How to Finance Your Cosmetics Line: Part 2

Since the first installment of "How to Start and (more importantly) Finance Your Cosmetics Line" I've received numerous emails asking about the details of 0% APR financing for your cosmetics line.

When talking about the 0% APR period, I asked rhetorically "Need I say more?"

Gauging from my inbox, I would say yes, I suppose I do need to say more.

To clear up a few misconceptions:

  1. We, Genie Supply do not offer financing options.
  2. Paypal Credit offers 6 months at 0% APR - if you are approved - for every purchase of $100 or more, up to your credit limit. After 6 months, the remaining balance is subject to 19.99% (or more) APR.
  3. There are plenty of credit cards on the market that offer 0% APR for 6-24 months. This is, again, subject to approval. This still means that the amount on your card/account at the end of that period must be zeroed out, or you will be subject to their new APR, which is typically 19.99%-29.99% or whatever the maximum allowable APR is in your state.

So that all sounds really scary, but it's not.

Credit is a tool. You must learn how to use it.

No matter who you are, at some point in your brand's lifetime, you must leverage credit. This doesn't make you fiscally irresponsible, it's literally just a part of doing business, and definitely a part of scaling.

Do you think hotel owners can pay for the entire thing at once? No way. 

Even if you have investors or boat loads of cash, leveraging credit can be really smart. 

Why?

Credit begets credit.

Not only that, but at 0% APR, it's unwise to remove all of that cash from your cash flows. All companies--and especially start-ups--live and die by their cash flow.

Additionally, if the inflation rate is 3% per year, you're actually paying less money by waiting until the 6th or 12th or 24th month of your interest-free period to pay, because money today is worth more than money tomorrow. That's a fact.

 

How to Start Your Cosmetics Line on 0% APR Credit Cards

Okay, so now that we've worked through that logic, let's work through a situation where I "show my work" for what starting a cosmetics line on 0% APR credit cards would look like.

Tools Needed: Decent Credit (~650+ score), $35k annual income, US address

You will open the card on your personal account and reimburse this all as expenses or a loan to your company. Opening a business credit card is much harder and you will typically only get a starting credit line of $2000 after 2 years in business. Yes, it sucks.. hard.

Credit Limited Needed: $3000

Sometimes the credit limit is a judgment on you: on your creditworthiness (credit score) and/or ability to pay back debt (income), but sometimes it's not (source). Credit history (did you pay on time? Is this your first card?), credit lines open and number of applications also comes into play when deciding whether or not to extend you credit, so make sure to do your homework before applying.

Use a free tool like CreditKarma to track your credit score, all the variables that feed into that score, and to see your approximate chances of getting approved on any given card. Yes, they offer all of that, for free.

Products Purchasing: 600 custom lip glosses / liquid lipsticks; 3 colors, 200 units each. Custom printed tube, custom boxes, assembly and international air shipping.

Cost: $2880 + $270 shipping

Card: 0% APR for 12 months

Monthly Payment: $262.50

Just make the payment on the first of every month, and in 12 months it will all be paid off. No debt, no interest and better credit because of it.

The way to calculate the monthly payment is to take the total cost (here $2880 + $270 = $3150) and divide by the interest-free period (here 12), to give you the exact monthly payment ($262.50).

In this scenario, if you were instead to get an 18-month interest-free period, the monthly payment would be $175. Of course, you can pay it off earlier, and if you have your lip glosses within 2-3 months of the initial payment, I would hope you can make that money back sooner!

 

The Best 0% APR Credit Cards

These are subject to change at any time, as credit card companies often do, but as of today, here are the best 0% APR credit cards, rated by interest-free period.

- Discover It Cashback Match (0% APR for 14 months)

- BankAmericard Credit Card (0% APR for 15 months)

- Citi Diamond Preferred Card (0% for 21 months)

- Wells Fargo Platinum Visa Card (0% for 18 months)

- Citi Simplicity Card (0% for 21 months)

- Chase Freedom Unlimited Card (0% for 15 months)

- BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card (0% for 12 months)

- Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card (0% for 12 months)

- Blue Cash Everyday Card from America Express (0% for 12 months)

- Barclaycard Ring Mastercard (0% for 15 months)

 

These are seriously good deals.

