Although the narrative greatly differs today with an influx of majorly creative talents in Nigeria’s booming beauty industry gearing at present to reach the €3.2 billion mark come the near future, a trip down memory lane draws a completely different picture.
Today we salute pioneers, pace setters, industry shapers of the Nigerian makeup space, who inspite of non-existent guarantees bolding embraced passion and carving paths in an uncharted territory, thereby paving way for today’s generation!
Tara Fela-Durotoye – House of Tara International
Nigerian born Lawyer turned pioneering beauty expert. Tara holds her head high as one of the continent’s leading voices in beauty and entrepreneurship. An epitome of entreprenuerial drive and confidence, with foresight, at age 20, in 1998, whilst still in the University she launched her House of Tara brand. A year later, she cemented her place with the establishment of the country’s first ever bridal directory in 1999. In 2004 Tara webt further to establish her beauty academy and her famous House of Tara International – Africa’s foremost indigenous makeup brand Product Line.
Today, highly revered as a prominent figure who played a vital role towards the growth of the makeup industry, an ever passionate voice of female empowerment, the beauty mogul has successfully empowered women with initiatives like her Beauty Entrepreneur scheme which has successfully established over 15,000 women to own their own beauty firms. Ms.Tara has trained over 5,000 professional Makeup Artistes both home and abroad, Rhoke Fella inclusive who have since gone on to launch their successfully brands. She owns over 19 studios.
Her business empire, House of Tara which spreads across The Make-up Studio, The Makeup Academy and TARA product line caters to all women of color. Spotlight came calling for Tara after her feature in Ovation Magazine as the make-up artist behind Jumobi Adegbesan’s look for her wedding to actor Richard Mofe-Damijo.
An alumnus of the Lagos State University with a degree in Law, Lagos Business School Chief Executive Programme, INSEAD Abu Dhabi, Yale University, The Stanford SEED Transformation Programme, and the Harvard Kennedy School, Tara Durotoye sits on the advisory board of Awesome Treasures Foundation and Bridge International Academies. She is also a member of African Leadership Network (ALN).
She is a proud recipient of multiple prestigious awards such as being named amongst one of Forbes 20 Young Power African Women (2013), listed among Forbes 2020 “Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women, a national recognition award from the presidency among others.
Bimpe Onakoya – Artistic Director Maybelline New York Nigeria.
Bimpe Onakoya, a name that definetly needs no introduction. A veteran in the beauty industry with almost two decades wealth of experience, it all started way back as an undergraduate in the University of Lagos, (UNILAG) where she established herself as a go-to girl for makeup, doing her thing without service charge.
Upon graduation, in 2003, her talent paved way when she received a call of a lifetime from makeup veteran Bayo Hasstrup to join his team for the British American Tobacco St Morris Style Selection event. This would go down as her first paid job leading to even more referrals and establishing her as one to watch, with time, she became associated with celebrities, high profile weddings and events.
Soon enough, the top makeup artist received international acclaim and became highly sought after as an authority, working with high profile brands such ws L’Oreal and Maybelline as their Makeup Artistic Director, and a public spokesperson for the brand.
Bimpe also makes history as the the first African-based international make-up artist to work at New York fashion week which saw her collaborate with top notch labels like DKNY and Lacoste. She is passionate about training the next generation and in view of empowering them offers masterclasses among other training opportunities.
Banke Meshida Lawal – BM PRO
Hobby turned high paying business!
Olabanke “Banke” Meshida Lawal Founder and CEO of BMPro Makeup Group, found her passion quite early and as an undergraduate of English in the University of Lagos, she had already built a high base clientele of students.
Her big break however was when she did a job for a roommate’s sister who was getting married. Guests were super impressed, lots of photographs with good reviews followed afterwards. Since then, there’s been no looking back.
BMPro has become a known name
with prestigious awards such as Brand of the Year at the 2009 Eloy Awards, Nigerian Event Awards (2012) for Best Makeup Artist, Makeup Artist of The Year at the FAB AWARDS (2010). Make-Up Artist of The Year (City People Awards 2005), Makeup Brand of the Year (APPOEMN 2017) among others.
Oke Maduewesi – Founder and CEO Zaron Group
A formidable name that has become synoynmous with resilience. A widowed mom of two, Oke Maduewesi was a former Zenith Bank Manager, and later an MBA holder from the University of Leeds, before delving into the makeup industry. She is Founder/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zaron group of companies, comprising Zaron International Limited and Zaron Cosmetics Limited and Skin By Zaron,
Starting out; having done banking for a couple of years in Port Harcourt, Oke believed there was much more out there for her. Determined, she sold everything and started from scratch to relocate to the United Kingdom.
She later kick-started her business idea which she got while doing her MBA at Leeds Business School. In no distant time, her Innovative brand applaudably witnessed tremendous growth and today glarmously holds title of a beauty empire, one of the fastest rising firms in Africa with over 25 franchise outlets and 800+ distributors in Nigeria and other African countries.
The inspiring mom of two, keying from her own experience is also passionate about empowering women all over Nigeria, this she does via her annual Zaron Widow’s Day program.
Eni Balogun – Founder and CEO Lise Beauty Range
Ibidun Eni Fagbemi-Balogun simply known as Eni Lise Balogun is one of Nigeria’s pace setters figures in the beauty industry. She is CEO of Lise Beauty Range Cosmetics. She also owns Lise Beauty Spa.
Drawing her passion from her father who owned a cosmetic business in Nigeria, Groom Away Gray, while shuffling between Nigeria and abroad, before her delve, acquiring experience working with Fashion Fair, M.A.C and Bare Escentuals, the Innovative mind discovered Nigeria was lacking on the opportunity, so she decided to fill the space. Her company Lise Beauty Range launched in 2004, later relaunching two years later.
Now with over 20 years in the industry, this leading lady who ventured into the space at a time when it was hugely unpopular has earned repute as a mentor and an inspiration.
Lise beauty range is known beyond the shores of Nigeria, reaching out to Ghana, Sierra Leone US, and the UK.