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Cosmetica Laboratories opens innovation hub in California

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Product development R&D Cosmetica Labs Innovation Indie beauty Chemistry

In late September, the Canadian beauty maker cut the ribbon on a new product development facility meant to bring the company closer to indie beauty brands innovating for the future of cosmetics and skin care. Cosmetics Design editor Deanna Utroske recently toured the new Cosmetica space to learn more.

“LA seems to have a lot of the new innovation, the disruptors, the indies, and we want to be a part of it,”​ says Shannaz Schopfer, general manager of the Cosmetica Labs new Innovation Hub in the greater Los Angeles, California, area.

For Cosmetica, the innovation hub isn’t a new business per se but rather business as usual in a new place. The company is well known for its color cosmetics capabilities and has in recent years expanded into skin care manufacturing as well. “Cosmetica has always prided itself on our innovation, swift execution, and unparalleled customer service,”​ Kathie Elliot, VP of sales, marketing, and product development at Cosmetica tells the press, in a media release about the new US facility.

“Our international expansion,” ​adds Elliot, “will offer additional services such as more flexibility in sampling and smaller batch orders with even faster turnaround times. The LA hub allows us to be a full value partner by offering agility, quality, and innovation to ensure client success.”

Collaborators and creators

Schopfer began hiring her team in April and there are now 6 people working at the LA-area Cosmetica Labs Innovation Hub (that number will soon be 7), she tells

And the chemists and product development pros she has hired are working side-by-side with indie brand founders and leaders of legacy brands as well. When asked if the labs at the new facility are chemist-only spaces or if beauty entrepreneurs and other Cosmetica clients could venture in, Schopfer is adamant: “We want them in the [lab] space. We do talk about the [product] development in our beautiful creative area…[and] we want them to be a part of the process. We want them to see how the machines work. We want them to be there to look at color shading, color matching. We want them to test the viscosity of something immediately when it comes off the machine. We really want them to be a part of it.”

The Innovation Hub can produce about 400 pieces of any given product for sampling or focus-group testing, but commercial scale production happens at company headquarters in Toronto, Canada.

And of course, innovation happens at that facility as well. The Cosmetica Labs hq launches 2 innovation boxes each year as well as 4 or more curated trend boxes annually.

The innovation boxes showcase some 6 -12 products that will meet beauty consumer expectations in the future; they are developed to be ahead of the trends and are shown at tradeshows like MakeUp in LA and Cosmoprof North America, explains Schopfer.

The formulations Cosmetica showcases in each new innovation box are free of cyclosiloxanes D4, D5, and D6, Schopfer tells Cosmetics Design. When there is palm oil in a formulation, it is RSPO certified palm oil. There is no plastic glitter; and the products are made to be as clean as possible. (Read more about the industry’s shift away from plastic glitter here on

Cosmetica also creates 4 - 6 trend boxes each year. These boxes feature a collection of cleverly repurposed product formulations drawn from the Cosmetica formulations library and are focused on currently trending concepts.

Watch the full Cosmetics Labs video interview above to learn more!



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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