4 Mins Read
An interview with Marcia Kilgore – skincare guru, celeb-facialist, founder of BEAUTY PIE, inventor of the Triple Oxygen Facial and the woman Oprah Winfrey called one of the most passionate people she’d ever met – on the ridiculous 10% rule, and why paying ‘retail’ for your skincare, makeup, candles, haircare, fragrance, and supplements is a racket.
Well, the crazy prices that retailers charge for high-tech skincare products was one of my original inspirations for BEAUTY PIE. I was at an airport in Hong Kong about 5 years ago and I’d forgotten my face moisturizer. I was about to spend two weeks in a freezing cold factory working on my footwear brand, FitFlop, and I couldn’t bring myself to spend $150 on a jar of cream – because when you’re in the industry, like I am, you know that something that retails for $150 probably costs no more than $10 to make. And I thought: “I’m not paying that, that’s ridiculous,” and then I thought: “Why should ANYBODY pay that, it’s ridiculous to everyone! Customers deserve a bigger piece of the BEAUTY PIE.”
And the truth is, in the beauty industry the lion’s share of what you fork out when you pay ‘retail’ is what we at BEAUTY PIE HQ refer to as LMAO:
And yes, it also stands for LMAO. And none of those four words make a product any more effective (maybe in your mind they do). Strip them out and you stop overpaying for all that hot air, PLUS you’re likely to be able to afford world-class high-performance skincare, haircare, makeup, candles, bodycare and brushes, and not even flinch when you need refills.
Not entirely. Higher-performance beauty formulas are absolutely more expensive to manufacture. The labs that make them – at least the ones we work with – have world-class chemists, stringent quality standards, wider-ingredient sourcing and testing, higher-tech emulsifying equipment and use the best and newest performance actives from trusted and audited suppliers. And a really effective skincare product may have 50-100X higher % levels of the important active ingredients. All of that adds up, but might mean the difference between a 50ml mass market ‘fill’ that costs 80c, versus a 50ml high-performance ‘fill’ that costs $8.00 (which doesn’t really even double when you add safety testing, quality control, warehouse and fulfilment services).
I started my beauty career in my twenties, giving facials in a one-room studio in Soho, NYC, having gone to aesthetics school to fix my own breakout-covered face. I was lucky, I knew a few people in the modelling/entertainment industry and ended up with everybody from Demi Moore to Madonna lying on my table. Word spread. I was busy. And when I opened Bliss Spa in 1996, it became the “go to face place” in New York for everybody – from secretaries to supermodels – but my clients were on widely varying budgets. And I never really felt it was fair that only certain people could afford the best ‘follow-up’ products, and everybody else had to make do with basics.
Fast forward to six years ago, when I had dinner with one of the ‘big guys’ of the old beauty industry. He gave me three pieces of advice; and the third one really stuck with me:
"If you want to survive as a brand, your cost of goods can never be higher than 10%." He said 10 percent. Yes. Seriously. 10%.
And as I processed that advice, being a big lover of great skincare myself (and knowing hundreds of others that are equally obsessed), the notion that ‘ten percent’ cost of goods was a fair deal became totally unacceptable to me!
Hey, every BEAUTY PIE product is a hero. It’s our editing method. We reach out to the best luxury labs in Switzerland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Great Britain, France and America and we work with them to formulate amazing products for the customers of BEAUTY PIE. You can always check out our Members’ Favourites page to see what’s hot at the moment, but my bathroom is never without these:
Superactive Capsules Essential Ceramides + – These are like liquid gold for dry, sensitive, or redness-prone or rosacea ridden skin.
PLANTASTIC Micro Peeling Super Drops – These gently and effortlessly deliver beautifully smooth skin, and you can use them under anything (moisture cream, serum or sunscreen).
The Super Retinol System – Swiss. With micro-encapsulated Retinol, so it’s incredibly gentle, but it gives your skin an overhaul from underneath, without an iota of redness. I am completely obsessed with this.
You can shop BEAUTY PIE skincare (and makeup, haircare, candles, bodycare, fragrance, or other member's favourites) at typical industry prices, or sign up to BEAUTY PIE and get access to our unbeatable members' prices (and stop paying OTT for middlemen, celebrity marketing and crazy retailer markups).
If you came here looking for the cheapest expensive Swiss Anti Aging Moisturizer in the world, it's here.
Makeup Artist Pati Dubroff is Hosting an Invitation-Only Masterclass for BEAUTY PIE Members
Fancy applying-along with a global makeup superstar? Here’s how.