How Mormons, network marketing & social media combine to sell women a false dream

 

I’ve been trying to write this post for months now, but every time I’d get close I felt like the subject matter – women, mothers, feminism, multi-level marketing was so huge and amorphous that I’d give up, defeated, not knowing where to start.  So,  I was pathetically grateful when Kate Dyson of The Motherload agreed to join me in tackling this subject and wrote her post, “Is Network Marketing a Cult for Mums”.   You can read it here.  Between the two of us, we’ve tried to split the issue up into the most important parts that we think need to be highlighted.

 

I remember when my daughter was first born.  Up until then, she’d been an abstract idea in my mind, not quite real.  Then she was born, and I fell in love with her.   For the first years of her life I decided I wanted to be with her as much as possible, helped by the fact I couldn’t earn enough money to pay for childcare and a heap of hormones.    I did other things: worked part time in a shop, wrote a screenplay, to make money where I could.

 

It became clear very quickly that if you’re a woman who wants to stay home with your kids that not many mainstream political or activist groups will support you.   That choice makes you a ‘traditional’ woman (even if you’re not) – I’m not, and I felt no similarities between why I wanted to stay home and why the conservative religious groups who appeared to support women like me thought I should.  You don’t speak for me, I’d think. I WANT to earn my own money.   But most feminist-oriented groups supported better childcare not the option to stay home.   Which left me and many women like me in a bind.  We needed to invent our own ways.

 

So, we did.  Many of my friends became “mumpreneurs’ and tried to start businesses that fit in around their kids, with varying levels of success. Others gave up and went back to their jobs, signing their children onto endless childcare waitlists and in some cases, having to accept sub-standard care.  For the rest of us, the only money-making ‘opportunities’ that seemed flexible & available to women like us were in pyramid form: Stella & Dot, Younique, LulaRoe, or many others.

 

I was invited to a Stella & Dot party and out of obligation bought a necklace.  I went through a huge Stella & Dot phase.  “It’s to help out (insert name of fellow SAHM here)” I told my husband, convincing myself I was doing a good deed, helping a fellow Mum make money while staying home with her kids.  Really, I just liked spending money and getting out of the house.  However, like a lot of MLM products, the expensive jewellery didn’t live up to the hype.  Within weeks something I’d paid 100 dollars for was chipping and flaking.  For the first time I wondered how legit this ‘business’ really was.   I’d been told the jewellery was of high quality, but it clearly wasn’t.

 

Before long my SAHM friends were bailing on Stella & Dot and moving onto another MLM, a pattern that turned out to be typical.  One of them hounded me for weeks to have a party for my friends – I thought about it but something about the way she talked put me off.  I now know, thanks to the stories and research we’ve done in Timeless Vie, that her approach was scripted – she claimed she only had a certain number of ‘spots available’ and I had to book now to ensure she was available.  This pressure tactic, I have learned, is typical of MLM bots.  They don’t want to give you too much time to think.  Not long after I backed out I learned she had dropped out.  I still hope she didn’t lose too much money.  She had 3 kids.

 

The more we’ve learned about MLM, the darker it is, and the harder it is not to come to the conclusion that the whole thing is deliberate: the targeting of mothers, the refusal to investigate the industry by government, the smoke & mirrors that make it so difficult to find out how much women ACTUALLY earn.

 

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THE MORMONS.

 

I really, really, REALLY don’t want to talk about the Mormons.

It’s not an anti-religious thing for me.  I really could not care less what or who people worship.

But when it’s obvious many MLMs are set up in Utah and run by people who appear to be devout Mormons well then WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS.  It is time to talk about the massive, Mormon-shaped elephant in the room.

 

First, let’s start with this: that there are so many MLM companies in Utah that they have started their OWN “Direct Sales Association”.  Some of our fave MLMs like Younique, Maelle & Ariix have won awards there.

 

These MLMs talk the language of female empowerment, of spiritual enlightenment, but are they really interested in empowering women?  For a start, there’s the Mormon religion itself.   We discussed this previously here in a blog about the founders of Younique.  First, a note: I do not claim to know how all Mormons believe or feel, because like any religious community I’m sure there’s a wide range of belief and faith.

 

That said, there are very clear, very traditional gender roles encouraged in the Mormon church, and arguably that’s part of the reason why MLMs are so encouraged – because they allow women to ‘stay home’ in their traditional roles while appearing to be ‘making money’.    I say “appearing to be” deliberately because there is very little independent data to prove they actually ARE making money.

