Is BeautyCounter A Scam? Just Another Cosmetics MLM?

Welcome to our BeautyCounter Review!

Has someone got in touch with you about a great opportunity to make some money selling beauty products, or maybe you’ve seen an “exciting” opportunity appear on your social media feed?

But you’re also a little sceptical and are wondering is BeautyCounter a Scam or Legit? 

Let me first put you at ease, BeautyCounter isn’t a scam, but as for whether it is a the best opportunity to earn money from home, now that’s a more complicated question to answer, and that is what we will help you with in our review!

First off, it’s great to see that you’re doing your research before buying into any “seemingly good” product.

That is how you avoid scams and find only legitimate ways to make money online!

To be completely transparent with you, we’re not associated with BeautyCounter in any form.  We’re not here to pitch or sell you anything.

Instead, we’re here to provide you with all the information about this cosmetics MLM, including why it’s just your ordinary MLM, and why the opportunity isn’t as clearcut as it might seem…

BeautyCounter Review Summary

Product Name: BeautyCounter

Founder: Gregg Renfrew

Product Type: Cosmetics, Skincare, Personal Care MLM company

Price: $98 for Starter Kit + Product Packs ($132 – $735)

Best For: People Capable of Direct Selling & Recruiting Within an MLM


Summary: BeautyCounter is an MLM company that markets a range of cosmetics, skincare, and personal care products.  It was founded in 2013, so has been around for seven years.  They are a legitimate company, but there isn’t anything that particular makes them stand out from the crowd against all the other brands on the market. 

The products are expensive, which is normal with an MLM company and the income potential is really low, which means that not many people are actually making any money with this business opportunity.  You also have to sell $1,200 worth of product every six months to remain active and eligible for commissions – but that is harder than it sounds…

Is this is the right opportunity for you?  Hopefully our review will help you decide…

Rating: 40/100

Recommended? No

Table of Contents

What is BeautyCounter?

BeautyCounter is an MLM or Multi-Level Marketing company that markets a range of personal care products.  The company was founded in 2013 by Gregg Renfrew, and is currently based out of Santa Monica, California.

They product “safe” skincare and makeup products, and offer everyday people the change to make some money by selling these products using direct selling methods, and recruiting people into the business.  Hence the MLM business model.

To learn a little more about the BeautyCounter business opportunity, watch this three-minute video…

Now, the people behind these MLM’s are experts at marketing, so you’ve probably already sussed out that this is just a promotional video and doesn’t really give you the facts you need to make an informed decision.

And, you’ll probably still be wondering whether BeautyCounter could be a pyramid scheme… Let’s go into that now!

Is BeautyCounter A Pyramid Scheme?

From a legal point of view, no BeautyCounter isn’t a pyramid scheme.

They offer a legitimate range of products, and you don’t technically have to recruit anyone within this business opportunity.  You can just sell the products to people you know and earn retail commissions.

But a better question to ask would be, whether or not, BeautyCounter could be a pyramid scheme in disguise…

Let me explain it like this…

What is a Pyramid Scheme?

An outright Pyramid Scheme is where you are promised payment for recruiting more people into the company.  They don’t usually have a product or service (some give some crappy ebook to make it look like they have a product) to speak of.

And, they are totally illegal in most countries, as it’s impossible for everyone within the scheme to actually make money, and they are not sustainable as the only money coming in is from new members. 

But as the diagram from Wikipedia shows, there are not enough people in the world to keep a pyramid scheme going…

pyramid scheme

Now, BeautyCounter is a legit MLM – they have products to speak of, and there is technically no need to do any recruitment…

However, some MLM companies sell products just to make it look like they’re not a pyramid scheme.  But the only way for their distributors to make good money, like $1,000 a month, they would need to recruit a team (downline) to achieve this.

We’ll go into the details about whether or not BeautyCounter is a pyramid scheme in disguise later in our review…

For now, you can watch this short video that helps you spot and avoid these companies…

Success Is Rare With BeautyCounter

That isn’t only true about BeautyCounter, success is rare with any MLM opportunity…

In fact, between 73% and 99% of all MLM representatives actually lose money from these opportunities…

Although at first glance at BeautyCounter’s income disclosure statement, initially it looks like good reading…

It shows that 10% of their “active consultants” are earning $13,540+ a year… which, believe it or not, is actually pretty good for an MLM!

