How to Start a Cosmetics Business in 2023

Customers have plenty of cosmetics to choose from, and a countless number of brands. Needless to say, the industry is competitive. Yet, as the market constantly adapts to the changing beauty trends, there’s always space for startup brands to make new waves. Keep reading to learn the step-by-step process of starting a successful cosmetics business in 2023.

Choose a Cosmetic Product for Your Brand

The first step to starting a cosmetics business is deciding on the products you will sell. We suggest starting small and picking just one or two types of products that you’re passionate about. This lets your business get off the ground with a more simple production process. As your business grows and you expand into new products, your production methods will adapt.

As you work through ideas for cosmetic products, research the possible production methods and their estimated costs. Also, keep in mind the packaging and materials that you will need to make your product stand out.

Create a Business Plan

A business plan document is standard among upcoming businesses in the cosmetics industry and far beyond. This document describes how your business will operate. A strong business plan is detailed and thorough, with features including:

  • Business idea (name, industry, brand)
  • A vision for the business’ future
  • Market research, including a SWOT analysis
  • Marketing plan
  • Product plan
  • Financial plan

Legal Paperwork

New businesses must work through some legal paperwork before beginning operations. For starters, there is the business registration process. Most cosmetics businesses choose to become LLCs, though some prefer a DBA or corporation. Alongside registration, businesses must also obtain an Employer Identification Number for federal tax purposes. 

Get Funding

Starting a business comes with costs. Typically, businesses need initial funding for:

  • Legal business registration
  • Website creation and branding
  • Product photography
  • Product development
  • Packaging
  • Rent / warehouses / storage
  • Ads

New businesses have a few ways of obtaining initial funds. The most straightforward option is to pay out of pocket, but this is often unrealistic. Thus, businesses commonly seek loans and investors to get operations underway. If you’re considering getting a bank loan for your new business, shop around for the best interest rates. If you seek investment instead, look for trustworthy people with enough funds, and perhaps with knowledge of your industry.

A lesser-known way of funding your small business is with local grants. These are more common for brick & mortar shops but search for local organizations that exist to fund projects like yours.

Product Development

Once your business has the funds and resources, you can begin production. As you’re just getting started, use a feedback loop to ensure the product you envisioned is satisfactory. Products must be developed, then tested, then possibly reworked and re-tested until they meet your expectations. 

As you improve your products in development, make sure that packaging is part of the process. With many cosmetic products, the packaging is key to the customers’ experience as they keep the packaging alongside the product. For some of the top options in glass cosmetics packaging, refer to the table below: 

Square Glass Jar 1 oz.
Cylindra Glass Jar 1 oz.
Square Glass Jar 1.5 oz.
Square Glass Jar 3.4 oz.
Rectangle Glass Jar 3.4 oz.
Quad Glass Bottle 3.4 oz.

Build Your Brand

Throughout the lifetime of any retail business, marketing is a must. Make sure your cosmetics business is active on social platforms. Also, consider using paid ads and SEO to boost your online presence and perhaps reach out to influencers to promote your cosmetics.

Getting a follower base and public recognition is key to success for a new brand. Though, this is difficult when you’re just getting started. Ask your friends and family to support the cause; word-of-mouth marketing is reliable. Your new brand will get much more attention with the help of others sharing the word.

Pursue E-commerce

In the modern retail world, businesses rely on e-commerce. Cosmetics brands promote themselves on 3rd party sites, most notably Amazon, to capitalize on as many sales channels as possible. 

In addition to getting on existing e-commerce platforms, we suggest establishing a website of your own with an online shop. Here, you have the most control over how you present your brand and products. Consider backlinking your website to and from your social channels for increased visibility.

Launch Your Cosmetics


With your cosmetics products launched, your business will officially be in motion. To capitalize on the special occasion, make sure your audience is well-informed ahead of time. Prepare marketing materials and promote the products’ release date. With an active presence, soon-to-be customers will be ready and excited to buy your cosmetics.


With these steps to starting a cosmetic business, you have the opportunity to build a profitable brand with a dependable customer base. 2023 will see plenty of the usual shifts and trends in the cosmetics industry, so get ready to insert your new brand into the picture. To learn more about the packaging process for your new business, read Glassnow’s complete guide to cosmetics packaging.