Throw the words ‘Beauty Pie’ into the conversation when you’re next out for dinner with the girls, and chances are at least one pair of eyes will light up. (Spoiler alert: it’ll probably be your friend with the glowiest, most enviable complexion.)
Yes, pretty much everyone that tries this unique members-only beauty club becomes swiftly obsessed, working their way through the ever-growing offerings like a maniacal beauty addict.
The Pie has been impressing its following for years now, but recently they've really been showing off. First came an outrageously good collaboration with legendary make-up artist Pati Dubroff (the eyeshadow palettes are nice indeed but, trust me, it's the highlighter stick you really want).
Next came the Happy Face moisture-barrier balm, which brings irritated complexions back from the brink for less than £15. Rosacea-prone people, snap it up. Then there's the brand's super-sciencey skincare line formulated with a dermatologist: Youthbomb.
Not yet in the gang? Well, you've timed this perfectly. Right now, you can score two whole months of Beauty Pie access for free – no catch, no caveats. That means you can shop the shelves at those special member prices for eight whole weeks before deciding whether you want to make it official with an annual membership. In fact, Beauty Pie will even give you a £20 discount when you spend £60.
If you're late to the party, scroll down for everything you need to know about Beauty Pie – as well as the shortlist of products a beauty editor would actually buy on repeat...
What is Beauty Pie?
Inspired by the staggering mark-ups that are commonplace in the beauty industry (a shocker: your face cream probably only cost a few quid to produce), Beauty Pie is a subscription service from industry game-changer Marcia Kilgore (not hyperbole: she’s also the woman behind Soaper Duper, Soap & Glory and Bliss Spa, so she’s definitely earned the title).
Once you're a member, you'll gain access to a huge collection of straight-from-the-suppliers skincare, make-up, fragrance, body and hair-care products without the luxury mark-up. Think Italian lipsticks, South-Korean microneedling patches, Swiss face creams and Japanese serums for the price of an oat-milk latte, and you’re on the right track.
Unsurprisingly, the concept shook the industry when it launched in 2017, and once the masses realised how genuinely brilliant the products are, cult status quickly followed. Naturally, such feverish demand has led to several big launches selling out in seconds, so you'll have to keep your eye on the site to grab the ones you really want to try.
Demonstrating just how tapped into the beauty zeitgeist Kilgore is, the brand also boasts a strong online community. Its Instagram account is a wholly interactive space, where loyal members share reviews and Kilgore herself calls out for feedback on new launches, as well as sounding out the demand for new innovations from her dedicated #PIEFAM.
How does Beauty Pie work?
Sound too good to be true? Stay with us – here’s how they’ve made it possible.
By cutting out all the frills and flourishes that are so common in the beauty industry – think costly celebrity marketing campaigns, fancy packaging and TV ads – Kilgore has side-stepped the mark-ups to bring you great products without paying for all the shiny extras.
Turns out, once you strip back all those additional costs, the price of your actual product is surprisingly small. Of course, you won’t get the heavy lipstick click-cases, frosted-glass jars or gilded foundation bottles here, but it’s what’s inside that counts, remember? For example, a Beauty Pie retinol serum, produced in Switzerland, (likely in the same factory as your big-brand favourite) costs £18.50, despite being full of slow-release encapsulated retinol, ferulic acid and vitamin C (and free from fragrance, mineral oil and parabens).
Now there is a slight caveat here: you will need to pay for a membership to get access to all these more price tags. But happily, the brand has recently switched up the small print to make things easier, more flexible, and even more affordable than ever before...
Beauty Pie Membership, explained
While the previous membership tier system restricted you to a monthly shopping limit, the new scheme gives you unlimited access to the entire site, so you can shop to your heart's content, whenever you like. For £59 per year (that's under a fiver a month) you can purchase single products while also bulk-buying the ones you really get through – think shower gels, cleansers and shampoos. By making bigger orders less frequently, you'll cut down on packaging and shipping emissions too.
Once you're in the club, you're likely to become overwhelmed: the brand now sells everything from fancy scented candles to vitamin C capsules. Want to know what a beauty editor really rates? Right this way...
Beauty Pie: The ELLE Review
1. The perfect daytime perfume
There’s a reason Beauty Pie has pulled hoards of people away from their big-brand signature scents. Perhaps the best-value section on the site, every perfume is made in France by a renowned ‘nose’ using oils from Grasse. Such is their popularity, it's rare to find them actually in stock – but my personal favourite, Une Balade En Foret, is currently available, and I suggest you move quickly.
