#Poonique Epilogue: Whatever Became of Marisol? (and, deconstructing ActiDerm nonsense)

You’ve all read my #Poonique tale by now, I’m sure.  For those who haven’t, get caught up. 😉

Do you remember back in Chapter 14 when our Green Elite Overlord set up a buddy system?  I was paired with a lady named Marisol.  My first and only recruit, Mia, still has her on her friends-list…

Before reading whatever happened to Marisol (after Younique), please remind yourself of my mission statement here.  In a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are mine, and mine only.  Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively.  All names and identifying features have been changed to protect the individuals concerned.

Marisol was sweet, but determined to push herself as hard as she could to win that Law of Attraction mindset coaching session (as told in the final chapter).  Did it help her?  Did she flourish and rock her business into orbit?

Lola Affirmation coaching session law of attraction (2)
As you can probably guess, I never redeemed my coaching session – that’s probably why I failed at Younique, you know (/sarcasm) 😉

I am sad to report that no, Marisol did not send her Younique “business” sky-rocketing.  Alas, she eventually “failed” by going inactive and losing her presenter status.

So what did Marisol do next?  Did she take time out to learn from her mistakes, reflect, and realise that she was duped?  Of course not.

She was lured over to Acti Labs (their various brand names include ActiDerm, ActiDiet and Acti-Labs).

actiderm products
Source: Pintrest

I’ll be honest, I was absolutely gutted to hear this, especially with all this new knowledge I have gained about how bad MLMs truly are.  Mia had kindly collected a few screenshots for me to give me an idea of what she’s up to with her new “business”.

Well, Marisol, in your own words (and not via a copy/paste bot), perhaps you can tell us what this Actiderm venture of yours is?

EDITED - Marisol explains what Acti is

Heck, they are cosmeceuticals?? 😮  Sounds exciting, hun.  However, I am a tad dubious about your claim that “…our products give you skin correcting properties that you simply CANNOT get from regular cosmetics whilst keeping the price low...”  Oh, and that you “ARE the labs!!”

I am sure anyone who reads this article can reel off a list of “regular cosmetics” that DO give you skin-correcting properties.  I mean, there’s Lush Cosmetics for a start!  As for “keeping the price low“, come on now.  Its a MLM company, of course the price isn’t going to be low – how else are you, your upline and their uplines going to make a cut?

Just for argument’s sake, I had a look at the Acti-Labs website and found a facial cleanser called Micellar Lotion.  For reference, micellar waters are based on dilute solutions of very mild detergents. These act as emulsifiers (oil and water mix) but some also have softening or water attracting properties.  Good further reading on micellar water can be found via this Lab Muffin article.

Let’s look into this “keeping the price low” claim.  I’ll just use a couple of comparisons from low-end to mid-range, but there are certainly other comparable products out there (The Independent did a Top 8 back in 2015).

Asda The Skin System Micellar Cleansing Water is £2.00 for 200ml – I’ve used this myself, and its a nice product if you are on a budget.

asda micellar

La Roche-Posay Micellar Water is £12 for 200ml or £16 for 400ml – after reading the above-mentioned Independent review, I want to try this.

la roche posay

And then we have the offering from Acti-Labs.  In comparison to the above products, how much do they want for their Micellar Lotion?

micellar100_web_image

They would like £11.00, just for 100ml.  Meaning, if we put this product in the same-sized 200ml bottles as La Roche-Posay or Asda’s The Skin System, this product would set you back £22.00.  Come on, Marisol – that’s really not “keeping the price low”.  I think I know where my money is better spent.

I notice that Marisol also mentions this amaaaaazing HD Liquid Foundation.  If her screenshot is anything to go by, I’m meant to think “yeah, this is a great-priced foundation“.  So, do I?

Acti Labs HD Liquid Foundation_web_image

At £11.50 for 15ml, the only thing I can say is, at least its cheaper than Poonique’s Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation, which is a staggering £30 for 20ml.  However, by doing basic search for alternatives, I found a Boots No7 Lift & Luminate Serum Foundation at £18 for 30ml or Stay Perfect Foundation at £15 for 30ml –  this equates to £9 and £7.50 for 15ml respectively.  Of course, you wouldn’t be “supporting a small business” if you went to your local Boots though, would you. 😉

screenshot_20170227-080731.png

There’s the obligatory image to illustrate Marisol’s opinion of this marvellous product.  Note – its not her own image, its yet another one yoinked from a fellow ActiDerm hun.  Seems like they’ve taken a leaf out of the Poonique presenters’ books with their cover-up images.  At least they’re not using Sharpie pens on their faces, eh?

