Recently an ex-black status presenter reached out to me, wanting to tell the world about her experience while she was with Younique.
Her name is Lori (not her real name) and she is so brave for coming forward to speak the truth.
[A black status presenter is the highest up one can go in the pyramid with out being the owner.]
They (black status presenters) live that dream lifestyle everyone wants (well most anyway).
- They have a HUGE following
- They get countless offers from companies wanting to use them as an influence marketer
- They have their dream car(s).
- They go on lavish vacations all the time.
So, naturally I was very interested in what she (Lori) had to say.
Morning. I was a black status in the UK. I know they’ll take legal action if they figure out it’s me. So many things wrong with that company I couldn’t bring myself to keep being paid by them, is there anything you don’t have info on? I got kicked out of all the groups immediately when I left but I’ve got some juicy stuff. How they removed a woman of colour from the France catalogue on the advice of the market VP or how they buy their products from a generic seller and don’t manufacture their own hence why they can’t make an animal testing statement.
I won’t say anything about your identity, I know how important it can be to remain anonymous. With that being said, what do you know about the Younique Foundation retreat? Any dirt on that?
I know that the presenters genuinely believe they’re helping, for the most part the shit comes from corporate. Honestly they don’t share much more about it other than what’s publicly available.
Things I do know are that the land it’s on is owned by Derek Maxfield and it pays him rent, if you’re in the UK honestly there’s not much support apart from give us your money have a plastic charm until the last big event they announced these support groups being rolled out nationwide which you just know are gonna be used to recruit new presenters.
What do you think is the best way to help someone get out of Younique/MLMs?
The problem is any sort of “advice” is seen as negative and we are encouraged to block it out no matter who it comes from. So many marriage break ups you wouldn’t believe. Income disclosures are explained with the fact there are so many kitnappers. Your facts will always have a comeback.
The problem is that some people do make money and lots of it so showing someone this thread where people are mocking the amounts and saying it’s a lie only feeds the belief that other people don’t understand the industry. I went from being on benefits to earning £3-4k a month because I got in early and was smart about building a team. The thing that made me leave was I realised what it was costing my team and what I was asking them to do that morally I couldn’t carry on. The dream that if they can do it so can you is a really strong thread through all the training
Hmmm… ok. Was there anything at all that corporate did that was genuine?
Maybe I guess it could’ve been. It all just seemed premeditated and staged like there was always an ulterior motive to everything they did.
Was there anything you liked about Younique?
Genuinely most of my team were really incredible women. Not all obviously but we had a lot in common, low self esteem, confidence issues, long term stay at home mums. I don’t mean the fake “I love you all” crap i can’t stand that but we spent a lot of time in group chats on a daily basis, some of my team are now my best friends and have stayed that despite me leaving. Some deleted and blocked me as soon as I left guess you can’t win them all. Nothing that corporate did though NOTHING. I stayed for the money and because I felt an obligation to the women in my team.
Do you think Younique will ever go out of business?
I think that Coty is Derek’s exit plan, he basically told us that the cash investment from them meant the foundation was set for life so he has no reason to keep it going. I dunno about go out of business but it’s definitely gonna need to change something. There’s so many leaders leaving because they’re sick of the crap.
So, Coty isnt so innocent after all, huh?
They want to make money. The product quality wasn’t incredible before but since they came on board it just went to shit. Top ingredient is talc, they had to take the mineral off the packaging because the mineral content is so low, the new catalogue the models have blatantly got Russian lashes on and they’re saying it’s the mascara. It’s just a mess.
It’s interesting seeing things from a whole new perspective, huh? What was your tipping point? What was the final thing that made you get up and leave?
We had a whole 6 months of new products, limited edition, special offers of products you could only get that month. I got so sick of having to tell my team to spend money they didn’t have. In total honesty I probably ignored it before that which makes me worse than 90% of the presenters who are still there that haven’t seen it yet. Before I was with Younique we were on benefits entirely broke and it did pay me well even with expenses off because I always submitted a tax return, unlike most! I was scared that leaving would mean going back to that life and I couldn’t stand the thought of that. It’s been since Coty bought into the company it’s all profit margins and cheaper quality products and pushing presenter purchases. Not to mention the scare tactics to stop anyone from leaving – the presenters agreement prevents you from posting anything on social media for 12 months after you leave. Something that isn’t pointed out to those who join just for the kit they own your social media legally. If someone bought the Younique kit with no intention of selling and then decided to work for the body shop for example they could technically sue.
Ugh that’s so sickening! But not anything I didn’t suspect. What’s the most shocking thing you’ve found out?
