Things were getting dicey in the world of the Butterfly Babes. When I left off in Chapter 13, we were about to watch Scarlett’s scathing “Younique is Shit” vlog.
This takes us to…
Chapter 14 – Too Many Huns Spoil the Dross(babe)…
Before reading Chapter 14 of my experience with MLMs (namely Younique), please remind yourself of my mission statement here. In a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only. Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively. All names and identifying features have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.
There Scarlett sat, “YOUNIQUE IS SHIT” daubed in black marker across her little paper sign.
“I think its time I set the record straight about this crappy company, and my idiotic excuses for uplines,” she began.
Placing the sign down, she smoothed down her freshly-ironed blouse and tilted her head wisely.
“My name is Scarlett O’Kayhun, and I am a soon-to-be ex-Pink Status Presenter for Younique. This video is going to explain why.
“My sister’s neighbour, Camilla, is a Blue Status presenter. She’s the reason I got into this. She was constantly on social media saying she was in the beauty salon, getting her hair done, buying treats for her kids, getting paid multiple times a day – I wanted some of that for myself, who wouldn’t? I asked her how she was doing it, and she told me that she had started her own business that was empowering women. She asked if I wanted to join her – how could I say no?”
She flicked her hair, letting out a sigh of irritation and rolling her eyes.
“So, I joined her team. The very moment I paid that £69, I worked my bloody arse off. I worked so fucking hard, even before my kit arrived. I did everything Camilla told me to do in our training groups. She said we had to be 100% positive on social media all the time, love life, believe in the products – even if we thought they were shit, we had to say they were the best thing since sliced bread. She said if I did that, I would attract recruits to join me.”
She breathed deeply, looking doe-eyed into the camera.
“So, I want to apologise. To the five ladies who I duped into signing up – I’m sorry. I was encouraged to fake how well I was doing; to pretend I had orders coming in, to pretend my inbox was blowing up with enquiries, to pretend that I was building a business empire. And, how I was pretending to be buying all these beautiful treats, like an iPad and jewellery. The reality was, I was lucky to even get £25.00 commission on an average order. I lied. The iPad was an old birthday present, it wasn’t even a new one.”
“I know you all thought I was changing my life with my business, and I guess you wanted that for yourselves too. I’m sorry, but it was all a sham. Fake it til you make it, that’s what our fabulous uplines encouraged us to live by – fancy-pants Camilla, and the top BossBabe, her Green Elite upline…Tania.”
She said the word “Tania” as if it had left an unpleasant taste in her mouth.
“Tania is nothing but a nasty old witch. She’s a blagger who doesn’t give a shit about her downlines, as long as she’s getting her circle royalties! Oh yes, she pretends to care and be this fantastic boss-lady, but only when her team is making her money. If you’re not, she manipulates you into spending your own money to keep active! That’s why I’ve got stuck with all this crap here!”
Scarlett turned around and picked up a huge box. She held it in a position so the contents were visible to the camera – lots and lots and lots of Younique makeup.
“You know, this is why I advanced to Pink so quickly,” she said, her stencilled eyebrows contorted into a frown. “All of these products here, I bought out of my own bloody pocket. All so I could do videos, provide demos to customers, or so I’d always have stock to hand when I did parties. In fact, I’ve spent so much that I doubt I’ve even turned a profit.”
Scarlett reached into the box, and held up the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes mascara to the camera.
“This is the biggest pile of shit of all,” she said. “We were meant to push this nasty product at every opportunity, but its fucking awful. Yet the minute I dared to criticise it, Camilla soon grassed me up to Tania.
“Tania told me I was harming my business by being negative about the products – I was apparently setting a bad example to my downline. She even tried to send me to Lola Affirmation for some fucking bullshit Law of Attraction coaching! That’s her answer to everything – if you’re not acting like a happy robot, then it must be your negative mindset to blame!”
Scarlett’s expression appeared to be torn between anger, and guilt.