‘Scarlett’ (my  former upline) has actually tried the Actiderm HD Foundation.  In her words:

It’s an OK foundation, I’ve had better but I’ve also had worse. I’d give it an average 5/10.

Either way, I think I have deconstructed Marisol’s opinion that they are “keeping the price low“, but what would a vile #negferret like me know, eh? 😉

It would seem that Marisol is hitting the hun-life hard, and loving her business.  I mean, check this post out.

EDITED - Marisol and the retreat

She’s got the famous “spaces for new team members” this month, and the obligatory “full training” – basically, a crash course in how to spam your Facebook newsfeed like a hun.  I mean, seriously – its not like you’re recruiting for a proper job, Marisol – what’s happened to you?

In addition, isn’t it a bit wrong of you to make false earning claims?  How can one “earn £350 minimum in the process” – what authorises you to say these things?  And no, I’m not tempted, before you ‘pm me with more info’.

Marisol goes on to assure us that with just £20, you could turn it into a business.

EDITED - Marisol £20

Disappointingly, she also decides to subtly ‘mummy-shame’ by saying “now I get to treat my little boy” all because of this so-called investment.  All you other mums – unless you invest £20, you’ll never get to treat your kids, unless you have ActiDerm in your life!  

Me, I’d rather spend that £20 on decent quality skincare without a pyramid in sight!

She put that £20 into her future and never looked back, though.  Gone are her #Poonique days – Acti Labs is the way forward for Marisol!  As you can see, she’s rocking her business hard.

edited-marisol-silly-research-post.png

Sad thing was, at the time of viewing the above – Marisol did not have a single interaction on the above post.  The options seem quite restricting, dear – where is the option to tell you to get out and run away now?

Upon further observations of Marisol’s newsfeed, it would appear that she is somewhat of a dark horse, or a “ninja“.  Yes, according to her upline, she has “smashed her Acti-cash bonus” and is on her way to an exciting Diamond promotion (whatever that means).   Oh, it may interest you to know, Marisol’s upline is also a former Butterfly Babe – I recognise her name from Green Elite Imperial Overlord Tania‘s team!

EDITED - Marisol the Ninja

The upline has got something right though – Marisol was one of the sweetest people I’d met during my time with the Butterflies.  I’m just very sad to see what this so-called ‘business opportunity’ is turning her into.

My point is proven with the following hun-propaganda.  Again, in typical MLM-style, they’re targeting the stay-at-home-mum demographic, playing on the need to “earn extra income for your family” – the language is almost guilt-tripping.

These are probably not Marisol’s words; she likely saw a fellow hun posting this and decided to copy it, because it ‘resonated’ with her.  Regardless, it smacks of desperation.

EDITED - Marisol more marketing crap talk

Clearly nobody was ready, as there was a distinct lack of ‘Yes’ comments.

It would also appear she is wasting her money on marketing material – Marisol, I dearly hope you are keeping a spreadsheet of your ‘business’ expenses.

edited-marisol-marketing-materials.png

Now, I am not sure whether Marisol ordered these materials directly from the Acti Labs website, or whether she went to a professional printing company, but she’s got them branded with her own ‘business’ details.  They include promotional leaflets, party invites, business cards etc – I dearly hope this didn’t set her back too much.

Lastly, I see she still remembered one important lesson from her #Poonique days – how to eeeekkkk and feign excitement over new products.

Also love how Timeless Vie have made a cameo in the chat bubble icon!

EDITED - Marisol eeeeekkking

It is also important to note – the only people who commented on these posts were her own upline and a fellow ‘teamie’ hun.

So there we have it – Marisol became an Actihun.  I did feel gutted for her, as I know the same cycle will repeat with this MLM, just like it did with Younique – there are no winners.  

Will the penny finally drop for Marisol?  I don’t know.  I just hope she finds her way towards the good advice at Bot WatchJuice Plus/MLM Lies Exposed and Timeless Vie.

P.S. I am still trying to figure out what Marisol meant when she said “we ARE the lab!!”  Does this mean that ActiDerm have turned her into a building?  I am confused.

we are the lab

Maybe I’ll see you in the anti-MLM movement, Marisol.  For now, please keep an eye on your expenses, and don’t be fooled into thinking you’re running a business.  I hope you don’t get screwed over in this MLM either –  break the cycle.

What’s next for Elle Beau?

