Your Basket is Empty
Sign in to see items you may have added previously.
See samples, rewards and promotions in .

Item Added to Basket

Free Shipping!

You're only $50.00 away from Free Shipping.

Post in Beauty Confidential

Multi-Level Marketing

Chances are you've most likely heard of your friends, co-workers, family members, or even yourself falling into the MLM scheme of things.


So, what is it?


MLM” stands for “Multi-Level Marketing.” This is a type of company that recruits average joes and janes as salespeople for their products while simultaneously deeming them recruiters of more salespeople like themselves. The neverending loop of recruiters-recruiting-recruiters is incentivized by the fact that salespeople earn commissions on any sales made by people “beneath” them (people they helped sign up with the company).


These beauty MLM companies include: Mary Kay, Avon, Nerium, Nu Skin, and the list goes on to non-beauty related products such as Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Herbalife, etc.


I have some questions that need further explaining:

1.) For MLM cosmetics: Do these products ACTUALLY work and most importantly are they good for your skin?


2.) If you're a consultant for a MLM company, has it put food on the table for your family OR is it just some extra cash in the pocket?


3.) What's the "good vs bad" about these companies? I know there's bad, don't try to sell me over on just the "goods" please. Give an honest review if you have the knowledge behind the product and the company.



Re: Multi-Level Marketing

Hi Spyski I've never tried the products, so I can't give you a review on that, but I do know how some of them work.  I was approached by someone to be a Mary Kay consultant years ago and the commission rate is really high, BUT you are completely responsible for finding people to buy the products.  My sister did one (I can't think of the name) and did make a decent living off it but it's hard work.  I think it's easier to be successful if you live in a smaller town where you really have more access to people and people may not have as much access to these types of products.  My sister lived in Wyoming where almost every town is a small community and if you don't know someone personally, chances are one of your family members do so no one is truly a stranger. 

She was totally sold on the products and some of them were more cost effective. When I tried them, they were fine but seemed kind of generic.

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

Living in a small town and realizing how many women are becoming consultants for these companies may very well be the culprit on why I started this post to begin with. Haha


I probably see a Mary Kay bumper sticker on someone's vehicle every other day. 

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

One of their flaws: Brand image reflected by members of their sales force who don't care about their image, yet are in the image business.  It's hard to have a "quality" product represented by a dirty car, someone with bad skin or poor makeup application, or products tossed around, in crushed boxes, and in various extreme conditions (temperature, smoking, pets, etc.)

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

I tried to sell Mary Kay's not for me. Also with Mary Kay,you have to put in your own money for the products you choose to sell. My mom and 1st cousin use to sell Avon. The customer buys first then the product is ordered dont have to invest or risk any of your own cash to sell the product. With that said they are only a couple of products that I ever really order from either of the two companies. I love Avon's skin So soft body oil in the original scent. I love Mary Kay's hand buffing cream and foot pedicure kit.

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

My aunt is a consultant and she seems to manage by not buying stock in advance.  It means we have to wait a bit for orders, but I feel like the lack of instant gratification is less of an issue now that people order so much online.


I've only used a few of the products, but what I have used I quite like.  I'm addicted to their Nourishine line of lip glosses.  The colors are pretty and the formula is incredibly moisturizing.  They added SPF 15 to the product last year, so it tends to be my go-to during the summer.  I've also been using their Botanicals moisturizer (in Formula 1, for dry skin) and I love it.  I was actually quite irritated that after all the fancy and expensive night creams I'd been trying, this moisturizer was what ended up fixing my dry patches.  My mom has been using their TimeWise skincare line for awhile now and her complexion is in great shape.


I think keelybt's assessment of "fine but kind of generic" is pretty accurate.  For the price point, I have no problem with generic as long as it works.

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

What company are you referring to?

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

Whoops!  Sorry, I was referring to Mary Kay.