I had Chase Slate before with the same option as the Chase Freedom above (15 months interest-free). The card doesn't come with all the frills of a higher-end card, but it does get the job done.

So don't just sit at home and twiddle your thumbs, daydreaming of what could be. Get out there, figure out your financing options, and make your cosmetic line a reality!

And if you need help manufacturing or figuring out the details, we're always here.

How to Start--and More Importantly, Finance--Your New Cosmetics Line

Something I've learned time and time again in the beauty business is the reason why so few beauty lines make it from idea to reality is not for a lack of dreams or dreamers. There's plenty of men and women who want to create their own beauty line. Everybody dreams about their beauty line, but few make it a reality.

In fact, I have good evidence sitting in my inbox here at Genie Supply that much less than 5% of those who contact me about making their own cosmetic line end up taking their idea to a reality stage. It's not because of a lack of vision.

I'm not even talking about how many businesses "succeed" or "fail". The old statistic is that only 10% of new businesses will make it past the 5 year mark. But no, I'm talking about the less than 5% that make it from the idea stage to the new business.

Why do so few make it?

Because they lack the funds to start.

Or, they think they do.

In entrepreneurship--or life in general, I supposed--there's one thing that separates the highly successful from the moderately successful, or the successful from the unsuccessful at all: resilience.

I speak on resilience quite frequently; it's as important as having a vision in the first place. 

"But what the hell does resilience have to do with a lack of funding?" one might ask.

Everything.

Resilience has everything to do with a lack of funding.

Lack of funding is the #1 reason why I see new business ideas stay parked at the idea stage, often abandoned and forgotten before they even have a chance.

Now not every idea needs to become a full-fledged business; that's a proposition that borders on recklessness. But if you're at the research stage--the stage where you are emailing me and requesting quotes on products and packaging--then you know that this is not just some idea you have. It's an idea that's been rattling around in your head enough times to take the next step.

But once the quotes roll in, you decide "I don't have enough cash for this! This is nuts."

Even at Genie Supply, where my personal goal--for a reason--is to help entrepreneurs take their ideas to market and scale their businesses without breaking the bank, yeah, sometimes what you want is going to seem expensive.

If you're a current market player, a $20k or $30k P.O. seems like nothing. If you're just getting started, a $2k or $3k minimum order seems like everything. It seems insurmountable.

Seems.

It seems surmountable, but it's not.

I want to talk about something today--a dirty little secret, if you will.

That is: How the HELL do you finance your new cosmetics line?

Again, here is where resilience comes into play. Resilience and patience, which go hand in hand.

First, let's talk about my own product line, Amalie. Then, I'll circle back and talk about an example of how to get started with your own line and how to finance it, so that your dream becomes a reality instead of being parked at the ideation stage.

 

Megan's Personal Start-Up Financing Story: Amalie

I've told this story many times, but when I decided to start Amalie back in 2013, it was because I hated my internship enough (which paid sh*t money, by the way) to quit on a whim and hop on a plane back home. When I got home, I had $1,812 to my name. Actually, that seems like a lot now, looking back, because I was flat broke for most of college.

In any case, that was it. That was all my cash, scraped and pinched together.

This was no Maureen Kelly / Tarte situation--heck, I didn't even HAVE credit cards or a line of credit--but I was still determined to make my little WINK formula into a full-blown market-ready product.

After a lot of negotiation and even more luck, I was able to make my first order on $1,806. I didn't even have money to ship samples to bloggers, but I had 500 units of WINK in hand.

With some scrappiness, an entire lack of shame, and again--a whole lot of luck--I was able to land enough press to sell through that inventory in a month and make my next purchase order.

Since then, I've continued to grow Amalie from the organic growth on that $1,812 investment. I've now made over $500,000 on that investment in the past 4 years, without any additional funding.

I did take a small interest-free loan from a relative at one point (which I've paid back), but that was more than 2 years into my business, and it wasn't investment: it was just a loan. Any business or bank could've given me a loan. Taking a loan is not an anomaly--although taking an interest-free one may be--it's just a part of doing business.

