How to Make a Cosmetic Product: Private Label Checklist

Arianna Andrews

May 28, 2021 · 6 min read

“No astronaut launches into outer space with their fingers crossed,” explains, Canadian space traveller & Nasa veteran, Chris Hadfield. “That’s not how we deal with risk”.

The fmr. Nasa & CSA Colonel and Commander talks about space missions and extra-terrestrial orbit the way more and more beauty entrepreneurs think about cosmetic product creation:

“The more you know, the less you fear.”

Although I think most would agree that developing a face mask is not as risky as flying into outer space at 25,000 miles/hr in a flaming metal tube , Cosmetic Creators also need to be prepared before launching a new product onto the market.

This is especially true for beauty entrepreneurs, who may be making white label or private label cosmetic products for the first time.

There are (at least) two crucial moments in the “life” of your cosmetic product: creation & launch.

Success depends greatly on your (or your manufacturer’s) preparation—and not, as Hadfield stresses, on luck, optimism, or determination (all good ingredients to keep in the mix, but not enough on their own for a successful product launch.)

So, whether you are a seasoned product developer, an experienced private label manufacturer, or a first-time beauty creator, we have developed a “pilot’s” Checklist for Cosmetic Creation.

Cosmetics Creation in 8 Steps: Product Development Checklist

Minding these 8 steps for cosmetics creation, you will drive the development process capably—and curb the risks of your project (or even just your confidence) flaming out.

Private Label Cosmetic Checklist:

8 Steps to Create a Cosmetic Product in 2021

1. Project Brief:

First, classify your product (is your product a cosmetic, drug, soap?); describe your product’s ideal function, colour, scent, and product feel; research benchmarks for your product’s formula, packaging and sales channels; define your ideal customer and your pricing; develop a timeline & budget and define your brand’s vision & points of difference.

Alert: In September 2021 use Goldn Product Builder to make your Cosmetic Brief!

2. Commercial Strategy:

Think about where your product will be for sale (on your own ecommerce, online, in physical stores, etc.), and find out what costs are involved in selling into that/those channel/s. Think about creating a product—and a profit too!

3. Certification:

Depending on what product you create and where it will be sold, you may need or want certification to prove certain claims about your product. For example, if you plan to sell your beauty products into “green” or organic supermarkets, you may want to research Organic Certification requirements so you can claim (and prove) your product is “organic” or “natural”. By researching certification requirements, you’ll get to know what this means for product development timing and costs (usually, it adds to both).

4. Partners/Vendors/Suppliers:

You will likely need outside help to formulate your cosmetic product, or at the very least to assemble it before launch. Researching suppliers that can help in project areas like Formulation, Manufacturing, Packaging, Certification, Graphics, Tests & Regulatory can be time consuming and confusing—we’d like to help!

Alert: In September Goldn Creators will be able to find and connect with Goldn Vendors and collaborate on the Product Builder during all phases of development.

5. Formula:

Cosmetic Formulation development is an exciting stage of product creation. You have an opportunity to make your product stand out in the market by using new, innovative ingredients, taking a new approach to traditional product formulations, or by discovering the “next big trend” by experimenting at home (and then seeking professional formulation advice!). To help in the creative process, try products, visit stores, touch, smell, feel, and have fun—a well-informed consumer can be an even better developer. (And this is by far the most fun research of all!)

6. Packaging:

“Packaging” can be a catch-all term for your product’s outer container, which can be the jar, bottle, tube, or other “primary” packaging; the box, pouch, bag or other “secondary” packaging; the graphics, the label or printing, the seal, the foil, the wrap—and more. Ever heard of the old saying, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"? Research other brands to see how they have (or haven’t!) captured the essence of their products and expressed their brand through packaging.

7. Tests & Regulatory:

When making cosmetic products for commercial sale, you must obey laws regarding product safety, testing, labeling, and advertising. Cosmetic products must be safe and accurately labeled, but unless they also fall under the regulatory category of “drugs,” they don’t have to be approved by the FDA before going to market. (Nevertheless, creators do have the option to register cosmetic products with the FDA and doing so is promoted recommended as part of running a responsible cosmetics business.)

8. Launch Plan:

The final step in cosmetic development (though some might argue that it’s the first!), is planning for the launch of your product. Going back to Steps 1 and 2 and thinking about your Project Brief and your Commercial Plan will help you decide how to market your cosmetics and get your brand into the hands and hearts of consumers everywhere! Depending on your readiness, budget and experience, you might be doing much of the marketing on your own, or relying on a larger team to help. Regardless of your marketing “might” or team size, a successful product launch is founded on a sustainable plan business plan and this comes back to a good—we’ll say it again—Product Brief!

    Beauty Product Development Strategies are like snowflakes in more than one way:

    No two cosmetic projects are the same…and sadly, they can “melt”—or disappear—as quickly as they were formed.

    So, to ward against inertia, and push through the “drag” of detailed project planning and (full disclosure: sometimes overwhelming) amount of detail, we recommend using a Product Creation Checklist to keep your cosmetic development project on track for “blast off”—we mean launch.

    Written by

    Arianna Andrews

    Head of Sales & Marketing at Goldn

    Connect with Arianna Andrews on LinkedIn.


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