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India Knight's BEAUTY PIE Review as seen in The Times

High-end cosmetics at factory prices?

India Knight Editorial

3 Mins Read Arrow down icon

Beauty Pie is a genius idea from genius Marcia Kilgore (Bliss, Soap & Glory, FitFlop, Soaper Duper). We’ve written about it already, but a quick recap: the idea is to make high-end make-up and, by removing packaging, branding and marketing costs, sell it ridiculously cheap online, via a beauty club. Make-up without the mark-up, basically. What that means in money is that a £20 lippy comes in at £2.24: you pay only the factory cost.

Prices are completely transparent — if you want to buy, say, a black kohl eyeliner that would retail for £15 in a beauty hall, you join Beauty Pie — it’s a tenner a month — and get the same item for £2.04. Very clever idea.

At £4.75, why wouldn't you buy foundation from a website?

The concept obviously stands or falls on the quality and desirability of the products. There are tons of these, in every category, with more being launched all the time. I tried the Everyday Great Skin Foundation, which costs less than a fiver and cheekily presents itself in an Armani-like bottle. I say cheekily, because Armani foundation is second to none. Still, it’s a very good foundation: lightweight and flexible, sits nicely on the skin, and covers what it needs to while making everything else look healthy and radiant; plus it stays put.

I was impressed.

If I’m making it sound like the foundation was "good enough", I don’t mean to. It’s much more than merely good enough. But are you going to buy foundation from a website, is the question. At £4.75, I’d say why on earth wouldn’t you?

The eyeshadow palettes are also fantastic. I love a nude palette — flattering and hard to mess up: what more could you want? — and Beauty Pie’s are the business. They’re made of long-lasting mineral pigments that stay put, the colours are gorgeous, they’re paraben-free and they slide on like butter. The palettes cost £6.94. You would pay at least £30 for an equivalent. Isn’t it mad?

If you’re thinking, "Yeah, but does it all come in rubbish packaging that looks ugly, because I do have eyes in my head and I like my cosmetics to look a bit special?", the answer is, the packaging is chic and functional. Cases lock with satisfying clicks; containers don’t feel cheap or bargain basement; mirrors are decent. The lipsticks are light because the cases aren’t weighted — weights being the things that are used to make products feel expensive.

Make no mistake: these aren’t nice cheap alternatives to high-end products.

They’re the real deal. They’re high end but wearing jeans instead of poncing about in white tie, and to my mind, they’re all the better for it.

I mean, there is a really good mascara for £1.93. Now everyone can afford high-end make-up. I think it’s brilliant.

Words: India Knight for The Times

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