How-to: Create Your Own Highlighter Line

In the past 3 years, highlighters – once a relatively unknown item in beauty lines – have exploded in popularity. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Jeffree Star, BECCA and many others have “brought the glow”, and with influencer collaborations and new highlighter forms taking shape (Geleés? Jellies? Wet Drops? Dry Drops?) there’s no better time than now to create your own highlighter line.

Whether you want a blinding strobe or a subtle highlight, we’ve got your covered.

Today we’re going to dive into the different kinds of highlighters, how you can create your own, the best packaging to use, and approximate costs when manufacturing your highlighter line with us.


Type 1: Loose Powder Highlighter Line

Loved by makeup artists, but not necessarily the everyday beauty user, loose powder highlighters have been around for ever.  However, as the average makeup user becomes more and more savvy (thank you, youtube and instagram!) as well as more thrifty and creative, we expect highlighting powders to truly skyrocket in popularity in the coming months and years.

So why, exactly, are loose highlighters a good choice? Let’s break it down:

·      Multi-Use – Loose powder highlighters can be used to strobe (highlight) all-over the face and can be used on the eyes. Go totally matchy-matchy or simply use the highlight shade on the brow bones; it’s up to you.

·      Mixed Mediums – Loose highlighting powders can be mixed with oils (like Farsali) to increase the intensity of the shine or simply glide on smoother. Mixing a medium together with a loose powder makes it instantly more creamy, staying and intense than a powder alone (even a baked powder).

·      Low Start-up and Per Unit Cost – Loose highlighters are the least processed of almost any makeup product, meaning less hands have touched it, less time has been spent working on it – making it a truly inexpensive product. Our loose highlighter line starts at just $1250 for 500 units – that’s $2.50/unit for a finished product, with your logo screenprinting on it. It only gets cheaper (per unit) from there. Try 1000 units or 2000 units on for size ;)

·      Rapid Iteration – From a brand perspective, you can push out new highlighting powders on an almost weekly basis, because of how little time it takes for your factory to make them. Order extra packaging in advance (we recommend 2000 units of packaging or more at once, to save on printing / shipping costs), store them at your factory, then fill as needed. Our MOQ (minimum order) for a single color of highlighting powder is 100 units. You could put out a new collection every season, month or even week to keep your high-touch, Millennial and Gen-Z customers involved and entertained.

Whether you go high-end or everyday consumer, there’s a lot of margin and room for development with a loose powder line. For additional options (e.g. 20g jar, other jars) feel free to contact us.  If you’re interested in getting started now, go ahead and order $2 samples or check out our $1250 Highlighter Starter Line.


Type 2: Pressed Powder Highlighter Line

 The second  - and most popular – type of highlighter is a pressed powder highlighter. Made most famous by brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills and their Glow Kits, pressed powder highlighters are the new makeup launch du jour.

Unfortunately, pans and palettes both have high MOQs (minimum order quantities), even at our low MOQ lab here in Indiana. The minimum on palettes is 3000 units, making pressed powder highlighters an out-of-reach solution for those on a budget.

However, we do offer Z-Palettes and can make pressed pans at a minimum order of 250 pans/color. Email us to discuss pricing.


Type 3: Pressed Cream/Balm Highlighter Line

 A highlighter that we don’t see often in the US, highlighters can be made into creams or balms, then pressed into a compact – just like foundation.

One benefit of a pressed balm highlighter is that you can make it extremely creamy and blendable, and you can go either very light or very heavy with the highlight (mica pigment).

When creating a pressed cream/balm highlighter, we suggest either going with a compact or a jar (glass or acrylic would be best!). Our MOQ depends on your formulation (we can make a custom formulation for you), but would typically be about 1000 units/color.


Type 4: Highlighter Drops

The newest – and in our opinion, most awesome – of all highlighter lines are highlighter drops.

Drops can range from a milky moderate coverage formulation -  like a fluid mineral veil foundation – to a silky smooth dimethicone highlight, to a thin, oil-based highlight. Each formulation will yield different results (e.g. coverage + highlight, heavy highlight, light highlight), so choose your formulation type carefully.

Dropper bottles or airless pumps work best for highlight drops. We suggest airless pumps because of the ease-of-use and ability to keep the formulation air-tight, and therefore more stable. However, droppers are cheaper and the variety is much larger, so perhaps a dropper fits your brand style better.

Feel free to email us for pricing on your highlighter drops. MOQ is 500 units/color. Packaging styles (droppers and airless pumps) are both available for sampling and browsing on our website.


Type 5: Cream Highlighter Sticks

Smooth, creamy, blendable highlighter sticks. Who doesn’t love them? Like a creamy lip balm or concealer stick, highlighter sticks are easy-to-use on the go and can range from downright deliciously creamy to more firm and steady.

The best part of all is that highlighter sticks are easily made organic and skin-friendly!

Email us for pricing on your custom highlighter stick formulation, current packaging styles and MOQ. Our minimum is 500 units/color.


Type 6: Highlighter Jelly

One of the newest and coolest type of highlighters are jelly highlighters! Similar in formulation and consistency to a lip hybrid or very thick lipgloss, these can be easily spread and blended onto any skin in just about any place.

We can keep your highlighter jelly glossy or make it dry down matte – just say the word.

Highlighter jellies are best stored in a glass or acrylic jar OR perhaps even an airless pump. Just make sure to test the airless pump’s capacity first; it’s possible that your final jelly formulation will be too viscous to pump through in a stable and consistent manner.

Our custom highlighter jelly MOQ is 500 units/color.


Type 7: Highlighter Geleé

A Geleé? What’s the difference from a jelly, you might ask. Well, a highlighter geleé, similar to Burberry’s highlighter gels, is a light, water-based highlighter, which can be used as a bronzer or highlighter. It’s a very light base gel or highlight gel – basically you can do anything you want with it. It’s less viscous and pigmented than a jelly.

Our MOQ is 1000 units total for a geleé. We recommend using an airless pump.


Type 8: ??? What's Next? 

Do you have a new idea for a highlighter or medium that we haven’t suggested here?

Skincare with a highlight?

A CBD oil HIGHlight?

A highlighter cream?

Highlighting spray?

Highlighting body powder?

Highlighting sunscreen?

Whatever it is, let us know! We love to take on new formulations. Email us to discuss your idea, and we can take it to the lab together.


Takeaways: Make Your Highlighter Line with Genie Supply

Alright, that’s a wrap! We hope you’ve learned how you can get started with us. Let’s take your ideas – especially all the new, awesome, and kooky ones – and bring them to life! Email us today to discuss and get started on a custom quote.