“I also know why Tania manages to maintain her Elite Green Status. Yes, Tania – I know all about how you’re bulk-buying products, and then selling them at cut-price to other presenters in closed-privacy Facebook groups. The world of Younique presenters is smaller than you think.”
She leaned forward, her upper lip curled in distaste.
“You and Camilla are nothing but liars, and fakers. You’re turning all of your downline into liars and fakers too, but not me.
I could sit here for hours and talk about the shit that’s come out of your mouth, but I need to get on with listing this shit on eBay. To the Butterfly Babes – good luck, you’re going to need it. I quit.”
And with one final smirk, that was Scarlett over and out.
“OMG I can’t believe her!! 😮 ” messaged Kerri.
Nor could I.
I sat, contemplating Scarlett’s words. From her half-arsed responses, to her scathing put-down of Tania, it was clear that Scarlett no longer gave a shit about us. After all her eeking, all her statuses about how her team were “smashing it“, it meant fuck-all.
News spread quickly in the small world of Younique presenters – Scarlett’s vlog was the subject of concern for our Imperial Green Overlord, Tania. Camilla too.
That meant we had yet another video announcement to watch, and a “statement” to read.
Camilla’s statement said that Scarlett’s scandalous accusations were “unfounded” and that she would be “seeking legal advice for her nasty slandering“.
“I’ve worked hard to build up my team,” her post continued. “I care about each and every one of you, and hope that you see Scarlett’s negative, bitter video for the nonsense it is.”
Next up, we watched Green Elite Tania’s attempts to diffuse the situation with yet another video.
There she sat, #BossBabe mug in her hand, serious expression on her face.
“Girls, I have been made aware of a situation involving one of our Pink Status presenters. Please be aware that she is no longer an active presenter in our company, and she is no longer welcome to return. Her downlines will move over to Camilla, and she will act as your new mentor. Now, I wish to address some of the unpleasant things that was said by this presenter…”
With a deep, worldly sigh, she told us her tale of woe. How deeply saddened she was to hear Scarlett make such vile accusations. In a company where women are meant to uplift women, she was devastated to witness Scarlett trying to tear down her hard work. She put great emphasis on the fact she hoped it had not affected our opinion of the business or her leadership, and urged us to message her so she could alleviate any concerns.
“We’re all in this together, girls. Don’t let the comments of one negative, silly girl affect your business journey – we’re here to uplift and help each other succeed!”
And thus ended Tania’s video announcement.
However, the group chat in Camilla’s Flutterbye Diamond Ladies was not quite as genteel.
“Nasty little witch! 😡 “
“What a neghead hater! 😮 “
“She’s a traitor, giving our business a bad name! 😡 “
“I’ve reported her video, and sent her a message telling her exactly what I think of her! 😮 “
Camilla’s girls were certainly whipped up into a frenzy, led by Bianca, Scarlett’s challenge-rival.
“We should ALL report her video and get it taken down!” Bianca insisted. “I never liked her, she was always up her own arse and this proves it! 😡 “
“Now ladies, just keep calm,” Camilla swept in. “Don’t let one negative, pathetic little girl make you lose track of your goals. We’re better than her – I’ll be having my own words the next time I see her, rest assured. She’ll soon find out what a bitch I can be 😉 ❤ “
“Good on you, Camilla hun – you’re better than her! ❤ “
Kerry and I kept quiet and didn’t contribute to the anti-Scarlett brigade. We had our own discussion between us.
“Do you think its true, all those things Scarlett said? 😦 ” asked Kerri.
“To be honest, I don’t know what to think, ” I replied.
This was true, I genuinely didn’t. With Scarlett’s parting words running through my head, I found myself questioning everything.
“Well, I don’t think its true,” said Kerri. “She just didn’t work hard enough. ❤ “
“What do you mean? ” I asked. “She was Pink Status, for goodness sake.”
“Yeah well, she never mentioned any of her customers to us. I have at least three actual people who regularly buy bits and bobs from me. I bet Scarlett was the one buying in bulk just to keep her status, not Tania.”
