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How Much Does It Cost to Make an Eyeshadow Palette?

Do you want to know how much it cost to make an eyeshadow palette? If YES, here are 5 factors that determine the cost of manufacturing an eyeshadow palette.

Eye shadow is a cosmetic that is used on the eyelids and under the eyes. It is commonly used to make the wearer’s eyes stand out or look more attractive. They are known to add depth and dimension to the eyes, complement one’s eye colour, make one’s eyes appear larger, or simply draw attention to the eyes. Eye shadow comes in many different colours and textures.

Making and selling eye shadow palettes can be a wonderful way to enter the cosmetic business, since reports have it that women spend at least $15,000 on eye shadows over the cause of a lifetime. This business will generate revenue from either the individual sale or wholesale distribution of the eye shadow palette.

What is the Unit Retail Price for Eye Shadow Palettes?

Eye shadow palette is typically sold by the unit and varies in price. Low-end palettes start from at least $5, while high-end ones sell for upwards of $150. Note that the profit margins for this industry average 40%, with some running as high as 80%.

This sort of business is ideal for an entrepreneur who is passionate about experimenting with cosmetics. As the owner of a makeup business like an eye shadow, your role is to help others turn their visions into reality and feel more positive about their appearance.

Note that real world experience is necessary when looking to manufacture and sell eye shadow palettes. Before establishing this business, consider working at a beauty store. Study each department, the customers’ needs, the distribution chain, marketing, and staffing.

Remember that a good amount of work goes into running a business like this. Learn from the successes and failures of your future competitors. Your education, however, shouldn’t stop at eye shadow. Get to know the various products and lines on the market.

Experiment with the merchandise and get creative. It is also good to possess many of the qualities that make a great leader. Strong communication and organizational skills are critical. Attention to detail and the ability to delegate will also prove beneficial.

If you plan to start from scratch, you will need to invest a great deal of time and money, before ever opening your doors to customers. Industry leaders report an initial budget of anywhere from $75,000 to $200,000, depending upon the specifics of your business plan.

However, the cost of manufacturing eye shadow palette can vary greatly in the United States due to many foreseen and unforeseen factors, these factors may include:

5 Factors That Determine How Much It Cost to Make an Eyeshadow Palette

1. Domestic Vs. Overseas Manufacturers

One of the primary factors that will influence cost is whether you decide to manufacture overseas or domestically. Through research you will discover many of the overseas manufacturers are based in European or Asian countries, like France, Singapore or South Korea.

Traditionally countries like China or India have been known to produce cosmetic products at the lower end of the quality scale; this has been partially driven by access to cheaper manufacturing costs such as labour or raw materials. Have it in mind that it will often be cheaper as start-up entrepreneur to source your palette from these countries.

2. Raw Material

For instance, if you ask for plastic, your manufacturer will counter by asking what type and what grade? Agreeably, they’ll ask a range of questions to further narrow the exact specifications for the material. Here are a few questions you might be asked about plastic materials:

  • Does it need to be fireproof?
  • What temperature range will it need to withstand?
  • Should it be low odour?
  • Are you required to verify origin, content or quality?
  • Can you accept a percent or regrind?

Note that any option you choose will impact the general cost of the product. Nonetheless, expect the same depth of questioning for any type of material you might be considering.

3. Freight

Agreeably, you’re looking at using a contract manufacturer who will handle this very complex aspect of overseas manufacturing on your behalf. If that is the case, the costs associated with shipping and logistics will be included in your price. Some of the items include:

  • Ocean
  • Full Container Load (FCL)
  • Less Than Container Load (LCL)
  • Air freight
  • Truck
  • Expedited
  • Need-to-clear customs
  • Import/export VAT or monetary exchange fees

If your contract manufacturer doesn’t handle this, you’ll need to find someone or a team who will.

4. Cost of Quality

Testing is normally the most underestimated factor in the overall cost of quality. You want your product to be right every time it leaves the factory. Product reliability testing should be part of the cost of your product. Below are two questions to ask:

  • If your palette requires assembly, will there be a need for test fixtures or assembly fixture?
  • How long should each product be tested (possible test for heat, or function, or lifecycle)?

5. Third Party Compliance

Does your palette need approval from UL, ETL, CSA or perhaps FDA? Even after thorough third-party testing, it will still take time and money to receive validation. Can your contract manufacturer do the testing for you? Should they? This is one cost you have to discuss at the beginning. The time and cost involved are not something you want to learn at the last minute.

In summary, it can cost between $1.50 and $13 to produce one single eye shadow palette. However, the wide variance in cost is dependent on the factors mentioned above. The total cost estimation also depends on the amount of product that you are producing. Buying ingredients in bulk will likely save you money in the long run. This cost savings translates to a higher profit per product.

How to Find a Manufacturer for Your Eyeshadow Palette

Generally, launching a new cosmetic product is no easy venture, the right research and execution will put you on the road to success. Here are key ways to find manufacturers for your eye shadow palette.

a. Use a Supplier Network

You can use a comprehensive buying community to connect with other industry professionals to find suppliers and source products. Note that once you register in any of the various networks, you can access the profiles of countless suppliers in North America to find a manufacturer to meet your needs.

b. Attend Conventions

Over the years, we have learnt that one cannot simply replace the connections made with face to face interactions. Attending industry conventions is an ideal way to connect with others in the industry to find a manufacturer. Good places to start include MakeUp in New York or Los Angeles, CosmoProf in Las Vegas, and the International Makeup Artist Trade show held at various locations around the world.

c. Explore Reputable Databases

You can start by exploring hubs like Cosmetic Executive Women or Beauty Independent’s Solutions Directory. They are goldmines for information on how you can find a manufacturer. Note that every verified vendor offers a host of services and products designed to help you find the assistance that you need to get your business going.

d. Leverage Sales Rep

Immediately you have established some possible options for manufacturing, ensure to have a thorough conversation with each sales rep. It is very pertinent to discuss topics such as official certifications they hold, lead time for deliverables, screen printing fees, and policies for quality control. Do not wait until you have already signed the contract to ask the tough questions.


Growing 6% in 2016, the general beauty industry steadily achieves significant growth, year after year. The makeup class was the largest contributor, contributing 82% of the industry’s overall growth.

Even though brick and mortar establishments offer the highest earning potential, online beauty sales have grown at a rate of 20% annually. According to reports, this industry shows no signs of slowing down and offers ample opportunities for the dedicated and innovative entrepreneur.