Now I know most of you have probably seen that girl you knew in high school posting endlessly on Facebook about her really cool, work-from-home, make-your-own-hours, entrepreneurial "girl boss" job? Yeah. Let's dive into what MLMs really are.
WHAT ARE MLMS?
If you don't know, companies like Younique are what we call MLMs, or Multi-Level Marketing companies. They've also been called Network Marketing or, my personal favorite, pyramid schemes. If you haven't heard of Younique, you've definitely seen these companies in other forms: It Works!, Rodan + Fields, Arbonne, Lipsense, Mary Kay, Lularoe, Monat. They're everywhere. Basically, these companies build most of their profits not from their product sales and consumers, but from their consultants. Consultants are encouraged to recruit more people under them and build their "teams". They are pushed to purchase more and more product in order to turn a profit and maintain their status as "consultants". They keep selling, enticed by the prospect of high income and vacations and incentives, but in most cases, consultants are left with debt and a mountain of unsold product. If you are interested in learning more about the subject, I will link a video below from Rachel Oates. She did a lot of wonderful research on the topic and does a much better job explaining it than I do.
Now I know what you're thinking: Tori, do you have ANY experience with MLMs at all? What gives you the right to criticize these people? And I understand where you are coming from. I've bought a Mary Kay foundation or two, and I've definitely had my fair share of Thirty One lunch boxes. Heck, almost half of my kitchen utensils are Pampered Chef. There are definitely people out there with good experiences with MLM consultants and products, including me. But I think it is also important to shed light on the negative aspects of the MLM business structure and, in my opinion, there is A LOT of negative.
Recently, I reached out to friends in a beauty group that I am a part of and asked them to share their experiences with MLM brands. All of their stories were absolutely nuts. In fact, multiple women had people reach out to them about weight loss products while they were in the hospital... after giving birth. (Seriously? that shouldn't even have happened to ONE woman). Others had terrible reactions to these poorly produced products, specifically eye infections and even lost vision due to the Younique 3D Fiber-Lash Mascara. Other accounts were from women being approached and harassed by complete strangers, or people they haven't spoken to in a number of years. The consensus was that MLMs are overall pretty toxic and encourage their consultants to prey upon women's insecurities and shame them into purchasing "organic" or "real" products.
Here are a few of my favorite examples of women being approached by MLM consultants:
SV: "I had a lady get pushy with me in a Target trying to sell me It Works! (the
skinny wraps)... I am 5’1 and 105lbs, borderline underweight, don’t need to be
losing no weight..."
HF: I'm a Makeup Artist, and I have "reps" that will find my website or Business FB
page, and email me asking me to join them and sell their products, and trying
to convince me that their Younique crap is better quality than Pro Brands like
Viseart, Makeup Forever, etc... I never respond to them normally, but it's SO
not appropriate to message someone's business when it's not asking for any
of my services! They are normally not even in my state or area either... it's
AP: "...an old acquaintance I hadn't spoken to it many MANY years messaged me
asking if I'd "heard of that crazy wrap thing"... while I was in the hospital. A
day and a half after giving birth to my 3rd child. Very toxic for my emotions."
Others had been coerced into joining an MLM, or were just curious about the industry,
and were left disappointed with their experience, disappointed in the products/cost, or in debt.
VD: "The god mother of my child is huge into Mary Kay. After she became the god
mother to my son, she asked me to join her team (I was and still am a stay at
home mom; both my boys are autistic) and when I broke down and did, I
never heard from her again. I never sold anything either. I didn’t want to
scam my friends into something or pressure them. I wish I was as strong
back then as I am now because I would of told her to fuck off."
NM: "Once upon a time i started selling an MLM (It Works). I was fresh out of
highschool and a new mom and was trying to make some extra money, and
my cousin who also sold it convinced me to sign up... [I] Spent hundreds
buying products to resell and do parties. I had never even tried the products
but my cousin convinced me they were worth it. I [eventually] tried the
products out my self... long story short i refused to sell them to anyone
because i wasnt going to rip someone off and i lost $300 in the process... I
know alot of people who signed up for these companies under false
pretenses and ended up in hige debt. I got lucky that for me it was only
$300. For others its thousands."
But enough about the way people involved in MLMs act, lets get into what you're really here for: the products. You've already heard about the nightmare that is the Younique 3D Fiber Lash Mascara, so I'll just start off by breaking down Younique's Royalty Divine Daily Moisturizer and comparing it to two of my personal favorite daily moisturizers, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer and the Glossier Priming Moisturizer.
Now before you freak out about reading a whole bunch on nonsense on an ingredient list, I took the liberty of first listing the full ingredient list (for my skincare nerds) and then pulling out the good ingredients, the bad ingredients, and underlining the ingredients that are *personally* important to me. If you're not interested at all, feel free to scroll past and onto my breakdown of *why* this Younique moisturizer is garbage.
Younique Royalty Divine Daily Moisturizer ($39)
Water/Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Squalane, Fructooligosaccharides (D-beta), Nymphaea Coerulea (Blue Lotus) Flower Extract, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Alcohol, Citric Acid, Phytic Acid, Lithium Magnesium Sodium Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate
Good Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Squalane, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Citric Acid
Bad Ingredients: Alcohol (Ethanol)
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer ($24)
Water/Aqua/Eau, Glyceryl Stearate Se, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Urea, Cetyl Alcohol, Avena Sativa Kernel Flour, Squalane, Caprylyl Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Allantoin, Persea Gratissima Oil, N-Butyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Chrysanthemum Parthenium Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Ceramide 3, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, EDTA, Phenoxyethanol.
Good Ingredients: Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Urea, Squalane, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Allantoin, Persea Gratissima Oil, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Ceramide 3
Bad Ingredients: N/A
Glossier Priming Moisturizer ($22)
Aqua/Water/Eau, Tridecyl Stearate, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Stearic Acid, Propanediol, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Palmitic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Tropaeolum Majus Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Phenyl Trimethicone Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Beeswax/Cera Alba/Cire d'Abeille, Mel/Honey Extract/Extrait de Miel, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Phospholipids, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Tetrapeptide-14, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Polyacrylamide, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Butylene Glycol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Citric Acid, Cetyl Palmitate, Betaine, Potassium Sorbate, Ceteareth-20, Laureth-7, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate.
Good Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Mel/Honey Extract/Extrait de Miel, Phospholipids, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea), Tetrapeptide-14, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Betaine
Bad Ingredients: N/A (you could argue that Ascorbyl Palmitate is the least effective form of Vitamin C, but I mean come on, it's still Vitamin C)
Just from glancing at these lists, you can see that the Younique daily moisturizer is almost twice the price of the two moisturizers that I use regularly, yet, the list of good and helpful ingredients in the product is much shorter. The moisturizer also contains ethanol (disguised as simply "alcohol" in the ingredient list), which if you're anything like me, you know ethanol is essentially rubbing alcohol and belongs nowhere NEAR your beauty products. Overall, I'm not impressed by the product based on it's ingredient makeup, I think that it is vastly overpriced for what is in it, and I simply cannot support the format in which these products are sold.
Anyways, I'm a little sick of the randoms sliding into my Instagram DMs saying that they love my social media presence and think that *insert MLM here* will be a "great fit" for me. Same with the ones asking me to model for them and "product test" a weight loss shake... but want me to purchase their product myself. Do your friends and fellow women a favor, just STOP!