Scarlett had removed all of us from her friends-list, and we had no viable way to contact her to find out what was going on. She wasn’t even replying to text messages, so she’d clearly found a way to completely ignore us. It looked like we’d been truly ditched.
How did I feel? I felt pretty shit. The upline who had lured us in and promised to train, support and help us reach our goals had fucked off. I had persuaded friends and family to try these ‘wonderful’ products, even when I had my own doubts about their quality. I had acted like I was living the life of Reilly and everything was wonderful, all for the sake of social media. I had even posted those stupid #BossBabe quotes, against my better judgement.
I was in a quandary. Was it really my mindset and lack of motivation that meant I wasn’t succeeding? Or is it possible that I wasn’t the success I was hoping to be, all because I had signed up to a con?
I had a lot to get my head around.
However, Green Imperial Elite Overlord Tania was clearly in battle-mode. She wasn’t going to let any of us fall to Scarlett’s rebellion without a fight.
“Hello Elle, ❤ ” she popped up in a private message. “I just want to check in with you after Scarlett’s video, and make sure you are okay. If there is anything I can help you with, I’m here. 🙂 “
“Yeah, I’m fine, ” I said. “A little bit miffed at losing my upline, but I am fine.”
“Perhaps you should see it as a blessing, hun,” assured Tania. “Scarlett clearly has some issues, and needs to work on her negativity. She was only going to hold you back, hun. Now you’ve got Camilla, who is back in the game and absolutely fantastic at what she does. ❤ Oh, and me of course! 🙂 ❤ “
“But, is any of it true? “
“I can assure you that Scarlett’s claims are completely unfounded. I and the other girls have reported her video to Facebook – the way that she’s attacking Camilla and I – its tantamount to bullying! 😥 Camilla and I did everything we could to help nurture her and her business, its so very hurtful to be turned on like this. In fact, I am quite angry at her. 😡 “
Well, that was a helpful chat.
In the coming week or two after Scarlett’s rebellion, Kerri became more determined. She had taken Savannah [Scarlett’s last Younique recruit] under her wing, and was really pushing her video demonstrations and parties. In that time, poor Harriet had gone inactive and thus swiftly removed from all training groups, never to be heard from again.
Next to go inactive was Mia, my one and only recruit. She didn’t even make a single sale. I bet Imogen and Una were glad that I didn’t persuade them to join me.
I wasn’t quite sure where I stood now, it seemed pointless. I mean, of course I had made sure I’d arranged the posting of Salima and Brenda’s orders (from Chapter 13), but I had lost heart.
(Although, I had still posted a ridiculous “your order is on its way” Facebook status, ensuring my customers were tagged in it).
Remember, I also had to pay for the postage out of my own pocket, as well as sacrificing 10% of my commission should Brenda wish to order again. For various reasons, I hoped she didn’t.
I found myself thinking, what a bloody hassle this was all becoming. I missed my chats with my step-sister, Danielle – she had completely distanced herself from me since I became a Younique presenter. My future-mother-in-law, Jackie, also seemed somewhat suspicious of me now, since the mascara fiasco in Chapter 8. Perhaps it was a guilty conscience on my part, for how I viewed her and her daughter (Pip) as cash-cows instead of my friends.
Camilla was my mentor now, though. With her at the helm instead of Scarlett, maybe I’d find a new way to make a success of my business?
Wishful thinking – less than a fortnight later, Camilla went AWOL again. Kerri and I were back to having no mentor. Why had Camilla disappeared this time?
It didn’t take long for the waves of gossip to stir in the AWOL Camilla’s Flutterbye Diamond Ladies chat.
“I bet she’s had another one of her fake breakdowns for attention. 😡 “
“I heard she broke her Younique presenter agreement by signing to another company! 😮 “
“OMG, I heard that too – Tania is FURIOUS at her. 😮 “
Intriguing. What could this other company be, to cause her to be in breach?
At the time [Independent Presenter Agreement, effective 1st February 2016], the presenter agreement stated as follows:
10.6.1 – Participation in other Direct Selling Ventures
You may participate in other Home-Party plan, direct selling, multilevel marketing, or network marketing business ventures or marketing opportunities whose primary product line/offering does not directly compete with Younique.