 

It’s not like the IMF (the International Monetary Fund) is screaming from the rooftops about how amazing MLM companies are for women.  They’re not.  They think we need better childcare, they think that women are suffering from economic inequality, and they think these issues are ECONOMIC issues that are holding everyone back.  If the founders of MLMs want to empower women economically, why don’t they join hands with labour groups, feminist groups, etc to fight for better childcare? More flexible jobs? You know why.

 

The other thing? One of the questions we have is where all the money is going and whether it’s going to fund the LDS churches’ political activities, many of which might be opposed to the economic empowerment of women outside of traditional gender roles.

 

THE EMPOWERED YOUNIQUE PRESENTERS OF STOKE-ON-TRENT

 

Let’s take Younique as an example.  Younique aims to validate, empower, and uplift women.  Maybe they do, but again, there’s no real data to prove this claim one way or the other.  So I decided to have a crack at it.

 

I don’t have a lot of time, I work and have a family,  so I decided to work with what is publically available.  The rest of the TV team suggested I  concentrate on a part of the UK that’s more economically deprived and appears to have a large number of MLM schemes in operation: Stoke-on-Trent.   Stoke-on-Trent has a pretty high number of people on benefits and a very high number of people who have been forced to declare bankruptcy, compared to the rest of the UK.

 

THE DATA

 

Using Younique’s presenter map, I worked out roughly how many Younique presenters there were in the area.  Note: since “Stoke-on-Trent” doesn’t have clear boundaries on the Younique map I just picked out women roughly in and around Stoke.

 

Total number of Younique bots: 52.   Of these, 2 were Green Status (elite), 4 were Pink, 13 were Yellow, and 33 were White, the lowest status.

 

To maintain White Status, a presenter has to generate $125 USD every 3 months in “personal retail sales” to stay active.   125 USD according to the Travelex Currency exchange website on 22 April 2017 is £88.88.  For Yellow Status a presenter must have generated $1000 USD, which = £711 pounds.   For pink, it’s all that plus £177.75 PLUS sponsoring 1 white status presenter.   For Green it’s £355.50 plus sponsoring 3 white status presenters.  Note: there’s much more to the plan than this, this is just the basics. Note: “sponsoring” = “recruiting” women into their team.   We made a video about that here:

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftimelessvie%2Fvideos%2F1725687821035572%2F&show_text=0&width=400“>Younique Recruiting Video

 

All the Younique Presenters are women.

All can recruit or sell from anywhere.

Most of them were White Status, which is the lowest status at the bottom of the triangle.

 

Here’s how Younique’s empowerment plan was working:

 

I figured out the total amount paid into Younique by the 52 presenters came to at least £17,186.04.  That includes £69 for the presenter kit.  Reminder: this is in a deprived area.  We can’t be sure where much of this money is going, or how much of it is from presenters themselves rather than actual sales,  but we are fairly sure much of the money flowing OUT of Stoke-on-Trent to people higher up the Younique compensation plan.

 

The total amount paid by White Status presenters for starter kits is: £2277.  To stay active for 3 months it’s £2933.04 for a total of £5210.04.  I decided to concentrate on White Status presenters as they are a. the most common and b. the ‘bottom’ of the MLM triangle so more representative of a typical rep.

 

Then, I searched up each presenter on Facebook to see what I could discover about their success or failure from social media.  Blank spaces mean I couldn’t find any info.

 

