Makeup Packaging

Makeup Packaging Design

Globally, it’s estimated that the cosmetics industry will reach $438.38 billion by 2026. And while it’s reported that women in the U.S. spend an average of $3,756 on cosmetic products every year, there’s no question that the market is expanding and that eCommerce cosmetic brands need to find a way to stand apart from the competition. 

Which is where makeup packaging design comes into play.  

In an industry where consumers shop based on aesthetics, what’s on the outside (the packaging) is just as important as what’s on the inside (the raw product itself). 

With social media purchasing and influencer marketing on the rise, and a consumer market ready for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the beauty industry is poised for major growth. It’s time to make sure your packaging is picture-perfect to drive conversions and boost sales.   

Makeup Packaging Design for Your Brand


Chances are, you’ve already spent a great deal developing your brand story and brand standards. Your packaging design should be an extension of that brand for both primary and secondary packaging and your inner packaging. What does this refer to? 

  • Primary packaging (or product packaging) is the packaging that holds the raw product—your cosmetics; the bottle, tube, or palette that holds the makeup.  
  • Secondary packaging (or delivery packagingis the packaging that your fulfillment partner uses to pack orders and ship products to your customers.  
  • Inner packaging refers to the packaging that holds your product, like the thin cardboard box your lipstick or mascara might come in. 

Branding and Storytelling 

Both your primary and secondary packaging have an opportunity to say something about your brand. Are you loud, bold, and confident, or are you subtle, calm, and breezy? Because you don’t have the luxury of a storefront, your cosmetics’ packaging replaces the experience of shopping in a store.  


Beyond the design, there may be important messaging your packaging needs to convey, like labeling for organic, vegan, or cruelty-free products where applicable, warning labels for allergies, or sustainability certifications. These can help you build rapport with your customer and share the ways your brand is working to make a difference.  


Another important factor to consider when designing your packaging is how it will impact your fulfillment processes. Your third-party logistics (3PL) provider can be an invaluable resource to help you determine ways to optimize packaging for fulfillment including: 

  • Reducing packaging to limit costs for materials 
  • Optimizing packaging to ensure your products arrive intact 
  • Deciding how many different sizes of boxes and bubble mailers you will need 
  • Designing packaging for kits and bundles that expedite fulfillment 
  • Selecting sustainable packaging options 

Cosmetic Packaging Design Made Easy


Are you searching to simplify your packaging design process? Take it back to the consumer. Beauty brands in 2021 are appealing to potential customers on social media. As a new generation of consumers grows up, they are far more likely to connect with beauty brands and make purchases via social media, a largely visual medium.  

As shared on Beauty Packaging, “Visually driven social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have changed the way consumers interact with brands. With just one tap on a smartphone, these platforms allow consumers to learn more about the brand and product details, and to compare prices before even landing on the brand’s website.” 

What does this mean for eCommerce beauty brands? Your cosmetic beauty packaging can (and should) be an extension of your online presence.  

For some time, this has equated to a more minimal branding approach to packaging design, which works well on digital channels where it is easy to recognize and stands out when consumers are quickly scrolling through their favorite social media platform. This “less is more” tactic makes all the difference for consumers browsing for a new lipstick or eyeshadow palette to try, since you may have less than a second to make a lasting impression. This minimalist trend in packaging is making its way into all kinds of social media posts for cosmetic products.  

Take for example Glossier, with its minimalist design, that matches its commitment to minimal, sustainable packaging and simple beauty solutions. Glossier’s primary and secondary packaging are both light on text and graphics and frequently use soft, pale colors, letting the products speak for themselves without chaos or intense colors  

Current Trends in Cosmetics Packaging


In the world of online cosmetic brands, your packaging is like your calling card; an extension of your brand and a replacement for the in-store shopping experience. Here are some of the biggest trends happening in 2021 regarding makeup packaging: 

  1. Packages that tell a story. It used to be that a beautiful package was all you needed but one way to connect with consumers is to find a way to tell a story through their unboxing experience. You can build a relationship with customers while also reinforcing your brand story. 
  1. Artistic illustrations. The market is filling with more and more beauty brands looking to connect with customers. Illustrations are one way to capture the heart and attention of your target audience with a product that is unique and meaningful. Packaging emblazoned with artful illustrations is a level of extra attention to detail your customers will love.  
  1. Refillable products. It’s no secret that consumers are searching for products that come in sustainable packaging. It’s the “milkman approach,” akin to the days where the milkman would refill glass bottles, and it makes sense when millions of pounds of plastic are needlessly tossed each year. Consumers are motivated by earth-friendly strategies, and having them send their used packaging back is one way you can demonstrate your brand’s commitment to protecting the environment and build a lasting relationship with eco-minded customers.  
  1. Tidy, structured layouts. One of the biggest trends is a neat, ordered layout, with text and graphics cleanly arranged in a visually appealing format. Consumers want peace, and an uncluttered, fresh design can stand out and offer some much-needed quiet.  
  1. Practical value. An important differentiator (especially as consumers hope to add travel back into their daily lives) is packaging that is easy to use and transport. Compact containers that fit into bags, work as a set, or travel without braking are an added value consumers appreciate. What’s more? Some brands are giving consumers the ability to customize their beauty product packaging, by adding graphics, photos, or their names. 

Regardless of the current upcoming trends, OceanX can help beauty brands make the most of their packaging with smart solutions that match form and function.  

Packaging and Fulfillment Must Go Hand-in-Hand 

OceanX has more than three decades working in the beauty and wellness eCommerce industries. In that time, we’ve learned a thing or two about how primary, secondary, and inner packaging can make all the difference for consumers looking for a memorable experience and high-value product.  

From helping you find ways to optimize packaging for fulfillment and shipping to working with beauty packaging experts, we can help you take your beauty brand to the next level, while also offering massive amounts of data to inform your entire manufacturing and fulfillment process. To learn more, request a quote today.