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

The only couple i've heard of are Nerium and Herbalife.


my mom tried to sell nerium, she is about 50 and smokes, but her wrinkles are pretty deep, nerium actually worked, it worked on hands, necks, anything on your body that has wrinkles, the only thing is it costs about 1500 to start up, which is about 20 bottles only. (there about 100 a bottle) to me thats not worth it. 


herbalife, i have so many friends on herbalife, and they con you forshore, they trick you into thinking that eating one or two meals a day is normal, its not, personally i couldnt live off protien shakes and disgusting teas and waters, i was constantly out of energy and sleepy. also, you double weight gain after you stop the program, constantly making you stay in the program. 



Re: Multi-Level Marketing

I recently saw a real before and after pic of a friend that's been using Nerium for 2 weeks now, and it's showing actual results on her early 20s skin with fading discoloration and acne. I'm skeptical on trying it myself, since the active ingredient is Nerium "oleander" that being a very toxic plant that has caused central nervous system breakdown. Other than the price and the plant toxicity, it seems like an "effective" product. 

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

Omg My cousin sold Herbalife. She gave my a kit to try and  it's disgusting. The vitamins are even worse. Totally the worst thing i've ever tasted. 

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

I wouldn't completely trust companies like avon and Mary Kay. I've known plenty of people who have sold it yet they don't use it. I do order stuff from Avon though like lipstick and nail polish. But anything else would just be a no. I highly doubt any skin care, hair care, and makeup is good quality what so ever. My instructors in Cosmetiology school were talking about those companies one day and were saying they would never touch any of their products cause of their low quality. many thingsI have tried jut suck in general but everyone has a different opinion. I don't think it's a way to earn a living. Everyone I know who has sold Avon or Mary Kay quit cause of how hard it was to actually sell stuff. it would be just a way to earn extra cash. I'm sure it depends on where you are located as well to determine how we'll You do. 

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

I've never tried Avon or Mary Kay, but I've heard the same about the quality. I agree, and don't think MLM companies are what alot of people think "get rich quick".

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

I have a sort of inside scoop on Mary Kay, and I could go on for too long of a time about their product line, sales force, and company.  (Biting tongue). Lots and lots of flaws there!

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

I signed up for dōterra essential oils awhile ago- for their wholesale program. They don't make you sell or anything. It's just kinda like a costco membership. You pay for the membership and then all the oils are 25% off. I don't try to sell them, but I love to share them with everyone because I find that they really work for me and my family. If someone sees a post of mine on instagram and wants a sample, I'm more than happy to send them one- and if they want to sign up so they can get their oils at wholesale, I help them with it. But i try not to get sucked in to the unrealistic goal of making money from it. 

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

I did a few...MK was a debt hole. You have to spend so much each quarter to stay current. their products are OK, the skin care eventually made me have skin problems. I have sold Avon for several years, because they dont have a minimum. Many people don't realize Avon was a fore-runner in the whole AHA skin care craze, with their original "ANEW" formula.  I guess it is like anyone else, everyone is different. I use the lip glosses--awesome, and about 2 or 3 bucks! They have great foot products, and odd and ends. I do it mostly for my Mom and a few friends, etc. Not a big salesperson. I don't even order brochures. I tried really hard to sell Arbonne.   They are a really good company, no yukky animal products, no animal testing (they are on the Leaping Bunny list) etc. A bit pricey, is most of what we are all buying at Sephora! heh heh! Their anti-aging products are just too heavy, or I would be using them now, I think. BUT, I could not give it away!! everyone loved it but didn't want to spend the money. I gave up. To each his or her difference between choosing Neutrogena over Dior, or vice-versa. It is very very hard to make a living at this stuff. Somehow, the lady who got me started in Arbonne got her Mercedes (free) and is making a ton of money. Go figure.

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

Oh my goodness! A Mercedes!? I like how doterra doesn't push for people to sell, the options there, but I think most people just sign up for the wholesale prices. But the girl above me has been doing it for about 6 months and makes like 3000.00 a month on top of her part time job as a nurse. 

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

The lady who got you started in Arbonne? Is probably very good at convincing people to start selling Arbonne, which is where the money (and prizes) usually is in these pyramid schemes multi-level marketing systems. 

