Last year (Sept 2017), I documented a debate I had with a Younique presenter when she wrongly declared her precious company was cruelty-free. Heck, I even got myself blocked by Younique Corporate on Twitter for challenging them about their wishy-washy responses to those who wanted to know about their cruelty-free stance.
2018 is halfway through, and nothing has changed. I would therefore like to remind people of Younique’s very own Derek Maxfield and Melanie Maxfield-Huscroft‘s stance on the matter.
UPDATE 26/07/18: Before you read on, I would just like to provide this update from what appears to be an ex-Younique employee (by that, I mean actually on the payroll and working in head office – not shilling crap-quality makeup). This whistleblower seems to be sharing their experiences in a series of short posts via the mysterious ‘Anonymous of MLM’ organisation, MLM Confidential.
It is entitled “Younique Tale 12: Cruelty-free? Vegan? Really? What do you think?” and can be found here.
The transcript reads:
“…Notice how Younique dances around the animal testing question? That’s because they have very little control over the manufacturing process, so they can’t actually say for sure one way or another.
Younique doesn’t care that you’re spreading carcinogens on your face — so do you honestly think they give a shit about animal cruelty?
Also, they want to sell in mainland China, which requires animal testing.
Also: hell no, the products aren’t vegan. Corporate doesn’t claim that, and reps who claim it are sorely mistaken…”
If we can take this ex-employee’s claims as a given, well…that speaks volumes really, doesn’t it? I’ll leave you to make up your minds.
Now, back to the main article.
They have been kindly provided by my Y-spies, who still remain in the “Presenter Only” Facebook group. Naturally, I am no longer a member. 😉
My Y-spy messaged me to say:
“Regarding Poonique’s “cruelty free” status. Someone tried asking them about their pursuit of the leaping bunny logo four years ago. Someone followed up on the post earlier this year, and instead of answering, they just shut down all comments on the post…”
Interesting. So, in June 2013 to be precise, someone asked the secret-privacy ‘Younique Family – Presenters Only‘ group: “Got this question today if Younique holds the Leaping Bunny logo…”
A now-defunct member replied with “Younique is currently in the process to be certified animal safe/cruelty free… We are not as of YET on Leaping Bunny, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be in the near future.”
That sounds exactly like the same old drivel Younique Corporate’s Twitter account likes to spout.
Fast forward a few years later – another presenter comments on this old thread wanting an update, thus resurrecting it.
Her answers from her fellow Y-sisters include: “no animal testing but we are not certified” and “I don’t believe Younique is going to seek cruelty free certification. I think they are just going to keep things the way they are.”
Another presenter observantly says, “There hasn’t been any process in this matter for 4 years. I don’t think there will ever be any kind of certification. 😥 the answer in the first comment is the answer you still get when you ask.”
(By that, she means the copy-paste Younique Corporate diatribe like the “we have not pursued formal certification at this time” example below:)
A Y-sister responds to this lamentation with, “I’m not sure Younique still says they are in the process of gaining certification. I don’t think it is something they want to follow through with. You can ask support but they will only send you the same response they send everyone and will not elaborate on it. They will let you know they never tested on animals and probably never will but they don’t trace the ingredients back to see if they are all cruelty-free.”
I think she is right. I got a hunch when I saw that “an admin turned off commenting for this post.” No answer from esteemed leaders Derek and Melanie then? Guess they are tired of using the copy and paste function.
Or, realistically, they really, really, REALLY don’t give a shit about seeking Leaping Bunny certification. When I look at this post from May 2013, I don’t feel like it was ever on the Maxfield’s cards to start with.
“Why aren’t we making it more ‘front and center’ that these products are natural and cruelty free?” asks the Y-sister. “We can find it on the website if we search, but in my business (health coach), this is HUGE and will be bringing in people if we can play that up a bit. Thoughts?“
So what do the esteemed leaders Derek and Melanie think?
“We are in the process of becoming registered and certified as such but until the process is complete, all made statements need to be reviewed and approved…” says Melanie, helpful as always.
This blunt answer apparently pleases the Y-sister, who says she “had a possible recruit just tell me that is why she’s not signing up yet.”
Brother Derek advises, “I would say you can tell her to review the ingredients and form her own opinion but I would say we do try to play it up unofficially.“
What are you even trying to say, Lord Derek? I’ll leave you guys to make your own deductions.
I don’t know why they won’t pursue formal certification, but I can make a fair few assumptions, rightly or wrongly. The quality and true value of Younique’s products is blatantly cheap and nasty – how else would all these various Black, Purple, Orange and Green Statuses make circle royalties from their downlines? The products need to be churned out as cheaply as possible, in order to make such a heinous profit up the pyramid – so that means the ingredients have to be cheap, too.
