In the ever-evolving beauty industry, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest information. Since the original publication of this blog post in 2021, there have been some notable developments in the private label sector and the claims made by Irena James, YG’s vice president of product development. As of 2023, the landscape of private-label manufacturing and its influence on the beauty market has become even more significant.
“Eighty percent of the products that you see in department stores we’ve created for brands.”
There is a common misunderstanding in the beauty industry—perhaps more common among people outside the circle—each brand has its own army of formulators and scientists, who work hard in high-tech laboratories to create their products. Although this may be the case for a few of these products, the reality is that many of them are researched, created, and packaged by private-label companies.
While the precise percentage may vary, private-label companies continue to play a substantial role in the creation of beauty products. It is still true that a significant portion of the products found in department stores and other retail outlets are formulated and produced by private label manufacturers. The exact extent of private label involvement may vary among different brands and product categories, but the general trend remains consistent.
Private-label labs have experienced increased recognition and demand, prompting many to step out of the shadows and establish their own brands. This shift allows them to showcase their expertise and unique formulations directly to consumers. Irena James and Nik, having spent four decades formulating products for other companies, exemplify this movement by leveraging their expertise to develop their own brand.
In recent years, research has shed further light on the impact of light exposure on sleep quality and its subsequent effects on skin health. While the research on topical melatonin’s reparative function remains relevant, it is worth noting that ongoing scientific advancements continue to uncover new insights in this field.
As for private label manufacturing, its advantages and disadvantages remain largely unchanged. It continues to be an attractive option for various businesses, including beauty salons, boutiques, single stores, startups, and beauty brands. The ability to bring products to market quickly without incurring substantial startup or inventory costs remains a significant advantage. However, it is important to acknowledge that limitations persist, such as being restricted to the shades, products, and packaging offered by the supplier.
Companies like ours connect your beauty brand to Korean manufacturers, and the formulas and packaging they create can be marketed by beauty brands, and no one knows that they did not do it themselves. Consumers may be surprised to find that some of their favorite lotions and potions come from the same place and may have the same formula as other private-brand products on the market.
In the past, private-label labs have been more than happy to remain in the industry’s shadows, working discretely on formulas for a surprisingly large array of brands. Irena James, YG’s vice president of product development (who is also Nik’s wife), claims that “80 percent of the products that you see in department stores we’ve created for brands.” And after four decades in the industry spent formulating products for other companies. Based on research on the efficacy of topical melatonin for anti-aging, the couple — relying on Irena’s biochemistry and skin physiology expertise — dreamed up a formula that features melatonin as its star ingredient.
Constant exposure to light, says Irena, is interfering with our sleep, which in turn affects your skin’s ability to heal the daily damage it sustains. The research showed that topical melatonin can offer the reparative function the skin needs, despite a lackluster sleep cycle.
Says Irena, “The reason we came out from behind the private-label industry to work on this as our own brand is that we did not want this message to be diluted — we didn’t want to give that away to someone else.”
That seems to be a common theme with this burgeoning movement — suppliers and formulators creating something they were loathed to give to brands that would use it in ways that would essentially make it less effective, in their eyes wasting the potential of the innovation they had birthed.
Big Brands that are using Private Label Cosmetics in 2023
In 2023, several big brands in the beauty industry continue to utilize private-label cosmetics and makeup to expand their product offerings and meet consumer demands. While these brands may have their own in-house product development capabilities, they often collaborate with private-label manufacturers to create new formulations. Here are some notable examples of big brands that incorporate private-label cosmetics and makeup into their product lines:
- Sephora Collection: Sephora’s in-house brand, Sephora Collection, is known for offering a wide range of affordable and high-quality beauty products. Many of these products are developed through partnerships with private label manufacturers, allowing Sephora to quickly introduce new trends and innovations to the market.
- Ulta Beauty: As a leading beauty retailer, Ulta Beauty carries an extensive range of private-label cosmetics under its own brand name. These products cover various categories, including makeup, skincare, and haircare, and are often created in collaboration with trusted private-label manufacturers.
- Target Beauty: Target has its own private-label beauty brand called “Target Beauty.” The brand offers an array of affordable and on-trend cosmetics and skincare products. By working with private label manufacturers, Target can curate a diverse range of products that cater to its customer’s preferences.
- Amazon Beauty: Amazon has also entered the private label beauty market with its brand “Amazon Beauty.” This brand offers a wide selection of cosmetics and skincare products at competitive prices. Through partnerships with private label manufacturers, Amazon can continuously expand its beauty line and provide consumers with more choices.
- CVS Beauty: CVS Pharmacy, a popular drugstore chain in the United States, has its own private label beauty brand known as “CVS Beauty.” The brand encompasses various beauty categories, including makeup, skincare, and personal care. Private label manufacturers play a crucial role in developing and producing these products for CVS.
It is important to note that while these big brands collaborate with private label manufacturers, they often maintain strict quality control and adhere to their own brand standards. This ensures that the private label products align with the brand’s image and meet the expectations of their customers.
Private Label: Getting finished products made with your label in small quantities.
- Beauty Salons.
- Single Stores.
- Beauty Brands.
- Brands that want to expand its lines and start a k-beauty line.
Quantities: a few pieces up to several hundred of each product
What you need: almost nothing but money and an idea of the types of products you want.
Advantages: gets you into the business fast without large startup or inventory costs
Disadvantages: you are limited to the shades, products, and packaging carried by the supplier.