What the world doesn’t need right now is one more celebrity launching their own beauty line. These words are not far from what Lady Gaga said right before she unveiled her new cosmetics brand, Haus Laboratories. African stars are stepping into the shoes of international beauty moguls as Jessica Alba and Kylie Jenner who have driven their businesses to a billion dollar empire.
With the familiar line, “since I was a little girl, I loved make-ing up”, these celebs have gained compassion and built sales of their products. Last year, actress and producer Chika Ike revealed her range of lipsticks after posting pink floral shots of herself in high-waisted bum panties, it was clear to see the direction she was heading. Though production looked scanty, her logo, which could be mistaken for the iconic Chanel brand logo was a cliché in pink. The hardworking star managed to get things in order and set her brand to gain a bit of momentum.
At the first quarter of 2020, media personality Toke Makinwa decided to take a deep dive into this congested pool, announcing her own line, TM Beauty, after posing in skin tight neutral leotard in a Kim-Kardashian-esque photoshoot, not surprisingly. The shots from her self-modelled campaign turned out highly impressive.
Money, Money, Money, let’s make some money!
Both Toke and Chika possess the perseverance of a modern day female entrepreneur, they are harnessing all their skills, potentials and connections to convert production into massive income. Chika who is tied down to her numerous engagements as an entertainer is fighting to keep tabs and has sadly gotten some attention off from the beauty empire she is trying to create. After just one media press briefing, she has settled to promote via Instagram posts. Toke on the other hand, who is not fully engaged in any long-term obligation and luckily a social butterfly, will have all the time to run around and practically apply her products on people by herself, like Rihanna did with Fenty Beauty.
“The sky is large enough for us to fly” does not apply to these Lagos-based celebrities who have to convince a limited market to buy their products when (likely-potential) buyers are already used to, and swear by Mac (cosmetics).
In a world drifting to environment-friendly products, these Nigerian entrepreneurs may have omitted telling us the chemical composition of the products they so much want us to buy and whether there are made locally or internationally (as we are also promoting Nigerian-made goods these days) or the brand production story therein.
No doubts, both stars peek into each other’s social media pages to “spy” on what their “competition” is putting up, but even the top beauty moguls in the world at some point reached their peak and had to employ some business strategies to stay relevant. A few Nigerian celebrities (one, Moyo Lawal) started up a small scale makeup line which only lasted for as long as the product photoshoot. Toke and Chika have built a solid production team and it’s safe to say that they can trade within Africa (or intercontinentally).
Toke Makinwa of TM Beauty, Chika Ike of Chika Cosmetics. Say hello to Nigeria’s rising cash queens of beauty.