Expert Tips on How to Start a Makeup Line

Yes, the makeup line is an exciting and colorful business venture. But, as a budding entrepreneur, you have to be prepared with everything like what line of makeup you want to focus on, say for example, do you just want to focus on lipsticks? Then, how do you plan to market your makeup line and where do you intend to sell, say, for instance, online selling or do you want to open a physical store? This is why we are here to help you plan and give you expert tips on how to start a makeup business.

The Makeup Industry and Women

There is no doubt that makeup plays a significant role in women’s lives. Some women feel incomplete without wearing some kind of makeup like mascara. It doesn’t mean that they are insecure, rather, makeup enhances women’s natural beauty which is a confidence booster.

Regarding the issue of how to start a makeup brand, you have to understand that makeup is not just about pretty packaging, instead, women are looking for a high-quality cosmetic line that would make them feel better about themselves, meaning, they have to be sure that they won’t get allergic reactions or skin irritations. Your makeup brand has to be synonymous with safety and pretty packaging.

Yes, it is true that the makeup industry is a booming business, just look at these figures:

  • The global makeup industry is valued at over $170 billion annually with $40 billion coming from the US while the $130 billion comes from Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.
  • Based on scientific data, the luxury makeup line has seen a continuing growth of about 6% per year.

Having said those figures, we are sure that you are now more excited about how to start a makeup business.

What Makeup Line Do You Want To Focus On?

The following are the makeup niche areas that you may want to focus on. It could be just one niche or maybe two or three. But, if you are more adventurous as a budding makeup entrepreneur, you may also cover all of the following:

  • Foundation
  • Face powder
  • Bronzer
  • Concealer
  • Highlighter
  • Blusher
  • Primer
  • Lipstick
  • Mascara
  • Eyeshadow
  • False eyelashes
  • Setting spray
  • Nail polish

How to Start a Makeup Line?

Although there is an opportunity to make it big in the cosmetic industry, there are factors that you have to keep in mind when establishing a makeup line. Yes, it may seem easy to market your makeup line online and keep the business going, you have to think of the stiff competition and how you are going to create an awesome customer experience. Here is now is step-to-step expert tip on how to start a makeup business:

 1. Select your niche

You will be more successful if you will concentrate on a single niche from the start. For example, there are a lot of cosmetic entrepreneurs who started out by just focusing on a single niche, say, for example, just lipsticks. That is a good and safer way on how to start a makeup line. Now, as your business grows, you can slowly introduce other makeup lines to your target market.

Our expert tip is for you to choose a niche where you are more interested in or maybe the one that is more in-demand. For example, are you struggling to look for a foundation that blends perfectly with your skin? In that case, you can focus your attention on creating foundations that cater to women of all skin colors.

Perhaps, you would rather give your attention to creating a makeup brand that solely uses organic products. Remember that you are going to have a lot of competitors and that is why make an extra step by creating a makeup line that will get the attention of women and makeup artists, as well.

Here are some of the questions that can guide you on how to start a makeup brand:

  • What makes my cosmetic brand unique from the rest?
  • Why should customers take a chance on my cosmetic line and stop using their current makeup brands?
  • What kind of packaging should I create in order to entice customers to look into my cosmetic brand?
  • What’s so special about my makeup brand? Is it organic? Is it infused with shea butter? If you make claims, be sure that you have scientific evidence to back up your claims and earn the trust of your target market.

2.  Study Your Competitors

Know who your competitors are and watch what they are doing. Conducting thorough research about the cosmetic line of your competitors is one of the smart things you can do on how to start a makeup business.

It pays to know regarding the pricing, special offers, marketing strategy, and customer reviews of other makeup brands. Why? It is because being aware of your competitor’s vision and mission allows you to create a makeup brand that stands out among the rest. This also gives you the chance to make your makeup brand remarkable, one-of-a-kind, and worth looking at.

To give you an example, the Stowaway cosmetic line was the first to come up with the idea of travel-sized cosmetics that allows busy women to carry the cosmetics in their bags without the bulkiness.