So first of all, YES, it can be done, even if you're broke. You may need to scale down, wait patiently, grow your funds, and negotiate and renegotiate, but it can be done.

And starting small is actually a great idea.

I was able to finally find a vendor who would make 500 screen-printed WINK bottles for me. That's amazing. That's 20x less than the average factory; I was continually receiving quotes at 10,000 unit MOQs. 

But eventually, with luck and negotiation, I made it happen.

Now, I made it my mission to make that same luck happen for entrepreneurs every day.

I have found factories willing to do 500 unit screen-printed packaging and formulation MOQs. I've spent the last 3 years in China building those relationships, so that even more entrepreneurs can take their businesses from ideation to creation, without having to go through the same struggle I did, or give up in the process.

Why?

Because that is JUST step 1, ladies and gents. That is JUST your first challenge, in a line of the many, many challenges of starting and running your small business.

So let me just help with ONE of those challenges.

(Side note: If you're ready to see how I can help you now, go ahead and request a quote, but keep reading, because the rest of this article is mad juicy).

 

Next: How to Finance Your New Cosmetics Line

Now, back to you and your new cosmetics line--or dream of one. Let's talk.

Yes, you can always look for investment and angel investors to fund your dreams. Go ahead and get on Tech Crunch or look for an incubator/accelerator if that's what you want to do. I personally don't look for or take investment and don't believe others should, especially in their first business. Half of the battle is figuring it out before you bring in rocket fuel (i.e. mad cash, yo).

So let me work through one example of how to fund your new beauty line, which is a very real example to me, because it's exactly what I do every time I want to buy some new inventory.

Example: Starting Your New Lipgloss Line

Let's say you want to start a new lipgloss or liquid lippie line. You find us, and see that we can do 500 units of your custom lipgloss line with screen-printed packaging, for just $2,500.

Wow, $2,500 is kind of a lot, right?

In the business world, that's nothing. BUT, if you're in high school, college, or just getting started in the working world, that's a lot of cash to scrape back.

So how would you handle it?

Let's say you're not risky at all. You have no idea how well this will sell, but you don't want any lasting debt. You want to finance this, but don't want to wait until you've saved up all the cash. 

At Genie Supply, we do offer Credit Card and Paypal (Paypal Credit, too) as payment options. There's a 3% or 5% processing fee, respectively, but you can do it.

First step, take a part-time job to raise some funds. Secure that first. Let's say you work 20 hours/week at minimum wage. After taxes, you'd take home just over $400/month for this new job. Alternatively, at 10 hours/week, you'd take home about $200/month.

Once you get hired and start, you then open a new credit card with 0% APR for the first 12 months, with a $3000 or more limit.

After that, you contact us and get started on your lipgloss line. The charge is $2575. To pay off the balance, you need to make payments of $215/month for the next 12 months. You could pay it off in less time if you want, but the payments won't change, because you're still in your 0% APR period.

Need I say more?

You'll still need to keep the part-time job at ~10 hours/week, but just until sales pick up enough that you can use the money you earn to pay off the debt. In fact, if you're reselling those lippies for $20 each, you'd only need to sell about 11/month to pay off your monthly installment.

If you sell 130 or more units, you can pay off the entire purchase and you're now debt-free.

Depending on who you are/your circumstances and how hard you can hustle, that may not take too long. After all, I sold all 500 units of WINK within a month, so I know first-hand that it is doable.

Between press, ads, blogging and some help from instagram and youtube influencers, you could be debt-free, financed, with 370 units more to sell (that's $7,400 in cash, by the way), which will help you take that next step, whether it's buying 500 more units of the same lippies, 500 units of new colors, or taking a step up to 1000 or more units (my suggestion). The more you buy, the cheaper each unit gets. In the beginning, yes, it is about $5/unit for 500 units, but as you climb up and up, your units will discount to $4, $3, then $2, and when you're at scale, less than $1. Your profit margins will continue to climb as you increase your minimum orders.

Another option that I mentioned earlier was Paypal Credit. They offer much higher credit lines on worse credit. Even though the transaction rate is 5%, each transaction over $100 comes with 6 months of 0% interest. 

It's a big more aggressive, but at $437.50/month over 6 months, you'd have that starter lippie line all paid for.