However, as we will describe to you later, that doesn’t actually show you the whole truth!  The fact is, you’re required to sell at least $1,200 worth of products every six months to be considered “active”.

Can you figure out what BeautyCounter has done?

Don’t worry, if you haven’t, continue reading our review and you’ll find out the answer soon…

For now, let’s take a look at how BeautyCounter works…

How Does BeautyCounter Work?

So, BeautyCounter produces a range of “safe” makeup and personal care products.

But, as they are an MLM company, they don’t need any physical shops and they don’t spend a fortune on expensive advertising campaigns, they operate in a different way to the usual retail brands you’re used to hearing of.

This is where they offer everyday people an opportunity to work from home by selling these products and earning a commission…

That’s the basic idea.  The company saves money on advertising and premises, and you can make some money too…

Let’s now take a look at those products on offer…

BeautyCounter Product Line

As part of your decision into whether or not this business opportunity is for you, comes down to the product line.

Ideally, you would try using them yourself first, as if you find you like using them, you’ll find them easier to sell.

If you don’t like the products, or have never tried them, you’ll find that you aren’t able to give a great perspective to your potential customers.  Considering the price tags of their products, you’ll need to be convincing to get them to buy from you.

Anyways, BeautyCounter has a wide range of products within the following categories:

  • Skincare – moisturisers, sunscreens, cleansers, etc. (prices range from $17 to $188)
  • Makeup – foundation, powder, concealer, etc. (prices range from $22 to $150)
  • Bath & Body – body balms, body scrub, body butter, etc. (prices range from $15.30 to $188)
  • Counterman – exfoliating cleansers, shaving cream, toner pads for men, etc. (prices range from $19 to $188)

Whilst they have a wide range of products on offer, you should know that they are very similar to many other MLM companies product lines, and many other retail competitors out there.  Examples of other MLM companies include:

Does The Product Work?

I’m no expert when it comes to makeup and beauty products, etc.  So, I did some research and found that The Healthy Maven provided an in-depth review into the BeautyCounter’s products.

She pointed out that the products did indeed work as promised, but also pointed out that the prices are towards the high-end.

You can watch her full review about the products here, or you can check out the link above for her full review…

Bottom line, the products are good but a little expensive.  People are always looking for value for money, so you need to consider this when thinking about who the target audience is for these products…

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How to Make Money with BeautyCounter

As BeautyCounter is an MLM company, there are two ways for you to make money with their business opportunity:

  1. Sell their products for retail commissions
  2. Recruit people into your team (downline) and earn bonuses from their sales, etc.

You should know that you don’t actually earn money for recruiting people, that would make it a pyramid scheme.

But you do earn bonuses based around the recruitment of your team, and any sales or recruitment they go and do.

At the end of the day, only those that are really good at recruiting a good team of sales people, will have a chance of making decent money with any MLM opportunity.

Getting Started with BeautyCounter

To become a consultant, you’ll need to buy their starter kit.  This costs $98, and includes:

  • A replicated Website
  • Access to your back office
  • Training Platform – teaches you about the products and ingredients
  • Two hero products
  • 25% discount on products (this also becomes the commission you would earn if you sell anything at the “retail price”)

Then, you can’t really promote anything without some products, so you will get convinced to buy one of their product packs or Starter Sets…

These range in price between $132 to $715 in price… The packs include:

  • Skin-care Basics – $285
  • Skin-care Best Seller – $535
  • Deluxe Skin-care – $715
  • Complete Counterman Collection – $132
  • Counter+ Boost – $157
  • Flawless in Five – $135

To see what’s included in each pack, check out the following screenshots:


Basically, the more you spend the more products you get to sample yourself and have to show your prospective customers.

And the costs don’t stop there…

BeautyCounter Monthly Costs

Technically, BeautyCounter doesn’t have a monthly sales quota, unlike many other MLM’s.


When you check out their FAQ’s, you’ll see the following message:


You’ll be required to sell $1,200 worth of product every six months!

