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Top 21 Cosmetic Contract Manufac­turers in USA & Europe (+Guide)

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RankNameCountry
1SBLC Cosmetics🇩🇪
2Oxygen Develo­pment🇺🇸
3Cosmetic Solutions🇺🇸
4Lady Burd🇺🇸
5Cosmopak🇺🇸
6Garcoa🇺🇸
7HCT🇺🇸
8PakLab🇺🇸
9Tri-Pac🇺🇸
10Verla Inter­na­tional🇺🇸
11Cargill Beauty🇺🇸
12Sheen Color🇺🇸
13Mascara Plus🇮🇹
14Cosme­tique SA Worben🇨🇭
15Ariel Labs🇺🇸
16Beauty Manufac­turing Solutions Corp.🇺🇸
17Color­Strokes Cosmetics🇺🇸
18Lebermuth🇺🇸
19McKenna Labs🇺🇸
20Temmentec AG🇨🇭
21ItIt Cosmetics🇮🇹

1. SBLC Cosmetics

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We know that our ranking is obviously biased, but if we weren’t convinced that we were the best, we wouldn’t have started in the first place. 

We do both: we offer numerous base formu­la­tions, but we can also develop entirely new products. 

Join our 600+ Happy Customers

2. Oxygen Develo­pment

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While Oxygen specia­lizes in formu­lating a wide range of products, its niche is high-tech skincare products that include masks and patches.

3. Cosmetic Solutions

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Cosmetic Solutions works with brands in the skincare and personal care spaces to offer formu­la­tions for moistu­rizers, deodo­rants, and other products straddling the line between beauty and personal care.

4. Lady Burd

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Lady Burd manufac­turers an extensive lineup of products for the face and body. In addition to standard cosmetics, the firm also formu­lates a variety of specialty products that range from body glitter to after-tattoo skin products.

5. Cosmopak

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Cosmopak is known for providing formu­la­tions and packaging. Popular items offered by the firm include lipsticks, beauty pens, compacts, jars, tins, vials, and makeup bags.

6. Garcoa

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Garcoa has pivoted to the general beauty category over standard color cosmetics and makeup products. The lineup of options for brands includes creams, oils, and skin treat­ments.

7. HCT

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HCT segments its production and develo­pment based on product category. As a result, HCT Beauty and HCT Skincare operate as separate arms. Clients can select from a wide range of color cosmetics.

8. PakLab

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While PakLab isn’t primarily a cosmetic manufac­turer, the company does offer cheek and eye offerings alongside its extensive lineup that includes household cleaners, hair care, and personal care products.

9. Tri-Pac

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In addition to formu­lating personal care products, Tri-Pac offers a lineup of color cosmetics featuring products for the face and cheek.

10. Verla Inter­na­tional

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Specia­lizing in organic and natural products for the “clean beauty” market, Verla offers extensive formu­la­tions for color cosmetics and skincare.

11. Cargill Beauty

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While Cargill is best known for its botanical products, the manufac­turer also provides a limited selection of face makeup products under its color cosmetics services. Cargill also has offices in Belgium.

12. Sheen Color

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Sheen Color focuses on standard and mainstream color cosmetics and appli­cators.

13. Mascara Plus

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Mascara Plus offers niche manufac­turing for mascaras only.

14. Cosme­tique SA Worben

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With an emphasis on “pure” beauty, Cosme­tique offers a wide range of products for color cosmetics, hair, and personal care.

15. Ariel Labs

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Ariel delivers product develo­pment and branding support for color cosmetics, sun products, and skincare products.

16. Beauty Manufac­turing Solutions Corp.

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Beauty Manufac­turing Solutions is known for innovating with high-volume and low-volume automation to help brands create and distribute products quickly.

17. Color­Strokes Cosmetics

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Color­Strokes specia­lizes in contract cosmetic manufac­turing of natural, organic, and mineral makeup products.

18. Lebermuth

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While Lebermuth made a name for itself by manufac­turing essential oils and fragrances, the company has pivoted to contract manufac­turing cosmetics with essential oils, fragrances & flavors.

19. McKenna Labs

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While McKenna offers full-service personal care contract manufac­turing, the company does provide specia­lized contract manufac­turing for cheek products.

20. Temmentec AG

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Temmentec specia­lizes in scalable services for helping new brands to bring their beauty products to the market using a “pick and choose” method for every­thing from formu­lation to logistics.

21. ItIt Cosmetics

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In addition to full-face color cosmetics, ItIt also formu­lates creams and skin treat­ments.

Guide

How do popular beauty brands create their products?

In most cases, makeup and skincare products that are flying off the shelves aren’t actually formu­lated or produced in-house.

The standard in the cosmetics industry involves the use of third-party manufac­turers that have the capabi­lities to formulate and produce a wide range of products in safe, high-volume facilities.

This allows companies and entre­pre­neurs to spend more time building their brands instead of worrying about all of the steps, expenses, and limita­tions that go along with in-house formu­la­tions.

In fact, contract manufac­turing cosmetics generally allows brands to put out better products with more variety at a lower cost per unit.

Here’s a peek behind the curtain at contract cosmetic manufac­turing.

What are Cosmetic Contract Manufac­turers?

