Is Younique a Pyramid Scheme

Is Younique a Pyramid Scheme? The Truth Revealed!

Welcome to my review of Younique!

It's safe to say that many women want to be beautiful.

The never-ending search for the perfect lipstick, eye shadow, foundations, and BB creams may keep you awake at night.

With so many cosmetics available on the market, it's difficult to pick the right brand.

Searching online for makeup and skin care products probably brought you to Younique. Would you like to use quality products and at the same time earn money with Younique. Then you might be curious if Younique is a Pyramid Scheme?

Stay tuned as we are going to reveal the TRUTH.

Product Name: Younique


Founders: Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft

Price: $99 USD for the Starter Kit or $199 USD for the Premium Kit

Recommended: NO

What is Younique? ​ 

Younique offers products to women to help enhance their beauty. The company offers items like cleansers, facial masks, toners, serums, moisturizers, and a broad array of makeup. You can even find makeup accessories like brushes and signature scents offered by the company.

So, what makes Younique "unique" from the many other cosmetic brands? For one thing, it offers the chance to become a full-fledged distributor for interested individuals. Yes, it's a way to make money, and the company even has a compensation plan for its retailers. Now, perhaps the question buzzing around your mind is, "Is Younique a pyramid scheme?"

The last thing that you'd want is to join a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company is to waste your money and efforts. We don't want our time and money to go to waste in a business venture that prioritize in recruitment. MLM companies know the value of recruiting, but they should prioritize the retail aspect. In doing so, you'll be closer to having a business to call your own as opposed to just gathering like-minded people. 

With that in mind, it's time to dive deeper into Younique to see if it's a legit or scam company.

A Quick Look at the History of Younique

Back in 2012, the brother-and-sister tandem Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft established Younique. The siblings started a MLM company aiming to sell lines of beauty products with nature as an inspiration.

It's important to remember that the FDA didn't test Younique's products. Hence, users should be vigilant about using the makeup and skin care products offered by Younique.

Is Younique a Pyramid Scheme

Fast forward to four years later, the Wall Street Journal reports that Younique agreed to sell 60% of the company's shares to Coty, an international cosmetics firm. That percentage is about $600 million of the company's shares. Even though it may seem a lot of money, the acquisition didn't create significant changes to the structure of Younique. Perhaps the only major change from the move is the addition of Joao Rodrigues as the new Chief Marketing Officer of Younique.

How Much Will it Cost to Join Younique

We've all been there when a Business Opportunity Meeting (BOM) presents several potential benefits. All the bonuses and chances to earn are right there, and all you need to do is to work hard. Younique is no different in this regard. You still have to pay an initial fee (called the Starter Kit) of $99 USD.

Younique Prices

Head to the main Younique website, and you'll immediately see the "Create an Account" link at the upper portion of its homepage. Signing up is straightforward, and you can start selling Younique products from day one. New recruits will even receive a free personal website. This site promises a "simple, yet feature-rich" experience to sell the company's products both offline and online.

Your personal Younique website will also have an e-commerce platform. You can tell potential customers to buy from your Younique page (no pun intended) directly. In doing so, the brand automatically calculates your earning potentials and incentives.

Younique Virtual Party

Joining Younique also gives you access to the "Younique Virtual Party System," along with an array of other tools to help you build your business from the ground up. Hence, you can start retailing even before you receive the Starter Kit.

Where does it all begin?

Starting your journey as a Younique distributor begins with the White-status Presenter. This title is the lowest level of the company. The company immerses you in the Youniversity Training Academy (there's no shortage of "you" puns here). This course is a week or two of the organization's training courses. You'll learn more about how Younique and its existing distributors market the business to others.

After reading this bit, do you think that Younique is a pyramid scheme? We're not quite there, yet. Let's move forward.

What is the Compensation Plan of Younique

Younique boasts about their compensation plan as "The Most Beautifully Simple Compensation Plan in the Industry!" It's known as the Younique Royalties Program, and it claims to be one of the easiest to understand out there. As a distributor and a recruiter, you're task is to show the compensation plan to potential members.

Younique Compensation Plan 1

Perhaps the most you-nique (get it?) aspect of Younique is the company almost exclusively markets their products across social media.

