Since the makeup boom in Nigeria that was heralded with the arrival of Tara Durotoye’s House of Tara, hundreds of makeup brands have come to limelight, leaving thousands of others struggling hard to find their feet in the highly competitive market. Enrollees in makeup schools keep increasing, many of whom would upon graduation set up their own makeup businesses.
Already, there seems to be too many makeup artists on the streets, leading some to be skeptical about the future of the makeup industry in Nigeria. Does the increase in the number of people streaming into the makeup business line portend an end to the viability of the business? Hardly.
Lately, makeup has gained tremendous acceptance by many Nigerians as an important phenomenon. With the introduction of ‘nude looks’, one would easily take a heavily made-up lady for natural beauty. No matter how religiously inclined, a lady would hardly reject a kind gesture expressed in the form a little face lift. And as the digital media gradually sends the traditional media to the archives and ordinary people rise to fame overnight – via likes and followers on social media, there is a rising number of ‘social media celebrities’ and this in turn means more jobs for makeup artists.
The growth of the Nigerian movie industry also has a multiplier effect on the makeup industry in Nigeria. Films are churned out in the movie industry almost on a daily basis with little or no quality – with the exception of few great productions. But one thing you can be sure to get on a set of a typical Nigerian movie – good bad or ugly – is a makeup artist. From creating accident scenes to making an actor look like she’s been domestically violated, makeup artists’ role in movie making cannot be swept under the carpet. The Nigerian music industry similarly relies heavily on the services of costumers and makeup artists to create any music video that appropriately interprets a lyric.
In the cooperate world, you’ll find more women are embracing makeup as a way of self-presentation. At meetings, business presentations and conferences, women put in enormous efforts to look presentable to colleagues and networkers. It is not surprising then that women spend hours before an outing looking for just the right lipstick No or the foundation that matches their exact skin colour. For women who do not have such luxury of time, but still desire that striking perfect look, employing the services of professional makeup artists for home services become the only suitable option. Such women would usually be willing to pay any reasonable amount charged by a makeup artist. With public figures like renowned story teller Chimanada Ngozi Adichie coming out to accept fashion, style and of course different lipstick shades, the stereotyping of women in leadership positions is vehemently frowned at. Women who are in leadership positions across industries are gaining freedom to express themselves and of course apply makeup in the proportion and manner determined by them. Interestingly, with today’s career women embracing fashion, style and makeup, more opportunities are opened for makeup artists to fill and in turn satisfy the needs of the today’s woman.
And who would want to attend ‘owanbe’ looking dowdy these days? Every lady wants to land at the wedding venue mistaken for the bride. With the endless trends in head gear styles, makeup artists cum head gear experts are essentials for every party freaks. I need not mention the amount of money many brides are willing to part with in the name of dazzling on their day. A large chunk of a bride’s budget usually go into her makeup and dress and with the speed at which just anything can go viral these days, no bride will want to take the chance of doing her makeup by herself.
From the foregoing, it is evident that the services of professional makeup artists will continue to be needed and demanded more than ever. In coming years, makeup professionals will focus on makeup products that accentuates natural beauty to cater to the needs of people with preference for less elaborate looks. More young undergraduates, young student entrepreneurs, and graduates will enroll in makeup schools. More makeup schools will be opened. More indigenous makeup products will be launched. More makeup artists will emerge. More beauty shops will be opened. More people will accept makeup not as a luxury but as a necessity. But will this influx into the makeup industry amount to artists not making money from the makeup business? No. But professionalism will make the whole difference.