[dropcap]L[/dropcap]adies all around the world are well conversant with cosmetic brands like KYLE, LANCOME, ALMAY, and COVER GIRL just to name a few. High end stores are full of these products to cater for the needs of a woman.
As you walk in the streets you cannot miss to spot ladies with makeup. Kenya’s rising population and beauty consciousness have created a fertile ground for international makeup brands.
Marion Mokeira, a cosmetologist and an employee at Hot and Sweet, believes that ladies use makeup to enhance their beauty in order to raise their self-esteem and to also look attractive and appealing. At times ladies are so eager to look attractive that they buy counterfeit and often very cheap makeup products that cause harm to their skin or even kill as they contain poisonous substances like lead, which increases the chances of one getting cancer.
“Ladies should do their research well and know which products they want and how to differentiate between original and counterfeit products. That is why here at Hot and Sweet we strive in selling original harmless products to the consumer,” she says.
The cosmetic business is booming and more people are getting in the industry by opening online stores and through the use of social media and even fashion blogs. Hot and Sweet Beauty, which was started by Beverly Nasimiyu in 2014, advertises on social media and has an online shop where one can order products for delivery.
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“We often deliver or advertise our products to clients countrywide; places that are outside Nairobi we send our products to the client as parcels. On a good selling day we can make Ksh10,000-15,000. Though we target women of all ages our main focus is university female students since our client base comes from universities,” she says.
Product prices vary depending on source. A product bought from a wholesaler, supermarket or cosmetic shop will be cheaper compared to that shipped from outside the country.
The cosmetic selling business is no walk in the park as most people would think. The business faces a lot of challenges. The first, she says, is backlash from some clients who do not know which product suits their skins and end up buying products that cause allergic reactions to their skins then blame the vendor.
The other challenge, Ms Mokeira says, is delays in shipment of stocks during peak demand periods, which lead to losses and mistrust from clients.
At times even after boosting their sites as online cosmetic store, clients do not turn up to buy their products. Products normally sell a lot during the holidays or special occasions like Valentine’s Day where men would want to please their ladies by buying them designer makeup brands. She believes that selling cosmetics is a good way to make profit as long as one has enough capital to start off.