The cosmetics and beauty industry is nothing new, and it’s definitely not going anywhere! It’s no wonder that there’s an influx of new companies and products constantly popping up to fill in existing gaps and compete with the big brands as consumers begin to branch out and try new things. 

It may come as no surprise, but American women love spending money on their appearance—on average, they spend $313 per month on this area. This amount is then reflected in the fact that the global beauty industry is expected to reach a value of $863 billion by 2024. If you want a piece of this pie (and who doesn’t), one problem that you may run into along the way is packaging. However, this area doesn’t have to be a problem so long as you do the research and consult with the experts at Box Genie

1. Think About Your Product

The first step in designing packaging involves thinking about the product (or products) that you’re trying to sell. The cosmetics industry is huge and has tons of variety between lipsticks, to eyeshadows, to moisturizers, and everything in between. These different items will need to be packaged differently depending on whether they’re solid or liquid. 

You also need to think about how much your products will weigh based on the quantities you’re offering them at. For example, packaging a small liquid container of lip gloss will look a lot different than packaging a large bottle of moisturizer or packaging beer for that matter!

2. Think About Your Customer

The next step involves thinking about your customer. Something to keep in mind about the cosmetics industry is that it’s primarily marketed towards women. That being said, a smaller space does exist for men’s cosmetic products. 

Think about the age of your ideal customer. Are you trying to target teen girls with fun, cool cosmetics products, older and sophisticated women with anti-aging cosmetics products, or the minimalist 20-something with vegan cosmetics products? 

Each of these three scenarios would warrant different types of protective packaging. For example, the teen option would likely involve funky and fun colors or designs that would make the product “trendy.” The older and more sophisticated option would likely involve clean lines and neutral colors like white, beige, lavender, etc. Finally, the 20-something vegan option would involve eco-friendly packaging featuring green and neutral colors and following the environmentalist approach to the whole business. 

3. Think About Your Sales Channel

After you have your ideal customer profile nailed down, you need to think about your sales channel. Are you going to be selling in big box stores, local boutiques, online, or somewhere else? Your packaging will need to look different depending on your locations. 

For example, if you’re in a big box store, your packaging needs to stand out amongst tons of other competitors. If you’re in smaller, more niche stores, your packaging may need to be more high-end in order to align with the types of products in the store. Finally, if you’re selling online, you will need to consider shipping considerations, temperature variations, and pressure issues when deciding on your cosmetics packaging. 

4. Think About Your Budget

Next is the hard part: budget. Even though packaging is never a bad area to invest in, you still need to make sure that your packaging makes sense for your products and doesn’t cost more than the product itself. This is easier said than done in the cosmetics realm, where consumers tend to expect quality packaging. 

That being said, you also need to think about possible volumes of orders, as that can have a huge effect on your budget. If you’re just starting out, you may have to just accept that you’re going to take a hit in terms of overall profit until you can ship out more orders. However, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, customers will recognize and respond to high-quality packaging and you will eventually gain more business as a result—it just won’t happen overnight.

5. Get Inspired!

One thing that you should definitely do before you go any further in the process is to look for packaging inspiration. Whether this means browsing the web or heading out to your favorite cosmetics store and browsing the shelves in-person, check out to see what other brands are doing. Figure out what you like and what you don’t so that you have a better understanding of what to look for as you try to narrow down your packaging options. 

6. Select Your Packaging

There’s no shortage of packaging varieties in the cosmetics industry. Depending on the specific products you’re selling, you may want to consider the following popular packaging mediums: 

  • Pump bottles
  • Dropper bottles
  • Spray bottles
  • Glass jars
  • Plastic tubs
  • Plastic tubes

As you can see, glass and plastic reign supreme here. But if you’re going to be shipping your products online, you also shouldn’t forget about cardboard boxes. Sure, you can use any plain cardboard box to ship your products in, but that probably won’t make the best impression on your customers. Instead, you should be using custom shipping boxes to really wow your customers even before they try out your cosmetics products! 

Additionally, you'll want to think about the boxes that they are shipped in. Here at Box Genie we allow fully customizable corrugated cardboard boxes such as:

7. Incorporate Your Brand

No matter what type of packaging you end up going with, one thing’s for sure: you need to incorporate your brand into it. This involves using the same fonts, colors, patterns, and overall designs that your brand already has to create a seamless customer experience. There are tons of different ways you can do this, whether it’s printing directly onto cardboard shipping boxes or using high-quality lithographic labels on the tubes or jars of product. 

8. Create Your Masterpiece

With all this in mind, it’s time to put everything together and create your masterpiece packaging design. Come up with an eye-catching design that will appeal to your target customer. Also, make sure to include all necessary product information so that consumers can learn about your product before they buy it—this can include both text and visuals. Finally, be sure to include all required information in terms of ingredients, warnings, specifications, etc., based on regulations within the cosmetics industry

9. Do a Test Run

Before you start packaging your cosmetics products and sending them out to customers, it’s a good idea to do a test run of your product design. This is a great way to ensure that everything looks as it should and that your packaging contains all necessary and relevant information before you begin to finalize things. 

Your test run should also involve running your design by others and getting their feedback. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to put together an entire focus group about it. Instead, ask neighbors, co-workers, friends—anyone that doesn’t know the ins and outs of your product as you do. If everything makes sense and appeals to a sampling of random people, then the same results should apply in the larger population as well. 

10. Finalize Details And Start Shipping

Once you’ve gotten the final feedback and approvals from your testers, it’s time for the best part—finally sending in your final product details, receiving your beautiful packaging, and putting everything together before sending it on its way to your customers. After all this work, you can rest assured that your new cosmetics venture is well on its way to the levels of growth and success you’ve been dreaming about. 

Need Help Along The Way?

If these ten steps sound like too much work for you, you’re not alone! Many business owners inside and outside of the cosmetics world tend to focus on what they know rather than convoluted concepts they know nothing about. In your case, you know about cosmetics, so why should you spend all this time and effort thinking about packaging? This can be a hard pill to swallow even if you recognize the importance of packaging in your cosmetics venture. 

The good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own. By working with the experts at Box Genie, you’re able to focus on areas within your expertise like product development or marketing rather than worrying about boxes, labels, and printing. Box Genie definitely has the expertise you’re lacking in this area after almost 50 years in the game. So feel free to come to us with your ideas and goals so that we can work with you to help you achieve them. 


As you can see, designing amazing packaging in line with your amazing cosmetics products is totally possible with the right amount of time, effort, and expertise. If you’d rather spend your time learning about eyeshadow palettes instead of cardboard boxes, be sure to reach out to Box Genie to have them answer all the questions you have and those you never even thought of! 




Trusted by top brands worldwide. Dedicated to smaller businesses like yours.

Over 2,000 brands trust us to help them grow and build successful businesses. Find out how custom packaging can work to help take your brilliant brand to the next level!

  • Black & Decker logo
  • Bose logo
  • Canon logo
  • Ecologic logo
  • Sergeant's logo

“They can’t be beat for price, speed, and quality. We trust them with all our packaging needs!”

Megan D., CEO at SSBD

“They can’t be beat for price, speed, and quality. We trust them with all our packaging needs!”

Megan D., CEO at SSBD

Ready to design your own box?

Start building your custom box now to see a preview of how it will look!