How Marcia built Beauty Pie, seen in The New York Times
Written by Gilly Ferguson
22 Apr 2021
‘Some people are lucky enough to have one good idea in life that they then build into a successful business. Marcia Kilgore had five,’ reported The New York Times. ‘But it is Marcia’s fifth company, BEAUTY PIE, that the serial entrepreneur believes “eclipses all the rest”’.
Kilgore’s story is impressive – the kind of career biopic that’ll have you simultaneously contemplating how to carve out your own success story, while wondering what you’ve been doing with all your time. Hers is a tale that is uplifting, life-inspiring, motivating – and, sure, a teensy bit overawing too.
But Why BEAUTY PIE
BEAUTY PIE is the buyers’ club for beauty addicts. Think of it as a warehouse club where members can shop for luxury skincare (formulated by the world’s best skincare chemists and PHds), premium quality cosmetics (imported direct from the best manufacturers in Korea, and Japan, Italy and Germany), fine fragrance and scented candles (made by the famous noses who also create the big hits for the ubiquitous high-spend beauty brands), and a lot more.
Members pay a monthly or annual membership fee to help run the club, and get insider access to premium products at no middle-men, no retailer markup prices. Think of it as like shopping at Sephora -but not having to pay for all the superfluous branding and billboard advertising and not-really-free samples and expensive fixtures and fittings. Same labs, amazing products, just no smoke and mirrors and up to 5X more for your money. Literally, members get a bigger piece of the BEAUTY PIE.
One For All
Kilgore had been in the beauty industry for almost 3 decades, starting out as a celebrity facialist (she was also the founder of Bliss) with a client roster that included Madonna, Oprah, Courtney, Meg, and Christy. During that time, she took cosmetic chemistry at UCLA, and started formulating skincare with the world’s most brilliant chemists, most of whom worked at the world’s best third party beauty labs. Visiting those labs, and “getting lab submission boxes delivered to her offices always felt like Christmas” says Kilgore.
But the idea for BEAUTY PIE? It came to Marcia in the train station in Milan, following a visit to suppliers based in the ‘Lipstick Valley’ region of Italy. The New York Times writes ‘With a bag full of beauty product samples worth (at retail value) about $5,000, she suddenly thought: “What if all the women who usually pay insanely inflated prices for these products in department stores could have the feeling that I have right now?”’ and what if they shop almost lab-direct, for the world’s best beauty products, at a fraction of their typical retail prices?
A subsequent experience in a Hong Kong airport Duty Free, where - knowing what an “Expensive” Swiss Anti-Aging Cream actually cost to make - she couldn’t bring herself to buy a hugely overpriced moisturiser, and this cemented her resolve to shake up the industry, and get women the best, for less.
A formula that would typically retail for over $100, BEAUTY PIE’s bestselling Super Healthy Skin Ultimate Anti Aging Cream sells for $22.
The Beauty Risk Taker
Beauty entrepreneur Bobbi Brown told The New York Times. “She has never been someone who is afraid of taking chances.” And Marcia herself admits – “At first, I was worried about exposing the egregious markups in the industry. I thought ‘I can’t do it. The beauty industry will hate me’. She continued “But the more I thought about it, the more that became “but I have to do it, because millions of people will love me”.
With thousands of members already enjoying insider prices on the world’s best beauty products, and glowing reviews from Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair, Refinery 29, Cosmopolitan, and The New York Times, it’s a club that’s set to change the way millions of people shop.
This is about democratizing luxury beauty. It is about respecting the intelligence and needs of a customer, and stripping out the smoke and mirrors . She deserves better. And I’m going to deliver it.Marcia Kilgore, Beauty Pie Founder
On BEAUTY PIE delivering happiness to your door: “From the days when I did three part-time jobs to support my mom in high school or when I did facials sitting on a crate in my apartment and then watched my clients float out the door. It just gives me the biggest thrill.” - Marcia Kilgore, BEAUTY PIE Founder
You can read The New York Times piece on Beauty Pie in full here.
Want free access to shop for The World’s Cheapest Expensive Face Cream (and hundreds of other great products, warehouse-direct? Use the code FMFNYT in the promo box at checkout, and if it's your first time signing up, you'll get your first month as a BEAUTY PIE Member for Free.