How Much Does it Cost to Start a Makeup Line?

How much money do you need to start your own makeup line? The guide contains a breakdown of items and processes that should make up your startup costs.

There are several considerations to make when starting a makeup line.

One of such is your startup costs. This is where we focus our attention as we seek to discuss how much it costs to start a makeup line.

We will look into different aspects of a makeup business. These of course will have to do with expenses.

By the end, we should have a clear idea of what it takes to set up such a business as a makeup artist.

Scale of Operation

The cost implications for starting a makeup line depend largely on your scale of operation. For most businesses, this is started on a small scale.

However, the term “small scale” may hold different meanings for different entrepreneurs. What entrepreneur A may consider small scale may be a large scale for entrepreneur B.

Hence, we’ll attempt to take the middle road by attaching figures to startup costs. Using this yardstick, you’d be able to identify where you stand.

Before going into the cost details of setting up a cosmetic business, it’s only fair that we have some background information about the cosmetic industry.

What Constitutes a Makeup Line?

This question may seem off on the surface but in reality, it isn’t. A great number of people erroneously restrict cosmetics to eyes shadows, lipsticks, or nail polish. The reality is that cosmetics are much wider than these.

They include mascara, foundation, contour, blush, concealer, translucent powder, neutral eye shadow, fluffy powder brush, blush brush, defining eye shadow, lipstick, tweezers, eyeliner brush, crease brush, and several other makeup products.

Industry Regulations

Why is this important to cost? Because it governs just about everything required in terms of operational guidelines.

This has both direct and indirect implications on cost. Existing makeup line regulations cover both home-based and startups.
As such you need to find out what applies to your makeup production business.

How Much Does it Cost to Open a Makeup Business?

When starting a makeup line, cost normally falls under 3 basic categories.

Such include the product formulation or development stage.

Here, the cost implications for a single product are as high as $5,000. Hence, the more makeup products you formulate, the greater your startup costs.

Another cost category is business expenses. This has a minimum of $3,000. The last of these is the sales and marketing costs.

Therefore you should expect nothing less than $500 and up. Having mentioned these, let’s discuss each in more detail;

  • Cost of Product Formulation

This is the heart of the business as it involves designing or developing products for your makeup line. As such, there are several decisions to make.

These include the cost implications of raw materials purchase, packaging and design cost, as well as the cost of production.

To minimize cost, you can outsource your product manufacturing needs. This will save you the cost of having to purchase your manufacturing equipment as well as getting a space.

Product formulation requires working with professionals. These are chemists with an understanding of makeup product development. If you are one yourself, then the cost incurred will be significantly lower.

However, if you are to hire the services of one, then you’ll need to pay a fee of at least $600 to as high as $30,000.

The cost incurred depends on the chemist your hire.

  • Product Manufacture Cost

While product formulation is vital, product manufacture involves its packaging, labeling, and more. The scale of production plays a huge role in determining cost. In other words, the greater your volume of products, the lesser your cost will be.

As such, you need to ensure you maximize available resources towards achieving greater profitability.

Hence depending on the number of units, you will produce, the cost is significantly lowered when producing on a larger scale.

Alternately, the lesser the units produced, the higher the production cost incurred.

Product manufacturers are always available persons without the capacity to purchase equipment. All you need to do is provide them with your formulation and specifications.

This alternative lowers production costs significantly.

  • Associated Product Development Costs

Apart from product development costs, there are other associated costs as well. These mostly have to do with the testing of products developed. All newly formulated makeup products are expected to go through a series of testing.

Such include safety tests, microbial tests, as well as stability tests.

Safety tests will cost you anywhere from $900 to $1,600 per product. This can significantly go up depending on other factors too.

As regards microbial tests, costs could go up significantly. This is more so when multiple makeup products are involved.

Hence for microbial testing, it could cost you anything from $400 per product. This will also jerk up overall costs depending on the number of products being tested. Stability tests are done in labs to monitor product stability over a period of time.

Here, cost varies from one lab to another.

  • Incorporating your Makeup Business

When setting up your makeup line, early consideration should be given to what form or structure your business will take.

The most common of these include sole proprietorship, partnerships as well as limited liability companies. Your business is most vulnerable when you adopt the sole proprietorship business model.

We recommend that you incorporate your business. Doing so shields it from unnecessary litigation. This can be registered at a minimal cost of $400.

We’ve seen that the cost of starting a makeup line can be significant. However, this depends on your scale of operation.

Although this is the case, it is still considered a capital-intensive venture. Therefore, you need adequate financial preparation before venturing into this area of business.

Also, the average startup costs for a makeup line can be significantly reduced by outsourcing your manufacturing needs.