First of all, unfort­u­nately, we have to acknow­ledge that every cosmetic manufac­turer uses the terms differ­ently and there is no uniform definition.

Often there are fluid transi­tions between the different manufac­turing practices and no clear distinction can be made.

Here we would just like to share our under­standing of what cosmetics contract manufac­turing means and why we consider ourselves as private label and contract manufac­turer at the same time.

Definition of Cosmetic Contract Manufac­turers

Cosmetic contract manufac­turers allow brands to completely outsource their develo­pment and production of cosmetic products.

The focus of cosmetic contract manufac­turers is on developing formu­la­tions and packaging from scratch, in line with the custo­mer’s requi­re­ments.

The client will have input regarding a formu­la­tion’s ingre­dients, textures, scents, and hues.

Is Contract Manufac­turing and Private Label Manufac­turing the same Thing?

One common miscon­ception is that private label manufac­turers do not assist with the adjus­tment of exisiting or develo­pment of new formulas.

In fact, most private label cosmetics manufac­turers, like us, do also offer custom formu­la­tions. The diffe­rence is, that private label manufac­turers exceed the service spectrum of a contract manufac­turer. 

In other words, contract manufac­turing is one of many services a private label cosmetics manufac­turer offers.

The confusion comes from the fact that some people mistake private label cosmetics with white label cosmetics.

In the case of a white label manufac­turer, clients are simply putting their own names on mass-manufac­tured products.

How to Choose the Right Cosmetic Contract Manufac­turer?

Let’s pretend you decide to partner with a cosmetic contract manufac­turer.

It takes more than a gut feeling to select the right company from the sea of cosmetics manufac­turers out there.

Here’s a checklist of what to look for!

1. Product Range

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When contract manufac­turing cosmetics, it’s important to make sure that a company can formulate products in niche categories that are relevant to a brand. It’s also important to factor in future growth.

While a company may be the go-to option for lipsticks at the moment, a brand has to consider what expanding their cosmetics line might look like.

Choosing to work with a brand that’s good at “one thing” could create an extra­or­dinary headache when branching out to more products.

We, for example, offer both: all kinds of color cosmetics and skin care as well.

2. Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)

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A big mistake that many brands make is making more than they can sell.

While having a decent inventory is helpful, it’s not wise to commit to more products than a brand can reasonably sell during a specific period of time.

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Small and medium-sized businesses often prefer private label cosmetic manufac­turing because the process is more flexible when it comes to order quantities that ultim­ately impact the “cost of entry” for estab­li­shing a new line.

Starting from scratch with a contract manufac­turer can result in a signi­fi­cantly higher minimum order quantity (MOQ) for a client because the manufac­turer being commis­sioned needs to generate enough profit to justify the endeavor.

This is where using a tested base formula provided by a private label manufac­turer can make a big diffe­rence.

3. Costs per Unit

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Cost per unit is the cost cosmetics contract manufac­turers charge for each product that is created.

This figure is important to a brand because it ultim­ately deter­mines the retail price that will allow the brand to generate a profit.

This price should also be looked at in context of minimum order quantity, since it typically decreases with incre­asing order quantities.

4. Time-to-Market

Time-to-market refers to the length of time between project initiation and completion of production.

In the fast-moving beauty industry, brands are often scrambling to get their products on the market quickly.

One way to achieve this is to skip ultra-custom formu­lation in favor of branding existing formu­la­tions offered by a third-party cosmetics manufac­turer.

When going with a private label cosmetics, a brand has the ability to start with premade formu­la­tions.

This can drama­ti­cally cut down on research and develo­pment, decision-making timelines, and more.

Choose your Formulation Illustration

Brands are able to badge products that already work within the cosmetics market because they have been formu­lated, tested, and proven desirable.

Even a company with plans to pivot to a more custom lineup might consider starting with premade formu­la­tions in order to get a foot in the market quickly before custo­mizing or modifying products to suit its needs.

You can think of it as an expressway to the market!

5. Certi­fi­ca­tions

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When vetting cosmetics contract manufac­turers, it is extremely important for brands to select firms that comply with stringent local and global standards and practices for production and product handling.

Generally, contract cosmetic manufac­turing companies based in Europe have the strictest guide­lines regarding cosmetic manufac­turing practices.

This means, your products are basically safe to sell worldwide if they are manufac­tured in Europe.

6. Additional Services

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Getting as much handled at the point of production as possible is one way that brands streamline timelines and costs.

This prevents the need for brands to “handle” the products once they enter the production pipeline.

There’s also an important distinction to be made between contract cosmetic manufac­turers and private label manufac­turers when it comes to services.

additional services of a private label cosmetic manufacturer illustration

A private label manufac­turer like us generally offers more compre­hensive services that go beyond cosmetics manufac­turing.

These services typically include:


It is also becoming common for brands to select cosmetics contract manufac­turers offering vegan, cruelty-free, organic, and clean beauty products to satisfy the growing market desire for socially conscious products.

Brands should look at a private label cosmetic manufac­turing firm as a full-service company offering one-stop order fulfillment.

When compared to a standard cosmetic contract manufac­turer, a private label manufac­turer is the “inpatient” entre­pre­neur’s friend.

Due to the bespoke nature of the products created by standard contract manufac­turers, there’s simply no avoiding the fact that products tend to involve more cost and time.

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