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Could You Start Your Own Cosmetics Business?

I’ve always believed that the smartest people in the cosmetic industry are the scientists who make and test the products. Which has always made me wonder why more of them haven’t gone out to start their own companies. It’s easier to do now than ever before, only a small investment is required and it can be done in your spare time.

This story about a YouTube user who got so popular that she was able to start her own cosmetics company might be just the inspiration you need.

Of course, this is not to suggest you must go out and start your own company to be a successful cosmetic scientist. But if you’ve ever thought about it, why aren’t you doing anything about it now?

What do you think is holding you back?

Click the box below to learn to start a cosmetic line.

{ 241 comments… add one }

  • Chloe 01/29/2015, 7:24 am

    Please help me, i want to start my own small business. Is someone could help me or advice me if i want my home made bleaching cream has peeling effect? And for daily use.. Like. White henna egg white, and peroxide.. What is best chemical that will add for a micropeeling effect that is not harsh to skin.. Please help, is glycolic acid safe to mix?

  • lindsay 01/25/2015, 8:41 pm

    I would like to start my own cosmetic line but start out specializing in lips, any ideas? I have NO IDEA where to start. Any help please?

  • Buki 01/20/2015, 2:51 am

    I want to start my own cosmetic line, selling natural skin toning and whitening cream. I am having problem finding companies that can formulate a natural chemical free lightening cream that can work quickly. I am small business and I cannot afford to order a large volume. please advice

    • Perry Romanowski 01/20/2015, 9:49 am

      Well, it’s impossible to make something “chemical free” so you’ll have to better define what you mean. You might post your question in the cosmetic science forum as someone there might be able to help. http://chemistscorner.com/cosmeticsciencetalk

  • Twanda 01/18/2015, 10:31 am

    Hi. I’m looking to start up my own line of cosmetics. Makeup is a passion of mine, I’ve been a makeup artist for 4 years now. The thing is, I don’t know where to start. If someone would please be able to suggest some good advice to me as to where to start. Thanks so much!

  • Shanika 01/01/2015, 1:19 pm

    Hello There, could anyone help me please I’ve wanted to have my own makeup line for a very long Time. I’m a qualified freelance makeup artist for around 4 to 5 years now. I’ve done a little research I’ve found a suppliers for everything i need for my line I’ve also done my research about the suppliers. it’s just getting some help finding the right lad or pharmacy to work with me in the UK would be very grateful if anyone could reply many thanks :)

  • Sparkle 12/09/2014, 3:04 pm

    Hi, I am starting up a new make-up line. And I am having trouble finding a chemist or a lab to work with to help produce my products. Is there any advice as to where I can go to find someone who is willing to work with me.

  • Meashel 11/02/2014, 12:21 pm

    Hi, I started producing a line of Toning and Skin Whitening products a few months ago as well as a therapy service which has grown but I am needing more advice on attracting investors and expanding my audience.

    Thanks in advance

  • REVS 10/28/2014, 4:09 am

    i wanted to start my own cosmetic line of products i do not have any background in chemistry i dont know from were to start i have my own idea .please can any one assist me for consultation.

  • greta 09/27/2014, 8:16 am

    I love this host of information. I started my organic bath and body company some years ago, and now Nordstrom’s is looking at my line!

  • Emma 09/08/2014, 3:59 pm

    Hi All,

    The comments on here are really useful. I am starting a natural beauty products line in the UK and are having problems trying to find a reasonable labelling manufacter. I have also had problems in trying to find out if I need a license to sell these products as the gov.uk website doesnt list natural beauty products.

    Any helpful tips would be great, there doesnt seem to many of these forums around.

  • Hils stone 08/15/2014, 7:36 am

    Hi, firstly thank you to everyone on this link, reading through is truly inspiring. My friend and I are in the process of launching our natural organic face mask.

  • Lynn 08/14/2014, 12:34 pm

    I’ve been in the beauty industry over 10 yrs. now, Licensed Esthetician/Makeup Artist & I’m wanting to start my own cosmetics line. The one private labels I really LOVE is used by quite a bit, as I’ve been doing my research) & one website is selling it for soooo much cheaper than it should be. I am investing a lot of money in my line & makeup is my passion. My concern is what if a client of mine notices this & comes back with allll the questions I’ll be expecting. It’s up-scale makeup that they are selling with drug store prices & that bothers me. If you introduce this “awesome makeup” to your customer & they love it so much, that could lead to googling it & finding it cheaper… Do you think this would pose a problem in my business?! Thanks for ANY insight, as I’m ready to get this going! :)

    • Perry Romanowski 08/15/2014, 9:09 am

      Pretty much all makeup is the same. The technology is not significantly different and anyone could find a drug store version that is probably just as good as a high end formula. So, this is not a unique problem for you. The thing that sells cosmetics is the branding, not the formula. Your formula has to be of good quality, but it is the branding and the story that goes along with it that really gets people to buy and keep buying your product.

      Good luck!

  • Angelina 07/02/2014, 7:38 am

    Hi, I need someone who can mentor/ coach me. I have registered a cosmetic retail shop and I have been assisted to draft a business plan. My challenge is to get the design for the interior and the quotations for funding. I’m stuck with this big dream and wish that the can be someone who have experience on how to start up.

  • Sylvia 04/14/2014, 1:35 am

    I am interested in starting my own natural and organic skin care line…I do not know who to trust, or where to begin because of my lack of trust that someone may steal my idea before I get it off the ground, I need a company that can help me to develop my product with experts that can offer the right information on formulations of ingredients that I will need! Packaging my product information is also needed… I am looking into providing products for Adults, children, babies and animals! Is it possible I can get a grant for my product? What would I need for funds financially to begin? Thank you…:~)

    • Perry Romanowski 04/14/2014, 5:20 am

      You shouldn’t worry about anyone stealing your idea. Ideas aren’t really worth much. The thing that is worth something is the ability to execute an idea. If you can’t make your idea happen with all your passion what makes you think someone else can? Just put your idea out there, then make it happen. There really are no completely original ideas but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful with yours. Good luck!

  • badriya 03/11/2014, 8:34 am

    hello im riya from Kuwait .
    im looking for private label cosmetic manufacturing companies organic makeup in U.S
    that will manufacturing makeup with our logo in it for our company ,so far I have email many companys that I have seen online but its so hard to find the organic makeup. And most don’t reply .
    Could you help me with some info pls, that’s may help me.
    please contact me

    • Sasan 07/14/2014, 4:40 am

      I am in Australia and work with some organic make up companies. I might be able to help you with these products . Email me at :sadibsanaee@yahoo.com

      • monique 07/18/2014, 8:40 am

        looking for private label cosmetic manufacturing companies organic makeup in U.S
        that will manufacturing makeup with our logo in it.

    • Brenda 10/06/2014, 9:36 pm


      I am from the United States and I have a lot of connections in the organic make-up industry.
      Email me at bce1965@gmail.com

  • Addie 12/03/2013, 9:20 am

    I am looking to start a natural body care line. I also have a future interest in eyeshadow and nail polish. How do I began? I plan to start this this in 2014. What steps do I make first? I’m terribly new but i want to get it going.

    • Angel Elliott 02/09/2015, 5:45 am

      hello there beautiful people,
      I am an Australian looking for a break into designing my own unique lipstick brand (line). this is not just an ordinary lipstick, its a lipstick with benefits and a story. I believe it will be a success so I am putting my feelers out there to anyone who has knowledge /connections into how I make this dream of mine come to life. cosmetologist, marketers, manufactures, promoters. how I domain my idea and philosophy behind my brand and product line? I simply do not know where to begin. so as Einstein quotes ” never stop asking questions”, I won’t until someone can help. p.s funds are not exactly overflowing from my pockets but I am guaranteed a step in the right dierection will change that. maybe I can work with someone on this for a percentage.anyone with a big heart please contact me.
      thanking you so kindly
      peace and love
      Angel Elliott

  • Sepideh 12/02/2013, 1:00 pm

    I am a mother of two (3 and 5 years old girls) with a PhD in organic chemistry. Discouraged to look for jobs after being out of research for two years, I started my own natural skincare company last year from my kitchen. I started with soaps, lotions and masks and move onto face creams and serums. I am working on peels now. I sell at events, website and amazon. I love what I do and I hope I do it foe a long time. I make effective natural potent products that have been called addictive by my clients. If you are in a need of good natural skincare product check out my website (www.ctorganics.com). I can customize any product to your skin needs with a free consultation. Contact me at sepi@ctorganics.com

    • rebecca 04/05/2014, 1:58 pm

      I am very interested in starting my own organic cosmetic like and really love to talk with you on it.

  • SATHEESH 10/30/2013, 8:55 pm

    We are the FORMULATION RESEARCH SCIENTIST, developing various kinds of COSMETICS & TOILETRIES based on traditional & Nano-Particles delivery systems. Most of research was published in peer reviewed journal.
    If you need any assistance for formulation development, we are here to work with you.
    Any queries, feel free to write a mail at:

    • rebecca 04/05/2014, 1:59 pm

      Kindly contact me,

  • Rigo 10/16/2013, 8:28 pm

    I have 23,500 glass 100ML bottles with a unique blend of ingredients that of which include authentic argan oil. These bottles have no labels and no boxes. I can continue production in any size bottle you wish as well as print and place your labels for an additional charge. AS they stand, I will let them all go for $5.75/bottle at this price this includes delivery. Please let me know if you are interested. Thank you


    • rebecca 04/05/2014, 1:55 pm

      I would love to know more about what you do.
      kindly contact me,

  • Subee 10/08/2013, 7:36 pm

    I have been making my skin lotion (from herb)and using it fot about 20 years. I am more than 65 years old, but my skin looks like …40 or 30 years old.
    It works for me and my friends, so I can say it works.
    Is anyone interested in?

