Considering joining Younique as a consultant? Check out our Younique review below to find information about the history of the company, who its leaders are, the types of products it sells, as well as whether or not you have a true chance to make any money.
Headquarters: Salt Lake City, UT
- Derek Maxfield, Founder and CEO
- Derek previously founded NetSteps, a cloud software company that helped MLMs build go-to-market strategies, pay commissions, and manage international markets and currencies. NetSteps was sold and proceeds were used to start Younique.
- Melanie Huscroft, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer
- Joey Toscano, Chief Experience Officer
- Previously worked with Derek Maxfield at NetSteps as Director of UX Development.
- Joao Rodrigues, Chief Marketing Officer
- General Manager at Coty Inc. prior to the acquisition.
- Tori Poulter, Chief Sales Officer
- Previously worked as a VP at Pureology and L’Oreal.
- Shelaine Maxfield, President of The Younique Foundation
- Wife of CEO Derek Maxfield.
Industry: Skin Care, Cosmetics, Multi-Level Marketing
Revenue: Estimated $400 Million in 2016
Number of Consultants: 230,000 (December 2017)
- Face Oils & Serums
- Hair Care
- Lipstick, Lip Line, Lip Gloss
- Self Tanner
- Skin Cleanser
- Face Masks
- Foundation & Powder
History of Younique
In 2012, Younique was founded by siblings Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft. The multi-level marketing company sells a range of beauty products that are “inspired by nature”, but since the products have not been tested by the FDA, we’re unable to independently verify any of the ingredients included in the products. In 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that Younique agreed to sell 60% of the company to international cosmetics firm Coty (which owns CoverGirl makeup) for $600 million. The billion dollar valuation came from a reported $400 million revenue run rate. The acquisition doesn’t seem to have structurally changed the company much, with the only executive change being the addition of Chief Marketing Officer Joao Rodrigues who joined from Coty.
In August 2017, a class action lawsuit was filed against Younique alleging that the company deceptively marketed its Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lashes mascara product. According to the lawsuit, the company claimed that the product was composed of “Natural Fibers” that consisted of “100% Natural Green Tea Fibers.” In reality, the product does not contain any green tea leaves, and is composed of ground-up nylon, which is not a “natural substance.” The company responded by adding a clause to the Independent Presenter Agreement that forbids presenters from participating in the current, or any future, class action lawsuits against the company.
Younique Income Disclosure Statement
N/A. The fact that Younique does not provide an income disclosure statement should be a warning sign for anyone considering signing up as a distributor. In general, distributors who join MLM companies have a slim chance of making a profit, as we’ve highlighted in our other reviews.
Younique Customer Reviews
Currently Younique has an overall BBB rating of A+, but that masks some truly troubling issues with the company, including 72 customer complaints, one of the highest totals we’ve ever seen. This is primarily due to a number of customer complaints regarding shipping issues, misrepresentation of products, or products that were never received. One prominent review from an ex-customer is below.
Consumer Affairs has even more customer reviews, which paint a very unflattering picture of the company. Here is one by Michele which explains how low-quality and over-priced the products are.
Younique Employee Reviews
At Glassdoor, you can find a wide range of Younique employee reviews. The review below highlights a common issues with MLMs in that the company does not segment territories. This can often result in too many distributors in certain areas and too few in others.
The Younique Foundation was started by Derek and Shelaine Maxfield in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) charity to help child victims of sexual abuse. The foundation’s website states that it provides “healing services through retreats, survivor communities, and online resources.” Critics of the foundation highlight the fact that the foundation does not cover travel costs for participants (making it cost prohibitive for victims outside of Utah) and doesn’t directly provide therapy services, instead referring clients to services located miles away from its location. One of the most prominent initiatives of the Younique Foundation is the Defend Innocence Project, which doesn’t seem to have any actionable work outside of providing empowering “parents and caregivers to protect children from sexual abuse through education and online resources.” What’s most disturbing is that an incredible 68% of the foundation’s budget in 2017 was spent on salary and benefits (up from 61% in 2016) for Younique executives and staff and only 10% was spent on actually housing clients. For comparison, according to non-profit watch-dog Charity Navigator, top charities spend around 5% of their budgets on salary and benefits.
- In June 2016, purse maker Luci Bags LLC sued Younique for trademark infringement after Shelaine Maxfield (wife of CEO Derek Maxfield) bought a set of Luci Bags and added the Younique logo to them without the bag maker’s permission. The bags were then used as an incentive for a “Welcome Back” promotion for distributors.
- In February 2017, Younique sued Maelle Beauty, a makeup company founded by former VP of International Marketing Chris Welch. Younique alleged that Welch used trade secrets to start the new MLM company and used his network to recruit Younique distributors. The court agreed with Younique, and subsequently ordered the suspension of Welch as CEO and a shutdown of Maelle for 5 months. While the company eventually restarted, the shutdown crippled Maelle and eventually Welch ceased operations in March 2018.
- In August 2017, a class action lawsuit was filed against the company for deceptively marketing its Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lashes product.
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