Is it possible that certified cruelty-free ingredients are more expensive to procure than those tested on animals? Heck, what would I know…hopefully someone can tell me. What are your thoughts?
A Reminder of Past Articles & Research
For those of you that followed my #Poonique saga, you may remember Harriet’s quandary in Chapter 10 – whether to admit to a vegan customer that she had lied about Younique being cruelty-free? Also take a look at:
- Elle Finally Blocked by Poonique Corporate
- Younique Presenters, you’ve got to stop saying you’re Cruelty-Free.
The very same author has also written a thought-provoking article, where she questions “Is Younique Truly Cruelty-Free?”
Ly makes reference to this below statement, taken directly from Younique’s website (since her last update of Nov 2016).
The statement says:
“…Younique does not test our products on animals. We are in the process of exploring/procuring official certification as a cruelty-free company. However, Younique has not conducted an in-depth cruelty-free review tracing each ingredient back to such ingredient’s original source at this time…”
Unless I am going bonkers, I cannot find this statement on Younique’s website anymore, so I am glad Ly has taken this screenshot. Is it possible that Younique have taken their website statement on animal testing down?
Ly also points out that Younique is not listed on any of the following cruelty-free databases:
- Leaping Bunny
- PETA’s Companies That Don’t Test On Animals
- Choose Cruelty Free
- Logical Harmony
- Cruelty Free Kitty
With all these facts laid out, why the hell do presenters still think its acceptable to say Younique is cruelty-free, when it isn’t?
No one within Younique wants to give straight answer.
UK lifestyle blogger ChammyIRL documented her investigations in her article Are Younique Cruelty Free? The Most Confusing Question Of All Time.
So, Chammy, did you find out whether they are truly cruelty-free?
“…I’m sorry to say that I don’t exactly know. They say they are, they say they don’t test on animals and reassure customers that none of the ingredients used to make their products are tested on animals. All this while still failing to apply for the Leaping Bunny logo or to become PETA approved…”
Ly also deduces:
“…all cruelty-free companies must verify and make sure that their ingredient suppliers consent to a no animal testing policy. Unfortunately Younique has failed to do this.”
I also found a Feb 2016 article from worldissuesbygem, called “Younique claims products are not tested on animals: but is it really 100% cruelty free?” It references Ly‘s original article, but also appears to elaborate on some of the brutal laboratory testing methods.
The fact of the matter still stands – Younique state that none of their products are tested on animals. Fine, I will accept that.
However, they have no Leaping Bunny logo, no cruelty-free certification, and no credible cruelty-free blogger to back them. Therefore:
Younique are NOT cruelty-free!
When you put it in plain English, its quite simple. Yet, we still see shitty hun-propaganda popping up everywhere.
As you will note in my “Younique Presenters, you’ve got to stop saying you’re Cruelty-Free” article, the offending Y-sister even told me that Younique are “too busy” to pursue formal Leaping Bunny certification! The cheek of it.
The crux of the matter is, there are thousands of presenters worldwide who are told by their uplines (in ignorance or otherwise) to say that Younique are cruelty-free. They are not, and I personally feel that they never will be.
This means that many potential customers are buying Younique products on the basis that they are cruelty-free, when their sale has been obtained on false information. To me, that is very wrong – especially when it is important to the individual’s ethics, lifestyle and beliefs.
I also wonder if Younique Corporate even care? If Melanie and Derek’s apparent lack of action is anything to go by – I’ll go with no.
So, to all Younique presenters, please – stop with the cruelty-free malarkey.
Stop making false claims about the products and what they stand for.
Do your own research instead of listening to your so-called uplines – yes, they want you to make the sale so they can earn a percentage of your commission, but consider your customer’s ethics.
Consider your own ethics too. Do you really want your good name tarnished, by being involved with these godawful excuses for businesses?
For those who wish to pursue further reading, I have already posted some excellent resources here for you to refer to (definitely look further at the work of Vicky Ly), and would also like to mention two writers who are also happy to share their opinions on this cruelty-free debacle.
- Jon Donnis – consumer adviser, photographer, vegan and social commentator to name a few – also a man who has been a fantastic guide to me in this blogging game (visit his website).
- Chris Pert – founder of @VeganRunCrew and one of my fellow Anti-MLM Movement writers. Chris has many talents including juggling, running, unicycling and living a vegan lifestyle (visit his website).
Readers, please do your bit – if you spot a presenter making a false cruelty-free claim on your social media feeds, please do your best to correct them.
Whether you care about the ethos behind being cruelty-free or not, its still not good to have presenters making false health and lifestyle claims about ‘their’ products. You can also share your findings with the guys behind MLM Lies Exposed and Sounds Like MLM But OK.
Also, check out my team project, MLMTruth.org. I have teamed up with several anti-MLM writers to produce a comprehensive resource page. Get support, get informed, and protect yourself.