    • shamim 10/30/2013, 7:57 am

      hi im interesetd inyour skin product.

      • divya 11/01/2013, 9:33 am

        hi! thanks for getting in touch with me.i would appreciate if can send what range you are looking for in skin care products. we are dealing in hair care products as well. do you reside in uk?are you into beauty profession or it is going to be a new venture for you ..
        hope tohear you soon .

    • thandi 11/01/2013, 7:25 am

      I request training on your product

    • Angela 02/10/2014, 3:43 am

      I would love to know what you use. Email me at angiezacs@live.com to chat if you like!

    • sharon maguire 02/28/2014, 10:28 am

      i am intrested in your product could you please forward info
      many thanks

    • rebecca 04/05/2014, 1:54 pm

      I would love to know more about what you do.

  • Renee 10/03/2013, 1:59 pm

    We are in the process of starting our own full line of cosmetics for retail, mainly lipsticks as the centerfold but we would like to carry cosmetics for eyes, face and nails as well. I have actually made some lipstick formulations on my own but I prefer to work with a company that already has a manufactured product that our company can brand and market under our name. If anyone knows of a person or company that would be interested please email me at reydience@gmail.com. You can visit our test website http://www.reydience.com, the real one is coming soon. Thanks.

  • Angela 09/27/2013, 8:05 pm

    Hello everyone, I would like to set up my own brand of non toxic nail polishes and removers, I am based in uk, could anyone give me the name s of some manufacturers?, thanks

  • Michele 09/16/2013, 12:25 pm

    Is Apple Cider Vinegar considered a preservative?

    • Perry Romanowski 09/16/2013, 12:28 pm

      No, it would not be an adequate preservative in almost any cosmetic. It will have a preservative effect but not nearly strong enough.

  • nancy ferguson 09/07/2013, 8:10 pm

    I am interested in finding out about buying cosmetics to start my own cosmetic business. Can you please tell me if you sell a line of cosmetics already approved? Can I have my own name added to the packaging?
    Thank you. Nancy

    • Perry Romanowski 09/11/2013, 5:53 pm

      We do not sell a pre-made formulation. See our podcast with Melody. She might be able to help you.

    • Rigo 09/25/2013, 12:00 pm

      I have a great product ready to have a label and a name put on it. Send me an email and I will send you a brochure with pictures and ingredients. Thecleargroup1@gmail.com

      • Angela 02/10/2014, 3:46 am

        Hi! I would love to have a sticky beak at your new product/s . Hope to hear from you soon !

    • Andreas Charitonos 12/16/2013, 3:53 am

      Dear Nancy,

      We will be happy to assist you with your project. Our parent company Lady Esther cosmetics, based in Germany, is a well known and trusted name in the skin care field. In addition the daughter company CMG Cosmetic Marketing is a complete private label/contract manufacturer. Please let us know what you are looking for, and we will do our best to assist you.
      We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time.

      • Salim Khan 01/26/2014, 7:26 pm

        Do you market your products in US market? I would like to start my own line of products, but I can get a head start by labeling your products under our name, I would be certainly be interested. Please provide me more information about your company and product line.


    • Luca giovannini 08/25/2014, 4:15 pm

      We are a manufacturer based in Italy with more than 30 years experience in the field of skin care cosmetics. We will be happy to assist you with your project at any stage of the product development process.
      We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time.
      Contact our rep in USA

  • Sophia 09/04/2013, 3:46 pm

    I am based in the uk and developing a hair care brand. Seeking a chemist/manufacturer to create formula.

    Any advice please ?

    • Perry Romanowski 09/13/2013, 3:16 pm

      Post your request in our cosmetic science forum http://chemistscorner.com/cosmeticsciencetalk

    • Martin 09/13/2013, 4:00 pm

      We are contract skin care manufacturer located in CT. U.S.A, we can formulate,develop, and manufacture your product for you. for further questions please visit us online :www.durollabs.com.

    • ashvin patel 09/17/2013, 1:26 pm

      Dear Sir,
      I came to know about the opening in your firm through web.
      To tell you about myself, I did my M.SC. in ORGANIC CHEMISTRY and i have a work experience of 13.5 yrs in R&D cosmetic.
      Right now i am working with Cosmetic company called PREMHENNA PVT. LTD. which will be its of only type who will introduce COSMETIC Product from india. And i am working on COSMETIC products.

      I am open to work in any location across the globe.

      Please go through my CV attached with this mail.

      Thanks & Regards,


    • SATHEESH 09/22/2013, 9:18 am

      I am formulation scientist (Pharmaceutical & cosmetic delivery system).
      I have developed few cosmetic products using nanotechnology.
      If you will contact through mail, I can help you.

      • Mohammad 01/26/2014, 6:56 pm

        Would you please let me know what line of products you have developed? I am interested in promoting some innovative good cosmetic products in US market.


    • Rigo 10/16/2013, 8:30 pm

      I have 23,500 glass 100ML bottles with a unique blend of ingredients that of which include authentic argan oil. These bottles have no labels and no boxes. I have attached a brochure. I can continue production in any size bottle you wish as well as print and place your labels for an additional charge. AS they stand, I will let them all go for $5.75/bottle at this price this includes delivery. Please let me know if you are interested. Thank you


  • satyen shah 09/03/2013, 7:04 am

    this is satyen shah
    we want to start our new cosmetic business in mumbai is this a rite time to start

  • macbeth 08/28/2013, 2:43 am


    i’m curious to know as to which procedure or on how should i go about with things.
    i have receive samples of products from manufacturer which later on they can modify according to my needs. as everything can be custom including own label & brand.
    my main target is to market my product Online.
    should i register for anything?
    like license, insurance etc etc.
    is there anything that i should be aware of?

    do give me a head up, and if nothing is needed, also do give me some form of advise if my practise is advisable.


    • Perry Romanowski 09/13/2013, 3:48 pm

      You don’t need to register anything. You do have to ensure that all the appropriate safety and claims testing is done however.

  • M Latif 08/12/2013, 12:50 pm

    I am starting my own natural cosmetic business in uk. Can any one tell me if this is right time to start this sort of business.

    • Perry Romanowski 08/14/2013, 9:00 am

      If you have the passion for it then yes now is the best time to start your business.

    • Ione 03/11/2014, 8:32 am

      I am looking for a partner to start up a hand made high quality cosmetics company in UK. Please contact me. ione.ranno@yahoo.co.uk

  • Marisha 06/24/2013, 5:48 am

    I’m looking to start my own business making and selling natural organic beauty Products. I was wondering do I need any special insurance or licenses to do this? Any information on starting this kind of business would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

  • Nompumelelo 06/12/2013, 4:26 am

    Hi ll

    I have been working on a baby shampoo for a couple of months for a school project. After performing temperature tests for stability the shampoo changed color from clear to slightly brown. I am not sure which factors could be contributing to this. can anyone help me out.

    Secondly, where can I obtain formulas for organic hair care.

    Thanks , Mpumi , S.A

    • Zandi 08/30/2013, 4:16 am

      Hello Mpumi

      I am zandi, I am touched by your question of doing a schl project in cosmetics, my quetion is , are you doing hair manuf professionally or u were just experimenting?? the reason why i ask is beacuase i am also a south african who is starting her own business in cosmetic manufaring and was looking for a local partner so we can take on south african ( skin of color ) market by storm.

      reply and c how far we can go.

      • divya 10/27/2013, 9:47 am

        hi Zandi,
        i am a skin specialist and have been using my products for the past 25 years. i am a professional and have used these on african skin as majority of my client base is african/ carribean.. im now looking to expand my product market globally. if you are interested , kindly email me and we can take it from there.

  • louise 06/08/2013, 3:59 pm

    I love this site

    ok my question is I have a up and running cosmetics line and site, Iam in the process of recreating new packaging for my company. Do you know of any packaging tube companies. Thank You

  • lea 06/02/2013, 12:21 pm

    I really have great ideas of starting my own lip gloss line idk were to start and need help…im in ohio

  • Rose 05/07/2013, 4:47 pm

    I am looking for someone in the uk to produce skin care products for me, I want to set up my own brand. My father used to be in partnership with a chemist many years ago and created really good products.

    I’m wondering what I need to do mainly to get the ball rolling? Obviously I have my ideas and ingredients considered etc, marketing and blah blah but production wise, I need help on how to actually get these products made?!

    Any reply will be appreciated, thank you.

    • Perry Romanowski 05/08/2013, 10:17 am

      Be sure to read our report How to start a cosmetic line. Also, post your request in our forum. You might find someone there who can help.

