Brands have just 20 seconds to make an impression in-store: Here's how you can do this

Published: 15-Sep-2023

Expert Labels have been helping cosmetics brands make the most of those 20 seconds since 1995

Cosmetic Labels

Neilson, the well known market research company, found that 70% of consumers’ in-store purchase decisions are made at the shelf. They went on to say that, at best, a brand has just 20 seconds to make an impression.

Expert Labels have been helping cosmetics brands make the most of those 20 seconds since 1995.

But whilst impact makes the sale - there are other things to think about.

Here’s a guide for what to look out for.

Think Label Material Before You Think Design

Jumping straight into the design of your label can be exciting. However, your label has a number of important jobs to do. Labels for cosmetics need to resist moisture and oils. They also need to be able to stand up to a lot of handling, so making sure the label stays in place, doesn’t easily tear, scratch or wrinkle is vital to your customer’s brand experience. Testing materials is essential. Ask us for a sample pack so you can choose the best material for your label.

Colour is critical

Brands have just 20 seconds to make an impression in-store: Here's how you can do this

Skin tones and accurate colour for make-up or nail polishes is crucial in guiding your customers to their choice. This means your label partner must be able to accurately reproduce your product colours. They help you choose the correct inks and coatings to ensure your label perfectly represents and showcases your product at its very best. This is difficult though. Using pantone and CMYK colour references can subtly change when printed on the final material and when varnished or finished. Approach your first batch of labels with an experimental mindset. Order a lower volume of labels so you can tweak the colours if you need to in later batches of labels.


Your labels need to include ingredients and consumer warnings by law - and if you’re selling across different countries these regulations change depending on the country. Peel and reveal labels might be the solution helping you meet your legal duties. Peel and reveal labels are multi-page labels, lightly glued together so they peel away to reveal an additional layer of information. There are limitations to the number of pages and the label materials you can have with Peel and Reveal labels - check at the start of your label design process.

Product Quality Assumptions are Made Based on the Quality of Marketing and Labelling

We all make assumptions about the quality of a product based on the quality of the marketing, labelling or packaging. If you’re not competing with the cheapest products in the market then it’s all about your branding and packaging. We can help you create that premium, luxury look and, just as importantly, feel.

There are many materials that can achieve this from clear labels with a crisp design to eye-catching bright colours. Adding metallic foil finishes instantly adds luxury in the minds of buyers. Spot varnishes and interesting textures almost compel shoppers to pick up your product. Add an intriguing brand story to your labelling and you have a recipe for success.

Describing the look and feel of a label is no substitute for touch - ask us for a sample pack to see what you could add to your labels.

Brand Values

Your labels need to reflect your brand values. For example, if your products are acrylic and high gloss, that needs to be reflected in your packaging and labelling. If your product is 100% natural or kind to the environment, your packaging should be too - it makes your brand become stronger and trustworthy.

What You Need to Know About Sustainability

PDI’s “Business of Sustainability Index” shows that a majority of consumers, especially young (18-30) consumers, want to work with sustainable brands and they’re willing to pay for that. The consumer (and business) market is engaging more with brands that are cutting down on packaging and using packaging that is easily recycled – this includes labels too. Picking your way through the sustainability maze is something we can help you with.

Brands have just 20 seconds to make an impression in-store: Here's how you can do this

We love sharing our knowledge and experience with customers. Please contact us at Expert Labels or phone 01359 271 111 and let our experts help you on your labelling journey.

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