How to Start a Makeup Line in 2023 [8 Steps to Follow]


Are you passionate about makeup and want to learn how to start a makeup line? Although it can be a lot of work, it’s definitely doable!

In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of starting your own makeup business, discussing everything from choosing your niche and marketing your new line to the cost of running an online makeup business. So, if you’re ready to start your makeup empire, keep reading!

What Should You Know Before You Start a Makeup Line?

Before we go on to explain the process of establishing your makeup business, there are some things every beauty-brand owner in the making should be aware of, such as the different types of makeup lines and the most popular makeup trends.

Types of Makeup Lines

Let’s check out the possible types for your makeup line:

High-end Makeup

High-end makeup is more expensive than regular drugstore products, as it offers premium quality. It’s made of the finest ingredients and aims to create an upscale look and feel. Making your own cosmetics without any outside help is unimaginable in the high-end world—such successful beauty brands usually develop their products by teaming up with an established manufacturing company. These luxury makeup brands strive to provide customers with exclusivity, no matter if they sell makeup online or at a makeup counter.

All-natural Makeup

This cruelty-free cosmetic type of makeup is made with natural ingredients and doesn’t involve testing products on animals. Organic brands often set what might seem like rigorous standards for themselves, formulating their products by using only clean and specially sourced materials.

Product-specific Line

When you start a makeup or skin care line, you can make it product-specific, meaning focus on one type of product (like lipstick or mascara), or create a complete line that includes a variety of products (like BB cream, foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, etc.). The majority of beauty brands start off with a single product when they enter the beauty industry, and expand their line as they gain more recognition.

Traditional Makeup

If you want to create a traditional makeup line, you’ll need to include all the basics of a full-face makeup, like foundation, concealer, powder, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara. These types of brands usually operate within a larger beauty store, often selling sponges and makeup brushes as well.

Keeping Up With Beauty Trends

If you’re planning on starting a makeup business, you should stay informed and actively consume beauty cosmetics content. This means following trendsetters in the industry, like YouTubers, bloggers, influencers, beauty journalists, and brands. You can spot emerging trends by keeping up with big names in the makeup influencer business such as Hunda Kattan and James Charles.

However, avoid dedicating your entire brand to a single trend that’s currently popular. Interests emerge and fade away, and many trends are quickly replaced by the next best thing, so focusing on customer beauty needs is always better than blindly following emerging trends.

How to Start a Makeup Line?

Although setting up an online store for your business is fairly easy, there’s more to starting a makeup line of your own. A successful cosmetic business requires a lot of research and preparation, and starting up your business can be made easier if you secure a business credit card. Although there are many different routes a makeup brand founder can take, here are some general guidelines:

1.Find Your Niche/Makeup Line

The first step toward your own makeup line is finding your niche. You can choose just one or combine two categories you want your brand to specialize in, such as developing an all-natural, product-specific line.
Once you’ve chosen a category, you have to decide which consumer group needs you’ll be catering to. When starting a makeup brand, your niche must be specific—a good example of a specific niche is offering high-end foundation shades designed to be used by makeup artists in the film industry.

2.Determine Your Brand’s Purpose

Finding your brand’s purpose will help you identify the target audience and stand out from the competition. Understanding what pushed you into wanting to create a makeup line of your own can be quite fun and surprising—this could be that you’re simply looking for the same thing other makeup lovers are. You should also put some thought into how you can create your own makeup line products and how their ingredients and attributes can help you connect with your audience and make them understand your unique purpose.

3.Check Out the Competition

Investigating the global beauty industry before you enter it is a good idea, but you should also focus on your target market spending habits and try to determine the needs and values other competitors aren’t catering to. By taking a closer look at the competition and examining their practices and prices, you can determine what your advantage can be and use this data when formulating your product.

4.Look for a Cosmetic Manufacturer

When starting a makeup line, you’re faced with the choice between collaborating with a private label or a white label manufacturer. By working with a private label manufacturer, you’ll gain access to plenty of customization options, such as access to fragrances and various packaging options.

On the other hand, by partnering with a white label, you can give your consumers a curated shopping experience by making use of other brand products your manufacturer works with.

You can also choose not to collaborate with a manufacturing company and make your own cosmetics line, but this will entail educating yourself on makeup ingredients so as to not break any regulations set for the local or global beauty industry.

5.Consider the Legal Aspects

Before you launch your makeup line, it’s important to consider the legal aspects of starting a business. You should consult an attorney to make sure you’re complying with all the labeling laws and other regulations, and you’ll also need to obtain certifications provided either by a specialized agency or the manufacturer you partner with.