    • Nadia Zuodar 05/15/2013, 10:19 am

      Hi Rose,

      I am developing a start up of natural cosmetic products with swiss technology but based in South Africa. I am a physicist and biochemist and my products are of a quality and absence of any non plant ingredients nor cheaper carrier or waxes that are not matched. Some are more for alternative medicine than strictly cosmetics. I currently do them hand made myself but with my South African branch I am going to increase the volume for some products while still doing others on orders. If you are interested to know more send me an email at nzuodar@hotmail.com, and I can share my leaflet with you and samples, my website is in construction. The products I do are under my trademark NadiaZ but adapted to clients needs. In SA you can also get classical manufacturers producing for you under your trademark but in terms of natural products you won’t find any matching mine, but again depends on what you are looking for and the cost you aim at. I can give you contacts if you need. Obviously prices will be cheaper for manufacturing in SA that is why I don’t do my manufacturing in Switzerland, while cost of transport will have to be added. Best regards,

    • Barbara 08/21/2013, 11:47 am

      I’m not sure if you have found anyone yet but I might be interested in your venture.

    • Barbara 08/26/2013, 2:40 am

      Hi Rose,

      I’m not sure if you’ve found someone to help you with the production of your products. I ‘m based in the UK and I teach cosmetic formulation. Specifically formulating natural products. If you’re interested just let me know.

    • Rigo 10/16/2013, 8:41 pm

      I have 23,500 glass 100ML bottles with a unique blend of ingredients that of which include authentic argan oil. These bottles have no labels and no boxes. I have attached a brochure. I can continue production in any size bottle you wish as well as print and place your labels for an additional charge. AS they stand, I will let them all go for $5.75/bottle at this price this includes delivery. Please let me know if you are interested. Thank you


    • Andreas Charitonos 12/16/2013, 3:59 am

      Dear Rose,

      We are a private label/contract manufacturer based in Germany with more than 30 years experience in the field of skin care cosmetics. We will be happy to assist you with your project at any stage of the product development process.
      We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time.

  • Farhad 05/03/2013, 3:20 pm

    Hi,I am a hair transplant surgeon working in middle east.I have a formulation for natural hair tonic,I want someone help me how can I produce this hair tonic in US?

    • Martin 05/07/2013, 8:25 am

      We are contract skin care laboratories we can develop, process and customize all your cosmetics and personal care products according to your request. Please contact us 866-611-9694 today for all your daily personalized skin, hair, nail and foot care products with your signature and logo on it. Our team of scientists have over twenty years experience with cosmetic processing, development and manufacturing.

  • Berita 04/30/2013, 1:25 am

    Hi All,

    I am looking to start an ethnic cosmetic and haircare line (including relaxers). I would like the products to be natural with ingredients at levels that work. I can not tell u how many products I have tried out there for my oily acne scarred skin but no improvements, as well as finding a foundation that matches my skin tone. I currently live in the Uk but originally from Southern Africa which is where I hope to startup the line. I have certain ideas and would like certain ingredients added into a formulation. I thought of private label but since I want certain ingredients, do I have to go with contract manufacturing? Could you please recommend contract manufacturers in the UK or any other country that could help me with the above.

    Kind regards


    • Martin 05/07/2013, 8:23 am

      We are contract skin care laboratories we can develop, process and customize all your cosmetics and personal care products according to your request. Please contact us 866-611-9694 today for all your daily personalized skin, hair, nail and foot care products with your signature and logo on it. Our team of scientists have over twenty years experience with cosmetic processing, development and manufacturing.

    • Nadia Zuodar 05/15/2013, 10:18 am

      Hi Berita,

      I am developing a start up of natural cosmetic products with swiss technology but based in South Africa. I am a physicist and biochemist and my products are of a quality and absence of any non plant ingredients nor cheaper carrier or waxes that are not matched. Some are more for alternative medicine than strictly cosmetics. I currently do them hand made myself but with my South African branch I am going to increase the volume for some products while still doing others on orders. If you are interested to know more send me an email at nzuodar@hotmail.com, and I can share my leaflet with you and samples, my website is in construction. The products I do are under my trademark NadiaZ but adapted to clients needs. In SA you can also get classical manufacturers producing for you under your trademark but in terms of natural products you won’t find any matching mine, but again depends on what you are looking for and the cost you aim at. I can give you contacts if you need. Obviously prices will be cheaper for manufacturing in SA that is why I don’t do my manufacturing in Switzerland, while cost of transport will have to be added. Best regards,

    • Rigo 10/16/2013, 8:58 pm

      I have 23,500 glass 100ML bottles with a unique blend of ingredients that of which include authentic argan oil. These bottles have no labels and no boxes.I can continue production in any size bottle you wish as well as print and place your labels for an additional charge. AS they stand, I will let them all go for $5.75/bottle at this price this includes delivery. Please let me know if you are interested. Thank you


    • Oxana 04/03/2014, 9:34 am

      Berita, good afternoon,
      we have cosmetic factory and make these items for you, if you are still interested, please contact me for further details,

  • Jeanette 04/25/2013, 6:56 pm

    I don’t want to be in the business of starting a cosmetics company. I’m in business now in a field far from cosmetics. However, I have 2 products that are no longer made by the original manufacturer. What makes them unique is that they are not “all natural” since sometimes natural (essential oils, bees wax, some SPFs, etc) are actually worse for those of us that are sensitive. Yet, despite great amounts of disappointment for previous users, the manufacturer (from a business standpoint or otherwise) choose to no longer produce the original formula product.

    I would just like to have the products analyzed for the amounts of the ingredients and reproduce them on mine own for myself or resale. I’ve contacted the maker of one product and they just stopped making it and it was great hand cream! The best. I’ve always knew I’d need a chemist but where to start………

    I look forward to hearing from any chemists. Thank you for time.

    • Perry Romanowski 04/26/2013, 6:44 am


      I would suggest you post this request to the cosmetic science forum. You’ll more likely get a response.

    • Nadia Zuodar 05/15/2013, 10:25 am

      Dear Jeannette,

      Please see my replies above. I can assure you that I formulate products without bee wax and all the kind because I have the same allergies and sensitivity, which is the reason I have started my own brand. I can formulate without essential oils but using african oils and butters that do not generate any reactions. My green African Wisdom bodybutter is particularly appreciated by people with eczema and other problems. You can tell me what the product you liked was about and try my own or one that I would do for you. You may never get the proper formula by chemical analysis. For one, the quality of the raw material needs to be monitored. Then the process of fabrication comes into play when you want to preserve the plants properties as well. Hope this helps

    • Rigo 10/16/2013, 9:00 pm

      I have 23,500 glass 100ML bottles with a unique blend of ingredients that of which include authentic argan oil. These bottles have no labels and no boxes. I have attached a brochure. I can continue production in any size bottle you wish as well as print and place your labels for an additional charge. AS they stand, I will let them all go for $5.75/bottle at this price this includes delivery. Please let me know if you are interested. Thank you


  • Kristine 04/13/2013, 1:04 am

    That is an inspiring story. Some might not just have the courage to start their own cosmetic business but perhaps because of this video they’ll have the courage to start one. Thanks for sharing the story here.

    Permanent Makeup New York City

  • Doug Erick 04/01/2013, 8:48 am

    Marketing on the internet is a great way to start. I would also suggest that you might want to try some local festivals. I don’t mean to suggest that your products would be in the craft show catagory. BUT There is no way better way to get immediate feedback than to be in front of your customers. This will also help hone your marketing skills. I have found customers are invaluable to developing a product line. They are one of your best sources of information. You can pick up a little money and conduct a marketing study. GOOD LUCK

  • Sandra77 03/29/2013, 5:09 pm

    I have a burning desire to start my own skin care line. I have spent the last 40 years fighting acne, acne scars (including stubborn hyperpigmentation) and getting smooth, youthful skin. I am seeking a recommendation for a lab or company that can help me with private label products or help me to develop my own products (I am assuming the latter would be more expensive than the former). Can you recommend names of any labs or companies that you think would help me with this? Please feel free to respond on your website and/or at my private email address. Thank you in advance.

    • Oxana 04/03/2014, 9:37 am

      Hello, maybe we can help you, we have cosmetic company.
      please contact me for further details

  • lisa 02/14/2013, 12:31 pm

    Are there any good books to read on starting own cosmetic line( Im only interested in making my own lipsticks)
    If I make my own what are the steps for me to sell them? I would sell them online at first and see how the its accepted via online purchase.
    I wanted to add my own personal touches to recipes that are already out there, apply them to a compact and add another feature to the compact. Am I able to do this and sell them then? My background is in the beauty industry and retail marketing industry.

  • April 02/13/2013, 9:43 am

    I am interested in starting my own lipstick line! I want a varitey of shades as well. Where do I need to start? *I am a licensed stylist!* I need help! Please attach a phone number or email address. Im looking to get started as soon as possible.

    • Perry 02/13/2013, 9:49 am

      Hello April – the first thing I would suggest is that you download our free report Start a Cosmetic Line.

      Next, go to our forum and post your request there. You might find some cosmetic chemists to work with.

    • Oxana 04/03/2014, 9:39 am

      Hello, we have base for these products,
      please contact me for further details

  • NM 02/11/2013, 5:57 pm

    Hey there,

    I would like to start my own cosmetic company but I am not to sure how to go about it. I read your free report and had a few questions. I want to creative new formulas and start off on my own.
    1) Where I can find a lab to work with? Google isn’t much of a help.
    2) Can you start working with a lab and than as your product gets more known have a lab of your own?
    3) When I work with a lab do I just need to tell them what I am looking for or do I need to decide all the ingredients and etc?
    4) If I were to just start a company with my own lab, how do I go about it? And what would be the costs?
    5) If not labs, could you suggest some manufactures?

    Please let me know,
    Thank you.

