If you’re like me, when you think “African beauty entrepreneur”, there’s not many women that spring immediately to mind. Well, more fool me, because in actual fact, Africa seems to be a hot bed of cosmetics talent. Don’t believe me? Check out these high-flying female powerhouses flying the African flag.
As we know, the fashion and beauty world are intrinsically linked, so it’s no surprise that Somalian model Iman has garnered a loyal following for her self-named range of beauty products, Iman Cosmetics. Speaking in an interview with Refinery29, Iman stated, “I wanted to change the beauty language that I felt was outdated, like ‘ethnic.’ I wanted to create a line for women with skin of color, whether they are Africans, African-Americans, Latinas, Native Americans, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asians, etc. I wanted to create a line for all the beautiful girls around the world who march to the new world-beauty beat.”
So often successful cosmetic lines are born out of alternative careers within beauty, and famous make-up artists are renowned for using their growing star status – and celebrity clients – to help launch their own beauty lines. One such popular Nigerian make-up artist is Jane Ogu. Working alongside Medical Laboratory Scientist Stella Ndekile, the pair launched Nuban Beauty, which promised to give African consumers products of an international standard. The Flawless Faces by Jane business woman is best known for her eye shadow palettes.
Of course, being a celebrity most definitely helps boost sales, and Nigerian media personality Toke Makinwa will undoubtedly draw on her following to boost her new skin whitening skincare collection named Glow by TM. Having teased the launch via her social media channels, Makinwa created the range with California based beauty developer Buluwa in a $2,000,000 partnership. Savvy not only in her steps towards entrepreneurship within beauty, Makinwa is also ticking the boxes when it comes to catering to the anti-ageing market. She said, “The TM collection is created for women of all skin tones and personalities. These steps are key to having ageless spotless skin, getting rid of dark spots, hyper pigmentation, sun burns and sun spots.”
There’s no denying that having famous friends, or family, can help you develop a successful cosmetics line, regardless of your age. And following in the footsteps of then-teen lipkit queen Kylie Jenner, Michelle Gentry, daughter of Nigerian Actress Mercy Aigbe, has certainly drawn on her mother’s notoriety to help launch her successful Michelle Beauty line. The beauty products complements her fashion range and includes popular items such as the liquid lipsticks, with the line expanding regularly.
And finally, previously a lawyer and make-up artist, Tara Fela-Durotoye is one of Africa’s biggest success stories. The Founder of House of Tara International, Fela-Durotoye was named as Forbe’s ’20 Young Power African Women’ in 2013 and evolved the line into a beloved African brand. The entrepreneur has been instrumental in the African market having helped launch campaigns to fight the likes of counterfeiting within the industry.