We need to talk about Younique’s train-wreck of an Anniversary Palette

Exciting times, everyone – Younique are celebrating their birthday with a Fifth Year Soirée! Derek is psyched, Melanie is psyched, everyone is psyched…except for yours truly, of course – after all, I’m just a negferret mood-hoover.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Younique got their reps hyped up about this super-duper MOODSTRUCK ADDICTION™ Shadow Palette Anniversary Edition. It glitters, it sparkles, it has so many pretty colours, and it makes all your dreams come true – honest! It also makes you the butt of many jokes on Instagram and Reddit. Why? Let’s find out.

Here is the Anniversary Edition palette in all its glory.

Palette Younique
[Source]: YouniqueProducts.com
 Look at the glitter! Look at that shimmer! What makeup fan wouldn’t want to play around with those dazzling colours?

Let’s take a peek at the inspirational images passed around in the Younique training groups on social media (many thanks to my dedicated Y-spies for this). Remember, the purposes of these photos is to show the presenters what kinds of look they can achieve with the product.

Please Note: My Y-spy advises that the below collage was NOT produced by Younique Corporate. It was put together by the higher-status uplines, in order to be fed down the chain into their training groups.

Palette Younique swatches and colour looks
[Source]: Elle Beau’s Y-spy from a Presenter-only Facebook Group
I have to say, for such a poor-quality makeup brand, these Younique looks are impressive. These shots do look professionally done, though. I wonder, what does the average everyday presenter look like when recreating this look from the comfort of their sofa?

I took to Instagram to find out, searching for #anniversarypalette. Let’s take a look at a small selection of the results.

Hang on a minute, where’s the beautiful colours? Most of these look like charcoal. Perhaps I didn’t look hard enough. I’ll find some more examples…

Oh come on. Am I missing something? I can’t find any images that encapsulate those dramatic peacock colours.

Mini Palette Eyes 6
[Source:] @Youniquefail on Instagram
Nope. There’s a faint hint of sparkle – but eye-catching, dramatic colour? No.

Mini Palette Eyes 9
[Source:] @Youniquefail on Instagram
Mess is the operative word, yes. The chaos of Younique is not gorgeous, either. I can’t find any good looks with this palette. Perhaps the sharp-witted folks of /r/Youniqueamua could help me shed some light on the situation.

Why wasn’t I seeing any accurate representations of this look?


Shock horror, it transpires that these uplines used non-Younique images by talented makeup artists as an attempt to pass-off as their shitty product photos.

In fact, you know its not good when even the presenters themselves are doubting it. Take a look at this discovery from /r/Youniqueamua.

Reddit discovery
[Source:] /r/Youniqueamua
Let’s give some props to this presenter for noting that this is “inaccurately portraying the colors to customers.” Redditor GlaDos00 donned their detective hat and found out the following information:

Palette Younique swatches and colour looks

Look 1 is apparently the only genuine Younique Corporate image here.

Palette Younique swatches and colour looks

Look 2
 has existed since 2012. This appears to be the
 originating blog article by Maya Chowdhury. No Younique was used.

Palette Younique swatches and colour looks

Look 3
 belongs to a makeup artist named @dianamaria_mua. No Younique used, of course.

Palette Younique swatches and colour looks
Look 4
is from 2013, belonging to 
Pausa Para Feminices. Again, no Younique used. Instagram account is @brutavaresppf.

Palette Younique swatches and colour looks
Look 5
belongs to
 @auroramakeup. They tried to crop out her watermark. No Younique!

Is it sad to say that I am not surprised. Looks 2-5 are by talented makeup artists…I cannot fathom any Younique product giving the same results as what we see here.

I’ll be honest – every look I’ve seen featuring this palette makes the poor sods look like they’ve rubbed charcoal all over their eyes. Where’s the gold, blue, purple, and green, I ask?

Super Ultimate Evil Hun Overlord Melanie (one of the co-founders of Younique) tried to get her minions excited about the Anniversary Palette in the presenter-only group (again, thanks to my Y-spy for providing this).


I will not pass comment on the “Melanie’s junk” giveaway, as it speaks for itself. However, I strongly urge her to look up the meaning of the word “vintage”. Even during the live video of her “playing” with the palette, it would seem that some watchers already had their doubts.


