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How To Start a Beauty Brand With Less Than £500

How To Start a Beauty Brand With Less Than £500

Have you ever dreamed of starting a beauty business but don’t have the funds? Well then you’re not alone. Starting your own brand is often deemed a taxing experience in terms of both time and money. From formulating products that are actually good quality, to having to mass produce thousands of units of stock due to manufacturers' minimum order quantities — the task can feel almost impossible. 

So, here are two alternative budget-friendly ways to start a beauty brand of your own.  

White Labelling

 White Labelling is when a manufacturer has an already created formula and product made to a high standard available to be used by other brands. This means you can brand their formulas as your own and sell them on your own channels.

White labelling gives you complete freedom to use your own packaging and branding, and they usually allow you to buy much lower minimum order quantities in comparison to formulating your own products from scratch. 

Some manufacturers also have their own in-house packaging teams to help you customise their products for resale. 

This is therefore a way more cost effective approach to starting your own beauty brand, and a great way to start a high-quality cosmetics line for under £500. 



  • Packaging can be personalised to meet your branding needs
  • Cosmetic formulations have already been created which speeds up the process
  • Low startup costs due to low minimum order quantities 



  • Other brands may have the same formulas as you 
  • No rights or understanding of the formulation process if the manufacturer ever ceases to exist 
  • Stock may sit around before picking up selling momentum  


By definition dropshipping is a process where a customer buys a product from you, without you physically holding the stock. You partner up with a wholesaler who offers dropshipping as a service, and you sync their stock to your own e-commerce store. You add your own markup to their wholesale pricing, and sell to your customers. When a customer orders, you purchase the stock from the wholesaler and they ship it directly to your customer. As you have marked up the price, you then keep the profit. 

Dropshippers are commonly known to use sites like AliExpress, but if you want to get products to customers faster there are lots of local wholesalers that now offer dropshipping as a service. Dropshipping is a great option for a beauty tool based business, but not so much for cosmetics due to the quality of formulations. It's also important to find reliable wholesalers, as this could make or break your business. Always do your research. 



  • Even lower startup costs than white-labelling. All you need is a reliable wholesaler and fully functioning e-commerce site
  • No inventory (or money) sitting around waiting to be sold
  • Fast way to build a customer base



  • No differentiation and high competition. Anyone can start selling what you sell as dropshipping products are mass produced
  • No control over fulfilment and shipping times which could lead to frustrated customers 
  • Small profit margins. As you’re selling very competitive products, other stores tend to  undercut one another. This leads to smaller profit margins.  
  • No quality control. As you’re not seeing products before they’re shipped, this could lead to quality issues 


Whilst there are pros and cons with each of these avenues, both white labelling and dropshipping offers you a means to start a brand with less investment, which minimises your risk. Before starting anything, make sure you do your own thorough research.