So, you've heard a lot of people talk about this company, seen it take over your Instagram feed, had people on Facebook message you about joining the company and becoming a consultant... but you've never really heard much else about it. Am I right?
Well, you're not alone. I've been in the exact same boat and didn't know what to think of this company.
Well, to be perfectly honest, I had NEVER heard of this company until someone reached out to me on Facebook, asking me to join her team.
Uh-oh, I thought, another MLM scheme that I DO NOT want to be a part of.
But something stuck out to me about this company: their mission. So, I decided to do a little digging for myself.
Firstly, their mission is to "get safer products into the hands of everyone." Alright, I can get behind that. But WHY are their products safer?
There are so many beauty brands out there that promote having "cleaner," "all natural," and/or "organic" ingredients, but so many aren't to be trusted...
***I am not here to shame any company, so if you're looking for which companies to avoid this is NOT that kind of post.
What I DO look out for with companies that tout clean products is their transparency.
Why should that matter?
Well, when a company is transparent with their ingredients list this shows they really have nothing to hide. And it is our responsibility (unfortunately, and I'll go into this in a little bit) as consumers to educate ourselves, read the labels, and verify that the product really IS safe.
Look out for some of these red flags when buying "green" or "clean" beauty products:
Red Flag No. 1: If we have to call customer service because we can't find the ingredients list of the product, then don't even bother using the product. The company probably isn't as "clean" as you thought they were... They are making it difficult to find their ingredients for a reason.
Red Flag No. 2: The product says it's "organic" and "all natural." These terms, in the personal care products industry, exist purely as marketing ploys aimed at the eco-conscious. Since there is no regulation for beauty products regarding "organic" ingredients, there actually isn't a way to determine FOR SURE that it's organic. Sad, right? And "all natural" is a very vague term. Many naturally occurring chemicals and ingredients exist in the world that are MORE HARMFUL than certain synthetic and man-made chemicals. For example, lead. This naturally occurring element/heavy metal is extremely toxic to our neurological system. The World Health Organization writes about the risk of lead exposure:
An additional source of exposure is the use of certain types of unregulated cosmetics and medicines. High levels of lead have, for example, been reported in certain types of kohl, as well as in some traditional medicines used in countries such as India, Mexico and Viet Nam. Consumers should therefore take care only to buy and use regulated products.
Red Flag No. 3: the use of "fragrance" or "parfum" in the list of ingredients... What's wrong with fragrance? It makes the product smell nice! Well, "fragrance" is a proprietary ingredient. Wait, what's that mean? According to the FDA's website (THEIR OWN WEBSITE!!) fragrance is known as a "trade secret.":
For example, fragrance and flavor ingredients do not need to be listed individually on cosmetic labels, because they are the ingredients most likely to be “trade secrets.” Instead, they may be listed simply as “fragrance” or “flavor” (Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 701.3(a)).
This absolutely blows my mind. Our own Food and Drug Administration does not have the power to regulate the ingredients that go into a fragrance... This means a company can put whatever they want into this "trade secret" fragrance and not have to get it cleared by the FDA. There can be over 3000 different ingredients and chemicals that make up a "fragrance," and who knows which of those are safe...
And so many of these "clean" products have "fragrance" listed on their ingredients list... Tsk tsk...
But, Liya, get back to the subject of Beautycounter!
Okay, okay. I've written enough about some of the red flags and issues with the "clean beauty" industry. Now, I'll finally get back to my thoughts on Beautycounter.
Firstly, this company is super blatant about their standards. They acknowledge that it's absolutely impossible to be 100% heavy metal-free in cosmetics. So they screen their cosmetics until the heavy metals are undetectable. This is a much safer option than just hoping our lipsticks don't have metal. At least we know those heavy metals aren't detectable...
Secondly, most of their products are EWG Verified. If you don't know what that means, read about it here. In short, products that are EWG Verified cannot contain any ingredients on EWG's "Unacceptable" list, meaning ingredients with health, ecotoxicity and/or contamination concerns. They must meet EWG’s standards for ingredient disclosure on the label, provide full transparency to EWG, including fragrance ingredients. And they must use good manufacturing practices. This came directly from their site.
If you really want to dive into the details about Beautycounter's standards, check out their Social and Environmental Responsibility Report from 2018 (obviously 2019's isn't out yet).
Onto the BUSINESS side of things...
Like a lot of MLMs there are certain aspects that just really don't appeal to me, and probably not to you either...
Here's how Beautycounter operates vs. other MLMS.
-Yes, you do pay an enrollment fee of $98 dollars when you join, but this gives you access to your own personal website, 2 products, business aides, and trainings that are in your back office. I'm not sure how it is with other MLMs but $98 doesn't seem that bad to me when looking at everything that comes with it.
-No, you aren't required to purchase inventory. You DO have the option, however, to purchase a starter set at the time of enrollment so that you have products for you and your clients to try. Again, though, you don't have to buy any products!
-No, you aren't required to sell a certain amount every month. The only requirement is that the consultant must sell 1200 in QV (qualifying volume, including your own personal purchases along with Client and Member purchases) every 6 months. What's nice is that the starter set you purchase actually goes toward your QV, so with that first purchase you might have already made it to that 1200 requirement!
-Yes, you can be a consultant even if you are part of another MLM or Direct Sales company (as long as that other company allows you to be a part of another MLM). Hey, this just means another means of making money so, yay! I think of it this way: if you're an influencer, you don't just promote one product. Usually it's a few, because you're trying to earn as much as possible through sponsored partnerships. That's the same idea if you're part of more than one MLM/Direct Sales company!
-No, you're not required to build a team. Beautycounter is a pay-by-performance direct sales model. That means you get paid commission based off of how much you personally sell. Yes, you have the option of building a team which will aid in additional income on top of your own personal selling, but it isn't a requirement. Some people do this as a side-hustle, others make it full-time. And, if you have a team, what they sell goes toward your 1200 QV requirement. That's a win, if you ask me.
-You are not penalized for not selling a certain amount. The only downside is you don't get paid if you don't sell. Which means, you have to do the work just like any other job. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme, but a legitimate company with legitimate employees and consultants. The only demotion is when a consultant doesn't meet the 1200 QV requirement after six months, which they then are bumped down to Band of Beauty members. Honestly, though, if you're hustling in the slightest, it's pretty damn easy to meet that 1200 QV requirement.
So, my final thoughts?
This company is legitimate and has a mission that is holding up to what it says: getting safer products into the hands of everyone.
And I can't help but see the income potential with this company, without feeling like I'm pressured to sell a certain amount, especially when my schedule is jam-packed with rehearsals, shows, and work! So, yeah, I definitely joined. And have no regrets whatsoever.
It also lines up perfectly with my lifestyle already, and being on a team of empowered women is more than I could have ever imagined for a job.
Does this sound like something you'd want to do? Well, how about you join me and hop on this safer wagon. Even if you don't want to do this full-time, I promise you, Beautycounter really is worth it.
With love and sincerity,
Liya, The Sustainable Soprano