How to Sell Makeup Online – Startup Guide

how to sell makeup online

Find how to sell makeup online. Here we are discussing how to find products, where to sell, and the best digital marketing strategies to sell makeup online. So, let us get started.

Disclaimer:This information is general in nature and for educational purposes only. And, it does not constitute formal financial, investment, or business advice.

This article has three parts. First, we will have an overview of how to sell makeup online. Next, we will talk about how to create an online store to sell makeup. Finally, we will share the best digital marketing strategy to sell makeup online.

How to sell makeup online

Here are the steps to sell makeup online.

  1. Find which makeup products have the highest demand.
  2. Decide if you are going to make products, sell white-label products, or use dropshipping to sell makeup online.
  3. Learn how to create an online makeup store.
  4. Learn the best way to handle marketing for an online makeup store.

Today, there are many business models and tools to sell makeup online without any hassles. For example, now you can start dropshipping or sell white-label products with your own branding to start a business in no-time.

Also, now you can have your very own online store to sell makeup under $30 a month. And, you build an engaging audience to sell makeup on Instagram for free. Isn’t that amazing? So, here we will talk about all these steps and more.

Is this the right business idea for you?

Anyone can start selling makeup online. I mean, it is not rocket science to create an online store, find a few dropshipping suppliers, and run a couple of Facebook ads to sell makeup. But, the tricky part is building a sustainable business that can bring in a valuable income for the years to come. So, what is the secret?

If you are passionate about this subject and have adequate knowledge about the latest trends and makeup ideas, it will be a lot easier for you to sink your teeth into this gig. Towards the end of this guide, we will talk about a special marketing strategy to sell makeup online. There you will understand the importance of having a good knowledge of makeup to run this business.

The best tool to create makeup tutorial videos

Use this amazing selfie ring light with tripod stand & cell phone holder to create stunning makeup videos for your content marketing mix

What if you don’t have the knowledge and passion to sell makeup online

Well, still, you can do well if you are willing to learn. Start following the Instagram influencers and join forums and groups to stay up to date. It is a big part of running a successful online makeup store. This knowledge is essential when it comes to product selection and marketing.

Otherwise, you can still start a successful business by choosing an industry that you are passionate about. Check these online business ideas for beginners to explore more.

How much does it cost to start a makeup line

It will not cost you a fortune to sell makeup online. There are thousands of white-label makeup products that you can customize with your own branding to start a makeup line. In fact, most of the social media influencers and fashion models use this method to start their own makeup lines. So, it can cost you around $500 to start a custom branded makeup line. However, if you choose dropshipping to sell generic cosmetics online, you can start such a business with around $200 in hand.

Can I start a makeup line with no money?

Well, technically, it is possible to start dropshipping makeup without any investment. However, it is a tedious and very slow process. Sometimes it is not worth your time trying to start an online business with no money.

The cost of starting an online business can vary depending on many factors, like the business services that you are going to choose, your final goals, etc. Today, there are a lot of low-cost business services available for online businesses. In this guide, we will give you some examples of such services and tools for you to use in your business.

That is being said, starting an end-to-end makeup line with product development, getting approvals, branding, and everything would significantly increase your budget than outsourcing products.

So, if you are just starting up, it might be better to start by outsourcing products to keep expenses low and to test ideas. Once you get some traction, you can start working on developing your own products.

Up Next: The first step to sell makeup online

Find the best makeup product types with the highest demand

You always have to surf the trend when selling makeup online. So, in this section, we will discuss how to find trendy makeup product ideas. This method will come in handy even during the later stages of running your online makeup business.

Here is a list of profitable makeup niches for you to start your search

  • Vegan or Cruelty-free makeup
  • Workout-proof makeup
  • Makeup for elders
  • Hypoallergenic makeup
  • Makeup for colored skins

Find makeup product ideas on Instagram and Facebook

There are two ways to find best makeup product ideas on Instagram and Facebook. First, you can start following influencers and brands to keep up with the trends. If you are a makeup enthusiast, I don’t have to explain this in further. However, the second method to find makeup product ideas is a bit more technical. So, let’s see how that works.

