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How to Start a Lip Gloss Business

8 min read

If you have ever considered getting involved in the cosmetics world, now is the time. In 2020, the lip care industry was worth $820 million. Grandview Research estimates the industry will jump to $1.17 billion by 2025.

Lip care cosmetics are a rising trend because people are looking for better variety. Popular today are more natural ingredients that nourish and protect the delicate skin of the lips. Sunscreen options are in demand as well. The market is expanding past just women to men as well, making lip products more popular than ever. It doesn’t take much to start a lipgloss business but there are some things to consider.

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Your Product

Maybe you’ve been experimenting for a while or you want to buy a starter kit to make your own lip gloss. Either way, you have to have a good solid product. Luckily, between Pinterest and professional kits, creating a good product isn’t that hard and doesn’t generate too much ingredient waste. There are a few questions to answer when creating your lip gloss.

What kind of lip gloss?

While you always have the option to expand your choices later, you need to decide what you sell in the beginning. There are several different types of gloss that have various ingredients and applications. It is important to know what you plan to sell.

Some of your options are:

  • Sheer Lip Gloss
  • Pigmented Lip Gloss
  • Shimmer Lip Gloss
  • Glitter Lip Gloss
  • Matte Lip Gloss
  • Who are you selling to?

You need to know your demographic before you start selling. Knowing age, gender, styles, and other preferences will help you decide what products to make and how to market them.

Where are you selling?

Do you plan to have a storefront, sell exclusively online, or make the hobby market circuit? Will you try a combination of them? This will help you decide how to market and make plans for shipping and website building.

Making your own product is time consuming, so factor in plenty of time to keep orders from getting backed up. There are many different recipes out there, ranging from very basic to cool and flashy. Experiment to find the ones you like the best. Try for quality but cost-effective ingredients. These are some basic ingredients you might want to invest in:

  • Coconut oil — for moisturizing properties
  • Olive oil or grapeseed oil — for skin barrier protection
  • Vitamin E essence — for dry lips and skin regeneration
  • Beeswax — for sun and UV rays protection
  • Cocoa butter or shea butter — for smooth hydration
  • Mica pigments (purified, and not synthetic) — for color tint

When you first start out, mixing and making by hand will save money. As your business grows, it might be wise to reinvest some of the profits into professional equipment such as:

  • Blending or mixing machines
  • Molding equipment
  • Packaging containers
  • Branding labels
  • Sealing machines

If you want professional packaging, starter kits, labels, or a manufacturing partner, there are many options available. A wide range of vendors will work with you and walk you through how to start a lip gloss business in your home. Sites like Genie Supply, Mana Private Label, and Audrey Morris are great places to start.

Don’t Forget! Take some time to brainstorm a name for your business. Make it relevant, attractive to your target audience, and easy to remember and spell. A name like Supercalifragilipstick may seem fun, but unless you’re Kate Spade, no one’s going to remember how to spell that puppy. Seriously, keep it sweet and simple.

The Business Side of Business

Unfortunately, we can’t gloss over all the legal requirements that come with starting a lip gloss business. Attention to detail will help you avoid trouble with the government later on. Tasks that need attention before you start selling are:

Compliance with the FDA

Small cosmetics companies are not required to register with the FDA, but they do have to comply with regulations. Ingredients must be kept unadulterated, listed on the label, and used as intended. The FDA has a factsheet on their website with more information.

Business registration and EIN

State Level-  The state level is for business licenses. A lot of small businesses start as sole proprietors, though this leaves you with all the liability and extra taxes. Registering as an LLC limits liability and protects your private assets from any business issues. Taxes are only on take-home pay instead of all the profits.

Federal Level- The federal level is for tax purposes. When you register with them you get an Employer Identification Number. This is basically your tax ID. The federal government does not recognize LLCs, so you register a little differently with them. Claiming status as an S-corporation has all the protection of an LLC and helps avoid double taxation.

There are other formats to register as, but an S-corporation is the best bet for small businesses.


Every state and municipality has different rules about obtaining permits for selling cosmetics. Visit the Small Business Administration to learn more about your state’s regulations. There are companies like My Corporation that take on the paperwork side of things so you have less to worry about. While they charge a fee, it might be worth it for you, depending on your priorities.

Insurance. Protect yourself and your business by purchasing product liability insurance. You are selling a product people put on their faces. Even if you formulate everything perfectly, there is no guarantee nothing will go wrong. Be smart, get insurance.

Website. In the internet era, very few businesses do well without a website. There are countless platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Ecwid that will help you build and manage a website. Places like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook are great for advertising and drawing in customers, but these shouldn’t be your main site. If you aren’t sure about running your own website, Etsy is a great beginner small business platform.


How much starting a lip gloss company costs all depends on how big you want to start. If you want to start small with a website, licenses, a small collection of products, and home-printed labels, it could be under $1000. If you want to start bigger with equipment, professional labels, and major marketing, you’ll want to consider small business funding. Either way, do it your way. You can start as small or big as you want.

Kiss Your Worries Goodbye

Starting an online business doesn’t have to be terrifying. There are a wide variety of resources available to help you get started and get your name out there, like Ecwid. Our goal is to make starting a successful business attainable. You can get your name out and be seen and you don’t have to do it alone.

When you’re ready to make your own lip gloss, we’re ready to help with your business.

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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