Before I go ahead with the rest of this post I feel I must point out that I am not a Younique presenter, and I have nothing whatsoever to do with the brand – in fact this is the first and only Younique product I have ever actually tried. The product I have was obtained through a swapping board, I was not sent this to review and nor did I buy it personally.
If you’re a beauty junkie or even if you’re not, the chances are that you’ll have heard of Younique.
In case you’re somehow blissfully unaware Younique are an MLM cosmetics company with a pretty bad reputation for pushy sellers, high-end prices and not so high end (or even particularly unique) products. As a result of this I never ever thought I would try any of their products!
Many principled bloggers such as Caroline Hirons refuse to review or even mention their products (or those from any MLM) at all which frankly I generally agree with, however, I’m also coming to the conclusion that this is leaving an information gap between the gushing paid-for reviews, the seller’s own demonstrations and well… nothing other than word of mouth.
Why Do Younique Have A Bad Reputation?
Unlike the innocuous Avon saleswomen who pop a catalogue through your letterbox and collect it a few days later without ever hassling you, Younique ‘presenters’ have a reputation for being very pushy. So much so that as soon as the brand is mentioned in beauty chat rooms and Facebook groups there is often an immediate bad reaction!
I myself receive several messages per week through social media from people I have never met offering me these products or trying to get me to sell too. Now obviously not all of their sales people are going to be like this but so many are that they are hard to avoid in the online beauty community and these badly behaved ‘presenters’ give all of them a bad name.
Some have concocted fake “experiments” with the products and make outlandish and totally unreasonable claims about the products or big up aspects that are the legal standard for all products sold in the European Union eg. not tested on animals. They go on about ‘all natural’ ingredients (if anyone finds anything on Earth that is unnatural, call me) and make ridiculous health claims (seriously, even actual coeliacs don’t need gluten free eye-shadow or to worry much about gluten free lipstick unless they plan on eating it… do Younique presenters eat their lipsticks?). The brand don’t have the leaping bunny symbol and nor have they conducted in-depth reviews of their ingredient sources.
Some presenters have gone so far as fake bad reactions to other brands so they can say how much better the Younique product is. One incident involved many presenters using and sharing an image of vlogger Shaaanxo taken from her Snapchat feed edited to say she loved a product before she had even finished and posted her review!
This is all misleading buyers, this is the sort of thing that if it were on mass media advertising would be banned in a hot minute by the advertising standards authority.
Obviously not all of the sales people are like this, some are genuine and trying to do their best, but there are so many that are and that means that those are the ones people are most likely to see and are put off by. This is why the brand invokes such strong reactions from people. None of this is to say that if you like their products you are in some way ‘wrong’.
Many people, including myself, have avoided buying Younique products because of these pushy ‘presenters’ as well as the high prices of the products. Younique cream eye shadows for example are £21, while Benefit (a big brand everyone and their dog has heard of) only charge £15.50 for theirs, a MAC Paintpot comes in at £16 putting them more on a par price wise with Charlotte Tilbury whose cream shadows are £22 and Chanel at £25. Chanel. CHANEL! I know whose product I’m buying for the extra pound or four pounds, what about you? In fact maybe a Tilbury/Younique comparison would be worthwhile?
I’ll stop waffling now! On with the actual review:
The Product: Moodstruck Addiction 1 Eyeshadow Palette
This is the first of their three eyeshadow palettes and is supposed to be warm toned while 2 & 3 are cool toned.
These palettes are £38 each and contain seven 1.8g pans of product, that works out to a whopping £5.43 per shade. Not exactly the kind of value you get from high end brands like Urban Decay whose recent release the Alice in Wonderland palette worked out at £2.15 per shade and whose more comparable Naked Basics palettes come in at £3.80 per shade. When you open up the palette it’s easy to think Younique must have taken quite a bit of their inspiration for the design of these palettes from the Urban Decay Naked range.
The packaging is a fairly unremarkable black cardboard affair with a small and fairly useless mirror inside the lid. It is well presented though and does have a magnetic closure which I feel is a nice touch and adds a bit of weight to it.
Considering this is shown online by representatives as being the ‘warm’ palette the majority of the shades are actually on the cool side to my eye. The browns are not warm and chocolatey they are cool and crisp, the taupe is also cool. Only an inexperienced eye would compare brown to grey and automatically see it as warm, browns can be cool as well as warm! The warmest shade in the palette is ‘Brassy’ but even that manages to come out quite neutral toned,
Swatched with no primer and 2-4 strokes of each shade, left to right below are: ‘Elated’ is a matte nude and is nigh on invisible on my skin. ‘Sincere’ is billed as a “metallic beige” I would describe it as a very pale cool shimmery taupe. ‘Brassy’ is billed as a “shimmer golden copper” but personally I would describe it as a champagne gold with silver shimmer the two balance out to an overall neutral tone. ‘Chipper’ is a matte medium brown with a neutral tone. ‘Swanky’ is shimmery and supposed to be “antique gold” however to me it’s more of a brownish taupe with a silver shimmer, cool toned – definitely not gold! ‘Forthright’ is a matte dark cool brown and ‘Zealous’ is a satin cool chocolate brown.
I have to say actually do quite like the shimmery shades in the palette, they apply nicely and are very reflective. The silver glitter in them is quite finely milled. I particularly liked ‘Swanky’ which has to be the best shade in the whole bunch for me personally. They feel soft and have minimum fallout.
The mattes and the satin chocolate ‘Zealous’ are awful though, thankfully they are buildable so they are usable. I found them nice and soft but very badly pigmented, patchy and they sheered out easily making them very hard to work with. Frankly all of the shades could have been better pigmented for this price point, the taupe shade ‘Sincere’ looks gorgeous in the pan but this simply doesn’t translate onto the skin where all you can really see is the silvery shimmer. I can see how this could seem very good if you had only tried very cheap high street brands in the past and were not at all brand savvy but for a make-up geek like myself it’s not that great.
All in all it’s not total crap but it’s certainly not worth anywhere near the £38 price tag either. You can quite easily get an equivalent palette of nude shades from the high street (Max Factor have released 4 amazing little palettes I want to show you all, they’ve really upped their game!) and get the same or better quality for a lot less money if you shopped wisely. If you go high end you can get much better quality, colour pay-off and probably more shades to play with for your hard earned cash too.
I hope that Younique the company will eventually listen to the opinions of the many many people out there that don’t and won’t buy their products and use this feedback to improve their reputation and their prices – they could certainly generate a lot more sales by reigning in their presenters and taking a leaf out of Avon’s book.
Have you had bad experiences with Younique presenters? What do you think the company should do to fix their image? Shall I do that comparison with the Charlotte Tilbury cream shadow? Let me know in the comments!