Nigeria's cosmetics pioneer

Updated 8:07 AM ET, Mon January 26, 2015
tara todaytara today
1 of 11
Tara Fela-Durotoye is the CEO of House of Tara International, Nigeria's homegrown cosmetics empire, and the founder of 14 schools that teach makeup as the key to business success. Courtesy House of Tara
She was selected by Forbes magazine as one of "20 Young Power Women In Africa" and now helps aspirational Nigerians to emulate her incredible success story. CNN
Fela-Durotoye launched House of Tara in 1998 as a makeup studio while still a student of law at Lagos State University, often working as a make up artists for weddings. Courtesy House of Tara
She got her first break when a friend -- the daughter of the chief of Nigeria's naval staff -- graduated and got married (pictured). Investing in a $100 kit, she provided make up for the bridal party. Courtesy House of Tara
Fela-Durotoye went on to set up a string of makeup studios, starting with this studio on the campus of her university. They now number 20, spread across Nigeria. Courtesy House of Tara
She has remained active as a makeup artist, with House of Tara expanding into the worlds of fashion and film as Nigeria's homegrown industries have thrived. Courtesy House of Tara
She says she was inspired to work with cosmetics by her step-mother, after seeing the confidence it could give to a woman. Courtesy House of Tara
Disappointed by the lack of makeup designed to suit the needs of Nigeria's women, Fela-Durotoye launched her own range of makeup that now encompasses more than 100 products. CNN
In 2004 she opened her new venture: a school where people could learn how to apply make up. She now claims that 80% of Nigeria's makeup artists have taken House of Tara's courses. Courtesy House of Tara
The school "teaches makeup artistry as a platform for enterprise," she says. CNN
It's her hope that graduates start makeup businesses of their own, creating an interconnected industry within Nigeria. CNN