Before Christmas, Beautypie did the rounds with mainstream monthly magazines. Beauty editors were going crazy for the concept and the product. Macro bloggers and vloggers were giddy with delight. Twitter and Instagram were buzzing. Lots of articles and reviews on the product talked about how the concept was ‘shaking up the beauty industry’. Having joined Beauty Pie and used the products (see my review here) my perspective is different.
Where do I begin? There is a snazzy promotional video with supermodel type. However, there is no description of the shade or undertone of any of their complexion products. Nutmeg, their deepest shade of foundation but based on the website I can tell if it has a cool, neutral or warm undertone? Beautypie want makeup savvy people to buy foundation and concealer off the internet without providing crucial information. Information that every other luxury beauty brand provides.
It’s not just the complexion products. The Radiance Glow product is available in three shades. What blimin colour Supernova? I cannot tell:-
- what the colour is from the dodgy computer generated swatch or
- whether it is appropriate for textured skin, or
- whether it will look delicious or disgusting on my rich skin tone.
Consumers are literally buying blind. How can you launch a website 2017 that does not show the colours on real people? Clearly the team at Vogue did not have to navigate the website on a laptop or phone.
I got in touch with Beautpie’s PR company and they said…
They’re on the case! They’re working on videos and sampling
You have to sign up to 3 months. Why? Beautypie say it is so that you can benefit from the discounted prices. I suspect that it is requiring you to sign up also gives them some income upfront. If you decide to skip a month the ten pound subscription fee still gets taken. £10 pays for quite a few items on the website. In addition to the flat rate postage and packaging. Ten pounds pays for the majority of items of the website. In addition you have to pay for postage and packaging, at a flat rate reglardless of what you buy.
I often rant in this space about brands not catering for women of colour. It is an experience that is shared by women with very pale skin. How can a makeup company come to market in 2017 and not be fully inclusive? Beautpie Launched with 8 foundations. Which luxury brand worth its salt only has eight shades? Cover FX have forty shades, Lancome have just come to market with forty shades, Hourglass has 26, Armani, Dolce and Gabanna all have more than eight shades. If you are modelling yourself on luxury brands, for goodness sake model yourself on the good ones. The product itself is good see my review here. The lack of range is unacceptable. Bringing out additional shades in a piecemeal manner is exclusive not inclusive. Beautypie are retailing in the US as well as the UK so they have sufficient numbers to the financial case work. Someone at Beautypie made the ‘business’ decision to exclude shades. Prestige, masstige and mass brands do this all the time. Can you really say that you are shaking up the industry if you do that too?
I got in touch with Beautpie’s PR company and they said…
Beauty Pie are introducing two new shades in April, Fair 150 shell and Deep 900 cocoa bean. They are then extending into a further 4-6 shades later in the summer. They’re yet to approve final shades but are planning an additional 2 x deep shades as part of that mix. Our launch line up was curated to cover the broadest breadth of skin tones within a relatively capsule collection. Beauty Pie haven’t excluded skin tones, they have just tried to capture as many tones as possible across the 4 families (fair, light, medium and deep), and as they extend the brand and assortment, they will be adding in new shades across all four families.
The Purse Factor
I am a fan of a luxury products. If you gave me the choice of ten affordable eye shadows or one luxury one, I will always take the luxury one. Even if the quality is comparable, I enjoy the whole experience of the packaging, the ingredients the specialness. Maybe it is an age thing, maybe it is just me. By taking away the weight of the packaging (for sustainability reasons) the luxury experience is in significant part lost. Some packaging innovation would help a whole heap. There is too great a ratio of functionality to for form.
Beautypie is a great service… if you just want to buy good quality makeup at affordable prices. If you want the luxury experience, go to a luxury brand. In my opinion Beautypie have shaken up the industry in one dimension only. Cost is an important factor when purchasing luxury products. However, by focusing on cost and nothing else, the Beuatypie Team not considered the psychology of buying luxury products. There is a whole heap of psychology associated with buying Chanel lippie compared to a Rimmel lippie.
In a few weeks time The Ordinary are going to be launching their foundations. I have been advised by Victoria Health that it will come in a full complement of shades including shades for women of colour. I cannot confirm this until I see it on the market shelves. Imagine, a foundation for all skin tones at an affordable price, without the subscription. That is a beauty shakeup. Even their Instagram video had real people in it. Beautypie is perpetuating the same issue regarding lack of diversity and coming with a website that does not assist the consumer to make a purchase.It could have been amazing, but I have to say, I’m disappointed.
Over to you – have I been harsh or kept it real? Leave me a comment and let me know