With its direct-to-consumer membership model and a business built on cutting out the middlemen, Beauty Pie has taken an innovative approach to business since it started in December 2016. This year it plans to expand into new markets and launch a multitude of new products.
The company was founded by Canadian serial entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore (of the Bliss, Soap & Glory and Fitflop brands) to disrupt the mainstream prestige beauty industry. Kilgore spotted an opportunity to directly partner with cosmetic scientists and product development companies to create beauty products and then directly sell these to consumers at a much lower cost, minus the fancy packaging and extravagant marketing campaigns.
Although many direct-to-consumer beauty brands have struggled over the past year, Beauty Pie has made 9th place in the UK’s Growth Index 100 fastest-growing companies list for 2023.
Retinoids and nutraceuticals
So the brand is clearly gaining popularity with consumers, but what are its most popular products right now?
According to VP of NPD at Beauty Pie, Saskia Lankshear, sales have been flying for its retinol-retinoid serum. “Our Youthbomb™ Double-retinol™ Action Skin Overhaul™ Serum has been a fantastic launch for us in Q4 – selling beyond expectations and amassing five-star reviews from our customers,” says Lankshear. “It's a potent Retinol + Retinoid Complex for exceptionally effective resurfacing and collagen-support that includes Niacinamide, Lactic Acid, Fi-Vita, Allosteris, Hyaluronic Acid and Concentrated Ceramides.”
Lankshear says that the entire Youthbomb retinol-based range has been selling well across the board. And it seems that the trend for nutraceuticals has also resonated with Beauty Pie’s customer base. “Our recent launch of Chollagen™ Hydrolysed Marine Collagen food supplement packed with Peptides, Organic Cacao, Biotin & Vitamin C has also been flying,” she says.
Building the world’s biggest luxury buyer’s club
Last month, Beauty Pie has hired a new CEO, ex-Peloton Chief Commercial Officer Kevin Cornils, who will work with Marcia Kilgore and US-based President Sabine Mian to lead the next phase of growth, as the company expands into more international markets and grows its consumer base in the UK and US.
Kilgore will still be heavily involved in the business. “I am and always will be the founder, and my nose is deeply stuck in the quality of product that goes to our customers and the communication we have with them,” she says. “Sabeen is spearheading the US launch from New York and Kevin will be headquartered at the London HQ. They will be a formidable duo. Currently, 80% of Beauty Pie’s Members are UK-based, post our software replatform project, there’s a whole world to go after, but the first letters we’ll be chanting are USA!”
NPD: electrolyte gel-creams and hybrid formulations
The brand has also taken its first step into aromatherapy and collaborated with essential oils expert and founder of wellness-beauty brand This Works, Kathy Phillips. It has launched four aromatherapy blend bath and shower oils, which are designed to help relieve the stresses of modern life: Reboot, Firewall, Power Down and Power Up.
The brand now has even more launches in the fire for the rest of this year and plans to experiment with cutting-edge new concepts, textures and formats.
“We have so many exciting new products coming down the pipeline, from Shinkai: a Japanese-inspired electrolyte skin 3-in-1 gel cream, to a beautiful new fragrance Le Smash Santal – a blend of Almond powder, Tonka Bean and Lavender field, all on a creamy sandalwood base, says Lankshear.
There is also an upcoming skin tint launch “inspired by the Skinification trend and hybrid formats,” she says. “Expectations are far higher from makeup items nowadays in terms of optics but also active ingredients, so we worked with one of our favourite Japanese skincare labs to make an active-based makeup/skincare hybrid.”
Lankshear is especially excited about the new electrolyte gel-cream. “There is a lot of buzz at Beauty Pie HQ about our upcoming new moisturiser – Shinkai Electrolyte 3-in-1 Gel Cream,” she continues. “It’s made with ultra-hydrating deep sea mineral infusion that contributes to 40% of the formulation. Plus it’s packed with supremely hydrating electrolyte minerals”.
One thing that stands out at Beauty Pie is its expertise in innovation and trends. Lankshear says this is inspired by a variety of different sources. “A fantastic new ingredient may trigger an idea, our members might be requesting a particular product or format, general market trends will give us inspiration for a concept, or one of our top suppliers may show us a new formula that we might evolve into a new product idea if we think there is a gap/demand for our members. It is multi-faceted!”