On reflection, I do feel that I would like to rewrite my Poonique story into a proper novella – whether its an ebook, or if I find someone who would put me in print.  The main reason being, I missed out “the smaller stuff” for the purpose of keeping the reader interested and driving the tale forward.  When I wrote this blog, I wanted to mainly focus on the dodgy tactics I experienced, but on reflection I would like to talk more in-depth about everything I can remember.  

I would like to rewrite my tale with the spreadsheet as more of a prominent reference point – it will also help me recall things in chronological order (i.e. when certain monthly kudos were released, little paltry orders etc).  Mia is still lurking in some of the training groups, and is finding me screenshots to illustrate certain chapters.  So, as well as writing anti-MLM articles, I will be working on producing a full, comprehensive story in the interim.  I hope to set up a Kickstarter for this once I have an idea of costings.

If you like the anti-MLM aims I am working towards, please consider supporting me via Patreon.  Anything is gratefully received.

Stay subscribed for upcoming anti-MLM news and articles, and of course the ever-popular #ShitHunsSay screenshots.

Don’t forget to join the MLM fight on social media – if you’re on Twitter, please give @ElleBeauBlog a follow (and help me get the #Poonique hashtag trending again!).  Alternatively, join in the discussion with Elle Beau, the Anti-Blogger on Facebook.  I am also on Instagram now – look for @ellebeaublog!

Are you stuck in a MLM and are looking for a way to leave?  My friends at Bot Watch have produced a fantastic guide on how to get out – read it here.

Or, are any of you concerned for a loved one who is totally and utterly wrapped up in MLM?  Bot Watch have advice for you on what to do and how to remain supportive – read it here.

Please, also check out the good work of the people of Bot WatchJuice Plus/MLM Lies Exposed and Timeless Vie.  They work tirelessly to expose the truth and lies of the MLM industry, so anyone considering this line of work can make a fair, informed decision .  In fact, I now have a Recommended Reading page for Anti-MLM writers and interesting lifestyle bloggers I think you will enjoy, such as Chammy in Real Life and my first Patreon, @yourolly.

For something a little different to pyramid schemes, I would also recommend a look at what Bad Psychics are up to.  Award-winning and seen-on-TV, they have worked to expose false claims made by psychics, mediums and the paranormal since 2003.

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6 thoughts on “#Poonique Epilogue: Whatever Became of Marisol? (and, deconstructing ActiDerm nonsense)

  1. All these bloody pyramid schemes make my head spin.
    Last year I bought a new wheelchair from a company and they tried to tell me about an MLM when they delivered it, going on about how I could “get paid to travel.” It was rude as well as bizarre.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you reached out to Marisol and encouraged her to start an expense and “profit” tracking spreadsheet? Does she know about your blog. Are your teamies (other than Scarlett) aware of your blog?

    Like

  3. I found this blog yesterday on reddit and stayed up late reading the whole thing. I know all about MLMs and how they work and have never gotten involved, but this was the most compelling story of one ever read. I felt like I was you, Elle, while reading it. When you had a setback or something bad happened I caught myself thinking, “Oh no! What am I going to do?!” So much secondhard embarrassment. I have a friend on Facebook doing Lipsense who is using the EXACT same marketing techniques as you are and it just makes me sad, because they also have the same problems with stock as Younique does with the foundation and I’m sure that it’s not working out for her at all. I got put in her special VIP group and didn’t even notice, I’m still in it apparently. I think I’m going to stay in and keep watch. And maybe anonymously find a way to link to this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing Elle! It’s really unfortunate that these “businesses” seem to prey so hard on one demographic.

    I used to work in a quality control type of position for a job board website, and it gave me great pleasure to kill any job advert that smelled of MLM. They were against our terms for obvious reasons, but I loved how the individual “entrepreneurs” would try to obscure the actual product or company name and post under their “Butterfly Babe” moniker as if they were all exciting new startups with some revolutionary product to hock.

    MLM comes in many flavors, usually the whole “empowering women” theme is the big one but if you want to read about the king of all “BUT IT’S NOT A PYRAMID SCHEME”s, take a stroll over to https://thedevilcorp.wordpress.com. If Younique sounds evil, these people are the literal devil on the actual devil’s shoulder.

    Like

  5. Every time I read “eeeeeekkkkkkk” I want to smack something.

    But on the topic of micellar water, a good makeup remover one (if you like your makeup waterproof like I do) is the Garnier Oil Micellar thing. A double pack on a sale will last an entire year (200ml/2 bottles).

    Liked by 1 person

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