Is it right to brand private label cosmetics as your own?

18 Oct


I’ve recently been asked whether it’s “ethical” to use private label cosmetics, especially when you’re starting out in this investment-heavy industry and don’t have the funds to purchase large minimums from contract manufacturers. As one of my readers put it : Is it right to take credit for someone else’s work?

As you all know, I started Jelly Pong Pong with the most minimum of funds. I was after all, still at university and other than a very strong passion and conviction that I was meant to be in the cosmetics industry, I really didn’t have the funds to back my ambitions up. The first people I started stocking from were private label companies, namely Ladyburd and Grafton. What I did do differently, was to repackage their formulations. Since I didn’t have control over the ingredients, I was determined to put them in packaging of my choice. How that was done deserves another post altogether!

Last year, Space NK started stocking Lime Crime, a cosmetics line known for its unconventional colour choices. It has however, created huge waves of resentment in the States, especially among bloggers, for using private label products and not admitting to this practice. When exposed, the founder threatened to sue the blogger. Really not the best option knowing that bloggers root for each other and word of such naughty corporate behaviour spreads like wildfire over the blogosphere.

I  honestly don’t think there’s anything wrong with using private label cosmetics, whether it’s ready-packaged or whether you repackage them yourself, as long as you do not claim to have made the formulations yourself, and are honest with those who actually bother to call in to ask. After all, it’s a wonderful business opportunity…Private label manufacturers put these products out there in order to make a profit, and brand owners  launch their lines with quality cosmetics at minimal costs, enabling them to focus on growing their company to a stage where they are finally able to formulate on their own. A few other companies who used private label companies when they first started are Pixi Cosmetics (they used Ladyburd) and Napoleon Perdis (he had a selected range from YourNamePro). Both are now stocked in hundreds of Target stores after having exited Sephora. Closer to home, we have Daniel Sandler, a talented makeup artist who very obviously takes from YourNamePro.




17 Responses to “Is it right to brand private label cosmetics as your own?”

  1. Private Label March 26, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    If people will do that in my opinion there will be a huge traffic for labels that basically other people wants to use or there will be some confusing in terms of products. Its good thing to limit them but if they are serious then its okay as long as they will be the one responsible on it.

  2. Alfonso June 10, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    I actually have a question. My girlfriend and I just started selling private label cosmetics and I am intrigued as to how you repackaged you label when you first started out. We would appreciate any insight you can provide.

    • Tamarei December 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      Hi . I want to sell private label but I’m looking for a good company who who u recommend

    • ela92 January 11, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

      Hi, first of all thanks for the post it was helpful in chosing a private label for my own makeup line.
      I actually have the same question as Alfonso, can you please tell me how to repackage, I feel like repackaging will be a strong added value to my line.

    • Jennifer December 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

      Hello Alfonso, We are in the same situation, my boyfriend and i are interested in starting a cosmetics company. We’re currently doing research now, and would love some insight! If you could please contact us, we’d be grateful. Thanks!

  3. Eulean June 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    What if you decide not to use a private label? Will private labels help you creat your own color of lipstick? I want to start my own line with my own specifications from color to packaging.

    • Shai February 18, 2017 at 4:41 am #

      Hello Jordane Cosmetics is a custom manufacturer of private label cosmetics. We will work with you to design your own color or any formula you desire. we are a full turn key custom manufacturer..

  4. paphairazzi July 30, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    I have a question. I’ve been in the beauty industry for 20 years, I own my own hair salon, and am ready to cut back behind the chair. I am starting my own skin care and cosmetic line. Yes, to start I will be using private label companies. How do I mark up my cosmetics and skin care? I see that brand names usually mark up their serums and moisturizers more than their cleansers… I’ve done the whole layout of expenses, and what I want to make, after awhile the formula for pricing gets overwhelming… I don’t want to over price however this is MY product and would like to make sure that I price accordingly. So my question is….What is the average markup on skin care and cosmetics?

  5. Robert December 18, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    It’s such a touchy topic in my opinion. I have worked myself to create my own cosmetic line and there was some insane sweat blood and tears that went into it and I have had some amazing reviews back on my products that blow the private labelers right out of the water. I worked my ass off, got a cosmetology, and business degree and extensive chemistry courses to create my brand the way I see fit. These private label lines have that, but the one thing they will always lack behind me is my passion in this industry. Sure I will eventually make a TON, but that’s not why I started this. And I can always say at the end of the day “this is the product I invented myself and I’m not just throwing my label on someone else’s chemistry” and there’s nothing more gratifying

    • Naarah McKnight April 22, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

      Hi Robert, have you ever went through or thought about going with a private label before you took control on your own? Do you think private labels should be frowned on?

  6. Darci Gordon December 27, 2014 at 12:31 am #

    Thank you so much for this article! So helpful! XOXO

  7. pesinsia lowery April 24, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    I would like to know how to brand and label my on lipstick

  8. msmimincnyc April 27, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    Reblogged this on Circus of Face and commented:
    I plan to start a line of cosmetics for Circus of Face, stay tuned.

  9. Tom May 31, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

    This article has some great information. I use for my products and they’re great. From product labeling, to product selection, and even Amazon marketing advice. Oh by the way they have some of the best pricing in the industry. Hope this helps some of you new sellers, cheers!


  1. Reader Question « - February 8, 2012

    […] Help?” You could definitely start with all the private label manufacturers that I mention in previous posts. Another great way of getting started if you’re on a really low budget (and this is great for […]

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    […] Is it right to brand private label cosmetics as your own […]

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