Presenter Name Starter Kit minium £ to stay active Comments Extra Comments
Presenter 1 69 88.88
Presenter 2 69 88.88
Presenter 3 69 88.88 downline to StokeonTrent Yellow Status presenter, does not appear to be active
Presenter 4 69 88.88
Presenter 5 69 88.88
Presenter 6 69 88.88
Presenter 7 69 88.88
Presenter 8 69 88.88 Has younique FB profile (Presenter 8 younique) with 184 friends. Very few likes or responses.  All the likes are from other younique presenters in other countries.
Presenter 9 69 88.88
Presenter 10 69 88.88
Presenter 11 69 88.88 friends with Stokeontrent Green Status Presenter.  Has a facebook group called Presenter11makeup by younique with 154 members.  Seems to be recruiting etc back in Poland.  Runs raffles to get rid of makeup.  She sells raffle tickets for 2 pounds each to people saying they can ‘win’ 100 pounds of younique makeup.   For one raffle she sold 8 tickets = 16 pounds which means a loss of 70 pounds on the makeup.
Presenter 12 69 88.88
Presenter 13 69 88.88 has FB group with 16 members.  Shows Younique Makeup as “free” then a link to her online shopping party.  No response, though 8 people have seen it.  No responses or likes to any of her posts.
Presenter 14 69 88.88 has fb page with 18 likes. Endless posts, no comments likes or shares.
Presenter 15 69 88.88
Presenter 16 69 88.88
Presenter 17 69 88.88 friends with elite green status younique member
Presenter 18 69 88.88 has FB page with 13 likes.  Also has a closed group with 65 members for younique selling
Presenter 19 69 88.88
Presenter 20 69 88.88
Presenter 21 69 88.88 Presenter 21 had an online party and made 151.00 pts.  The only contributor to the party was Presenter 21.  At this level Presenter 21 wouldn’t have made any money at all as party points don’t count until 200 pt. Has been trying to recruit since Jan 2017, no takers, no likes on her posts etc.  on FB.   Has a FB page with 21 likes.  Posting about 79 pound younique products with no likes or takers.  Lives and videos with only a few views.  Has been trying to get to yellow status since she re-joined in January, still hasn’t managed it, still posting up a storm in April. 2x 102 pounds to stay active = 204 pounds she’s spent to stay in at LEAST.
Presenter 22 69 88.88
Presenter 23 69 88.88
Presenter 24 69 88.88 has facebook page, 40 people have liked it.  Attempts to recruit etc. no response.
Presenter 25 69 88.88
Presenter 26 69 88.88
Presenter 27 69 88.88 14 likes of her page.  Last post asked people to comment if they wanted a free liquid foundation.  No one commented.  She had an online party and made 44.00 pts, which means she would have made nothing.  The only person who contributed was Presenter 27 – herself.  Has been active since at least feb.
Presenter 28 69 88.88
Presenter 29 69 88.88 had a younique kudos party, made 144.00 pts, which is not enough to have received rewards.  The only contributor (buyer)was the Presenter herself.  She had other parties with the following results: party 2: 177.00 pts contributor: Presenter 29.
Presenter 30 69 88.88 just made yellow status.  50 likes of FB page. Posts regularly, the only likes are from herself and another white status younique presenter.  Naturally beautiful Yellow status means has generated at least £711
Presenter 31 69 88.88
Presenter 32 69 88.88
Presenter 33 69 88.88 likes Sharlie Melly, a black status elite presenter living in Spain.   Trying to sell younique on her personal FB page. No comments or likes. Started in august 2014 and still only white presenter.
totals 2277 2933.04

 

I think this table speaks for itself.

Question: Does a struggling area like Stoke really need 52 Younique sellers?

 

Even if the women try to recruit and sell to other areas that aren’t doing as badly, they’re still competing against all the women already doing the same thing in those areas.  This seems like a pretty impossible, not very empowering task.  Even Younique admits this in teeny tiny letters on their website.

 

From Younique:

The recruitment and sales figures posted here are achieved only by approximately less than the top 0.02 % of Presenters.

There is no guarantee of success for any Younique Presenter. The final success or failure of any Younique Presenter will likely be a function of such Presenter’s individual talents and effort as well as factors outside of the Presenter’s control such as luck and macro-economic conditions. (like living in a poorer area called Stoke-On-Trent – Timeless Vie).  Younique makes no guarantee, promise or any representation that a Presenter will obtain success, profit or income. Becoming a Younique Presenter involves business and financial risk. It is possible that a Presenter will lose money in conjunction with participating as a Presenter.

 

And there you have it, in black and white, from Younique themselves.   But this is not the dream sold to women trying to stay home or make extra money around their families.  This fact is hidden under layer after layer of memes, tweets, and other social media guff about how amazing the Younique opportunity is.

 

I believe, like Kate Dyson, that network marketing has fuck all to do with empowering women and everything to do with selling them a load of bollocks so they part with their money.   Women spending their time, energy & talents on network marketing schemes don’t have the time, money or energy to push for better childcare, better work status, or their own businesses.  I would argue that MLMs funnel a lot of women’s talent away from economic empowerment towards endlessly striving for an impossible goal.  0.02%, people.  0.02% chance she’ll hit the top of that Younique leaderboard.  It’s a game.  It’s pay-to-play.  Like gambling.

 

Since I founded Timeless Vie, we’ve received PM after PM from women desperate to tell us their stories of exploitation in MLM.  Their side is often ignored.  It shouldn’t be.

Because of them, we’ve started our MLM-free logo campaign, which the Motherload, Mrs Gloss & the Goss & WorcestershireMums have joined so far (along with others).

 

We will continue to fight for more transparency from the MLM industry and more independent data about the true outcomes for women.

DO THEY KNOW? Do you think the top MLM reps know what they’re doing when they suck others into their team?

It’s the question we often ask ourselves at TVHQ and it’s been the source of some heated debates. 