6.Create Your Brand

The next step in starting a makeup business is to create your brand identity, including everything from your logo and packaging to your website and social media accounts. Keep in mind your brand identity should be consistent across all platforms. One of the ways to better prepare in this respect is by reading all about the current branding statistics and learning how to make an impact on your audience.
You should aim to establish an emotional connection with the audience and make sure your logo, website, and other marketing materials clearly convey your brand’s values and message. Another good idea that will help you create a more enjoyable unboxing experience for your buyers is investing in branded custom packaging, although this may add to your expenses, which usually pile up when starting a makeup brand. If you’re looking for additional funds to secure greater financial flexibility from the start, you can opt for a startup business credit card that requires little to no credit.

7. Set Up an e-Commerce Store

If you want to sell your makeup products online, you’ll need to set up an e-commerce store. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to hire a developer to launch an e-commerce store—platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, or WooCommerce can help you set up a store without any coding experience. Product shipping can be done by using Easyship services, as this is a platform that integrates with all of the aforementioned.

When you start a makeup line online, you must be careful and check if everything is running smoothly before you launch, which you can easily do using the tools for test running and optimizing orders that most e-commerce platforms include.

8. Market Your Makeup Line

The final step is to market your makeup line—to compete in the e-commerce game, you must craft a long-term marketing strategy, and a social media campaign is a good place to start. Based on where your potential buyers reside the most, you can run an Instagram, Facebook or Google campaign to present them your business.

When planning to sell makeup online, the best way to get noticed is to reach out to established beauty founders and influencers.

Key Takeaways

  • Before starting your own makeup line, you should educate yourself on the types of makeup lines and current beauty trends.
  • To issue your makeup line, you can work with a private or white label manufacturer, or choose to do so on your own.
  • To become a successful beauty founder, you must cater to your audience’s needs.
  • You’ll need an initial budget of around $10,000 for setting up and running your makeup business within the first year.

What Makes for a Successful Makeup Line?

What makes some beauty brands more successful than others? The most important thing is gaining your customers’ trust, and the factors that influence the brand-customer relationship the most include sufficient product quality, reliability, on-time delivery, and shared social values.

  • Quality Products

To start a makeup line online and run it successfully, you need to make sure your makeup products are up to par. Most online customers are willing to pay a higher price for a product if they know it’s high-quality.
No matter if you’re using vegan, organic, or allergy-free ingredients, make sure they’re of the best quality in order to earn your audience’s trust.

  • Fast Delivery

Another important aspect of successful beauty brands is fast and affordable delivery service. If you want to keep customers coming back, make sure you can meet their expectations and provide affordable or, better yet, free shipping.

  • Brand Values and Recognition

When starting your own makeup line, you must help customers understand how it will cater to their beauty needs and why they should buy from you. If you can build a strong brand identity, you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful makeup line. You don’t need to be famous to secure a large customer base—you can promote brand value by sharing tips on applying makeup or providing loyalty programs to encourage customers to revisit your services.

DID YOU KNOW: As a business owner, instead of hiring someone to do your taxes, you can minimize your expenses by using business tax software and filing taxes on your own.

What Are the Costs?

The cost to start a makeup line will vary depending on how you choose to start your business. If you start from home and make your own products, the cost likely won’t be very high, but you’ll need greater capital if you’re planning on manufacturing your makeup products commercially. According to sources, within the first year of starting your business, you’ll need an initial budget between $9,000 to $10,000.
Here are the biggest cost factors you should be aware of if you plan to start a makeup line:

  • Inventory – choosing between collaborating with a manufacturing company or setting out on your own.
  • Marketing – establishing a brand identity and developing an online media presence.
  • Shipping – taking into account your shipping cost, which you can calculate using the Easyship calculator.


A lot of research, preparation, and dedication are needed to develop and launch a makeup line of your own, but you can use the above-mentioned steps to start a makeup line as directions for reaching that goal more easily. However, before embracing the idea of running a makeup business, be sure to evaluate the possible expenses that come with it. If you don’t have the necessary funds for realizing your business idea, you can take a look at the best business loan services and see which works best for you.


How to start a makeup line for free?

There’s no free way to issue a makeup line, as there are multiple expenses linked to a makeup business. The most low-cost way to do this is by making your own products and launching them online with the help of e-commerce platforms.

Do you need a license to sell makeup online?

Although you don’t need a license to sell makeup online in the US, you do need an FDA approval if your products contain color additives. Local laws and regulations vary within the US, and in some locations, additional licensing might be necessary.

How to start a lipstick line?

There’s not much difference between how to start a makeup line and how to start a lipstick line, as researching the market, branding, addressing legal aspects, securing capital, and collaborating with a manufacturing company are essential to both practices.



I'm a bit of a nomad – I've graduated marketing from one university, but have worked in many different fields. Through NGOs, I've coached career changers and professionals, and enjoy giving advice about training options, employment prospects and how to make the most of your career. I know what it's like to be lost and not sure where to go – that's why I love helping people find their path. When I'm not writing (which is rare), you can usually find me reading books or watching true crime documentaries (I know, thrilling stuff).

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