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Private Label Cosmetics: Your Ultimate Guide (2023)

colorfull private label makeup and cosmetics in the background

Table of Contents

What is the best way to start your cosmetics brand?

Are you interested in starting a cosmetic brand but don’t have the resources to create your own formu­la­tions? 

Private label cosmetics might be the solution you’re looking for. 

Private label cosmetics are pre-made cosmetic products that can be custo­mized with your own branding

giving you the oppor­tunity to start your own brand without the hefty costs of research and develo­pment. 

In this ultimate guide, we will cover every­thing you need to know about private label cosmetics, from what they are to how to choose the right supplier.

What charac­te­rizes Private Label Cosmetics?

Private label cosmetics are pre-made cosmetic products that are produced by a third-party manufac­turer and then branded and sold under a different company’s name. 

These products are usually available in a wide range of cosmetic categories, including skincare, makeup, hair care, and fragrances.

Private label cosmetics vs. custom formu­lation

Private label cosmetics and custom formu­lation are two different approaches to creating a cosmetic product. 

Custom formu­lation involves creating a unique formu­lation from scratch, while private label cosmetics involve custo­mizing pre-made products. 

Custom formu­lation can be more expensive and time-consuming, but it allows for greater control over the final product. 

Private label cosmetics are a more cost-effective and time-efficient solution for those who don’t have the resources to develop their own formu­la­tions.

Private Label Cosmetics is custo­mizable other than white label cosmetics

You can have a direct influence on your product as this isn’t off-the-shelf cosmetics. 

The formu­lation exists and has been tested and certified, but the actual products are not manufac­tured yet. 

If they were, it would be white label cosmetics

White label cosmetics are pre-made products that can be branded with your company name and logo. 

In contrast, with private label cosmetics, the products are only manufac­tured as soon as you place the order. 

This is why you are much more flexible with product features and have some custo­mization options, different from off-the-shelf cosmetics.

white label cosmetics with green plant in background

Let´s say you want to start a makeup brand

Need more natural ingre­dients for the foundation? Or should it be vegan? Want to create a certain color palette? 

You can do it all through a private label makeup production. 

This gives your makeup line your own signature, since your product imple­ments your philo­sophy, creating a foundation for you to build. 

Btw. we have a separate guide on how to start your vegan private label cosmetics brand here.

Here’s an example

Nail cosmetics are the largest segment out of all private label cosmetics sold in retail right now. 

For example, nail polish manufac­turers will include ingre­dients to make the product long-lasting, but you are the one to decide the color of the final product.

Same thing goes with private label lipsticks — lipsticks provided by private label suppliers have the essential carrier materials and pigments, but you are the one to decide the ingre­dients you want to include in your cosmetics. 

Thus, this type of makeup production offers great freedom even to small companies, allowing them to produce cosmetics that are born out of your ideas right from the start.

private label nail polish with white lid

5 reasons for Private Label Cosmetics

The list of potential benefits of private label production is endless and beyond the scope of this guide. 

Therefore, we have chosen only the most crucial aspects. 

You can find some more advan­tages of private label brands in general here.

1. Save money on research and develo­pment for your cosmetic products

Product develo­pment is one of the biggest cost factors in cosmetics. 

But thanks to private label providers, you can cut costs on this. 

Supplier will ensure that your product contains long-term tested and high-quality approved base mixtures.

So the only thing you need to do is to decide on the colors, put a finishing touch and maybe request any special ingre­dients.

cosmetics tested in laboratory

2. Small minimum order quantities

No matter how often you want to adjust your product, the minimum order quantity is still very budget-friendly. 

Most makeup products tend to have a low minimum order quantity. 

Thus, you are able to produce small batches and serve micro-trends without having to deal with an oversupply of goods after­wards. 

You can even order world-leading eyeliners for your private label with a minimum of only 2000 pieces. 

However, if you want to sell much smaller quantities, white label makeup may be more suitable for you. 

But be careful when suppliers offer you very low minimum order quantities. 

There are some dangers you should be aware of!

Artistic photo of eyeliners in a photo studio drawing curved lines on white paper with jet black paint.
Profile shot of woman with brown hair up, wearing red eyeliner and natural makeup

3. Legal certainty regarding global and local regula­tions

The cosmetics market is inter­na­tional. 

But the regula­tions for cosmetics are unfort­u­nately often very national, which means that some regula­tions may not apply in other countries. 

There can be signi­ficant diffe­rences among countries from ingre­dients to decla­ra­tions. 

In the United States, for example, the Food and Drug Adminis­tration (FDA) regulates cosmetic products and requires that they be safe for use and properly labeled. 

Whereas within the EU you have to adhere to entirely different guide­lines, which are laid down in the European Cosmetic Regulation EC 1223/2009.

This is where the expertise of private label providers play an important role. 

Not only do they know how to lay the groundwork for high-quality cosmetics, they also know the guide­lines that must be followed.

So you do not have to handle these compli­cated matters by yourself. 

These companies will help you find the manufac­turers that adhere to the necessary rules. 

They also ensure that samples are produced, so that you can get an overview of your assortment and convince cosmetics dealers about your products.

4. Do not worry about import and customs

Private label cosmetics providers will also take care of you in dealing with other regula­tions. 

They register the products to respective autho­rities and insti­tu­tions and handle forma­lities regarding import and customs. 

This way, you can launch a successful cosmetics line without having to carry out every step on your own. 

Thus, you can continue to focus on marketing and invest your time in developing your brand as creative as possible to launch the perfect cosmetic brand.

