Beautycounter MLM Review: Pyramid Scheme or Scam? Exposed!

Beautycounter is an MLM company that sells beauty and skin care products. It is not a pyramid scheme, and it is one of the legit MLM companies.

There is a good chance that you heard about Beautycounter through someone – a friend or family member.

Many people these days are looking for additional income, and you are most likely one of them. There was then an opportunity to work from home by joining Beautycounter as one of their independent distributors.

However, as I’ll discuss in this review, there are some reasons why success with Beautycounter is unlikely. Experienced salespeople and well-funded recruiters are the only ones I can think of to have real success with this MLM program.

As a disclaimer, I’m not affiliated with Beautycounter. It means I’m not paid to write this review. So you can rest assured that you will get an honest and unbiased review from me.

At the end of this review, I’ll also tell you the best alternative to the Beautycounter MLM program that has enabled me to make a full-time passive income online.

What is Beautycounter?

Beauty Counter is an MLM company that sells and manufactures beauty and skin care products. The company’s founder’s name is Gregg Renfrew. She founded the company in 2013 with the intention of providing people with safer beauty and skin care products.

She compiled a list of “Never” items. This is a list of over 1,500 ingredients that are harmful to the body but are commonly found in cosmetics and skin care products. Beauty Counter’s products contain none of these ingredients.

Beauty Counter’s headquarters are located at 1733 Ocean Avenue, Suite 400, Santa Monica, California 90401, USA.

As of 2018, the company had 150 products with over 65,000 independent consultants.

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Is Beautycounter An MLM?

Beautycounter is a legit MLM (multi-level marketing) company. Companies that engage in multilevel marketing are also sometimes referred to as network or direct sales businesses.

As a multi-level marketing firm, Beautycounter won’t provide its sales representatives with a regular salary. After joining Beautycounter’s MLM program and becoming one of the members, you’ll run your own business as a consultant of Beautycounter products.

You can sell your products in a variety of ways, including online pop-ups and livestreams. 

Customers can browse your inventory and shop directly from your eCom shop, so you can track your business online and answer customers enquiries at any time and anywhere. 

Despite that, it is unlikely that you can make a good income selling their products. As in the case of most MLM programs, your business relies on recruiting new members to work under you. You will earn a commission on the sales and new recruits generated by the people you hire once they begin producing results.

This is complex on a number of levels (hence multi-level).

Let’s imagine a triangle. Because everyone in the triangle is in your direct downline (in an MLM, the people beneath you are known as your “downline,” and you are their “upline”), you will earn commissions from everyone in the triangle if the person at the top recruits ten people, and each of these ten recruits ten more.

If you can bring in just 10 people, you’ll make $1100.

Most people in your MLM would rather earn a lifetime passive income from recruiting others than a one-time commission from selling products, even if your MLM offers a wide range of products.

Due to the way the money flows, those at the top of the triangle have the most financial success, while those at the base have the least.

Having a large number of people in one’s “downline” is essential for success in a multi-level marketing company like Beautycounter.

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Is Beautycounter A Pyramid Scheme?

Beautycounter is not a pyramid scheme. It is a legit MLM company that allows members to make money by selling their products. As a member of Beautycounter, you don’t have to make money solely through recruitment.

In contrast, a pyramid scheme recruits members by promising them money or services in return for recruiting others. It is unsustainable and often a scam because members at the bottom end are doomed to lose money.

Those who want to join must pay a membership fee to the company that runs the pyramid scheme. The company would share a portion of the funds raised from each additional member they recruit as a reward.

Beautycounter distributors, on the contrary, are not paid to recruit new members. There is no direct financial incentive. 

A pyramid scheme is profitable only for the directors of the company, i.e., those at the top of the pyramid since they can receive a portion of the payments from every newly recruited member. The scheme continues as long as members recruit and funnel money to the top of the pyramid.

Such companies almost never sell valuable goods or services. The scam’s only source of revenue is from recruiting new members and soliciting more money from current members.

A pyramid scheme would have to grow infinitely to make money for everyone who participates. This is impossible due to the finite population of the planet.

The scam will fail if there are no new recruits and other sources of income. Since the majority of members are at the lowest level of the pyramid, most of them will lose their money.

A good example of pyramid schemes is Vemma, a producer of energy and weight loss drinks. The FTC accused Vemma of operating a pyramid scheme in August 2015 that paid more to recruit new members than to sell products.

New members, who were typically college students and other young people promised high compensation, were required to pay $600 for starter packages and hundreds more for monthly products. According to the FTC, the majority of participants lost money.