[Section 10.6 – Conflicts of Interest, pg.44]
I didn’t have to wait too long for an answer.
You guessed it – about three days after Camilla going AWOL, Tania had another important video announcement to make.
Back she was, with her #BossBabe mug, looking somewhat weary in comparison to her usual smiley smiley demeanour.
“Girls, it saddens me to say that Camilla’s status as an Exemplary Blue Presenter has been terminated with immediate effect. Unfortunately, she was in breach of her presenter agreement, by signing up to a rival company.”
So, the gossip-train had it right.
“If you read your presenter agreements properly, you will see that this is a conflict of interest, and is not allowed. Unfortunately, Camilla decided not to acknowledge this protocol.”
She took a long sip from the #BossBabe mug, and sighed.
“All of Camilla’s girls will now have myself listed as their upline. As always, I will do whatever I can to help you succeed in your businesses. As this means there are a lot more of you reporting directly to me, Bianca has kindly agreed to help me out and act as my second-in-command.”
That sounded fun. I had immediately been put off Bianca from the way I had seen her conduct herself – first, she had bitched about Scarlett and brown-nosed Camilla. However, at the drop of a hat she had turned to bitching about Camilla…and no doubt, she had begun to brown-nose Tania.
“Keep rocking your businesses, girls – we may have had some setbacks, but we’ll come back fighting and smash our targets this month. Positive mindsets, girls!”
I didn’t feel remotely inspired. However, Deputy Imperial Overlord Bianca was at hand with some new, innovate training plan to help us succeed and keep the momentum going.
“Okay, huns!” she announced in the brand new combined chat for Tania’s Butterfly Boutique Boss Babes. “We’re about to do something new and exciting – I hope you’re all super-pumped!! ❤ ❤ ❤ “
I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like Bianca much.
“We’re going to have a Butterfly Boutique Boss Babes Buddy System!!! 😮 😮 ❤ ❤ “
Yes, Bianca’s amazing, super-awesome plan was to pair us up with a ‘Buddy’ within the Butterfly Boutique team – we would be the same presenter level, or have similar PRS (personal retail sales). As there were so many of us under Tania’s umbrella now, it would provide us with an extra support network, apparently.
I was paired with a lady named Marisol. I wasn’t overly thrilled at having a buddy, but a little part of me hoped that it might reignite my dwindling interest.
“Oh, something else, girls. As an extra incentive, the buddy pairing who earns the most PRS this month will win an online coaching session with top UK Law of Attraction mindset coach, Lola Affirmation!! This is an AMAAAAZING prize – get selling! 😮 😮 ❤ ❤ “
Personally, that was one of the least-likely incentives to inspire me to sell. I’d seen both Scarlett and Tania fawn over the positivity teachings of this Affirmation woman, and she looked like a raving lunatic.
Marisol didn’t share that opinion, however.
“OMG, this is fantastic, Elle! ❤ ” she raved. “Lola Affirmation is SUCH an inspiration to me! Together, we can win this challenge, yes? 🙂 🙂 “
“Sure 🙂 ” I typed, thankful that Marisol couldn’t see my gritted teeth.
So, who was Marisol? We had a little bit of an introductory chat, after Bianca paired us up.
Marisol was one of Tania’s original direct downlines and a longtime Yellow Status presenter, hence why we had been matched. She seemed sweet, but completely besotted with Younique. She was determined to get that free coaching session too.
“I have wanted to have mindset coaching for such a long time,” she said. “Regrettably, these things do not come cheap, although I heard Lola Affirmation is worth every penny. She is a genius. ❤ ❤ “
I don’t think Marisol and I were on the same page.
Upon further chatting, it was ascertained that all of Marisol’s PRS was for products purchased for her own use. She hadn’t actually persuaded any of her friends to buy from her, as she felt ‘too nervous’, in her words. Bianca was aware that I’d managed to sell to customers, and was hoping I’d share some of my techniques with Marisol.
