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When Vanessa Onwughalu founded Taos Cosmetics, she had her sights set on filling a pressing need— the relative lack of beauty products designed specifically for Africans. This was a real gap waiting to be filled, especially in the United Kingdom where Onwughalu lived at the time. It was in 2014, a time in which that country’s beauty industry was only starting to pay particular attention to the peculiar needs of non-white consumers.
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Taos has since transitioned into a uniquely Nigerian brand. After it launched in Nigeria, it gradually captured the loyalty of many in the country’s market for beauty products. Today, it’s among the more widely known producers of cosmetic products and continues to grow apace. Nigeria’s beauty and personal care industry are worth well over $3 billion. It comprises a wide variety of players, from small scale concerns to large companies with a regional and continental reach. And it’s expanding by the day, thanks to a population that’s increasingly conscious of its looks. This hasn’t always been the case. In the past, space was dominated by foreign businesses. But because these international brands made products originally intended for a white consumer base, the items they sold weren’t always suitable for Nigerian users.
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Brands like Taos have enabled the rise of a proudly Nigerian beauty products industry. But it doesn’t just emphasize its identity as a local cosmetics producer. The brand presents itself as one that sets the standard of quality in the country’s thriving beauty and personal care space. The range of items available from Taos includes mascara, lipsticks, tints, palette, strobe pots, perfume, highlighters, and illuminators. Over the years, Taos has grown its distributorship. Its products are now sold in retail outlets in many parts of Nigeria, including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Benin, and Ibadan. It also ships to the United States, Canada, and Europe. Taos isn’t relenting in its effort to build a brand that’s recognized across the African continent. Onwughalu says she wants it to be the leading name in the Nigerian beauty industry. Ultimately, she intends for it to compete favourably with international brands, and bring the best of Nigerian cosmetics to the world.   Featured Image Source: Beauty In Lagos
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This article was first published on 14th January 2021


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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