“…Must be the lighting or angle…” – no, it really does look like charcoal, dear. My Y-spy told me that any commenters who voiced opinions like the one above were quickly shouted down. It also made me tremendously sad seeing the people commenting their “whys” and five year plans.

Never fear though, Quai from Younique Corporate Training’s YouTube channel is here – she’ll explain how to get the most from this very special palette!
(Elle’s note: This video is made available to the public and can be accessed via YouTube)

Corporate YouTube Video Still
[Source:] Younique Corporate Training on YouTube
In the excruciating-to-watch 2017 November Kudos Training video, Quai invites us to a “veeeery special party” and introduces the November 2017 Customer Kudos bundle.
(Elle’s note: it causes me significant discomfort when she says “partaaaay” at 00:47).

For those of legal drinking age in your respective countries, here’s a fun drinking game – take a shot every time Quai says “sparkle” or “sparkly“. Thank me later.

As you can guess, this Kudos bundle includes the limited edition Anniversary Palette, which she says “really was created to have that perfect, smokey, sparkly eye. Every colour makes it glam.”

Holding the box up to the camera, she urges us to “look at that sparkle, baby, look at that sparkle.”
(SPOILER ALERT: There is no sparkle).

Younique Customer Kudus Nov 2017
November 2017 Customer Kudos [Source:] Younique Corporate
With an ever-so-generous 26% discount, when you purchase this Kudos, you also receive the Cream Shadow Brush (usually £12), your choice of Splurge Cream Shadow (usually £18) and a Moodstruck Opulence Lipstick (usually £15). Let’s assume the Anniversary Palette’s RRP is £38. Guess what? This bundle will set you back a generous £67 here in the UK – bargain.

Younique Corporate are very devious though – if you want to make the most of that palette, you’re going to need that cream shadow…

Younique Corp Scary Video
[Source:] Younique Corporate Training on YouTube
In Quai’s words, “there are four multi-dimensional colours. What does that mean? […] This black pigment adheres to the Cream Shadow to really make these sparkles POP…

Right. So what she’s saying is, without the Cream Shadow, you’ve no hope in hell of getting those poppin’ sparkles. Why?

[To] give you that sparkly, basically diamond eye. And who doesn’t want a sparkly, diamond eye? I know I do!

Comes complete with creepy wink.

Corporate YouTube Video Still Creepy Wink
[Source:] Younique Corporate Training on YouTube
Basically, you need to buy another overpriced product to get the most out of this other overpriced product!

In order to avoid the charcoal-look, Quai tells us to first take the Cream Shadow Brush and Cream Shadow: “apply like normal, make sure it really gets into the eye.”

Get it into my eye? That sounds painful, but okay. Next, we have to be aware that “there is a little bit of a difference” when it comes to applying the super-special Anniversary Palette.

You are really going to want to get that colour onto the brush…so press that in and do not be scared to get that colour!” says Quai, furiously stabbing her makeup brush onto the shadow palette’s surface.

I sincerely hope that no Younique rep actually pays attention to this next step, as I would imagine it would result in serious eye socket injuries.

Corporate YouTube Video Still PUSH IT IN!!!
[Source:] Younique Corporate Training on YouTube
That’s right – Quai suggests that we “push the powder into the cream, so you’ll really want to stipple that nicely in.”

Considering the force she is attacking the back of her hand with, I couldn’t even imagine doing that to my eyeball. What is the purpose of such a brutal technique?

That way, the black powder adheres so that sparkle will be like that sparkly diamond eye [sic]…”

That makes absolutely no sense. 

To polish off this informative training video, Quai’s final piece of advice is to “make sure to really press that in, and it will mould and show perfectly!

Sorry, but I really don’t want to brutally push a makeup brush down on my eyeball, all because Younique have produced a badly pigmented excuse for a palette. Seems I am not the only one who was terrified by Quai’s eyeball attacking – check out the witty thoughts of my Facebook followers and the Reddit community.

The YouTube community aren’t impressed either. Here is just a small selection of the feedback in the video’s comments section:

Corporate YouTube Video Comments Section

“It’s all black shadows, with colored glitters. The price is bananas for that…”

“Wet N Wild eye shadows don’t require you to aggressively smash your brush into them…”

“Younique and all the other rotten MLMs plaguing social media need to get shut down…”

Corporate YouTube Video Comments Section 2

“My daughter has play makeup that is more colorful and glittery than this…”

“I feel sorry for the ladies who feel they have to pretend to like these different shades of soot to make a couple of dollars…”

“You are trash and your company is a scam…”

My pal ChammyIRL even makes an appearance!