    • Perry Romanowski 07/29/2013, 7:27 am

      1. You can post your request in our cosmetic science forum.

      2. Yes.

      3. You can tell them what you are looking for. You can also tell them some ingredients you want.

      4. See our post on “the costs of starting a cosmetic business”. But basically you’ll need about $15,000 to start.

      5. Post this request in our cosmetic science forum.

      • NM 07/29/2013, 8:11 am

        Can I have the link to “cosmetic science forum”

      • megan 09/07/2013, 2:55 pm

        hi. I’m a qualified nail technician .i have been looking into starting my own brand products ranging from a soak off gel polish. A hard gel system and an acrylic system. Where can i find information on how to do this? Many thanks.

        • Perry Romanowski 09/11/2013, 5:53 pm

          Get our free report http://startacosmeticline.com

        • Peter Robinson 09/21/2013, 7:53 am

          Hi, we are based in Poland and we manufacture amongst other things a Hybrid uv/led soak off gel polish. My advice is simple, if your looking to primarilly market your line in the EU then look for an EU manufacturer. Laws in the US and especially china permit the use of hundreds of chemicals that are prohibited in the EU so be careful.
          As well as established brands we produce for many start ups and have a good working understanding of the business. Minimum orders are just 2000 euros so if you need more info please contact me, Peter, uk@chemikalpartners.com

    • Rigo 09/25/2013, 12:03 pm

      I have a great product with great ingredients. email me for a brochure with pictures and ingredients. thecleargroup1@gmail.com

    • Rigo 10/16/2013, 9:01 pm

      I have 23,500 glass 100ML bottles with a unique blend of ingredients that of which include authentic argan oil. These bottles have no labels and no boxes. I have attached a brochure. I can continue production in any size bottle you wish as well as print and place your labels for an additional charge. AS they stand, I will let them all go for $5.75/bottle at this price this includes delivery. Please let me know if you are interested. Thank you


  • Simone b 02/09/2013, 6:21 pm

    Im looking into to making my own nail polish and sell it on line. Im having a hard time finding color pigments, high quality bases and whole sale bottles, basically supplies/suppliers. I was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction, also I live in ny does anyone know if I need a cosmology license to make nail polish. Thanks in advance

  • lisa 01/29/2013, 5:08 pm

    I want to start my own lipstick tint/lipgloss any ideas where I can go to find out where I can get the packaging/manufacturer? I wanted to put my lipstick in a refillable double well compact. I cant find any lipstick compacts (round). Any ideas? Once I have my formula what steps are needed to sell it? i wanted to sell mainly online till my sales are good.

    • Doug Erick 02/06/2013, 9:10 am

      If you are willing to accept square double well square compacts try http://www.soapandthings.com/ but be careful she discontinues containers and that can leave you scrambling to replace them with like containers. To manufacture follow the guide outline that Perry has made available or go to the FDA website. You need a guide in manufacturing and labeling. A cosmetic can become an over the counter drug just by making medical claims on the label. Find your containers, make your product. Comply. Label it and find customers. Free business help is also available at SBA – SCORE.

  • Gillian 01/24/2013, 1:13 pm

    Hey!! I looove makeup and have recently toyed with the idea of starting my own line of cosmetics. Do I need a permit or something to sell to friends and such?

    • Perry 01/24/2013, 8:03 pm

      No. You just need to follow the guidelines set up by the FDA. Essentially make sure you sue preservatives and that your products are safe to use.

  • Paris Yemi Ola 01/22/2013, 2:58 pm

    I am currently in the process of starting my own makeup line and really need some help!
    I am looking for any type of help as i have a great idea and am really willing to put my all into this.
    I want to create my own shades, and tones so i think custom blend would be best. Looking to hear from any manufacturer, people who deal with formulas, packaging, product/business developers etc. Look forward to hearing from you!

    I am based in the UK, However open to suggestions!

  • Paris Yemi Ola 01/22/2013, 2:58 pm

    Im currently in the process of starting my own makeup line and really need some help!
    Im looking for any type of help as i have a great idea and am really willing to put my all into this.
    I want to create my own shades, and tones so i think custom blend would be best. Looking to hear from any manufacturer, people who deal with formulas, packaging etc. Look forward to hearing from you!

    I am based in the UK, However open to suggestions!

    • nsar 01/24/2013, 12:26 am

      we are the manufacturers of cosmetics. we can provide you the products that you want.

    • Ade 01/25/2013, 6:14 am

      We are Skincare and Hair care contract manufacturer. We would like to partner with you to develop and formulate your own line of products.Please visit us online http://www.durollabs.com.


      • Jay Rose 10/12/2013, 9:46 am


        I am also keen on starting my own cosmetic line. Foundations/lipsticks/concealers ect but what to create products that non -toxic and as organic as possible due to the growing concern with allergies these days! I am a biomedical engineer but I am wondering if there is already a company who produce organic make up which I can brand, and also add a few of my own products.

        I have a relatively strong business plan but would require some suppliers to work with in cosmetics.

        Please get in touch: bombayroselove@gmail.com


  • sandrine 12/12/2012, 4:58 pm

    I have an idea for a cosmetic product that already exists. But I want to take its similar ingredients and make it a better product for its use and by packaging it more individually.
    I’m a professional make up artist and have experience with using the original product, but i think i can make it better and more hygienic for use on set.
    I don’t know how to start looking into this concept, and if there is a patent on the original product that could stop me from going forward.
    Please could you give me some advice.
    I live in the UK, however i think this product would be most successful in USA.

    • Javier Landmark 01/02/2013, 7:42 am

      My name is Javier Landmark. I’m product /business developer for Cosmetic & Food Industry. It is easier than you think. If you have a formula already, we can test it in a lab and taking to the market in less than 20 days. We can help you to design your packaging, brand and formula.
      Contact me if you want more details
      Javier Landmark lacarrye2006@yahoo.com

    • Doug Erick 01/04/2013, 8:39 am

      The internet is great for looking up patents. Look for the patent to be registered in the country that it is manufactured and also check in the UK if that is where you buy it. You can also call the company directly. I can not imagine a marketing department or sales office that would not be proud to talk about their patent. If there is a patent read it and respect it. That does not mean that you can not make a product like it, Fro that it would be wise to talk to a patent lawyer. An hour of their time is not that expensive and well worth the price. Starting a business you will have costs… Good Luck.

  • Kar 10/20/2012, 10:51 pm

    Hello, I was wondering how much it would cost to start my own cosmetics line? (excluding the rent and labour costs)

    If i wanted to start with all the makeup fundamentals: nailpolish,eye liner,eye shadow,blush,mascara,foundation and primer. (obviously not a ton of different shade sor anything) On average, How much would it cost to manufacture and package them? Thank you so much

    • Perry 10/22/2012, 2:07 pm

      See our post on “how much money it costs to start your own cosmetic line”

    • Doug Erick 10/24/2012, 5:21 pm

      So far this year I have spent $63,000. But I am building a contract filling business to support my skin care line. Believe me, it can be done for a lot less. Do not try to do too much at once. I had just 4 products for several years while I was working as a consultant and building my business sense. Go slow and learn with as little cost as you can. I have been a chemist for along time but… business cycles. Sales are a desert after Christmas. Imagine my suprise. I thought I knew it all. Well that was a hard lesson. That was when I started to work as a consultant to finance this business.

  • Breanna 10/19/2012, 12:03 pm

    Hi, I’m Breanna Powell, 18 yrs old. Florida resident. Fashion is my life, I’ve been pretty interested for some time now. I really want to start my own nail polish line or join in with a team and present my ideas on the table. Only thing is, I have no where near 7,000 – 10,000$ so I honestly don’t know where to begin. I want this more than anything in the world other than family. So your recommendation, advice will help me sleep better and be highly appreciated. Thank you so much

    • Perry 10/19/2012, 12:12 pm

      I would download our free “Start your own cosmetic line” report and follow the steps that don’t cost money. Once you have your idea mapped out, then you can go about finding investors & make your dream happen.

    • anonymous 04/20/2013, 11:10 pm

      Hey Breanna i could help you and your won’t need that much money. Email me. dearmyloveforfashion@gmail.com

  • danielle 03/13/2012, 8:02 pm

    Help! I live in uk and want to start my own make up range. I’ve been looking for manufacturers buts all no name produce. I want to start my own individual range for my cosmetic boutique. Also I’m a designer and want to design my own product packaging. Where do I go for each of these things and how much I am looking at for start up range. Help!

  • LaToya 03/01/2012, 9:54 am


    I am very interested in createing my own natural hair care product line. Primarily, my target customers would be African American and Multi-Racial women with naturally curly hair or transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. I want to also target all women with hair loss disorder because I have been living and dealing with Alopecia Areata for 11 yr. I have been thru many extensive medical treatments, I have beens completely bald for years. I have been doing research and creating my own hair products for my hair. Also, I have been collecting data and analyzing the effectness, shelf life of my products and over health of my hair. Is there any advice on what my next step(s) should be and how I can set my self apart from other natural hair product line to be competitive in today’s market.

    Thank you :)

  • rachel morgan 02/22/2012, 11:34 am

    Hi There!

    Calling for help!

    I desperately want to start my own nail polish line but am struggling with where to start, cant seem to find a manufacturer? I also want to include other products in my set so not sure how to get everything i need and then packaged into one set with my own branding.

