This Brand Is Known for Creating Near-Exact Dupes for Luxury Beauty Products—So I Tried 10 of the Most Popular Products
If it feels like your beauty products are getting more expensive, it’s because they are. Why? The short answer is inflation. The effects of which are evident pretty much anywhere you look, from your weekly grocery run and your phone bill, to dinners out and a quick run to the drugstore. And even though the worst of the pandemic is in our rearview, beauty brands are feeling the heat as they struggle to bounce back, increasing prices to account for higher production costs and supply-chain strain.
According to NielsenIQ data as reported by Global Cosmetic Industry Magazine, the beauty industry as a whole is facing a 10-percent increase in average unit price every year—with cosmetics, nails, skin-care and hair-care bearing the brunt of it. Suddenly, “prestige” makeup and skin care is a whole lot pricier. Thankfully, we have Beauty Pie, the beauty buyers club that gives members access to high-quality, luxury products without the regret-inducing price tag. It’s like a co-op for beauty products.
More about Beauty Pie
Launched in 2016 by serial entrepreneur, Marcia Kilgore—the woman who gave us Bliss Spa (Bliss) in the '90s, and the iconic footwear brand FitFlop—Beauty Pie set out to make the best in beauty more accessible.
“I love beauty. I love being able to help women look better and feel more confident. It’s fun. It gives me an enormous amount of energy. It’s my ‘thing’,” Kilgore explains in an interview on Beauty Pie. “But negotiating margins with retailers, pretending that luxury products are worth up to 10x more than they actually cost to manufacture, that has always made me really uncomfortable.”
Tapping into her decades worth of beauty experience, Kilgore went directly to the labs and suppliers (the same ones that make most of your favorite prestige products, BTW) to develop Beauty Pie’s top of the line skin-care, hair-care, candle, and makeup products, and make them available for a fraction of the price. Ostensibly cutting out the industry and retailer markups and saving members up to a whopping 70 percent (hold for applause) on luxury beauty, so everyone can experience high-end products without the high cost. So, instead of paying upwards of $100 for that fancy French night cream like you would in any department store (absorbing the cost of the luxe packaging, marketing, and retailer markups in doing so), you can get the same cream for half the price on Beauty Pie—still in chic, minimalist packaging of course.
How it works
You can sign up as a Beauty Pie Monthly Member starting at $10 a month, or a Beauty Pie Plus Member for $5 a month ($59 billed annually), you can also shop on Beauty Pie without being a member, but you’d be missing out on the discount, which is kind of the best part. Besides, the membership totally pays for itself—most members earn back the cost of their membership on their first Beauty Pie experience. This checks out because there are pages upon pages of drool-worthy beauty and wellness products to peruse on the Beauty Pie site, many of which are dupes for pricier, prestige brands. After testing some of Beauty Pie’s most beloved offerings over the past few months, I can confidently say it’s a club worth joining. Read on for the luxury dupes that have me totally convinced.
The 10 best luxury dupes to shop on Beauty Pie
Non-member price: $100
Before you drop the cash on a costly vitamin C serum…Consider the fact that for less than $20, you can get a powerful trio of brightening ingredients—vitamin C, tranexamic acid, and ferulic acid—in this Beauty Pie formula. Dullness, dark spots and scarring don’t stand a chance. The lightweight drops absorb in a flash, layer well underneath moisturizer and sunscreen, and leave my skin looking luminous and alive immediately after applying. Unlike other vitamin C products that can irritate sensitive skin, Superdose is gentle enough for all skin types. Also important: it doesn’t have that hot dog water smell…
Compare to: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, $182
Non-member price: $75
If, like me, you have a habit of splurging on fancy candles—you’ll be relieved to know that Beauty Pie’s are just as good as their name-brand counterparts, for less than half the price. They’re made in France, deliver a clean and even burn, and have a lasting scent-throw that fills your space without getting heady or overwhelming. The Bahia De Miel scent is a hit too, with over 400 5-star reviews. Starring notes of balsam fir, guaiac wood and honey, on a base of red juniper, vanilla, and musk, this warm, woodsy candle has a comforting scent you’ll want to burn all year round.
Compare to: Diptyque Narguile Scented Candle, $75
Non-member price: $185
The Youthbomb 360° Radiance Concentrate makes a lot of promises—claiming to smooth, firm, tighten, and brighten skin, all while hydrating and leaving a radiant glow behind. The crazy thing is, it actually delivers. Developed in partnership with consultant dermatologist, Dr. Andrew Markey, Youthbomb is chock full of potent ingredients to unlock your glowiest, bounciest skin yet, like peptides, soothing hydrators and firming proteins. The golden, jelly-like serum absorbs into my skin with ease, and leaves it looking visibly more hydrated, luminous and plump.
