Marcia Kilgore, the woman behind Bliss Spa, FitFlop and Soap & Glory, talks to Beauty Insider about the inspiration for her latest brainchild, Beauty Pie, a buyer’s club for luxury beauty addicts, which launched in the U.S. December 2016, and how women’s evolving beauty shopping habits really spurred the concept.
Beauty Insider: Where did the inspiration for Beauty Pie come from?
Marcia Kilgore: My absolute favorite part of working in the cosmetics industry for the last 20-something years has always been going to the factories and seeing the different product options available, the color blending, the pressing molds, the ingredient options and so on. With the global village that the internet has created, I saw an opportunity to bring that kid-in-a-candy-store feeling to every beauty product-loving woman in the world. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be able to buy luxury makeup direct off the factory production line?
It’s helped that I’ve witnessed the shift of the music industry from cassettes to CDs to the iPod to Spotify; how I now completely rely on my Netflix subscriptions; how I have a lot of friends in America that belong to the cult of Costco. And then there is the budding trend toward totally transparent pricing and being an online independent, and just wanting to try something totally new—with a learning curve. I’ve seen things that really shake up old industries, they’re not changing what people buy, they’re changing how people buy it.
BI: It seems you are letting the product speak for itself—in terms of how it is luxe—since no one knows the brand otherwise. How are you building this trust with consumers?
MK: Most brands do not have their own factories, but rather source their products from outside factories. At Beauty Pie our focus can be completely on the best product, the creative, the communication and the customer. When consumers try the product for the first time, they see for themselves that the formulas and colors are consistent with the luxe brands they are familiar with. The fun part of this business is being able to work with great makeup artists and skin care scientists to create the best product possible at a price that works for all.
BI: Is price transparency more than a tool to reinforce the Beauty Pie concept? Are we entering the era of transparency?
MK: I think that consumers are getting more and more savvy about their products. It is easier than ever to look at ingredients in formulations in products and see exactly what goes into what we put on our skin. Our goal is to show our customers that it is possible to get high quality, luxe products but not have to pay for packaging. I do believe that being transparent is a huge asset and we may see a lot more transparency in the future, too.
BI: Do you think women will shop for beauty radically differently five to 10 years from now?
MK: We are at the height of a transition in the beauty industry now – women are buying cosmetics online more and more as opposed to going into a department store and going for the name brand they are most familiar with. I think that trend will continue to rule and the focus will be much more on ingredients and results and much less on brand name. I wouldn’t call it a backlash to brand-dominant beauty, but I do see consumers solely focused on the quality of the product more so than the name on the tube.