How to Start Your Own Makeup Business

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Make-up Franchise

If you’ve always been passionate about cosmetics, why not seriously consider starting a makeup business? It’s not as hard as you think, especially if you choose the franchise route. In this article, we explain how you can start your own.


For many people, starting a makeup business is a dream come true. If you love makeup, it allows you to combine your passion and profession - and it can be remarkably profitable. The cosmetics industry in the UK is worth approximately £9.8 billion (Statista). In 2019, spending on personal care reached £33 billion, which is an increase of over £10 billion from 2010.

Becoming a franchisee within a cosmetics business is a great way to join the sector, but you could also decide to start from scratch. Let’s look at some of the top reasons why starting a makeup franchise makes smart business sense, with some tips for launching your own.

Reasons why starting a makeup business is a great idea

1. The rise of influencers

Thanks to online platforms like YouTube and Instagram, cosmetics are more popular than ever. Consumers are buying makeup products faster than they can get through them, and spend time replicating the styles created by their favourite influencers.

2. You can benefit from spontaneous appointments

If you choose to start a makeup studio, where you offer professional services to clients and help them look their best, you can reap the benefits of spontaneous walk-in appointments. If you launch your makeup business in a high footfall area, there’s more chance of somebody walking past and impulsively deciding to get their makeup done before an event. Or, if you have an attractive window display and showcase your skills, they might book in for a later date too.

3. You can go mobile

The great thing about makeup businesses is that you can go mobile. If you want even more flexibility, which you can’t achieve with a studio or brick-and-mortar shop, you can offer mobile services. Then, you can work around your personal commitments and save money on the cost of premises.



Top tips for starting a makeup business

1. Do your research

You should take the time to do a considerable amount of research before investing your hard-earned cash. Although it may be tempting to rush into the first appealing franchising opportunity you find, this could end badly. There are a large number of franchises to consider in the makeup and cosmetics sector, so taking your time and undertaking thorough research will pay off in the long run.

There are numerous places where you can find out more about the business opportunities on offer, but, as always, the internet is an invaluable resource. Many websites provide the latest updates on the franchising sector and detail franchises’ contact details. The industry ‘watchdog’, the British Franchising Association (BFA), has a particularly helpful website. It’s also a good idea to visit franchising expos and conferences, read trade publications and sign up to newsletters.

2. Enlist the help of legal and financial professionals

Although franchising is a relatively simple concept, the legal and financial frameworks used to support the business model are often complicated and convoluted. This means all potential franchisees should enlist the help of legal and financial professionals when starting out on their franchising journey. Unless you are trained and qualified in one of these fields, you’re taking a significant risk if you choose to do it alone.

A lawyer or legal representative who has experience of the franchising sector will be able to read over the large number of legal contracts to define the relationship between the franchisor and franchisee. Similarly, an accountant will help you run over the numbers and establish whether your financial projections are accurate and reasonable. This is particularly important when it comes to preparing a comprehensive business plan.



3. Decide what type of makeup business you want to start

This is one of the key questions entrepreneurs ask themselves when they join the cosmetics industry. Online makeup shops are less common in the franchising sector, as the franchising model tends to centre itself on the concept of exclusive territories. However, it is possible to become a master franchisee for the UK and take control of a franchise’s operations for the entirety of the country.

Brick-and-mortar stores are much more popular in the makeup sector, as it’s a model that is employed by the vast majority of franchises. It allows franchisees to pick up passing trade, as well as repeat customers and internet-driven traffic.

4. Prepare a comprehensive business plan

To demonstrate to yourself and others that investing in a particular franchise is financially viable, you'll need to draft a business plan. In many cases, your potential franchisor will help you create this document, as they will typically have acquired a great deal of experience. However, as the business plan will be used to apply for finance, you need to ensure that you fully understand and support the proposed direction for your makeup franchise.

5. Consider your financing options

Finally, all makeup franchisees need to consider how they’re going to finance their franchise. In some cases, the decision is made for you. For instance, if you’re investing in a more expensive makeup company, it’s likely that you won’t be able to raise the full amount required without borrowing. In this instance, you’ll need to ensure that your business plan is good enough to impress a lender.

However, if you’re investing in a more affordable makeup franchise, it may be possible to find the full investment without dealing with a mainstream lender. Occasionally, franchisees have access to sufficient funds to finance the venture themselves. More often than not, franchisees can rely on their family and friends to support them by topping up their resources. This can be a great way to raise a little extra capital when the investment amount is just out of reach.

Makeup franchise opportunity

Ooh La La Beauty Bar

This is a blowout bar and brow beauty boutique. It has already expanded across the US but is now looking to recruit passionate entrepreneurs in the UK.

  • Becoming an Ooh La La Beauty Bar franchisee: You don’t need any experience in the hair and beauty industry to be accepted.
  • How much you need to invest: You need to make a minimum investment of £30,000 and a total of £58,000.
  • What you get for your investment: In return, you can make the most of a comprehensive training package and ongoing support.

Start a makeup business today

You should now have a better idea of how to start your own makeup franchise. If you feel like you are ready to take the next step, why not have a browse of our beauty franchises and makeup franchises?

>> Read more articles on the Makeup sector

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