Revered actress Catherine Kamau Karanja alias ‘Kate Actress’ is the new brand ambassador for Nice and Lovely Body Lotion.
Multinational cosmetics company L’Oreal, the producer of Nice & Lovely, unveiled Kate Actress as the face of the popular beauty brand on Wednesday at an event at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi.
Dressed in a shimmering green ball gown provided by the Glitz and Glam store, Kate was unveiled as Nice and Lovely brand ambassador by L’Oréal East Africa Managing Director Serge Sacre.
The MD said they settled on Kate Actress because she embodies and exemplifies the brand’s values – authenticity, trust, high quality and safety that make it a household brand used by the whole family.
“The best ambassador we could partner with is Kate. Kate is authentic. She represents the modern Kenyan woman. She represents family, she is trusted, has fantastic skin, above all she is loved by Kenyans and you want to be like her. This was the best match. We are very happy to be signing this with Kate,” said Sacre.
An elated Kate took to social media to announce the good news, writing: “Nasiwezi jizuia ….. 😭🙏 We did it my watuz(people) , you all kept manifesting this for me, it’s here 🙏. The official face of @niceandlovelykenya.”
As Nice & Lovely’s brand ambassador, the former ‘Mother in Law’ actress will be tasked with enhancing the brand’s awareness and educating customers on the use and application of a variety of beauty products and explaining the benefits of using Nice & Lovely product ranges.
Their products are specifically developed for the African market and produced at the L’Oréal East Africa factory.
L’Oréal, the world’s largest beauty and cosmetics company, acquired Nice & Lovely from Kenya’s Interconsumer Products Ltd in 2013, beating competition from South Africa’s Tiger brands.
The London-listed L’Oréal bought the health and beauty business section of the Kenyan company in a deal worth an estimated Sh1.5 billion following two years of negotiations.
As of 2012, Nice and Lovely Kenya was commanding an annual revenue of Sh1.7 billion with profits of Sh200 million.
The buyout saw the owner of Interconsumer Products, Paul Kinuthia, join the billionaire’s club. A former hawker in the capital city, Kinuthia developed Nice & Lovely in the backstreet of Nairobi in 1995.
Armed with only Sh3,000 capital, Kinuthia would purchase ingredients, and retreat to a shop along Kirinyaga Road before emerging with the product ready to hawk it in the streets.
The businessman relocated operations from Kirinyaga Road to Kariobangi and then Gikomba before his big breakthrough in 2001 when he hired professionals to market the then newly incorporated Interconsumer Products.
In 2009, the company crossed the Sh1 billion sales mark.
L’Oréal has significantly improved the quality of Nice & Lovely hair and skin products since the acquisition.
Serge said the company is also working with different industry organizations and lobby groups to discourage the use of bleaching agents in beauty products which are harmful and encourage the use of natural ingredients as safe alternatives.
“Why would somebody in the industry offer a product that is dangerous and try to change who you are. The products we offer are the ones that bring out the beauty in you no matter your colour, race or age,” he stated.
L’Oréal projects Kenya’s beauty market value at USD 200 million(Ksh23Billion) with a potential to grow five-folds over the next eight years to a billion-dollar market, driven by a growing middle-class population that wants to splurge for feel and look good moments.