Article by: Perry Romanowski

It bothers me to see people waste money on cosmetic products that do not work better than less expensive versions.  Furthermore, it troubles me to read some of the marketing nonsense that some companies use to trick consumers into buying their products.  The most egregious violators are small companies who imply their products are safer than products of large cosmetic companies.  However, big cosmetic companies are not above using tricks and BS to sell their products either. best

This leaves consumers in a tough spot as they don’t know what to believe and they also do not know what products are the best.  They want products that work.  But they don’t want to feel like they are getting ripped off.  For that reason, I’m going to share who makes the best products at the best price.  From a formulator’s perspective it’s also important for you to know who makes the best products.  That way you know who’s formulas you are going to have to out-compete in the marketplace.

Big Companies make the Best Cosmetic Products

In America there is a natural tendency to mistrust big corporations.  There is something uncomfortable about seeing the big guys crush the little guys.  It just doesn’t “feel” right.  We root for the little guy.  We want the small companies to win.  I feel it too.

But this isn’t reality.

Reality is that big corporations have money.  They spend money on manufacturing equipment.  They spend money on formulators.  They spend money on lab equipment, consumer testing, packaging development, raw materials and everything else.  And the truth is, this investment means they are able to come up with formulations that are the most effective and most liked by the most number of consumers.

In general, big companies make the best cosmetic products.  They also sell them at the best prices.

Small companies can make great cosmetic products

Of course, just because a big company can spend more money on R&D, testing, packaging, advertising and everything else, that doesn’t mean a small company can’t make great products.  They can.  Most of you will be working for smaller companies and you know that you can make formulations that are just as good.

In fact, for some groups of consumers products from small companies may actually be better.  I’m referring to niche consumers that need products specialized for them.  Big corporations don’t want to fill the needs of niche consumers because the market is typically too small.  If KAO wants to create a hundred million dollars in new sales, it doesn’t make sense for them to go after a consumer group that represents only $10 million potential.  That is where a small company can make inroads.  Small companies can thrive in creating products for niche consumers that are being overlooked by big corporations.

This is why it still makes sense for people to start your own cosmetic line.

The best cosmetic products

In the end, whether a cosmetic works or not is highly dependent on personal preferences.  All shampoos clean hair, but a consumer may or may not like the fragrance, foam, feel after rinse, or some other subjective aspect of the product.

Who makes the best cosmetics?  For consumers it is the company that makes the product which they like and they feel happy spending money on.

For cosmetic chemists, it’s the company that is selling the most in the marketplace.




  1. Avatar

    Love the Article. It drives me crazy too when I read some of the outrageous claims that cosmetic companies use to trick consumers to buy (aka mascara ads). At the same time…for some reason it seems to move product off the shelves. I think we can learn a thing or two about marketing from these Big Companies by asking ourselves why is blah, blah product flying off the shelves? Is it the color scheme? The cool typeface on the packaging, the size of the bottle/tube or the gorgeous model wearing the latest lipstick trend. Once again thank you for the great article 🙂

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      That is a great way to look at Big Companies and the way they market. Take some of their ideas, make them better, and use them yourself.

  2. Avatar
    Beke Beau

    I’ve been attempting to tell my clients something like this for the longest time. Your thoughts on the subject also relate, in my mind, to the drugstore v. department store debate, in that drugstore brand mascaras, for example, are made by large companies with the same R&D budgets as the department store brands.

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      Exactly. And often, the drugstore brands are the same companies that make the department store brands.

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