Many followers have been kind enough to contact me to share their experiences with MLMs – check out my Guest Post section to read their accounts. This tale, however, is a little different.
Today, I am sharing this saga from “Lillie” [not her real name]. Lillie is a frustrated friend who wishes to discuss her observations of Magda, a stay-at-home-mother who is truly besotted with the Y-life.
Its important for more people to speak out – you could help someone else from losing money, friends and dignity (and eventually bring about the demise of MLM – here’s to hoping!). Your anonymity is always guaranteed.
Take it away, Lillie.
[Lillie:] “…This will very likely turn into a rant, sorry, Elle. It all began about a year ago, when my friend Magda (30) posted to Facebook that she was “deleting the app from her phone“. She wanted to “try and attempt doing other things beside stare at my phone all day, mindlessly scrolling.” She seemed to be doing pretty well…until she joined Younique a few months later.
Thing is, Magda didn’t even really wear makeup; she admitted in one of her (many) Facebook-live videos that prior to joining Younique, she “basically used mascara and occasionally some blush that her Mom forced her to get in high school“.
She went from trying to tone down her Facebook use to suddenly doing streams of live videos. which was her stumbling through makeup “tutorials”. In one of her earliest videos, she was trying to sound like she knew what she was doing by saying she was putting a shadow in her eye-crease, even though she was clearly putting it in her inner corner. #nailedit
These days, Magda averages about five daily posts (at least). As I’m sure is the case with most huns, nearly everyone who “likes” her Younique-related posts are either relatives, or a random lady from her cult of “Y-sisters” (ugh) that she’s never actually met.
What does Magda post about? Well, let’s see:
- Typical Facebook-live videos as mentioned above.
- “I’m putting in a bulk order tonight so let me know if you want something!!” posts for a few days in a row.
- Post where she asks her
victimsfriends which types of candy/dogs/cars they like best, so that their interactions with her post will shove it into their friends’ newsfeeds.
- The “I’m ‘working’ from my hammock in pyjamas! This is way better than your legitimate jobs!! #bossbabe” pictures.
- More inspirational quotes than a hipster’s Pinterest.
[Elle’s note: I am sure that you’ve seen these types of posts discussed in my Poonique tale!]
“…Despite being a former English teacher who is currently working on some sort of novel, sometimes Magda’s spelling and grammar makes me sad. This just squeezes some lemon juice into the emotional paper-cut I get every time I see her following the “fake it ’til you make it” advice she was undoubtedly given.
All of her posts are, naturally, completely public now. She changed her privacy settings from friends-only to “any creep with Wi-Fi access can look at pictures of my little boy and know when my family will be away from home.”
Magda’s son, Billy, is of toddler-age. He’s old enough to be able to entertain himself for a little while (or at least stay put and stare at the TV), but not old enough that I’d be comfortable going into another room for half an hour to do Facebook-live videos on my phone, while he and the dog do whatever their weird brains decide they should! However, Magda does exactly that.
She’s a bit easily distracted as it is, and frequently stops mid-sentence to greet somebody who’s watching her video and says something irrelevant to the rest of the audience – nearly each video involves at least a minute or two of, “Oh hi, Billy! Can you say hi? Show them the teddy you’re playing with!”
Now, I’m sure her relatives enjoy this, but for people who only watch for the makeup and not for an update on her toddler’s favourite toy, it’s a bit tedious to sit through.
Personally, I only watch her videos to see how she improves ─ and, yes, to feel better about my own makeup skills and social media presence. I generally switch my browser to a different tab until she goes back to ignoring her kid.
To be fair to Magda, she ignores Billy a lot less than other MLM huns I see – Magda’s upline utilises her 7-year-old daughter as a mini-parent, and has the poor kid take care of the screaming toddler and sad baby for 30-40 “just a minute“(s) at a time, all so that Mommy can rave about her “fabulous” makeup to her followers.
In Magda’s first two months of selling Younique, apparently nobody told her that you’re supposed to wash makeup brushes. She posted a picture of a bowl filled with dirty water (about the colour of chocolate ice cream), and said the contents of the bowl were what came off of her makeup brushes after “just 2 months of use” and that she was going to start washing them once a month. She also mentioned that she had some brushes she no longer uses that she hadn’t washed in years.
Two people thankfully commented saying that they wash their brushes weekly or even twice a week depending on how much they get used. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who was slightly disturbed by that post.
When she messaged me months ago asking if I wanted to buy anything, I told her that MLMs make me uncomfortable (since I didn’t want to be blunt about my hatred of them and hurt her feelings), and that drugstore brands usually have better quality than these kinds of companies, whilst costing significantly less.
I guess leaving her “VIP” Facebook group wasn’t enough of a signal that I wasn’t interested.