So, let’s say you bust your backside off to sell $400 worth of products in 5 months… You won’t actually earn any commission on that, unless you are able to sell another $800 worth of product.

So, what do most consultants do to remain active…

Yep, they end up buying the rest themselves…

When you factor in all these costs, here’s your expected expenditure for your first year…

  • $98 for the starter kit
  • $132 to $715 for starter product packs
  • $1,200 x 2 to meet the sales quota

First year potential expenses before any other costs, like training, marketing, etc. works out to… $2,630 – $3,213!!

I know that isn’t like the costs that come with a typical bricks and mortar business, but most people go into an MLM without realising these kind of costs come their way.  Ending with them in debt, or really struggling financially.

These costs could come down if you are able to sell those products… but I have to tell you that selling overpriced cosmetics in a heavily competitive market… Selling $1,200 worth of cosmetics in 6 months without any sales experience is NOT easy!

P.S. This program enabled us to Create a 4-Figure Monthly Passive Income Stream!  It’s Free to get started and costs only $49/month to go full-time!

BeautyCounter Compensation Plan

If you’ve already taken a look at the BeautyCounter compensation plan and thought that it looked really confusing, don’t worry, I think all MLM’s go out of their way to make them really complicated.

In fact, I think the BeautyCounter one is actually much simpler than a lot of the others, but still if you’re not used to looking at them, they do look like a foreign language.

BeautyCounter consultants are ranked as follows:

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

Retail Commissions

Retail commissions are paid out based on your PV or Personal Volume from sales made by clients and members.  You’ll earn 35% from your direct sales and 25% retail commissions from your members or downlines

Personal Sales Volume

This is also based on PV from your members and clients sales where you can earn a 5% bonus once you get to 750 to 1,499 personal volume ($750 to $1,499).

You will earn 7% sales bonus when your PV gets to 1,500 to 2,999 ($1,500 to $2,999).

This becomes a 10% sales bonus when your Personal Volume reaches 3,000.

Override Commissions

You will earn a commission every time a member of your downline makes a sale.  Managers earn 9% for every 250 QV or qualifying volume and 1,250 minimum business volume made by their team members.

Frontline Business Builder Bonus

You’ll get this bonus once you reach 1,200 qualifying bonus and maintain volume every six months to keep this status active.

It all sounds highly complicated, the bottom line is that there are two ways for you to make money with BeautyCounter:

  1. Sell their products
  2. Recruit people and help them sell

All the other terms and stuff make it sound super complicated, but if you’re able to get out there and sell these products to people and build a team of efficient sellers too, you have a chance to make this work for you…

If you really want to get your head around their compensation plan, then check out this video where you get a walkthrough by one of their consultants…

You can also check out their full compensation plan here…

Is BeautyCounter A Scam?

Due to the number of people who don’t make it in MLM (99% of people lose money with an MLM), it is understandable that people start throwing out that they are all scams.

With regards to BeautyCounter, the answer is simple.  BeautyCounter is not a scam!

But that doesn’t always guarantee that this is the right business opportunity for you…

Only you can really decide if this is the right business opportunity for you, so the rest of our review is there to help you make an informed decision…

Just to be completely transparent with you, I’m not a distributor of BeautyCounter, nor do I endorse BeautyCounter in any way.  I have researched the website, testimonials, and information available on the internet to get the details about what this program genuinely does.    I do this, as I have been caught out by a scam in the past, and am trying to help others avoid a similar fate…

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What We Liked About BeautyCounter

Here’s what we liked about BeautyCounter:

#1 Safe Ingredients

The main selling point for BeautyCounter is that they are very particular about what ingredients they use to produce their products.

They have a rigorous testing process to product everything on their website.  They also have a list of ingredients that are banned, and it runs into the thousands…

This could be used as a unique selling point.

What We Didn't Like About BeautyCounter

Here’s what we didn’t like about BeautyCounter:

#1 Low Income Potential

The company might some good products, but that doesn’t always translate to a decent income potential… Here’s a screenshot from their latest income disclosure statement, and it makes for depressing reading…


When you factor in that 82.2% of their active consultants are earning an average of $46 a month, and only 1.7% of their consultants have reached the level where they are earning $1,091 a month – making it somewhat worthwhile.

