All Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Need a Label.

So you’re thinking of selling a product or range of products that would fit into the categories of cosmetics or personal care? Shampoo? Lip Balm? Skin Care? This guide will cater for everyone, from total novices to professionals just looking for a few design tips and everyone in between. If you need us to, we’ll hold your hand through the whole process or let you cherry pick the help you need.
Cosmetics and Personal Care Bottles Waiting for Labels.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder is paying so make your product look its best.

You might think you’re selling dreams and lifestyles but in reality you’re selling packaging. Packaging and overall presentation is what catches a consumer’s eye and quite often costs more to produce than what’s inside the bottle. Don’t waste all that effort that you put into developing your product by cutting corners when choosing and designing the finished look.


Bottle Size.The first decision you need to make is size. This may be a decision that makes itself or one that needs investigation, either way it’ll be one to fit your market and situation.

Big shampoo and conditioner bottle labels have different requirements than tiny beauty product stickers. Don’t necessarily get too preoccupied by things like trying to give more product than the opposition, often less is deemed higher quality.




Choose a Material.There are three main broad types of bottle; plastic, glass and increasingly metal and which you choose largely depends on where in the market your product is pitched. Plastic is the most common choice because it’s usually the cheapest and most versatile but a glass or aluminium bottle have a new level of class and enables the product to command a premium price.

Also the contents need to be assessed for their compatibility, certain solvents, emollients or oils can degrade the integrity of some plastics. Your chemical supplier should have data on this or simply put the ingredient in a sample bottle and see if there’s any change in either after a couple of weeks.

Colour and Clarity. 

Colour and Clarity.Colour can add a touch of elegance or totally overdo it and look gaudy and tacky. Black, white or off-white are the safe choices, brash and bright can work in certain cases but it’s a bold choice which can backfire.

A clear container can also be a risky choice as the colour of the product is visible which can remove uniformity if you have a range, it’s also very unforgiving of batch and fill level differences.

Also a matte bottle can add a certain subtlety that’s lacking in a gloss finish.


Dependent on the product or your preference you may need a square bottle or a tube rather than the usual cylindrical shape. Many shapes are available, but usually they are more expensive and cause other issues. A tapered shape bottle will need a tapered shape label for successful application, otherwise the label will pucker once applied.

Other Factors.

Individual situations are all different and often a difficult, game changing issue in one case can be a simple affair in others but generally other factors that would influence your choice include: 

  • Filling. Is the aperture of the neck wide enough for the viscosity of the product?

  • Display. Will your choice stack or look right with others in the range?

  • Price. Obviously there needs to be room in your margins for your choice.

  • Stock bottles can be cheaper than custom unless bought in large volumes.


Cosmetic Formula Calculator and Unit Converter.



Please make use of our Handy Calculators. The first one will convert inches to mm and a few other units. The second one will calculate amounts to be added in several different units from a percentage formula, so let's say you need 200 litres of a particular type of shampoo, just put the percentage formula into the calculator by adding each ingredient in turn and it'll do the rest. You can export the sheet to a pdf file for printing and working off.

Convert Inches to Millimetres (mm)

Please enter the length in inches and click Get Results.

Inches converter

Get results


Formula Calculator.

Please enter the total amount required and the units of measurement, then add each ingredient with its percentage.

1000 g
0 g
Total: 100% 1000 g
Add ingredient



How to Measure the Label Size of Bottles.



At some point you’ll have to decide how much of the bottle to cover with a label. Several factors can go into this decision which we’ll get to but for starters it’s useful to know what you’ve got available. 

The easiest way, is to print out our handy ruler and wrap it round whatever shaped bottles are in the frame. The bottle manufacturer will also have this information but there’s nothing like visualising and you may only want to go part way round. If you’re looking for a full wrap around, add 5mm to your end measurement this will ensure no visible gap. Make a note of your bottles dimensions, easy! 



Click above to download the handy ruler in pdf format and print it at 100% scale. Please install Adobe Acrobat Reader if you haven’t got it already.

Here’s a quick video to show you the measuring technique. 


Ruler Download>>

There are many factors to be considered and choices to be made before you end up with the perfect label for your beautiful products and make them fly off the shelves.

Read on and discover how to wow your audience and create perfection. We’ll cover graphic design, colour combination, fonts, label finish and material. Labelling legislation is a complex subject so we go into it in great detail along with a section with downloadable symbol artwork for you to download as needed. Keep going and you’ll reach more help on other aspects like size, shape and adhesive choice.

Further in this article you'll find a video to help with applying the finished product, stick with it and you’ll be an expert in no time.


Next Up - Label Design >>