Monday, December 29, 2014

The difficulty in buying foundation

A double cosmos from my garden. I've been saving flower heads from my cosmos and zinnias to grow in my new gardens
I am no make-up expert. I do use makeup as my eyelashes and eyebrows are quite light. I wear lipstick because old age has made my lips very pale. Although I occasionally use a moisturizer on my face (probably should remember to do this more often in the winter), I no longer use foundation. I used to make my face a smooth poreless expanse. But now, I can't see my pores and I suspect anyone near my age can't either so why bother. I suspect my skin didn't really get better with age but this and many other lies I tell myself helpme get through the day.

I used to get this foundation from a Mary Kay lady. It matched perfectly and I got a much paler variety for Shanna. Mary Kay is a pyramid scheme in my book but much more benign than others. It took some convincing my representative that this is all I wanted from her. No I don't  want to  know the 7 steps of beauty involved in washing my face (hint: it involves buying 7 products). She once tricked me into attending a recruiting seminar exploiting our friendship (our sons are good friends)..a recruiting seminar that I had to pay for. At first I was very angry but then listening to the recruiting techniques was very informative. They were highly misleading. When they gave examples of how much you could earn peddling make-up, they would neglect to subtract the cost of the make-up. So if you sold $100 of make-up in a 2 hour party, your earnings would be less than $25 an hour (make-up was marked up 200% and you'd have to buy off the hostess with gifts. I am not sure why she thought I'd make a good recruit given my lack of make-up, social skills, etc. Also she failed to consider that I might have a job that pays way more than almost any of those saleswomen. We went back to our relationship of me buying foundation from her every few months until she left the business. She gave me the phone number of another representative in our neighborhood that I didn't know.

I gave the new lady a call explaining what I wanted from her (foundation, nothing else). She said she'd meet up with me that weekend right across the street (the condo clubhouse where Naomi married) at an event showcasing new Mary Kay products. I could try them for free, no pressure. And then I could buy the foundation I wanted. Run, Sue, run!!! By this time, Naomi was interested in make-up too so I brought her along promising her a free make over.

When we got there, I was immediately greeted by a woman in her most condescending voice ever, congratulating me on having the courage to change my life. There were no make-up demonstrations; it was just a recruiting fair. I never found the woman I was supposed to meet. We left ASAP.

I left puzzled why people think I must need a job peddling make-up. Don't they realize I was a well paid scientist? And when Naomi was first assigned a public health nurse in her pregnancy, the first question I was asked was whether I had been a teen age mom too. Should I dress better? Speak better? Maybe I am not as articulate as I think I am.

There is plenty of foundation to be had elsewhere. I tried to find stuff just as good but never could. Then my old lady far-sightedness kicked in and I couldn't see what I was covering up.

I was reminded of all this by listening to a podcast last night about Wake Up Now!!-a new pyramid scheme targeting people of color. It delved into the recruiting techniques.It seemed mostly to be a religious cult without the mention of God. The WUN! folks don't call themselves a pyramid scheme; they call themselves a networking market opportunity. They do disclose that only 4% of its participants can afford to quit their day job and only 1% make 'six figures' but give participants every reason to believe they can be that 1%. Dream big! Believe in yourself! Distance yourself from negativity! You can do this!!

Some of their recruiting sounded suspiciously like what I was told. I am always amazed  how effective these techniques are. I refuse to participate even in  most established 'networking marketing' as it is just exploiting ones friends for profit. And worse, convincing people to exploit their friends. I have bought candles, baskets, Tupperware, over priced toys, crystal at friends' parties but I always resented it. Of course the powers that be don't view this as exploitation. They sell it as you doing everyone a favor by exposing them to superior goods. My usual excuse not to throw these parties was that I worked full time and had three kids and have hardly any friends. I do have friends but I don't feel like using them.

About a year or two ago, a close friend of Naomi's joined a similar pyramid scheme with a $1000 up front cost (WUN! is free to join but then you need to pay $100/month to continue). She wanted Naomi to join her (only no $1000 lying around for Naomi to do it, this is where I come in). So I listened to this girl's sales spiel. Naomi could be driving Cadillac in just 3 months of work. I left it at this: when her friend was driving a Cadillac in 3 months, we would revisit. But no money until then.  I was never told what product they actually were marketing. Naomi said she never heard about this scheme again. She does know that no new car was purchased.

The days of warmth are over  but at least the roads are dry.


Elephant's Child said...

Sadly some people (a very few) do make lots and lots and lots of money, peddling to other people's insecurities and dreams.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Hi Alli
I didn't publish your comment because it contains your e-mail. I will stay in touch. I miss your blog. So sorry that people keep hacking it.


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