Beauty Pie Review

Beauty Pie launched a year ago to great fanfare.

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.

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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.

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Here are swatches:

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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.

 

 

Christmas Wrap Up

Pun intended.

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Christmas came and went, again.

This process seems more fleeting each year.

2017 held a few unexpected turns. We discovered late in the game that our planned accommodations weren’t going to work out, and we booked the last room at the local inn.

This turned out better than expected.

We were able to use the hotel gym to exercise.

We watched “Elf.”

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The glass wasn’t ideal but the wine was delicious.

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We opened family presents with just the four of us.

Santa still found us on Christmas morning, too.

I may make this a tradition.

 

My Worlds Collide: NPR + Hallmark Christmas Movies

NPR’s “Weekend Edition” ran a funny story over the weekend about Hallmark Christmas movies, one of my guilty holiday pleasures.

Apparently I’m not alone.

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My favorite part was where guest Linda Holmes – who hosts a pop culture podcast – describes the general plot lines of the Hallmark movies to Weekend Edition host Lulu Garcia Navarro. Here’s an excerpt of the interview:

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Nailed it!

Christmas Brickmania Display

Last weekend we went to see a massive Lego display sponsored by Brickmania Toyworks.

The Christmas diorama was fantastic:

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It was hard to capture Santa’s train:

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A huge State Fair/Circus scene was also so much fun to view. There were a lot of surprises – aka Easter eggs – hidden in plain sight, like the Mystery Machine from “Scooby Doo” in the parking lot.

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Storm Troopers were also riding the Giant Slide.

While Spouse originally planned this with the kids in mind, we all had a blast.

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If you’re in the Twin Cities, this is worth a visit.

 

 

From Me to Me, Part 2

I recently went way down a rabbit hole with the concept of accessorizing my bags. 

I blame Henri Bendel’s “Dress Up Your Bag” campaign, but of course I am very weak and susceptible to all things Shopping.

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I purchased this colorful guitar strap to add to an old Marc Jacobs tote, but the clips on the end were too small to attach to the tote’s hardware, so I had to improvise with some rings that I bought at a craft store.

I was going for a vibe like this:

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I also picked up two of the perforated luggage tags, one pink and one gold. These are planned for different bags.

As I fell deeper down the rabbit hole, I discovered a whole world of customized pieces on Etsy, including an upcycled Louis Vuitton tassel. I haven’t had good luck with Etsy in the past, but I decided to give it one more try.

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I honestly can’t tell if the Vuitton strips are real or fake, but I really don’t care. The tassel looks cool to me either way. I added this to my pink and green trimmed bag from the Spring 2017 collection. I was really pleased with this purchase, and the shipping was really fast. I think it took fewer than 4 days from order to arrival.

The tag was also personalized with my initial:

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One more shot for scale:

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This was a cool find. 

 

Quick Review on My December Fabletics Order

Last week I posted about how I broke down and ordered not one, but two, outfits from Fabletics.

They’re here!

Shipping was lighting fast. I think it only took 2-3 days from order to arrival, and that was without any expedited shipping.

I was super happy with my picks. The first outfit had a pair of leggings with a metallic trimmed top.

If you look carefully at the leggings, they have a striated part at the back of the calf. What you can’t see is that they also have a zipper at the bottom and are high waisted. For leggings, these are really high quality. I was excited about these. The shirt is of a more ordinary quality; it’s also slightly cropped but not to the point of being revealing.

The second outfit was another pair of black leggings and a tunic.

Here, the tunic was the star. I’d sized up to get a looser fit and also because my size was not available in this soft pink. This was a risk, but ultimately it was the perfect call. The larger size fit exactly the way I wanted and the color is great. The leggings, on the other hand, are pretty basic.

Something that I’ve noticed about Fabletics: the outfits are typically sold in two (or sometimes three) piece sets, and one piece always seems to be the hero item, whereas the other seems to be of significantly lesser quality. With the above outfits, I’ll probably wear the leggings from #1 with the tunic from #2. I would NOT do the reverse with the cropped tee and the basic black leggings.

Another major reason I bought two outfits this month was for the free gift with purchase, an option to select any of the bags Fabletics had on their website. I chose this one:

Again, this was a pleasant surprise. The nylon fabric is thick and the details are cute. I was going to use this as a gym bag but it is so nice that I am contemplating swapping it out as a work bag.

It’s been a while since I ordered from Fabletics, but this was a success.

 

 

The Stitch Fix I Forgot to Write About

I received a new Stitch Fix in November, and it was mostly good, but not all of the items were keepers and I forgot to photograph the ones that didn’t make the cut.

So now we’re all caught up.

Here’s a peek, if you’re curious…

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First up was the Millennial Pink “Cerella” sweatshirt by Michael Stars, which was listed at $98.

Here it is from the company’s website:

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This sweatshirt is incredibly light and soft. The color is totally on trend. I’m not a huge fan of thumbholes but I like the option. Spoiler alert: I kept this item and have already worn it a few times. Two things I noticed right away: the edges are unhemmed (potential unravelling issue for the future) and even after the first wear, this sweatshirt started to pill. While I like the piece, it probably wasn’t worth $98.

The drawstring bag at the top of the picture held these:

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These Toms “Lenox” sneakers were listed at $88. I received this metallic pewter color but they are also available in a cool rose gold. I liked these a lot but had recently purchased another pair of metallic sneakers, plus they were half a size too big. I sent them back, then felt regret. Over the Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend, though, I was able to find them in the correct size at 25% off, so in the end I made them mine. They are incredibly versatile and comfortable. I’ve also noticed this exact pair or similar styles in magazines everywhere, especially mixing these up with high and low pieces for holiday looks. I’ll definitely be wearing mine over the holidays. High praise. 

This piece gave me the hardest time:

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I’d pinned this duster coat a few weeks prior to having my Fix styled. I loved the mix of gray and pink, and it was styled on Stitch Fix’s site over workout clothes to give a cute athleisure look. I was thrilled when I opened the box and saw this, but it was way too big. By that I mean oversized to the point that it looked ridiculous. I am tall, but this was crazy. Let me tell you, I tried and tried to make this work. I tried it as a cardigan. I tried it as an overcoat. I tried belting it. Nothing made it less bulky. The worst part was that my Stylist also mentioned that she’d picked this to center an entire outfit around it, pairing it with the sweatshirt, sneakers and a pair of leggings. I so wanted to wear that outfit. It did not work out. Sigh. I may request this again in a smaller size, because giving up on this cute duster has proven hard to do.

Speaking of those leggings, I don’t have a photo, but they were black zippered leggings and they were very nice. The only problem was that I’d recently bought something similar, and as long as I was already sending things back, this was an easy call to return.

If you’re keeping track, that’s four of five items already described, with one keeper and three returned (although with regret).

The final piece I received in this fix was the Pixley “Castellano” waffle knit shawl cardigan in a dark olive color. I exhausted the internet trying to find an adequate photo of this, but I came up empty handed. It’s easy to picture, though: a loose knit, Army-green cardigan with a thin band of black faux leather trim at the wrists and on the front placket. The fit was weirdly tight in the arms but stretched with wear. I had requested something in this color and my Stylist delivered. I always complain that I need to stop buying cardigans, but I love them and I could not resist, so this one also made its way into my closet.

Technically, this Fix doesn’t look like a success because I only kept 2/5 items, however, when you factor in the shoes I ordered elsewhere and the regret I feel about the other picks, I’d call it a Winner.