Almost two years ago I wrote about the Beauty Pie service and broke down how it works and showcased what I had picked from the service. I recommend if you are totally unfamiliar with this concept you take a read of that post! But I’ve never followed up on what I thought of the products from the line that were amongst the first of their launches.
Essentially Beauty Pie is a new twist on beauty subscriptions, you pay a fee per month, and you can shop on their site for premium skincare, makeup and beauty accessories that are the same quality as high end brands without the price tag. If a foundation would have a retail price of roughly £25 say and it costs them £5.81 to make & store, you pay £5.81. The subscription gives allows you to buy up to £100 worth of full retail price items a month (there are different levels available), but you then pay the cost price. Any unusued credit can roll over to the next month if you don’t want to use it that month.
A breakdown of that would be;
4 x Foundations = Retail Value of £100
4 x Foundation Cost = £23.84
You pay the cost of the product + delivery + subscription fee.
All things considered each month you’re looking at roughly a £35-50 spend depending on your selections. The money they make comes largely from their subscription fees as they’re selling products “without markup“. But that fee is pretty much 30-50% of the cost of your order, which in my opinion adds quite a large gamble for products you can’t take a swatch, sniff or play with before you buy.
I won’t lie, I’ve not been particularly fond of any of the makeup I’ve tried from the first and only experience I’d had with Beauty Pie, up until this point. The foundation didn’t work for my skin, the highlighter was nice quality but a very icy in tone, the lipstick was okay – and the mascara… is still sitting unopened, I have about 15 in my stash at the moment! But despite that I’d heard amazing things about the skincare – and for a good six months the Japanfusion line had been on my list to try.
My friend Sophie had a voucher at the tail end of summer for taking off the cost of the subscription for a month ‘free’ pass which she didn’t want to use – and I asked if I could snap it up as I could get that cleanser finally. I initially planned to get the whole Japanfusion line, but the credit did not stretch far enough (a grand total of £260 worth of credits!), so I decided to pick up three different cleansers, all very different from one another – which made a nice round £100 and cost me just short of £30 with delivery.
One thing about Beauty Pie, which strangely they don’t shout about on their packaging and it’s nestled deep within the Q&A for the website is that it’s a line that’s not tested on animals, although not completely vegan due to some animal derivatives (such as beeswax).
I have been putting the trio of cleansers to the test since September, trying and comparing the three with final thoughts and decisions.
Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser
‘RRP’ £25 // Member Cost Price £6.59 // Made in Japan // Link to buy
This is probably the product that is most raved about from Beauty Pie that I’ve heard of – especially in the skincare side. Caroline Hiron’s loves it, the Full Coverage Pod Love it and that was enough to make me think it would be something I had to try. I’ll admit that the first 5-10 uses I tried it I thought it was okay, but I didn’t get the hype – until I read the packaging and read that I was using it entirely wrong.
This has a gel-cream like texture and naturally I assumed that like most gel based cleansers I use I’d just rub it onto wet skin. But you have to apply this dry like a balm and then it takes on a pretty unique quality. Beginning as a gel texture once massaged in it becomes an glorious silky oil consistency and once water is applied turns to a milk.
If you go on in on a wet face it doesn’t give the cleanser chance to work it’s magic. It breaks makeup down very well, including stubborn makeup on the eye area. Caroline suggested that you can splash this off, but honestly, my aim isn’t that good and I prefer using a warm microfibre cloth to rinse it all away. The skin is left feeling super smooth, moisturise and nourished. I noticed after a few weeks of using this one solidly that it seemed really brightening too thanks to Jabara Extract (a Japanese citrus fruit).
This line sticks a little middle finger up the the K-Beauty trend claiming that Japan was ahead of the game and all grown up before K-beauty started gaining popularity.
If like me you find oil cleansers a little messy and difficult to use this is a great option to try as it rinses away so easily and is traceless on the skin. If you’re sensitive to fragrance this one is completely unscented – and makes a lovely, luxurious option. The bad news is it’s not expected back in stock until April (I almost debating holding off this review until it was back, but I suspect there may be a list of loyal fans of this waiting to snap it up, so I wanted to get it up so you had chance to subscribe and snag it if so!).
Double-Phase Daily Deep Rinse-Off Facial Cleanser
‘RRP’ £25 // Member Cost Price £6.24 // Made in the UK // Link to buy
Double Phase Cleanse is almost finished with, it’s been my shower cleanser of choice for the past few months and it’s well and truly been tested. Double Phase for me I was expecting to be as good as bi-phase makeup removes in terms of performance, I was expecting that it would do an absolutely stellar job of removing makeup (something it does claim to do), but it just doesn’t.
