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Cosmetic Business Ideas to Launch Online

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Despite the epidemic, the beauty industry managed to thrive, and the momentum is still growing. 

The worldwide beauty and personal care products market segment is being driven by rising consumer income and evolving lifestyles. Additionally, the beauty business has a special charm that is drawing more independent business owners than ever before to the around $100 billion retail industry

There are many opportunities available to beauty business owners and online merchants, regardless of whether you have experience in the cosmetics industry professionally or are simply interested in the sector and seeking cosmetic business ideas to launch your own business in this booming industry.

In this article, we will provide the most lucrative cosmetics business ideas in 2023 and guide you through how to start a Shopify beauty business. Let's get started!


Why Selling Beauty Products Is Profitable?

Many people worry if selling beauty products is profitable in a society that is ever more preoccupied with trends and appearance. You can see that from search analytic in Google Trend (we have put it below), beauty products term is always high demands in the beauty industry over the years.

beauty product trends

Yes, without a doubt! The fashion and beauty industry is expanding as well as beauty products, but so is the demand for natural and organic products. And here are some statistics of this trending business to prove that fact:

  1. In comparison to the prior year, the global market for cosmetics grew bymore than 16% in 2022.
  2. Globally, the value of the skincare business market is reported at$163.5 billion.
  3. In recent years,the online revenue share of the cosmetics market worldwide increased and is expected to continue growing in the future.
  4. The revenue of the cosmetics market worldwide isaround $100 billion USD.

Top 5 Cosmetic Products To Sell Online For Beauty Business

Beauty products come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from cosmetics to personal care to hair care and skincare lines. You can choose to specialize in one particular type of personal care product or offer a wide variety of items depending on your target audience. 

With the right marketing strategies, you can reach out to potential customers and convince them that your product is the best choice for their needs. Here are the top 5 products sell best according to Shopify:


harper bazaar

Source: Harper’s Bazaar

For every makeup lover and beauty enthusiast, foundation is consider essential and something they can’t live without it in their makeup bags. It serves as the base for a smoother-look skin and protect their skin from any bad effects from outside, and can even replace sunscreen. Foundation will keep makeup layers last longer and pigmented. That’s why the business demands for this product is always on top and it can never go wrong selling this.


beauty products

Source: Glamour

One of the most recognizable cosmetics is blush because it can make our facial features look better. Wearing blush brings many benefits: make you look more awake, natural but flushy and more lively, adding dimension to your face, etc. It looks like you might not need it, but actually for its easy-to-apply and multi-purpose function, blush is still a perfect choice for cosmetic items to sell online.

Eye shadow

eye shadow products

Source: Elle

Another item a makeup enthusiast can’t live without, eye shadow. “The eyes are the windows to the soul”, it creates the depth for the eyes and a highlight part for the whole face. As a beauty professional, there is no need to discuss more about the importance and demand of eye shadow since it is absolutely an indispensable item of the whole cosmetic industry.

Applicator brushes

Applicator brushes products

Source: Yahoo

So, we have all the ingredients but how can we cook a delicious meal without the kitchen wares? Applicator brushes come in multiple shapes and purposes, from the whole face to the eyes, lips and cheeks, etc. They are exactly like kitchen tools. That’s why when makeup lovers done looking for the ingredients for their look, the brushes sure are in line, too.

Sell makeup sets

make up set

Source: Amazon

As beauty beginners, customers might get confused while browsing to look for diverse cosmetic products in the online market and they have to surf through multiple products with different uses and purposes. Or as beauty industry professionals, they already knew what they need but it is still time-consuming to make several purchases and to carry many small pieces with them. Then here we offer the solution, a makeup set that can go all in one. No more testing out and spending hours, a makeup set that covers all the versatility and up-to-date trend is the perfect choice as long as you, the merchants can warranty customers the quality of the products inside.

Top 5 Cosmetic Business Ideas For Small Businesses 2023 (+ Examples)

As opposed to larger corporations that might feel the profit margin is too low to sell specialty cosmetics, running a small cosmetics business makes it easier for you to target particular niches. This helps in creating a brand that people will think of when they require more cosmetics or desire to recommend you to others who have the same issues and require these specific types of particular cosmetics. Hence, to spark your inspiration, here are the best 5 intriguing beauty business ideas for small beauty businesses.

beauty products

Source: Looka

Monthly subscription service for beauty products

cosmetic products

Source: Forbes

A monthly subscription box is a great idea for your small cosmetics business. 

Why, you may ask? 

As a customer, a subscription package provides you with the opportunity to try out different brands and products, even high-end ones from the comfort of your own home without having to pay for full-size items. And as a business owner, you can track customers' preferences and make changes accordingly to create a unique purchasing experience. 

