10 cosmetic packaging design examples to make you swoon

Did you know that one in three buying decisions are based solely on the product packaging? 

That’s a pretty big incentive to invest in your packaging design.

But in regulated industries like health and beauty, towing the line between innovative and compliant can be tricky.

This is what I’ll be unboxing in this article.

Together, we’ll swoon over 10 incredible cosmetic packaging design examples and address some of the biggest challenges the beauty industry faces. 

10 beautiful cosmetic packaging design ideas

I’m every marketer’s dream. You show me some pretty packaging, and I’m buying it (writing this may bankrupt me). That means I know a thing or two about the latest cosmetics packaging trends.

From classy, monochrome packaging designs to cute pop art packaging, top-tier presentation is the best way to show off your brand personality. And differentiate yourself in a crowded market.

Keep reading for 10 of my absolute favorite cosmetics packaging designs. 

1. Minimalist cosmetic packaging design

A survey by Oceana revealed that 87% of consumers want major online retailers to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use.

Minimalist cosmetics packaging is one way to achieve this.

I love the minimalistic design and understated look of skincare brands like Rén.

Not only does it use refillable glass bottles, bamboo lids, and simple labels, but it stopped producing single-use sample sachets back in 2018. It now uses a 100% recycled and recyclable aluminum sample tube.

Rén is a natural cosmetics brand with minimalist packaging design

Source: https://www.renskincare.com/pages/zero-waste 

You see minimalist doesn’t just mean clean lines and chic presentation. It’s a pledge to use as few materials as possible.

I also love how many different spins there are on the minimalist look.

Take Luzern Labs.

It expertly nails the whole “quiet luxury” vibe with beautiful and sustainable cosmetics containers that look oh-so sophisticated on your bathroom shelf.

Luzern Labs has a beautiful white cosmetics packaging.

Source: https://luzernlabs.com/ 

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2. Bold and edgy packaging design

On a shelf full of chic cosmetics packaging, why not bring the drama? If your whole brand identity is alternative and disruptive, your packaging designs should be too.

That’s exactly why I adore LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs. 

It knows who its audience is (alternative folks, stage performers, makeup artists, and everybody in between), and it reflects this in its product packaging.

Think theatrical dark colors, holograms, bullet-shaped lipsticks, and coffin-shaped palettes. 

 LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs is one of the most exciting cosmetics brands.

Source: https://www.lunaticklabs.com/Eyes_c_9.html 

If we’ve learned anything from Rihanna, “bold” doesn’t always have to mean vibrant colors and out-there designs. It can also mean having a powerful message.

Rihanna’s makeup brand, Fenty Beauty, disrupted the cosmetics industry with its commitment to inclusivity and airtight positioning. It’s also behind one of my all-time favorite beauty ads.

And while the product packaging uses neutral colors and sleek minimalist details, it packs a huge design punch.

Fenty Beauty uses unexpected shapes and design elements to give its products an edge. 

The result is a truly authentic combination of soft and sharp. 🤌

Fenty Beauty uses bold design elements to make its packaging pop.

Source: https://fentybeauty.com/en-es/collections/bestsellers 

3. Gender-neutral and inclusive packaging design

I think it’s safe to say that today’s beauty consumers have moved past the stereotypical gendered designs of the past.

We’re now seeing beauty packaging in universal colors and clean, genderless designs.

One of my favorite examples is the groundbreaking skincare brand Non Gender Specific. And it really does what it says on the tin.

The brand’s mission is to break conventional norms in the beauty and cosmetics world. It embraces inclusivity and sustainability with plant-powered products and genderless packaging.

The designs are sleek with a modern twist.

Non Gender Specific uses cool black packaging in its cosmetics line.

Source: https://www.nongenderspecific.com/shop 

And just to show that genderless designs don’t have to be neutral, we have Harry Styles’ brand Pleasing.

The brand is all about being yourself, no matter your gender or sexuality, and rejecting the idea of perfection.

Gloriously colorful and playful designs? Experimental and empowering packaging design? You go, Harry!

packaging design for Pleasing has a unique pop art feel.

Source: https://pleasing.com/collections/pleasing-nail-polish 

4. Personalized cosmetics packaging

Today’s consumers want more custom beauty products, Vogue Business revealed recently.

And cosmetics brand Function of Beauty is delivering.

It offers personalized haircare products to match each individual’s needs, with custom labels featuring the person’s name and hair profile. Plus, the pastel packaging makes a beautiful addition to any shower caddy.

The packaging design for Function of Beauty is clean and personalized.

Source: https://functionofbeauty.com/ 

5. Campy and nostalgic packaging design

Clean beauty, minimalist designs, understated elegance … these are timeless trends in the cosmetics industry.

But what if you’re a “more is more” type of person like me?

Enter Trixie Cosmetics.

This makeup line was created by famous drag queen Trixie Mattel, who’s known for her Barbie obsession and overstated face beats. And there’s certainly a nod to the toy aesthetic.

What you may not know is that Trixie used to be a makeup artist, so she knows her way around a great formula.

