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The Best Way to Ship: Makeup and Cosmetics

Updated: May 11, 2023


White text saying "The Best Way to Ship Makeup and Cosmetics". In the background, there's a small makeup palette with a mirror. alongside brushes.

In 2023, US shoppers are expected to spend nearly $25 billion on cosmetics online. The eCommerce cosmetics industry is booming. And you want your store to be in on those profits. But in order to do that - you first need to make sure you’re getting the most out of your shipping. By knowing the best way to ship cosmetics and makeup, you can save a heap of money and maximize your margins. Oh, and avoid nasty accidents in the shipping process!



In this post you’ll find answers to all your burning questions, including:




Without further ado, let's dive in…



Can You Ship Makeup and Cosmetics With USPS?


In short, yes - you can ship makeup and cosmetics with USPS. However, there are restrictions on hazardous and flammable materials. For example, nail polish and perfumes are considered hazardous and flammable. USPS has instructions on how to package these liquids, as well as specific rules for mailing liquids in general.


What service can you use? Well, if your nail polish or perfume is less than 30ml, it’s ok to use any domestic service. They’ll just need a “Dangerous Goods in Excepted Quantities” and “Class 3 Flammable Liquid” sticker. But if the liquid exceeds 30ml, you’re going to have to use USPS Parcel Select or Retail Ground.



Nail polish bottle with pink polish to show that makeup and cosmetics products like this are hazardous to ship.


Can You Ship Makeup and Cosmetics with UPS?


Much like USPS, makeup and cosmetics can be shipped through UPS by following certain guidelines. UPS has specific rules for packing and labeling hazardous liquids to be shipped via ground or air services. And to help shippers see what guidelines they need to follow, they also have a Dangerous Good Acceptance Tool.



5 Tips to Safely Package Makeup and Cosmetics for Shipping



An array of makeup and cosmetics products that are ready to ship against a white background. This includes pastel colored palettes, red lipstick, silver eyeliner bottles and brushes of varying sizes.


1. Seal liquids with waterproof tape and use a leak-proof bag


If you’re shipping liquids or gels, be sure to seal lids of bottles and containers with water-proof tape. After that, pop your product in a leak-proof bag. This will help you prevent the thing neither you nor your carrier wants - the nightmare of leakages and spillages! You can simply use a Ziploc bag. Or, alternatively, a plastic bag with an adhesive seal.


2. Add thermal bubble wrap to protect from extreme temperatures


Nobody wants their cosmetics to end up like The Wicked Witch of the West…





Adding thermal bubble wrap to items that are impacted by extreme temperatures can help prevent a melting mess. It can also add an additional layer of padding and ensure product packaging doesn't break in-transit. So, if you ship makeup or cosmetics that are heat sensitive, it would be very wise to use it. This way, you assure that your customers don’t have an unpleasant unboxing experience!


3. Wrap fragile makeup palettes at least 4x


Items like pressed powder and eyeshadow palettes often come in fragile packaging. So they need a little extra protection. Use a decent amount of bubble wrap for these products. We recommend wrapping your palette at least 4 times. It may seem extreme - but without it, these products are super damage prone.


4. Go for a double-walled corrugated box


When it comes to your packaging, go for a doubled-walled corrugated box. They’re the box of choice for many who ship cosmetics. Mainly because they’re sturdy, and therefore provide the best protection for fragile items like makeup.

Oh, and remember to select a size that leaves space for interior packaging and in-filler. Double-walled boxes may be tough, but you’ll still need some more padding.


5. Provide extra protection with packing peanuts or kraft paper


Leave a little breathing room between your wrapped product and your shipping box. Then, fill the space with biodegradable packing peanuts or shredded kraft paper. This will add another layer of protection to your package. And if your box takes a hit while in-transit, the extra filler will help prevent damage to your product.



Will I Need Shipping Insurance?



Black bubble mailer with red and white fragile sticker.


Cosmetics products are usually fragile. That means they’re also more likely to get damaged in-transit. So getting shipping insurance for each of your packages is well worth it. Yes, insurance may cost extra (unless your package's contents are $100 or under - certain carriers include insurance for free). But replacing and resending your products regularly will cost more.



What’s the Cheapest Way to Ship Makeup?


USPS is the most affordable way to ship makeup and cosmetics. In fact, USPS is the perfect choice for shipping any products that are small and lighter than 2lb. For cosmetics items under 1lb, use the USPS First Class Service. And for anything over 1lb, USPS Priority Mail is your go-to.


If, for whatever reason, you’re shipping a large box of cosmetics (say over 2lb) - UPS Ground is also an affordable option. Especially if you’re a Ship.com user. With Ship.com, makeup merchants can save up to 78% off UPS Ground shipping. As well as up to 84% off USPS retail prices.



Did you know 👉: Because of these hefty discounts, Ship.com saved small business owners nearly $2 million in 2022! It’s probably why Ship.com scores 4.9 / 5 ⭐ from over 350 Trustpilot reviews. That and the awesome customer service, of course. 😉


Conclusion - If You Ship Makeup and Cosmetic Products - Care and Preparation is Key


To ship makeup and cosmetics in the best way possible, it takes care and preparation. Cosmetics products are fragile and sometimes, hazardous. So they need to be packed in the right way to meet carrier requirements and prevent damage to your products. Damage that could result in you having to resend items. But now you know how to pack and ship your items properly, you can avoid unwanted accidents and save money on shipping!

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