While it's still possible to sell Younique products through offline means, the company highlights their online earning opportunities more.

You can earn from your personal website given to you from the beginning, or you can try other methods like Wealthy Affiliate.

You'll start at the White level Entry Presenter wherein you'll need to sell at least 125 in Personal Retail Sales (PRS) in a three-month period.

The ratio of PRS to USD is 1:1, so if you need 125 PRS, then you need to sell at least $125 USD worth of products.

You can buy the Younique products for personal use or sell them to paying customers.

Moving up the Ladder in Younique

After selling at least $1,000 USD worth of products, you'll move up from White to Yellow.

At this stage, you'll start earning 25% commission for each sale. The colored levels doesn't stop there because the next level is Pink. The Pink level also moves you up a category as you're now an Exemplary Presenter.

At this point, you should have at least one recruit or one leg. Also, you need to sell at least $250 USD worth of products. That's not all; the people under you (called "circles") should sell at least $2,000 USD to maintain the Pink status. Does it sound tough?

At the very least, you'll earn a 25% commission for each sale AND 3% of the total sales of your circles.

Younique Compensation Plan 2

So, how do you advance in the company? Simple - sell more products and recruit more people. The brand determines your status by your sales volume along with your downline's sales volume.

Who are the Founders of Younique

Younique comes from the culmination of ideas of the brother-and-sister tandem of Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft. The company began its operations back in September 2012, and it dedicates itself to "uplift, empower, and validate women across the globe." Let's take a look at the founders in more detail, shall we?

Let's start with Derek Maxfield

Derek Maxfield Younique

This Younique co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) oversees all the company's strategic programs and growth intentions. Aside from bringing makeup and skin care products to women across the globe, Derek and his sister designed the company to support the Younique Foundation. This charitable association aims to bring hope and treatment to childhood sexual abuse survivors.

Derek sought to capitalize the direct selling business model after 12 years in the software development industry. His passion is to provide a straightforward digital experience to the company's retailers as they thrive in a traditional sales environment.

Let's talk about Derek's sister, Melanie Huscroft.

Melanie Huscroft Younique

Melanie is the co-founder of Younique and the Chief Visionary Officer of the company. She's responsible for sparking ideas as she lights a personal torch to the creative minds of Younique's members. Melanie puts on a continuous hands-on approach to operations like product selection and naming, along with brand advertising and marketing.

She's a passion-filled individual as she focuses her efforts in enhancing the visual identity of Younique. Melanie also helps in other areas like website and catalogue design. Also, she assists in putting Younique Presenters on the map as opposed to spending loads of cash on professional models.

Joining the co-founders in keeping the company afloat are Joey Toscano, Chief Experience Officer, Joao Rodrigues, Chief Marketing Officer, Tori Poulter, Chief Sales Officer, and Shelaine Maxfield, President of the Younique Foundation.

What are the Products of Younique

By now you'll see the reason why Younique isn't a pyramid scheme - it has products. To put things into perspective, you'll know if an MLM company is a pyramid scheme in disguise if it prioritizes more in recruiting as opposed to selling. ​

By joining Younique, you'll become a legitimate distributor of the company. You need to sell their products to move up a level. Take for example the Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palette shown in the picture above. It costs $49 USD, which is comparable to the eye shadows showcased by other brands like NAKED, Urban Decay, and Too Faced.

Eye shadows aren't the only products Younique offers. Other product lines include:

Younique Products
  • Makeup
  • Skin care
  • Fragrance
  • Cosmetics accessories
  • Younique collections and sets

If you check out the company's line of cosmetics, you'll see products for eyes, lashes, and eyebrows. There are also products meant for beautifying the eyes with an eyeliner, eye shadow, and eye primer. As for the company's skin care products, there are items for cleansing, moisturizing, and toning.  

Many of Younique's products are within a reasonable price range. The quality of the products are decent enough, but some people might argue the quality is a bit lackluster in comparison with higher-end brands. With that being said, the brand caters to a broader range of audience. Hence, if you decide to become a distributor, you'll have more opportunities to sell.

