[Elle:] Remember Marcie (not her real name), guest writer of the Moodstruck Splash Liquid Lipstick Review? Well, she’s back for more, with a new story to tell.
Here, she would like to share her experience with you all, from the perspective of a friend of a Younique presenter. This happened during her first pregnancy, and subsequently took her down the rabbit hole of the multi-level marketing world.
Before reading Marcie’s article, please remind yourself that all views presented in this blog are as told to us by the authors, and simply reflect their own opinions. Your own personal experiences with MLM companies and products may differ, negatively or positively.
I’ll now hand you back to Marcie.
[Marcie:] Thanks for having me back, Elle! I would like to share my story about Nestor (name changed), my friend who is unfortunately involved in Younique.
In the summer of 2016 I was enjoying my last few weeks off before the birth of my first child. I was about 35 weeks pregnant and was trying to get some sleep – which wasn’t easy when you’re the size of a beached whale. I was happily hibernating under the covers when my phone went ping.
It was a Facebook group message from my friend, Nestor, telling us she had decided to sign up and give Younique a go. She also promised she “would be setting up a Facebook group and not flooding her own profile with it“. She said she would add us to it if we wished but if we didn’t want to be a part of it to “let her know and that would be fine“.
I was quite surprised to read this, as Nestor was never a particularly girly girl and she hadn’t worn make up for a long while. She was married with two children and her life was taken up by all of that. Wearing makeup and taking pictures of herself were not things I associated with her at all – I hadn’t actually seen a photo of her on Facebook for the longest time. I was aware of Younique as a brand though, as I had seen a few people selling it on Facebook and had been randomly (and annoyingly) added to a few groups in my time!
I didn’t realise the extent of the MLM nightmare at this stage as I hadn’t done my research (that’s what my maternity leave turned out to be for), but said I would be added to her group to show some support. I also added I probably wouldn’t be in the market for any products – on account of the impending baby, and my vanity potentially taking a slight nose dive!
It didn’t take long for Nestor’s daily selfies to pop up. I noticed that she had lost a lot of weight and was probably feeling good about it, and so was happy for her. One of the things I had always liked about Nestor was her bluntness and her lack of time for idiocy and pretentiousness. It was why we were friends. We were silly and had a laugh and didn’t have time for the stupid.
I noticed these pictures were all about her eyelashes and the 3D mascara (that was the big selling point for Younique back then). She kept saying how she “couldn’t believe how amazing it was” and how she “just didn’t have eyelashes till she used this”.
I knew otherwise – I also knew that because she was so fair you couldn’t actually see her eyelashes until she used mascara of any type. Mine are exactly the same; that’s the whole point of mascara surely? I thought this mascara looked way too dark – she’s blonde and fair skinned but had these jet black, thick spider-leg eyelashes which just looked weird. I then looked at how much it cost (£23 GBP) and nearly choked on my tea. She didn’t work, they had two kids and a house that was held together by damp; how on earth did she manage to spend that much money on mascara?
Next thing was all the daily motivational posts about how she could “dream, believe achieve”. These were not words Nestor would ever have used. She wouldn’t even have a “Live, Laugh, Love” sign up in her house – she was more the flying duck ornaments type!
During this time, I had given birth to my son. Nestor and I didn’t see each other a huge amount these days – I hadn’t driven up there very often towards the end of my pregnancy, and we just didn’t have time to get together very often. I live around 60 miles away, and we were also just a bit rubbish about getting together!
I did expect to hear from her a little more when I was pregnant, however – I was in touch with her a lot when she was having hers and went to see them – so it was a bit upsetting that my oldest friend didn’t really check in. She messaged when my son was born to say congratulations, and that she couldn’t wait for a cuddle. And that was it. She never contacted me to ask when she could come over, she never made any plans or suggestions and any attempts from me were seemingly ignored.
I had had a c-section and so was recovering from that, so didn’t drive for the first six weeks of my son’s life. It was hard to get out and about, as I drove a three-door hatchback, so getting my son’s car seat in and out was tricky; particularly after my c-section when I wasn’t supposed to lift anything heavier than him for the first few weeks! So the lack of contact was upsetting, but I just got on with my life with my new little person.
Meanwhile, Nestor’s motivational posts continued. The endless pouting on the photos. The constant gratitude for “her business” and how Younique were the best thing ever. I pointed out to her that people don’t say things like that about their employers in general, and that if I asked my boss for a selfie he’d look at me like I’d gone bonkers. This was after one of her “road trips” with her “Y sisters” to a convention for “purple to the core” women so they could “uplift and empower” each other.
It just was not Nestor at all.
She expressed her gratitude endlessly that she could “stay at home and work round her kids” and “never have to miss their assemblies or sports days”. I just found it quite unpleasant and also a little insulting to those of us who are parents and work full-time. I was on maternity leave at that moment, but intended on going back to work full-time and didn’t see anything wrong with that.
