January 17, 2021

Makeup Without the Markup

“I’ve had some good ones in the past,” Ms. Kilgore said. “I’m proud of them all. But Beauty Pie? Beauty Pie eclipses the rest.”

Beauty Pie, which has its headquarters in London, began operations four years ago, is a buyers’ club for beauty addicts. Members pay a monthly membership fee for backdoor access to some of the world’s best fragrance, skin care and cosmetics factories, many of which supply big-name luxury brands that go on to charge sky-high multiples for the products once they are stamped with their logo. With Beauty Pie, members can get regular deliveries of Japanese skin cleansers and South Korean serums, Italian lipsticks and perfumes sourced from Grasse in France, all of which arrive in signature rosy pink packaging.

The idea came to Ms. Kilgore one afternoon in a Milan train station as she made her way back from a beauty manufacturing region in Italy known as Lipstick Valley. She had about $5,000 worth of free samples from local factories in a shoulder bag.

“I suddenly thought, ‘What if all the women who usually buy these products in Sephora or department stores could have this feeling that I have right now?’” Ms. Kilgore recalled. “That they were getting a great deal by cutting out the middlemen. That they could access beauty at real cost, meaning they could go on and afford and explore so much more in terms of great products. I knew making customers feel good like that had real power, even if it would also put some noses in the industry out of joint.”

After all, making clients feel good is what energized her businesses from the beginning. Ms. Kilgore was born in 1968 in Saskatchewan, Canada. Her father died when she was 11. Money was tight, and after high school, she moved to New York with $300.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/16/fashion/makeup-without-the-markup.html

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