The end result is a campy, playful packaging design strategy full of bright colors and quirky illustrations. 

You can find playful shapes, funny cultural references, and lots and lots of glitter. 🪩

Trixie Cosmetics is one of the most kitsch cosmetics labels around.

Source: https://trixiecosmetics.com/collections/face 

And if you’ve ever wondered why more cosmetics packaging doesn’t have a dinosaur theme, then K-Pop beauty brand Too Cool For School might be more your vibe.

In true Korean style, its packaging is whimsical, quirky, and playful. And yes, it even has a “Dinoplatz” beauty line for all you T-Rex fans out there. 

Too Cool For School's cosmetics line has great packagingn designs.

Source: https://toocoolforschool.us/collections/all?page=2 

6. Sustainable beauty packaging design

A McKinsey &  Company report revealed that over 60% of consumers worldwide are willing to pay more for sustainably packaged products.

At the same time, just 14% of consumers think brands are doing enough to reduce the environmental impact of packaging.

The big takeaway? Sustainable cosmetic packaging designs are the future.

Just look at brands like Ilia Beauty.

It’s all about sustainable packaging and clean beauty. The packaging reflects this, using recycled cardboard tubes and refillable metal tins. It also partners with Pact Collective so consumers can mail up to 10 empty beauty containers every month to be recycled.

I love how the beautiful, minimal artwork and packaging materials mirror this commitment to sustainability. 

Ilia Beauty's product packaging perfectly reflects it brand personality.

Source: https://iliabeauty.com/ 

I also want to give a special shout-out to the cruelty-free and vegan makeup brand Axiology. 

You can feel the eco-love in every part of the packaging, from the recycled materials made from Bali’s paper waste to the earthly color palette.

These eco-friendly crayons use a tubeless application for minimal environmental impact. Genius!

Axiology's design packaging uses natural elements, embracing the bold pattern trend.

Source: https://axiologybeauty.com/products/super-fan-pack-vegan-balmies  

7. Color-changing packaging design

Listen, I probably love mood rings more than the average person, which may explain my obsession with color-changing makeup packaging. 

I especially love the Dior Addict Lip Glow.

Its “color reviver technology” means that when it interacts with your lips’ moisture levels, it creates a custom color. Sorcery!

The packaging itself is a beautifully understated light pink tube which gives off an approachable yet luxurious look.

And you have the option to add a personalized engraving with your name, date, or special message. 

Dior's cosmetics packaging is chic and sophisticated.

Source: https://www.dior.com/en_us/beauty/makeup/dlp_makeup_beaume_a_levres_dior_addict_lipglow.html 

But the one that really blew my socks off? Blue Lizard’s color-shifting sun care bottle.

The Aussie sunscreen brand’s CEO came up with the idea in a bid to make consumers aware of passive UVA exposure.

Every bottle and tub cap changes color when it’s exposed to harmful UV light, reminding consumers that their skin is at risk.

Blue Lizard's packaging design is changing the game.

Source: https://bluelizardsunscreen.com/pages/safe-in-the-sun 

8. Stackable beauty packaging design

Really great cosmetic packaging design solves a problem, first and foremost. It needs to be functional enough to keep your beauty products fresh and protected, but also cute enough that you like having it in your makeup stash.

The best designs make your life easier.

That’s why I am a huge fan of makeup brand subtl staks. You can build your own custom beauty stak complete with a mirrored lid and mini brush.

All the formulas are cruelty-free, and the shades are gorgeous. But let’s get back to the packaging design. 

The staks are perfect for traveling, touching up your makeup on the go, or downsizing your collection of products. And once you’re done, you can simply refill your stak.

Stackable products is one of the latest cosmetics packaging trends.

Source: https://subtlbeauty.com/ 

9. Luxurious cosmetic packaging

When I think of great packaging, Guerlain always springs to mind. It’s a high-end brand, and the packaging design reflects this. 

I love the timeless design elements, clean lines, intricate patterns, and embossed logos. 

Everything is made with high-quality materials and lux gold accents and textures, giving a nod to its French heritage. The signature terracotta packaging color screams luxury, too.

Plus, it makes the inside of our bathroom cabinets look très chic.

Source: https://www.guerlain.com/us/en-us/makeup/face/bronzer/ 

10. Science-backed

The lines are blurring between the skincare and beauty industry. And you can see this in the latest cosmetic packaging trends.

Beauty brands like FARSÁLI and Milk Makeup are using high-tech packaging and formulas to compete with what the skincare industry has been doing for years.

Let’s look at Milk Makeup.

Not only is the brand smashing the bold font trend and giving us incredible makeup formulas, but it’s bringing the tech too.

Its Cooling Water under-eye gel comes in a double-walled container with a metal rollball applicator for a cooling effect.

A container that actually enhances the product? Now that’s truly great packaging.

Milk Makeup uses innovative cosmetic packaging.