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Many Thanks

    • Perry 02/26/2012, 9:43 am

      Hello Rachel,

      I’d suggest looking through a cosmetic industry buyers guide for manufacturers. But first you might want to download our free report that teaches you how to launch your own cosmetic line. You can get it here. Start A cosmetic line

    • nsar 02/26/2012, 11:35 am

      Hi Rachel,
      Sir we are the manufacturers of herbal and natural products. We have a large manufacturing line in lotions, creams, scrubs, masks etc every thing have various variants. We can supply you loose material. For instance we can send you some samples to check if you want.

      • jynnifer thompson 03/26/2012, 3:27 pm

        Hi, my name is Jynnifer and I’m very interested in starting my own cosmetic line named Jynnifer and later on a clothing line. Please email me info on manufacturer, packaging, cross selling my brand in stores. Please contact me as soon as possible with more info.

        Jynnifer Thompson

      • Zoe Morgan 10/25/2012, 4:32 am

        Hi Nsar, can you please send me some more information.

        To zoemorgan1@yahoo.co.uk


      • Lorraine 05/03/2013, 7:36 pm

        Hi nsar,

        I will also be trying to source natural products herbal extracts etc. and will most likely opt for a manu. line as opposed to finding a cosmetic chemist.

    • OTB Consultancy 03/01/2012, 9:38 am

      Hi Rachel

      We are a Health & Beauty Consultancy company Based in the UK. We work with many brands and manufacturers that produce all Health & Beauty products.
      Please drop me an email and I will be able to discuss in more detail and put you in touch with the relevant manufacturer.

      Best regards

      • Nombuso 03/09/2012, 2:07 pm


        I’d like to start my cosmetics line, can you please email me the list of manufactures.


        • Martin 04/11/2012, 3:04 pm

          We are prestigious contract cosmetic Manufacturer and we are working hard to meet all our customers demand, dedicated to provide the highest quality products to professional company like you. We would like to partner with you to develop your own brands. We can precisely make the quality of your brand look exactly like the top selling, more recognizable brands with top quality and greater value for less than the price to manufacture the top selling products. You can increase the value of your business through branding. If you already have your own line of products, you can consider us for your next projects at a competitive price, Please Visit us online: http://www.Durollabs.com.

          • Ron 07/04/2012, 7:22 am

            I too would love to start my own cosmetics line here in Australia. If anyone could help me with finding some manufacturers here i would greatly appreciate.

      • DR VIJAY 12/06/2012, 8:11 pm


        THANK YOU

        • Yueh Chyn Chung 01/03/2013, 12:44 am

          Dr. Vijay,

          I am Jeannie from Malaysia and I am interested to start up a cosmetic line. The plan is to start from KL, then expand slowly. If interested to be a business partner, please reply to my email yuehchung2012@u.northwestern.edu.

        • Peter 04/30/2013, 7:29 pm

          Hello Dr Vijay,

          If you are still looking for marketing, we might be able to assist. Contact me if you are interested

      • neelam 12/12/2012, 8:50 am

        i want to set up my own nail polish line, was wondering:
        how hard it would be to start up?
        how many different brands there are in UK nail polish market?
        and their market share!

    • Nicola 07/18/2012, 3:35 am

      Hi There! I’m a designer so can assist with design & sourcing for anything to do with logos, branding & packaging. When you start up it’s really tricky to get small enough minimums, in anything, to begin with, but I have extensive experience in this line and can help you. My fees are not expensive,… drop me a line.

      • Gigi 03/12/2013, 12:04 pm

        Can you please email me. I want to set up my own line.

      • Amber 01/14/2015, 4:16 pm

        Contact information please :)

    • anonymous 04/20/2013, 11:11 pm

      Did you ever start your nail polish line?

  • Rish 01/26/2012, 11:50 am

    Hello, I was wondering how much it would cost to start my own cosmetics line? (excluding the rent and labour costs) If i wanted to start out with a nailpolish,eye liner,eye shadow,blush,mascara,foundation and primer (basic make up) collections, how much would it cost to manufacture and package them? thanks!

  • nsar 01/03/2012, 9:50 am

    Hi sir,
    I am starting a cosmetic business in USA; our products are totally herbal natural. I want suggestion of you people about the name of the company. Please suggest a name. I was trying to select that name which is near to natural beauty.

  • Li 12/29/2011, 10:16 am

    Hello Perry,

    Thank you so much for posting this article.

    I am hoping you can help me. I live on the East Coast and I would like to start a non toxic nail polish company. I am trying to research manufacturers in the US and would like to know if you could suggest names of companies.

    We would probably use stock colors as well as have certain colors formulated, do you think it is expensive to start?

    Thank you for your help,


    • Perry 12/29/2011, 10:49 am

      Hello Li,

      To find a manufacturer near you, I would suggest you look in an industry Buyer’s Guide. Look for Contract Manufacturers. I’m not sure which ones produce the nail polish you are looking for but I know there are some. Here is a couple of buyer’s guide links.

      GCI Directory
      Happi magazine buyer’s guide

    • nsar 01/03/2012, 10:16 am

      Hi Li,
      We have a big range of cosmetics and many more formulas. Actually we are the manufacturer of cosmetics in Pakistan and manufactures materials for different cosmetic companies. If you want i can send you different samples of each kind you want. Even we can manufactures the product according to your demand.
      you can contact me for further details at nsar_tauras@hotmail.com.

      • Li 01/03/2012, 2:06 pm

        Hello Nsar,

        Thank you for your note.

        At the moment, my partner and I are only interested in starting a nail polish company. We are solely looking for manufacturers in the US.


    • Greg 01/26/2012, 9:50 am

      saw your comment and response to the article; wondering if you have started on your company yet. I too would like to create a small products/cosmetic skin products line for men. I have branding, logo, and name experience but nothing about creating the products. Care to chat further and discuss some ideas?
      I am located in Madison, Wisconsin.

      • nsar 01/26/2012, 1:47 pm

        yes we are going to launch our cosmetics company soon. our product line is ready and also the website. only few things are left but i am very glad if you chat with me, may be we will helpful to each other.

        • sheila 12/15/2012, 8:34 pm

          I would love the opportunity to speak to you about your new company. I too am starting a very small cosmoseutical company. Please feel free to contact me asap.


  • Gen 11/28/2011, 3:40 pm

    I have been working on my own skin care line (out of my home) and want to know if I absolutely should patent my formulas, as they do work! According to the FDA, all ingredients have to be disclosed on a product label and I do not want anyone to ‘steal’ my formulations. Does the customer have the right to know my product formula? I understand that listing the ingredients only allows one to know what is in my formula, not the amounts… in a nutshell, when should one patent a formula. I would like to know this before I start selling my product. Thanks

    • Perry 11/28/2011, 6:19 pm

      @Gen – In my opinion patents for cosmetic formulas are mostly a waste of money. T’hey don’t really protect you and they just help competitors figure out the levels of the ingredients in your formula. The thing that sells personal care product formulas is the performance but the marketing is even a bit more important. I say just start selling your product and follow the rules as laid out by the FDA and the PCPC. Don’t worry about getting a patent.

      • Gen 11/29/2011, 2:59 pm

        Thanks Perry- I appreciate your candid response!!

      • Samantha Michel 12/08/2013, 11:59 pm

        Hi. How are you. Iam stuck i have alot of idea’s….of opening my perfume line. And who should i contact? where do i start? How much? What company is the best to began with i NEED Help?

  • Amy Alexanderson 11/13/2011, 9:29 pm

    Hello, I am an esthetician and looking to start my own make up line.I currently reside in Indiana and moving to Florida this summer.I have no idea where to start,about how much money do I begin with, or who to talk to.Please if any of you have recommendations,books,places etc.For me to do more research about this,I would greatly appreciate it.I am looking to sell my products at places like Ulta,Macy’s,Sephora etc. I already have a name for my make up line which I am so excited about.How do I make it mine so no one will take it?Any ideas will help!Thanks!

  • Kay 10/31/2011, 11:35 am

    Hi Perry,

    I am in the process of starting my own cosmetic company. I was wondering whether a contract manufacturer is a able to produce my formulations for me, rather than using their own formulation.


    • Perry 10/31/2011, 11:43 am

      Yes, you should be able to find a contract manufacturer who will produce your formulation.

  • Lilly 10/19/2011, 11:13 am

    There are Mineral DIY companies like TKB Trading where you can order samples to make your own mineral makeup.

    As for private label companies just google and go from there.

  • Armin 10/17/2011, 12:39 am

    My father had very bad problem’s with hemoroids , and he had visited the doctor a whole bunch of times and everything that they prescribed to him did not seem to have any effect. So through some help of my grandma i have devised a 100% organic cream that i had him use and after 3 applications on the area, the problem disappeared as if it was never there. this same formula can be used for many other reasons such as cuts, burns, to smooth skin and its potential is abnormal. But I don’t know where to start, what should I do?

    • Sandra77 03/29/2013, 5:17 pm

      Armin, are you still looking to market the hemorrhoid preparation you created? If so, please let me know. Thanks.


  • Nate 09/29/2011, 12:41 pm

    Can you provide some links or advice on where to find free or inexpensive market research regarding new opportunities, emerging trends, and target markets for cosmetics? Mainly looking for skin care and protection or cleansing product market information.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Perry 10/02/2011, 10:19 pm

      You can find lots of information about the cosmetic market at GCI magazine. Check for them online.

  • Ms. E 07/14/2011, 5:36 pm

    I have an idea for product that I want to develop but don’t know all the ins and outs of finding a chemist, how to approach one, what are the costs involved and how do I protect my idea when searching for someone to help me develop this product.