“This serum really is top class. I am now on my third bottle,” agrees one Beauty Pie member. “[It] gives a lovely sheen to the skin but [my skin] also feels smoother, firmer [and] bouncier.” And it’s under $50 bucks, which is unheard of for a serum this good.
Compare to: Clarins Double Serum Firming & Smoothing Anti-Aging Concentrate, $90
Non-member price: $38
Beauty Pie’s answer to the no-lipstick-lipstick, the aptly named Unlipstick is a sheer, soft-matte lip formula that gives lips that blurred, blotted lipstick look. Every shade was curated by none other than style icon Jenna Lyons—which means they’re all fabulous. And if you’re worried the matte finish might dry out your lips, know that the Unlipstick’s emollient formula hydrates with every swipe. The lipsticks are refillable too, which means you can keep your case and simply swap out your bullet when you’re done.
Compare to: Givenchy, Le Rouge Sheer Velvet Matte Lipstick $40
Non-member price: $60
Beauty Pie says this moisturizer is like a “cashmere blanket for your face,” and I (along with hundreds of Beauty Pie members) agree. Starring calming cica (aka, Centella asiatica or “Tiger Grass”), hydrating sodium hyaluronate (a derivative of hyaluronic acid), and skin strengthening ceramides—this Japanese moisturizer deeply nourishes and soothes dry, sensitive, and rosacea prone skin. It has a balmy-meets-gel-cream consistency that somehow manages to be intensely moisturizing without overwhelming my combination skin. And whenever I overdo it on skin care and disrupt my skin barrier in the process (which happens more often than I care to admit) the Happy Face Cream helps my skin feel normal (dare I say, happy?) again.
Compare to: Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin™ Skin Barrier Moisturizing Cream, $48
Non-member price: $30
If you loved the Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector, the Superluminous Under-eye Genius will be your new holy grail. It contains antioxidant vitamin E, along with sunflower and castor seed oils to moisturize the delicate under eye area, and light-catching pigments to diminish the look of dark circles and give tired eyes a pick-me-up. A small dab is all you need to instantly look more awake, then follow up with a concealer that’s a match for your skin tone, or wear it alone for light coverage and luminosity.
Compare to: Smashbox X Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector, $33
Non-member price: $60
This niacinamide serum has an impressive 4.6 star rating on the Beauty Pie site, and I understand why. It touts a 10 percent concentration of niacinamide, a must for strengthening your skin barrier and reducing the look of dark spots, according to derms. “It also helps calm inflammation and supports healthy collagen production,” Joshua Zeichner, board-certified dermatologist in New York City previously told W+G. The water-light serum also contains Beauty Pie’s EverMat and Oxygeskin complexes—which help reduce the look of pores and breathe new life into skin, for a clear, smooth, and plumped up complexion.
Compare to: Dr. Barbara Sturm Better B Niacinamide Serum, $145
Non-member price: $30
This Beauty Pie highlighter is an obvious dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Highlighter Wand that’s gone viral on TikTok—and it’s honestly, even better. It has the same cushion applicator that makes dabbing it on the high points of your face fun, but the superior formula inside gives you a more natural, pearlized glow, without any glitter. I found it to be easier to blend than the CT highlighter, and weightless formula dries down quickly (without emphasizing dry patches) to create a subtle, soft-focus effect. For only $12, it’s 100 percent worth the membership, if you ask me.
PS. Beauty Pie also makes a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Contour Wand, but it’s currently sold out. We recommend keeping your eyes peeled on the product page to snag one when it’s back in stock!
Compare to: Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Highlighter Wand, $42
Non-member price: $100
Green powders are all the rage right now, but reaping their beauty and wellness benefits can get pricey (I’m looking at you, Athletic Greens). Beauty Pie’s Green Me Up Powder contains a similar lineup of good-for-you greens—like wheatgrass, spirulina, matcha, maca, kale, broccoli, and alfalfa—gut-friendly probiotics, along with adaptogenic mushrooms to help you feel your best, all for nearly half the price of AG1. And if you’ve tried greens powders before, you know they’re an acquired taste, but Green Me Up has a natural apple flavor that’s easy to drink on its own and makes a great addition to smoothies.
Compare to: AG1, $79
Non-member price: $30
These Beauty Pie shadow sticks are the secret to one-and-done eyeshadow looks. For starters, the creamy formula applies like a dream, giving you ample time to blend before setting down to a budge-proof finish that won’t smudge or crease throughout the day. There’s a solid selection of shimmer and matte shades that’ll work with a variety of makeup looks—and they can even be used as eyeliners for added utility in your makeup bag.
Compare to: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadow, $32
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