What Are the Different Types of Cosmetics Packaging?

Alex Tree

Tubes, compacts, and roller ball containers are some different types of cosmetics packaging. Lipsticks and lip glosses are found in tubes, while powder and cream makeup is typically found in compact containers. Small roller balls are primarily used to house perfumes or deodorants. Mascara and sometimes lip stick or gloss are found in vials with a brush attached to the cap. In addition, perfumes and body sprays can be found in small spray bottles.

A woman applies lipstick, which comes in a unique type of packaging.
A woman applies lipstick, which comes in a unique type of packaging.

Cylindrical tubes are commonly used to store lipsticks and lip glosses. They are usually made from metal, plastic, or a combination of both materials. These tubes can be twisted to push up the product it is meant to contain and can come in many different colors, sizes, and styles. Sometimes similar tubes are used to hide other products, like pepper spray, since many people associate this kind of tube with makeup rather than objects used to self defense.

Cylindrical cosmetics tubes may be used to hide self-defense products like pepper spray.
Cylindrical cosmetics tubes may be used to hide self-defense products like pepper spray.

Compacts are small containers made to hold a powder or cream. They usually have a lid that flips open and sometimes contains a mirror to help apply the product. Compacts can also come with brushes to give the consumer everything he or she needs to put the product on on-the-go. Foundation, blush, and eyeshadow are commonly sold in compact containers.

Deodorant in roller ball packaging.
Deodorant in roller ball packaging.

Roller balls are cosmetics packaging used to store perfumes or deodorants. When storing perfumes, the packaging is typically made out of metal, glass, or plastic. The tip of the container has a small ball that comes into contact with the product on one side and can be rolled onto the skin to apply the product. This kind of cosmetics packaging is about the size of a cylindrical tube used for lipstick or sometimes smaller.

Lipstick or gloss and mascara usually has rather unique cosmetics packaging overall. They are typically put in small vials that are closed with a twist-cap. A brush is attached to the cap to apply the product, and because of its permanent attachment to the cap, it is always in the product and ready to use. Metal, glass, and plastic are common materials used to make these containers.

Small or mini spray bottles meant for a handbag are often used to store cosmetics. In general, a lot of expensive perfumes come in small bottles to be more affordable for the masses. Sometimes mini spray bottles are also used for trial-sized bottles of fragrances. These different types of cosmetic packaging come in various sizes, colors, and shapes.

Some cosmetics companies formulate and package their products using paraben-free and organic ingredients.
Some cosmetics companies formulate and package their products using paraben-free and organic ingredients.

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Discussion Comments


@indemnifyme - Nice. I've seen a knife concealed in a lipstick tube before but never pepper spray. I may have to look into this.

My favorite cosmetic packaging is when something is packaged so you can see the makeup. Clear tubes of lip gloss and eye shadow cases with clear tops are my favorites. It makes me happy when I open my makeup bag and instantly see all the pretty colors!


@Sara007 - I know MAC does something similar-they have magnetized palettes for eye shadow that you can just keep buying refills for. I believe they also give you a discount if you bring in your empty makeup packaging for recycling. I really like when companies do stuff like that!

I also like weapons concealed in makeup packaging too. I have a lipstick-pepper spray that I carry in my purse all the time. Luckily, I don't normally wear lipstick so I don't have to worry about getting it mixed up with my normal cosmetics. It makes me feel safe, and it's small enough for me to carry it in my pocket if I have to walk in from my car at night.


For me it is always an added bonus when you buy one of your favorite cosmetics and they include a trial size with it.

I will save these and use them when I fly so I don't have to worry about taking large bottles of product with me on the airplane.

I never gave much thought to the cost of packaging cosmetics until I started making some of my own skin care products at home.

I found some good online companies to order my packaging products from, but if you aren't buying in bulk, it can significantly increase the expenses you have in your products.

It doesn't cost very much to buy a few tubes of lip balm, but by the time you pay for shipping, you really have to start taking the cost of packaging into consideration.


If you want to help the environment you can now buy cosmetics packaging that is made from recycled products. The line of cosmetics I buy packages all of their goods in a kind of heavy cardboard that is made from recycled paper.

The cosmetics have a very rustic feel to them, but I like that I am not making more trash that has to head into a landfill, and that I am using something made from reused materials.

The cosmetics themselves are also all natural, so I don't have to worry about any nasty chemicals or allergens. I think that is really important considering you are putting the products on your face.


I love the cosmetics packaging that Mary Kay came out with a few years ago. It is a bit expensive to buy the original compact, but all of the eyeshadow and blushes et cetera, that you put into it are magnetized. This means that you can still have gorgeous packing, but when one thing runs out, you can simply replace a small part of the compact, without having to toss the whole thing.

I think what Mary Kay did with their cosmetics was brilliant because it showed that they really care about the environment, and quality makeup. Plus, the whole idea of making a compact completely customizable was brilliant.

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