Talk about a sister act.
Mona Kattan and Huda Kattan have become stalwarts in the beauty world with their respective brands, Kayali and Huda Beauty, but it wasn’t until now that the sisters officially collaborated on a collection, dubbed Lovefest.
“Huda and I grew up so close together; we’re a year and a half apart,” said Mona. “I’ve always wanted to do everything with her. So, naturally, I’ve always dreamed about creating a Huda Beauty meets Kayali collab. To be honest, she was always on the fence because fragrance is my thing and color cosmetics is her thing. But with Lovefest, when she saw the concept, she was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I need to create something with you.’”
The cross-brand collection features the new Kayali Lovefest Black Cherry Eau de Parfum, a warm, woody gourmand scent with a spicy kick. Then there’s newness from Huda Beauty: The Huda Beauty Lovefest Obsessions eyeshadow palette, blush, eyeliner, mascara, and a limited-edition lip quad.
Mona came up with the concept of Lovefest during Covid in 2020, when she was longing for connection and celebration. “After we all had such a long lockdown, I was craving that feeling of being with people,” she said. “In my head, I started creating this love festival. I was picturing Coachella meets Burning Man, if the two had a baby, celebrating life, love, and people.”
Mona and Huda created the fragrance and makeup on their own, respectively, but both took the festival theme look and feel to heart.
“There was a lot of collaboration from that perspective,” Mona said. “We don’t always agree when it comes to fragrances, [but] for this one she was like, ‘I’m obsessed with it.’ Everybody loves it. It has such a wide spectrum of appeal, which is really exciting.”
From the moment she knew she was creating the fragrance, Mona had a cherry note in mind, as she imagined cherries with whipped cream, Shirley Temples, and waffles with cherries for a festival theme.
“Cherries make me feel really happy,” Mona said. “When you smell a cherry, you think of it on top of whipped cream or ice cream or something that’s going to make you feel excited to eat, and usually celebratory as well. The cherry note had to be there. We ended up making it a burning cherry—there are nice woody notes in the juice—so it almost smells like a cherry on fire in the woods.”
Long before she was at the helm of Kayali, Mona has always loved fragrance. She has collected more than 4,000 bottles of perfume from all around the world over the last decade. When she got her first job at age 14, her first paycheck went toward perfume. “I fell in love with fragrance as a child,” Mona said. “I was obsessed with the sense of smell before I discovered fragrances, like the smell of freshly baked bread or cake. The sense of smell really moved me. My theory is that’s because I’m a highly sensitive person and super emotional. I feel like the more emotional you are, the more you appreciate the sense of smell because it’s an emotional sense. Fragrances have the ability to transform your mood and change how you feel. To me, that is magical.”
On the color cosmetics side of Lovefest, the hues are exactly what you’d imagine for a festival dedicated to love: warm, rich tones, such as the eyeshadow palette that features orange and aubergine mattes, as well as cherry and grape shimmers, to name a few. “It’s one of my favorite collections she’s created so far,” Mona said. “It works so well for the theme, especially the orange lip. It’s almost like you’ve been in a fire or the sun—you look a bit toasty.”
When Huda Beauty launched, Mona worked behind the scenes on the business side and on strategy, helping to build the brand, so Lovefest is a full circle moment for the sisters. “It’s been super fun but also a little bit stressful because I think I drive her crazy and she’ll drive me crazy, too,” Mona said. “But I wouldn’t choose anybody else to collaborate with—this is definitely my dream collab.”