So, you want to start a skincare line. Awesome! Ordinary people have achieved great success because of sole determination, so why can’t you? Money has never been the deciding factor of whether a business will be a success or failure, and this is especially true for any type of business today.

Because humanity is better connected to share information with the speed and ease of the internet, you can start your own skincare line in no time without spending a crazy amount of money to make beauty products.

But, be prepared to invest a lot of time, effort, and hard work into the realization of your business idea. 

If you still think that your business idea is worthwhile and you are ready to leave the “money excuse” aside, we have put together a great guide for how to start a skincare business when you only have $100 to spare

Ready? Let’s get started!


Develop Your Business Idea – $0

The first step to launching a business with a scarce budget is to come up with a million-dollar idea. Since you’ve already decided that you want to develop a skincare line, you are one step ahead of the game. Congrats! However, to increase your chances of success, you got to put in the time to polish up your ideas. 

In the cosmetic business, as with most niches, revolutionary ideas are very well received. You would eventually want your product to be the one that offers a unique solution for common skin problems. Many of today’s famous cosmetic brands started with homemade solutions for an individual problem that happened to be a common one. 

The idea of developing a complete skincare line is lucrative. So, if you are working with $100 or less, you would want to focus on a “star product”– its purpose, what problems it will solve, what makes it special, etc.— that will get you started and allow you to develop an entire line later on. 

Got that “star product?” Great! Let’s keep going! 


Validate Your Business Idea – $0

Now you have the complete picture of your “star product” (you know what it is made from, what solutions it offers, and the effects of using it), your next step is to validate your future popular product idea by presenting it to potential customers! No spending necessary!

So, how do you do this? To start, you need to determine your demographics, or the people that make up your target audience. When deciding who would purchase your “star product”, make sure you’re choosing an audience that will help achieve your goal and objectives. 

Alright. Let’s assume that those who will use your cosmetic products are females between the ages of 20 to 60. Keep this in mind when you start gathering opinions as this will help validate whether you should launch your line or not.

Start with your friends and family. Explain to them what your “star product” does, what it promises to deliver, and ask them if they would be interested to buy and try it out.

Once you have collected some answers from people you know, head to a place where individuals that fit your demographics gather, such as a beauty salon or makeup store. Discuss your product idea with women that use beauty services there and see what feedback you get. 

Don’t forget to use the internet to help with your survey (more on this in the next step).  With the beauty of the internet, you can find free information on Facebook, lifestyle blogs, or Instagram profiles. You can even enroll in forum discussions related to the skincare problem and solutions similar to those your “star product” is intended for.

Check if people are interested in products such as yours and find out what they are dissatisfied with when using similar products. What do they like or don’t like about certain skincare products? What recurring problems are people having when it comes to their skincare? What do they like or don’t like about certain skincare products? What would people like to see in their skincare? See if your product solves these solutions before moving forward.


women talking at table about work and life


There is also a chance you will find out that your “star product” is not, in fact, a great idea. That’s ok! Head back to step one and put some more thought in to avoid spending your $100 on a fruitless idea. 

Phew! Now, let’s take a deeper dive into doing thorough research.


Perform Thorough Research – $0

There is an immense amount of free information available online that you can gain a lot of knowledge from before even making a move. 

So, how can you find and use this valuable information in order to kickstart your business? 

Use Google to browse sites that talk about how you can start a small business. As an entrepreneur, you should be well informed of business practices, how to handle finances, product licensing, and of course, become knowledgeable about your niche. Read about other people’s experiences with startups and use some of their tactics and ideas. 

Coincidentally, StartBeauty is a great source of information when it comes to starting an independent business in the beauty industry. You can browse our website to gain essential knowledge on starting a skincare line and contact us for free consultations. We’re happy to help!


Packaging and Product Images – $25

Now that you are sure there will be customers interested in your product and are knowledgeable enough to establish and develop your business, it’s time to create a virtual prototype of your “star product.” 

For that to happen, you need someone to design your product packaging and send you the final images.

Of course, you need to have a certain idea of what it should look like. Once you have a rough idea, you can head to Fiverr, or another similar freelance site, and hire a person to do this for you. They can create product packaging, labels, and product images for around $25.

You will then use these images on your e-commerce website to promote your “star product” and begin the pre-ordering process. Of course, with the budget you have available, you can’t afford to buy inventory first. Therefore, once you have your e-commerce store up and running, customers will be able to pre-order the product with a pre-determined shipping date.