For example, try to sell a $80 USD eye shadow to a person in a tight budget, and you'll see yourself having a tough time convincing your potential customer. On the other hand, try to persuade an individual in a budget with an eyeliner that costs $15 USD, and you'll have more opportunities to land a sale.

Is Younique a Scam?

Now, the moment of truth is here! We're going to answer the questions: "Is Younique a Pyramid Scheme?" And, "Is Younique a Scam?"

The answer to both questions is - No.

However, there are different opinions regarding the company. Let's take a look at the bad side of Younique first.

Products Aren't Up to Par

While Younique's products aren't as expensive as high-end brands, the quality of the makeup and skin care items are average at best.

Several reviews point to problems concerning Younique's products like its mascara, liquid eyeliner, and lip stain.

If you don't take my word for it, here are some pictures of what other people has to say about the company's products:

Is Younique a Pyramid Scheme
Younique complaint 2
Younique complaint 3

Then again, there are some positive reviews pointing to the company's products. Perhaps we can conclude that the best way to increase the longevity of their items is through proper storage.

Are the products the end of Younique's bad rap? There's more to it than meets the eye. Next, there's…

Members Who Should Know Better

Many Younique members should put their foot inside their mouths. Reports indicate that some recruiters and retailers tend to make false claims or overpromise. I guess we can say that there are people who tend to have too much hype doing what they like that they forget about facts.

Is that the main problem? Not yet; there are reports that indicate some leaders of Younique to leave their downlines in the dust. For example, if you're looking for assistance from a senior member, you're most likely to be told to just shut up. That's not very leader-like, isn't it?

Questionable Budget Allocations

While Younique offers a pretty simple and solid compensation plan, a bit of deep digging shows otherwise. A report indicates that The Younique Foundation spent about 68% of the company's budget in 2017 on salaries and benefits for employees. The other 32% is for advertising and promotion, professional training, insurance, and distributor benefits.

Younique Expenditures

Why is this piece of information a cause for concern? It's because Charity Navigator, a non-profit watch-dog for charitable organizations, reports that top charitable organizations only spend approximately 5% of their budgets on salaries and benefits.

Promise in a Heavily Saturated Market

If you were to check Younique's website, you'll see a list of top earners. A recruiter may also open up the same list to see the "promise" of the company. After seeing the potential earnings, you might get equally hyped up.

Before anything else, hold your horses! Look at the fine print on the company's website. Here, you'll see that Younique admits to the figures are only the top 0.02% of the entire list of its presenters. Therefore, if we assume that Younique has 10,000 presenters worldwide, only less than 20 will get the chance to earn thousands of dollars in income per month.

The reason?

It's because the makeup and skincare industries are already heavily saturated. Direct selling products found in these business sectors are already difficult to retail. With that in mind, are there still good things to say about Younique?

A "Younique" Selling Experience

Younique, at its core, is still an MLM company. It requires people to sell and recruit just like many other similar business models. The "Younique" selling experience here is that the company doesn't solely rely on traditional door-to-door marketing methods.

Instead, you, as a director, will focus your selling efforts on social media. The company will even tell you their ways of selling on the Internet. Its Starter Kits allow you to gain access to the brand's Virtual Marketing Tools and Virtual Party System. Use these systems to improve your selling and recruiting opportunities.

It's Not a Pyramid Scheme

Yes, Younique isn't a pyramid scheme. Hence, you can rest easy at night knowing that you're not going to base your efforts on recruiting downlines alone. Still, there are still plenty of things to worry about other than selling and recruiting. For instance, there's still the possibility of gaining no assistance for uplines.

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The PROS of Younique:

  • Broad and relatively inexpensive selection of products.
  • A reasonably cheap entrance fee.
  • No inventory or shipping necessary.
  • A simple and straightforward compensation plan.
  • Begin selling and recruiting from day one.

The CONS of Younique:

  • The makeup and skincare industries are already heavily saturated.
  • All distributors need to maintain a monthly minimum earning amount to maintain the account.
  • You're in competition with thousands of other distributors promoting the same products.
  • Very few opportunities to become a top earner in the company.


