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The business of adding embellishments to our physical looks isn’t new. But it’s never been as big a deal as is these days. Nigeria’s make up industry has experienced a boom over the past decade. A big player in this shift towards facial art’s prominence is the local makeup company, House of Tara.

House of Tara

The pioneering beauty brand has latched on to a once-sparsely populated but emerging market for pretty looks, and has started the engines of what is now a billion dollar industry. This brand dominates a large swathe of the professional makeup space in Nigeria, with its products sitting on the shelves of many beauty stores across the country. Its services are sought after by brides at high profile weddings; and its growth has been covered by the world’s media. It all started two decades ago, in the living room of a young university undergraduate. Tara Fela Durotoye, who often speaks proudly of her small beginnings as a campus merchant of style, says her first set of customers were fellow students. She kept pushing what was a barely open envelope at that time – the makeup profession – and in 1999, she launched Nigeria’s first bridal directory, having ventured into the bridal makeup business. In 2004, she opened the country’s first makeup studio. From these little beginnings, Tara has grown her enterprise into a major enterprise. Her product line sits atop the vast assortment of locally made beauty products, and holding their own in a sector swarming with giant brands from beyond Nigeria’s shores.

Three Arms

The House of Tara group comprises three arms: its product shops; a makeup school; and its bridal makeup services. Tara’s products encompasses the whole range of makeup tools and substances, from eye shadow palettes and eye brow pencils, to foundations and brush washes. These products can be ordered online via the company’s website, or purchased on site at any of its physical stores. Tara’s services can also be sought for special occasions. Trained artists may be hired for weddings and fashion shows, as well as other events in which fine looks are especially valued. With more than ten thousand beauty representatives marketing in Nigeria’s cities and towns, House of Tara boasts one of the strongest retail distribution networks in the domestic beauty products market.  

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This article was first published on 12th July 2018


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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