On Monday, I had never heard of Beauty Pie. By Friday, it was all over my Facebook feed, on half the Instagram channels I follow, and featured in every newsletter. Because social media promotion often comes in a tidal wave.
Apparently, that was true for several readers as well. Because in the same week, I got a half-dozen e-mails and DMs asking me for an SIOS review. So I broke out my debit card, and decided to give Beauty Pie a go.
Beauty Pie is a membership-based, online beauty retailer that purports to sell high-end makeup and skincare products without the “middle-man markup.” Members choose a monthly membership level ($10, $20, or $30), and buy products each month up to their assigned spending limit. Any remaining monthly spending rolls over to the next month. Here’s how it worked for me:
I subscribed to the $30-per-month membership. This allowed me to choose products that added up to $300 retail price, plus a $100 bonus for my first purchase. I selected nine products, which had an MSRP of $391, but spent just $82. I used a coupon code from Facebook to avoid paying the first month’s membership fee of $30.
$300 seems like a lot to spend on products each month. But since you’re charged the MSRP, a moisturizer that you pay $13 for, eats up $130 of your budget. Similarly, an eyeshadow that you pay $6 for, eats up $30 of your budget.
Having never used a Beauty Pie product before, I didn’t know what to expect. But for the review, I wanted to try a wide selection of products in both the makeup and skincare categories. So I used nearly every penny of my $400 first month allotment.
The ampoules were a total bust. They look cool, they seem like you’re going to love them, but over 6-weeks, they did nothing. And I mean nothing. I’ve used concentrated Vitamin-C products before and noticed brighter skin within a few weeks, so I was surprised to find no impact from these after almost six.
The hand cream is nice, especially for those of us with wrist wrinkles from typing all day. It’s moisturizing and has no smell, which I appreciated. However, it’s a little big and took up a lot of space in my handbag, so I keep it in my desk.
I’m undecided on the Superactive Capsules. I used them before my wedding, and initially saw a big difference. My skin was smoother and brighter, with more even tone. Then, the effect seemed to plateau. But of all the skincare items I purchased from Beauty Pie, the capsules are the one that I would buy again, even at MSRP.
For makeup, I purchased a wide selection of highlighters, eye shadows, lipsticks, blushes, you name it. Most of it was lackluster, some of it was deeply disappointing.
I found the blushes and shadows didn’t have the rich pigments or fine-milled texture that I’m used to from brands like Bobbi Brown or Charlotte Tilbury. The quality of the colors felt more like the Sephora store brand, and even with primer, faded quickly.
The lipsticks were better quality with richer colors and a smooth application, but I don’t wear a lot of lipstick, so I’m not their target market. I liked the Future Lipstick in LoveBerry. But I was a bit disturbed that the product wasn’t paraben-free and that the ingredients list read like a science experiment.
The one makeup product that I would buy again was the oft-rave-about Strobing Drops. These were, even with the mushroom cloud of hype coming from Influencer Instagrams, as good as advertised. The drops gave my skin an impenetrable iridescent quality. I layered them under my foundation for a soft glow, mixed them with body moisturizer for a bronzed look, and dabbed them on my cheekbones for a night out. Hands down, worth the money.
Despite a handful of good products, I canceled my membership after my second month. First off, I don’t replenish beauty products often enough to need a monthly subscription. Second, most of the products were just meh, despite a few standouts. And testing everything to find more diamonds in the rough would take quite some time and a hefty financial investment.
Third, and most importantly, I felt pressure to spend my limit each monthly. I think most subscribers do. And since half of the products I bought got a single test run (or no test run once I saw the colors or smelled the fragrances in person) before going back in the box, I knew the unused wares would just pile up over time.
I considered keeping the $10-per-month membership or just paying $99 for the annual membership in order to keep buying the Strobing Drops and the Superactive Capsules, but it just wasn’t worth it to me.
Bottom line, if you consume a lot of beauty products, Beauty Pie might be for you. But if you’re not buying new product all the time, or already have established favorites in most categories, I’d pass. Four of my friends tried it for a month with me, and only one kept it. She loved the hair care products and Plantastic face products, so it was worth it to her.
So is Beauty Pie all hype? No, but it’s too much of an Easter Egg hunt for me to risk haphazardly dropping $60-$90 each month, plus membership, on products that I may just end up gifting to friends or donating to charity. But if you decide to give it a whirl, get.the.Strobing.Drops.
Like all Saw It On Social Posts, the reviewed products were purchased with my own money. I tested them over a nearly two month period because skincare cannot be evaluated by a single use. No gifts are solicited or accepted for SIOS, because the point of the feature is to give a fervor-free review of the products that suddenly takeover my social feeds.
If you have a product or brand you’d like me to review, leave it in the comments. Please know, however, that I have made a personal choice not to review any products that come from multi-level marketing companies (LulaRoe, Beauty Counter, Pampered Chef, etc.) given the criticism that this sales model faces and the impact it has on female relationships. I know some women have great success with these companies, but I know others who have not, so I’m simply opting out for this feature.