good Sh*t When You See It

We actually have Mona to thank for the entire Huda Beauty empire. Back in 2013, the Kattan family lived in Dubai, where Mona runs a salon chain called Dollhouse. It was the youngest sister (Huda is the middle child and Alya is the oldest) who first suggested that Huda create products.

Huda was working in finance but would moonlight as a lash guru to some of Mona's friends. Everyone wanted to buy Huda's lashes, but they couldn't, because she made them herself. According to Mona, "One day it just hit me that we could start our own lash line!"

Step 2: Work, Work, Work, Work, Work

But it didn't come easy: "Alya quit her job and invested all her money into this dream, and the three of us worked together." When the group finally perfected their lashes, they pitched the idea to a cosmetics company. The brand agreed to mass-produce the lashes.

Eventually, the Sephora Dubai Mall picked up the young brand. "We're the biggest launch they've ever had," Mona said. Four years later, Huda Beauty now sells a full range of makeup that all started with one suggestion by Mona. And that, friends, is how Instagram sisters hustle.

Step 3: Don't Follow Trends — Create Them

Mona's mastered not one but two very different beauty industries. She's a native of the Middle East who jet-sets from Dubai to LA very frequently. Despite the vast cultural differences between the continents, Mona thinks that, for the most part, we all just want to look pretty.

And according to Mona, social media has "globally unified" makeup styles. Perhaps that's why she and her sisters' Instagram pages regularly feature up-and-coming makeup artists from around the globe.

Step 4: Give the People What They Want

On a recent afternoon, we swept through Huda's Instagram and noticed representation from three continents and countless more countries. Mona believes Instagram makeup has the power to "inspire people from all over the world" in hopes of creating a more inclusive beauty landscape. A prime example of this is the Kattans' emphasis on creating products like the 3D Highlighter, a rare breed of powder that will actually show on a wide range of skin tones.

When pressed for the one difference between US and Middle Eastern beauty, Mona said that American women "are more comfortable with using heavier makeup on a regular basis." (Busted.)

Step 5: Keep Up With the Kattans

The perfect Instagram sister must manage the overlap between her personal and professional life. Since Mona works with her family, that presents a certain set of workplace challenges. When asked if she treats her sisters any differently when they're on the clock, Mona said, "I think that's impossible. You can never shut off from the responsibility of owning a business, and I don't think we necessarily need to shut off from being partners to be sisters."

One problem that overlaps both their personal and professional lives is, unsurprisingly, makeup. "We still play tug-of-war over a new product that one of us gets first, even though we both have so much."

But Mona insists that she likes to keep everyday makeup light. Her personal go-tos include mineral foundation, mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick. If she's feeling fancy, she might add a "light contour."

Step 6: Know Who the Cool Kids Are

I asked Mona who she thinks the "next Huda" is (not that the OG one is going anywhere anytime soon). Her answer was sweetly diplomatic: "There's so many talented people doing amazing things with themselves, but they're their own individuals, and I don't want to say they're the next anything but themselves."

However, one name in particular stands out the most. "I think it would be [Huda's] daughter Nour; she's so super talented and artistic — she can't wait to work with us!" She's also only 6 years old, so Nour's got a long, bright future ahead of her.

Step 7: Learn From Your Mistakes

There's one piece of beauty advice Mona needs Nour (and other youngins) to know: don't overtweeze! "It's my biggest beauty regret," Mona admitted — and she blames Huda! "As the younger sister, I'd copy everything she did," Mona said. "Huda had a unibrow but I didn't, so I just ended up taking from the front of my brows."

With that in mind, if you got your hands on the Huda x Tweezerman collab that launched this past Summer, use a light hand!

Step 8: Get Out of Town

It's staggering — and, quite frankly, a little intimidating — to see just how popular Huda Beauty is. So unsurprisingly, the perks of being an Instagram sister are fabulous. Mona revealed that she's regularly treated to "priority reservations and free things." On top of that, Huda can make up to $18,000 per Instagram post — that's more than a year's tuition at some colleges.

Despite the luxury, being an Instagram sister is not always easy. "Sometimes we can't go out and have fun," Mona said, and that's probably a big reason she encourages her family to split time between two different countries. "I think traveling is a good choice for us."

Step 9: Always Leave Them Wanting More

We all need to know: is the #BeautyBrunch team collaborating? The answer is . . . anything is possible. According to Mona, that was the first day she "properly" met Kim Kardashian. For the record, Mona says that the Kardashian is "super sweet and down to Earth." Since Jen Atkin is a close friend whom the Kattan sisters "look up to a lot," it was a no-brainer to invite the hair guru, too.

The "possibility" of collaborating in the "future" was something that came up at brunch, but no tangible moves have been made yet. Mona's choosing to remain coy on the subject, only saying, "More than anything, it was just a fun, girls brunch celebrating beauty bosses!" In other words, this Instagram sister's lips are sealed.