Corporate YouTube Video Comments Section 3

“That is very badly done makeup. It does not look nice and does not make me want to go anywhere near your brand…”

“What’s sad [is] they are selling to poor people who haven’t a clue about makeup…”

“There is no shimmer, no sparkle – it’s the least glittery glitter palette I’ve ever seen…”

The YouTubers have spoken.

The main reason that Younique have released this joke of a training video, is so that they  can turn around and reply to any complaints with the old “you must not be applying it correctly!

According to my Y-spies, the Purple and Black Status Presenters were recently sent an email from corporate, instructing them to tell all their downlines NOT use the word “glitter” when referring to the Anniversary Palette. I wonder why?

[Source:] Younique Corporate’s Facebook page
Oh, and a Younique rep’s advice also extends to NOT blending. Don’t believe me? Check this discovery out from /r/Youniqueamua, which was apparently in response to a complaint about the Anniversary Palette on the official Facebook page.

[Source:] /r/Youniqueamua
NO BLENDING OR SWIPING!!! If you blend or swipe, the glitter will be pushed off which will only results [sic] in the matte black shadow being left on.”

Pack on the product!! The less you use, the less vibrant :p “

With that kind of advice, you end up with results like this poor sod:

I guess some huns just want to watch the world burn.

In fact, a quick glance at this post on the official Younique Facebook page will show you waves of presenters and customers complaining about the wretched palette. As predicted though, there are also equal waves of die-hard presenters defending it to the bitter end.

Guess what – someone even gets called a Negative Nancy (or “negetive” in this case) – AND bonus bingo, is told “I just think you don’t know how to use it!

Younique Corporate Negative Nancy

Yellow is a die-hard who is “rock in it [sic]”, frequently popping up in the comments section to defend her beloved Younique.

My favourite comment comes from Blue though, who recommends a Bobbi Brown product and says “at least it’s glittery and you don’t get a bunch of people yelling at you if you don’t like it.

Remember the poached Instagram photos mentioned earlier in this article? That was a topic of discussion too, as well as querying why Younique Corporate keep deleting negative comments…

Younique Corporate Deleting Comments on Palette

So there you have it. Younique will only delete your comments if you’re vulgar, attacking someone, or promoting a personal website link or page. I better stay away, then. 😉

The evidence speaks for itself – I am no makeup expert, nor will I ever be, but this palette is clearly trash. Poorly pigmented, cheap, nasty…the epitome of a Younique product.

In typical Younique fashion, they do like to put their spin on things. When I was a presenter, there was a big fiasco over the so-called “liquid gold” foundation being in stock, out of stock, and then back again. Here, Melanie states that “there are still some anniversary edition palettes in stock…”


No doubt she successfully whipped her minions up into a frenzy…as (at the time of going to press) their website states that the palette is now OUT OF STOCK! 😮

Palette Out of Stock

However, all is not lost. You may not be able to purchase it individually, but you can still spend that hard-earned £67 and get it as part of the November 2017 Customer Kudos…bargain!

Younique Customer Kudus Nov 2017 price

Younique Corporate have stated that the palette is only available for November 2017…but I have a strange feeling it will make a magical appearance further down the line. Time will tell.

Now, you may turn around and wonder how I could possibly condemn this palette, not having tried it for myself. In order to do that, I would have to actually purchase one of these monstrosities – let it be know, after my time with #Poonique, I categorically will NOT buy any MLM products, ever.

Fortunately, one of my followers has kindly taken that bullet for me.

I am now going to hand the reins over to Marcie, a follower of the anti-MLM movement. Here is Marcie’s review…enjoy!

[Marcie:] Thanks Elle! So, let’s talk about the Younique Fifth Anniversary Palette – I have bought this so you guys don’t have to!

So I should know better. I really should. I know this. I have read Elle’s #Poonique tale, I have supported Timeless Vie and I have done my homework. I know Younique is overpriced. But I had used the eye shadow palettes before and thought they were quite good.

shadow palette
A selection of eye shadow palettes from Younique Products

So, I saw that swanky Anniversary Palette pop up on my newsfeed. Ooh look! Glitter and sparkle! Christmas – thinks I – lovely colours to wear over the festive period! 