Beautycounter MLM Compensation Plan

You can make money with the company in the following ways:

  • Commissions on retail sales (from your sales)
  • Individual Sales Bonus (bonuses you can earn by meeting sales requirements)
  • Commission of Override (from the sales of your team members)
  • Bonus for Frontline Business Builder (for reaching high ranks in the company)

Beautycounter offers a total of eight ranks.

  1. Consultant
  2. Sr. Consultant
  3. Manager
  4. Sr. Manager
  5. Director
  6. Sr. Director
  7. Executive Director
  8. Managing Director

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10 Reasons Why I Don’t Recommend Beautycounter MLM Program

1. The Good Reviews are Written by Beautycounter’s Affiliates

You probably have found some other reviews of Beautycounter and all of them are saying good words.

But all of them are actually paid to write, meaning they will receive a commission if you join Beautycounter via their links. Therefore, their words are often biased and not trustworthy.

Those reviews are simply sales pages and do not tell you the hidden costs and the difficulties of really making money.

By common sense, should you trust someone who has a conflict of interest that receives huge compensation by “reviewing” Beautycounter? Probably not. They are not reviewing, but selling!

Therefore, I recommend reading the reviews of those written by the non-affiliates of Beautycounter.

2. Very Few People Can Make Money With Beautycounter

Success is difficult to achieve with an MLM company like Beautycounter.

You can look at the statistic that says 72.5 percent to 99.9 percent of MLM members lose money.

The reason for this is that MLMs have sales quotas that require members to continue selling products in order to remain active and eligible for commissions.

They will not be paid if they do not meet the quota.

As a result, many MLM members lose a significant amount of money before even recruiting one person into the company.

3. Losses From Beautycounter MLM Are Reframed As Investments

Beautycounter MLM uplines often reframe their financial losses as ‘investments’ in their business so as to keep their reps in an MLM scheme, dangling the carrot of future financial freedom. 

But the reality is that these are not investments. You are unlikely to get the money back. And the return on “investment” is negative in most cases. So saying that it’s an investment is cheating.

4. Beautycounter MLM is a Cult

Why do people continue to work for Beautycounter if it appears to be so bad? Our investigation of MLMs revealed that they all have cult-like company cultures.

Critical thinking is actively discouraged among MLM representatives. They are chastised and even isolated when they ask questions that deviate from the ‘this company is a-mazing’ mindset.

MLMs, like abusive partners, encourage you to isolate yourself from anyone who questions your involvement.

Those who leave an MLM are labeled as failures or bad people/influences, and reps are not allowed to contact them.

Rejection from people they once considered practically family is one of the most devastating losses experienced by former MLM representatives.

MLMs frequently expect their representatives to prioritize their events and business over their personal lives in order to further embed them in the business while separating them from their family and friends.

5. You May Need to Purchase Beautycounter Products Yourself

If you don’t have a large network of friends, family, neighbors, and so on, you may have to buy products yourself each month. It’s a losing proposition all around.

I think it’s quite ridiculous when you have to buy the products you are trying to sell. But this is very common for people who join MLMs like Beautycounter. That’s why in the long term, you are going to lose a lot of money, not to mention making money.

6. Beautycounter Products are Overpriced

As with other MLMs, Beautycounter offers overpriced products. There are many other brands that offer similar products but at lower prices.

Therefore, you may find it difficult to sell Beautycounter products because your prospects can buy the same product elsewhere at a much cheaper price. This explains why most people who join MLMs only focus on recruitment instead of selling actual products.

7. Beautycounter’s MLM Business Model Has a Bad Reputation

Some people have benefited financially by joining a network marketing/MLM company. Unfortunately, most people who join MLMs are left with nothing but regret and a lot of useless products that they were unable to sell.

MLM like Beautycounter is fundamentally flawed. The distribution of commissions is skewed toward the top.

The majority of those in the top tier and pioneers make the most money, while those at the bottom will not even break even after a few months.

As a result, many people do not consider Beautycounter to be a legitimate business opportunity.

8. Exaggerated Claims Of Income

Beautycounter, like any other MLM company, makes exaggerated income claims, but in reality, very few people make a good living by promoting Beautycounter.

Beautycounter’s low retention rate can also be discouraging, as less than 41% of its distributors are active.

According to Beautycounter’s payouts to distributors, over 99 percent of Beautycounter distributors never make a profit.

9. Beautycounter Is Like A Pyramid Scheme In Disguise

If you want to avoid losing money every month, the MLM will actually encourage you to recruit people.

Every system that requires you to recruit people in order to make money eventually looks like this.

Beautycounter is not a pyramid scheme in the traditional sense because you can earn money by selling their products.

However, in order to make a living, you will need to hire others in reality.

10. Recruiting is Required to Succeed

I don’t recommend MLMs to people for this reason. MLMs like Beautycounter put a lot of effort into recruiting. Eight out of ten ways to earn money with Beautycounter require recruiting. If you don’t recruit, you are destined to lose money at the end of the day.

