Article by: Perry Romanowski

It’s been a little while since we’ve done an innovation question but here’s one that might make you think differently about developing your cosmetic product.

When you work at a cosmetic company, the thing that everyone wants you to do is to create a product that you can sell to as many people as possible. But instead of doing that, what would happen if you did the opposite? What if you customized your formulas so they could be sold to a specific group of people?

Scenario 5

How can you change your cosmetic formulas/product to make them customized?


Right now a product like skin lotion is made for the masses. There is some effort to differentiate skus by making them “extra moisturizing” or “intensive healing” but this is not customized enough. Think of how you could change your formula to make it so customized that it is made specifically for one consumer. Come up with as many ideas as you can. For example…

1. Match the color to the person’s skin color
2. Create a formula with a controlled rub-in time
3. Customize odor for person’s favorite
4. Add a signal on the packaging reminds customer to apply lotion when they need it
5. Determine exactly which ingredients work best on customer & make appropriate lotion
6. Create package that perfectly matches bathroom decor
7. Make package a work of art
8. Customize color to match customer’s favorite color
9. Put unique chemical marker in lotion to identify person
10. Customize shine level to customer’s desire

Now it’s your turn. What can you do to your formula to customize it for an individual?



  1. Avatar

    What a wonderful idea, Nancy! I hope you’ll succeed!

    Love all the idea’s Perry! That is what got me thinking of my own line in the first place! Unfortunately the legislation in the EU makes is hard to customize ingredients as you would need a safety assessment and micro testing for each and every different product.

    Packaging customizing is loads easier, there is a company in the UK that does just that, 1 product in many kinds of different tins:

    I do enjoy making custom signature perfumes though for family and friends 🙂

    1. Avatar

      Ah, now this is the biggest problem for cosmetic chemists when it comes to innovating. Regulations that make it almost impossible. It’s so troubling because regulations don’t do much to make products safer but they do a lot to make them less innovative.

  2. Avatar

    Perrys right, you have a niche. There are a few stores in the UK that specialise in the full make over for TV, TS and the curious, but they tend to be in places like Brighton, Soho and parts of Manchester where there are larger communities of men interested in this.

    Allied with a pro make-up artist to help customers inexperienced in make-up, and I think you have a win. Good luck!

  3. Avatar
    Nancy Liedel

    That’s the beauty of being small. I can personalize my products and hit markets the big companies aren’t interested in, because they are too niche. Cross Dressers? Got it. Heavier cosmetics, and branding to that industry. This was my, “amazing,” idea for December. Since I have friends who do this to put on amazing shows and see and be seen (They all look better than me and that makes me mad, but I don’t have time to wear the stuff I make). It’s a fantastic market.

    Right now they are making do with theatrical makeup (I’ve been told this is up to location and finances and many just use what you buy in the store), and odds and ends. Most women don’t know what they need. You have to hide the beard lines, the Adams apple (highlight and shadows), and chisel cheekbones into a softer appearance. That’s something I can take my time formulating, start under another name for my umbrella and work on, and open it in the two – three years it takes to bring products to market in my universe.

    I love the idea, although I am getting some reticence from the community, because I am female. So, I’ll need my models to be people who live in that world. I may not make it, forget about it, find it too hard an egg to crack, but by golly, it could be a golden opportunity. Niche marketing and cosmetics is a huge business right now. So much so, some of the big guys are following the innovations of the little ones. Not that I would ever work where I did one thing all day. My ADHD self would go insane. 🙂

    1. Avatar

      I believe this is a BRILLIANT idea for a small company. The market will likely be plenty big enough to bring in a good profit for a small company and you won’t have to face any competition from big guys. Great thinking!!

      Incidentally, I did a quick Google keyword search and you could easily dominate the search terms for ‘makeup for men’ or ‘crossdresser makeup’ by just creating a site. The search term gets almost 2000 hits a month. Excellent idea!

Leave a Reply to Perry Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.