Founded by Soap & Glory’s creator, beloved by British Vogue and dubbed ‘the Netflix of beauty’, Beauty Pie – a subscription service that unlocks make-up at factory prices – certainly has all the hallmarks of an innovative, successful brand. But it is too good to be true? Here’s our analysis.
Beauty Pie’s whole USP is ‘’makeup without the mark-up’’, with each product giving a price breakdown that includes safety & testing, warehousing, tax, and product & packaging.
A quick look at their website confirms the range won’t break the bank – their cheapest product (an eyeliner) is a mere £1.50, and even a 6-piece professional brush collection hardly dents your pocket at just over £17. In fact, the low cost of their blushers (from £2.50), concealers and bronzers (both roughly £3 each) and foundations (at and around the £5 mark) means it’s entirely possible to do your basic face of make-up for around a tenner.
Although every product comes in Beauty Pie branding, the brand’s ‘about’ page reveals that their offering is made by the same suppliers behind ‘’the world’s best beauty’’ – and it’s rumoured they use similar formulations and ingredients to the leading labels.
A lot of the brand’s cost-cutting comes from being eco:
– No animal testing
– No ‘fancy’ bottle shapes
– Use of plant-based Earthinks®, ‘’the most eco ink on the planet’’ (to paraphrase)
– Recyclable & recycled cartons
– Less instances of metallics and foil on packaging
It’s a shame that you only unearth this information by browsing their FAQs, as, together with a strong USP and their price transparency, this could really elevate their position in the market.
THERE’S A CATCH
Well – a few catches:
1) A 3-month subscription is required to purchase at the factory cost – otherwise, you have to pay the “regular price” (the competitive price that the product would cost on the high street).
2) Your subscription fee doesn’t cover any delivery costs.
3) Even with a subscription, you’re capped at how much you can spend per month (a ‘’shopping allowance’’). This is to stop people subscribing for £10, buying everything at the cheaper rate, then cancelling their subscription. In the T&Cs, it’s implied that you can pay more in subscription fees to give you a bigger shopping allowance – but if you spend it all, you’ll be forced to then pay the ‘’regular price’’ on any future purchases that month.
Even with these revelations, there’s still potential for Beauty Pie to take off by becoming a Sephora of sorts – broadening their offering to stock products by other beauty names, but with the same affordability, quality and price transparency that they afford their own line. Whether they will or not, is a matter of debate.
IMAGE CREDIT: pumpkincat210 on Flickr.