Personally speaking, Younique may be a great opportunity for some people, but it's definitely not for me. The opportunities are there, and the income potentials seem solid, but the downsides outweigh the positives. There's also a strong emphasis on trying to sell cosmetics and skincare products even though people can already gain access to these items when they go to physical retail stores.

If you feel like you have what it takes to sell products in an overly saturated market, then you may consider becoming a Younique distributor. You may already have plenty of knowledge in the direct selling department which may open up doors for you to become a top earner. Then again, if we think about the less than 0.02% of people becoming Younique's top earners, the chances of achieving this title are significantly low.

Is there another way to earn money online?

There are several Make Money Online programs available for you to try. One of my personal favorites is the Wealthy Affiliate Program.

It allows you to gain passive income through website building and blogging without the need for direct selling or recruiting.

Click on the button below to see what other benefits are in store for you with this program.

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8 thoughts on “Is Younique a Pyramid Scheme? The Truth Revealed!”

  1. Hi Justin,
    OMG, what a great article and review about Younique.

    I am thankful for coming across your article timely before I signed up with the program for my cosmetic needs and to earn extra money. At least you saved my $99 and heaps of effort.

    While the Wealthy Affiliate option seems to be a good one my interest is particularly on selling goods. In that context, could you suggest any other quality cosmetic brand allow consumption and sales? I am a member of AmWay network but their range is broad.

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Best wishes in writing more for us.

    1. Hi Skamalka, 

      I am delighted to save your time and money!

      Why don’t you target a cosmetic niche and open your website? 

      You can do an affiliate marketing business. At WA you will be able to learn how to drive organic traffic to your site, you don’t have to chase anyone, people will be finding you!. You can choose from many brands which offer only high-quality products! No need to tight yourself with one brand. What about opening a website with BIO or natural cosmetic? So many niche ideas are still untouched  :)

      But, if you really in love with MLM, You can try USANA. They offer outstanding products! (unfortunately, it’s a bit expensive)

  2. Hi Justin!

    I am not in the cosmetic niche but it is for sure a big one and as you said saturated. Despite the new young woman Kylie who became the youngest billionaire selling woman’s cosmetic? 

    MLM, in a nutshell, is not a scam. But it is a very hard industry because you must sell, regularly. If you don’t sell you are “gone” very quickly! There are many MLM pros that made a lot of money. It is an industry not tailored for everyone.

    Thus, I like affiliate marketing as well. Especially the one you are not forced to sell to keep your position! 

    However, thanks for the informative post!

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Igor, 

      Thanks for sharing your opinion. I fully agree with you! I think MLM business is like a second job, as you said, if you don’t sell regularly you are gone! 

      That’s the main reason why I love affiliate marketing. You don’t have to force anyone to buy the product. People are finding you and deciding whether they are interested or neither. 

      Wish you all the best :)

  3. Christopher Johnston

    hi Halyna! I really enjoyed going through your site! What I enjoyed is the fact that you really made yourself very transparent, and I really feel that in this business model at WA it is extremely important for success. You have had real experiences and failures like most of us, but the way you direct the customer or entrepreneur is enlightening, straight forward and truthful. Plus you are offering a free guide to further solidify results.

    If I came across your site I would definitely join for sure! You are going to have a lot of success with your site I just know it!

    Congrats to you for a great job well done! I wish you all the success here at WA!


  4. I agree with you that women want to be beautiful. And that’s why they must seek the best possible product.

    As you mentioned, you don’t recommend this product (hence the 1.5 star rating). Also the quality of the product is low. 

    And it’s also hard for someone starting an online business to begin with this particular line of products. So tell us about what’s best for a beginner who wants to make income online?

    1. Hi George, 

      thanks for stopping by!

      Personally, for me, the best make money opportunity is affiliate marketing! 

      Unfortunately, not many people understand how it works and how long it can take to make money online. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it is something that works well. If you want to be successful in this business, persistence and hard work are the main factors. 

      What else you need? Yes, a guide! You need to have step-by-step training on how to do affiliate marketing, and luckily there is a place where you can learn how it works and what to do. Check out Wealthy Affiliate; you can join them for free and see if its something you really like to do :)!

      I wish you a lot of success!

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