5 woman entrepreneur-owned brands that revolutionized Nigeria’s Beauty Industry

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Makeup and beauty business could hardly be termed as an industry some 15 years years ago in Nigeria and most of Africa. The terrain was new and sparsely populated with a lot of skepticism surrounding it. Well, what do you know! This is no longer the case and the industry even has its own ‘big names’ now.

It is more than a decade since makeup and beauty became serious business around here and each of the 5 home-grown labels featured in  this article has contributed immensely to the transformation in the now booming multi-million dollar industry.

For one, an Euromonitor International report valued the beauty and personal care sector at $595.8m in 2011, up from $439.8m in 2006. It also predicted that by 2016, Nigeria’s young yet increasingly sophisticated population will drive industry sales to $620.2m


Founded by Tara Fela-Durotoye in 1998, HOTI is a pioneer in makeup artistry in Nigeria and the brand has grown beyond these borders to beautify as well as empower women in neighboring countries. Seemingly growing in leaps and bounds, HOTI launched its new corporate office in Lekki, Lagos a few weeks ago.

From establishing Nigeria’s first makeup school back in 2004, HOTI now has more than 20 stores and studios in 11 states across Nigeria; and has launched its African-inspired products in Ghana and Kenya, with plans to launch in more African countries soon. Owner, Tara, has been featured both on Forbes and CNN African Voices for her entrepreneurial strides on Africa’s landscape.

Simultaneously operating its make-up studios, makeup academy, and the TARA product line, the company today employs over 100 people and has a considerable network of about 4,000 beauty sales reps across the country.

House of Tara in Kenya

House of Tara in Kenya


Founded by Banke Meshida-Lawal, one of Nigeria’s foremost makeup artists and multiple award winner. Since she went from just being a makeup artist to starting her own makeup brand, the Banke Meshida Professional Makeup (BMPRO) line has grown from 14 products in 2005 to well over 100 today. BM PRO’s distribution channels also extend beyond Nigeria to Ghana, UK, USA, and Canada.

Banke regularly feeds her loyal clientele and followers with makeup, hair and beauty hacks through her personal blog bankemeshidalawal.blogspot.com.

Banke Meshida-Lawal


Premium beauty brand, Zaron boasts of lifestyle products that enhance confidence and inner peace for Nigerian and by extension, African women. Founded by Oke Maduewesi and launched in Nigeria in 2011, Zaron has quickly become a preferred brand for Nigerian women home and abroad.

The brand currently has 26 outlets spread across Nigeria and Ghana, with distributors in about three other African countries, UK, and USA. Zaron also gives back to its host communities by empowering widows in Nigeria.
The Zaron brand consists of highly-pigmented makeup products and lifestyle products for people of colour.

Zaron ambassador, Rita Dominic and models

Zaron ambassador, Rita Dominic and models


Lise beauty range was launched in Nigeria in 2006 by Enitan Balogun, a US certified makeup artist. The brand has quickly grown a huge following in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone US, UK, and the US particularly in its home base – New York, where all international orders ship from.

LISE boasts a complete line of makeup and skin care products as well as practicable help tips that educate customers on how to get the best out of their beauty products.

 Enitan Balogun in the middle

Enitan Balogun in the middle


Kuddy Cosmetics is recognized in the beauty circles as one of the very first makeup stores to launch in Nigeria. Owned by the reserved Kudirat Fashola, it focuses mainly on the wholesale, distribution, and retail of beauty merchandise.

Kuddy started by acquiring exclusive distribution rights for several international makeup brands, a list that has grown to more than 300 brands as of today. Major brands in Kuddy stores include Black Opal, Kuddy Cosmetics, Makari, Queen Helene, Ardell, China Glaze, Bump Stopper, Alpen Secrets, Pielor, Bio Balance, and Petal Fresh. Local brands like Tara and Zaron are also supported by Kuddy.

Kuddy cosmetics has since launched its own makeup and beauty line of products and sells from about 10 brick and mortar stores as well as its two online platforms – kuddyonline.com and iyaoloja.com




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