I don’t think Bianca and I were on the same page either.
My advice was highly useful. I simply directed Marisol to the ridiculous Facebook business page I had set up for myself, and told her to copy some of my post wordings about the products. What else could I do? My opinion is that all the sales I made were complete flukes or the stupid kudos sets I bought for myself; nothing more and nothing less.
I also told Marisol to see if trusted family members would be willing to give things a try, (although it didn’t bode too well for me, with poor Pip experiencing a reaction to the mascara in Chapter 11).
Armed with my invaluable information, my Boss Babe Buddy went out into the social media wilderness to peddle her wares.
As the week progressed, the gossip-train still didn’t want to die down. If Bianca and her crew weren’t laughing about how they managed to get Scarlett’s vlog taken down by Facebook, they were having a pop at Camilla’s new business venture.
“Its blatantly another makeup MLM,” said Bianca. “I heard its that new one – you know, the one formed by the former Younique VP! 😮 “
“OMG, I’ve heard of that! I think its called Maëlle isn’t it?”
“Yeah, that’s the one. Apparently they haven’t even launched yet – Camilla’s just decided to be one of the first to sign up, so she won’t have as much competition! 😀 “
“How pathetic, hun! 😀 “
Intriguing. I don’t know if it was boredom, but I decided to ask our Imperial Green Overlord herself about this.
“Is it true, that Camilla’s gone to a company formed by ex-Younique people?” I asked.
“Yes, it is, hun. But I’m not worried, and neither should you be. ❤ “
“I’m not worried, just curious.”
“Hun, its just a disgruntled ex-Younique boss who’s decided to do his own thing. Younique were here first, and we have nothing to worry about from Maëlle. Anyway, how are you and your Buddy getting on? ❤ “
Tania was helpful as always.
I gave her some lip-service about the “promotional tactics” Marisol and I had devised, and went on my merry way.
Kerry popped up in my inbox, for the first time in a few days.
“Hi Elle! 😀 You’ll never guess what Bianca told me!!”
“Word is, it was Tania who reported Camilla for breaching her presenter agreement! How crazy is that?? 😀 “
Clearly, I didn’t share Kerri’s enthusiasm for idle gossip, but I humoured her.
“Wow, how did she find that out?”
“Well, apparently Tania was the only person Camilla told about Maëlle, right from the start. It HAD to be her!”
“Oh dear,” I offered.
To Kerri’s dismay, I was not in the mood for further gossip-mongering.
Halfway through the month though, Camilla came out of hiding – she reactivated her account, and sent all of her former downlines this delightful, sincere parting speech.
I went back into the archives of my inbox to get this, you sods. :p
Of course, my responses were going to be nice – I was feeling nosey, after all. I wanted to know what had truly pushed Camilla to want to leave Younique if she “loved everything about it” (besides the fact that she needed to “follow her dreams“).
Naturally, despite the rumours, I wanted to know if Camilla was aware who reported her. I also knew the allegations that she had jumped ship to Maëlle, but again I played dumb (it was painful for me to do, but needs must).
Well, that was confirmed. Camilla suspected Tania of reporting her (who else could it possibly be, with that evidence)? And there was the information straight from the horse’s mouth – she was definitely off to pastures new with Maëlle.
Again, I was aware that Maëlle was set up by a “disgruntled former Younique VP,” but I wanted Camilla’s take on this turn of events. Again, Elle plays dumb. 😉
Again, Camilla confirmed that this new, exciting company has been founded by a former Younique leader, who was likely to be disgruntled (by process of deduction, of course).
Confession: I also didn’t “give it a Google“, but I do remember Virgin Vie!
Now, I was curious as to what Maëlle’s costs were like in comparison to Younique. I’m sure Camilla could answer that.
Wow – cheaper startup price, cheaper products AND cheaper delivery? Maëlle sounded like a dream come true – no wonder Camilla wanted to leave her successful Younique business for it. I mean, she was giving up her Blue Status and everything for this!