  • steve 07/12/2011, 6:46 pm

    I work with my father at out factory. He has been in business since 1990. the thing you must find out is if you want to be a private label manufacturer or contract manufacturer. Private label is more profitable but good solid clients are hard to find. i am full of info on what this industry brings…feel free to email me @ lcpltulshigs@yahoo.com

  • Alice 06/19/2011, 12:25 pm

    Hi there,

    I’d like to have my own organic skin care company someday. But I can’t help but wonder if becoming a cosmetic scientist before starting or in the long run would be immensely beneficial to the company. It is not uncommon for some founders of cosmetics/skin care companies, lacking prior knowledge or experience in formulating, to partner with a chemist or dermatologist to help create their line. This leads me to my question, is getting a degree in chemistry to become a cosmetic scientist absolutely vital to this process or is researching on your own with chemistry and cosmetic science books enough? Thanks

    • Perry 06/21/2011, 7:15 am

      If your goal is to have your own cosmetics line, it is good to have a solid background in the chemistry of the products but it is not critical to get a degree in chemistry. Better would be to get some training in business as marketing is the key to having a successful line. You can hire technical people to create your formulas. But having a background is helpful. You could get this by taking something like our online cosmetic science training course.

  • Karen 06/13/2011, 9:55 am

    Hello Perry,

    I have been sitting on this creative cosmetics idea, that the concept of it is unlike most other cosmetic lines out there. Its a fun, fresh and trendy idea and I truly believe it has the potential to grow tremendously. Ideally my goal would be to sell my line at the likes of Sephora or other big name department stores, but realistically I would have to start with the smaller boutiques. I have some capital to start with, but after doing much research it has been quite the struggle to find the most sought out manufacturer to turn to. I don’t want average looking and quality makeup, and yet when I try researching manufacturers that make makeup say for Stila, Urban Decay, Benefit Cosmetics or MAC ( just a few examples), I can’t seem to succeed in my quest. Any thoughts to help out? Thanks.

    • Sophia 08/30/2011, 1:12 am

      I’m not sure if it’s an industry thing, but most manufacturers are pretty quiet about who they manufacter and develop for (I actually know who was behind developing Stila from being around). Your best bet is to look up cosmetic chemistry labs specializing in colored cosmetic products. You can find many in the Los Angeles area, specifically Chatsworth. You may even try as far south as San Diego. I hope this helps you!

      • Karen 12/28/2011, 9:39 am

        Thanks Sofia for the recommendation. I always felt that a lot of these makeup brands that use manufacturing plants in the States are heavily located in California (or even New Jersey). I will do more research for sure.

        Do you also know if a cosmetic manufacturer will produce for more than just 1 label or brand?

  • Mel 06/09/2011, 12:20 am

    I’m interested in starting my own lip stick line but I dint know where to start and HOW MUCH should I be looking to pay to start off?? Could you please give me an estimate on a start up cost. I just want to start a lip stick line.

    • Perry 06/10/2011, 1:23 pm

      Hello Mel,

      My guess would be about $7000 – $10,000 to start.

    • Sophia 08/30/2011, 1:16 am

      I agree with Perry, but I’m actually going to guess a little more – depends how many shades you have. Additionally, packaging minimums start at 10,000 pieces from most suppliers if you’re lucky, just for the canister to hold the lipstick puck. Then, you’ll need to cover formulation and shade variations. The most expensive portion will be the actual fill of the product – most manufacturers have fill minimums starting at 3000 per shade because of the cost associated with setting equipment up for the pours. Don’t forget about any testing you may need or product liability insurance when you go to retail to consumers.

  • Ria Zeinz 06/06/2011, 11:11 pm

    As mentioned in previous posts, before you start selling anything you need to find out what your state requires as far as permits, licensing, etc. Then there are the Federal guidelines to investigate as well. For example, I am in Wisconsin and prior to selling anything I was required to apply for a sellers permit through the state dept of regulation & licensing. The ID number issued to me, or more accurately, my company, is what I use to file my quarterly Sales & Use tax.
    Each state has their own requirements and it will also vary depending on your actual intent. What I mean is, to use myself as an example, I operate several different branches of my business. I not only manufacture products in house, but I also sell retail and wholesale, as well as preform hands-on demonstration/application of my cosmetic products. The requirements for manufacturing are obviously very different than what is required for makeup application, but nonetheless, all must be met.
    While some states require that all persons who apply makeup to others be certified or licensed as makeup artists or cosmetologists, other states require nothing at all. This applies to doing home parties as well- as any Mary Kay rep will tell you, there is a long history of why they themselves do not actually apply makeup but in fact have party guests apply it themselves. This arose from trying to have Reps comply with all state regulations while still being able to sell their products.
    Anyway, my advice would be to determine which avenues you want to incorporate into your business and contact your local SBA for location specific information regarding regulations and such. The other positive thing about doing business with a larger private label company like those you mentioned is that they can also be a great resource in finding out the particulars of starting up your business.
    Of the 3 you mentioned, I personally haven’t worked with Audrey Morris, and only have limited experience with the other two as I don’t private label my line, but I can tell you that there are plenty more companies out there- all with their own minimum orders, requirements and whatnot. I’m not trying to ‘hide’ anything from you, but if these 3 are the only companies you are aware of, then you need to investigate further! I say this not to be difficult, but because I know that what you will learn in your research will be lost if I just give you the names of other companies, and believe me, the more you learn, the better off you are! By all means if you are struggling to find any other places, i am happy to help point you in the right direction!
    Lastly, and this is really for anyone interested in just learning more about the industry – signup for the free newsletters and magazines available from HAPPI, GCI, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Cosmetics Design, and all the other trade magazines out there! Register at sites like Special Chem for Cosmetics and Personal Care Truth- you will learn more in digging through these type of sites than you could ever want to know!
    Finally, (I mean it this time), do not underestimate how much time and effort it takes to start up a cosmetics business! Regardless of whether or not you manufacture or private label! The biggest mistake I see people make when coming into this industry is that they come in thinking it is going to be easy or simple or a piece of cake. They have no clue how much knowledge and learning is involved. As long as you prepare yourself and have a driving passion for the cosmetics industry you will be fine! Yes, it’s hard work, but just about everything worth having is!
    Good luck, and ask if you have questions!

    • Greg 01/26/2012, 10:35 am

      Hi Ria,
      I am located in Wisconsin and would like to talk more with you after reading your post, which, was very helpful thanks!


  • LULU 06/06/2011, 4:43 pm

    Hi Erica,
    I’m thinking of buying a line of cosmetics form a private label cosmetics company. Do i need to obtain a
    licenes to do house partys & makeovers, or working with plastic surgeons offices doing before and after pictures. which private label company would you use? I only know of 3, Lady Byrd, Audrey Morris, and your name cosmetics.

  • Erica 05/31/2011, 10:21 am

    Starting your own cosmetic is a great business to go into. I have been selling cosmetic for some time know & i love it. I sell large & small bulk quanities & individual sale.

    • NM 02/11/2013, 6:06 pm

      How did you get started?

  • zara sara 04/24/2011, 7:38 am

    i need info about how to start chem based business i m analytical chemist

  • Liya 04/20/2011, 11:54 am

    Thanks, Doug!

  • Ria Zeinz 04/16/2011, 11:46 am

    April 16, 2011 at 1:56 am. Don’t YOU sleep either?

  • Doug Erick 04/16/2011, 1:56 am

    April 13, 2011 at 1:52 am. Don’t you sleep?

    • Perry 04/17/2011, 8:35 pm

      I was actually in London when I wrote that. But it certainly seems like I don’t slepp much.

  • Doug Erick 04/16/2011, 1:54 am

    You are starting at a great time. The large nationals are stripping their businesses of what they consider unprofitable markets. Many of these are wonderful small businesses niches.
    There might be local or state registration of businesses. There is the question of D.B.A. vs. corporation. The SBA score program can help educate you on these (free advice). Also the FDA has a Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program. This program is supposed to provide a two way flow of information. This site has some very important information. What is the difference between a cosmetic and a drug? Not knowing this could kill your business. http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/VoluntaryCosmeticsRegistrationProgramVCRP/default.htm
    Also get a subscription to HAPPI and Beauty Packaging. These are a journals for the cosmetic /cleaning industry.
    Best of luck.
    Doug Erick

  • Doug Erick 04/16/2011, 1:08 am

    Hi Lina
    I am not only a chemist, but also an old sales rep. Beware of people who lead with price. You odiously won’t be selling your products by saying “Hey customer, buy mine because it is cheapest. I agree with Perry your volume dictates how much it will cost them to manufacture for you. Volume drives discounts in how they purchase raw materials. Size of production runs dictates how often they have to change products causing the blending and filling line to be completely flush and sanitized. Labor equals cost.
    One other thing that you should be asking of your possible supplier is if they manufacture organic and non organic products? How do they separate the two types of products to prevent cross contamination? Do they have separate storage of raw materials, what about blending and bottling? Always, always, always pay attention to what they say about quality.
    Good luck Doug Erick

  • Lina 04/12/2011, 5:29 am

    I have been following you guys, such an incredible website.
    My question is: I am in the process of starting my organic skin care products in the UK. I have already decided to go for a manufacturers organic stock formula. I have been doing research on the manufacture, however I have not contacted them yet. Now I got to the point of my business plan which I have to put prices and numbers, I guess it´s time to contact them. Any sugestions of what I should ask? how to break the ice in my first email? Should I ask them for prices first? I hope you can help me
    Thank you and good luck to everybody ;)

    • Perry 04/13/2011, 1:52 am

      Hello Lina,

      Congratulations on moving ahead with your project! You should ask them to quote you prices. They will want to know how many unit you intend to make so you should have a good idea what that is. Contract manufacturers price things differently based on how much you intend to make. Also, you will want to ask them about whether they have testing services or can get the testing done for you. You’ll need stability, micro and possibly safety testing before launching your product.