To get started, you can provide a variety of cosmetics in one package, such as skincare, makeup and hair care products to keep your buyers interested and satisfied with their subscription. You can also offer exclusive or limited edition products in your subscription boxes that customers cannot find elsewhere. 

For instance,Tribe Beauty Box, an all-women and women of color company, sends subscribers 5 new full-sized products every two months. This marketing tactic definitely took part in helping their business gain $360,000 in sales in just 16 months.

tribe beauty box

Read more: How to Start a Shopify Subscription Box Business

Natural/Organic cosmetics

Organic cosmetics

Source: Spa China

Natural and organic cosmetics are becoming increasingly popular in the beauty industry, as more and more consumers are looking for natural, non-toxic products. Starting a creative beauty business with natural and organic skin care products is a great way to tap into this growing market. With the right strategy, you can create a successful brand that stands out from the competition. 

You can start by creating your own line of natural makeup brands that use only natural ingredients and no synthetic chemicals. You can also offer organic skin care products that are free from parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and other harsh chemicals. 

With the right marketing approach and a commitment to quality, you can create an attractive brand that appeals to conscious consumers who want to make healthier choices when it comes to their beauty routine. 

Take Nourish Organic, for example, they are “beauty pioneers” whose products are the first in the US to be Certified Organic, with an estimated annual revenue of $6.4M.

Nourish Organic

Homemade skincare products

Homemade skincare products

Source: Naturopathy

With the rise of the natural, “clean” lifestyle, people are becoming more aware of what they put on their bodies, as well as in. Therefore, selling homemade skincare products is a great business idea. You can’t go wrong with an ingredient list that is simple and pronounceable. Once you’ve obtained a resale permit while complying with all the FDA’s regulations, it’s time to start selling! 

You can offer a diverse range of skincare products that cater to different skin types and concerns to increase customer base. As a small business, social media is a great tool to promote your brand and products! 

Don’t be afraid to add a personal touch to your orders as well: you can use consistent packaging or add a handwritten thank you note to each purchase to show appreciation to customers and create positive feedback. 

You can also do what Natural Supply Co. did and open pop-up stores to sell products without worrying about shipping costs. Natural Supply Co is an Australian-based brand that prioritizes natural-yet-lux cosmetics, from skincare, haircare to fashion, while also raising awareness of sustainable living, with an excellent customer retention rate of 50-60% most months.

Natural Supply Co homepage

Make-up products

Starting a makeup business can be exciting, but it also requires careful planning and execution to be successful. You can consider partnering with influencers, beauty gurus on social media to market your brand and create “buzz”. 

To stand out from your competitors, you should figure out your company’s core values, the visions to work towards, whether it is to empower people through makeup or to create a brand that is cruelty-free, and high-quality while also accessible to everyone. 

InThrive Causemetics’ case, whose products are 100% cruelty-free without ingredients like parabens and sulfates, the successful Shopify cosmetics store gained popularity and customer’s trust by following an ethical purpose: “changing the beauty industry for good” by making donations to foundations fighting health and social issues in women, which earned them a revenue of $3.2M annually.

Thrive Causemetics landing page

Selling lightly-used products

beauty products

Source: SHEfinds

Have you ever bought an expensive lipstick and ended up not using it or not pulling it off? 

As a beauty lover, we believe you have at least one product just lying around in your make-up bag, if not an entire drawer full of them. 

Why not give products that are still in the best shape to a new owner, and make a profit? 

You can give your products a second life, prevent toxic materials from being thrown into landfills and the ocean, and customers can find products that they like for an affordable price, especially high-end or full-sized cosmetics. When selling used products, it is crucial to pay attention to sanitation and expiration dates, as well as the state of the product. 

For example, if a lipstick has been used only a few times or swatched, state this clearly in the product description. You can also use reputable reselling platforms that have policies in place to protect buyers and sellers, likePoshmark. They are a leading marketplace for secondhand clothing items and also makeup, with a revenue of US$262M (2020), or one sale every second in the US.

Poshmark product page

Tip: If you want to look for more beauty business ideas to inspire from beside the ones mentioned above, try using free tools like Business Idea Generator by PageFly. It is a easy-to-use tool, all you have to do is to select your industry, product type and business type like the pic below and get your business ideas.

Business Idea Generator by PageFly

The result will show up in Theory (what to sell along with hyper links to ideas to sell them online) and Action (tips and recommended apps/tools to support you with that).

