Love high tech skincare, hate markups? Here’s why we think that Beauty Pie’s new venture makes paying the membership worth it…
Members’ clubs: they’re everywhere. From Soho House to Spotify Premium and paywalled media sites, getting behind the velvet rope can allow you numerous privileges, at a cost of course. In the beauty sphere, we told you about what Beauty Pie were up to last year on launch- think “makeup minus the middleman”, a transparent manufacturing and pricing system and up to £300 worth of discounted luxury lipstick and the like from a yearly £29 membership fee (more memberships are available).
An undeniably genius idea, but if you prefer to shop for your colour cosmetics where you can see them, there’s always the chance that you might not use your membership allowance (not naming names around this office). Beauty Pie’s newest launch, however, changes the game completely. We could see it coming from Beauty Pie’s celebrity facialist founder Marcia Kilgore, but the fact that some of the new offerings sold out in a mere six hours says it all about how the new ten product drop is going down.
Given how quickly we accumulate skincare ‘empties’, we can see our membership budget being put to good use.
In short, skincare is here, and you can get your mits on techy, high quality Swiss and British developed serums, peels and masks for peanuts with your membership. From a 95% naturally derived cleanser to a Korean inspired Overnight Moisture Superinfusion and an enzyme based ‘five minute facial’ , products are conceived by the world’s best cosmetic chemists and come complete with a full ingredients list (unfortunately rarely a given in the beauty industry), not to mention a detailed rundown of how much formulation, packaging, testing and warehousing will cost you. So far, the bestsellers are the Plantastic™Micropeeling Super Drops and Über Youth Super Serum , but it was formulating a standout night and day cream that spearheaded Beauty Pie’s skincare line, as Kilgore explains:
“For our skincare launch, we went to the two best labs in Switzerland. Our first request was that we get their best-ever anti-aging cream formula. We put EVERYTHING into it. Hyaluronic acid, pentapeptides, resveratrol, collagen stimulators, all at high levels (but not too high to be irritating). We packaged it in a beautiful glass jar, with an outer recyclable paper eco-ink box featuring a beautiful soft pink lining. No matter what we added, we couldn’t get it to cost much more than £10.”
If this fact is making your mind boggle given the sometimes astronomical amounts we tend to hand over for a potion promising the earth, here’s the inside intel on just how Kilgore manages to stick to the beauty bottom line:
“It’s the way we work at Beauty Pie, not the product itself. We work directly for our members. We take luxury products directly out of the factories that make them for other luxury brands, and rather than taking them through the typical rounds of markup (via distributors (+40%), via retailers (+200%) we sell them direct to our members from our website.”
“It’s the same (or sometimes better) quality of product, because we don’t have to try to cut costs in formulations to meet a budget number. If a much better lipstick formula is 30p more, we think she’ll be happy to pay that, because 30p is 30p. But in a typical brand, 30p might turn into £6 more by the time it hits the shelf. We concentrate on finding the highest quality, best formulations, keeping the packaging simple and classic, and delivering that to our members on a ‘buffet’.”
“Luxury brands are built on a completely different business model. They offer something very ethereal alongside a hopefully high quality product, and you pay a premium for a feeling when you buy it, and for some people, it’s a trade-off that’s worth it. But a lot of women (thousands so far, actually) are very excited to have Beauty Pie as their backstage pass to get right onto that factory cost floor price! It's like crowdsourcing the ownership of a great global cosmetic factory. Beauty Pie is an amalgamation of existing modern marketplace concepts but instead applied to the beauty industry.”
Factory prices for skincare start at £4.92 for a cleanser (RRP £25), and swatches on the website help you to see what you’re getting texture wise. Packaging is clean and chic, ingredients are as you’d expect from a forward-thinking skincare brand (think AHA and BHA exfoliants over abrasive scrubs) and while there’s no SPF in the range currently, the fact that Beauty Pie are launching no less than 20 additional products this year gives us the faith. Given how quickly we accumulate skincare ‘empties’, we can see our membership budget being put to good use this time, and if you do get online trolley happy you can top up your budget as you go. A £10 per month membership option remains if you want a low commitment ‘in’ on Beauty Pie makeup and skincare, although you will be tied to that for three months. Given the ever-increasing range of swanky beauty on a budget, however, you likely won’t be leaving anytime soon…
Find out more about Beauty Pie membership and the skincare range here