It’s one of those things were I didn’t realize I was part of the problem until I left, I am actually pretty ashamed that I didn’t even consider my team were buying stock they couldn’t afford. I didn’t wear any make up before I joined at all so was never aware of the quality not being what we said it was. The worst thing for me was the animal testing thing, they told us we absolutely don’t we had someone from corporate at a company event stand on stage and tell us we were getting certification and it was just a matter of time when clearly the $0.80 bronzer is made in a sweatshop in China.
Some comments of Lori’s taken from social media with her permission:
“The founders are Mormon and very vocal about it. The majority of those they pick for the catalogue have some sort of Jesus quote in their Facebook cover photo, you know like daughter of a king or whatever. Ironic really because I’m pretty sure if Jesus exists that he would not approve of you forcing people into debt with promises of riches…seems like the opposite of Jesus to me.
We had an event in England where the speakers were invited to a meal with the founders the night before and we were told not to order alcohol with our meal even if we paid for it because they didn’t approve.”
“I know for a fact that Younique corporate at a training event told all of the reps including the top rank that it absolutely did not test on animals and neither did their suppliers. The reps are being lied to as much as the customers.”
[Regarding racism within Younique]
“They don’t understand casual racism is a thing. To the point that they actually removed the only black woman from the catalogue to distribute to France off the advice of the French corporate market rep and couldn’t see why people thought that was an issue. They have one gay male black status from the UK but I doubt he will be making an appearance in the catalogue anytime soon.”
“Younique incentive trips include only accommodation and say all inclusive but don’t include alcohol because Mormons. You need to earn points based on sales, new team members and paid as status. Convention they pay for nothing. Presenters buy a £250 ticket, plus travel plus accommodation. Speakers don’t get any discount or reimbursement. They get some of the free products that are launched and some branded swag They also have a black status service trip which is where they go build a shelter or do some sort of charity work in developing countries. Last year it was in Hawaii flights still not included. They went to a women’s refuge and redecorate it, gave them a bus with the younique logo plastered all over it and brought them to their 5 star hotel for the day. The amount of white saviour behaviour displayed on that trip is disgusting tbh.”
[Regarding Youniques only male black status presenter]
“He absolutely doesn’t fit with their beliefs. He would be the perfect person to have in the catalogue to show that actually they aren’t stuck in the 80s bible belt but that will never happen sadly. The top presenters push him as look how diverse our company is but it definitely isn’t. He’s talented though for sure.”
“Just to address your last comment I left my business as the top rank of my company with a team of thousands because I realised that my team were the customers, that my company had stopped marketing to real customers and just brought out more and more limited edition must have products that all the presenters MUST have. You might be correct in that it was unethical of me not to notice or to choose to ignore it but previously to being in mlm we were financially broke and with 3 children it wasn’t somewhere I wanted to go back to. If that makes me an evil, disgusting human then I’ll take that on board but we all make mistakes.”
“The sad thing is that those still in the company are still spending their money every single month despite me reaching out to them. I’ve been tagged as bitter by the leaders who are still with them and my team were told that I just didn’t work hard enough that’s why I left. It’s so much harder to get people out once they’ve got deep enough in, a lot of the time it’s pride stopping people from accepting they need to cut their losses. As a community we need to remember that being negative towards the industry and those in it often has the opposite effect to the one we are trying to achieve.”
“Actually made a lot of money and then realised it was off the back of other people getting themselves into debt and now I just feel guilty for the years I didn’t care to notice. Not all people on this thread are bitter failures.”
[Regarding black & purple status]
“Truthfully it depends on the time of year and if there are new product releases. December pay cheques are generally bigger because of black Friday deals in November. A purple pay can be anywhere between £1000 and £2000 depending on your own personal sales, black is somewhere from £3500 up to the big earners who some months pull in £60k depending on their team size and what the company is pushing. Ultimately commission is based on presenters purchasing and the 2 ranks that do earn are the purple and blacks.”
“The thing that worked for me and the reason I eventually resigned was the ethics and scummy practice of the company I was representing and the realisation that the months I got paid well were the months we had new product launches and my team were buying. I don’t know much about the Le-Vel comp plan but chances are there will never come a time when your friend won’t have to place a monthly minimum order or have to keep adding new team members to her group numbers unless they have a retirement plan?”
“I agree with absolutely everything you have said. One of the big divides I find is that those who are in the business see the hatred and not the help available. Before I left my company I would avoid anti mlm stuff as much as I could, any articles are labelled as written by haters or those that don’t understand the business model.
The absolute best way I think to dismantle the pyramid from the inside is to raise awareness of the bad practices without it feeling like an attack on them or the company, because they believe in it whether that’s wrong or right. I left my company at the top of the compensation plan with a big team not because I failed and I have still been labelled as bitter and that I am trying to destroy people’s businesses which couldn’t be further from the truth.”
To read more about Younique black status presenters, check out this blog post: