October 29th 2020
4 years of Beauty Pie: the brand’s 10 most popular beauty bargains
December 21st 2020 / 0 comment
The online beauty buyers club has helped transform the way we shop through its ‘makeup without the markup’ memberships. Founder Marcia Kilgore tells us how she does it
It took me a while to cotton on to Beauty Pie, the luxury beauty buyers’ club created in December 2016 by Marcia Kilgore, who founded skincare brands Bliss, Soap & Glory, Soaper Duper and the legendary Fit Flops.
But now I can’t get enough of it. Clubs usually make you think of VIP lists and extortionate joining fees, but this is one that makes real financial sense if you love top-quality skincare and makeup – and, most importantly, if you love a bargain.
I couldn’t quite believe how, for a £5 per month membership fee, I could pocket makeup, skincare, haircare, body care, fragrances, candles and supplements that matched the quality of Bobbi Brown, MAC or Charlotte Tilbury, at Lidl and Aldi prices. Surely there had to be a catch? The sceptic in me held off. More fool me, it seems! Now four years in, with thousands of rave reviews, sell-outs and beauty insider fans, Beauty Pie has proven its worth (and made me feel a bit of an idiot for not diving in sooner).
How is Beauty Pie able to offer 'factory prices'?
Beauty Pie's tagline is ‘makeup without the markup’. But how do they do it? Marcia explains. "We pull together the collective buying power of thousands of discerning makeup junkies to cut out the middlemen. We source our products directly from world-leading labs."
Incidentally, these are the same labs that many of your pricey high-end products are from. It's an open secret as to which ones. Beauty Pie won’t confirm, but it’s guaranteed they are staples of your local beauty hall. "We don’t try to engineer products so that we can make more profit," adds Marcia, meaning they won't scrimp on active ingredients to keep costs down. "We test like-for-like from the world’s best, for whatever the ‘cost of goods’ is, and then bring it to the customer with total transparency, so they know that what we’re most focused on is bringing them the very best product (instead of making a profit)."
You'll find a breakdown of manufacturing costs on each product’s page. Packaging, warehousing, and safety and testing are all accounted for, to provide some much-needed clarity on the true cost of its makeup.
How does Beauty Pie membership work?
Membership fees which start at £5 a month for a £50 spending limit to £20 a month for a £200 limit. Your spending limit is calculated on what you would have paid at typical non-factory prices; so their best-selling One Palette Wonder (a dupe of the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette, £49) has a 'typical price' of £35 and a member price of £7.96. Any unused spending limit just rolls over to the next month. If you're curious, join and enter GTGSENTME in the promo box to get an extra £50 spend on your first month.
How does Beauty Pie Make its money?
Marcia explains. "To pay our bills and run a business, members pay a small membership fee each month. Operating the Pie is a complex endeavour. We have team members, rent, technology and stock, and we need a certain level of contribution per product to ensure we can continue to deliver luxury for less. Plus, each member has an allocated spending limit, so we don’t run out of everything!"
Sounds too good to be true right? It’s a common preconception, and one Marcia has worked hard over the last four years to put right. “As a born ‘rogue’ thinker, I have been amazed to see how many people have become so conditioned to accept the status quo, and immediately judge new things as suspect, no matter how much more beneficial they are to them as customers,” she says. “We’ve had to do a lot of work there, to prove to people that the Beauty Pie fairytale is actually true! I’ve learned so much about human psychology that I might now be able to write a book on it.”
Membership has more than doubled in the first lockdown of 2020, no surprise when money is tight and beauty halls less accessible. As Marcia says: “Now, more than ever, it’s so important to take care of yourself and to just remind yourself that you are still a human, and that you still need a small treat. We understood that people during a time of crisis are more responsible with their disposable income, but at the same time are looking for ways to economise without letting go of the quality.”
