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How to Start an Online Makeup Business

Cosmetics have been in demand for as long as the world has existed. But while Cleopatra had to use clay and crushed bugs to add color to her lips, today, we have everything we might need and even what we don’t necessarily need at our fingertips.

The beauty industry is indeed huge; it is expected to hit $511 billion in value this year and it’s only going to continue growing in the future. When you learn that 41% of customers in the US prefer getting their cosmetics online, it becomes clear that an online makeup business is a lucrative idea. While there is a lot of competition, people have varying needs and preferences so there is always room for a new contender. Here are a few tips on how to start an online makeup business. 


Pick a niche

What you need to understand is that you cannot sell everything, nor is it recommended to do so. While you might think that it makes sense for you to offer as many products as possible, not only will this make keeping an inventory difficult (unless you opt for dropshipping), but your site will also fail to make a point for your target audience. So, the first thing to figure out regarding your online makeup store would be the niche you will be going for. The online environment makes it easier to cater to a niche audience since your business is not limited by geographic constraints. Some of the popular niches today that you could look into include organic and vegan cosmetics, makeup that caters to different skin colors, mask- and workout-proof makeup, and so on.


Get the necessary permits

If you want your business to operate legally, there are a few bureaucratic steps to take before you can start selling. Since laws and requirements greatly differ between countries and even states, make sure you check your own state’s laws regarding this topic. Above all, you will need to register your business, and for that, you will need to choose a suitable business structure. Selling and reselling may also require specific permits. Don’t go any further until you have this step covered.


Get inventory

Earlier, we mentioned getting inventory, and this is the next step you should deal with in preparation for your store launch. You have several options when it comes to the products you will sell. The easiest and most affordable option to start out with would be dropshipping. This would allow you to skip the inventory part, which is the biggest investment in starting your store. Another option for the truly passionate is making your own products at home. This is certainly the most complex option that will require extensive knowledge and possibly additional permits. However, you can learn a lot from the internet and nothing will give your business the brand identity handmade products would. You can also have your products manufactured. Partnering up with a local or international manufacturer would allow you to expand the volume of your production. White label products are another option that would allow you a great level of customization. Finally, a solid middle ground would be reselling already existing brands. This gives you an advantage as people already know and trust these brands, and you will only be in charge of the retail aspect. You can, for instance, order wholesale makeup from Australia and rest assured of the quality while focusing on marketing and building your brand.


Pick a platform and build your store

Finally, the last step will be choosing where you will set up your store and getting it all in motion. Beginners might find online marketplaces like Etsy and Shopify easier to get started with than building from scratch. While these services have their drawbacks, they provide better visibility and reach than starting up your own website. They allow for seamless growth and give you access to a lot of useful tools, too. This means that you might find it handy to start out here and move on later on. However, an Etsy store obviously cannot compare to your own branded website. If you are planning to build a solid brand, you should think about finding professionals to make you a solid e-commerce website. After that, all that’s left is getting the word out and starting to promote your new business by all means possible.

Starting an online makeup store is nothing short of a foolproof business idea if you do all the preparations right. Hopefully, these tips gave you a good idea of where you need to start.


Written by Callum Jackson