The Ultimate Guide to Successfully Launching a Global Online Cosmetic Brand

The online makeup sales industry offers numerous opportunities but can also be overwhelming for beginners. That’s why we have developed a comprehensive guide to assist you in successfully launching your online makeup brand. Our roadmap will provide the steps to navigate this exciting journey easily. Let’s get started!

Why should you sell makeup online?

The global cosmetics market is thriving, with a value of USD 262.21 billion in 2022 and a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% from 2023 to 2030. 

Several factors are driving this expansion:

  • The increasing adoption of skincare and personal care products
  • The increasing recognition and influence of cosmetic items through social platforms
  • The aging population’s contribution to the market’s growth with the rising adoption of anti-aging treatments and hair dye
Report predicts robust revenue growth of the global cosmetics market 
Report predicts robust revenue growth of the global cosmetics market 

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted cosmetic product sales revenue for key market players. For instance, L’Oréal S.A. reported a decline of approximately 7.0% in net sales for fiscal  2020 due to the challenging pandemic environment. However, there is optimism for the future of the global cosmetics industry as activities, sales, commerce, and manufacturing resume worldwide.

The market also presents significant opportunities in the organic cosmetics segment. Consumers are increasingly choosing organic cosmetics over products with chemical bases due to their beneficial effects on the skin. This preference, coupled with the global trend toward organic goods, is fueling market expansion.

Furthermore, fragrance products remain popular among celebrities and millennials, which is expected to contribute to the market’s growth. Cosmetic manufacturers continuous innovation and product development will also shape the future market potential.

Finally, there is a growing awareness of the positive effects of skincare cosmetics on the skin. Increased financial independence among women and heightened beauty awareness among men further drive the demand for cosmetic products.

How to start selling makeup online

6 steps to sell cosmetic online

Know your customers

When launching a new business, it’s crucial to begin by understanding your target audience. This involves developing a clear concept of your buyer persona. A buyer persona represents an ideal customer, considering preferences, purchasing power, culture, profession, age, etc.

Identify your competition

After determining your target audience, you must familiarize yourself with existing online cosmetics businesses that cater to them. Take note of your primary competitors and thoroughly examine their product offerings. 

Analyze what factors contribute to their success among your target customers. Is it their pricing, color selection, or fragrance? 

Furthermore, please pay close attention to their online marketing techniques. Observe their approach on social media platforms and note how they engage with customers and promote their beauty products. With this insightful knowledge, you can develop a well-crafted strategy that outshines the competition.

Conceptualize your brand identity

When conceptualizing your brand identity for your makeup brand, it’s crucial to set yourself apart from competitors in the beauty industry. 

Consider the core value you wish to convey to your ideal customers. Will you focus on affordability or exclusivity? Will your product be safe for all skin types? Are you targeting a specific gender or embracing sexual diversity? Additionally, think about whether your products are all-natural and paraben-free. 

By addressing these questions, you can pinpoint your brand’s representation and create a message that resonates with your target customers.

Know the FDA regulations

It is important to comply with FDA regulations to ensure the continuous and legal sale of your beauty products to customers.

Research the local FDA regulations in your area and formulate your products within the legal parameters. If you plan on selling makeup online to a foreign country, such as the USA, aligning your product formulation with their FDA rules is wise. 

This will assure your customers that your makeup is safe to use. Non-compliance with FDA regulations can severely damage a brand’s reputation.

Find a reputable manufacturer or supplier

With many makeup brands emerging each year, locating a reliable manufacturer or supplier has become increasingly accessible. 

It is imperative to ensure that your chosen manufacturer possesses the qualities that align with your desired image. Once your product reaches your customers, there is no room for retracing your steps.

Choose your online selling platforms

  • E-commerce platforms 

Creating an online shop on popular platforms like eBay and Amazon can give your business a marketing advantage. 

  • Create your e-commerce site

A dedicated makeup line website shows professionalism. Launching an e-commerce site can be easy, especially when using Shopify. By integrating Shopify, you can access unlimited customization features, allowing you to easily design your website without any coding experience. Shopify also provides numerous templates for your landing pages and ensures mobile responsiveness.

  • Social media platforms

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can be a great way to establish your online makeup business.

Useful skills in your online makeup business

Marketing skills are essential to successfully selling makeup online. With online marketing, a blend of creativity and digital proficiency can greatly benefit your business. By mastering these skills, you can achieve an early social media boost, reaching your customers at the earliest stages. 