Business Idea Generator by PageFly

How To Start A Shopify Cosmetic Business In 6 Steps

Starting a cosmetics business can be challenging at first, but with the correct preparation and execution, it can be a very rewarding and profitable endeavor. In today’s world, with more people turning to the internet to purchase their products, starting a beauty business online is becoming increasingly popular. 

With the help of Shopify, you can easily create an e-commerce website to start selling your own beauty products. In order to get your small Shopify cosmetics business of the ground, you should complete a few essential tasks:

  1. To start, you must conduct market research to determine what products are in high demand and what buyers want. You can find plenty of amazing resources for this in libraries and online.
  2. Once you've chosen your target market, you should start researching online to find out what other companies in that market are doing. This will provide a clearer picture of what is currently available and help to find any holes that your brand might fill.

Another fantastic learning stick is to observe your competitors. Analyze the cosmetics brands that have been around for a while. They must be doing something right if they have been in the game for so long. It's a chance to learn from the best.

  1. You must create a business plan when you have a thorough understanding of the cosmetics sector. You can use this to determine your startup costs, marketing plans, and financial goals.
  2. After that, you must stock it with the right products. Make sure you have a good selection of items for your consumers to pick from and that the products you carry are in high demand. 
  3. Next, you must promote your business. Online marketing, print advertising, and word-of-mouth are just a few of the brilliant methods you can use to advertise your beauty business. You may establish your own cosmetics company and achieve success by sticking to these easy guidelines.
  4. Lastly, create your Shopify store and start selling. You can read the blog post below to learn how to set up your cosmetics store:How Does Shopify work? A Beginner’s Guide to Start Selling on Shopify

Tips to successfully launch a beauty products business

Whether you are an existing business owner who wants to expand into the beauty industry, a startup entrepreneur looking to get your business off the ground, or someone who simply loves the idea of selling cosmetics, understanding the steps required to start a beauty business is essential.

  • Focus on the design 

As an online business, the instant customers receive their package is when they first interact with your business. And it will be pretty disappointing if consumers trust your brand and receive their eagerly anticipated product in plain old packaging. They might even decide not to purchase it again in the future.

This is when personalized packaging comes into play.

beauty products

Source: Sufio

  • Start a beauty blog and youtube channel to provide knowledge and tutorials (and any other social media platform)

We highly recommend this tip since it is a fantastic way to help your cosmetics brand engage with your customers. More and more people care about beauty and how to boost their self-confidence, though they might not know where to start. It's time for you to be the beauty boss of your own shop and guide them through. 

The content of your blog/channel may range from providing knowledge of cosmetics raw materials by beauty professionals and beauty enthusiasts to makeup tutorials and tips by pro makeup artists. This is also a business opportunity for your retail store to promote your cosmetic store through social media platforms.

Look landing page

Huda Beauty is one of the largest beauty suppliers that has a successful Youtube channel about beauty. You can watch this video below to inspire from how Huda Kattan turned $6,000 into her million dollars beauty company today:  

  • Display more testimonials and customers reviews

Beauty business is incredibly competitive, with several products that appear to serve the same purpose being introduced by various brands. What factors must customers consider before choosing one brand over another? Testimonials, for sure. People will select businesses whose products have a track record of success and that they can trust. As a result, it is crucial to gather and display customer testimonials on your website because they will give potential buyers a reason to trust and purchase the products you sell.

customer testimonials

  • Understand customers’ needs

Understanding what your target customers need is the best way to maximize your profit in a market as diverse as cosmetics. To understand what your target market truly needs, you must conduct research on both their pain points and the niche you want to concentrate on. Only then can you offer solutions based on the information you have gathered. Also, it will help your small business with avoiding wasting excessive amounts of marketing effort on different niches and can properly concentrate on your shoppers.

  • Sell combos and sampler packs

In order to try things over time before making a purchase, consumers love to purchase samplers. This is different from the decision they would have to make practically instantly in a physical store based on a trial. There are sample sizes for products like foundation, eye shadow, lipsticks, and perfumes. Customers frequently come back to buy a full-size item in their favorite color or type.

beauty products

Source: Sachet

Also, customers are eager to purchase your cosmetics brands' engaging, aesthetically appealing combinations of skincare and cosmetic items for gifts and holiday getaways. And in comparison to the products seen in a brick-and-mortar store, they are more clearly displayed online.

la roche possay products

Source: Guardian


Selling beauty products can be an incredibly profitable business venture. With the right approach and a few smart strategies, you can make a great living selling cosmetics to customers who are looking for quality items to enhance their appearance. By understanding the needs of your target market and staying up-to-date on trends in the beauty industry, you can create a successful business model that will help you make money selling beauty products. 

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