This was going to be a post on more fragrances by Frank Voelkl, who did the Olfactory tea scent I reviewed recently (as well as the wildly successful Glossier You.) The fragrance post is still being worked on, so today is about makeup; if that doesn’t interest you, see you next time for more perfume.
Why wear makeup at all these days; if you’re not seeing anyone, why bother? Well…. nobody’s saying that about fragrance, are they? (They no doubt are, and I don’t care.) I like playing with makeup, it’s fun. More to the point though, all my meetings are now on Zoom, and I quickly realized how pasty and washed-out it makes me. If anything, I wear more now than I did in real life, just to give my pale face some color and definition.
Several months ago I joined Beauty Pie, an online makeup and skincare outfit (they also sell candles, body products and fragrances.) I found them because they have four perfumes by Frank Voelkl, plus a new mandarin one by Sidonie Lancesseur that sounds lovely; then I read a number of positive reviews of their beauty products. The idea is that you’re getting luxury goods at drugstore prices if you pay their monthly membership, kind of a buyers’ club. (You can shop there without joining, if you want just a couple of things, or no commitment.) I was a little dubious, but hey – Frank Voelkl, plus it’s only $10 a month with a three-month commitment to get their members’ deep discount. I figured if everything was terrible it’d still be a fun post to write. And then COVID hit, which made shopping online even more attractive.
Beauty Pie is the brainchild of Marcia Kilgore, whose previous ventures include Bliss Spa, Soap & Glory, and Fitflop, so she’s had some measure of success, to put it mildly. Beauty Pie sources from the same producers of luxury makeup but sells under its own label. And the members’ prices for makeup are crazy good, much of it under $10. Have I mentioned the packaging? It is plain yet elegant, substantial and thoughtfully designed. (I just realized yesterday it reminds me a lot of Bobbi Brown’s packaging aesthetic, the glass and lettering.) I use some drugstore products; a lot of their stuff is awesome. But super cheap pans with plastic lids that break off (a pet peeve of mine) takes away some of the thrill for me, and it’s not a fab deal if it dries out or falls apart after a month. I’m even more turned off by products from so-called “luxury” brands if they’re designed with the taste level of a nine-year-old girl for her Barbie dream home, all clunky shapes bedizened with filigree and Swarovski crystals.
You can browse to see if the general concept and lineup appeals, which is what I did before joining. Their aesthetic is more natural, your-face-but-better rather than edgy/editorial, with a nod to current trends like dewy finishes and highlighters. They stock loads of skincare, which is apparently hugely popular, but I have my routine pretty well established, so I’ve been focusing on the makeup. I’ve done several orders, sampling different types of products. I haven’t gotten anything I thought was a dud; here are some of my standouts, with links.
Wondercolour cream shadow stick – a $5 dupe for the cult favorite $29 Laura Mercier caviar sticks. I have both brands, and I like the Beauty Pie ones better, frankly. They wear longer, and I cannot get over the luxe packaging. They’re great as a quick one-and-done shadow if that’s all you’re up for, or use them as a base for other eyeshadows. This is one of their more popular products so they keep adding new shades.
Triple Beauty Liquid Luminizer — this is new, a $5 gel-crème rather than a liquid – but sheered out it’s a dead-on dupe for another cult fave, Charlotte Tilbury’s $44 Hollywood Flawless Filter (I did a side-by-side comparison.) Dabbed and blended on top of your foundation, moisturizer, or on bare skin, it gives a lovely, soft glow.
The Luxe Shine lipstick – for me this is the perfect balance between a more structured lipstick and a crème gloss, and it goes on easy with no fuss. It’s not too sheer, it’s not sticky, it doesn’t smell or taste like anything, it lasts, and the shades are so flattering. My favorite thus far is the pinky-nude Master Sweet.
Superbrow pomade in Ash Brown – It’s an unusual formula, almost like a cream-to-powder eyeshadow; I was expecting something waxier with more hold, but I’ve largely quit using anything else to build up my sparse brows. I apply with an angled brush and the color is perfect if you’re looking for a cool-neutral taupe (cool blondes and browns and silver-haired folks). It’s super quick, looks very natural, and it lasts.
As I said, you can shop there without joining – their excellent dupe for the $38 Charlotte Tilbury contour wand is $25. Or you can join and pay the lower members’ price– in this case, a whopping $7. A membership gives you a regular retail-price spending limit starting at $100 per month, and their members’ pricing is mostly $5 – $10 per item (prices aren’t hidden, and can fluctuate slightly depending on supply/demand.) I feel like explaining it sounds a lot more complicated than doing it. Shipping’s around $8 so if you want to stretch your dollar, let your spending limit build for a couple months (it rolls over). The company’s UK based; US customers are directed to a different part of the site where the prices are in USD. At this time it looks like they only ship to UK and US but I could be wrong about that.
Here’s a referral code link that will get you one month free. None of this is sponsored, I bought everything myself, if you use the code I don’t get any income out of it, they just raise my limit so I can throw more dollars at them. Seems fair.
Are you wearing makeup these days? What’s your favorite item right this second? (I read comments!) Have any of you tried Beauty Pie? Any favorites (or hard passes?) Next time: those perfumes!