In time, I met a few women at baby groups who were selling Arbonne or Juice Plus, or using aloe vera to “lose the baby weight”. I found it all quite overwhelming – who wouldn’t? So, I went online to do my research. Lo and behold, I came across Elle’s #Poonique tale, binge-read the whole thing and couldn’t wait for the next instalments. I read about the so called ‘incentives’ that were nothing short of the Emperor’s New Clothes. I was gobsmacked that my friend had been sucked into this!
And here’s where I went wrong. Maybe.
I started posting anti-MLM stuff, I started commenting on her posts and subtly trying to point out the pitfalls in this endeavour. One such time was when she posted about going to some place in the Dominican Republic; how she couldn’t wait to find out if she’d qualified for the bonus. I managed to get out of her that they had to pay for their flights, transfers, spending money and that it was 4 whole nights over there!
I posted my own motivational posts taking the mickey out of hers; how if all I had to do was believe, then I believed I could win the lottery that weekend! After seeing more of this inspirational tripe on her Facebook wall, which did encroach on her personal profile, and seeing all these girls say how she was so motivational and amazing because she wore lipstick, I had had enough. I posted a meme on Instagram saying something along the lines of “Any company that requires money to start-up makes you a customer, not a business owner”. I swear within two minutes of posting that I was deleted from her life. My mobile number was blocked, I was binned from Facebook, I couldn’t contact her via WhatsApp. It was like I had been erased and was now a persona non grata.
I had dared to challenge. I was a mood-hoover. My oldest friend of 20 years had shown zero interest in my son or my upcoming wedding, or my life. She was fixated and #obsessivelygrateful (which doesn’t even make sense!) with Younique and showing off her amazing lifestyle, which now meant she could afford an Ikea desk all by herself! She owned over £4000 worth of makeup – but where does that get you? She was climbing the pyramid! I see regularly that she has “requalified” as Pink Status and can’t get my head round that. It’d be like having to work for my own promotion every month or my wages drop – no job would ever do that to you!
Well, my son was growing up, I was getting married and my oldest friend had dropped me. I was really upset about that but also annoyed at the fact she clearly felt I was a negative influence.
She never listened to me making comparisons with Scientology – who funnily enough don’t like people to go against what they believe or they too will be binned – or the fact that having negative emotions is a good thing! You don’t have to feel bad at them, you just need to know how to work with them.
I decided about 5 months after she’d done this to try and reconnect with Nestor. She promptly informed me I was “bad for her mental health so she had to remove me“. All I wanted to scream was “BUT WHAT ABOUT ME??? Your oldest friend is suffering with postnatal depression and anxiety, but apparently this makes me a bad person to have in your life. What the hell???”
What kind of person is Nestor becoming? Someone who would just bin their oldest friend because they didn’t support her “business”. I found a post she had made after she had removed me and it was less than complimentary about me – apparently the friendship had been one-sided for some time. I resisted the urge to say it had been MY side, but I kept that in.
The pouting continues. She has reconnected with me, but I feel it’s only as a potential customer. I’ve bought some bits, but remembered why I don’t (see my reviews on the Anniversary Shadow Palette and Splash Liquid Lipstick for an idea). This stuff is not good and nor is it worth devoting your entire life to. I work hard for a living and don’t constantly post about how grateful I am to my employer, or hashtag every single part of my life. I know that I will miss certain parts of my son’s life because of my job, but I also know that we can keep the lifestyle we have and I can afford to treat him.
It hurts me that Nestor has never met my son. She didn’t send a Christmas card or acknowledge his birthday. I have always sent her children presents, but decided this year I wouldn’t and I think we just need to let our friendship go. I hear nothing from her and the only thing you see if her constant photos of Kudos-this or Splash lipstick-that. The constant need to do all this is scary.
When I found Elle’s blog and saw the seven things Younique presenters should do daily (in Chapter 7) it made a lot of sense. Nestor is a total MLM-bot now, and it upsets me that I’ve lost her – but I also know that she’s not the friend I used to have. She’s a complete Y-robot and I only hope that one day she won’t be. I know she is going back to college in September so I just hope she sees the light there. I’ll try and be there when she does, but I don’t know if it’s now just too much water under the bridge.
That got long, but it felt good to get that out.
[Elle:] Big thanks to Marcie for sharing her experience with us. I am sorry that she lost a friend to the Y-life, and I can only hope that Nestor realises what a destructive path MLM is sending her on.
If you find yourself in a similar position to Marcie, my pal Bot Watch has some advice for you in How to Help Someone in an MLM. For other viewpoints on how Younique can make us unrecognisable, check these articles out:
- Magda Needs Saving From The Y-Life by guest writer ‘Lillie’
- My MLM Makeover – Transforming Me Into A Stranger by Chammy IRL.
Do you want to do a guest review of a Younique product like Marcie, or would you like to write anti-MLM articles with the coalition? Be our guest and check out our submission guidelines – we would love to hear from you.
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