The second method is to spy on Facebook and Instagram makeup ads. Spying on ads is one of the easiest ways to find the best products to sell online. When you see ads with the highest amount of engagement and variations, that is a clear sign of the best selling product.

Ad engagement is the number of positive reactions and comments. Ad variations are the different versions of the same ad created by the advertiser. You can find this information on Facebook page transparency section. We have explained this strategy in detail on how to find the best dropshipping products. Take a look and you can learn more.

Find the best selling makeup ideas on Amazon

Amazon is the largest online store and it has a massive customer base. So, it is basically a golden data mine for any seller. That means, Amazon’s best seller listings is a good place to vetting on makeup product ideas.

Find the most popular makeup products on Amazon

Get best selling makeup product ideas to decide what to sell on your store.

Decide whether you should make, use white label products, or use dropshipping to sell makeup

Here comes the big question. How to find makeup products to sell online. Well, you have basically four options to handle this. Let’s find out.

  • Selling homemade cosmetics
  • Manufacturing makeup products
  • Selling white label (private label) makeup
  • Re-selling makeup from wholesalers or dropshipping

Using dropshipping to sell makeup online

If you are looking for a low-cost strategy to sell makeup online, dropshipping is the best way to get started. When using dropshipping, you don’t have to spend money on buying an inventory first. So, it can drastically reduce your costs of starting an online business.

Also, when dropshipping, you don’t have to worry about shipping and delivery of the products, as the dropshipping supplier handles it all.

Read more: How to start dropshipping the smarter way

Selling homemade makeup online

Yes, that is right. You can learn from YouTube and make homemade makeup in your kitchen. There are many simple makeup products that you can make with minimal facilities. But, make sure to comply with your local regulations for making cosmetics. Here is a link to the FDA Fact sheet for making cosmetics. You might also need to find your local regulations that govern such processes.

Manufacturing makeup products

Well, this can be a bit big step for you. But, if you are thinking of going big, you can always find a local or international cosmetic manufacturing plant to make your own line of makeups. If you have a tried and tested formula for your own product line, fearlessly go ahead and start working with a manufacturer. You can pick a Chinese cosmetic manufacturer from Alibaba, or you can search for a local cosmetic manufacturer to do the job.

Using white labels (Private labels) to sell makeup

White labels are generic products, which you can add your own label/branding and sell. Sometimes you may be able to alter the product qualities like color or fragrance of a white label product a little bit too. Surprisingly, some of the well-known brands use white label products too. With white label products, the authority of branding is much important than the product itself. Again you can use Alibaba or Aliexpress to source white label makeup products from China for a comparatively small cost.

Re-selling makeup (Dropshipping and buying from wholesalers)

If you just wanted to dip your toes in this business with the least amount of capital investment, re-selling other brands on your online store can be the best way to start your business.

If you decide to re-sell makeup products, you can either

Finding suppliers to re-sell branded makeup products

If you decide to re-sell popular makeup brands, first you may need to seek the brand’s permission to re-sell. So, you can be an authorized re-seller. On the other hand, if you decide to use generic Chinese brands from Alibaba, make sure to ask for the certifications for the ingredient claims. For example, if your supplier claims that their makeup products are organic, make sure to ask for a certification. You might need these confirmations later. Also, make sure to check your supplier’s products against the cosmetic database to be on the safe side.

Shipping your makeup products

If you decide to buy products in bulk, you can store them at your premises and handle the shipping and delivery all by yourself. Also, you can use third-party fulfilment services like FBA to manage storage, picking, and shipping for your makeup products. Read more on: How to handle eCommerce shipping and delivery

If you choose dropshipping, you don’t have to worry about any of the above things. In dropshipping, you just have to forward the shipping address of your customer to your supplier, and they arrange to send the product to your supplier directly.