Source: https://milkmakeup.com/products/vegan-milk-moisturizer?variant=full 

FÁRSALI is known for its thoughtfully formulated skin care products and sustainable cosmetic packaging. It prioritizes transparency and takes a “no BS” approach.

But what I really love is its high-tech packaging design.

Many of its products come in bottles with airless pumps and droppers that prioritize keeping it fresh.

The transparent design elements and clear labeling reflect the brand’s commitment to honesty and functionality.

FÁRSALI's commitment to transparency and functionality is clear throughout the design process.

Source: https://www.farsali.com/collections/revival 

Challenges in cosmetic packaging design and how to overcome them

As the beauty and healthcare industries merge more and more, companies face new challenges when it comes to their packaging design process.

Here’s a closer look at the biggest pain points and how to overcome them.

1. Regulatory compliance headaches

It’s not glamorous, it’s not exciting, it’s every creative’s nightmare. You guessed it … it’s regulatory compliance.

As a regulated industry, cosmetics packaging needs to align with laws and standards. From false advertising rules to health and safety, your product can’t just be eye-catching. It has to be legally vetted too.

It’s a tug-of-war as old as time. Creatives come up with cutting-edge cosmetics packaging designs, and legal teams bury them. 

So, what’s the fix?

An online proofing platform can help you strike that perfect balance between creativity and compliance.

For example, with Filestage, you can:

  • Invite reviewers at different phases of creative projects
  • Streamline the feedback process for artwork and packaging designs, along with all your other promo content (no more giant email threads)
  • Consolidate all feedback and content versions in one accessible place
  • Keep a track record of all revisions on a single deliverable
  • Compare versions side-by-side to spot design flaws and errors
  • Keep your legal teams happy with a full audit trail
  • Optimize your packaging approval process
Filestage file overview

The fast way to get feedback on packaging

Get clear and collaborative comments right on top of your packaging artwork.

2. Balancing creativity and functionality

We’ve seen the battle between creativity and compliance. Now it’s time for round two: creativity vs. functionality.

Cosmetics packaging comes with a specific set of functionality challenges. Since many beauty products tend to oxidize, degrade, or get contaminated easily, the packaging must work hard to combat these issues.

That’s not to mention how tricky it is to create cute beauty packaging that protects its fragile contents.

All of this means you’ve got to start with function over form. 

After all, you can always sprinkle some creative genius over your packaging design once you’re sure it does its job.

Investing in innovative materials and multi-functional designs can help you come out on top here. So can extensive user testing to make sure your packaging hits the mark in both function and creativity.

3. Sustainability issues

We’ve already seen the stats. Our consumers want sustainable packaging design. And for some, it’s a deal-breaker.

What does that mean for your cosmetics packaging?

It means you need a sustainability strategy to ensure your brand is doing enough. For example:

  • Using eco-friendly packaging (biodegradable, recyclable, reusable materials)
  • Minimizing the amount of materials in your cosmetics packaging (if your lipstick tube is made from plastic and metal, these materials don’t mix during recycling)
  • Looking for alternatives to single-use packaging
  • Collaborating with recycling partners to reduce the amount of packaging ending up in landfills
  • Being transparent with your product labeling and your sustainability efforts

Interestingly, Trivium Packaging’s 2023 Buying Green Report showed that 46% of consumers said unclear package labeling is the biggest barrier to purchasing a product.

Cosmetic packaging FAQs

How can brands create packaging that’s both creative and compliant?

It’s all about striking the right balance between creativity and compliance when designing packaging for a beauty or cosmetics line.

 Here are some factors to consider during the design process:

  • Experiment with innovative packaging materials that make your product stand out from the competition
  • Prioritize clear labeling in legible fonts to meet regulatory requirements, then add a creative touch with interesting shapes or materials
  • Use an online proofing tool to build a robust review and approval process (reducing the risk of compliance issues)

What are the biggest trends in cosmetic packaging?

The cosmetics industry moves fast, so it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and best practices. 

Here’s what’s big in cosmetic packaging right now:

  • Sustainable packaging materials and refillable products
  • Smart packaging that keeps products fresh
  • Brand design that focuses on storytelling
  • Personalized product packaging
  • Genderless product packaging is overtaking the playful and dreamy look

How can I grab my customer’s attention with my logo design?

The secret to grabbing your customer’s attention is all in the brand design. Here are some ideas to help your product stand out on the shelf:

  • Go for a simple but memorable logo design
  • Your logo should reflect your brand identity and values – so if you’re a clean beauty brand, try incorporating natural elements
  • Use color psychology during the design process to make sure your logo aligns with your brand message
  • Don’t be afraid of negative space

Next steps

I hope these cosmetic packaging design examples have inspired you to go forth and make bold decisions. Today’s consumers expect more from the brands they buy from. They want eco-friendly materials, innovative designs, and packaging that speaks to their soul. 

To achieve this, you need the right tools in your arsenal. 

An online proofing platform is a tried-and-tested companion to your packaging design software, helping you create a smooth and compliant review and approval process. 

Grab a free Filestage trial today to get your best packaging designs approved without compliance headaches.