GWG Lifestyle editor, Lydia Mansi gives her lowdown on the Beauty Pie concept, how it works and her top buys for summer…
Marcia Kilgore has always been an industry trailblazer; the Canadian serial beauty entrepreneur behind brands such as Bliss Spa, Soap & Glory and Fit Flop, launched Beauty Pie in 2017 to ‘disrupt the luxury beauty model’. On one of her many buying trips to the cosmetic and skincare development labs of Europe, she realised if she streamlined the traditional luxury beauty model - cutting out the middlemen, retail costs and celebrity endorsements - she could pass on these overhead savings to members. With many of the world’s luxury brands sourcing their products from the same core handful of Swiss, Italian and French labs, she was able to offer premium quality products at a transparent, cost price.
How it works
In essence it’s a buyer’s club for luxury beauty product addicts. You pay a monthly membership fee that unlocks an allowance to spend at Beauty Pie’s special rates – so for £10 membership you can get £100 worth of products. Which doesn’t mean you can spend £100 in real terms, it means you can get £100 WORTH of products, often for as little as £30. It’s worth pointing out this membership fee is the only place that Beauty Pie earns any profit; all the products are past on to the customer at cost price, with zero mark-up. Once you’ve got your head around the logistics, it is literally like the proverbial candy store. You can shop the full collection of make-up, skincare, fragrance and candles, with each product showing you the conventional RRP, alongside the Beauty Pie price (haircare, supplements and beauty accessories to come next year). If you don’t spend your whole quota for that month, it simply rolls over.
Got it? Right – let’s start shopping…
What I like
Besides the quality and the pricing, I like that it feels modern, fair and honest. It’s for the woman who is assured in the product she wants to buy and doesn’t need the airbrushed face of a celebrity to win her over. From the pricing to the details of where the product has been made, there is an empowerment to the whole model. There is no need for the ‘hard sell’, they are letting the product, and the price, speak for itself. There are full ingredients lists, independent trial results and 100s of customer reviews to give you honest, informed feedback before you buy.
What I don’t like
There is the temptation to spend your whole quota each month, even if you don’t need to – ‘just because’. Which has made me consume more beauty/skincare from one brand than I usually would. Whilst the formulas are brilliant and I’m saving lots of money, I miss my eclectic mix of lotions and potions cherry picked from my favourite brands (arguably I’m getting the same products, just in different packaging).
Also, it may irk some that products are frequently out of stock and sometimes for long periods (my current cleanser it out of stock for 6 weeks), however with such a wide range of products in each category, there will always be a good alternative to try.
Top tips for shopping Beauty Pie
The range can seem overwhelming at first – as you browse add products that you like the look of to your wishlist – see this as a ‘holding pen’ and then edit it down from there. If something you use regularly is back in stock, consider buying two if you know it’s a bestseller. The make-up really is fab and they’ve stuck to ‘safe’, wearable shades, so don’t be put off giving them a whirl just because you can’t swatch them like you would on a beauty counter. At around £4 for a lipstick, it’s worth a go and I’m yet to meet a shade I didn’t like.
My top 3 skincare for summer
Super active capsules – this super charged range of individual dose actives (in 100% biodegradable seaweed-derived capsules) is brilliant for travelling. There are targeted anti-ageing treatments, I use the hyaluronic acid to hydrate and vitamin C to brighten and tone – all concentrated into easy, daily doses.
Plantastic apricot butter cleansing balm – as a life-long Eve Lom, Elemis et al cleansing balm fan, this £10 dupe feels just as luxe, complete with complimentary muslin cloth. With cold-pressed rosehip oil and vitamin E, it’s a skin-softening, hydrating balm that dissolves to a milk to wash away every trace of make-up without stripping skin.
Jeju Daily Rehydration Mist – Korean Beauty is one of the biggest skincare trends of 2019 and this hydrating mist, packed with anti-oxidant rich Korean botanicals and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, is the perfect in-flight beauty spritz. Great for sun-parched skin, or to combat the drying effects of air-conditioning.
Top 3 make-up products
Super healthy skin sheer tinted oil-free SPF20 – not the catchiest of names but this veil of colour will give you that ‘no make up make up’ look that’s perfect in the heat. A flattering, warming filter that blurs skin imperfections but still lets skin breathe. The oil-free formula won’t clog pores and the added sun protection means it’s the only base you need in your summer make-up bag.
Uber Volume Boost Mascara – The GWG Team are all big fans of this lash building formula. Inky black, one sweep separates and thickens brilliantly. The pigment and dense wand feel premium and leave lashes fuller without weighing them down.
One Palette Wonder – all the palettes at Beauty Pie are made in the luxury beauty labs of Italy and are great value –my favourite for holidays is the One Palette Wonder as it’s literally everything in one. 3 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, a bronzer and a highlighter. All finely milled, flattering, sun-kissed shades that are super easy to wear.
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