1. ConceptFirst you will have to decide what will set your brand apart from the rest. There's always room for more beauty products on the market, but starting with a niche product can sometimes make things easier. Areas that are really hot right now include products for curly hair and all-natural products.
Next you will have to come up with a concept for your brand. If you're handy with the computer, there are tons of resources out there that can help you with creating a logo, website and marketing materials. If you prefer, you can hire someone to help you with this also.
A great website that can help get you started on your own is weebly.com
And if you prefer to have a little more help (at an affordable rate) check out jollyscience.com
3. Finding a Lab
All great beauty products first start in the lab. There are several labs in the US that specialize in developing beauty products. You can contact a representative to discuss your plan of action and what type of ingredients you want to be using in your product.
Once your beauty product has been developed, they will send you samples that you can test out and then make changes to if need be. In my experience, the lab doesn't usually get it right the first time. Make sure to discuss with your representative what their policy is about how many times they will tweak the product for you. Below you find links to two reputable beauty development labs.
Picking out packaging is my favorite part of the process. There are manufacturers that specialize in beauty product packaging, or the lab that you are working with will probably have some packaging options for you also.
Packaging is an opportunity to really set yourself apart from the pack. Consumers are suckers for beautifully packaged products so don't be afraid to invest a little money up front for something that looks nice. It will really pay off when it comes time to sell your beauty product.
Check out cosmopak.com for help with packaging.
Next you will have to decide where you want to sell your products and who your customer will be. Are you selling exclusively online? Will you be selling a boutique product that can only be found at exclusive stores? If you hope to see your products in a store window, you'll want to find out who the beauty buyer is for each retailer that you hope to be featured in.
Beauty buyers can be jaded. They're constantly being given new products to try and you really have to have something unique to get them to take notice.
Now that you have your product, it's time to let the world know they exist! Create a facebook page and twitter handle for your new beauty product. Start reaching out to everyone you know and send free sample products to anyone you think might be able to get your brand in front of the right person.
Contact beauty bloggers and writers and send them packages of your product to try. Hopefully they'll love it and blog about it to their readers.
If you work in a salon, ask your salon owner if you can keep some products at your station to sell to your clients.