The beauty industry is worth billions of dollars whilst the African beauty and personal care market is put at €12 billion. Unfortunately, Nigeria is yet to take a giant share of this market despite her huge population and foreign giants are still the biggest gainers in an industry that is daily growing in leaps and bounds. According to the NPD Group, the skincare category alone brought in a whooping $6 billion in sales for last year.

Looking to turn this around for Nigerian women and tap into this market for home and African cosmetologists is licensed cosmetologist and founder of COC Beauty School, Ayo Bassey who believes it is important for the right information to be passed across to ensure that standards are not compromised, especially in our continent where anyone can position as an organic skincare formulator.

“The cosmetic product formulation industry is one that is fast growing, yet sadly overlooked and under-tapped. In order to empower industry players, we were inspired to create a resource for formulators, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts. The Beauty Lab is also a platform to celebrate our beauty school graduates who are making great strides, putting the knowledge acquired to work with results to show. Most importantly, we plan to raise a defining standard for the beauty and cosmetics formulation industry.”

The launch of COC’s beauty and lifestyle show, COC Beauty Lab is the culmination of Bassey’s global experiences, personal skincare journey and desire to provide solutions for all skincare and beauty issues. The show, which debuted on TV last weekend, will feature latest product innovations helping with highest standards of cosmetic approaches. Viewers can expect things like makeovers, latest trends, fashion finds, tips and tricks, beauty transformation secrets, beauty on-the-go and product formulation techniques that address the most daunting beauty challenges.

According to her, the show would also create a resource for beauty product enthusiasts to get reliable information; something she says has become more important now more than ever. “I wanted to create something for me and my generation and I believe this show would reflect us and our self-expression as well as expand and redefine the definition of beauty. It would also be very educative, giving you an inside look on how to create standard organic beauty products with simple ingredients, right from the comfort of your home.”

The beauty guru is also hoping to help shatter notions surrounding collaborations among women and how productive it is to prioritize growth and collective success. “Women are strong, creative and foresighted. It’s been great working with women as the creativity just flows. There’s a lot of warmth, and burning passion for our common goal when working with women, it’s just beautiful.”

Show hosts, Seun Olusina and Violet Adesina are thriving beauty entrepreneurs focused on skincare formulation processes and providing custom-made skincare products for clients. Adesina acknowledges the impact of the beauty school and what working on the show means for her.

“Studying at COC gave me the push I needed to launch out and go after my formulating career. Doing the talk show was fun and it was interesting exchanging views and ideas. I loved working with all the women on the team, everyone was quick to offer help and suggestions to help make it better.”

As a desire for transparency and authenticity grows among skincare and beauty enthusiasts, the relatability of the show means that they seem better placed to suggest tips and tricks too, from creative ways to make organic non-toxic beauty products that would compete favourably to looks that appear as if by magic on screen. “It has been such an incredible experience working on this show, it is truly one of a kind,” Seun Olusina, the show’s co-host said.

“Honestly, I would say the phrase ‘women empowerment’ has been wrongly used and interpreted but COC really and truthfully embodies this. It’s created a safe, profitable environment for women to express their creativity with no judgement or barriers. It’s been an amazing experience.”

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