Do the uplines, the top bots, the high-flyers in MLM, know what they’re doing when they pull people into their downline?  Do they know that most will fail?   Or are they brainwashed?  Trapped? Or sociopaths?

 

For those who are knew to MLM/this blog, some explanation.  MLM = multi-level marketing, like Younique, Forever Living, etc.

Upline = persons higher up in the pyramid, who generally appear to have lots of money, large teams, etc

Downline = the people below the upline.

 

As we’ve seen here, some MLM success-stories do work it out fairly quickly and leave because they can’t bear to see people they care about getting hurt.  Their moral compass, their emotional intelligence forces them to go before too much damage is done.  They realise that for most people MLM is a losing proposition.

And the others?  WATCH THIS:

 

Having watched the vido, do you think Emma, the top bot living in a castle, is lying?

Or is she convinced that she’s doing the right thing, using ‘attraction marketing’ to draw others into her MLM?  That she can help others get this dreamlife too?

And her brother – is he lying too, or does he truly believe that MLM is just another way of doing business?  To me, he looks sincere.

The question of Emma’s guilt or innocence, awareness or lack of, has been discussed  by those of us behind TV, along with other top bots.   Some of us believe she knows what she’s doing and is deliberately manipulating people.  Others think she is completely brainwashed and a victim.

The thing is, if Emma is doing everything she’s supposed to do: listening to ‘mindset’tapes all the time, constantly training and reaching out to others to bring them in, while balancing her family,  it’s possible that she DOES believe that what she is doing is right.  MLMs ban what they call ‘negative’ thinking.  Read this. And this.

This kind of thought-stopping tactic is also found in certain religions like Scientology.  An excellent blog to read about Scientology  is this one

Botwatch also wrote a well-researched post about MLM thinking here

Due to the high-turnover of recruits, all uplines have to spend a lot of time focussed on recruiting, which doesn’t give them a lot of time to reflect on what they are doing.   It’s an eternal sad hamster wheel of victims in, victims out.   As we discussed here, it can be very difficult to leave an MLM once a certain amount of time and money is invested.  That’s why we’ve always tried to reach out to the successes as well as those who have been used – in some cases, we think they are victims too.

Some, but not all.

There are also those who we have strong reason to believe know what they are doing and don’t care.  We will have more to come on this story, but for now, here’s an excellent blog about how to tell when people are lying.

How do you know whether you are good at spotting liars? Test yourself  here at the University of Berkeley’s EQ test website.  This test will tell you how clever you are at reading other people’s emotions, which is part of lie detection.

Many MLM uplines post videos on Facebook etc to persuade people to join, to mentor their ‘teams’, etc etc blah blah.  Next time you watch one, take note of whether their facial expressions match what they are saying, whether their smiles are truly sincere, and whether they show true emotional concern for their ‘teams’.   I’m not just talking words here – they should be showing genuine emotion/concern on their faces if they truly care.

People who lack emotion can sometimes appear very charming, smiling a lot, presenting a beautiful appearance, but will also show inappropriate facial expressions at times.   Take note of this.   It’s a red flag about how that person is truly feeling.

And finally, if you are high up in an MLM but want to get out, we ARE here for you.  No matter what you’ve done in MLM, you can make a difference right now, today, by leaving & helping others see through the deception.

We interview Jane Cunningham, aka British Beauty Blogger, about MLMs, makeup, & her career as a beauty writer.

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Thank you very much for agreeing to join us for a Q&A – we know how busy you are! Could you start by telling us a little bit about your professional background as a beauty writer and why you started your blog?

Thanks for inviting me! I was a beauty writer for print for many years working on titles such as The Telegraph, The Independent, The Daily Express and Metro. I started following blogs – Temptalia and Blogdorf Goodman in particular – and was absolutely fascinated by them. I saw a feature pop up in the New York Times about how blogging was the new ‘thing’ and thought, I can do that! So, I did. I really had no idea quite how it would go or whether it would be a ‘thing’ in the UK too, so it took many years before I had the courage to ditch print altogether. It did offer me an environment that was unedited so I could say what I really think about an industry that on the one hand adores women and yet on the other, is prepared to rinse them for every penny without even a backward glance! Don’t start me!

You are known for your honesty & directness when reviewing brands and products. What prompted your powerful video directed at MLMs – it seemed like the pressure had been building for a while?

As a blogger, I get contacted a lot by MLMs – mainly Younique, I must admit, and that has died off now but at one point it was every day, and I think my frustration comes from knowing that not one single one of the people who contacted me had a clue that everyone else was contacting me. I think there must have been some kind of guideline from the brand on contacting bloggers and how to do so, resulting in a flooded in-box. I’m not frustrated by it (I always speak passionately about beauty!) but I’m sad for the people who have such hopes for it, when statistics clearly show that ‘getting rich’ happens to very, very few. 