      Good luck!
      Perry, 44

  • Liya 03/22/2011, 9:57 am

    Thank you, Perry :)!

  • Ms. T 03/19/2011, 7:20 pm

    I am an Esthetician in Hawaii, Oahu, I am looking for a local formulation chemist for a skin care line I would like to start. I’m not sure how to find these chemists? Please help.

    • Sophia 08/30/2011, 1:21 am

      If you cannot find a cosmetics lab in Hawaii that works with formulating or manufacturing – try searching Southern California. There are many facilities that will work to create your formulas and manufacture them. Just depends what you’re looking to create and what type of business you can generate for the manufacturer. I may be able to recommend a couple to you. I’ve worked with several in the area.

      • salkis 10/07/2011, 5:55 pm

        Hi Sophia, i just recently moved to woodland hills ca and I would like any info on cosmetic labs or chemists close to this area, im trying to design a product for hair.

  • Perry 03/13/2011, 11:58 am

    Hello Liya,

    If you are going to sell a product, you will want to register as a corporation. An excellent book on the subject is Small Time Operator. http://www.amazon.com/Small-Time-Operator-Bernard-Kamoroff/dp/0917510186

    Hope that helps.

    Perry, 44

  • Liya 03/09/2011, 10:05 am

    Hello Perry,

    It seems that this discussion is still very popular :D. I am a chemist and would like to start my own cosmetic line. Everybody here discussed the formulations and the ownership of it. I am looking for information about the legal side of private label establishment. Could you, please, direct me to it (I read FDA website): Do I have to register a company, get license and etc. to sell my cosmetics on-line or in a store?

  • Perry 02/10/2011, 10:46 am


    You ask a difficult question because there is no single answer. The answer is more dependent on your mindset and that of your customers.

    Your first step should be to question your premises. Where did you get the idea that the skin issues of the people you see are the results of toxins in the environment? What science-based study can you point to that shows a cause and effect or at least a correlation? In this study (if it exists) will be a list of specific chemicals that cause an effect. You could decide to avoid those.

    In truth, based on the collected scientific evidence, there are no compounds you need to avoid. The cosmetic industry does a great job of testing ingredients and ensuring that they are safe for use.

    But if you believe that skin issues are the result of toxins, you will want to tell your contract manufacturer to avoid using them in your formulas. You can follow the guidelines of any of these groups…


    Note that these groups pick compounds mostly arbitrarily. Following these guidelines will not make your products more safe. But it does give you something to follow and some kind of authority to believe in.

    Hope that helps. Good luck.

  • Ms. LH 02/07/2011, 12:54 pm

    I am interested in starting my own cosmetic company and have already decided to go with private label manufacturing because they provide a low cost start up and I can get better acquainted with the industry and then branch out into my own brand. I have a meeting set up with two manufacturers to determine which one I am going to go with. My question is what type of questions I should ask or what should I be aware of before I decide on which company to do business with.

    • Perry 02/07/2011, 9:14 pm

      Hello Ms. LH

      The key is to determine whether they will produce a high quality product and deliver on time. So ask them about their production processes and also get a tour if you can. Next you want to find out about their formulators, their experience and the types of products that they’ve made. You really want to use a company that has produced the products you are interested in making. You should also work out who owns the formulas and get a signed contract. Hope that helps.

  • Mitte Blomqvist 02/01/2011, 8:19 am

    Dear Perry, thank you very much for your advice!
    What a shame Alluralab has closed down their business, do you have any other recommendations? Have you heard of Alban Muller International?

    In terms of costs, time and other practicalities, what is the biggest difference between developing your own formulas, using a stock formula or modifying a existing stock formula?

    What should I consider if using a independent chemist to develop my own formula, instead of going directly to a manufacturer? I guess I still have to find a manufacturer to produce the formula in the end?

    And where are the most innovative brains in the business? Can it be a good idea to try to find some young and promising chemist who hasen´t yet set up their own business? Or am I thinking totally wrong? If not, where can such a person be found (maybe here?) Is there any awards or other ways of finding people with potential?

    It seams, when reading all the comments above, that there is a lot of different people with different backgrounds and skills, wanting to start their own cosmetic business. Maybe it is possible to find someone here to collaborate with?

    Ms M

    • Sophia 08/30/2011, 1:34 am

      Hi Mitte,

      Hopefully I can try to help based on my experience in the industry. If someone has already answered, I apologize.

      When approaching a larger lab to formulate your products, they typically offer you a stock library of products to choose from – they’ve already created this product and it’s ready to go for you to use in manufacturing. If you generally like the formula – but have some special interests in mind – like you’re using mushroom extract as a marketing tool, or you’d like to add some colored beads that dissolve for visual effect, they’re more than happy to make a couple modifications to the formula that don’t diminish the integrity and stability of the product. Custom formulation is particularly helpful when you have a really specific product or function in mind. For example, if you tell your lab you’d like a 10% glycolic acid facial wash, and they do not have one “in stock,” they’re more than happy to put together a formula that meets all your needs, like “phosphate free” or “paraben free” or whatnot. This can get a little pricier than selecting something off the shelf.

      The pros to working with an experienced lab? They have many options to already choose from or have experience in the industry. It’s also helpful if they’re going to be manufacturing your formulas, if they’ve created them. The cons to working with an experienced lab? They tend to use ingredients that they already have on hand to reduce their cost – so sometimes getting a customized formula can be costly. Also, I have only ever encountered one lab that let my previous company own the formulas we manufacture – and that was after producing 100,000 units with them. The rest, they do not own to this day.

      This is the pro to working with a “freelance” type chemist. I know a company that only sells formulas to clients because they do not manufacture – just formulate. They work with clients in connecting them with manufacturing facilities to make their products, if they do not have a current facility. The client owns the formula at an inexpensive price and is free to manufacture wherever they please. They also help coordinate product stability (and if needed) skin testing. I prefer the latter option of a small chemist because you actually sit one-on-one and express your product desires and concerns. When I worked with a larger company, I only got to meet one chemist working on developing our products. Information was ALWAYS lost in translation.

      A lot to consider!

      • Tami 10/03/2012, 10:47 pm

        Hi Sophia

        I really appreciate your advice regarding freelance chemist. is it possible to send me the company you are using.

        Thank you

        • Lorraine 05/03/2013, 8:10 pm

          I would also love to get the name of that company that justs formulates and sells you the formula. Any joy on that Tami?

  • Karen 01/24/2011, 1:25 am

    I am an Integrative Practitioner who sees patients daily with skin issues and endocrine issues caused by toxins in the environment, skin products being one of many. I started searching for patients as well as myself for a good natural/organic product.

    At first I thought I found a site that pointed me in the direction of good products – ewg.org. But I have found that they do not test the products and the error of their ways with ratings.

    Then I found out that many products are not manufactured, but distributed and many have websites with all sorts of seals of approval on the bottom of their website, but how that too is corrupt as they aren’t really testing or regulating, but money making. That really many products can’t be 95% or greater organic or they would separate in the store due to needing emulsifying agents that hold them together. Then they are just natural and you need emulsifyers.

    Then through personalcaretruth.com says in small quantities it’s ok for mineral oil, certain types of titanium dioxide and propylene glycol is ok.

    Do you have a resource where I can find what ingredients I really should avoid and ones that are necessary to preserve products, avoid separation, etc.?

    I have found a natural manufacturer (mostly organic) that will private label cosmetic products for me. I just want to make sure there aren’t certain ingredients they contain that I should avoid. Any advice?

  • SCook 01/19/2011, 1:26 pm

    I want to bring back a hair care product that has been discontinued b/c the manufacturer went out of business. I would bring it back under a new name; however, I would like to know if I could use any part of the old product name? Also, will I need to modify the ingredients to legally bring this product back to the marketplace? The company closed approximately 4 years ago.Do you know of any labs that will help me formulate the product and allow me to have ownership of the formulation? Thanks for your help!

    • Sophia 08/30/2011, 1:38 am


      If their name has been trademarked, and the trademark still exists, but the “mark” is not in use, you can petition to have their mark removed. Otherwise, you would be infringing on their trademark. They have to prove they’re still using it to the US intellectual property office.

      Also, I’m sure a lab will be able to formulate the product for you to it’s former glory. whether or not they’ll let you own the formula is up to them, but I’ve worked with 7 different labs at my previous company and only 1 let us own a formula, after filling 100,000 units with them. ouch!

  • Perry 01/18/2011, 8:10 pm

    It’s unfortunate. I talked to Mark and apparently his main chemist left for another opportunity. They had to shut down due to a lack of expertise.

  • Ria Zeinz 01/17/2011, 12:23 pm

    Hey Perry-

    Just FYI, when I went over to Alluralab’s website, there is a message stating

    “Due to a series of unforeseen circumstances, we have decided to not continue operations at Alluralab.

    All affected parties are in the process of being notified. All open accounts will be settled in full and all affected clients will be reimbursed in full.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

    Don’t know what happened, but I do hope all is well with them. It always saddens me to see a small business close- whatever the reason. Anyway, just thought I’d update you with what I had found.


