Is Younique makeup a beauty scam or an MLM opportunity that empowers women?
Hi, and welcome to our latest review of an MLM company.
For most women, applying some mascara or doing a facial, is part of their daily or weekly routine.
This concept is something that Younique makeup MLM knows all too well. As a company that aims to make women feel good about themselves, Younique is all about empowering women and offering them a viable business opportunity.
Fittingly, their motto is:
“Feel beautiful Look beautiful Be beautiful Inside and out.”
But is it all as it seems? Let’s find out.
Product Name: Younique
Price: $99 – $199
Founders: Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft
Product type: MLM (skincare, makeup & beauty products)
Overall Ranking: 4 / 10
How Younique Makeup MLM Was Founded
Unlike other MLMs, Younique was initially founded by brother and sister Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft to support their Younique Foundation, a nonprofit charity dedicated to helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Putting a strong emphasis on women empowerment, in 2012, the duo launched Younique. But rather than selling their products face-to-face, Younique markets their products using the power of social media.
While this focus on digital selling may seem normal in today’s social-media-driven society, just a few years ago it was a novelty. In fact, Younique claims:
“Younique is the first direct sales company to market and sell almost exclusively through the use of social media.”
Younique’s mission soon attracted many recruits from all over the world that now, in 2021, has over 1.7 million people working as “Presenters”.
In 2017, Coty, Inc. bought a large portion of the company’s shares for $600 million. A short while later Younique had over 1 million presenters pushing Younique’s market value to $1 billion.
However, it was a short-lived marriage, with Coty (owner of Max Factor, Cover Girl and other brands) announcing in August 2019 it was selling its stake back to Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft.
What Does Younique Sell
As specialists in the beauty industry, Younique makeup MLM sells everything in the cosmetics department. From eyeshadow to lipsticks and all the accessories that come with it, such as brushes and applicators.
Their product line also includes perfumes and skin care products, such as serums, toners and face masks.
They claim their natural products are chemical-free and that consumers find their cosmetics to be reliable for everyday use and of good quality, albeit, more expensive than similar products available on the market.
After reviewing lots of social media posts (Reddit, Instagram and Facebook) and going through other blogs, Younique products are generally more expensive than other top-line makeup products of a similar nature.
Younique’s marketing spiel goes like this…
“Younique’s cosmetics development processes utilize scientific research to ensure that our products contain high quality ingredients that enrich and nourish the skin.
Younique begins by looking to Mother Nature for the inspiration behind our cosmetics. Our in-house scientific team then formulates a product that honors that inspiration while delivering cutting-edge cosmetics. Our goal is to provide healthy, clean, and pure cosmetics“
Hmmm… Advertisers fall back position, nature, science and mother = clean, healthy and pure.
How to Join Younique and Become A Younique Presenter
To join Younique, you first have to find a sponsor. You use their website to search for sponsors in your area.
After that, you purchase the starter kit for $99 and you’re ready to do business.
How do you do it?
By hosting virtual parties using their Virtual Party System, where you invite all four friends and followers to visit your website.
For every sale you make, you earn points (aka Younique Rewards). You can use the rewards towards buying Younique products.
Younique Makeup Compensation Plan
While Younique makeup MLM is, by all means, a business success, does it also open the doors to financial success for anyone who joins their MLM programme?
Like most MLMs, the answer is no. (Sorry, No with a capital “N”)
Also like most MLMs, Younique compensation plan is complex. The most I can say about making money with Younique is that sellers start on 20% commission, which can go up to 30%.
You can find more about their compensation plan here.
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How Do Younique Makeup Products Compare With Other Makeup Products
A look through Google and social media reveals that many people are not happy with the products. One former Younique presenter had this to say:
“I went to my best friend’s house over the weekend and she only uses high end products.. Urban Decay, Kat Von D, Becca, Tarte, etc. She was genuinely curious about how Younique eyeshadows compared to her Tarte palette. We figured out that the Tartiest Pro palette was $3.77 per gram while the Younique palette was over $8 per gram.
So, her thoughts were “Younique better blow Tarte out of the water!” and then we decided to do a swatch test.
Weeelllll, Younique failed. Miserably. It’s patchy, muddy, and unable to blend. The only color that held up during the swatch, was their metallic shade. Two matte shades FAILED.”
Another review on Product Review.com.au said…
“Never buy this, it gave me rashes on my wedding day and the mascara won’t come off, Not like they say. Horrible stuff, save yourself the money. One of the representatives from Brisbane North is horrible and abusive when you don’t purchase anything. Steer clear“
“So the products I tried (a foundation and a lipgloss) weren’t good, weren’t bad. But very overpriced – chemist brands are better quality and cheaper to boot. But the worst part is that it’s a pyramid scheme.“
So friends who used to be normal are suddenly obsessed and harassing you at every turn. Ugh, Even if the makeup was good I’d buy elsewhere just to discourage the annoying behaviour. AVOID.”