How did your followers react to your post? We know that it was very widely viewed and shared, so I’m assuming that what you said resonated with a lot of people!

 

I feel really lucky with my readers – because I’m prepared to be direct, they often are too. I felt they shared my frustration with a model that doesn’t work for many women (and men).

You mentioned in your video that you were bombarded by requests from MLM representatives – much like we all are on social media – have you had any response from the MLM companies/representatives since the video?

Nope! But then, I wouldn’t expect to – people are good at ignoring what they don’t want to see or hear. Although saying that, my FB Live channel is small because it’s fairly new (I swapped from Periscope to FB) and it does somehow seem that the brands I don’t particularly want to see it always end up seeing it! I don’t know how that happens! 

You were very clear about advising people against joining MLMs. We get angry when MLMs state that they ‘empower’ women as we feel that they exploit them. Does your exposure to them back that up?

Really, that whole empowerment thing is silly. If anything, it’s alienating. Nobody wants to hang out with you if they think you’re going to try and sell them something. I had an awful experience with an MLM brand (before I had my blog) and I invited some friends (as a favour to another friend) to a ‘beauty party’ but had said to the person doing the party, please DO NOT go through the whole thing for hours – these are women who can choose their own beauty products with very little persuasion, so no hard sell.

An HOUR AND A HALF later we were all still sitting there in excruciating silence listening to someone who literally couldn’t deviate from the required speech. It was awful. My friends were cross with me for nearly boring them to death for over an hour, felt they had to buy something just to get away, and I was cross with the friend who I did the favour to who in turn was furious with the poor woman who presented the brand. Nobody came out of that experience happy. And that’s what happens.

Out of desperation, people who work for MLMs start off so optimistic and think everyone will share their passion, and apply pressure to friends and family, who comply out of kindness and then it just ends up a mess. The person working for the MLM brand ends up at the hard end of a lot of bad feeling (and being blocked on Facebook!) and that’s not good for self-esteem and certainly not empowering! Beauty can be truly for the good – it can be empowering, it can be so helpful and it can be an absolute joy but MLMs somehow mood-hoover all the good things to leave a joyless and awkward experience.

I’ve seen a lot of bad feeling on line towards women in the lower chains of MLMs. On the one hand, it’s so unfair – they’re genuinely trying to make a little money to support themselves or their families and yet on the other, they’re targeting other women who need their money to support themselves or their families. It’s basically a shifting of money in an environment where that money is hard earned and precious in the first place. I find it hard to condemn anyone who falls for the stories of ‘the dream’, I see how and why it happens but also I see why people get angry when they’re ‘targeted’. 

Finally, we have to ask you for your thoughts on the news that Coty Inc. has purchased a stake in Younique. What do you think this will mean for both companies?

Brands do strange things. Behind the scenes, corporate beauty world is shark infested. It could be that they lose sales from one or several of their key brands to Younique, so buying it to kill it stone dead longer term makes sense if that’s the case, or they could be looking to bring other brands into the model. Mascara is a weird thing – L’Oreal has the patents to most decent mascaras (which is why it’s hard to find really good mascara outside of that stable) so it might even be a patent issue. You just never know. But I do know that it looks like a statement of MLM approval which isn’t the best thing, in my view, for consumers. Just go to Boots! You don’t need to rock up to anyone’s ‘party’ to be sold an overpriced mascara, or even to wait five days for delivery when you can go to the shops or even on line and have it immediately. *bangs head on desk* !! 

We’re big fans of your MUR Fortune Favours The Brave palette – any more collaborations coming our way?

Thank you! No, I don’t have any further plans for makeup collaborations, but I have a few beauty boxes that I’m finalising now for this year. I don’t plan too far ahead on Britishbeautyblogger – beauty world moves very quickly, as do trends, so I’m a commitment-phobe and hesitant to lock down with anyone long term. 

Thank you so very much for your time and your expert input.

You can find Jane’s blog here

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“But why aren’t you balanced? What about all the positive stories about incredibly rich (insert name here) MLMers?” In this post, we explain why ‘balance’ is bullshit when it comes to network marketing, and so is attempting to be unbiased.

We get it regularly.

However I do worry that it (Timeless Vie) doesn’t provide a balanced view; there are no positive stories.

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On the face of it, that seems a completely reasonable point.

That’s what proper journalists would do, right?

