Is Younique Makeup a Scam? Or Can This MLM Make You Money?

Congratulations on finding your way to my review of Younique!  The beauty industry is huge and profits are massive.  Perhaps you are interested in getting in on this business and creating some income from home.  Is Younique Makeup a scam or can this MLM Make you money?

Let’s start with their mission statement:

“Younique’s mission is to uplift, empower, validate, and ultimately build self-esteem in women around the world through high-quality products that encourage both inner and outer beauty and spiritual enlightenment while also providing opportunities for personal growth and financial reward.”

Sounds kind of amazing, doesn’t it?  Let’s see if they deliver.

What is Younique?

Younique is a makeup/beauty company that started in the United States in 2012.  It uses an MLM business model.  The company produces cosmetics that are marketed by salespeople (mainly women), called ‘Presenters’ who sign up through the website, purchase products from the company and sell them to earn a commission.  A Presenter can also qualify to earn commissions from others that they recruit, provided they meet the target goals.

Who is Younique For?

Younique targets younger women, such as stay-at-home moms,  through Facebook ads, but I have also seen presenters in the baby-boomer age range who are selling to our generation, so it is for women of all ages looking to make some income from a home-based, online business.  Most of the presenters are female although I have read about a couple of men who have been presenters.

Ideally, you should have some interest in makeup and beauty although formal qualifications are not required to join this program.

Brief Description and Price


founders/owners:  Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft (brother and sister)

Price to join: $99 for the starter kit

What’s included: 

  • Cosmetic products
  • Product Catalog
  • Virtual Party System Marketing Tools
  • Your own Younique website to market the products

Guarantee:  There is no guarantee of earnings for a Presenter, however, there is a guarantee for customers who purchase the products and are not satisfied with them.

Rating: (out of 10): 3.5

My Review of Younique

Founded in 2012 by a brother and sister duo, Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft, Younique is a direct sales makeup company that uses a Multi-Level Marketing model to sell their product line.  They use independent contractors, called ‘Presenters’ who earn a commission based on product sales and commissions from other salespeople that they recruit.

The big difference between Younique and other direct sales cosmetics companies is that they do almost all of their sales on social media, most notably, Facebook.  This allows the presenters to reach a much wider audience than just going door to door as in the traditional direct sales model.  They also claim that you can hold ‘virtual’ parties online to promote the products and that you can work anywhere with this business.

Younique work anywhere claim

While technically an MLM, because it actually does have products, many former presenters claim that this company is a Pyramid Scheme that lures you in with glamors imagery, exaggerated income claims and an almost cult-like atmosphere of self-affirmation and forced positivity.  For a better understanding of the difference between MLM’s and Pyramids, you can refer to my article Is Multi-Level Marketing a Scam.

Younique New Presenter's Kit

Joining Younique

Well, of course, this part is easy because all you have to do is give them your details and then pay $99 to purchase what is called their ‘New Presenters Kit’ and which is obligatory.

Commission structure

There are 8 levels of commission within Younique ranging from ‘White’ which indicates the entry-level  Presenter, to ‘Black’ which represents the ‘exclusive’ Presenter.  Entry levels are paid commission only based on product sales, but as you move up the ranks, by recruiting others (called you’re ‘downline’), you will eventually start earning a commission from your recruits.  Commissions range from 20-% to 30% depending upon your level.


Commission payment is made through a Presenter’s personal account with “PayQuicker”, which is an online bank account.  You are paid within 3.5 hours of a sale.

You will not have your money paid directly into your own bank account.  In fact, if you want to move your commission $$’s into your own account, you will have to pay to do so at a fee of $0.50 for every transaction.

Virtual Parties

Younique claims to be the first direct sales company to sell almost exclusively online, rather than the traditional method.  There is no limit as to how many people you can invite to attend one of your ‘virtual parties’.  The company will provide interactive tools and technology so that interested customers can click on a link and join your sales event.

Company Growth, Expansion and Decreased Revenues for 2019

According to Wikipedia, In January of 2017,  Coty, Inc. purchased a 60% stake of Younique for $600 million, which then valued this company at $1 billion.  This acquisition increased Coty’s profits in 2018 which created a double-digit sales growth for Younique in the second quarter of  2018. The brother and sister team still own 40% of the company.  However here is an UPDATE: In August of 2019, Coty announced that it was cutting ties with Younique due to ‘differences’ between Younique and other businesses it (Coty) owns.  Coty intends to sell the 60% stake it owns back to the founders of Younique.  Interesting.

Sales are now decreasing for several reasons including changes in 2019 to what Facebook is allowing to be posted and how it is presented, to increasing awareness of the risks associated with participation in MLM programs.  Another way to put it is that people are becoming savvy of the ‘hype’ involved with this business and it is losing its ‘shine’.  May be why Coty has backed out?

Additionally, the commission structure, when viewed in detail is actually very complex and ‘Presenters’ are finding that they are struggling to make money, resulting in a high drop-out rate.

Criticisms of Younique

One of the criticisms of Younique is that when you are recruiting family and friends via Facebook, you are essentially getting people to join who will be your competition!  This will dilute your profits because, generally, friends and family have an interconnecting network that includes shared members.

One of the recurring themes that I kept seeing is that this company supports the “Law of Attraction” mindset which has become a buzzword these days.  This is the theory that everything around you is energy and that by setting your mind to only positive thoughts and self-affirmation all the time, regardless of what negative things may happen to you, you will create positive energy in the universe and have a greater chance of success in all aspects of your life.

Now, I do believe that positivity is good and we should embrace it, but the complaints I have read about Younique is that this mindset is taken to such an extreme that no negative comments or criticism is tolerated by those within the Younique hierarchy so that the whole positive energy thing becomes forced and artificial.

I have also discovered, from former Presenters, that there is a lot more money to fork out than just that $99 starter kit.  There is pressure for Presenters to purchase a product set, rather than individual items, which in turn requires that the Presenter pressure the customer to purchase a product set, rather than the individual product they truly want.

Other complaints about Younique are:

  • hit or miss product quality
  • complex commission structure
  • overpricing
  • false claims that products are ‘cruelty-free’
  • unqualified presenters – (no experience with makeup required to join)
  • cult-like atmosphere
  • high pressure to recruit others
  • public shaming of Presenters if goals are not met

Can You Make Money?

That is the big question, of course.

Looking at the Younique website, there is a section dedicated to the ‘Rising Stars’ within the company.  This is what they term a ‘Leaderboard’ and it changes monthly to reflect those that are earning the most.

Here is the example I found on their website at the time of writing this review.Younique rising starts income

At first glance, these figures look pretty good but be advised that they represent retail sales (PRS= Personal Retail Sales) and not profit.  Most, if not all, of these Presenters, will be at the highest level which is Black and which means they are earning 30% of the figures you see posted.

Therefore, the top earner in the world is making 30% of $12,320.50 which = $3,696.15.  If she is making that every month for 12 months, this equates to $44,353.80 (gross, before expenses, taxes, etc).

The next highest earner is making 30% of $7615.40 which = $2,284.62.  12 months = $27,415.44.

That may seem pretty good if you are looking to supplement retirement income for example, but then, there is the fine print below these earnings.

Younique income disclaimer

Do you see that?  These figures are only achieved by LESS THAN the top 0.02%!!!!!!

At this point, that mission statement seems to fall into the abyss…not much financial reward or spiritual enlightenment for what is really a lot of hard work, is it?

Pros and Cons


  • Authentic owners/developers of the company
  • Verifiable address and contact information
  • Genuine product line


  • Inflated income claims
  • complicated commission structure
  • cult-like atmosphere

Final Thoughts

With Younique and its MLM format, it is possible to make money if you are the kind of person who is very aggressive in sales, not afraid to push the envelope on a daily basis, have lots of energy and you are relentless in your ambition.   You must also be prepared to perhaps alienate family and friends who may avoid you because they do not like to be harassed to purchase your products.

Younique does have genuine products that they sell and Presenters are not just making money from recruiting others.  Therefore, I cannot classify Younique as an outright scam.  But do I recommend it? Absolutely not.

There are people that are making money with Younique, but, as you saw, that it is the minority (remember that 0.02%)  Certainly, the owners/founders have found an original niche with their online marketing idea and they ran with it and they themselves have made a fortune.

My Recommendation

In my opinion, being part of an MLM company such as this one is not a way to create income.  Not only is it very aggressive in nature, but even if you put tons of energy and time into it, the financial rewards are overall, poor.

For me, this kind of set-up is also too restrictive because I don’t enjoy following rules set out by people at a corporate head office somewhere.

When Philip and I were researching ways to supplement our retirement income, we found a system we like called  Affiliate Marketing, which is fun to do because we get to write about things that matter to us, like making money online, and helping others in our situation to find ways to improve their financial health.

If you would like more information I suggest you read Philip’s article on Affiliate Marketing for Retirees.

I thank you for taking the time to read this review.  Have you, or anyone you know, been involved with Younique?  Perhaps you could share your experience in the comments section below.

Stay tuned for more MLM reviews here at CRIO and please do let me know if there are any others, in particular, you would like me to look at for you.

I am here to help you find authentic ways to create retirement income online!

Best wishes,



Younique Makeup

$99 for Presenter's Starter Kit



User experience




Value for money



  • Authentic owners/developers of the company
  • Verifiable address and contact information
  • Genuine product line


  • Inflated income claims
  • Complicated commission structure
  • Cult-like atmosphere

Leave a Comment