5. Guaranteed success with worldwide bestsellers

The cosmetics production is the same in almost every industry, so you don’t have to start from scratch. 

That’s why you should pick the best makeup products and waste no money on experi­menting with products that probably won’t go well with your target group. 

With the right network in the private label business, you can simply take the worldwide bestsellers of your desired product and have them produced either the same or with minor changes under your brand. 

This way you can make sure that the products will find favor with your target group and that your company will be successful.

Need any clari­fi­cation? Do not hesitate to contact us directly.

How to choose the right Private Label Cosmetics supplier

When choosing a private label cosmetics supplier, 

it’s important to consider factors such as:

  • quality
  • pricing
  • turnaround time
  • minimum order requi­re­ments
  • range of products
  • reputation in the industry
  • level of custo­mization
  • branding and packaging design

We have written a more in-depth article about how to find the right cosmetics manufac­turer.

As Germany’s best private label supplier for cosmetics, we guarantee you market-leading quality and the best service out there.

If you are interested in working with us, please contact us via our submission form.

cosmetics manufacturer aspects graphic

Some important conside­ra­tions before getting started

Even though private label cosmetics offers a lot of freedom, you should give it some thought in advance. 

Start only after you have identified your niche. 

Which niche do you want to target? 

Since private label manufac­turers give you the freedom to implement your ideas, these should also be bundled in a targeted manner. 

Do you want to offer only foundation and powder at the beginning, or will there also be bronzers in your starting assortment? 

With a detailed list of the desired products, you can save a lot of time, as you can start production more quickly. A look at the compe­tition is also worthwhile.

What does the offer look like in your desired area? 

Is there a tough compe­tition, or is the product rarely offered? 

If the product is offered less frequently, this can be your chance to become known quickly. 

When you offer makeup that your customers are looking for elsewhere in vain, you can quickly open up a profi­table market and thus conquer the market without huge expenses. 

With private label makeup, you don’t need to spend money on develo­pment costs, take care of testing the products and mixing the formulas. 

All you have to do is concen­trate fully on your brand. 

Let’s get started together

The foundation is there, and you can build on it. 

This sentence probably best describes how private label cosmetics works. 

So, what is a private label cosmetics? 

The answer is freedom- freedom to produce cosmetics that reflects the essence of your brand! 

We have helped numerous new companies get started. 

It’s your turn now. 

We are here to help you find the best suppliers and manufac­turers so that you can turn your company dreams into reality. 


5 most common questions about Private Label Cosmetics

We’ll address some common questions that our customers have about private label cosmetics. 

Whether you’re just starting out or are considering expanding your existing product line, it’s important to under­stand the benefits and conside­ra­tions of private label cosmetics. 

From custo­mization options to regulatory requi­re­ments, we’ll provide you with the infor­mation you need to make informed decisions about private label cosmetics for your business.

Are private label cosmetics more affordable than custom formu­lation?

Yes, private label cosmetics tend to be more affordable than custom formu­la­tions, as they utilize pre-existing products.

Suppliers have already invested in research and develo­pment to produce a variety of formu­la­tions, which can be custo­mized with your branding and packaging.

This approach is more cost-effective for small businesses and entre­pre­neurs, as custom formu­lation can be both expensive and time-consuming.

Can I customize the packaging and labeling of private label cosmetics?

Absolutely! Custo­mizing the packaging and labeling to fit your brand’s needs is one of the advan­tages of private label cosmetics.

Most suppliers offer various packaging options, such as bottles, jars, tubes, and boxes, which can be printed or labeled with your branding.

This enables you to create a distinctive product that showcases your brand’s identity and diffe­ren­tiates it from compe­titors.

In some cases, the packaging can be just as important for your brand’s success as the product itself.

You can find more secret tips about private label cosmetics here.

high-end private label cosmetics packaging

How do I choose the right private label cosmetics supplier?

When choosing a private label cosmetics supplier, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure that you are partnering with a reputable and reliable company. 

Some key conside­ra­tions include the quality of the products, pricing, turnaround time, minimum order requi­re­ments, and compliance requi­re­ments

Look for a supplier that offers a wide range of products, has a good reputation in the industry, and can provide you with samples and certi­fi­ca­tions.

Are private label cosmetics regulated?

Yes, private label cosmetics must adhere to regula­tions and compliance requi­re­ments to guarantee their safety.

These regula­tions differ by country, so it’s essential to research your target market’s specific requi­re­ments.

For example, in the United States, the Food and Drug Adminis­tration (FDA) regulates cosmetic products to ensure their safety and proper labeling.

Partnering with a supplier that can provide documen­tation and certi­fi­ca­tions is crucial for ensuring your products meet these standards.

Can I test private label cosmetics before ordering/ selling them?

Definitely! Testing the final product before ordering is essential to ensure it meets your quality standards.

Most private label suppliers offer product samples, which you can evaluate before placing an order.

Additio­nally, consider conducting further testing, such as stability and micro­bio­lo­gical testing, to confirm your products are safe and effective for use.

Testing helps identify any issues or defects with the product, allowing you to make any necessary impro­ve­ments before launching it in the market.

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Charlotte Wagner

"After my Bachelor & Master's degree in Beauty Management at the mAHS (media Akademie Hochschule Stuttgart), I work full-time in consulting for start-ups and medium-sized companies in the cosmetics industry.
I discovered my passion for writing at an early age, so that I pursue it as a as a hobby author."

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