My Y-friend was selling one for much cheaper than the RRP of about £40, so I thought I’d give it a go. I use Urban Decay after all, and they’re not cheap. I’ve used them before. What could go wrong?

So I ordered one through her. Then remembered why I buy my makeup in shops. If I want something like that, I want it now. Not in a week’s time. However, I can wait. And then it turned up.

This is what it looks like in the flesh:

Marcie's Review

Not too unlike the promotional pictures. You expect a little embellishment with these things, don’t you. But it sparkled. The whole box sparkles. It’s literally covered in glitter. And look at those names – ‘Unashamed’ indeed! I wasn’t, this stuff looked good! And then I put it on….

Now what you see in those pictures are eye shadows that are sparkly and that look purple, green, blue and yellowy. What you get is grey eye shadow. Out of all four colours. I say grey, I almost mean black. They are all exactly the same colour on – save for the three on the right which do actually look the colours they appear. The rest go on black/dark grey. No amount of blending or mixing changes that. I tried using the lighter colour on the right as a base and still – black. I looked like a panda.

Maybe I needed more practise. Maybe I needed to use something other than a brush. So I tried foam applicators (how old-school in this day and age!) and no difference. I put the applicator down on my white Ikea MALM drawers (which I use as a dressing table) and noticed a dark grey poof of shadow – that took some scrubbing off. And this stuff goes on my face!

The only way I can describe it is it’s like applying soot to your face. As if what you have just bought isn’t supposed to be premium, but something homemade you created out of pencil shavings and talc, with a bit of glitter thrown in. All four colours on the left look identical. Absolutely identical.

I then noticed when I looked at the palette from a different angle, you get the actual, true colours.

Marcie's Review 2

Can you see just how dark they look here? That’s exactly how they go on.

There’s no sparkle and there’s no shine. Just a fine coating of darkness.

Don’t get me started on the state it left my brushes. I’ll admit, I am old-school (being 35) and I don’t wash my brushes as religiously as my nieces, do who give theirs a bath several times a week. I am much more your “tap on a tissue to get rid of spare powder” type. Tapping these out took ages. I could not get it off my brushes.

Getting it off my face was a challenge and a half, as I looked like I’d been sweeping chimneys – it takes forever and transfers itself all over your face!

mary poppins

I had to text my niece to ask the best way to clean my brushes, as they were weeping on the shelf like a child who fell over in mud!

Where’s the glitter? Where’s the lovely green colour I was expecting? Why does it look nothing like the pictures my friend has shown me of hers? Why does it all look black with no sparkle? This stuff is not a patch on Urban Decay – which is why I no longer judge the price tag of the £39 palette I bought 6 months ago, which has only just started to show metal on the bottom of one colour.

You get what you pay for… I wear eye shadow and mascara daily, so I have high standards. I tried the Younique mascara and nearly ended up at A&E with an eyeful of fibres. This stuff at least didn’t cause me unforeseen agony, but it turned out to be just as disappointing.

It’s sad. I don’t want to ask for a refund as it will put my friend out of pocket – I know how this works. Plus, she and I have only just reconnected after a fall out over this bloody stuff. I want to mend our friendship, but I feel the only way I can is by buying some of this from her. And I don’t know if that’s the saddest thing I ever said, now I’ve written it.

I feel like I need to try hard, and the only way this can happen is if every now and then I buy something reduced. She tells me her phone is going flat – yet “the orders she can only sell if she sells everything” sit there, still unsold.

She raffles things off and then says she’s raised £35. That’s not a life.

Selling this stuff at ridiculous prices for paltry commission, whilst posting pictures of your latte in Costa at your “strategy meeting” is not the future you anticipated for yourself. I can only try to be there in other ways when she sees the light in this. Which is more than I can say for the 5th Anniversary Palette, which belongs in the bin…

[Elle:] Marcie, thank you so very much for sharing this, and I am sorry to hear things aren’t good between you and your friend.

I have a feeling that Marcie may be back to do some further guest writing, in respect of how Younique has broken a very longstanding friendship. 

Until then, for further opinions on the Anniversary Palette, take a look at this extremely honest and frank review from one of my Y-spies, ApportionedMembrane. Be prepared, its fecking hilarious.

Until next time, keep mood-hoovering, huns.


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 WatchJuice 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.