They’d have the sad story and then the happy story so you, the reader, got both sides of the issue.   And what would you think? You’d probably think there’s a 50% chance you could be wealthy in an MLM, and a 50% chance you’d fail.   Fair.  Balanced.

Except….acccording to this study, approximately 99% of people lose money.

If most people lose money, is it really fair and balanced to have 1 story for and 1 against?  Wouldn’t a really balanced piece of writing about MLMs have 99 stories of failure vs 1 story of success?  Wouldn’t that be more accurate?  And wouldn’t a really balanced piece point out that the 1 person who succeeded did so because of all the people that failed?

The idea of ‘false balance’ in journalism has been around for a while, but none of us connected the issue to the debate over MLM until one of us talked to a journalist in New Zealand.  He was interested in what we were doing, and the feminist stance we were taking, and he pointed out that ‘false balance’ could be a problem when it came to issues like MLM.   Read this, about the climate change science and false balance.

And this.

The idea is this: that by presenting both sides of a story and giving each equal weight, journalists inadvertently give people the impression that both sides are equally valid.   They aren’t.

On one side, we have an industry that is making lots and lots of money by selling women false hope, that allows reps to make false health claims, that says one thing in public and another in private (we have so much evidence of this at this point it’s not funny), that in some cases refuses to divulge how much money women will really make, and is largely ignored by government.     For ‘positive’ stories you only have to go to the websites of the Direct Sales Association, Arbonne, Younique etc.

On the other side, there’s us.  We are making exactly zero money from doing this.  We have jobs, families, we do this in what spare time we have.    We’ve researched.  We’ve talked to victims.  We really care about them.  We’ve tried to get answers from the DSA, MLM companies and government, and have discovered that there’s a huge information gap about what effects MLMs really have.

If we were to do positive stories, we’d be giving our readers the impression we think MLM is a valid business model, when all evidence we’ve found so far indicates it’s not.  Would that really be the right thing to do?

This is why we don’t do “balanced” stories about MLM.

Because what matters is the truth.

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READ: “I did research but I let my heart overtake my head…” a new story from an ex-Younique bot

I’m a 29 year old law student.. yep in 3rd year.. graduating in June and I got sucked in .. big time by younique.   I did research but I let my heart overtake my head and now I’m in debt and feeling like I’ve failed..

From the off my wife to be thought it was a cult and tbh she was right … but I was too invested money and pride wise to admit it.. Younique came with instant friends and lovely make up .. little did I know I’d be traveling to Birmingham and pay for what essentially a marketing/brainwashing event.. Yet I ploughed on via FB and home parties and leaflet drops and made nothing .. I did all the self development = aggressive bullshit which soul destroys you and followed the training to the letter .. yep a ready made younique bot.

Tonight I got a message confirming it all my upline – telling me I’m about to suspend and that I need £150 of products to stay active! This is after purchasing stock off other presenters/eBay.. getting a card reader and by traveling 50 miles to do a party that no one spent a penny on.

I’ve felt under constant pressure and like I couldn’t escape for a while and now I’ve cracked! I’m feeling ashamed, worthless, failure and am bloody sick of self development bullshit! I think going from a kid with very few G.C.S.Es to graduating law school in a matter of months is self developed .

Please share my story so others don’t get sucked in and they don’t get emotionally and mentally damaged!

Omg I’m so sorry xxx we are here if you need to vent. Does your wife know?

-Timeless Vie

Thank you so much x yeah she’s been fantastic .. even though I’ve had chemo this year I thought I could change things by doing younique but I’ve finally broke free xx

Also can you let people know that when you decide to leave the emotional blackmail piles on x

We asked Em for an example of the kind of emotional blackmail and she sent us this screenshot:

lawstudent_ink_ink_li

 

 

We’re going to do something a bit different with this story.   Our informer gave us access to the training she was given by her upline before she quit, and we’ve spent a bit of time downloading, screenshotting and ripping vids.   What we’ve found is very interesting, we think.

So far we’ve found:

  • A video that tells Younique bots to hold ‘fundraisers’ as a way to create more customers
  • A video that tells Younique bots to say that Younique products are cruelty-free, even though they have no CF certification
  • As above, same for vegan, etc.
  • A video that implies Younique bots have to spend $125 USD every 3 months to stay active.
  • A shitload of scripts about how to approach different kinds of people.
  • A motherload of info about how to build a ‘team’ and an acknowledgement that to make real money, you need a multitude of mini-bots to live off.

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“I felt like I was in an exclusive club” – An ex-Younique bot, and new mum, tells ALL

I first heard about Younique when my Facebook feed was bombarded with posts from two old school friends.

