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12 Skincare and Makeup Startup Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs

The beauty industry – which includes skincare and makeup – raked in an estimated 48.6 billion dollars in 2021 in the U.S. alone. Want to get in on that action?

If you’re a young entrepreneur who enjoys all things makeup, skincare, and hair, read on for 12 easy ways you can monetize your interests into a small business.


1.         YOUTUBER

Let’s start with the obvious choice. YouTube is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways for young entrepreneurs to start a business. From gory special effects makeup to the best skincare routines for teens, YouTube is full of young stars. Why couldn’t you be one of them?

Love YouTube but not sure how to monetize your videos? Check out this tutorial for pointers and suggestions.


2.         MAKEUP AND/OR HAIR DESIGNER

Here’s a quick business tip that applies across all industries and fields: people will pay you to do the things they can’t (or don’t like to) do. Not everyone can perfectly match eyeshadow palettes to skin tones. But you can! Since you’re not a pro and you likely haven’t gone to beauty school, you can charge less than fancy salons to do hair and makeup while still making money doing something you love.

Bonus: partner up with a friend who babysits and offer a discount for parents on date nights – hair and/or makeup + babysitting for one low price!


3.         MAKE YOUR OWN SOAPS

There are online shops that specialize in wholesale soap-making supplies, including bases, molds, oils, and fragrances. A few to look at include:

The great thing about making your own soaps is that you have total creative control over what shapes, colors, scents, and additives (such as colloidal oatmeal or aloe essential oil) you use.


4.         MAKEUP BAGS

Love makeup and have a sewing machine? Create a few stylish makeup bags to sell in your very own online shop! Offer bags of varying sizes, or the number of pockets. Create smaller makeup bags for travel and bigger makeup bags for home.

Bonus: partner up with a friend who does YouTube makeup tutorials to support each other! They can show off your stylish makeup bags on their channel, while you mention her in your store’s description.


5.         SELL YOUR OLD MAKEUP

Nobody loves everything they buy. But why let good, barely used makeup go to waste? Sites such as Glambot, Mercari, and Poshmark will buy your makeup and sell it for you. Make sure you read all the rules and regulations about selling used makeup before you get started so you don’t waste your time.


6.         DIY FRAGRANCES

There’s more to smelling good than showering regularly. You know this. You’re a master at this. Help make the world a better-smelling place by designing and selling personal fragrances. Perfumes, body sprays, and lotions are just some of the ways you can mix and match the perfect scents for others. Start with a few basic recipes and go from there.


7.         HAIR ACCESSORIES

Accessories are to hair what a good lipstick is to your face. They add that certain something that can take a look from great to WOW in an instant. Hair ties, barrettes, scrunchies, ribbons, bows, and headbands are a few things you can make at home and sell online.

Bonus: carve a niche for yourself making bespoke, one-of-a-kind hair accessories for events such as proms and weddings!


8.         REVIEW BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Whether it’s a podcast or a blog (or both), share your opinion with the world! Let your fellow beauty enthusiasts know whether that so-called 24-hour lipstick really stays put all day long. Try out the newest line of fake eyelashes. Before most people make purchases of beauty products, they want to know the real deal. Will it last? Is it hard to apply? Does the powder fall all over the place? Is the foundation too goopy? Be that person they trust to give honest feedback.

Bonus: if you love a certain brand, you might become a brand ambassador!


9.        ORGANIC, HANDCRAFTED SKINCARE

As the world moves toward being more chemical- and additive-conscious, there’s a market for organic skincare. Beauty customers increasingly want to know exactly what they’re putting on their skin. Come to their rescue with your specialized line of homemade, handcrafted skincare products. From hydrating masks to anti-acne toners, there are tons of recipes online that don’t need a lot of specialty products to get you started.


10.     SPECIAL EFFECTS MAKEUP

For some of you out there, makeup’s not about skin tone and smokey eyes. It’s about looking like you just had a run-in with an ax-wielding killer.

Thankfully, the special effects makeup (or SFX) supplies you need might be closer than you think. Your local party store probably has liquid latex, spirit gum, and fake blood year-round. Remember, too, that SFX makeup isn’t just for Halloween. Your creative friends in film or theater might need your help!


11.     NAIL ART

Nails are hot these days. Being able to do intricate nail art is, well, an art. Make yourself the go-to person for friends and neighbors when they want something eye-catching and unique on their fingertips.


12.     MAKE AND SELL JEWELRY

Nothing finishes a look like the exact right piece of jewelry. Many craft stores sell everything you need to make custom jewelry, including beads, wires, tools, and stands to help you take pro-level photos of your products.

Bonus: as with hair accessories, you can carve out a niche for yourself by charging a little bit more to make unique designs that suit a customer’s personal style and event.

While you’re out there killing it as a college-bound young entrepreneur, we know you’ll also be making the world a little more beautiful with your incredible skills. Most of these ideas don’t require a lot of money or time to get up and running, so go get started today!


Click here to learn how the Kantner Foundation helps young entrepreneurs by offering college scholarships to Florida high school students.


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