And did I mention anywhere in that mess of numbers that, you'd literally make your dreams come true in the process?

Because, let's be real, who doesn't want their own beauty line?

 

Takeaways: How to Start (and Finance) Your New Cosmetics Line

Whether you decide to finance with sales, savings, freelancing or another part-time job--that's all up to you. I went through an example with a MINIMUM WAGE job. I had a minimum wage job at 10 hours/week when I was 15. ANYBODY could do this. Heck, most people could TRIM $200/month from their budget just by cutting out their daily Starbucks!

There's hardly an excuse for not getting started on your beauty line. 

Like literally, no excuse.

Paypal credit, credit cards, and loans are all an option, though I will ALWAYS suggest to go an APR-free route. Nobody needs 16-25% interest knocking on their door. That's a recipe for disaster.

I hope you all enjoyed this no-holds-barred guide to financing your new cosmetics line from this super geeky math-minded beauty queen.

If you have any questions, want to get a quote, or just discuss financing options in general, shoot me an email at megan@geniesupply.com or fill out our quote form here.

Oh, and by the way: Those lippie line numbers above were real. So seriously.. what the heck are you waiting for?

Why Did the Price of Cosmetic Packaging Increase in 2017?

It's almost 2017 (thank god). We are all so ready for 2016 to be over.

But, there's one big problem: the price of cosmetic packaging has gone up. A LOT.

It doesn't matter whether you're working with a factory on Alibaba, Aliexpress or an agency in the US: everyone was equally affected.

Actually, regardless of what you're making in China, the price is probably going up in 2017.

Wait, but why?

Those of us who are here on the ground in China saw it coming.

In fact, those of us here in China who are in touch with our factories probably all received a similar frantic 2am text message that said something to the effect of:

"Attention! Please note that the prices of packaging will go up after the Chinese New Year! Starting March 1st, the price of materials will rise. The government is limiting the pollution level by each factory and many factories must shut down. The price of raw material continues to rise. Together, expect all packaging to rise in cost by 30-40%."

The undertone read like this: The world is going to end.

Needless to say, everyone was freaking out. Every factory we work with was asking us to put down deposits and lock in prices now, to prevent changes in outstanding price quotes. Many customers have probably been waiting on this blog, to fully explain our recent behavior, because we have been super pushy with our clients in the past 2 weeks, asking them to close and sign ASAP. This was all in their best interest, of course, but here's why:

 

Here is exactly how raw materials are predicted to rise in price in 2017:

1. The price of coal will rise 200%

2. The price of glass will rise 40%

3. The price of plastic will rise 30%

4. The price of aluminum will rise 30%

5. The price of iron and steal will rise 30%

6. Stainless steel price will rise 40%

7. Shipping prices will rise 33.6%

8. Paper packaging prices will continue to rise (every 3 days the prices are predicted to increase).

Here's what that looks like:

Rise in Price of Raw Materials (%) China, 2017

But it's not just about rising raw materials costs.

The Chinese government is cracking down on high and illegal levels of pollution pouring out of factories. They've set new regulations to hamper smog production. They've shut down factories. They've checked illegal operations, which previously only operated at night. They've raised the standards, forcing factories to either get new equipment or shut down.

Many factories are choosing to shut down altogether.

Expect at least 1/3 of the factories that produce plastic cosmetic packaging to disappear into thin air.

Poof.

By the end of 2017, 40% of factory workers in China are expected to lose their jobs. Up to 25% of factories in China will close. Maybe even more.

 

Oh yeah, and..?

The RMB is decreasing in value relative to other global currencies.

This all spells trouble for cosmetic packaging factories in China.

 

So, what's next?

As we've written before, it's possible that factories will continue--yes continue, because it's already started--to move to neighboring countries, like Indiana, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Labor continues to be cheap in China--the average factory worker works 72 hours/week and makes $450-$900/month in China--but with a weak yuan and rising regulatory hurdles due to the Chinese government attempting to contain pollution levels and the rising cost of raw materials, we're not quite sure how things will shake out.

For the time being, China is still the biggest manufacturing beast in the world. 