However, Not All Were Bad
Not all reviews were bad. I have not included the reviews that were gushing in their praise for Younique makeup. I was a little sceptical of those.
With direct selling companies, it’s often difficult to obtain unbiased reviews of their brand, with the consultants pushing their products (as you would expect) in various forums. In other words, getting critical Younique reviews is not hard, but finding believable positive reviews is a lot harder!
On the whole, the Younique reviews of their extensive line of beauty products are mixed. There are Younique reviews that love their makeup and others that are absolutely scathing –
Worse than the ones I have included above.
When it comes to their popular foundation range, the best Younique reviews are from those with normal skin types. Those with oily skin tend to have issues with shine or the foundation not lasting long enough.
Other positive Younique reviews come from the brand’s lip and eye products. In particular, fans have been genuinely impressed with the Younique Moonstruck Minerals Pigment Powder.
Overall, your best bet when shopping with Younique is to do your research to ensure the product you’re looking for will be right for you. You will somehow have to look past the aggressive Younique presenters on Instagram who will tell you they’re worth every cent.
To Put Things in Perspective, Younique Generally costs:
- More than drugstore products (e.g. L’Oreal, NYX, ELF)
- Less than designer or luxury makeup (e.g. YSL, Tom Ford, Chanel)
- And on par with high-end companies (e.g. Urban Decay, MAC, NARS)
So, do Younique products offer great value for money? It depends on who you ask. From what I have seen I would say no for most of them.
The Pros of Younique Makeup MLM
First a look at the interest in Younique makeup. From the above chart, you can see that that the trend in interest in Younique makeup peaked near the beginning of the Covid drama and again during February and March of 2021 as the Covid pandemic continued. But it could also be a seasonal thing.
Depending on where you live in the world, you can check the trend pattern on the dateline at the bottom of the chart.
You have to give Younique credit for embracing the digital age and selling their products online, giving people the opportunity to work from home.
Let’s not forget that Younique also supports a delicate and important cause – children victim of sexual abuse. Each month, the Younique Foundation hosts a 4-day healing retreat in the United States for survivors.
Unfortunately even their charity work comes in for a lot of criticism. No surprises there though. A lot of haters around these days.
Also, Younique does not test its products on animals. Something cosmetic companies have a long history of doing. This is what Younique says on their website…
Younique does not test our formulas on animals. In addition, our manufacturers do not test Younique formulas on animals. Younique is a strong supporter of the ethical treatment of animals and does not condone the use of animals for cosmetic testing. We strive to work with third party manufacturers who share these same values.
Younique is built on digital marketing, so hosting digital parties is an extension of this, and you are not reliant on people driving over to a friend’s place, who had gone to the trouble and made snacks for 20, only to have 5 people show up.
So, if you’re on Instagram or Twitter all day this might be one way for you to monetarize your time. Particularly if you have a big list of followers (not saying they will still follow you if you start flogging Younique).
For people who are not comfortable trying to sell in social settings, Younique’s virtual parties are perfect.
Interestingly, if you sell $50 worth of products, you receive your very own Younique debit card.
When an order goes through you can expect to see your commission on the same day (normally within a few hours).
To support new and existing Younique Presenters, there are Facebook support groups and weekly training events delivered by video to bring new presenters up to speed on new and existing products as well as learning all their sales methods.
The Cons of Younique
For a company that specialises in cosmetics and skincare, there are a lot of complaints about Younique products.
We’re not just talking about poor customer service and delayed delivery times, but also complaints about the products themselves.
The biggest scandal was the Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes which they falsely advertised as “100% Natural Green Tea Fibers.”
The 3D lashes caused some serious complications to the eyes, resulting in a lawsuit. Younique agreed to pay $3.25 million to shut that little bit of bad publicity down.
On another note, Younique only works if you’re already an influencer of some sort with a large social media following.
Plus, there seems to be a steady decline in the products’ popularity, with more people opting to buy their makeup from cheaper and more well-known brands. This comment from someone on product review.com.au is typical although the final rating for Younique products came in at 3 stars out of 5. I did notice some gushing posts of which I was sceptical.
“I probably should’ve brought some of the products off my friend instead of being a younique presenter. The products are so expensive, I can do way better and buy a good mascara somewhere else which has the same volume!!! I am so glad that I am not a younique presenter anymore, just wasn’t really my cup of tea. I feel so much better and happier that I have got my life back now and not wasting my time taking lots of selfies. I highly recommend NOT becoming a younique presenter!!!“
Consumer Affairs has it at a very slightly higher rating of 3.2 stars.
How much could you earn by being a presenter for Younique? This site works it out at less than $14.00 a month!
Younique Makeup MLM – Final Verdict
Although the company supports a good cause and consumers are opinions are mixed about the products (we did find ratings of around 3.5 for their Moonstruck Mascara), the chances of earning good money through Younique makeup MLM is incredibly low.
Younique is not a scam, but unless you’re already a social media influencer, it is not a good business opportunity.
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Photos courtesy of Younique and Pixabay