3.   Look For A Trusted Makeup Manufacturer

Basically,  in order for you to learn how to start a makeup line, you have to know that there are two kinds of makeup manufacturers namely the private label and the white label.

By private label, it means that the cosmetic lines are custom-made by a manufacturer and gives permission to makeup businesses to market their product line under their respective brand names. On the other hand, when you say private labels, it means that you have the power to customize your own makeup lines such as scent, color, packaging style, among others.

In short, a white label makeup manufacturer makes its makeup product line for different brands and then the makeup entrepreneurs rebrand these makeup lines under their names.

Now, if you choose to work with a private label makeup manufacturer, make sure that you are familiar with all the ingredients and that you comply with both local and international regulations.

4.   Create a Unique Makeup Brand

Did you know that emotional connection has a strong impact on any types of products, including makeup? That said, one of your strategies on how to start a makeup brand is to establish that emotional connection. Women, men, and transgender are more likely to buy makeup products that are more expensive than those that are bought in the drugstore if they know that the makeup will give them more joy and confidence.

The perception of your makeup brand begins with the images and messages used in your marketing strategy. It does not end there because each stage has a significance on the makeup user.

When you are planning on how to start a makeup business, you have to spend time creating a unique website, an appealing logo, and marketing assets that will make your makeup brand stand out among the rest.

The more unique and creative your branding is, the more you will be recognized.

5.  Selecting Makeup Ingredients

Since your products will be used or applied to the body, there are issues that you have to carefully plan on. Each country has its own laws about how makeup items are manufactured, labeled, tested, and marketed. Having said that, you have to be sure that all your practices are safe and legal in all countries.

Here are the things you need to know on sourcing the ingredients for your makeup business:

  • Are the ingredients you will use labeled as skin-grade?
  • Are you going to use natural products? How do you ensure that the supplier’s claims are true and legitimate?
  • Are you going to use preservatives? How long is the shelf life?
  • Are there ingredients that are labeled as common allergens?

6.  Packaging

Packaging serves an important purpose in the makeup industry. For simple makeup lines such as lip balms, you can easily source empty pre-made containers and then print your own logo or brand name. But, you may have to collaborate with manufacturers to come up with your custom packaging to fully differentiate your brand from your competitors.

Moreover, you have to understand that when you are planning on how to start a makeup business, you have to deal with this issues:

  • Packaging should represent your makeup brand name
  • Packaging should protect fragile makeup lines like pressed powder and eyeshadows
  • Packaging communicates essential information such as ingredients and expiration date

7.   Set Up Your Store

Creating your online store is one of the exciting phases of how to start a makeup line. There are commerce platforms that will make it easier for you to launch your makeup lines such as Shopify and BigCommerce.

6.  Marketing

It will be tough to compete for new makeup brands such as yours. Though getting a Prime Badge from Amazon will take you places, you also need to think of how your target market can find you and make you more visible online.

One of the things that can help you is through positive reviews as well as social proof. This is because many consumers rely on positive reviews before they purchase a product.

Then, word of mouth is also a powerful tool that can help you in your makeup business. You can send sample products to encourage sharing in social media. Or, you may also want to venture into pop-up stores and then offer a mini makeover.

How Much Is the Capital Needed To Start a Makeup Business?

For a small makeup business, you need about $10,000.00. The best way on how to start a makeup business is by selling your product line online. In that way, you save on monthly expenses like rentals, staff salary, and overhead expenses like electricity.


Now that you are thinking of opening a new business, here is a short summary as to how to start a makeup line:

  1. Find your niche
  2. Get to know your competitors
  3. Hook up with a trusted manufacturer
  4. Understand the ingredients
  5. Build your brand
  6. Set-up an online store
  7. Market your makeup brand
  8. Create a seamless shipping strategy
  9. Sell
  10. Satisfactory after-sales customer service

We hope that we were able to help you plan well on how to start a makeup line that will help women, transgenders, makeup artists, and even men to look and feel better about the way they present themselves to the world.

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