The key ingredients from this cleanser are that it’s made from 95% naturally derived ingredients, including baobab, aloe vera and meadowfoam sea oils (an ingredient rich in fatty acids). In addition it contains Vitamin E which is known for it’s antioxidant qualities.
The formula of this is a white cream – it’s almost got a gel like texture and feels quite watery – it doesn’t quite hold it’s shape and soon melts into a blob in your hand. The cleanser comes with a muslin cloth however I found it to be a little scratchy feeling alongside this cleanser so I preferred using a microfibre cloth or just my hands.
Because I’ve been using this mostly in the shower I’ve been careful to follow it’s instructions of applying onto dry skin and massaging in which is key because with any damp or wetness it turns milky very quickly. As a makeup remover, I think this is rubbish – it struggles with heavy foundation (e.g if I’ve put makeup on in the evening and it’s being removed after a few hours) and does an okay job on base makeup that’s been worn all day. But it really struggles with eye makeup – even eyeshadow can struggle to remove fully, let alone mascara and liner.
I find myself using this daily to get the bulk of makeup off my face, but I find when ever I get out the shower I need to use a micellar soaked pad to get what’s left. I don’t mind it so much when I’m makeup free as I find it makes my face feel soft, but as a makeup removing cleanser it’s disappointing and there’s better performing products out there.
Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm
‘RRP’ £50 // Member Cost Price £13.04 // Made in Italy // Link to buy
Cleansing balms have been my cleanser type of choice this year and have deeply fell in love with a few. This one is so nicely packaged in a heavy glass pot that’s frosted green in tone. This does have a light apricot scent when you open it, which I have to say I was expecting be stronger. Personally that’s all good by me as I’m not an apricot fan when it comes to scent or flavour, but I didn’t let that put me off trying to put this to the test.
Unscrewing the lid showed me a plastic lid in between which I was happy to see alongside a little scoop to get the product out without using your fingers. Personally – I find the shape of it thin on the end you hold, coupled with the texture of the balm (more on that in a minute) difficult to scoop through. The box also comes with a muslin cloth which was a nice unexpected addition within the box.
The texture of the mask is thick and very dense feeling. I’ve found with most other balms I’ve tried is that they’re quite oily but this one is almost waxy in comparison. I tend to get my fingers into it and scoop out a little onto the tips of two or three fingers which I then spread evenly around my face before I start massaging in. It takes a fair bit of massaging before that thick texture starts melting down into a balmy oil texture, it recommends 1-2 minutes, but I find myself being done at that minute or so mark.
This removes eye makeup easily, but I do have to make sure that it’s been thoroughly warmed up before I try to massage it in otherwise it just sticks in my eyelashes and ends up in my eyeballs. So i work around my face first before I go over my eyes. With water added it turns to a milk which washes away easily and leaves skin feeling hydrated, soft and supple.
I don’t think it’s as good as the likes of Emma Hardie one – however it’s a lot lot cheaper. Would I pay £50 for it? No – would I happily pay a little over £13? Abso-fricking-lutely.
Whilst it’s definitely not a cheap subscription option it does compare with the prices of more luxury boxes such as MINTD. Taking the surprise factor out, and picking items you are interested in trying. It’s biggest strength for me would be a good way to find products you love and be able to stock up on them when you are close to running out as well as being able to try new things alongside it. I don’t think I’d use it as a monthly service if I was to subscribe and would just let the credits roll over to stock up on those favourites.
I would be more likely to pay for the subscription now compared to how I was a few years ago – the variety is certainly more interesting for a long term range. The appeal of the service has definitely increased for me – Beauty Pie was still very much in it’s infancy with my first order and they’ve increased their range since then expanding into brushes, accessories, candles and now perfumes. Their makeup range seems to have stalled in growth a little, when I cast over the range I don’t feel like I’m looking at something that’s grown anywhere near as much as other segments which is a bit of a shame. But it does have variety and it’s nice to be able to treat yourself to different things. Later in the year I will be subscribing to try some more things about, but I’m keen to clean down a few part used items first.
There’s a minimum of three months subscription with Beauty Pie so if you wanted to try items and get a feel for the brand and the service I’d be inclined to go with the £5 a month service which gives you £50 of credit. With my referral (choose to use it or not!) it will give you your first month free – so by month three you’ll have £150 worth of spends accumulated and spent £10.
If you wish to try Beauty Pie for the first time you can get the first month of the membership fee knocked off by clicking on this link here (referral).
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