Are those ads on social media for beauty subscription services ever actually worth it? Sam Norton puts Beauty Pie to the test...
Have you been seeing pop ups on your Facebook? Pictures on Instagram? Amazing moisturisers for £10, retinol for £12. Pah, it must be rubbish. That’s what I thought when I first spotted these posts. Ever the sceptic I thought, ‘if something sounds too good to be true it usually is’. Well let me tell you now, in the case of Beauty Pie, resistance is futile!
Don’t get me wrong, I did some research, I didn’t just delve into this crazy world of cut-price products. I was at a point where my beauty regime (I use the word regime very loosely here) consisted of me taking my make up off if I wasn’t too drunk, and when I remembered, and could find any, I’d slap on some serum and moisturiser. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of products on the market, and was stunned into indecision leaving me using the same range I started on 15 years ago. I was definitely not changing things up in the winter let alone when I got to over 40 and my skin desperately needed something a bit harder working.
Oils, serums, retinols, layering, acids - the list was endless and I stuck my head into the proverbial sand until my pots ran dry. So I needed an overhaul, my skin was looking flaky dry and depressed. I longed for dewy, glowing, plump, rosy, smooth, radiant, happy, all-singing and dancing skin.
The trouble with deciding you need a whole host of brand-new products is the cost. I usually wait until a holiday, and panic buy at duty free, sometimes spending a few hundred quid “stocking up” on a few items that I have been using for years. I really wanted to be able to try all the lotions and potions my poor deprived skin was crying out for but at upwards of £25 for a pot of cream it was going to be an expensive outlay. And if you’re paying big money on products, you want them to deliver. This is where adverts, glossy seductive images and supped up packaging to entice you, all come in to play.
This is the beauty of Beauty Pie. There’s no retail mark up, no fancy packaging, no glossy famous models. You simply get the best of the best direct from some of the leading labs in the world. By being online only and cutting out the middle man, you get access to the best beauty products from the best beauty suppliers in the world. All Beauty Pie packaging is ecologically conscious. No weighted jars, no metal, no plastic. Everything is beautifully presented in beautiful monochrome or pastel boxes dependent on range.
The brains behind this is my new heroine, Marcia Kilgore. Beauty Pie is her latest wonder child, and I for one and extremely happy she brought this into the world. Having researched extensively to make sure it wasn’t just clever marketing, I signed up for my monthly piece of pie. A quick glimpse into Marcia’s business portfolio makes an impression. She opened Bliss Spa in 1996 (a favourite of A list celebs such as Madonna, Oprah, and Christy Turlington). Next, in 2006 came the fabulously named Soap and Glory range (I am mid-way through a shower gel and the smell is divine) which was bought by Boots in 2014. 2016 saw the launch of FitFlop with Uma Thurman the face of the latest campaign. And now, there is Beauty Pie.
Launched at the end of 2016, Marcia wanted to utilise the power of social media to enable everybody to buy high-end skincare products. She knew the best laboratories, chemists, and suppliers but felt uncomfortable with negotiating margins with retailers and the mark ups that come with packaging, advertising, and retail outlets.
How does it work? Well it’s basically a members club without the extortionate fee. You can have a £10 or £20 per month membership which allows you access to products at a fraction of the retail cost. I would spend some time familiarising yourself with how it all works but the website is intuitive and the membership deals are well explained.
Okay, on to the good stuff. What are the products actually like? Over the past few months I have amassed quite the collection. Bear in mind I was starting from scratch. I wanted it all!! I started off with their Japanfusion range:
“With NMF-boosting ingredients for barrier repair, jabara fruit extract for Vitamin C, and an amazing antioxidant grape extract, this is J-Beauty skincare at its epitome. A supreme four-step collection of highly refined deep acting moisture boosting formulas, in an easy step by step kit, plus a fabulous hybrid facial-oil-meets-serum. It’s what you’ll want to get your skin through winter looking wow.”
As I was ordering this in December, the winter wow thing was a winner. This is one of my now favourite cleansers, it’s a ‘gel to oil to milk’ type formula. I bought the cleanser and the serum first, and really wanted to try the Plantastic Apricot Butter cleansing Balm, because the reviews for this were great and with ingredients such as rosehip seed oil, apricot butter and vitamin E it sounded scrummy. It smells gorgeous, is quite greasy when you apply it, but it leaves your skin super soft and clean, with no squeaky dry feeling. I also bought the Juju overnight cream, as again it had rave reviews, and I have to say it’s a keeper. And happily everyone comments on how glowy I am.
Suffice to say I am 100 percent impressed with everything I’ve tried from Beauty Pie, and also even if there had been something I didn’t love, I wouldn’t have wasted £50 on it.
Since my first foray into Beauty Pie, I have bought the whole retinol range as it keeps the wrinkles firmly at bay and the QI ginsing range (the sleep mask is amazing) for extra detox and hydration overnight. I am about to try the superactive capsules which were recently nominated for best skincare innovation by the 2019 Style Beauty Awards.
Without a doubt my skin looks like I’m drinking the requisite 8 glasses of water a day, its vastly improved. All this talk of products has reminded me I didn’t use my full allocation last month, it rolls over to the next one, you can save it all up and do a Christmas splurge and treat family and friends to this miracle from Marcia. Did I mention they do make up, fragrance and candles too. I have also heard a rumour of shampoos and body products. At this rate my friends and family will just have to get their own membership as I think I will be busy trying everything for quite some time yet.
To find out more or sign-up for your own monthly beauty fix visit www.beautypie.com