Cosmolab overview

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cosmolab provides inventive product development and manufacturing services to the beauty industry. It specializes in cosmetics for the eyes, lips and face.

Founded in 1910 in Tennessee, Cosmolab is the largest contract manufacturer of cosmetic pencils in the United States.

Services include: Concept Development; Custom Formulation; Package Design and Development; In-house Tooling and Molding; Manufacturing; Quality Management; Final Packaging; and On-Time Delivery of Finished Product.


In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a number of wood mills in Tennessee began logging the area's red cedar trees and shipping "slats" to graphite pencil factories. As more industries in the mid-state area sprang up, manufacturers saw the benefit of establishing support operations near the mills and the area soon became known as the pencil manufacturing capital of the United States.

Among the businesses benefiting from this growing industry was a Lewisburg wood mill established in 1910. It became the Red Cedar Pencil Company.

In the 1930s, a customer asked the company to develop a pencil to color the eyebrows and Red Cedar Pencil Company created the first cosmetic pencil and the company embarked on a new course.

In 1955 Red Cedar Pencil Company acquired Koh-I-Noor / L&C Hardmuth, a pencil manufacturer based in New Jersey.

By the late 1960s, Red Cedar Pencil Company had transitioned to become a total manufacturer of private label cosmetic pencils handling all aspects of production from formulation to packaging.

In 1970, the German writing instrument company, Rotring and Pelikan, acquired Red Cedar Pencil Company and consolidated it into Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, Inc. The new company established its cosmetics division under the name Cosmolab.

Cosmolab became privately held in 2003 when it was acquired by Specialty Packaging Holdings, Inc., a business platform of private equity investment firm Oryx Capital International, Inc. and merged with CSI Cosmetic Specialties, Inc., a manufacturer of injection-molded plastic packaging based in Oxnard, Calif.

In 2005 Cosmolab opened a manufacturing facility in Asia and executive offices in New York and Europe.