Starting A Cosmetic Line

I just want to update all of you out there who are considering starting a cosmetic line.

There is soooooo much to this, I can’t begin to tell you. Without giving too many “trade secrets” away, I will try to give good advice.

First, if you are not a patient person, this isn’t for you. Nothing ever gets done the way or in the time frame it should. I have gone through three different cosmetic manufacturers in one year!!!! Since I am a small start-up with little capital, I have to work with small manufacturing companies. This means that they have greater potential to be unprofessional, and not know what the hell they are doing.

Do not let these companies walk over you. YOU are paying them. You have every right to tell them what you want and how you want it. You should not feel guilty or that you are being too “bossy”. You won’t get anywhere being timid.

Let me backtrack a little. I literally started from scratch. I knew what I wanted to do: have a prestige, organic, all natural mineral-based makeup. That’s all. I didn’t know where to get the ingredients, or how the whole process worked. I just started pouring over the Internet like a madman (being obsessive-compulsive is great if you know how to put it to good use)…I just started looking for manufacturing companies for my type of product.

It was a long and tedious path. But before you start looking, you really need to know, “what is my makeup line going to be?” “Who will it be for?” “What will I have that nobody else has?” “why will people want to buy my product?” If you can’t answer these questions, you are not ready. You must do research on cosmetics to see what is needed out there. Is it for minorities? oily skin? Older skin? what are the price points going to be? where will you sell it? who will be your market? have you thought of marketing/advertising and PR (marketing and PR are entirely different. If you don’t know this, you need to check that out too).

There is so much to do before you even look for a manufacturer. Research is key. Think of it this way: people are going to say, “wow, you have a makeup line, what is different about it? I get asked this all the time. If you don’t have a great answer: “It’s a small color line geared toward the career woman who has minutes to put on makeup. It’s a quick fix that looks great in little time.”

If you just want to “create a line” because you “think it would sell”, it won’t. There are hundreds of makeup lines out there. Yours must be different, exciting, fresh, and innovative. To just sell foundation and blush doesn’t work. You need a selling point, and a big one, at that.

I feel like I jumped around a bit here, but all of the information is salient, I think. It should help. I will write on this topic again very soon.

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