That shows how difficult this business opportunity really is.

This doesn’t also take into the account the 6-monthly sales quota, or any other costs that you’ll need to spend on your business too.

Another thing you have to factor into those figures is the fact that these only include their active consultants.  So, not all the people who have tried and failed, which could be in the thousands…

#2 Products Are Expensive!

The products are really expensive, and when you consider people can just do a search online and find products much cheaper than those that you will be promoting, why would they want to pay your prices?

When you compare the BeautyCounter products against some that you can find on Amazon, there are examples where there is a 1000% difference in price!

I cannot consider myself a beauty expert, and I cannot speak of the claims the company makes about their products and whether that makes the products worthwhile, but here’s something I did find online:


This isn’t the only review saying there are issues… and they only average a 2-star rating on the consumer affairs website.

It’s a common sales tactic for MLM’s to use hype to promote their products.

But by having such high prices, it makes it very difficult for their consultants to sell the products, and as we’ve already discussed that sales quota will make you their biggest customer.  The company will make money, at the expense of their consultants.

There are high quality products out there, that are the same or better than the ones on offer here, and at a fraction of the price.

#3 Your Only Hope is Recruiting People

Let’s put that into context…

If you don’t want to recruit, but you want to earn a decent income from selling their products.  It means you’re probably looking at earning $1,000 a month.

To do this, without recruiting, you will need to sell at least $4,000 worth of product a month.  That works out to 58 bottles of facial cream or 95 foundations… EVERY MONTH!

That is totally unrealistic, unless you have a huge network of interested people willing to buy expensive products.

You cannot also expect the replicated website they give you to help you get online sales, as it is the same website every consultant gets, it will be classed as duplicate and won’t rank in Google.

That is why so many MLM consultants end up marketing themselves on social media.

But I think this comment sums it all up quite well…

BeautyCounter isn’t a pyramid scheme (outright), but it’s clearly fits well into the bracket of being a “pyramid scheme in disguise”.

Haven't Made Your First $1 Yet?

Studies have shown that more than 70% of the people who want to make money online have not made their first dollar yet. So, you’re not alone!

My BeautyCounter Review - Final Conclusion

BeautyCounter is a legitimate MLM company that sells a range of cosmetics and skincare products.  But there isn’t really anything that makes them any different to all the other MLM companies out there.  They might only use safe ingredients, but most MLM’s have some sort of hype that goes with their products.

Their business opportunity comes with a really low income potential, as their income disclosure statements shows where 82% of their active consultants are only earning an average of $46 a month.  But I wonder how many of them have had to buy products just to remain active?

You’ll find this hard to sell to people, when the prices are just so high, and with the ease of doing a Google search and finding better and cheaper alternatives, I think this shows why the interest in this company is dropping.

Bottom line, the biggest customer group they have is their consultants, if you join you will need to recruit your backside off to make it work.  Which makes BeautyCounter  a candidate for being a Pyramid Scheme in Disguise!!

I personally wouldn’t recommend this road for many people.  If you are an expert at sales, or recruitment, then you might buck the trend…

How We Make Money Online

I’m not a fan of MLM, not because it’s illegal or not profitable, but because of all the restrictions and the expensive costs involved.

Instead, Affiliate Marketing is our top recommended business model for anyone looking to make money online.

The reasons are simple…

  • You can promote anything you want and aren’t restricted to only promote products from one MLM company
  • You don’t have to recruit anyone to make money
  • You never need to sell to your friends and family
  • It’s Free to get started

In fact, with affiliate marketing we’ve been able to Create a 4-Figure Monthly Passive Income Stream.  If you want to learn more, click here.

Thanks for checking out our BeautyCounter Review!  IF you have any questions or comments to add, then please write them in the comments section below. 😉


$98 + $132-$715

Overall Rating



  • Safe Ingredients List


  • Low Income Potential
  • Expensive Products
  • Recruitment Focused
  • Pyramid Scheme in Disguise

6 thoughts on “Is BeautyCounter A Scam? Just Another Cosmetics MLM?”