I was on maternity leave at the time with my 4 month old and hated the prospect of going back to work. My friends were pushing the mascara as it was about to be relaunched with ‘new and improved’ ingredients but I really couldn’t justify spending £23 on something I could get for a quarter of that price! However, there was a deal running on the presenters joining kit which meant I could get two mascaras and more makeup worth over £150 for £69 (allegedly – Timeless Vie) so I decided to join to get the half price makeup but never wanted to be active.

I was added to all the presenter groups and warmly welcomed by hundreds of lovely women, I felt like I was in an exclusive club! There was lots of chatter on the groups, lots of motivational talk and some of the women had brilliant tips and tricks so I decided that I was going to use my time off work to build up my business.

I was made to feel that I could be a total success and now that I had my daughter I thought it would be lovely to be able to work from home. I threw myself into the social media marketing, promoting the products on Facebook whenever my baby was asleep, adding lots of new Facebook friends, making connections and messaging all the women on my friends list! My exclusive purple and green elite leaders had hundreds of files to follow that could be copied and pasted into messages and as statuses, this was certain to make us hugely successful as long as we kept at it!

I posted on Facebook, instagram and twitter, making my Facebook profile all about positivity; we were told never to write anything negative as we were meant to look like we were loving life constantly, people would join us if they thought we were living the dream!

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I bought lots of makeup for myself to try out so I could tell people all about it. I actually found a lot of the products sub par to the drugstore equivalents that I had been using and claims that the eyeshadows didn’t crease or the lipstains didn’t budge were false.

It didn’t take me long to realise that most of the presenters were struggling to sell anything.

It was about 6 weeks after joining when I felt like I was putting hours of time in each day and getting little to no sales that I reached out to my sponsor and my green elite. Turns out my sponsor was struggling just like me, she had started to put a lot of her own money into promoting the products, buying a stall at craft fairs and giving out free samples to entice people to buy but I had already spent a lot of money on products..I didn’t want to spend more before making any! My green elite and purple leaders didn’t have anything productive to say, the message was just to keep at it, message a hundred women a day and ‘fake it til you make it!’ They seemed to only be interested in the presenters that were making money lining their pockets!

I was told to get out more and talk to people about the makeup, at baby groups, the supermarket, anywhere I could strike up a conversation and sell, sell sell! When I posted on the groups saying I wasn’t keen on some of the products, a lot of the presenters agreed but we had to pretend to love everything, the only thing I liked was the mascara and I didn’t want to promote a product that I didn’t like, especially when they were so overpriced!

In September they launched their first liquid foundation and concealer. I so desperately wanted to love them but the concealer was so thick it caked on my skin and the foundation either slid off or cracked and separated on my skin within hours. When I posted to other presenters about my problems, the majority found the same! All these amazing after photos are taken immediately after application, it doesn’t show that it looks awful within an hour.

(Timeless Vie – like this foundation comparison below.  Guess which foundation had the most oil & the least pigment…)

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After a couple of months I was spending so much time on social media trying to sell and/or recruit that I was actually neglecting my new daughter! I decided then that I was not going to dedicate any more time or money as it just wasn’t worth it. As I then didn’t sell anything in three months my presenter status was suspended and then cancelled another three months later. The two old school friends that were doing well with Younique have since quit and jumped ship to a brand new MLM company, without even trying the products first!

I think this just shows that things aren’t always as they seem and direct sales is very fickle. I kept using the mascara after I left but the latest one dried out very quickly and was clumpy with a lot of fall out so I threw it out. I will never use a Younique product again and advise everyone not to bother. They are no better and often worse than much cheaper drugstore products, they are certainly not high end. I would never join a MLM company again either, the compensation is minuscule for the amount of work that has to go in and they have such a bad reputation that I now actively avoid them!

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Why I left Younique. The truth.

jadexoblog

**DISCLAIMER** These are my OWN views and experiences, this may not apply to everyone**

From June 2015 to March 2016 I was a Younique presenter. By the time I left I was a pink status presenter (3rd promotion level) and had a team of 11 beautiful, dedicated women.

In the first few months after I signed up, I did nothing. Let’s face it, I was just being lazy. But from August I started selling properly and I hit it hard! By the end of September I had hit my second promotion.

During this time I completely and whole heartedly believed in the company, the products and the “Younique mission”. After all, how amazing it was to work for a company who’s mission was to ‘Uplift, Empower and Validate’ women! As a massive believer in women empowering women, I thought this was perfect for me!

However, pretty early on I found…

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Younique: “raise awareness of sexual abuse” by buying our makeup, y’all

But shouldn’t you tell people if the money ISN’T actually going to fight sexual abuse?