  1. Great post as always, Elle! Younique hasn’t set foot where I live yet (Brazil), but other MLM have, and I’m always following you to fight the anti-MLM fight around here. It’s incredibly sad what it does, and how it targets the most vulnerable people. Fight on!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have many palettes with “glitter” or “sparkle” shades. None need this level of instruction or appear non existent. This is so sad. Love your posts!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Younique has a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. You are not able to do that with over the counter make up. No I am not a presenter. I have had personal experience with their customer service department, they are respectfull, sensitive to the customers needs and fast with solutions. They have sent replacements to me and never asked for the original to be returned. I don’t buy what I can’t afford or dislike, but many of their products are great for me. Take their exceptional skin care line for instance.


    • Sephora absolutely takes back makeup if you don’t like it, as long as you haven’t used nearly all of it before returning. They also can give you samples prior to purchase for you to test out. Ulta does returns too if you’re not satisfied. (I’ve done both and they asked no questions as long as I had a receipt. Easy!) I’m in the U.S. so if you aren’t, maybe you have different stores, but in general returning makeup isn’t impossible outside of Younique.

      Liked by 4 people

    • “You are not able to do that with over the counter make up”

      Lies. I have returned makeup to Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s…several times. I have a room in my house just for my makeup. I spend anywhere between 5K-6K on cosmetics a year. Younique will never come anywhere near my house.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I really wish I could leave pictures in my comments. While I do understand the anniversary palette didn’t work for everyone, it did work for some. I could completely understand if your review included the good pictures as well with a final thought of “more bad than good” but to call the palette a trainwreck is a bit much. I can’t count the number of tutorials I’ve watched with actual people I know personally who applied the palette while on live video. The palette actually worked for and looked good on a number of presenters. Sure, maybe they practiced first before doing the video to find out what would and wouldn’t help make the colors more bold. I’m sure they did. The first time I tried my palette, I hated it. Then once I learned how to properly apply the colors, I liked it. I didn’t like it enough to keep it (I really only liked 3 of the shades in the palette), but that does not make it a trainwreck overall. Yes, I am a presenter. Yes, I love the majority of the Younique products I have tried. No, some of the products didn’t work for me (I didn’t like the color or the shade was wrong), but customer service has always been HAPPY to replace those products for me with an even exchange, a refund, Y-Cash, and a few times they have even sent replacements and didn’t ask me to send back the original! While I do agree that the 5th Year Anniversary Kudos should have been thought about and planned out better, I still love Younique products, what the company stands for, and the countless friendships I have made through interacting with both current and former presenters. (Yes, I base my thoughts on more than just the palette… kinda like you did when you wrote this review.☺) Blessings!☺☺


    • Hello! How fantastic to know that you like your palette. I do hope that your eyeballs weren’t harmed in the application (if Quai’s video is anything to go by!)

      I’m also intrigued that you love what the company stands for. What is that, exactly? Uplift, Empower, Validate? Please feel free to stop by again, and share your thoughts on what makes Younique so great. We’re always happy to hear opposing views. 😊


  5. That awkward moment when you click on an old link, because you’re like, hey, I remember that POS palette I used once, and got an awful awful application on, and only loaded up on instagram because I was told I’d get a free lipstick…and I needed something to claw back the £39 I’d spent……and spot YOUR OWN EYE on the collage.

    I deleted that instagram account…. I thought that godawful selfie would never see the light of day again and there it is, for prosperity.

    Kids, the internet is permanent, remember that!

    (And younique sucks, that awful application had me doubting my makeup skills for months, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get mine to look like the photos, and figured it was me.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes I didnt buy this pallet because I didnt think the colours would look very good and the price is high! I’m glad i didnt buy though! Because of the high price I often stick to my favorite products (I’ve tried a few things recently always deciding to send them back). I love the Epic Mascara (NOT the 3D), I love the liquid foundation, the blush, and a few liquid lipsticks (The matte ones are aweful!). The highlighter is ok, but can buy a better one at the drug store. There are definitly stories where women are making their livelyhood from this but definitly need to consider that some people are losing money, stuck with TONS of stock, and struggling to offload products they don’t even believe in!


  7. Terrible palette. A #HOTMESS…….Looks like you cleaned the #fireplace ashes. NOT Happy!!!!!!!!!!! Bought 3x mascara with /particles and got eye infection. Done buying from this brand.


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