  1. The Reviews made about Beauty Counter I very comprehensive and is good, but the general assessment about the site is that the writer should focus on Reviews and not join it how we make money online,.

    • Hi Suberu,

      thanks for checking out our review! I’m a little confused by your comment, but we’re just here to give people an objective view of these business opportunities. It’s then up to the individual to decide which direction is the best way to go. Some people will flourish in the MLM industry, but they need to know the full facts first. Many people jump in without this information, and then lose money. That isn’t fair to them at all, and the MLM companies don’t really do a lot to support the people joining.
      I offer an alternative, as it has worked for us, but again it will require hard work and time. But that also doesn’t guarantee it will work for everyone too.

      My advice would always be, do research and then do some more – don’t jump into anything without knowing what it’s about.

      All the best


  2. Hello Gemma and John I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article.  I live in South Africa and we do not have Beauty Counter available here, however, I learnt a lot about the company from your blog.  What an interesting topic and very helpful for people considering getting into this business.

    There is so much detail and I have absolutely no doubt that you have included all the information there. 

    MLM is a really trending topic and many people are looking for different ways to make money and dive into potential opportunities without doing their fact-finding correctly.  You have made it really easy for anyone who may be venturing into this to make an informed decision.

    I have made a few mistakes by joining some MLM companies and I lost money – silly me!  Your website will definitely help to inform people.

    You have a fantastic website.

    Best wishes 


    • Hey Sheen,

      thanks for checking out our review!  I think the reason why so many people end up losing money with MLM is they don’t do enough research before jumping in.  They see a fancy sales pitch that only shows them the best parts.

      Anything can seem easy and real, with a different spin on it.  That is why so many people have been caught out by real scams, as they believe the get-rich-quick mantra.  I got caught out years ago by one… it was part of the inspiration to start a blog that helped people find a legitimate opportunity.

      But if people really took the time to understand how MLM works, and why it is so hard, then only the people who are really into that sort of thing would join, and then maybe the stats wouldn’t be so bad.

      MLM requires a specific skillset, namely those who are able to sell anything to anyone and then those who are brilliantly at recruiting the right people who have the same or similar skillset.

      Many MLM’s will tell you that they will help you find a list of 100 people you could sell to.  But all that is, they tell you to go through your friends list.  Not really the right target audience for a business opportunity…

      On the surface, MLM sounds great.  In reality, it is a hard choice, and will cause a lot of people to fail…

      Thanks again Sheen

      John & Gem

  3. In my opinion, these companies are scams.  Yes, they have a legitimate product and they are “legally sound” but the brass is perfectly aware that the only people who will make the big bucks are them and a (very) few others.  They are making their money off the backs of people who will invest thousands of dollars just trying to keep up with the sales “requirements” while attempting to build their own business.  Most will give up when the financial burden becomes too much for them.  Fortunately for the Big Guy, some other poor soul will be right there to literally buy into the program.  

    Although the products may be high quality, they are still way overpriced.  Let’s say I sign up a person.  I get 25% of their sales and they get 35%.  That’s 60%.  Now let’s say that person signs someone up.  I get 25%, my downline gets 25% and the next downline gets 35%.  Now we’re up to 85% commission. How can the company be making any money?  Either the products are incredibly cheap to produce or the company is counting on my not being able to create a downline.  So….scam.

    I advise people to go with your “Top Recommended Training”.  Now, that’s a legit opportunity!

    • Hey Cynthia,

      thanks for checking out our review and sharing your perspective on the subject.  It’s scary how these MLM companies don’t really care about the people at the bottom just getting started.  They just don’t want to make any changes for the better.  Many of them have started offering a website, but that doesn’t really help anyone who isn’t versed in online marketing.

      I agree, they are totally misleading and could be construed as a scam, although until the authorities actually started applying a little pressure, it seems to be a situation that is only going to get worse.

      Especially, when you can just go on amazon and find some good quality makeup, etc. for a fraction of the cost and reviews based on real people and not consultants desperate for a sale!

      Thanks again for sharing your views.  Our top recommendation has a lot less risk than any MLM, as you haven’t got to lay down a lot of money, and there is no need to sell or recruit.   It’s all about helping people, and that is why we love it…  

      Thanks again



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