Product photography

Makeup products often rely on their appearance to attract customers. With product photography, you can effectively showcase your cosmetics’ colors, textures, and packaging, giving customers a clear idea of what they are purchasing.

Product photography

Furthermore, high-quality and visually appealing photographs create a positive first impression, capturing the attention of potential buyers and encouraging them to explore further.

Quality product images build trust and credibility with your audience. When customers see professional photos that accurately represent the products, they feel more confident in their purchasing decisions, reducing the likelihood of disappointment upon receiving the items.

Lastly, consistent and well-executed product photography helps convey your brand’s identity and values. It sets the tone for your online store, creating a cohesive, attractive look that aligns with your brand’s image.


Effective copywriting allows you to craft persuasive and compelling messages that resonate with your target audience. Well-written copy can highlight the benefits of your makeup products, address customer pain points, and convince potential buyers to purchase.

Copywriting helps you tell the story of your makeup brand. By weaving narratives around your products, mission, and values, you can create an emotional connection with customers, fostering brand loyalty and advocacy.

Copywriting plays a significant role in improving your website’s search engine ranking. You can increase organic traffic to your online makeup store by incorporating relevant keywords and producing valuable content.

Well-written copy establishes your authority and expertise in the makeup industry. It instills customer confidence, making them more likely to trust your brand and purchase from you.

Some tips to avoid when starting your online store

Promote the wrong brands

When selling makeup from various brands, carefully selecting the brands you wish to promote is crucial. Ensuring that each brand featured in your online shop has a verified record of product quality is essential. 

Take the time to research the brand’s background and consider customer feedback. If a brand is inundated with negative reviews, it is better to avoid it. Remember, prioritizing quality over quantity is always key.

Break your promises

When marketing your products, it is crucial to maintain honesty and integrity. Avoid making unverifiable claims, and never deceive your customers. If false claims are exposed, it can be challenging to recover from negative reviews.

Competitive pricing showdown

Implementing occasional sales promotions is a beneficial strategy to draw in new customers. However, not succumbing to the temptation of lowering prices solely to match competitors is crucial. 

Overusing price reductions may harm your brand, as it may convey mixed messages to your customers. Thus, it is vital to establish your product positioning before launching your cosmetics business and adhere to it.

Best successful online makeup brands

Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty owes its success to its founder, global superstar Rihanna. This new yet rapidly expanding business specializes in cosmetics that cater to over 50 different skin shades, setting itself apart in the market. 

Fenty Beauty

Fenty product pages with high-quality instructional videos showcasing the application of products

With top-tier product pages and high-quality instructional videos showcasing the application of their beauty and skincare products, it’s no wonder why this website ranks among the best in the cosmetics industry.

Cap Beauty

Cap Beauty offers skin care products made exclusively from 100% natural ingredients, completely avoiding synthetics. The website’s exceptional functionality mirrors the company’s commitment to transparency while utilizing superior products for the well-being of individuals and the environment. 

Cap Beauty
Cap Beauty use appealing CTA to encourage customers action 

By using purchase call-to-action buttons with the text “Yes, please,” they add a touch of enthusiasm and personalization, surpassing the average “buy” option. Undoubtedly, this is one of the finest skin care websites available.


Glossybox provides a wide range of options for customers to explore and choose from

Glossybox, a German cosmetics company founded in 2011, offers a unique opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs in the cosmetics industry. The company has achieved remarkable success by curating luxury-sized cosmetic samples for its customers, making it a one-stop destination for makeup enthusiasts. With hundreds of brands on its e-commerce website, Glossybox provides a wide range of options for customers to explore and choose from.

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
The homepage advertisements effectively promote new products to customers

Bobbi Brown, a globally recognized cosmetic brand, showcases its most popular beauty products seamlessly on its website. The homepage advertisements effectively promote new products, while the abundance of helpful tutorials serves as an excellent example of successful content marketing.


Although selling makeup online can be a highly profitable venture, it presents significant challenges due to fierce marketing competition. The key to achieving success lies in maintaining strong and consistent marketing efforts.

By persistently pursuing financial discipline and mastering online marketing strategies, you can pave the way for future success.

IMP provides digital marketing services for global ecommerce companies. Our solutions help businesses increase their profits sustainably and reduce dependency on paid media.