Here’s the ad:

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But…the money ‘raised’ by the bundle isn’t going to charity:

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For those of you whose eyes glaze over at the sight of FB screenshots, here’s what happened:

  • Younique releases “Defend Innocence” bundle with special makeups & stuff to ‘raise awareness’.  Bots and customers are under the impression any money raised will go to the Younique Foundation, cos why would you do it otherwise? Right? Right? AmIrite?
  • Turns out no money is going to the Foundation cos IRS blah blah blah
  • Unless you round up your purchases to the nearest dollar/or just give Younique your commission (if you’re a rep).  Classy.
  • People are pissed off & feel used
  • Younique apologizes but does nothing … like, say, giving the money raised to one of the many other charities that support victims of rape and abuse.

Result

  • Younique makes major coin from people’s goodwill.

HEY YOUNIQUE.

Here are some charities that actually help victims of rape and sexual abuse in the UK, and who are currently looking for donations.  We’re sure they’d be glad for some of the money you raised from “defending innocence”:

The Survivors Trust

Another list of charities working in the area of sexual abuse

Looking forward to those donations.

You’re welcome.

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Younique: Ships Don’t Lie

Younique is a Mormon-owned makeup multi-level marketing ‘business’ out of Utah, and we’ve written about them before here and here.

One of the lines Younique reps/bots like to spin is the “it’s such amaaazing quality, huns!” as they fling younique products at you on Instagram.   But the truth is, it’s not – it’s not worth the price.  Real makeup artists know this.  Any half-decent makeup group knows this and bans Younique reps –  like Mrs Gloss & the Goss, a group also mentioned by British Beauty Blogger here.   Apparently the only people who don’t know this are Younique’s prey – the women trying to sell it.

And how do MUAs and anybody seriously into makeup know this?  Ships.  Ships don’t lie.

According to Port Examiner, Younique has been regularly importing products from China, Hong Kong, and Italy for years.

 

  1. They use the contract manufacturer Regi SRl in Italy for cosmetics

 

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2.  Regi SRL also provides cosmetics for other small brands like Julep Beauty, Laura Geller…and a company called “HCT Packaging”.

 

 

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3.  Younique gets packaging from China & Hong Kong

 

 

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So, if you’re a Younique bot you’re probably thinking SO WHAT HATERS.   Well, if you’re charging £30 pounds for a pot of moisturizer, you should really be of a higher quality.    Like MAC.  Or Bobbi Brown (we put “bobbi brown” into the port examiner website and found shipping from Germany only, but nothing recently, as befits a brand that manufactures it’s own cosmetics in North America).   Or (insert name of decent makeup brand here).  For cheap packaging and contract cosmetics, your price point should be a lot lower.   But as we know, it’s not really about the products – it’s about the Younique rep buying the products, buying the hype, and believing she can make money by selling them and #stayhomewiththekids.

Hence the mahoosive price disconnect.

 

 

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Younique.  Totally not worth it for the price.

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3 spectacular updates on some of our fave social ”selling” companies: Younique, Forever Living, & Maelle

We’re folowing so many social selling companies at this point that we’ve decided to combine all the updates into one spectacular post.

 

1. Younique’s new charity – look! look over there! we help people

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Their new charity is called “Defend Innocence”, and it’s ostensibly to help stop the sexual abuse of children.   Sigh.  Obviously anyone with a heart would be in support of that.

However, we have this question for Younique: if you want to do right by women and children, why don’t you provide those women (who often join to support their kids) the truth about a Younique presenter’s typical earnings?  So they don’t waste money they can’t afford and end up #lossbabes?

 

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In the meantime, here’s a slideshow of some of the women trying to swap, sell, or get rid of their Younique stock.  #lossbabe

 

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2.  Forever Living targets NCT groups

For non-UK readers, NCT is the National Childbirth Trust linky here.  It’s an organisation set up to help parents and new babies.

One of our supporters sent us this email from NCT – there’s a big-ass ad by a Forever Living bot in it.  Not that you can tell.  Strangely lacking in bottles of aloe, no?

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The ad is deceptive as it’s not until you click on it that you realise that it’s advertising for a multi-level marketing company.

Holy crap NCT.  DOn’t you have any ethical standards for who can advertise?   As we’ve blogged previously, new mums are particular targets of MLMs and are vulnerable.  Start here.

 

3. Maelle mentors are excited about being at the top of the triangle, and hoping it’ll be better than Younique i.e. they’ll actually make money this time.

Life is gooooood in the triangularity.

(‘cept hmmmm.  They don’t even have any products yet. )

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And on that note, I’m off to play with some lipstick and cheer myself up.