Nigeria's booming beauty industry


However about 10 to 15 years ago, only celebrities and the elite in the country wore makeup.

These days, more parents are even willing to let their children go into the booming industry.

“Time has changed. People are more aware, they want to look good, there’s a cultural shift and as a result, there’s a market for it,” Bimpe Onakoya, Head Makeup Artist, Elite Pro Nigeria told CNBC Africa.


According to Onakoya, once most young people leave higher institution, they really don’t want to work for any company as they would rather go and do their own thing than apply to firms.

“As a result, I am a makeup artist, I run a training school, I train students and when they are done, there’s always a job for them. So it’s just a big market and I’m sure that if our parents had known about this, they’d have loved to do it, but they were not aware,” she explained.

In addition, as unemployment continues to remain a huge problem in the West African country, this industry is seeing a surge of young people and thus expanding the market tremendously. Nevertheless, Onakoya attributes the interest in the industry to the inter-connectivity of the world.

“The world has become a global village, a Nigerian person living in Ondo, can see what their American counterpart is doing and they want to look as good and now, they don’t even just want to look as good, they want to look better.”

As a result of this, a lot of international brands such as MAC and Maybelline are coming into Nigeria and she believes that there is a huge platform for them in the country.

“We like our ‘Owambes’ and everybody wants to look good. Over the weekend from Thursday to Friday, makeup artists make so much money, they always smile to the bank, they make in a day, what some people earn in a month,” she said.

Nonetheless, she believes that with the high cost of doing business in Nigeria, one of the only ways international make up brands can survive in the country is by being affordable and she is certain that if the products are affordable, Nigerians will buy.

However, with local brands in the country still facing a lot of doubt from the consumers, the influx of the international brands could hurt them further.

“It’s all about how you place yourself out there and the only issue is that Nigerians don’t trust anything local. It’s not just about makeup, it’s in every other industry. They don’t trust anything local because they feel you’re copying the other people and that you have not done your proper testing,” she added.