cosmetics business in Nairobi

How To Start A Cosmetics Business In Nairobi

Are you looking for information on starting a cosmetics business in Nairobi?

Relax; you are on the right page.

Starting a cosmetics business in Kenya can be a lucrative opportunity. The beauty industry is experiencing a surge in product demand, and you can leverage this to earn substantial profits. 

As more individuals prioritize self-care, products are increasingly needed to cater to their skin, hair, and overall wellness. 

Additionally, people desire to enhance their appearance and maintain a polished look, making the cosmetics industry profitable. Here’s a guide on how to establish a cosmetics business in Kenya.

Tips on How to Start a Beauty Shop in Kenya

To establish a successful cosmetics shop in Nairobi, there are certain pointers you must consider to stand out from your rivals. 

Primarily, you should know the appropriate products to supply in a Kenyan cosmetic store. Here’s what you’ll require:

Write a Cosmetics Business Plan

When starting a cosmetics business in Nairobi, the initial task is to create a comprehensive business plan. For a cosmetic shop venture, a sound business plan should entail the following: 

a). A breakdown of startup expenses

b). Catalog of cosmetic products to be sold

c). Ideal business location

d). Evaluation of strengths and weaknesses

e). Identification of potential risks and corresponding risk mitigation strategies

If you lack the necessary skills to draft a business plan, it’s advisable to engage the services of a professional writer to take on the task on your behalf.

Understand How Cosmetics Business Works in Kenya

In order to thrive in the world of business, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of how it operates and how to gain a competitive edge. 

One way to begin is by conducting online research and speaking with individuals who purchase beauty products. By understanding the desires of potential customers, you can determine the most effective way to meet their needs. 

Additionally, engaging with others in the industry is important to gain insight into what products are being sold and at what price points. Familiarizing yourself with aspects like the arrangement of a cosmetic shop and identifying market gaps is also key. 

Once you’ve identified potential challenges in the cosmetics industry, brainstorm innovative solutions to address them. 

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complexities of the business and achieve success.

Find a Suitable Cosmetics Business Location

The prosperity of a business heavily relies on its geographical location. 

To optimize the chances of success, securing a space that allows for the display of beauty products and attracts a significant amount of visitors is recommended. 

A storefront situated in an area with a high volume of foot traffic is ideal. Alternatively, setting up a shop within a mall, plaza or kiosk can also be advantageous. 

It’s important to weigh the options that work best for you and stay within your budget. 

The location you choose should be visible from the street, have a dedicated parking area, easy accessibility, and a high volume of foot traffic.

Decide on Cosmetics Products to Sell

If you’re looking to stock a cosmetic shop in Nairobi, it’s important to consider your business model, personal interests, and strengths. 

One key strategy is to identify gaps in the market and offer products that are not currently available. This can help your makeup business stand out and attract customers.

Popular beauty products in Kenya include mirrors, makeup items, eyeliners, manicure and pedicure products, various hair products such as weaves and different brands, perfumes, skincare products, and facial products. 

Additionally, there is a growing demand for men’s grooming products such as beard and mustache care. Consider offering diverse products to cater to a wider customer base.

What to Stock in a Cosmetic Shop

cosmetics business in Nairobi

As a cosmetic shop in Kenya, it is essential to have an impressive range of products that cater to different needs. 

Here are some items that you can stock:

a).  Makeup products: You can offer an array of makeup products such as nail polish, concealer, eye shadow, eye primer, mascara, eyeliner, eyebrows, lip gloss, lipstick, and brushes.

b). Hair care products: There is a wide variety of hair care products that you can have in stock, including weaves, hair extensions, shampoo, conditioners, hair creams, spray gel, braids, hair relaxers, and hair sprays.

c). Skin care products: It is crucial to have a range of skincare products like body toning, moisturizer, body lotion, age-defying, and exfoliation products to cater to various skin types.

d). Toiletry products: You can also stock up on toiletry products like soap, toilet paper, deodorant, toilet soap, bar soap, toothpaste, and body perfume to ensure that your customers have a one-stop shop for all their needs.

Find Affordable Cosmetics Suppliers

As a business owner, you’re constantly seeking to cut down on expenses while increasing revenue. 

In order to achieve this, it’s imperative to find a reliable source for your inventory. 

One effective approach is to search for affordable suppliers that offer your required products.

Where to Buy Cosmetics in Wholesale Nairobi

Wholesale cosmetic supplies can be readily found in Nairobi’s downtown area, offering customers the opportunity to purchase at reduced prices.

Dubois Road, Munyu Road, and River Road are home to numerous affordable cosmetic wholesalers in Nairobi.

Hire The Right Team (Optional)

To expand your cosmetics business, recruiting a team of experts with comprehensive knowledge about beauty products is crucial. 

They should be well-versed in not only the benefits but also the drawbacks of using different products. This is essential as customers often inquire about products they have not used before. 

Additionally, it is essential to hire personnel who share your business objectives and prioritize the best interests of your clients. With a proficient and dedicated team, your cosmetics business can flourish effortlessly.

Advertise Your Cosmetics Business in Kenya

branding a business

In order to generate profits from your cosmetics business, acquiring customers is crucial. The first step towards acquiring customers is letting them know that you are selling beauty products. 

There are multiple marketing strategies that you can employ, such as using flyers, posters, and customer referrals.

Having a social media presence is also essential. It is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your cosmetics business and reach a larger audience. 

You can use social media to inform people about your beauty products and explain why they should purchase them.

How Much Do I Need to Start a Cosmetic Shop in Nairobi?

Starting a cosmetics business in Nairobi can cost anywhere between Ksh 100,000 to 500,000, depending on the size and location of the business. 

The following are the necessary expenses for starting a cosmetic business in Kenya and their corresponding prices:

  • Inventory of beauty products: Ksh 100,000
  • Furniture: Ksh 20,000
  • Rent and upfront rent: Ksh 30,000
  • Electricity expenses: Ksh 1,000
  • Staff salary: Ksh 10,000
  • Computer and printer: Ksh 25,000
  • Advertising: Ksh 5,000
  • Licenses and permits: Ksh 20,000

Is Cosmetic Business Profitable in Kenya? 

The amount of profit your cosmetics business in Nairobi can produce is contingent on its size and location. 

With a determined approach, generating anywhere from Ksh 3,000 to 5,000 per day is possible. 

The average profit margin is approximately 40%, equating to a minimum profit of Ksh 50,000 per month.


Starting a cosmetics business in Nairobi may seem like a walk in the park.

However, the triumph of your business is highly reliant on the volume of your clientele and the effectiveness of your advertising. 

Acquiring an optimal location is vital as it will give you a worthy return on investment. 

Besides, prioritize customer satisfaction and strive to enhance the quality of your services consistently. By adhering to these guidelines, you can confidently launch a beauty shop business in Kenya.

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