Private Label Lipstick 101

Lipstick is a key cosmetic item for many women across the world. But COVID-19 has changed the game. The widespread use of masks has slowed down lipstick usage due to the potential of smearing it over the mask, or even the user’s face. In fact, the sales of lipstick in Japan took a dive to 22.21 billion yen in 2020, a massive reduction from 2019’s 49.67 billion yen sales.

While lipstick sales experienced a hefty drawback due to the outbreak of COVID-19 resulting in the use of masks in many countries, there are signs that the sales of lipsticks and other lip-beautifying products are still going strong.

A major cosmetic brand in Japan, for example, launched a line of mask-friendly lipstick in the second quarter of 2021. In December 2021, they apologized for failing to keep up with the massive demands for their lipstick, signifying a healthy demand for an innovative lipstick and potentially, other mask-friendly lip products.

In this article, we will take a look at private label lipstick production, alternative products, and the manufacturing process, as well as other points to remember when choosing a private label lipstick manufacturer.

Popular Lip Products That Sell in Today’s Market

While lipstick is often the first thing that comes to mind when we are talking about lip products, there are other forms of lipstick alternatives.

Lip Gloss

Lip gloss is a lip product that, as the name suggests, is used to add a glossy sheen to lips as well as a bit of tint. Lip gloss can be found in both solid and liquid forms.

Liquid Rouge

Originating from the French word for “red”, liquid rouge is used to tint the lips. Liquid rouge is formulated to achieve the vibrant colors of a lipstick and the sheen of a lip gloss in one application.

The lasting effect of liquid rouge can also dry the lips out, so take care not to dehydrate the lips in prolonged use of this powerful lip cosmetic.

Lip Tint

Lip tint is used to “stain” the lips by adding a tint to them with a water or gel base. Lip tint usually produces a matte or silky finish, which can be combined with other lip products if a glossy look is desired.

Lip Powder

Lip powder uses a powder-to-liquid method to transform the powder into lasting color when it comes in contact with the lips. To achieve the best result, it’s a good idea to exfoliate the lips beforehand.

Lip Liner

Lip liner provides a surface for lipstick to stick better, preventing it from smearing and helping the lipstick’s color to pop out even more. Lip liner can also give a matte finish to lips when used by itself.

Manufacturing Process of Private Label Lipstick Products

There are few differences in the steps taken to manufacture your own private label lipstick and its alternatives in Japan and in your home country. In general, these are the steps that you’ll go through:


This is the stage where the private label manufacturer and client sit together to talk about the project details. This is a good time to gather information from as many companies as possible to find the best company for your project.

Prototype Production

After the details are agreed upon by both parties, the production of the prototypes can begin. During this phase, different formulas are produced as prototypes before moving into the production of the actual product.


With the formula finalized, the private cosmetic label manufacturer will send the client a quotation based on the ingredients and packaging materials used.

Placing Orders

After reviewing the final quotation and if the client agrees with the proposed price, both parties can sign an agreement and the client can place a purchase order.

Production & Delivery

Following confirmation of the payment, the production phase can start. The length of the production process varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but you can expect somewhere between 2-4 months for a Japanese manufacturer.

Key Points to Keep In Mind When Choosing a Private Label Lipstick Manufacturer

We’ve gone through the steps of making your private label lipstick in Japan, but there are a few points that will be beneficial to remember to help you make the best decision.

MOQ Policy

Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) affects the baseline price, which varies between manufacturers. It’s highly recommended to confirm with the manufacturers beforehand what the lowest possible order quantity is before the price starts to bloat. In Japan, this is known as “economy quantity”.

Experience in Makeup Products

While a manufacturer can be equipped with the necessary equipment to produce a high-quality makeup product, some manufacturers may not have experience in using a wide variety of ingredients in their manufacturing process.

This is because some companies’ business models are limiting their selection of ingredients. This may affect their capability in producing a custom-made makeup product, especially with ingredients that they’re not experienced with.

In general, partnering with a seasoned manufacturer is the best choice. Working with a manufacturer backed by years of experience will ensure the following:

– The product that you order will meet your expectations

– Minimize potential risks of delayed shipments due to production difficulties.

Experience in Export

The company’s experience in exporting the produced products is also very important to consider. Choosing an experienced company can smoothen the bilateral exporting and importing processes between Japan and your country.


In this article, we cover the different lipstick-related products that are found when you’re looking to make your original J-beauty label. We’ve also explained important points that may help you to find the best private label lipstick manufacturer to work together with and bring your products to life.

If you have a concept for lipstick or other cosmetic products in Japan, feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to discuss your project and answer any questions that you may have.



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