Empowered and beautiful: Millennial women shaping the beauty industry

Empowered and beautiful Millennial women shaping the beauty industry

In the beauty industry, there is a burgeoning wave of millennial entrepreneurs. Millennial Women are reshaping the landscape of the beauty market with trendy regimens and cult-favorite products while capitalising on social media marketing and personal branding.

From clean beauty formulations to cruelty-free practices, Millennial Women are at the forefront of a movement prioritising transparency, diversity, and social responsibility. With a keen eye for authenticity and a deep-seated commitment to making a difference, they are rewriting the narrative of beauty, one product at a time.

Meet the game changers of Nigeria’s beauty market.

Arami Essentials

Empowered and beautiful Millennial women shaping the beauty industry - Ore Lawani
Ore Lawani via Instagram (@aramiessentials)

Step into the world of Arami Essentials, where founder Ore Lawani’s passion for beauty and sustainability culminated in the launch of Arami Essentials in 2016. Ore’s vision is to redefine African beauty standards and contribute to the continent’s burgeoning wellness sector. What started as a one-year trip to visit Nigeria turned into a nine-year stay, shaping the trajectory of one of Nigeria’s most beloved beauty brands, Arami Essentials.

Image via Instagram (@aramiessentials)

In October 2021, Lawani opened its first factory in Lagos. This milestone symbolised Arami’s growth and Ore’s dedication to local craftsmanship and sustainable practices.

Arami Essentials boasts an array of top-selling products beloved by influencers and celebrities alike. Among these is the best-selling “Glow Oil”, hailed for its nourishing and multi-purpose formula, with an impressive rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars based on 129 reviews, targeting dry skin, dullness, scars, and stretch marks. This product has garnered attention from influencers and celebrities such as Enioluwa Adeoluwa, Zoussi Ley-Johnson, Mazino Malaka, and Drew Omaukeleghe, who swear by its transformative effects, Arami Essentials represents more than just a skincare brand—it’s a movement towards a brighter, more inclusive beauty landscape.


Empowered and beautiful Millennial women shaping the beauty industry - Olamide Olowe
Olamide Olowe via Instagram

Established in 2020, Topicals emerged as a skincare trailblazer under the visionary leadership of co-founders Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng. Motivated by Olowe’s struggle with chronic skin conditions, she naturally made it part of her brand mission to destigmatise skin issues, fostering a business that promotes fun times and good energy while championing inclusivity.

With a focus on addressing the needs of the 1 in 4 Americans battling chronic skin issues like eczema and hyperpigmentation, Topicals is positioned as a solution backed by science and has undergone clinical trials. Despite facing setbacks, including delays in its 2020 launch, the brand’s perseverance pays off; in 2021, Topicals saw revenues increase three-fold, earning Olamide Olowe recognition on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and securing $10 million in funding.

Image via Instagram (@topicals)

Olowe’s journey from collegiate athlete to CEO underscores the values of commitment and resilience. Drawing parallels between athletic discipline and entrepreneurial grit.

Topicals is not just revolutionising skincare; it’s leading a movement towards holistic well-being and inclusivity. Their recent campaign with the Faded Eye Patches is a testament to this commitment. Designed to address under-eye concerns, these patches go beyond conventional skincare solutions by incorporating mental health awareness and community support with donations exceeding $50,000. Another popular item is the Slick Salve Lip Balm, which provides intensive hydration and nourishment for dry, chapped lips.

With storytelling at its core, Topicals empowers individuals to embrace their skin journeys and challenge conventional beauty standards. By championing inclusivity and self-acceptance, Topicals is not just selling skincare; it’s fostering a community and redefining what it means to feel beautiful in one’s own skin.

Blue Poppy Store

Empowered and beautiful Millennial women shaping the beauty industry - Sei and Ebi
Sei and Ebi. Image via Instagram (@bluepoppystore)

Bluepoppy Store is a retail concept store for beauty and skincare products. This beauty haven is a retail platform for over 15 women-owned businesses across beauty and lifestyle. This for Women, by Women brand is co-owned by Nigerian sisters Sei and Ebi Onitsha, who were motivated to promote healthy self-care practices against the backdrop of a local beauty industry saturated by harmful skin-lightening products. Blue Poppy’s revolves around sustainability, including product longevity and environmental sensitivity. By sourcing most of its products locally and focusing on mild, moisturising formulations, the business adheres to African beauty traditions while addressing the particular skincare demands compounded by Nigeria’s harsh climate.

Blue Poppy Store. Image via Instagram (@bluepoppystore)

Sei and Ebi’s personal experiences with skin issues, such as hormonal acne, fueled their decision to start a skincare company. Despite lacking formal aesthetician training, their dedication to research and certification demonstrates their commitment to product performance and user happiness.

