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Investing in Beauty Business: What is The Right Cost?

Investing in Beauty Business: What is The Right Cost?

Career Katrina
Career Katrina

India is seeing an uptick in the number of entrepreneurs, especially after the pandemic hit. The reasons being - the world of online opened up in ways unimagined, people moved to their home towns and natives due to extended work from homes, ample time in hand due to lockdowns, and more. The rise of the online world also helped people take up skills that they did not have time to learn earlier. Makeup is one such skill. The beauty business has stayed resilient in these times, albeit with changing norms. A lot of homemakers and professionals started their salons, parlors, or makeup businesses during this time and gained success. If you are considering investing in the beauty business but are wondering, how much capital you need, read on. In this article, we will talk about the right cost of investing in the beauty business.

Understanding the multiple facets of the beauty world and how much to invest in them

In the beauty business, there are various possibilities to invest. Starting from an at-home beauty parlor to a big franchise, you can choose to invest in them basis the capital you have, your competence, resources, and the time you can invest.

Let’s take a look at some of these options and the investments that are required for each. (*Assuming that you have gone through a professional make-up course, so we will not consider the cost of that)

Freelance - make-up artist (Bridal, celebrity, events, etc.)

As a freelance make-up artist you will need the following in your toolkit: most importantly a make-up kit, a portfolio, website, and a Social Media presence.

Needless to say, the most important part of the business as a Makeup artist is a makeup kit. This is a cost that you will have to invest in on a recurring basis. Any good makeup kit will cost you somewhere between 10,000/- 20,000/ and above. This cost will change according to the kind of freelancing you are doing - bridal, fashion photoshoots, events, etc. While there are cheaper options available too, you should ensure that the makeup kit you use should be of the highest quality. In the new normal your makeup kit should also include things like a face mask, face shield, gloves, sanitizers, etc.

The foundation for becoming a freelance makeup artist will start in parallel with your professional make-up course. If you are planning to become a freelance make-up artist you should start building your portfolio right from joining the makeup course. If you don’t want to invest in the hard copy of a portfolio, then online medium world just as well especially your Instagram account. All you will need is a good camera (mobile phone camera with high resolution will also work), and some lights.

Next up you will need a basic website, that also you can wait to create in the initial phases. You will easily be able to book clients through your social media handles and call to action available on those.

So the approximate cost of starting as a freelancer will be - Makeup kit + Hygiene kit - 20,000/- (or 10,000/-) + basic lights for photography to create your social media portfolio - 500/- (approx).

= 11000/- to 20000/- and above.

Other costs that you can also include on a case to case basis will be transportation

At a later point, you will also need to create a website. A basic website can cost you somewhere in between 10000/- to 15000/-.

At-home or a small beauty parlor

If you are from a 2-tier city, you must have visited the at-home parlor of your neighborhood aunty. Those were the days when you could start with a basic hairdryer, some cosmetics, some skincare, facial, waxing products, etc. The times have changed, while at-home parlor is something that people are still starting, the ‘jugad’ (hacks) doesn’t work. If you are planning to start an at-home parlor you will need the below:

  • A room that can be converted into a mini parlor
  • Equipment like furniture, skincare tools like waxing heater, steamer, hairdryer, etc. All of this all together can come up to
  • Cosmetics, makeup kits, skincare products, etc.

All this will come around 40000/- to 50000/- depending on the quality of products and the kind of setup the investment can vary.

If you don’t have a space in the house then you will have to look for a space for rent. The investment of that will depend on the location, the size, the city or town, etc.

If you planning to open a small salon, the investment will higher.

This will include the following:

  • Infrastructure - place, furniture, electrical equipment, maintenance cost, rent, etc.
  • Utilities
  • Raw Materials - cosmetics, make-up kits, skincare products, and kits, etc.
  • Beauty Equipment
  • Salaries -receptionist, make-up/salon professionals, housekeeping, etc.
  • Administration Expenses
  • If you have taken a loan then interest on loan too will come under your costs
  • At a later point, if and whenever your parlor income crosses 20 lakhs per year, you must register for GST.

Opening a salon with all these cost heads can cost you anywhere between 15 Lacs to 20 Lacs.

It is advisable to start with small investments from home (or a rented place) or as a freelancer, build a good portfolio, loyal customer base and then move into opening a salon business.

Beauty franchise

Another model that you can invest in is becoming a franchisee of large chains like Lakme, Naturals, Shehnaz Hussain, etc. The benefit of this model is that you will not have to wait to build a brand and then get a customer, you will get that with the brand. However, this model will require a substantial amount of investment anywhere from - 20 lacs and upwards. Here is how much it might cost to become a franchisee of some famous beauty brands.


To own a Lakme franchise the initial investments that will be required will be somewhere between 50 - 60 Lacs. This will include the area for a Lakme franchise (900 to 1,200 square feet), expenses like interior decoration, franchise fee, furniture, and equipment, etc. To become a Lakme franchisee you will also have to sign a franchise agreement with the company for a duration of 5 years.

Information source -

Shahnaz Husain

To become a franchise of Shahnaz Husain beauty parlor or training institute the investment required will be about 20 lakhs which will include franchise deposit, furniture, fixture cost, interiors, and costs to establish the parlor.

Other basic requirements to become a Shehnaz Husain franchise is a minimum floor area not less than 1000 sq feet and the area should be easily approachable and accessible.

Information source -


Juice is one of the leading and premium salons associated with the glamour industry. To become a Juice franchise the initial investment will be a minimum of 50 Lakhs. However, Juice operates mostly in metros or upcoming metros of India.

Information source -

Wrapping up

If you are passionate about the beauty industry there are myriad options available. It is always better to test the waters with small investments before going bog. At VahVah, in the last year, we have trained thousands of students through the online medium. A lot of them have now established their successful businesses. If you are interested in learning from the best industry experts and becoming a successful makeup artist - join our course or request a free demo.