Founded by Marcia Kilgore – of Bliss Spa fame – the ostensible goal of Beauty Pie is for members to buy luxury grade beauty products at cost, which means that a lipstick that would normally retail for $25 is only $3.10 at Beauty Pie.
Of course there is a catch.
For one, membership will cost you a minimum of $10 per month. Memberships are typically a minimum of 3 months and automatically renew.
The basic membership gives you the opportunity to buy $100 worth of products per month, but the next catch is that when you tally up the cost of your selections, you have to use the “suggested retail price” and not the member price, meaning that the above lipstick will eat up 25% of your monthly budget.
On top of this, you still need to pay $3.10 for the lipstick (member price here), plus shipping. Doing the math, that means that if you bought 4 lipsticks to utilize all of your $100 monthly budget, you would pay $10 (membership) + 4 x $3.10 + roughly $8 for shipping = over $30 for 4 lipsticks. While this is still cheaper than, say, four Chanel lipsticks, the extra costs add up.
I’ve been intrigued by Beauty Pie for a while and finally gave it a shot last month. I signed up for the basic membership and then quickly figured out that I would run out of my monthly allotment with just a few products. In theory, if you don’t spend it all in a month the allotment will roll over to the next month, meaning if you spend only $75 one month you would have $125 the next. When I signed up Beauty Pie was offering a special for new members to get $150 worth of products for the first month, and I also opted for a “top up” allowance (supposedly a one time thing, but I am suspicious that this offer will come around again) of $500 extra spending power for $50 real dollars.
With that in hand, I started by making a wishlist of what I wanted. It was quickly over my $150 budget (the $500 extra didn’t kick in until the following month since I hadn’t paid yet). In the end, I ordered four products: two lip glosses (Hello Petal and Brown Sugar), a cream eyeshadow stick in a metallic taupe called “Brazillionaire” and something called Fruitizyme Five Minute Facial.
The retail/member prices for these were as follows:
- Lip gloss – $25/$2.78 (x 2)
- Eyeshadow stick- $26/$2.88
- Fruitizyme – $70/$8.37
These four products used up almost all of my $150 allowance for the first month. By the time I paid shipping, membership, member prices for the product and then had the $50 top up, I was about $85 poorer.
Shipping was surprisingly quick, even during the holiday rush. I’ve read other reviews complaining about the packaging, but I didn’t mind it.
Here are swatches:
In order they are the Brazillionaire shadow stick, Brown Sugar gloss and Hello Petal gloss.
I was really happy with all of these. The Brazillionaire stick reminded me of a metallic taupe limited edition Bobbi Brown shadow stick that I used until it was a nub and have been searching for ever since. It hits the right mark between gray and brown and would be flattering for any eye color.
The glosses have a great feel (not too sticky, not too thin) and a subtle, pleasant vanilla taste. I am definitely going to order more.
Full disclosure, I did not try the Fruitizyme facial yet. The same week that I ordered these, I did a prescription strength chemical peel (this one) and my whole face peeled off for days. Spouse said it looked like a snake had been sleeping in our bed.
Current verdict on Beauty Pie: I’m still intrigued. There are enough products on my wishlist to use up my $500 top up allowance plus three months (minimum membership length) of buying. I’ll keep posting what I get.