My #1 recommended platform is different. You can make a 4-figure, 5-figure or even 6-figure passive income by promoting and selling products you truly like. You don’t have to recruit people but recommend useful and great products. I will tell you more at the end of this Beautycounter review.

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How Much Does It Cost To Join Beautycounter MLM Program?

It’s fairly simple to join. All you have to do is fill out the form with your personal information. If you don’t already have a sponsor, the website will assist you in finding one.

The following Beautycounter starter packs are available:

  • Skin Care Basics – $285
  • Skin Care Best Sellers – $535
  • Deluxe Skin Care – $715
  • Complete Counterman Collection – $132
  • Counter+ Booster – $157
  • Flawless in Five – $135

Beautycounter guarantees that you will get your money back and make a profit based on the prices of these starter packs.

Beautycounter MLM Program Feedbacks By Real Users

Positive Feedbacks

  • Products have genuine advantages. Some MLM companies sell products whose benefits you won’t know about until you try them. Essential oils demonstrate this. From a scientific standpoint, they have never been proven to work, making it difficult for you to promote their benefits. The products at The Beauty Counter are fantastic because you get exactly what you see. When people buy something, they know exactly what they’re getting.
  • All of the Beauty Counter’s products are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, making them easier to sell because customers don’t have to worry about not getting what they pay for.
  • You do not need to keep an inventory of items. As a Beauty Counter consultant, you can order products from the website and have them delivered to your customers.

Negative Feedbacks

  • Expensive goods. The products sold at the Beauty Counter are so expensive that they are difficult to sell to others. I can see how associates would struggle to sell the products they purchased with the intention of reselling them.
  • Low likelihood of profit The commission rate is high, but when you look at the products you have to sell, it becomes clear that you need to sell an unrealistic number of products in order to make a decent living or start recruiting.
  • You must pay to play. To continue receiving commissions based on your downlines, you must purchase a certain number of products each month. The higher your rank, the more you can buy.

Is Beautycounter a Scam?

Beautycounter is not a scam. It is a legit direct-to-consumer company. A scam is defined as “a dishonest scheme; a fraud” by the Oxford Living Dictionary. 

Can you make money selling Beautycounter products? We already know that a majority of Beautycounter reps did not earn any money. A few people do make money but only if you put in a lot of effort. And usually, the way they make a lot of money from Beautycounter is by recruiting aggressively.

Also, Beautycounter blatantly makes disingenuous and irresponsible marketing claims to recruit members. Therefore, some people do consider Beautycounter MLM a scam.

My #1 recommended platform, however, has seen a lot of beginners earn four figures a month after joining it for a year.

I will tell more about my #1 recommended platform at the end of this review.

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Final Verdict: Beautycounter MLM Review

Here comes the conclusion of my Beautycounter MLM review. Overall, I don’t recommend joining Beautycounter MLM to make money.

You will have a tough time in the beginning when you are prospecting and trying to find recruiters to add to your Beautycounter commission.

The worst part is that you practically have to ask your family and friends to join your Beautycounter business opportunity. It’s not fun.

Your upline is constantly following up with you to encourage you to buy more Business Support Material even as you struggle to get people to join your downline.

The reality is that you’re likely to lose more money. Statistics confirm this as well. 99% of people who join an MLM break even or lose money, according to a case study on the FTC’s website.

People who join these MLM-type businesses often feel under pressure to succeed, and that is one of the main reasons they leave. 

Why not consider starting your own online business if you want to earn money and have a flexible schedule? 

Thus, you can choose what you want to promote rather than having someone tell you what you must promote.

Let me tell you how to build an online business in a legit way to make passive income online in the next section. This has allowed me to make a full-time income in a year. Most importantly, unlike MLM models, It’s 100% legit and sustainable.

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Best Alternative To Beautycounter MLM Program

If you’re beginning your online business journey, you deserve a program much better than the Beautycounter MLM program.

My #1 recommended platform is called Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch.

When you join Wealthy Affiliate, you can get access to the first-class web hosting service, keyword research tools, community support, comprehensive training, writing tools, and other software to help you build an online business step-by-step.

You can register a free account with Wealthy Affiliate, which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.

If you like the platform, you can then upgrade to the premium membership to get access to everything on the platform. There are no upsells afterwards.

But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?

A 21-year old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while applying what is taught inside Wealthy Affiliate.

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Compared with Authority Hacker, Wealthy Affiliate has a much longer history, which has been established for 15 years and there are many success stories in the past decade. Actually, Wealthy Affiliate has more than a million members so far, so you can see how popular this platform is.

To give you more examples, here are some of the other inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.

Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?

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If you want to feel about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for the free starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member with no time limit.

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