As reality TV show Huda Boss debuts, Ahlan! exclusively caught up with beauty powerhouse Mona Kattan to chat on-screen drama, A-list BFFs and go-to karaoke favourites...
Mona Kattan is, simply put, a beauty phenomenon, having built a cosmetic empire, starting with the ever-growing salon, The Dollhouse Dubai. Not to mention the millions of Instagram fans, who turn to her and sister Huda Kattan for advice for all things beauty.
This summer, however, expect to see a different side to Mona and her family. Along with her sister, Mona is giving us fly-on-the-wall insight into her life with brand new reality series, Huda Boss, which is now available to stream on Facebook Watch.
We caught up with Mona for a fun day of pampering at the Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai to find out all about the gruelling schedule of a reality TV show, catching up with all of her A-list BFFs in Hollywood, and why she’d rather you didn’t keep comparing the Kattans to the Kardashians.
What do you think people will make of Huda Boss?
I really feel that people are going to see a side of our family that they’ve never seen before. I think they’re going to see the craziness that goes into running our business, and all the stress and chaos. That is going to be kind of interesting, I feel, because a lot of the time, through social media, you only see the positive side of things – the perfect selfies and the finished product – but nobody knows what it takes to get there. So I think that, through the show, people are really going to have an inside scoop into what actually goes on. I think they’re also going to get to know our family. We have a very funny family dynamic; our family is goofy and kind of dysfunctional in our own ways. So people are going to get to see that, which will be interesting, I hope! I hope people will like it.
Are you nervous about people watching your family life on screen?
I guess I am a bit nervous about it. At the end of the day, we are Middle Eastern/Americans, so we don’t really fit into a box. I hope people will be accepting of that. We’re definitely not your typical family.
What do you think will surprise viewers most?
People will be most surprised seeing how hard we work, and seeing how much goes into everything. There’s a lot of pressure and a lot of sacrifice. I don’t know if it’s going to be reflected in the show, but we spend our entire working day working on the brands. We just keep going, and as a family, we keep pushing each other, and help each other to succeed.
In the past, people have drawn parallels between your family and the Kardashians. do you think the comparisons will be drawn even more now with the reality show?
Sometimes it’s flattering when you get the comparisons. They are beautiful and great in their own right. But I do think we’re so different, so I don’t think there is too much to compare, besides us being sisters and we look… well, they look Middle Eastern, we are Middle Eastern. And they have a “K” last name! It’s so funny, we were debating what we were going to call the show. Huda Boss was one of the options but there were a few others, and we didn’t want to use our last name, Kattan, because we felt people would compare us. So we were like, “Okay, let’s drop our last name.” We try to avoid the comparisons, we are our own people, our lives are very different. They’re all really lovely and more power to them, but don’t compare us [laughs].
You have hung out with them in the past though?
I have only met Kim twice and sat down with her properly once. I have met Khloe in passing a few times, but only at events. We have kept in touch, you know, she’s always sending us her products. She’s very nice and, surprisingly, very humble for someone with that big of a following and that many fans. She’s extremely humble and very down to earth. She cares a lot about her family, which I really respect.
Can we expect any famous faces to pop up on Huda Boss, then?
We are going to have a few famous faces! We have Jen Atkin, Nurse Jamie and Jerrod (Blandino) and Jeremy (Johnson) – the founders of Two Faced. I think that’s it for the moment…
Last summer you spent a lot of time with Jen Atkin and Eva Longoria when you were in LA. You’re heading back this summer. will you be hanging out with them again?
We probably will see Eva in LA this summer. She’s pregnant so we just want to shower her with love. We’ll probably see Jen too…
You famously did karaoke with John Legend and Chrissy Teigen last year. what’s your favourite karaoke jam?
I have so many. I am obsessed with karaoke. I am the karaoke queen, I kind of take over when I am at a karaoke place. I love anything by Fleetwood Mac and No Doubt. I love Don’t Speak by No Doubt and Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, well… pretty much all of their songs, actually. I am a very old school girl when I do karaoke.
What are you looking forward to most this summer?
I am looking forward to, if I’m honest, being done with filming! We’re still filming and we’re behind schedule. We’ll be filming a lot longer than we anticipated. It’s been a lot of work. I think that a lot of people don’t realise how much work goes into filming a show. In fact, I don’t think we realised how much work it would be. So I am kind of looking forward to being done with it. Even though it’s been incredible, I am looking forward to getting my rhythm back. I am also hoping to go on a health retreat in Spain or Thailand.
If you hadn’t gone into the beauty industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
There are two things, and I do hope I get to do them at some point in life. I would love to study agricultural and environmental science. I want to help the world with all of the environmental problems we’re facing. I wish I was more educated about it. With the way the world is going, if we don’t all help, there’s going to be a huge problem… no healthy food or water. So I really want to do something for the planet. When I get more free time, I am going to start researching ways I can contribute to helping. That is very important to me. Another thing that I would like to do, hopefully within the next five years, is become a life coach. That might sound funny, but I am thinking of starting coaching as a volunteer. I love helping people. Nothing gives me more joy than helping people, so I hope to do something with that eventually. Tony Robbins is my biggest role model in life. I love him so much and hope to follow in his footsteps.
Credits: Interview: Farah Andrews. Photography: Ausra Osipaviciute. Wardrobe: Cole Haan, DKNY, On Time. Location: Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai. Hair and makeup: The Dollhouse Dubai.