How To Start A Lip Gloss Line In 2021

Figuring out how to start a lip gloss line is simpler than you think.

The problem with most advice on how to start a lip gloss line is that they focus on all of the things. If you read anything that tells you that you need worry about registering your business or anything before you’ve sold a single unit of lip gloss, run the other way fast. 

The real way to learn how to start a lip gloss line is to focus on the money. So that’s what we’re going to focus on in this guide.

Let’s get started…

Is A Lip Gloss Business Profitable?

It can seem a bit far fetched to think you can ever build a profitable business around lip gloss. The truth is though, there are tons of profitable lip gloss businesses and tons more makeup brands that sell lip gloss as a staple product.

So long story short, yes. Lip gloss can become a profitable business.

With that said, it’s not a business that is immune to failure. It doesn’t matter what business you’re talking about, there’s always a chance it can end up being unprofitable. However, if you focus on the fundamentals, your chances of building a profitable lip gloss business are profitable.

What are those fundamentals?

It ultimately comes down to know your numbers like the back of your hand.

How Much Money Do You Need To Start A Lip Gloss Business?

By far the biggest expense for a new lip gloss business is going to be the inventory, so we’re going to focus on the unit economics rather than every possible expense under the sun.

The cost of a lip gloss business will come down to cost per unit X minimums.

Cost per unit is the literal cost it takes to create one individual lip gloss. What determines your cost per unit will come down to the materials used in that lip gloss. In other words, the more expensive the materials you choose to use, the more it’ll cost to start a lip gloss line.

Minimums are the absolute minimum amount of units you need in order for a manufacturer to do business for you. This is primarily going to be affected by the manufacturer you’re working with. Some will have huge minimums and others will have low minimums, but lower product margins.

The amount you need to start a lip gloss business will vary based on how you balance these two factors.

Ultimately, I would budget anywhere between $5,000-$10,000 to start a lip gloss line.

Of course, this is an estimate. It’s possible to need a lot more. But with enough research and little luck, you might actually be able to start with a little less startup capital. 

What Do I Need To Start A Lip Gloss Business?

When starting a lip gloss line, here’s what you DON’T need…

Business Cards
Retail location


Instead, you just need things that will help you make more money today. In the case of lip gloss, this means you only need to worry about the actual product and any additional assets that will help you sell your product to the masses.

So first, look for a manufacturer.

The way to look for lip gloss manufacturers is simple, but can leave you a bit frustrated. Basically, you’ll want to go to Google and type in things like “lip gloss private label” or “lip gloss manufacturer”. Google will spit out a bunch of manufacturers you can work with. Then you have to call up everyone who seems viable to you, ask them if they can do what you want, and pick the best manufacturer you can find based on their responses.

Expect this process to take you anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.

Once you’ve got your product on the way, you need marketing assets. Basically, this is going to come down to your website and marketing collateral. For your website, all you need is a Shopify account and a Shopify store theme. For your marketing collateral, it means your basic branding elements such as a logo, plus any ad creative or pieces of content you’re using to promote your brand.

Always focus on the minimum you need to start selling as soon as possible.

How Do I Promote My Lip Gloss Business?

Promoting a new lip gloss business is different from promoting an already existing business with data and favorable unit economics behind it. 

That’s why I always suggest a new ecommerce business should start with audience building.

Six months before you launch your lip gloss business, you want to start producing content so you can build an audience of people who will be interested in buying your lip gloss when you start. Think of it like building the “Vogue” or “ESPN” for the lip health & beauty market.

Today, the best places to do this is on a blog, Youtube, or TikTok.

While it typically takes 1-2 years to get the full effects of an organic strategy, you’ll typically get enough of an audience in 6 months so you can get through your first batch of product while staying as profitable as possible and all without the stress of advertising.

One month before your launch though, you want to incorporate email marketing to the mix.

More specifically, you’ll want to send as many people as possible into an opt-in page that says you’re launching soon and they should sign up to be notified when you launch. These will be your hottest, most-likely-to-buy prospects on launch day.

If you do all of this right, launch day will be a breeze.

Just let everyone know what it is you’re selling and you should see sales.

Once you get past this phase, you should look through all of your data and customer feedback. If the numbers don’t match up to expectations, then you might want to look into what’s holding you back and re-launch again later with a new and improved product.

If everything looks good though, then you can start playing with new strategies.

This means new organic channels and introducing paid advertising. You’ve already validated your brand with your 1st launch, so now all you need to do is triple down on your marketing so you can make more sales and re-invest into bigger batches of inventory.