Beauty Pie: Slicing The Make-Up Mark-Up

Marcia Kilgore’s Beauty Pie is a great idea. Simple, like all great ideas, but with a clear and inspiring intention; to supply premium quality cosmetics at production prices.

While we all know that a mark-up is paid on luxury cosmetics, we may not all know that the standard increase is calculated by Euromonitor to be a startling 78%. Beauty Pie considers this a conservative estimate, explaining that a standard lipstick that costs £1.47 to produce will be sold for £18 including VAT, resulting in a 1020% mark-up.

Taking Charlotte Tilsbury as an example, it is rather sobering to think that, at most, just 22% of the money we spend is on the actual product while roughly 80% is spent on the Instagram worthy rose gold packaging and Hollywood lightbulbs. When it comes to cosmetics, we often feel that the more we spend the higher the quality of what we are buying. In reality, this is rarely the case.

Obviously we are not going to start smearing jam on our faces in lieu of blusher or lipstick, most people enjoy nice things and there are countless high street ranges to suit every budget. The beauty of Marcia Kilgore’s new venture, then, is not that it supplies premium products at an insanely low price point but that it is an entirely new way purchase. For £10 per month, customers become ‘members’ who can buy at factory prices. Profit for the business comes from the membership fee. Non members can by the products, but at full market price.

The stand out products include the Uber Curl Drama Mascara (£2.16 members / £20 non), the ProGlow Highlighter (£5.46 members / £30 non) and the gel based Moisture Lock Lip Liners (£1.47 members / £15 non). Beauty Pie aim for complete transparency on the pricing, member prices are based on factory costs while non member prices are calculated according to comparable quality products currently sold in the premium sector. An example breakdown can be seen below.

The minimum membership term is 3 months so a maximum of £30 could be spent to enable an entire make up bag overhaul. Considering this is less than the price of a 30ml Armani foundation, this Vogue endorsed way to buy make-up is definitely worth a try.

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