Beauty Pie: The hits and the misses
Are you a #PieGirl or a #PieGuy? Know what the hell I am talking about? 😉
A couple of days ago Beauty Pie were offering a ‘first month for free’ and it was just the gentle nudge I needed. Not that a £10/$10 a month subscription is a lot, but it is a lot if the products you are subscribing to fail to deliver.
If, however, you are already familiar with this ‘buyer’s club for luxury beauty but at chemist prices’…let’s dive straight in.
So what did I order? And is everything as premium as they make out on their Instagram feed?
What I ordered
- One Powder Wonder (I have been wanting to try this for months because I heard it is a dead dupe for the NARS Pressed Setting Powder)
- Pro Strobe Luminizer in ‘Beaming’ (Beauty Pie had me at the rose motif on this one *swoon*)
- Futurelipstick Luxe Shine in ‘Nothing Nude’
- Wondergloss Lip Oil in ‘Nude Nectar‘
- Incrediblur Concealer in ’75’
- Wondercolour Cream Eyeshadow Stick in ‘Goldie’ (I’m a sucker for a gold eye)
- Wondercolour Nail Polish in ‘Go To Girl’
What it cost
First month’s membership: FREE (usually £10 or $10)
Product: £26.27 (pretty incredible when you think most of us happily drop that on one item, let alone seven?!)
Shipping and postage: £8.21 (thought this was steep but I appreciate the brand have to cover their costs somehow)
On first swatch I wasn’t sure this powder had any discernible pay off. It felt and looked plasticky in the pan but a quick sweep of my setting brush (this one by Real Techniques) seemed to lift some of the powder. If it ends up performing better than my first impression (I am dubious) then it might just be incredible value (£4.35 for members, a similar price point to Rimmel’s Insta Fix & Matte) but I wouldn’t say it is a game-changing formula or any better than a similar version by a luxury brand like Laura Mercier (famed for their powders). It might grow on me so I will see how I am feeling a week from now but I suspect I’d rather spend more on a decent powder that genuinely delivers the ‘wonder’ factor.
I had high hopes for this powder highlighter, which is hardly surprising given the words ‘Pro’ and ‘Strobe’ both feature in the title (Oh, and let’s not forget ‘Beaming’. Who doesn’t want to BEAM?).
The powder is gorgeous, though not as finely milled as I had hoped. On the plus side it doesn’t have any of that cheap glitter one usually associates with drugstore strobing powders and the rose gold shade is, I imagine, universally flattering.
Yesterday I applied a little (dry) to cheekbones and the powder quickly accentuated the fine lines around my eyes and some of the open pores on my cheeks (I am nearly 40 so hardly surprising). I can imagine on younger skin this would be divine! To counteract the dryness, specifically on me, I will probably do one of two things; either mix it with a bit of coconut oil/lip balm and pat it onto cheekbones, or, I will wet my highlighter brush first using a bit of MAC Fix Plus. By no means disappointing for the price (£5.64 for members) when similar powder highlighters at the luxury end of the spectrum can be double the full retail price….but again, disappointingly not a game-changer.
Immediately loved this. The texture reminds me somewhat of Bare Minerals Gen Nude lipstick and also of Bobbi Brown’s Nourishing Lip Color (though Beauty Pie’s undeniably copycat packaging is probably influencing my comparison with the latter??).
This particular shade felt a tad cool for me on bare skin so I wore it with a little bronzer but I can see this quickly becoming my ‘rushing out the door’, go-to lip. Brilliant value (a mere £3.50 for members) and I can see myself ordering the pinkier shade ‘Naked Pink’ in the coming weeks.
Soooo upset about this one 🙁 I LOVE me a lip oil (the ones by Clarins and Hourglass are both client favourites) and what with a name like ‘Nude Nectar’ I had set the bar high in my head…..but oh, the SMELL! Dear Lord, the smell. No sooner had I swatched it on my lips I had to take it off. Is it fragranced with rose? Whatever it is, it is overpowering and quite frankly nauseating (sorry BP!). It reminded me of old school Parisian cosmetics houses that used to make (and still make) unnecessarily fragranced products reminiscent of a bygone era. Damn shame because the texture, shade and packaging are all stunning.
I don’t have a swatch of the concealer but I have worn it for two days straight and my verdict is WHAT A BARGAIN. Reassuringly opaque texture. As it is a full coverage product it is naturally quite drying so when I have worn it under the eyes I have prepped the eye area first with a hydrating eye cream. A little goes a long way so one only really needs to apply it to the darkest areas of the eyes (inner corners). I also used it to disguise a little redness at the sides and at the base of my nose. Fantastic value (£3.94!) and handbag/travel friendly. Just remember to bring something to dilute it with when you want to sheer it out.
God these are good. Admittedly, I have only tried one out of the ten available shades (there are six shimmer, four matte) but I will definitely be buying more, both for my kit and my makeup bag. This has a beautifully sheer, glittery texture. Not as opaque as similar shadow sticks by other brands (Bobbi Brown and NARS immediately come to mind) but fantastic staying powder nevertheless. Creasing on the eyes was minimal after six hours’ wear. I would reserve this particular shade for play (not wonderfully suitable for corporate environments!). If the texture of this one is anything to go by I have high hopes for the mattes!
This was the first thing I tested and I have to say, it is bl*ody marvellous. What a luxe finish for the price?! (£2.21 for members). For one thing, the brush is suitably wide (a god send when applying any nail lacquer regardless of texture) and the finish undeniably premium. The shade is the perfect pinky nude and has made a lovely addition to my growing collection of cream, grey and peach nudes (#addicted). Beauty Pie have announced they will be launching some new shades soon and I already have my eye on ‘Hot Mic’ (an enticing watermelon pink that would look just gorgeous on summer toes) and ‘Aubergenius’ (a wonderfully plum purple destined to become my go-to autumnal mani).
So there we have it. As with any beauty brand, some hits and some misses. There is no question, Beauty Pie make some fantastic products and this fact alone makes them astonishingly good value, but for me, the quality of some of the products fail the truly ‘premium’ test.
What has been an interesting exercise, however, is how much the packaging and pricing have influenced the way I have reacted to the products. Our perception of a beauty product or brand is undeniably tied up in the surrounding aesthetic (the packaging, the marketing, the naming) and it can be difficult (impossible?) to appraise something on performance alone. Even as someone who prides myself on my ability to judge the efficacy and effectiveness of a product despite its outer casing, in this case, knowing I would be testing products from Beauty Pie, arguably set me up to make a particular judgement, especially when a product failed the premium test (“Well of course it’s not as good as X. How can it be when it costs less than £4?”). Conversely, of the products that impressed me, was I even more impressed than I would have been otherwise, because they were such good value? And would I have judged the One Powder Wonder and Pro Strobe Luminizer powder in the same way had they been presented in different packaging? (I like to think so but like most people I am not immune to branding!).
I digress. Ultimately, the Beauty Pie membership provides a great way to trial different textures, shades and finishes at a comparatively low cost (though the monthly subscription and postage do add up over time). I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them but I would caveat that recommendation with my top picks.
Will I be ordering again? Absolutely. Am I prepared to not love everything? 100%. But that, my friends, is the name of the online beauty shopping game!
Have you purchased anything from Beauty Pie? What have been your thoughts? I would love to know! Best way to send me your comments is on Instagram (don’t get me started on WordPress’ $hit spam filter…literally giving me grey hairs). You can find me here: @nataliejamesmakeup
When purchasing from a beauty brand you have not tried before it is a good idea to stick to neutrals. That way if you hate the texture of something but feel comfortable with the colour, you will probably find a way of wearing it. Neutrals also make great gifts!