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How to Start a Makeup Business: A Step-By-Step Guide

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how to start a makeup business

The makeup business is one of the most profitable in the U.S. In 2019, the makeup industry generated $49 billion in revenue. Starting your own makeup business offers you a chance to claim a piece of that. With relatively low startup costs and the potential to operate part-time, this is an increasingly popular option for those with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for beauty products. Let’s explore how to start a makeup business and what you need to do to make it successful.

Types of Makeup Business

There are plenty of ways to go about how to start a makeup company. Here are some ideas for starting a cosmetic business so you can choose which type is right for you.

  • Traditional Cosmetics

Focus on common cosmetics products. From lipsticks to blushes and eyeliners to eyeshadows, these are the products most people use daily. The best way to stand out in traditional cosmetics is to focus on themes and personal flair.

  • Body Cosmetics

Body cosmetics focus on covering up blemishes and creating an even skin tone. These businesses tend to concentrate on foundations and concealers. While similar to traditional makeup lines, a focus on body cosmetics can empower you to laser focus on your customers’ specific needs.

  • Natural Cosmetics

Wondering, “How to start my own makeup business with an ethical spin?” Join the all-natural movement. Nix traditional makeup chemicals and opt for plant-based products instead. These are the premium products environmentally conscious people are willing to pay more for. Keep in mind that manufacturing these products is usually more expensive.

  • Luxury Cosmetics

Created from the highest quality ingredients, luxury cosmetics are those used by professional makeup artists and celebrities. Expect to invest more if you want to target individuals with high-end cosmetics.

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Start a Makeup Business

Starting a makeup business is tough because you’ll be competing in a sea of other brands. While difficult, the profit potential of a makeup business is huge. We’ve got all the steps covered for how to start your own makeup business for the first to last.

Step One – Find Your Niche

Understand who you’re selling to. There’s a big difference between starting a make up business aimed at teens and starting one aimed at those in their forties or fifties. Take the time to find your niche and research the products they prefer.

Step Two – Build Your Business Plan

Make sure you have a thorough business plan. A good business plan for a makeup line should cover:

  • Your products
  • Your target market
  • Your finances
  • Your brand
  • Your goal

If you’ve never made a business plan before, there are several free templates online to guide you through the process.

Step Three – Get Funding

Successfully securing funding determines whether your business succeeds or fails. Let L3 Funding help you explore your funding options. From microloans to merchant advance financing, we’ll help you find the ideal funding option for your new makeup company.

Step Four – Develop Your Brand

Makeup is all about branding. Whether it’s the logo, the colors, the typography, or the backstory, branding is what will help you stand out among the crowd. Figure out who you are and what you stand for. Some companies market based on their ethically sourced makeups, whereas others promote based on their luxury ingredients. Establish what your brand is all about and make sure it comes through clearly in your brand messaging.

Step Five – Test Your Products

Makeups must be tested before they’re sold because they’re applied directly to the skin. Test them on focus groups and get feedback before going to market with your cosmetics. With regular testing, you’ll know they’re both safe and that they meet the expectations of your target market.

Step Six – Create Your Store

When just starting off with how to start a makeup line, you need to establish somewhere that you can actually sell your products. The easiest way to do this is with an online store. eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WordPress are excellent low-cost options for launching your store. If you want to start a brick-and-mortar store, take the time to research different locations based on your target market. Invest in a professional designer to get both your online and offline outlets off the ground.

Step Seven – Put Together a Marketing Plan

So you have your target audience and brand all ready to go, but how will you reach them? Create a marketing plan that defines both your digital and traditional advertising avenues of choice. A marketing plan must also include information about your proposed budget. Some avenues you can take include:

  • Social media
  • SEO marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Traditional ads

Step Eight – Shipping and Logistics

Take care of the logistics. Make sure you already have a system in place to get products from the factory to your warehouse/store. Research several manufacturers and prioritize quality and speed. Ensure that if your business takes off, your manufacturer can grow with you. Safe, timely shipping will make or break your business.


Knowing how to start a makeup business offers tremendous profit potential. But it all begins with securing the funding you need for success. L3 Funding are the experts in helping small businesses get that initial cash injection so they can pursue their passions. To learn more about your finances or to apply for financing, contact L3 Funding today.