I’ve just risked life and limb careering up the stairs to get this review out to you; such is my dedication to the beauty cause that as soon as I saw the Japanfusion Supreme Cream back in stock, I dropped my knitting (aka browsing the Rightmove app) and scurried to my laptop like a rat to a discarded chip bag.
(I appreciate that’s not the most delightful image, but it’s at least an accurate one.)
I’ve been holding off posting this review because Supreme Cream always seemed to be unavailable when I checked, but it’s there online right now and it’s amazing and – if you can get your head around the unique shopping experience they offer at Beauty Pie – it’s one of the best value-for-money luxury creams that money can buy.
Beauty Pie’s Supreme Cream is part of the Japanfusion range*, which is their potent line-up of intensely moisturising skincare products. Actually a very short line-up, because there’s just a cleanser (£5.75 here*, absolutely excellent) a Hydra-Prep Lotion (one step too many for me, but it does actually hydrate in quite a startling manner), a Deep-Treatment Serum (£8.11 here*, and again, startling in its effectiveness) and the Supreme Cream moisturiser (£9.83 here*).
The fact that each of the steps used alone (the lotion is step one, serum is two, cream is step three) gives noticeable results means that I could have really focussed this post on any one of them. Layered together they are almost too much for my face to handle, turning it into a kind of turgid, heaving waterbed. But alive. Products used alone give my face a dense plumpness that’s the polar opposite of the tight, thin feeling you can get if your skin is very dry or dehydrated.
I’m singling out the Supreme Cream for a write-up because a) everyone is obsessed with retinol and this has proved itself to be the perfect after-retinol cream and b) it has that interesting bounciness that I enjoy in a moisturiser. A gel-cream-oil hybrid that feels light and refreshing but at the same time robust, as though you could massage it in for five years and it’d still have something to give. (You can’t, that’s a silly statement, but you catch my drift.)
All of the Japanfusion products contain antioxidants and ingredients to help repair and protect the skin’s barrier, but it’s the cream that provides that final layer and locks in moisture. It almost glazes the skin so that – even without the other layers beneath – it’s almost absurdly plump and dewy. Layer at your own peril! (I jest – how can skin ever be too healthy-looking?)
I use the Supreme Cream over the top of retinol or AHA products, depending on how they’ve been formulated, and definitely on my “night off” when I just want to work on hydration. A great combo, currently, is Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser (here*) which is lighter than a balm but just as deep-cleansing, the Murad Retinol Serum (find that here*) for a bit of heavy-duty skin-renewing and then Supreme Cream to give me that final hydration boost.
I’d say that this cream is far more suited to dry skin than oily or combination – though it’s not a buttery rich texture, it still moisturises in the most full-on way possible, like it’s on some sort of moisturising megadrive mission, and I think it’d be too much if you were even remotely oily. All other skin types, including sensitive (so long as you’re not sensitive to fragrance in small amounts) and dry as boot leather, you’re good to go.
So onto the pricing and buying structure, which is pretty simple when you get to grips with it, but at the same time gives me a minor headache when I try to explain. Beauty Pie works on a membership basis (all good so far) but also on a sort of “comparative RRP” basis, where they find a similar luxury product on the market and use that as the benchmark from which they discount. The whole idea of Beauty Pie is that the products you get are made in the same labs and factories as some incredibly high-end and well-known brands, but you don’t pay the mark-up that traditionally is piled on as a result of fancy packaging and expensive ads starring megastars. You pay cost plus handling and postage.
Except you don’t really, because you also have to factor in a membership fee and this is where it can get slightly confusing if you’re the kind of person who just likes to put the bloody product in your bloody basket and pay for the bloody thing.
So there’s a membership fee and you need to choose your level of membership according to how much you want to spend per month, but the spend isn’t based on the cost of the product to members (so for the Supreme Cream, £9.83) it’s based on the RRP of a comparable product on the market (so, they say, £100.)
If you wanted to buy this cream, then, you’d need the membership level that lets you spend £100 per month, which costs £10 per month in fees. In a way, they could cut out a bit of confusion by just working out the allowance on the members’ price – so £10 a month lets you buy £10 worth of products at the members’ price. It’s pretty much the same thing anyway, I think…
Anyway, if you were to buy a Supreme Cream every month (and might well you!) then it would cost you £10 membership + the £9.83 product cost plus your postage. Still miles cheaper than any cream I can think of that’s this good, and if you didn’t want the cream every month then the next month you might buy tinted moisturiser, or serum, or retinol products. Personally, I don’t think I would run out of things to stay stocked up on, and I certainly wouldn’t get bored.
I’ve been markedly impressed with every skincare product I’ve tried from Beauty Pie but the lazy side of me, the one that hates being tied into things, would still love to be able to buy them with no ties, like any other product.
I suppose that would defeat the object of the whole brand though – and when you think of it, it is quite genius from a marketing point of view. You become a member of a club that gives you access to great formulations at a low cost (even taking the fee into consideration) and they get you hooked in and spending on a regular basis. Good job there’s enough there to keep even the most fickle beauty-lover interested..
What are your thoughts on Beauty Pie? You can read up more on how the system works here* – the entire Japanfusion range is here* and the Retinol is here*. Browse and come back to me with your feedback!