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Starting a Cosmetics Business with an Older Friend or Relative: What You Need to Know

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Want to start an engaging side project with an older friend or relative? What better way than to start a business making and selling cosmetics. A cosmetics side-business with an older friend or family member can be an enjoyable way to build on your relationship and stimulate the mind. But before you jump in, there are a few crucial things you need to know.  From creative first steps to your regulatory obligations, read our top tips for starting a cosmetics business.

Creative Vision and Branding

First things first: what’s your unique selling point? What sets your cosmetics brand apart from the others on the market? Whether it’s a commitment to natural ingredients or eco packaging, choosing a unique brand identity is essential. Furthermore, customers tend to be drawn to authenticity and a compelling story.  So what’s your back story? Make it personal – people love to hear your own unique reason why you started the business. Whatever you decide make sure your brand message resonates with the demographic you want to sell to.

Product Development and Quality Control

Now for the technical part – formulating your products! Remember, quality is key so invest in the expertise of a formulation chemist (try Fiverr) to get recipes and manufacturing advice. Identify high quality ingredient suppliers through online communities (try cosmetic Facebook groups) and internet searches. Good communication with your supplier is essential. You want to make sure your ingredient supplier provides all the documentation on each ingredient including Safety Data Sheets and test reports. Nothing builds trust and repeat business like consistently delivering high quality products.

Compliance with Cosmetic Regulations

Here’s where things can get a bit complicated but don’t worry we’ll break it down for you. To sell into the UK and EU you’ll need to comply with special laws for cosmetics. One of the most important things you’ll need before you can sell is a cosmetic safety assessment – or CPSR. This assessment, required by law, evaluates the safety of your products by assessing the formulation and labelling, among other things. It’s a vital step in the process that confirms the product safety and compliance with the cosmetic regulations.

Marketing and Distribution Channels

Once you’ve got your products formulated, packaged and compliant with the regulations, it’s time to tell the world! A strong marketing strategy is key to drawing customers to your brand. Elements of your marketing campaign might include posts and short videos on social media like Facebook/Instagram or TikTok, Depending on your marketing budget you could consider paid sponsorships with influencers, or hosting pop-up events in your local community.

When working with influencers don’t forget to look for individuals whose audience aligns with your target demographic. Check their audience engagement and authenticity. Don’t be fooled by high number of followers – always prioritise authenticity and engagement with audience over follower count. For a successful partnership, be clear with the influencer what you want to achieve and establish mutual goals.

Cosmetics is a competitive market so be creative, be unusual, but most of all, be consistent. Consistency is king when it comes to marketing so make sure you keep at it and be patient. Stick to these principles and overtime you will build a strong customer base. Spend some time experimenting to find out what works best for your brand.

Customer Feedback

Finally, get customer feedback. Your customers and their views are your greatest resource in retaining current customers and finding new ones.  Use free survey platforms (try Google forms) to capture their thoughts and suggestions. Reach out to your social media followers with questions. Review the feedback you receive and make gradual improvements to the overall customer experience.


In conclusion, starting a cosmetics business with an older friend or family member can be a rewarding and stimulating experience. Be creative and have fun, but don’t forget quality and compliance is paramount. Good luck!

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