No, I wasn’t even remotely tempted, before you ask. By this point, the penny was beginning to drop…or at least begin a slow descent.
And with that “okay babe,” our conversation was over. My curiosity had been sated.
Turns out Kerri also got the same “parting message” from Camilla. She found it a massive joke though, subsequently telling Camilla she was a traitor and blocked her.
“Bit harsh, ” I said.
“No, I’m pissed off!” said Kerri. “We’ve had two uplines leave us in the lurch, and I’m annoyed about it all. Especially with this stupid Buddy system – mine is useless and lazy, she doesn’t give a shit about the business at all! 😡 “
“Want to swap? 😉 My Buddy has only ever bought products for herself, yet she’s determined that we’re going to win this ridiculous challenge.”
“Haha, very funny. 😉 “
Alas, I couldn’t even palm poor Marisol onto Kerri.
Don’t get me wrong, she was a pleasant enough girl – she just didn’t have a clue what she was doing. She’d ask me to constantly check her posts about her business, so I could offer my opinion on whether “I’d be tempted to buy from her“. Her makeup selfies were nicely applied, but her expressions looked so much like a rabbit in headlights that the effect was ruined.
“You need to relax in your photos,” I told her. “You currently look so scared.”
“But I feel awkward behind the camera! 😦 ” she said. “I am trying my best! 😥 “
Yes, way to make me feel like a dick, Marisol.
My other piece of advice to her was to offer to do makeup demos on her friends and family members. She quite liked that idea, and said she would give it a go. Bear in mind though, I was not practising what I preached. A small piece of me was beginning to feel like I no longer wanted a part of this.
However, my customer Salima had to go and throw a spanner in the works.
“Elle, I wore some of the makeup to work, and two of my colleagues were very impressed – they want to order some things too. Can I place an order through you again?”
Most huns would jump for joy at such an easy sale, but my motivation was on a downward spiral. Usually, I would have offered a stellar service and offered to place the order myself (through a bloody party link), but I genuinely couldn’t be arsed with it. Instead, I told Salima it would be far easier for her to place the order herself via my website, as “I was going on holiday very soon” (which unfortunately was a huge lie). The order was for about £80 too, but I couldn’t even bring myself to announce a “thank you for your order” on my page.
Marisol then threw an additional spanner! It transpired that she had also managed to bag herself some sales – granted, it was just for her mother and sister, but they were sales nonetheless.
“This is so exciting, Elle! ❤ ” she messaged me. “Bianca has told me we’re currently in the lead! 😮 😮 In fact, we’ve pretty much got that coaching session with in the bag!! EEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!! ❤ <3”
I am sure you can tell, I was thrilled at the prospect of receiving some Law of Attraction coaching for my negative mindset.
I was starting to truly realise what a mistake I had made.
Head on over to Chapter 15, the final instalment of my Younique saga. There are just a few more snippets of my tale I’d like to share with you before these chapters come to a close. 😮 😥
P.S. That doesn’t mean I am going to stop writing, though – I’ve dedicated myself to the anti-MLM movement, and I shall continue to provide you all with articles of entertainment and knowledge wherever possible!
Stay tuned, and don’t forget to join the MLM fight on social media – if you’re on Twitter, please give @ElleBeauBlog a follow (and help me get the #Poonique hashtag trending again!). Alternatively, join in the discussion with Elle Beau, the Anti-Blogger on Facebook. I am also on Instagram now – look for @ellebeaublog!
Please, also check out the good work of the people of Bot Watch, Juice Plus/MLM Lies Exposed and Timeless Vie. They work tirelessly to expose the truth and lies of the MLM industry, so anyone considering this line of work can make a fair, informed decision . In fact, I now have a Recommended Reading page for Anti-MLM writers and interesting lifestyle bloggers I think you will enjoy, such as Chammy in Real Life.
For something a little different to pyramid schemes, I would also recommend a look at what Bad Psychics are up to. Award-winning and seen-on-TV, they have worked to expose false claims made by psychics, mediums and the paranormal since 2003.