 

We do know a few things:

1. Moving a factory overseas takes time; any shifts will take 2-3 years to become trends.

2. Packaging options are still limited to Chinese factories; everyone will keep producing in China in the short-medium run out of habit and convenience.

3. Expect prices to rise 30-40% overall. If you demand the "same price as always," expect your quality to decrease. Corners will be cut somewhere.

4. Working with an agent or company that offers QC checking will greatly decrease your chances of faulty goods during this time of shaky Chinese economics.

 

30% isn't much to be scared of, though, right?

It's doesn't sound like a lot, when you think about a $1 packaging becoming a $1.33 packaging, but when you think about a 10,000 unit run at $10,000 becoming a $13,330 run, that $3,330 is very real and needs to come from somewhere. When you think about your products that were already being double-distributed on razor-thin margins, now there are no margins to speak of. 

In times like this, you need to think about where that "extra" something is coming from: your paycheck, your ingredient list, your employee benefits. Something real, something tangible will be affected.

If you're operating on fat margins, then no, it doesn't matter too much.. now.

From the points above, you might have derived that there will be longer-lasting effects. China is developing. This is just step 1 in a chain reaction of rising costs and regulations. If you're thinking long-term, it may be better to begin a shift to minimal, eco-friendly and lasting packaging--perhaps even a reusable or recyclable packaging.

 

Consumer Point: Stay Informed in Times of Change

As a consumer: check your labels. 

Formulations will change. Compromises will be made. Be informed; know what those changes means for you and your health.

 

Takeaways: Why Cosmetic Packaging Costs Will Rise in 2017

So, there you have it!  2016 was one hell of a year, and if you believe in the Butterfly Effect, you saw this coming from a mile (or perhaps half a world) away.

This was a pretty wide-reaching review from all angles of the industry, but we're all as much creators as we are consumers; the world is a giant ecosystem.

The cosmetic packaging industry will continue to shift and change, but just keep in mind that your packaging will take up a larger percentage of the overall product budget in the coming years, so make room for it.

As always, if you need a quote for packaging prices, translator, or QC check on the ground in China, feel free to contact us (here) for a quote.

How to Make Lipstick

Today I'm going to dive into how to manufacture small batch lipsticks. You can actually do this in your own home! It's similar to making candles, but achieving the desired color is a bit more difficult.

 

For hobbyists and those just getting started, making lipstick in your kitchen is a possibility. For those looking to make larger batches or move to retail, I would not suggest making lipstick at home, for fear of contamination or other violation of the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practices that may result in lawsuits, fines or bans.

 

Anyway, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let's move on to how to make lipstick at home:

 

Tools:

1. Empty lipstick tube

2. Glass rod

3. Beaker

4. Stainless steel pot

5. Stove or Bunson Burner

6. Lipstick mold

 

Materials:

1. Extra Virgin olive oil

2. Raw shea butter

3. Pharmaceutical grade beeswax pellets

4. flavoring oil

5. pigments

 

Note: All of the materials and tools can be purchased on Cosmetic Manufacturing website, such as the Formulators Sample Shop.

 

Instructions:

To begin, clean all of the tools before use. In GMP (good manufacturing practice) terms, you need to spray down every tool and instrument with rubbing alcohol before it enters your "clean space."

 

Another method of cleaning is placing the tools in boiling water, but high temperatures will damage the lipstick tube, so you only can clean with rubbing alcohol, and let them dry out. Rubbing alcohol dissipates at room temperature, so it should be dry in a jiff.

 

Bring 1/2 a pot of water to a boil.  While the water is heating up, mix extra virgin olive oil and shea or cocoa butter (though cocoa butter will carry a cocoa flavor) and beeswax pellets in a ratio of 4:2:2 inside the glass beaker. Place the glass beaker in the boiling water, like a double boiler. Do not let the glass beaker tip over inside the water. Allow the ingredients to melt and mix inside the beaker occasionally with the glass rod (this will speed up the process). Add a few drops of flavoring oil, to the desired taste and fragrance level. Add pigment at this stage as well.

 

Remove the melted mixture from the double boiler and continue to mix with the glass rod. Allow the mixture to cool a bit.

 

Begin filling the lipstick molds. Try to be stable and smooth when you're filling them, otherwise, the lipstick won't be smooth inside the containers.

 

Allow the lipsticks to fully cool before removing from the molds. Once you remove from the molds, place within the lipstick tube.

 

Viola! You are now a lipstick-making master!

 

 

Takeaways: Making Your Own Lipstick at Home

 

 

As you've just seen, it can actually be pretty simple to make your own lipsticks at home. However, as we previously stated, any cosmetics made and sold in the United States need to follow Good Manufacturing Practices to reduce liability in the case of allergic reactions or other recalls. Please use common sense when you're making cosmetics in your home!

 

If you need help manufacturing cosmetics, finding packaging or with regulatory issues surrounding cosmetics, please feel free to contact us anytime!

Finding Low MOQ Solutions for your Cosmetic Line - An Interview with Co-Founder Megan Cox

At Genie Supply, we often get emails that look something like this:

 

"I want to make a liquid lipstick in the lowest number of units possible--maybe 50 or 100. From there, we'll work up.  Can you help me? I found a lot of factories, But they all said 5000 units or more, so I really don’t know how to launch this new product line for my company."

It seems like a tough--maybe impossible--question. How can you find a company willing to make 50 or 100 units for you? 

Have you thought about the other side?

 

On the flip side, how can any factory afford to make such a small batch for you?

 

It seems like tough question to answer; maybe there's no answer at all. So I interviewed my co-founder Megan (the founder of Amalie), who often goes on record talking about how she famously started her line with a 500 unit MOQ for WINK.  Below I've outlined the Q&A with Megan, and transcribed for you to read:

 

Q: What will people will do when they can’t find a factory to help them? What are they feeling when they reach out to us? What do they expect?

 

Megan: Before I started Genie Supply, I had the same issues. I would look for a factory and ask the MOQ; every time it was 5,000 or 10,000 units.  Finally, around the time I started Genie Supply, I realized that all new products are based on factory relationships and willingness to work around the packaging and materials. If you need something done EXACTLY this way, then you will need to buy more. If you can be flexible and open-minded, eventually you can find a way.

 

Q: Is that how you got started with WINK?

 

Megan: Yes! I finally found an agency that had click bottles in stock and needed to off-load them. Luckily they were able to screenprint them for me, too. About the formulation, though, that was all up to me. 

 

When someone comes asking about 50 or 100 units, we can help them find a solution for the packaging, but making that low of an amount of any formulation--especially if it involves color--is kind of bonkers. That's a DIY project. Again, we can help with packaging, but formula? Not really.

 

Q: When most people hear "agency" they get scared. Why is that?

 

Megan: Because, in the cosmetic industry there are TONS of agencies. One for regulation, one for packaging, one for formulation, one for formulation compliance.. the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, when you've paid their hourly rates and consulting fees, you're out of money with nothing to show for it. I'm not saying that these consultants aren't skilled, but a beginner doesn't know WHAT they're paying for, and unless they have deep pockets, they'll likely regret it.

 

Q: So--for our readers--what makes Genie Supply different?

 

Megan: At Genie Supply, I know what it's like to be a newbie. I was in your shoes 4 years ago. I'm not trying to make a quick buck off of every person that contacts us. It's about meaningful relationships and mutual growth. I'm interested in working with entrepreneurs I believe in and helping them launch and scale products. It doesn't have to be expensive to launch products, but again, everyone involved in low MOQ projects has to be open-minded and needs to pay attention to detail.

 

Q: What if someone has never manufactured anything before? What if they don't know about materials, lead times..

 

Megan: Well, that's where we come in. Our consulting fees are built right into the price. We're there with you every step of the way, not just for the "steps" you pay for. We're in it with you. We'll guide you through the materials, processes, what can and cannot be done, lead times, quality control.. everything!

 

Q: So you CAN make 1000 units of something?

 

Megan: YES, definitely! The per unit price will be much higher than say 10,000 or 50,000 units, but we can find a way to make it happen. What I encounter the most is entrepreneurs who lack the will or determination to make it happen. You also need some type of level of know-how; I'm not here to design your packaging for you, just to help smooth out the edges of the process, lower the risk involved, and guide you along the way.  If you need more, that's something that needs to be discussed.

 

 

Q: How often do people ask you for 50 or 100 units of something?

 

Megan: A LOT. You wouldn't believe it. If you really want 50 or 100 of something, go to Aliexpress! Go to Amazon! You can't find screenprinting at that low of an MOQ, because you have to make and test a screen with your custom design first. How do people think these items are made? Magically? It kind of blows my mind.

 

Q: What CAN be done at 50 or 100 units?

 

Megan: Not much. Sometimes we can offload a factory's excess stock for them, but that's usually in 1000 or 2000 units at a time, not 50 or 100. Stickers and boxes can be made in 250 unit MOQs, and that's pretty darn low. You just need to think: this is the bar I have to jump to get to the next step. Even if you only need 50 units of boxes for now, if they're $0.50/each, and you buy 250.. really.. that's $125. Yes, maybe you only need 50, but just hold onto the rest. Ask yourself, is it worth $125 to appear THAT much more professional to my clientele? More often than not, the answer is yes.

We do have some options where we will screen-print existing lipgloss tubes at 100 units, but again, the price is a little steep. It just makes much more sense at 250 or 500 units.

 

Q: So what I'm hearing is that it's surprisingly easy to start a cosmetics company.

 

Megan: Yes, I would say so. Selling is something different altogether, but if you have the spirit to sell, we're a perfect match for you.

 

As you just read, we are consulting company that works with entrepreneurs to create their beauty lines. We work very closely with the clients we take on--whether they be big or small--to create custom beauty solutions and solve problems together. If you're interested in our services, please fill out a detailed form on the Contact Us page.

How to Create the Perfect Foundation Brush

Choosing the right brush for applying foundation—or to add to your brush line for those applying foundation—can be trickier than finding the perfect foundation in the first place! Follow our simple guide points to finding the perfect foundation brush.

 

1. Rigidity: For a powder foundation, you'll want a more rigid bristle, like a stippling brush. For a liquid foundation an even more rigid, but more dense bristle is required.

2. Bristle Density: Choose a rich, full bristle density for best application.

3. Bristle Width: The perfect width for a foundation brush is about 4cm.

4. Bristle Length: bristle length of approximately 5cm

5. Grip: The grip should be very sturdy, as one will be applying foundation all over the face, not just to small areas.

6. Material: The best selection is mink or a non-absorbent synthetic material (for the eco-friendly and vegan/vegetarian among us).

 

A Note on Synthetic Brushes:

The biggest advantage of synethtic bristles—besides the consumer angle-is that the bristles have a high degree of spreadability, and release liquid foundation excellently and homogeneously without wasting any foundation in the process.

When it comes to maintenance, a foundation brush should be cleaned weekly. Synethetic brushes are less likely to carry a smell.

New synthetic materials like nylon are gentle to the touch, and apply makeup easily to any texture.

The Modern History of Eyeliner

Eyeliner, in case you don't know, is a cosmetic product--usually a pencil, liquid pencil or gel--that is used around the eye area to deepen or highlight the effect of the eyes, and make the eyes look large and powerful. On an eyeliner pencil, you can use a special eyeliner sharpener or a knife (not recommended) to remove the excess wood portion and sharpen the eyeliner, just like you would a normal pencil.

The Modern History of Eyeliner

Eyeliner dates way back to ancient Egypt, where women would use kohl to accentuate their eyes.

However, we're going to discuss the more modern history of eyeliner. In the 1950s Eyeliner was widely welcomed by women in Europe and America, but in the 1970s and 80s, liquid eyeliner was no longer favored, and was replaced by a pencil eyeliner.

In the late 1980s, cake eyeliner began to rise in popularity. And later, in the 1990s, the retro eyeliner was once again welcomed by the fashion industry.

In 2003, life around the world began to pick up speed, so the market began to prefer a simple pencil.

Today things tend to be the same, with women preferring the quick and easy pencil-like application of a liquid eyeliner over the traditional pencil, just because it's even faster to apply a liquid pencil than a traditional one. More and more hybrid products are popping up – gel-like pencils for example – making eyeliner more precise and easy than ever to apply.

