Makeup and skincare can become an addiction, and boy, is it an expensive one! From the process of production, packaging, shipping, and retailing at your local Sephora, beauty products can become incredibly marked up by the time it makes it to the consumer’s hands.
For a long time, it felt like we just had to accept the expensive nature of the beauty industry, but the disruptive company Beauty Pie is ready to shake things up with a daring business model that brings beauty products directly to consumers without the exorbitant prices. With a fixed monthly membership, Beauty Pie is able to offer its members incredibly low prices for top-line beauty products.
I interviewed Beauty Pie’s founder, Marcia Kilgore, to learn more about the company’s innovative model and how Beauty Pie is changing the beauty industry.
Marcia Kilgore, Beauty Pie Founder: The easiest way to describe Beauty Pie is to say that it’s like the Netflix of skincare and cosmetics. The beauty industry is broken. Hundreds of luxury brands use the same 10-20 elite labs/factories. Typical markups on luxury makeup and skincare products are 10x the ex-factory cost. And we think that’s crazy. So we decided to create a sort-of buyer’s club, where members could buy high-tech skincare and world-class cosmetics, before all the branding, for up to 90% less than what the same formulas typically cost at retail.
SB: Where are Beauty Pie products sourced from?
MK: So far: Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Germany, France, the USA and England. We source from the same suppliers as the world’s leading beauty brands.
SB: Makeup and skincare product prices are notoriously marked up. How does Beauty Pie keep costs so low for members?
MK: We’re a ‘sourcing as a service’ business. Membership fees pay our salaries and overheads, and we do the editing/sourcing/packaging/some formulating/color trending/and inventory management. Members end up spending (including their membership fees) about 20 cents on the dollar for their luxury beauty buys.
SB: What are the most popular makeup and skincare products on Beauty Pie?
MK: We’ve launched almost 200 new products this year alone, so the bestsellers change every week. Mascaras are incredibly popular (you need one a month, really, to get the best payoff), as is our COWBOY NUDE Futurelipstick and our Everyday Great Skin Foundation (Italian. Awesome.)
In skincare, it’s currently a tossup between the Super Healthy Skin Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream, our new Lumiboost Brightening Serum (a personal obsession) and the Plantastic MicroPeeling Super Drops.
The thing is, if we don’t absolutely love it, we don’t launch it.
SB: How is Beauty Pie disrupting the beauty industry?
MK: The beauty industry is one built on dreams: dreaming that you’re more beautiful, more thin, more something. And a big part of what you pay for is the promise. At Beauty Pie, we’re completely transparent about what you’re buying. We try thousands of formulations, makeup products/accessories every year. (There’s a big NPD team testing EVERYTHING.) And we launch ONLY what we really love. We don’t have to meet marketing deadlines or retailer margins or back into a cost of goods because we can’t pay for advertising. It’s THE BEST PRODUCT to our members at a totally transparent un-marked up cost. It’s a revolution, and it’s beautiful!