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

One of my friends does the ItWorks! Body wraps. They also have tons of other products as well. She sent me a wrap to do a blog review on, and while it (obviously) didn't make me drop pounds, it did seriously reduce my stretch marks (for a few weeks, at least). She doesn't make enough to live off of, but she does make enough for fun money, so she can buy the little extras she wants. And she swears by a lot of their products. And not in a "please buy my stuff" way, but as a "we've been friends for 10 years, so you can trust that I wouldn't lie to you" way. She really believes in her products, which makes me feel it may not be a bunch of fruity hooplah. I do want to try some of their other things too.

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

Interesting!  I was under the impression that was a pyramid scam situation from watching a fb friend's experience with it- good to know the product actually works!!

Re: Multi-Level Marketing

Okay I hope I can break this down so that anyone interested will know:


I was a "consultant" for a cosmetics company (I won't give the name but all are pretty similarly formatted.)

When you "join", typically you are required to shell out a minimum amount (mine was $400 - $450 at the time) for the starter kit that gives you some essential items to begin your sales "business" with (i.e. a few popular cosmetics items, some applicators, business brochures, some marketing "how to" materials, etc.).

Once you receive the kit, you begin to set up "parties" to demonstrate and show your goods.  The more people you get interested, the better... since people are social spenders - if one person is buying, many times it results in a chain-reaction that prompts others to buy too.

You put in their orders with your money, unless you've stocked enough product to fulfill clients orders - then make your deliveries once the merchandise arrives and pray everyone still wants what they ordered if they haven't paid yet.

*Important Note:  these companies total your order, then add a (usually ridiculous) shipping charge, THEN charge your state's tax rate (which IMO is wrong since the tax should be charged before the shipping charge).  And some companies will even charge a processing fee.


Booking parties was key but with the varied schedules for people, it was extremely difficult and most parties wound up being weekend gigs rather than a full-time "business".... and some of those parties were out of town and a few hours drive.


To maintain your "consultant" status, you had to put in a minimum order every 3 months.  So if you had a few close friends who only needed an eyeliner and lipstick, it might not be worth it.  Since I liked some of the products I marketed, it wasn't hard to keep my consultant status for the first year.  Afterward, I had so much product that I would make gift baskets and offer as purchase incentives.


1.  Can it be successful?  Absolutely.  For those who work constantly to build steady and loyal clients, it can be pretty lucrative.  But for most, it usually isn't because hard-selling is extremely difficult and results in more "no"s than "yes"s.  (Think door-to-door sales.)  In my experience, more aggressive consultants who refuse to take no for an answer are the ones who succeed enough to put food on the table and have leftovers to spare.  For the rest of us, it's more like hit & miss and any "cash in pocket" monies will go toward maintaining consultant status.


2.  Do the products work?  Well, as with anything, it's trial and error.  Some do, some don't.  The cosmetics company I was with had blush and eye shadow colors that were to-die-for, and their skincare line was decent.  But their mascara sucked and their fragrances were just okay.  Since they didn't offer minerals at the time when I was a consultant, I couldn't attest to their foundation formulations but their color lineup was widely varied enough to sell to most ethnicities.  There will be products some of your clients rave over that others may never be able to appreciate and vice-versa.


3.  Good versus bad?  There are pros and cons to most everything and this is no different.

Pros - you get to meet a lot of terrific people when you're marketing a specific group of products to people you would never get to know otherwise; you have the freedom and flexibility of keeping your hours to full-time/part-time/seasonal or whatever; except for yourself, you have no supervisor or boss to answer to;

Cons - initial startup fees and fees to maintain consultant status; working around client schedules for group parties that may/may not result in ordering; very time-consuming and slow process when trying to build a loyal and large clientele base that make for successful ordering.


It was the same with another company I had "joined" that hyped All-Natural Products ranging from body to home care to health vitamins.  Same principal, just different products.  And I only joined it to purchase products on a personal level instead of becoming a "consultant".


Hope this helped.  Smiley Happy

2 Replies
Conversation Stats
  • images.jpg