No one truly needs a beauty subscription, but it may save you money | Makeup

At times of financial discomfort, subscriptions and memberships can seem like easy and obvious targets to cut back on. But when subscription models have recently triggered such a significant and likely irreversible shift in how we shop for beauty, I’m still interested in which offer decent value for money. No one needs a beauty subscription but for many, they are a way of enjoying cosmetics while saving on products.

The most popular is Beauty Pie, and with good reason. I’m a subscriber, paying £59 a year for access to what is in effect a “buyers’ club”, selling high quality haircare, makeup, skincare and fragrance made by many of the same formulators and manufacturers as luxury brands, only direct to consumer, at a more affordable “members’ price”.

Personally, I love it – I wear Superluminous under-eye brightener almost every day and cannot tell the difference between Beauty Pie eyeshadow palettes and those of at least three brands charging thrice as much. But the true value in Beauty Pie correlates directly with a member’s shopping habits – if you shop lots for beauty and don’t mind sticking mostly to one brand, you’ll love it.

Regular-use toiletries subscriptions are a safer bet, since you know you’ll always get the use out of, say, razorblades. Flamingo (from £5.95, and sister brand to Harry’s) kicks things off with a starter razor, then sends fresh, great quality blades as frequently as you get through them. They’re handy and less expensive than comparable blades. Similar schemes exist for refillable deodorant.

The most frivolous but quidsworth subscription comes from Liberty. The department store’s Beauty Drop is a fantastic deal for hardcore beauty fans, since subscribers…

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