How to create an online store to sell makeup

Selling products online is not as hard as it seems to be. There are so many off-the-shelf tools, platforms, and solutions, which enable you to build an online store without any coding knowledge. Apparently, there are two ways to build an online makeup store. You can either use an existing marketplace or build your own e-commerce website.

If you are serious about your makeup business, starting an online store is the best way to sell makeup online. Creating an online store doesn’t cost a fortune. And, you can even make one for yourself without any technical knowledge.

And, by choosing an all-around platform like Shopify to build you online makeup store, you can enjoy one-click solutions to grow your online business with ease. For example, Shopify offers a simple way to integrate your Instagram account to your store, which is an essential sales channel when selling makeup online.

Selling makeup on eCommerce marketplaces like eBay and Amazon

You can even sell makeup online on an e-commerce marketplace like eBay or Amazon. There you will have ready-made shop templates to build your store. Also, you will automatically be a part of their marketing campaign, which gives you a better chance of making more sales. But, the downside of using an e-commerce marketplace is limited possibilities for customization.

If you are thinking of selling makeup on eBay or Amazon, I highly recommend you go through this guide on how to start selling on eBay to learn about eBay selling.

Plan and launch social media marketing campaigns to find customers

Nearly 90% of the eCommerce startup failures are due to the lack of marketing success. So, undoubtedly, having a proper marketing strategy is vital for any online business. While there are many types of marketing strategies available, here we are going to talk mainly about social media marketing. The reason is, businesses like selling makeup can come up with stunning visual content for your products. For example, you can take eye-catching photos and intriguing videos using makeup products. And, such content works best on social media platforms.

Facebook and Instagram marketing

When it comes to social media marketing for a makeup business, Facebook and Instagram networks are the best platforms to get started. So, you can plan your marketing strategy entirely on those two platforms.

You can start a Facebook page and an Instagram account for your makeup store, and start posting content as part of your content marketing strategy. Then, you can even run paid ads targeting the demographics of your target marketing on the platforms as well.

Also, Facebook Messenger is a great tool to handle customer support as well. So, those two platforms are like a Swiss army knife of your marketing mix. Learn how to start a strong Facebook marketing strategy and how to use Instagram to sell makeup online

Influencer marketing to sell makeup online

Influencer marketing is again a highly productive marketing strategy with a higher ROI for an online cosmetics business. When it comes to influencer marketing, do not think that you have to hire celebrities to get endorsements for your makeup line. Now you can work with micro-influencers and even with your loyal customers to build an influencer marketing strategy without costing a fortune.

Since influencer marketing gives the highest ROI across all the paid marketing channels, around 80% of the marketers love to have influencer marketing in their marketing mix. So, it makes sense to start working on it.

Content marketing to sell makeup online

Needless to say, selling makeup is a highly competitive business. There are thousands of online makeup sellers and it would hard for your reach your target audiences cutting through all the noises. So, rather than trying to reach those customers who are ready to make an immediate purchase, which is really hard and expensive, you can try to reach those who haven’t started their purchasing journey yet.

You can do this by running a content marketing strategy to lure your future customers through education. For example, you can start posting makeup tutorial videos and suggest your makeup products within those videos. This strategy is called content marketing, and you can perfectly adapt that for an online makeup business.


If done right, selling makeup online can be a lucrative business idea to start right now. In this guide, we have discussed finding product ideas, sourcing makeup products, and starting an eCommerce website to sell makeup online. The most tricky part of starting an online business is the marketing phase. So, we have given some ideas for you to start a social media marketing campaign for your online cosmetics store. All these ideas, tips, and tricks will help you to get an overview idea about how to sell makeup online.

By Daniel

An online entrepreneur for 10+ years who knows a thing or two about how to run a successful online store.

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