 

The star of the show: liquid eyeliner

Liquid eyeliner has an oil-like quality in viscosity and flow. It is long-lasting and precise. In the 1950s, liquid eyelienr was an indespensible part of the beauty routine, and again today it's made it's way into every woman's makeup bag.

The formulation of liquid eyeliner is getting better and better; some brands add thickening agents or gums to the formula, allowing a pattern to appear after the liquid has dried.

Liquid eyeliner is great for photography, because of its precise nature.

Liquid eyeliner typically comes in an automatic pen (like the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liner) or in a dip-brush fashion. Only makeup artists and true

pros will use the dip brush, as it's very precise but also difficult and messy.

 

Manufacturing Your Own Eyeliner

If you're looking to create your own eyeliner, the formulation and pay-off are key. You want to make sure that the formula glides easily onto the skin and doesn't tug, because the area around the eye is very sensitive.

Additionally, you need a good color pay-off. The eyes are a huge area of focus in beauty, and need to be properly and effectively highlighted. No one will pay for a formula that doesn't pay-off.

So make sure to test both the pay-off and consistency of your formulations before moving foward with your packaging.

 

If you need help manufacturing an eyeliner line for your cosmetic company, whether it's the packaging or formulation, we can help. Contact us today to get a quote.

Why Batch Codes are Important to Cosmetic Manufacturing

Batch codes are very important to cosmetic products. You may have never noticed the batch code before. It's that small series of numbers and/or letters printed or stamped on the container. You might have just thought it was jibberish, but batch codes are, in fact, really important in cosmetic manufacturing. Here's why:

 

Let's start by showing where the batch codes come from. When factories make products, they will put a batch code on those products (usually on the bottom). They may screenprint it on with the normal information, but typically they stamp it on after the fact, once the bottle is finally filled. This is because the batch code is much less important to the bottle than it is to the contents inside. An empty bottle by itself doesn't matter much. The contents inside could possibly be recalled, due to unsafe or questionable materials inside, contaminated batches or ingredients, or possible safety breaches due to one or more incidents associated with said products.

 

In other words, batch codes are important because:

1. The batch code provides a manufacturing date. Let's say a customer emails you to find out if a product is okay to use. If there's no date on the bottle itself, you can use the batch code to trace the date that the batch inside was manufactured, and hopefully you can pull up the testing data from stabiility testing as well, so you can know the shelf life of the product.

2. The batch code assists the manufacturer in determining which batch on the market requires recall or resolution, in the case that there's some quality issues with customers.

3. The batch code is required for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). If there's a big issue with your product resulting in a lawsuit, the batch code will help you trace back where the issue stemmed from, helping you avoid liability for damages.

When you receive your goods from the factory – especially if they are OEM – always make sure to ask for and document the batch code.

You'll thank us later!

Read Before Ordering: Glass Cosmetic Jars - Everything You Need to Know

Glass cosmetic containers are catching on in popularity, because of their low MOQ availability, expensive look and feel, and eco-friendliness. But how much do you actually know about glass cosmetic jars?

Strap in - it's time for a crash course in three easy steps:

 

ONE: Material Classification

Here are your glass choices: Quartz glass, silicate glass, soda lime glass, fluoride glass

 

TWO: Shape Classification

1. Round: Circular cross-section of the bottle - the most widely used shape

2. Square: Difficult to make, but seems like more and more beauty companies are starting to use square glass jars.

3. Curved: It also has a circular cross-section, but a curve in the y-direction (height).

4. Oval: Has a unique shape, but smaller capacity.

 

THREE: Advantages of Glass Packaging

1. A glass material has good barrier properties, and can prevent oxygen or other gases from reaching the inner contents.

2. Glass bottle can be recycled, thereby reducing packaging cost and opening up the ability to have a "customer recycling" program.

3. Easy to check the packaging color and quality.

4. In health and safety terms, glass has a good corrosion resistance, making it suitable for acidic substances.

 

Last piece of advice: For oils, use a darker colored glass; it can be reduce exposure to ultraviolet radiation by 90%.  In addition, plastic material can destroy oil qualities and/or leech harmful chemicals into the oil base.