She didn’t know what MLM meant, so I explained the term. She then tried to do some subtle ego-stroking by saying she was “just asking her friends who like makeup if they wanted to buy any, because mine always looked really nice“. Thankfully, she only needed to be told once and hasn’t tried to sell me anything since then. I keep watching her live videos (after they end, so she can’t tell that I watch) because I’m a horrible person and can’t look away from her train-wreck.
Even when she first started, her makeup was never on r/youniqueamua levels of cringe. Her posts were and continue to be rather wince-inducing, but thankfully her eyelashes never look terrifying, and she hasn’t done anything that would make people stare if they saw her in public.
Despite the improvements in her skills through the months she’s been attempting to shill Younique, the quality of the makeup itself is clearly lacking – her selfies don’t do much to convince me that she’s an expert on cosmetics, or their application.
I’m not exactly a professional makeup artist and I can’t do eyeliner worth a banana peel, but I also don’t decide to post selfies with strange expressions and awkward angles in an attempt to convince my friends that they should buy the products I’m mediocre at applying.
A month or so ago, she was doing Disney Princess-inspired eye looks on Instagram and having a contest to see who could correctly guess the most. It was simultaneously hilarious and pathetic that her eye-shadow usually ended up just looking grey, so people had a hard time guessing them.
She mostly uses the numbered Shadow Palettes, so I guess she wasn’t expecting the cream shadow to be as pigmented. This stuff, however, made it look like Billy had coloured on her with a purple Sharpie.
She panicked when she realised how insane it looked, attacked her eye with a blending brush whilst trying to look casual, tried to scrape some off with a stiff brush, then decided to wipe most of it off with a nearby burp cloth.
I feel so bad for her every time I see her videos or selfies. Magda knew nothing about makeup when she started this, and clearly wasn’t given any sort of training or help. She still doesn’t really know what she’s doing, and she’s trying to do it with products that cost exponentially more than what they’re worth.
Please note; I don’t feel that price is generally a true indicator of makeup quality, but this Younique stuff is just garbage. The giant palette I got for $5 at Claire’s has dang good pigmentation and minimal fallout, so I’m not exactly jumping at the opportunity to waste $50 on one of Younique’s palettes of sidewalk chalk).
Thanks to the terrible quality of the shadow palettes Magda uses, almost every time she posts a makeup selfie, her eye shadow either looks grey or brownish-peach. Along with the “princess eyes” she tried, she’s done an assortment of other fandom-related eye looks throughout her time as a hun. Most of her “Star Wars looks” were practically identical. I could imitate her Harry Potter Ravenclaw eyes by smudging one silvery-grey shadow all over my eyelid and crease. I usually have to check her captions to figure out which colours she’s put on her eyes.
She may say she used blue and purple, but it all looks grey to me.
Watching Magda “start a business” and descend into the insanity that is the Younique cult has been heartbreaking.
It’s similar to how I feel when I look back at my Facebook posts from 2008, except this is 2017 and it’s still going on.
My embarrassing past is buried under years of content that gets progressively more reasonable. This unfortunate lady is posting ridiculous things daily and actively trying to advertise to the world about the poor choices she’s made.
It’s not like I was overly close with her before the nonsense began, but it still sucks to watch this happen to a perfectly nice woman. She’s wasting so much money and has surely pissed off a decent percentage of her friends and acquaintances by now. I just hope she comes to her senses and gets out soon. 😦 …”
[Elle:] I would like to thank Lillie for sharing her experiences with me, and am sorry that she is having to watch a good friend descending into the Y-trap.
Are you like Lillie, finding yourself concerned for a loved one who is totally and utterly wrapped up in MLM? My friends at Bot Watch have advice for you on what to do and how to remain supportive – read it here.
For now, keep sharing your funny screenshots and stories with me – you never know, they could end up being relevant to one of my upcoming articles. Names and photos of individuals will always be hidden, whether their screenshots came from a public domain or nay. 🙂
What’s next for Elle Beau?
On reflection, I do feel that I would like to rewrite my Poonique story into a proper novella – whether its an ebook, or if I find someone who would put me in print. The main reason being, I missed out “the smaller stuff” for the purpose of keeping the reader interested and driving the tale forward. When I wrote this blog, I wanted to mainly focus on the dodgy tactics I experienced, but on reflection I would like to talk more in-depth about everything I can remember.
I would like to rewrite my tale with the spreadsheet as more of a prominent reference point – it will also help me recall things in chronological order (i.e. when certain monthly kudos were released, little paltry orders etc). Mia is still lurking in some of the training groups, and is finding me screenshots to illustrate certain chapters. So, as well as writing anti-MLM articles, I will be working on producing a full, comprehensive story in the interim. I hope to set up a Kickstarter for this once I have an idea of costings.
If you like the anti-MLM aims I am working towards, please consider supporting me via Patreon. Anything is gratefully received.
Stay subscribed for upcoming anti-MLM news and articles, and of course the ever-popular #ShitHunsSay screenshots.
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 and my first Patreon, @yourolly.
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.