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White Label Cosmetics Explained: Pros & Cons in 2024 (+Guide)

Private Label Hersteller Illustration

White Label Cosmetics Definition

White label cosmetics are standar­dised and often pre-produced cosmetic products that are branded with your logo. Standar­dised means that the formu­lation and packaging are already set and cannot be changed.

White Label Cosmetics vs. Private Label Cosmetics

White label cosmetics sometimes get lumped in with private label cosmetics. Some cosmetic manufac­turers call private label what another might call white label.

white label vs private label cosmetics illustration

Here is where we, and I think the majority, draws the line.

Private Label Cosmetics

In the most basic sense, private label cosmetics are cosmetics produced by one company but sold under another brand’s name. They can be pre-made and ready for branding (white label), or manufac­tured just for you. 

No matter if they are pre-produced or not, the formu­lation is already set. 

While you usually cannot change the formu­lation signi­fi­cantly, you can choose basically any packaging you want.

White Label Cosmetics

In our under­standing, white label cosmetics is a subca­tegory of private label cosmetics.

What makes them stand out, is that white label cosmetics are pre-produced.

Neither ingre­dients nor packaging can be changed. The only thing that can be custo­mized is the print or label of the packaging.

This way you can put your logo on fully finished products.

Pros

Advan­tages of White Label Cosmetics

There are some pros and cons when choosing to work with a white label manufac­turer.

Here the two key advan­tages.

Illustration of advantages of white label

1. Short Production Time

Because white label cosmetics (as we define them) are pre-produced, production time is drasti­cally shortened. The only thing that has to be done, is printing or labelling the products with your logo. 

This way you can launch your products in just a few days or weeks. 

2. Small Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ)

While minimum order quantities (MOQ) from most cosmetic manufac­turers typically range from 3,000 to 5,000 units, you can get white label cosmetics starting from just one single unit.

This minimizes your initial investment and the risk involved. 

Being able to do this can be a great advantage for those who want to start a cosmetics line little by little.

Cons

Disad­van­tages of White Label Cosmetics

If this sounds too good to be true to you, unfort­u­nately I have to tell you, there are some major downsides to white label cosmetics as well. 

Disadvantages of white label Illustration

1. High Unit Prices

Per unit, white label cosmetics usually cost a lot more than private label cosmetic products that are not pre-produced. This is because of the low minimum order quantites

As a rule of thumb:

The unit price drops when order quantity increases.

To give you a deeper under­standing of the price diffe­rences, we complied a table with rough price estimates for white label cosmetics starting from one unit and private label cosmetics starting from 1000 units.

Product0 MOQ1000 MOQ
1Lipstick$7.00 — $10.00$2.00 — $3.50
2Nail Polish$6.00 — $8.00$1.50 — $3.00
3Mascara$8.00 — $10.00$2.50 — $4.00
4Moistu­rizer$18.00 — $25.00$5.50 — $8.00
5Powder$9.00 — $12.00$3.00 — $4.50
6Face Brushes$10.00 — $12.00$1.50 — $3.00
7Eyeliner / Lipliner$5.00 — $7.50$1.50 — $2.50
8Foundation$10.00 — $12.00$4.00 — $5.50
9Lipgloss$6.00 — $8.00$2.00 — $3.50
10Shampoo$15.00 — $18.00$5.00 — $7.00

2. Low Custo­mization

As already mentioned, the only thing that you can customize about white label cosmetics is putting your logo on them.

It can be done in two ways: printing and labelling.

Which option you have depends on the white label cosmetics supplier.

Try to find a white label supplier that offers printing. For most cosmetic products, printing just looks way better than slapping a label on it (there are excep­tions, especially for skin care products, where labelling might be the preferred option).

That said, even with printing your logo on a product, it’s hard to really stand out with a product that is sold by many other brands as well.

3. Poor Quality Level

We have tested many white label cosmetic products and have often found them to be of moderate or even poor quality.

And this makes total sense.

Most high-quality ingre­dients require high purchase quantities and are costly to source.

If you want to have a small batch of lipsticks with your logo for a company event, the quality might be just fine.

But if you like to sell cosmetics for a premium price, you need premium formu­la­tions and packa­gings. You likely won’t get this quality level from white label cosmetic manufac­turers.

4. Limited Product Range

Since a white label cosmetic manufac­turer has to have their products on stock, the available options are limited.

They usually focus on bestselling cosmetic products only.

You won’t find any niche or unique products from a white label cosmetics provider.

For example, while you’ll easily find a white label lipstick, you’ll have a hard time finding a white label lash serum or a white label tinted moistu­rizer.

Guide

How to Start a White Label Cosmetics Brand

Even though we as a private label cosmetics manufac­turer are of course convinced of our service and the advan­tages compared to white label suppliers, we would like to show you a way to start with white label cosmetics.

1. Choose a White Label Cosmetics Manufac­turer

First, you need to decide on a white label cosmetics manufac­turer.

Some popular options are:

2. Create an Online Shop

Due to the high unit prices, you can only sell white label cosmetics profi­tably via your own online store.

If there is someone in between, such as a retailer, you will no longer have a profit margin.

Shopify is best suited for beginners. It costs around $30 per month, and you can create your own online store in no time.

What many people don’t know is that even big brands, such as Hailey Bieber’s Rhode or Kim Karda­shian’s SKKN, use Shopify.

3. Plan Your Fulfilment

You have two options for order processing and shipping:

  1. Ship it yourself
  2. Hire a fulfilment service provider


The former is certainly the more obvious option. Especially for the start, you save the fixed costs that are normally incurred with an external shipping service provider.

Once your business is up and running, you can always switch to an external partner. However, it is important to know that this service (packing and shipping) costs at least €2–3 per order plus shipping costs.

So make sure that your profit margin allows for these additional costs.

4. Kick Off Your Marketing

Without marketing efforts, you will soon realize that your online store will hardly have any visitors.

To get started, I recommend you try your luck with TikTok. TikTok is parti­cu­larly useful because the algorithm works differ­ently to Instagram or Facebook.

Your number of followers has no impact on the visibility of your posts.

You can achieve millions of views with a completely new account (without followers).

No other social media platform makes this so easy.

5. Switch to Private Label Cosmetics

As soon as you have sold enough white label products to cover the initial purchase volume of private label cosmetics, you should definitely make the switch.

It’s time to profes­sio­nalize yourself and your brand.

This will allow you to create custo­mized products that better match your brand identity and your vision.

You will also have much higher profit margins, as the unit price is much lower.

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