Bestsellers during the Covid pandemic have all been self-care related, she points out. They include the aromatherapy Soul Providers bath and shower range priced between £8 and £11, Super Healthy Skin Deluxe Moisture Body Crème, £15.17 (typical price £50) and Super Healthy Skin Nourishing Body Polish, £14.14. Japanfusion Uji Tea Leaf Sheet Mask, £16 and my personal favourite, Dr Glycolic Soft-Feet 7-Day Peel Socks, £15.
What's new in at Beauty Pie?
Recent lauches incluse SuperCheek Elastic Powder Blush, £7.75 "a silky, lightweight, skin-hugging formula made in Italy, that instantly lifts your complexion with a pop of colour. It blows all other powder blushes out of the ballpark!" says Marcia. "And our new Superdose C C-Suite Rapid-Action Power Brightener, £12.49 that is a ‘next-gen’, high-dose, stable vitamin C, sandwiched with ‘super’ actives Ferulic Acid and Tranexamic Acid, for powerhouse brightening action on dull, uneven, scarred, or UV-damaged skin."
In November, the brand ventured into nutritional supplements for the first time, to support hair skin and nails as well as general health and which have been formulated in conjunction with British nutritional therapist Kay Ali. There's a Perfect Daily Bio-Optimized Multi Vitamin and Mineral complex, £11.87as well as a power pair vitamin D3 and K2 supplement called Like Sun and a marine Collagen Super Powder.
The future looks appetizing. But what have beauty aficionados been clicking ‘buy’ on over the last four years? Here are the top 10 bestsellers. Happy shopping (don't forget to join with our code GTGSENTME).
Beauty Pie top 10 bestsellers of all time
Offering natural-looking coverage and a luminous finish, it’s little wonder that Beauty Pie fans order this base over and over again. “This formula was the most beautiful one we found after testing about 79 submissions (and the search continues, always) from the best Italian foundation labs in the business,” Marcia says. There are 15 shades available as well as tester sets too, to ensure that you get your best possible colour match.
It blots, blends and blurs - this weightless powder covers a range of needs and its universal shade suits any skin tone too. What’s more, its ultra-fine formula reduces the risk of caking - a great one to have on standby to take you from work to play.
Containing fruit acids and black willow bark extract, these hard-working drops have been designed to leave skin smoother and brighter. Ideal if skin’s feeling a bit congested at the moment or tends to veer on the oilier side of things.
These easy-to-blend crayons make it supremely simple to achieve a statement eye when time is short. Available in 16 shades ranging from nudes to violets and everything in between, there’s something for every taste.
If you love shape-shifting textures, you’ll love this. Changing from gel to oil to milk when in contact with water, it deliciously glides onto skin to leave it squeaky clean, but not stripped. Plus, it’s fragrance-free too.
This is where the membership for me really comes into its own offering vast discounts on luxury fragrances. Fans of Jo Malone, Joe Loves and Byredo will be in heaven with this clean fresh citrusy scent combining top nototes of lime, orange with black tea and fig leaves in the middle and earthy base notes of cedarwood and amber finish.
One of the self-care hits of 2020 lockdown, this heavenly smelling, incredibly light yet lipid rich body cream is infused with sustainable cold-pressed hibiscus flower, meadowfoam oils, liquid shea butter and essential oils of citrus, geranium and sexy tonka bean.
Sales of lipstick haven't dipped where this si concernted. We love colour payoff combined with the hydrating precious oils for healthy and luscious-looking lips. Available in nine shades.
Yey another reason to sign up - the best value luxury scented candles on the planet. Members typcially pay less than £20 for a £50 candle, they go in and put of stock quickly such is demand so this is one page to bookemark.
“Swiss- formulated, it’s retinol for people who are terrified of retinol,” says Marcia, so it’s easy to see why it gets snapped up so feverishly. Designed to slow-release the ingredient through special microencapsulation tech, it works on fine lines and sunspots, and general overall skin plumpness too. Ceramides and hyaluronic acid mean your skin never feels dry when you use this as can happen with many retinol serums.