  • Perry 01/06/2011, 10:23 pm

    @Ms M – You are going to have a difficult time developing a range of products without investing thousands of dollars. Some won’t even consider working with you unless you have >$10,000 to begin. There aren’t any formulators/manufactures that would work on a success-based fee. The odds of a product working are not too high.

    However, you should consider contacting the people at Alluralab.com (listen to the latest podcast). They may be able to help you.

    Good luck

  • Ms M 12/18/2010, 6:22 am

    Dear Perry!
    Thank´s for a great website!

    I would really like to create my own skin care-brand. My background is in the advertising business so I lack a lot of basic knowledge when it comes to your industry. However I think I have a pretty unique idea for a new brand and how to successfully put in the market so I am willing to give it a try!

    Do you think it is possible to develop a new range without loads of money to invest? Would any formulators/manufacturers be interested in a success-based fee (to share the risk)? Or any other alternative payment methods?

    Where can one find a really good chemist/manufacturer, and how can you judge the quality of their work without being a chemist yourself? Would it be a good idea to find someone in your own country?

    I would really appreciate some advice, hope you have the time!

  • Sam Lubbat 11/07/2010, 9:32 am

    I am looking for a chemist to create a new formula that will be be applied to the cosmetic industry and be FDA compliant. This is a start up company. Please contact me if you have experience of creating formulas with FDA approval.

    E-mail Slubbat@Tricove.com


    Sam Lubbat

  • Doug Erick 08/29/2010, 9:09 pm

    As a owner of a cosmetic company that either makes its own products or has them made, you should be actively involved in the quality. When you first set up an agreement with a contract packager. Insist that you get copies of all signed blend sheets to insure that all ingredients are added in the correct quantities and in the right order. Understand the QA parameters. Make them explain any that you don’t understand. Take notes. Audit the blend sheets routinely. This insures quality and insures that you have the current formula. Any company that wants to sell you product but refuses to allow you to insure that you get what you paid for should be taken off your list of potential manufactures. Before any formula changes take place insist that you approve samples and understand the reason for and the exact formula change. They are selling you a service… negotiate before you buy.
    Sign secrecy agreements after your lawyer has reviewed them. Be ware some of the companies believe that your formula can be altered by the smallest amount and sold to others as a new formula. Check this with them before you buy.
    I do agree with Perry when starting out there is not much advantage in owning your own formula. Keep your eyes open and good luck.

  • Dr. D 08/29/2010, 11:01 am

    Dear Perry,
    Thank you!!! I look forward to hearing from the consultant.
    Dr. D

  • cam 08/28/2010, 10:06 pm

    I am in the process of starting my skin care products to sell online. Can you tell me if I am better off starting off with a manufacturers stock formula with private label, custom formulating with a manufacturer, or owning my own IP to the formula. I have been trying to locate an independent chemist to formulate a skin product prototype and give me the right to the formula to then take to contract, however; it has been almost impossible to do. Most do not seem to want to give you all rights. Now I am thinking I should consider changing to another course as I am reading here to manufacturer with a good exculsive formula w/ a manufacturer and grow from there. I like what I read here in this forum that mentions “once your sales increase I will have more control.” If I opt for this, what is the “most” important element to be sure I establish going signing on with a manufacturer? Thank you and Best of Luck to All:)Cam

    • Perry 08/29/2010, 10:46 am

      Great question Cam. When people are first starting out, I believe using a stock formula from a private label is the best option. This will let you know if your brand is appealing. However, starting with a custom formula is also a good idea because it might help your brand stand out. I don’t see any advantage to owning your own IP formula.

      In general, marketing sells products initially. Product performance gets people to buy it again.

  • Dr. D 08/27/2010, 12:33 pm

    These are great comments. I am a physician and have NO business experience. I have found great difficulty in finding a laboratory to manufacture my wrinkle reversing product. I have emailed hundreds of companies and laboratories and have made hundreds of phone calls. I need help in developing the final formula of my product. I have used my formulation on my own skin, my friends’ skin and my siblings’ skin. The effect is remarkable, so much so that I think millions of women would want this product. I then need to find someone who is experienced in this industry and partner with them so that my product can be marketed effectively. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!

    • Perry 08/29/2010, 10:43 am

      Dr. D – I forwarded your request to one of the consultants I know in the industry. Hopefully he can help you.

  • greatzaza 08/14/2010, 4:38 pm

    “My only concern is if I am unhappy with the services of the manufacturer and I want to sever the relationship, they own the formula. Any thoughts, advice??”
    Hi, Sara – I can share some experience on this topic. I work for a company that is currently trapped in a situation with the one product that has been manufactured out of house – our lotion. We want to go in-house with our production, but apparently a couple of years ago we asked our manufacturer to make a minor modification, and now they claim our modified formula as their own proprietary information (I was not employed there then and am hearing this second-hand). At any rate, we are stuck, and have to start from scratch or buy it off them for a 5 figure sum. We are a small-ish natural/organic line that sells in most Whole Foods, etc., and feel very vulnerable in this situation for an interruption of stock or a major difference in the product. If you foresee marketing your products to large companies, my strategy would be to develop my own formulations, consult with a lab and your raw ingredient suppliers to hone the formula’s stability, etc. and maintain ownership of a quality formula you feel good about. Especially now that there are huge changes looming in the bodycare industry with the FDA and labeling, certification of organics, etc. which would allow you the flexibility to change up an ingredient or two if you needed to. I hope this helps, but obviously my perspective is coming from the natural/organic sector.

  • Doug Erick 03/24/2010, 9:03 am

    1. You have no desire to manufacture.
    2. You seem happy with the products.
    3. You are unhappy with the price.
    4. You can always seek prices form other manufacturers and use then as a bargaining chip. You can do this at any time as long as your contract with your current mfg doesn’t restrict you. As your sales increase your clout will also.
    As for not having the formula you do… the ingredient list includes every thing in the formula by law. some things in that list are at set percentages so part of the formula is easy to pick apart. The rest can be roughly figured out by a chemist. There are companies that will for a price do this for you. Other contract packagers employ these type of people and use them to get new business. They will do this for free for your business. If you current supplier falls flat on his face with service, all is not lost. Be smart in your contract with your current supplier make sure a lawyer looks it over. Then you are free to do your job. sell sell. good luck.

  • Sara 03/13/2010, 12:20 pm


    I am in the process of starting a skin care line.
    Several contract manufacturers offer a route to
    formula ownership after a set number of years and sales.
    However it is very expensive. What are peoples thoughts on
    formula ownership? At first thought, I wanted to own my formulas. But I now I am not so sure, considering I will have a contract with the manufacture giving me exclusive rights to the formula. I also have no real desire to manufacture the products myself. My only concern is if I am unhappy with the services of the manufacturer and I want to sever the relationship, they own the formula. Any thoughts, advice??

    Pros –
    Have ownership
    Can change manufactures
    Can manufacture the products myself.

    Cons – Very expensive!! to purchase formulas

    • Sophia 08/30/2011, 1:43 am


      Your pros are the very reason to own a formula. My company had an award-winning face scrub and we could not buy the formula from our manufacturer (crooks, they are!). We worked with several labs to make the formula but none of them were just right. If you have a formula you LOVE, by all means… buy it. There are a couple companies that *just* work on formulations and you find your own manufacturer.

  • Perry 01/31/2010, 8:26 pm

    Doug – thanks for the info!

  • Doug Erick 01/31/2010, 1:17 pm

    Mike and Renata
    There are several aspects to starting a cosmetic line. FDA regulations, you must know them so that you stay in compliance. Some of the crafter soap making websites can help you with some of the basic rules. My advice is to read the FDA regulations directly. Formulas can be as easy as purchasing bases from crafters websites or if you are capable and you can make your own product. In the case of manufacturing your own products, Happi magazine usually publishes starting formulas. Chemical companies also publish starting formulas. Don’t get over your head. If you don’t have the knowledge find it yourself or someone to help you. These are products that will be applied to others, there is a responsibility of the manufacturer to produce safe products. Then you also have to market and manage your business. Good luck

  • Mike 01/30/2010, 6:14 pm

    I am trying to get started to have my line of cosmetics but i did not find it easey at all. Having no previous experiance or any contact in trade is hard enough but hve a will power to do it. I appreciate any help from anybody for practical advise.


  • Renata 01/14/2010, 2:51 pm

    I always wanted to start my own hair care product. Since being a young girl I used to collect herbs and make my own potions, tonics and masks for hair and face. I have very nice long hair and often people stop me on the street asking what products am I using. I am determined to finally do something with this dream of mine to start my own line.. but I have no knowledge of formulations, I am not a chemist..and don’t even know any. I have just came across this website and hope I will find some answeres here, thanks

  • Doug Erick 01/06/2010, 1:42 pm

    Started my dream in September. I have always worked for startup companies. It is my time. Yes the startup can be relative inexpensive… but that changes quickly. I guess the trick is to keep sales ahead of costs. Dah. The other trick is to think at least 3 to 6 months ahead. A partner who’s strengths match your weakness helps.

  • Gloria 11/28/2009, 1:42 am

    I know what is holding me back. I don’t know where tio beginn. I have 2 degrees in chemistry, but I dont where I should start. I don’t know about formulations, where do I manufacturer. How do I market my product. Do I need a loan or can I get a grant…

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