Create Your Custom Cosmetic or Skincare Formulation with Genie Supply

In this day and age, private label seems to be everywhere - from the biggest to the smallest beauty brands, formulations are looking more similar than ever. How then, is a brand going to stand out in the noise?

Custom formulations are a great way to stick out: whether you're creating something totally new to market, innovating on an age-old product, or just taking your customer's feedback into consideration via reformulation, there's nothing quite like getting exactly what you want for your beauty brand.

Custom cosmetic formulations don't have to break the bank, though they're definitely not as easy-peasy as private label. Today we'll dive into some basics about creating your custom cosmetic or skincare formulation with us, what you'll need, what the process looks like and what it costs.


Q1: What Do I Need to Make My Custom Cosmetic or Skincare Formulation?

This is usually the biggest gap in knowledge - the one between wanting something custom and having what it takes to get it done.

In general, here at Genie Supply, we ask clients for a phone call. We want you to explain your product vision to us. Tell us:

  • What does the product do?
  • What is the form factor (liquid / solid / gel / etc)? Packaging?
  • What gap does it fill in the market? If none, what is the improvement or other key characteristic that we should focus on? (That is, why are you spending money to make this custom?)
  • What is the most similar formulation on the market?
  • (If color cosmetic) What is/are the most similar color(s) on the market?
  • Who is this product for?
  • What is your vision for launching and selling this product?
  • What is the standard against which we will measure our success in formulating this product?
  • What are the "no-no" ingredients for your product/brand? If none, that's fine. If you have / need a list, make it and send it to us.
  • What is your plan for testing? If you do not have a plan, let's discuss one together.

That's a LOT for a first timer and it can be extremely overwhelming, so it's good to know the answer to some of these questions up front. Otherwise, even the best intensions will look pale in comparison to what it takes to actually make a custom cosmetic / skincare formulation a reality.

After the call, we will ask you to follow up with a specification document, outlining the answers to all the questions above again in writing. We will also ask you to send us your ingredient "no no" list. You do not need to send us a sample formulation, only a list of what we may not use in your product(s).

As soon as we receive these 2 items mentioned above, we will begin working on your non-binding estimate. Why non-binding? The estimate is based on the specification and (no-no) ingredients document and our limited knowledge about what you want, based on those documents. We will formulate according to this information. If you change your mind, set the bar higher, or change the standards during the project (and that's normal, there's plenty of "Oops! I forgot to say XYZ!" moments in the process), then your project may take more time or materials. 


Q2: What Does the Process of Creating My Custom Cosmetic Formulations Look Like?

Once we've received your documents (listed in the last step) and given you a non-binding estimate, it's up to you to accept it. If you accept, we will send you an engagement letter for our services and ask for a deposit (based on the estimated cost/size of your project). Once everything is signed and paid, we begin!

Normally, we will connect again on the phone to confirm details before ordering ingredients. We will ask that you send us any samples or standards in the mail. Once everything is received, we begin making your first samples!

Sample rounds typically take 1-3 weeks, depending on our current schedule and the time it takes for ingredients to arrive. When a sample round is finished, we'll ship samples to you to test. After you provide your feedback, we will adjust accordingly (or finalize, if you're satisfied!).

After all sample rounds are completed, we will ask for the remainder of payment and discuss a testing plan going forward. The testing period can take upwards of 3 months, depending on the type of testing you'd like. We suggest that at a minimum you perform stability testing for shelf life, as well as challenge testing (for emulsions).

The whole formulating / sample process typically takes 2-6 months, and testing takes another 3 months or so.


Q3: How Much Does it Cost to Create Custom Cosmetic Formulations with Genie Supply?

At the time of the last post update (feel free to check in with us about updated pricing!), our fee for custom formulating is $250/hr plus materials (ingredients, disposable tools) and shipping cost for sending samples to you. Testing costs will vary, but those can be discussed at the time of your order.

A project could take anywhere from 8 - 20 hours to complete (and will take even more time the more sample rounds requested / the more stringent the standards). We will let you know our best estimate before beginning and continue communicating about the costs during the project.

You're looking at a minimum of $2500 to create a custom formulation with us, but you will own the formulation and receive samples throughout the process - something most labs don't promise. 


Takeaways: Ready to Formulate your Custom Cosmetics or Skincare with Genie Supply?

If you're ready to get started on your custom formulations for color cosmetics or skincare, feel free to drop us a line! As you know from reading above, we will request a call to discuss in depth, but we may ask for a spec sheet at anytime, so make sure you have yours ready. 

We can't wait to talk to you!