You will then use their money to buy the inventory, manufacture the products, and send them to your initial customers. Using pre-orders also allows you to test the market without needing a big investment. 

Feelin’ good so far? Let’s talk more about promoting your skincare line.


how to start your own skincare line in $100 or less


Promote Your Product on Social Media – $0

Since you already have the images to represent your “star product,” you should establish a business profile on popular social media platforms. Since social media platforms are visual marketing channels that offer a chance for free advertising, you can achieve great exposure if you put in the time and effort to get people to visit your profile.

It’s advisable to master one of the platforms, and in the case of a beauty business, it’s best to start with either Instagram or Facebook. Instagram, especially, has a large community of people interested in the latest products and trends in cosmetics.

Make sure to create an attractive profile and add enough content that describes your “star product” and purpose. The general rule is that you have to post quality content and post consistently. Publish posts explaining to people the ingredients of your “star product,” the importance of using it in skincare, etc. Be creative and be sure to make the posts visually appealing by adding pictures of the product. 

Check out our blog post that explains how to implement free and effective tactics to get more followers on Instagram and eventually convert them into your customers. Win-win!


Create a Website – $0 – $60

So far, you’ve only spent $25 on images. Therefore, you can allow yourself to spend more on creating a professional-looking website for your business.

If you want to have a proper website, this will be the most expensive part of the start of your business. Your expenses here should cover paying for a domain and a subscription to a website hosting site. If you can expand your budget, you can hire a web designer on Fiverr to design your website.

Keep in mind that you only need it to exist on the web right now – it doesn’t need to look amazing at this point. You just need to set up a homepage that you can direct your audience to. 

It’s worth mentioning that there are free options available for those who are starting out with less than $100. Wix, for example, is a platform where you can host your website for free and utilize ready-made templates that allow you to run and design your website, and it is very easy to set up. However, it may not look professional enough if you strive to leave the impression of a reputable business.

E-commerce platforms like Shopify or SquareSpace are better options since you are selling a product. You can take advantage of a 14-day free trial, which is enough time to test things out and see if it’s a good choice. Big Cartel, on the other hand, allows you to use their service for free if you have fewer than five product listings.

Ok. Let’s get some customers!


Establish a Relationship with Your Customers Using Email Marketing – $0 – $20

Email marketing is a cheap and proven marketing strategy and the best way to nurture relationships with regular customers and possibly reach out to new audiences. Your email list provides you direct contact with your audience, which gives you the chance to send quality content that will keep your customers engaged for a great customer service experience. 

MailChimp and other similar platforms offer email automation, together with analytics and data reports, for free. You can use this to your advantage as the free option is only limited to under 2000 subscribers, which is a large number when you’re just starting out. Test it to see if it is a valuable and profitable tactic for your business. 


email marketing to build customer base


Establish a Lead-Generating Tactic – $0 – $20

To implement the email marketing strategy and become successful, you need to come up with a tactic to get people to sign up for your newsletter. Most people aren’t going to sign up just for the sake of it, so it is highly recommended to invest some money into creating an effective lead magnet for people to get on your email list. 

This magnet can be anything from a free service, video, eBook, webinar, or any other creative idea you may have, and it should contain information that is valuable to the person reading it in order to capture their attention. You can promote this crowd-puller of yours anywhere in order to generate a wider audience for your email newsletter.

Creating an eBook for this purpose is highly recommended as it has been proven to be the most effective method. You can’t go wrong with a well-designed eBook that includes information on your brand. You could even write about your story on starting a business with $0 and establish yourself as an authoritative expert in the field. Especially when it comes to cosmetics, people want to rely on a trustworthy manufacturer before purchasing a skincare product. 

The visual aspects are the most important here. Therefore, it’s advisable to hire someone from Fiverr to create an appealing design for your lead magnet, whatever it ends up being. You can, however, create this on your own for free, using Google Docs, Canva, or PowerPoint!

Though, it’s recommended to test your final product with someone who you trust will give you an unbiased opinion. A second opinion can help you avoid any mistakes in text or presentation so you can improve your lead magnet and use it to expand your email list to the point where you’ll need to pay for that emailing software!


The Skincare Line Starter Kit 

That should do it! Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to launching the skincare line you’ve dreamed of for $100 or less. The best thing is to keep going and keep improving…your customers will thank you for it.

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