To figure out how to start a makeup line, you'll have to create a detailed business plan and determine what will set your cosmetics line apart. There's a lot of competition in the makeup industry, so carving out your unique niche is important for being successful.

Women and the Makeup Industry

Makeup is very important to many girls and women. Sometimes, they just don't feel as “complete” without some kind of makeup on. It can be a confidence-builder since some women feel more attractive when they wear makeup. Makeup is more than pretty packaging, and consumers are always looking for quality cosmetics that make them feel good about themselves.

What Will Your Makeup Line Focus On?

Cosmetics doesn't only refer to makeup products; it also covers skin, facial, and hair products. When deciding to create a makeup line, think about which area you want to focus on. Niche areas in makeup include the following: 

  • Mascara
  • Lipstick
  • Primer
  • Concealer 
  • Face powder
  • Foundation
  • Highlighter
  • Eyeliner
  • Blush 
  • Bronzer
  • False eyelashes
  • Setting spray
  • Nail polish production

You'll likely be more successful if you focus on a niche from the beginning. For example, Poppy's Lipsticks is well-known around the globe for focusing on lipsticks instead of also trying to be Poppy's Eyeliner and Poppy's Hair Potion.

Choose a niche based on what you're most interested in and what you know you'll be good at. You also need to consider if the market is open for your particular product niche. You can always add new products to your makeup line as your business grows. Until that time, perfect your existing line and build your reputation in the industry.

Because the cosmetics industry already has lots of competition, the one thing that sets most successful companies apart is marketing. This includes the packaging and the promises they make of benefits such as glowing, youthful skin. Find the hook that will entice your potential customers.

You'll need to ask yourself some tough questions, such as the following: 

  1. What makes my product special or different from what's already out there? 
  2. Why should a customer take a chance on my product and stop using something they already like? 
  3. What type of packaging will make my brand stand out and have that “wow” factor while also looking trustworthy and reliable?
  4. What's my special factor or buzzword, such as “natural,” “shea butter-infused,” or “organic”? If you make certain claims about what your product will do, you need to have scientific facts to back them up.

How to Create a Business Plan

Makeup lines often require a lot of start-up capital and detailed planning, so you need a solid business plan. You may want to consult with some experts in your field when drafting your plan. When you have a workable business plan, you can cut down on the trial-and-error aspect of running a business. You'll have a purpose, and you'll be prepared to meet challenges and handle growth and expansion.

A solid business plan is a detailed guide that shows you how to manage your business effectively. It should outline strategies on how you intend to grow your business.

You have to be realistic when drawing up a plan. Don't over-project numbers like income and profits. You may want to underestimate in those areas so you're not surprised or disappointed when the real numbers come in.

When planning your business, consider the following: 

  • The concept of your business
  • A description of your business
  • Your business' vision statement
  • Your mission statement
  • Your business location
  • Your plans to franchise, if any
  • Your expansion plans in the U.S. or internationally, if any 

Key components of a business plan include the following: 

  • Budget
  • Startup generation
  • Competitive analysis
  • Products and services
  • SWOT analysis
  • Target market
  • Marketing and sales 

To create any business, including one in such a competitive field like a makeup brand, you'll have to do a lot of homework and research to figure out where you're most likely to be successful. Consulting with experts in the field is key. You need to set your line apart from everything that's already out there. A solid, workable business plan is the first step toward creating a successful business.

If you need help starting a makeup line, you can post your job on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.