Take it from a self-professed fragrance snob: this affordable, unisex blend is perfection. Think: a crisp walk through a fir-lined forest, cuddled up in cashmere and breathing in the crisp air. Anyone averse to hyper-girly florals will adore it.
2. The trustworthy lash serum
Lash growth serums are everywhere at the moment, but despite new brands popping up from every angle, most of the effective ones still cost upwards of £40. What's more, many contain prostaglandin analogs, which can be troublesome for the sensitive-skinned. Beauty Pie's offering uses a combination of biotin, peptides and ginseng to accelerate growth, and comes in at under £20. It won't, of course, give you brow-skimming lashes overnight, but with consistent use I have achieved results that beat those of the big brands.
3. The troublesome skin solution
Of all the skincare ingredients that come and go, few have made quite an impact amongst the ELLE beauty team as azelaic acid. Equally adored by dermatologists, this inflammation-fighting powerhouse is truly brilliant at tackling the surface symptoms of rosacea, acne and even melasma. As it's a tricky ingredient to formulate with, the shelves haven't historically been heaving with products, and most loyal users tend to get their azelaic acid via prescription. But now, Beauty Pie has delivered the calming, clarifying treatment cream of dreams. Do not sleep on this one.
4. The skin tint
This one will divide the masses: if you prefer a thick tinted moisturiser or a full-coverage foundation, it won't be for you. But if you're looking for something that'll create that light, hyper-dewy finish, it is absolute perfection. The texture is akin to a watery serum, and the coverage surprisingly substantial. In short, is makes skin look bright, healthy and glowy, with no caking or settling into pores.
5. The instant eye-brightener
This is a spot-on dupe for the much-loved (and now sadly discontinued) Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector. The clever peachy pigments work to counteract the blueish undertones that make up dark circles – and as you're balancing out the colour, rather than simply masking it, the results are remarkable. You can employ it as a base for a traditional concealer, but I think the eye-brightening effects are plenty as they are.
6. The everything face cream
If you skimmed over the new Youthbomb Biologic Collagen Peptide Cream during your last Beauty Pie scrolling session, you'd be forgiven: this kind of hypey, non-specific product name isn't the most compelling in the age of straight-talking skincare. The brand's claims are likely to raise a few beauty-sceptic eyebrows too: can a single cream really firm, lift, tighten, reduce wrinkles and boost radiance?
But Youthbomb deserves your attention, despite the beauty hyperbole plastered over its packaging. This fast-absorbing cream really delivers: in short, it's a suits-all luminosity booster that works with, not against, the actives already in your routine.
Brightening niacinamide, pigment-reducing peptides, protein-rich elastin boosters and calming plant extracts combine to refresh tired, pollution-ravaged skin, bringing about a week of 'you look well' comments.
It won't give you Kardashian-style facial tightness – nor will any topical product, for that matter – but it does work wonders on skin tone and brightness. Consider it a top coat for your skin, making everything look glowier, smoother and generally healthier.
7. The spa treat
Beauty Pie's latest collaboration is one that anyone into aromatherapy should jump straight on. The brand has collaborated with ex beauty director Kathy Phillips on a collection of four bath and body oils, each one designed to speak to differing emotional states. Each blend of nourishing carrier oils (think coconut and evening primrose) plays host to a seriously potent blend of essential oils, which will transform your bathroom into a mood-altering escape. My personal favourite, The Firewall Blend is a head-clearing menthol aroma with eucalyptus and peppermint over a grounding base of frankincense. It's perfect for sluggish days, doubtful moments, and post-dry January hangovers (just saying).
8. The luxe candle
Beauty Pie's candles sell out almost as soon as they come back into stock – and for good reason. My pick of the bunch, Pomegranate & Baies Rose, is a punchy, spice-tinged blend of floral sweetness and red fruits, over a smooth-as-cashmere base of sandalwood. Made in Grasse and with a burn time of 60 hours, the value here is inarguable.
9. The vitamin C hero
Each one of these clever capsules contains a perfect portion of stabilised vitamin C, alongside vitamin E for soothing hydration. The serum is lightweight and absorbs seamlessly – perfect for anyone who finds overly oily treatments suffocating.
10. The hero highlighter
I'm particularly pedantic when it comes to highlighters, and you should be too: substandard ones will only highlight your pores and make your cheekbones look suspiciously sparkly. If you're after a natural shot of light and definition, the solution lies in a cream formula. specifically, this one. It's free from chunky glitter and iridescent pigment, yet isn't so moist it'll slip around your face (and stick to your hair). It might cost just £10, but it easily stands up to the luxe options.
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