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How To's

How To Start A Makeup Business In Nigeria

In this article, you will find the tenets of starting a makeup business in Nigeria. With the rising rate of unemployment in the country, it is important to learn a skill.

Even though we cannot all become entrepreneurs, the good of skill acquisition cannot be over emphasized in Nigeria.

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Starting a makeup business is currently the dream of six out of ten Nigerian young ladies and a few young men. Suffice to say the economic situation in the country has spurred a lot of youth into action.

Read Also: How To Become A Professional Makeup Artist In Nigeria

How To Start A Makeup Business In Nigeria
Make-Up Business in Nigeria – Photo Source: https://www.wealthresult.com

Bagging a degree certificate is no longer adequate; its either one learns a skill or die of poverty. A lot of Nigerians today earn a living by acquired skills that now serve as the major and only source of income.

Make up is a current trend and has a blooming market, you are likely to find as many make up studios as saloons and fashion stores and supermarkets in every major Nigerian city and even rural areas.

Starting a makeup business might as well mean putting your artistic and creative self to work, if you want to survive the competitive crowd.

How Lucrative Is The Make Up Business in Nigeria?

Running a makeup studio is equivalent to investing or starting any other business. I am trying to imply that the criteria for starting a makeup business is similar to that of any other business; you will need to research and come up with relevant data to help you plan effectively for a productive investment.

A relevant question you need to answer is cited above: how profitable is the makeup business? What is the probability of breaking even?

Who are your clients? How often do you think all classes of women will be willing to get the services of a professional makeup artist? Can you survive solely on this business?

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In response to some of the question above, i will start by saying the return on investment in the makeup business is quite high.

Makeup artists today charge from fifty to almost five hundred thousand naira on bridal make up; pricing depends on the reputation and packaging of the artist, there is however, no fixed price as clients are allowed to negotiate.

Regular make up costs from five thousand to ten thousand naira, now multiply these by the number of clients you are likely to get on a daily and weekend basis.

Some of the key players in the Makeup Business in Nigeria today are Banke Meshida of BmPRO, Tara Durotoye of House of Tara, Bimpe Onakoya and Jide Of St.Ola
Opportunities in The Make Up Business in Nigera.

Read Also: How to start cosmetics business in Nigeria

As a make up artist, you are likely to find massive business opportunities in the weddings (bridal make over), in the fashion industry (runaway make over) and in the entertainment industries which include make up for film, television and theatre, make up celebrities for photo shoots and formal outings. Other than these you can also render services to the general public as the need arises.

Apart from making people up, you can also sell hair, nails and skincare products. This means you go beyond facial, makeup to general beauty therapy which your clients will be paying more for.

You can export these products or make yours with the use of natural products like honey, aloe vera, lemon among other natural products.

Register with big makeup and cosmetic brands if possible to ensure that you your tools at cheaper rates and enjoy certain privileges as a distributor.

Some of these brands include Glam’s, Maybelline, Mary Kay, Zaron, BMPro, House of Tara, Mac and LAgirl to mention a few.

Other opportunities include makeup for film and Tv and makeup for runway as mentioned earlier. These entail making actors up to sync with their characters on movie sets, for music videos, stage plays, television shows and advertisements and making models up to create specific impressions on the runaway. This is a very interesting aspect of professional make up.

Read Also: Top 15 Fashion Blogs in Nigeria

How to Start a Makeup Business

If you have no makeup skill, the first step here will be skill acquisition. Get trained by a professional or volunteer as an intern in a reputable make up studio. Volunteering makes it possible to learn at a lesser cost but it virtually means working extra hard.
Tools Needed for Starting a Makeup Business in Nigeria

The basic tools include: Brushes, powders, foundations, contouring sets, Lip balms, lipsticks and lip glosses, wipes, a makeup kit holder. For a makeup studio, we need the above mentioned in more quantities, a shop, mirrors, suitable chairs, good decor to make your studio look attractive. You can shop for most of these on Jumia.

Licensing required

As an entrepreneur in Nigeria, it is mandatory and advisable to register with the corporate affairs commission of Nigeria.

This specifically applies to studio owners who intend to build the brands aggressively. I know we take things for granted in Nigeria but registering your business boosts the confidence of your clients, nobody wants to deal with business that appears illegal and untraceable in the case of fraud.

Your beauty products will need to be registered with the National agency for food and drug administration and certified safe for use and consumption.

If you tend to work for the film, television and fashion industry, i think your clients will need evidence that you are a certified Makeup Artist for their industry.

This shouldn’t be a challenge if you have been duly trained.
For prospective makeup studio owners, you need a name for your studio and apparently you need to register your business with the corporate affairs commission and relevant bodies within your location.

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Capital Required

As an already trained professional, you can start with a hundred thousand or less than hundred thousand naira which will be spent on acquiring quality Makeup kits.

You really do not need to own a studio at the inception of your business; you can work as a freelance makeup artist by rendering home services to clients.

As a freelancer, you do not need staff. Whenever you have a lot of workload, you can hire a co artist or use your intern if you have any.

But if you have more than a hundred thousand naira and fixated on running a makeup studio, you will need to rent space and fill it up with cosmetics and make up products, you will need to hire other Makeup artists and you are likely to have interns and volunteers as it is impossible to run your studio alone.

All these may cost you above five hundred thousand naira and perhaps one million naira if your studio is located at a high brow area where rents are exorbitant.

As a novice, you will need to start by enrolling for professional makeup training at a reputable studio where their skills and ability to teach cannot be disputed.

These will even cost you more because of trainings vary from eighty to hundred thousand naira, now add this to summarised costs above to reach an estimated sum of capital.

Marketing Strategy

Upon acquiring your skill, you have to advertise your work whether as a freelancer or a studio owner. Use social media; it is basically the most effective means of reaching millions of people at the same time.

Instagram is a perfect place to be, set up your page and post beautiful, professionally taken photos of what you do. Tag celebrities, popular blogs and pages, offer to do free make over for celebrities and public figures who give positive responses as well, to brides and other public figures.

Do promos to capture potential clients and above all carve a niche for yourself by being creative. Give your work that signature it needs to set it aside from others.


Your makeup studio should best be located at accessible areas, where you can be seen and reached with ease. Find a good location except you are a freelancer who meets up with clients at designated locations.

Management Strategy:

Operating your business from a studio means employing extra labour. Hire novices and a few experienced hands to help in operating your business.

The number of staff you need depends on how big your studio is. Two to three extra hands are okay. A freelance makeup artist on the other hand needs no staff except volunteers who are willing to work for free to gain experience.

Read Also: Top 15 Modeling Agencies In Nigeria


I will conclude by adding that you must take your business seriously, there is stiff competition out there. Be timely, be courteous, build good customer relationships, be considerate, find a mentor in the industry and keep learning from them.
I hope you found this useful!

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Lami Ogar

Lami is from cross river state and holds a B.sc in accounting from a Nigerian university. Writing for her is a form of detoxification, she has written several articles for Essence magazine and runs political commentary on twitter. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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