The newest endeavor from serial entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore is Beauty Pie, an online platform selling premium-quality cosmetics at factory prices. No middlemen, no markups.
Launched in the U.K. on December 8 by the woman behind such beauty success stories as Bliss Spa, FitFlop and Soap & Glory, Beauty Pie pioneers a fresh twist on the membership model with its positioning as a buyer’s club for luxury beauty addicts reluctant to pay retail. When customers sign up for Beauty Pie, they’re able to buy Beauty Pie-branded products that the company said are formulated by the same factories and suppliers as well-known luxury beauty brands. The trade-off is that Beauty Pie eliminates many of the extras typically associated with luxe beauty: marketing, high-end packaging and the lure of a prestige name.
To buy products at cost, U.S.customers will pay $10 per month–Beauty Pie launches December 22 in the U.S.–for a minimum of three months. They can then buy lipsticks for $2.40, mascara for $2.06, lip liner for $1.56 and foundation for $5.09. Non-members are welcome to buy product too, but they will pay non-member prices, such as lipstick for $25, mascara for $24, lip liner for $19 and foundation for $44. A Beauty Pie membership comes with a monthly shopping allowance, which limits how much one can buy at factory cost each month. Any unused shopping allowance rolls over to the following month. Monthly shopping allowances are in place to ensure that when new products arrive, all Beauty Pie members get an opportunity to buy from the pie.
Beauty Pie assures it doesn’t tweak formulas to fit their lower price points. As explained on its website, “we pull together the collective buying power of thousands of discerning beauty junkies, giving a virtual backstage pass into the world’s leading luxury cosmetics manufacturers.”
The site also explains that membership fees look to eventually pay salaries and expenses, and will help sustain low prices.
Each product includes a ‘cost transparency outline’, so that customers can see exactly how much money has been spent on formulation, ingredients and packaging. In doing so, Beauty Pie is hoping to demystify beauty industry pricing, educating customers on the markups that they pay for when buying luxury brands. In addition to cosmetics, Beauty Pie plans to add skin care, makeup brushes and beauty tools to its list of offerings, according to its site.