The brand’s name is an ode to their mother’s love for flowers, a precious detail that portrays a meticulousness that goes beyond a name into the look and feel of the store. It is grounded in the principles of the business—materials and ingredients to packaging. Beyond mere commerce, Blue Poppy prides itself on fostering a community of discerning consumers who prioritise authenticity and efficacy in their skincare routines.

Olaedo Body Naturals

Empowered and beautiful Millennial women shaping the beauty industry - Chidera Ogbu
Chidera Ogbu via Instagram (@_olaedo)

Despite what her family expected and her promising academic path, Chidera Ogbu’s journey led her into the beauty industry, where she was enticed by both the creative fulfilment and financial prospects it offered.

Her personal struggle with psoriasis proved to be the catalyst for the inception of her skincare line, Olaedo Naturals. Inspired by her grandmother’s healing remedies, particularly the transformative properties of raw shea butter, Chidera embarked on a quest to harness the potential benefits of natural ingredients. 

Whipped homemade shea body butters were the humble beginnings of Olaedo Naturals, which quickly gained traction through word-of-mouth. As demand grew, the product line expanded to include black soap paste and sugar scrubs.

Despite the unpredictable landscape entrepreneurs face in Nigeria, with treacherous regulations and logistical hurdles, Chidera remained undeterred in her mission to provide safe, effective skincare solutions.

Olaedo Naturals was founded on the principles of inclusivity and efficacy, and the brand embodies a harmonious fusion of nature and science guided by the expertise of certified cosmetic scientists, with a steadfast commitment to promoting skin wellness and environmental stewardship.

Image via Instagram (@olaedonaturals)


Beauty By AD

Empowered and beautiful Millennial women shaping the beauty industry - Adeola Chizoba
Adeola Chizoba Adeyemi via Instagram (@diiadem)

Beauty by AD traces its origins to the teenage aspirations of Adeola Chizoba Adeyemi, whose fascination with the world of beauty and fashion propelled her into modelling. During her formative years growing up in the cultural melting pot of Lagos, Adeola’s passion for makeup artistry began to flourish, while nurturing a desire to redefine inclusivity within the beauty industry. As a certified makeup artist, she recognised a glaring gap in the market—a lack of variety and quality in beauty products.

Image via Instagram (@beautybyad)

In 2016, Beauty by AD was born from Adeola’s unwavering commitment to providing affordable luxury with various products, including setting powders, lip glosses, eye shadows, brow pencils, and highlighters.


Body By Saal

Empowered and beautiful Millennial women shaping the beauty industry - Sallie Madaki
Sallie Madaki Amafor via Instagram (@bodyandsaal)

Body and Saal’s journey from its humble beginnings through word of mouth and trade fairs to its current status as a burgeoning brand is a testament to Sallie Madaki-Amafor’s dedication and personalisation of her brand. By putting herself at the centre of her business and embracing its principles and spirit, she fosters a sense of familiarity and connection with her clients. This personal touch lends her brand a distinct and relatable vibe, making it more approachable and appealing to her intended audience.

As the face of Body and Saal, Sallie infuses her essence into every aspect of the brand, embodying its values and ethos.

At Body and Saal, quality and luxury are evident in every product. Take, for example, their innovative shower steamers, the first of their kind in Nigeria. These steamers transform your shower into a luxurious spa experience, releasing aromatic fragrances that uplift the senses and rejuvenate the mind. Their whipped body butter also indulges the skin with rich moisture, leaving it feeling soft, supple, and pampered. Each bar soap, such as the coffee-infused variant, is meticulously crafted using cold-processing techniques and enriched with nourishing ingredients like Shea Butter, Soybean, and Castor Oil. These soaps cleanse effectively and nurture the skin, preserving its natural balance and leaving behind a subtle yet enticing fragrance. With their range of scents and colours, including Coco Caramel, Cosmic Clay, and Coffee Bean, Body and Saal offers a sensory experience that epitomises luxury and elevates everyday self-care rituals.

Image via Instagram (@bodyandsaal)

Having purchased the shower steamer, I can’t wait to experience the luxurious ambience it promises to create. With Body and Saal, I know I’m not just buying a product but investing in a holistic self-care experience crafted with passion and dedication.

From Arami Essentials to Topicals, Blue Poppy to Olaedo Naturals, Beauty by AD to Body and Saal, these brands are changing the beauty industry with their commitment to authenticity, sustainability, and inclusivity. Through their innovative products and empowering initiatives, they encourage us to embrace our individual beauty and diversity. As we move forward, let’s stand behind these women, amplifying their voices and brands and supporting their transformative efforts.


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1 Comment
  1. Oh my how delightful it is to see Body & Saal with Blue Poppy store featured in this lovely article. As a fan I’d say from experience every word used in describing this brands are totally spot-on.

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