Maskcara Review: Beauty blogger launches MLM makeup company
Maskcara was founded in 2013 and operates in the personal care MLM niche.
The company is based out of Utah and headed up by founder Cara Brook.
Brook (right) is cited as a “beauty blogger/makeup artist”.
Despite her origins in social media however, it seems of late Brook’s social media presence has been neglected.
Brook’s original blog, Maskcara, hasn’t been updated since June 2017. The official Maskcara YouTube channel’s last video was uploaded seven months ago.
Brook is still relatively active on Instagram, having posted fifteen photos this year.
Maskcara’s official Facebook page is also regularly updated with content.
Mind you I’m not having a go at her, it’s just that social media is the only reference point I have to gauge how active Brook is.
I’m unaware of Brook having any MLM corporate experience prior to founding Maskcara.
A 2014 New York Times article states that prior to Maskcara (the company), Brook was selling “her own Maskcara-branded” makeup through her website.
The line, Ms. Brook said, is the fulfillment of a childhood dream that would not be possible without the support of her readers.
“They’re so intelligent, down to earth and sweet,” she said.
She was so broke when she started writing, she said, her early blog posts were based on samples of products she got from Sephora on walks with her young son.
“I never bought anything, but they’d give me samples of everything,” she said.
It appears Maskcara is the natural evolution of Brook’s marketing efforts, into a fully-fledged business opportunity.
Read on for a full review of the Maskcara MLM opportunity.
Maskcara markets a personal care range with a focus on foundation.
Our premier one of a kind IIID foundation enhances skin tone, camouflages blemishes and dark circles, sculpts features and creates the “perfect lighting” on your face all in one quick application.
Maskcara’s makeup is grouped into products targeting the face, eyes and skin.
Face makeup is further broken down into highlight, contour, lip + cheek, illuminator, setting powder and bronzer.
I clicked a few categories and the target price for Maskcara’s face and eyes products appears to be $12 to $14.
Maskcara’s skin care range covers men and women and tops out at $140 for gender specific bundles.
A full range of Maskcara products, including retail pricing, is available on the company’s website.
Maskcara’s Compensation Plan
Maskcara’s compensation plan combines retail sales with unilevel team residual commissions.
A Generation Bonus expands available residual commissions, with additional performance-based bonuses also on offer.
Maskcara Affiliate Ranks
There are ten affiliate ranks within Maskcara’s compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Hac.er -sign up as a Maskcara affiliate
- Elite Hac.er – generate at least 240 PV a month and 640 accumulated PV
- Top Hac.er – maintain at least 240 PV and generate 800 GV a month and generate and maintain at least two active legs
- Ambassador – generate and maintain at least 480 PV and 2000 GV a month and and generate and maintain at least three active legs (one Top Hac.er)
- Elite Ambassador – maintain at least 480 PV and generate 4000 GV a month and generate and maintain at least four active legs (one Top Hac.er and one Ambassador)
- Top Ambassador – maintain at least 480 PV and generate 8000 GV a month and generate and maintain at least five active legs (one Ambassador and one Elite Ambassador)
- Influencer – generate and maintain at least 720 PV and 20,000 GV a month and generate and maintain at least five active legs (one Elite Ambassador and one Top Ambassador)
- Elite Influencer – maintain at least 720 PV and generate 40,000 GV a month and generate and maintain at least six active legs (two Top Ambassadors and one Influencer)
- Top Influencer – maintain at least 720 PV and generate 80,000 GV a month and generate and maintain at least seven active legs (three Top Ambassadors, one Influencer and one Elite Influencer)
- Executive Director – maintain at least 720 PV and generate 160,000 GV a month and generate and maintain at least seven active legs (three Top Ambassadors, one Influencer and one Top Influencer)
PV stands for “Personal Volume” and is sales volume generated by retail sales and a Maskcara affiliate’s own orders.
GV stands for “Group Volume” and is PV generated by a Maskcara affiliate and their downline.
An “active leg” is a unilevel team leg that contains at least one Elite Hac.er or higher ranked affiliate.
This affiliate can be directly or indirectly recruited into the unilevel team leg.
For rank qualification, some active legs require minimum ranked affiliates to count (e.g. one Ambassador and one Elite Ambassador at the Top Ambassador rank).
In these instances the remaining required active legs can be Elite Hac.er or higher.
Note that no more than 40% of required GV at any rank can come from any one unilevel leg.
This rule also caps an affiliate’s PV at no more than 40% for rank qualification as well.
Maskcara affiliates start with a base 20% retail commission rate.
Based on weekly PV production, a Maskcara affiliate’s retail commission rate can increase to 40%:
- generate 1 to 319 PV in a week = base 20% retail commission rate
- generate 320 to 639 PV in a week = 25% retail commission rate for that week
- generate 640 to 1599 PV in a week = 30% retail commission rate for that week
- generate 1600 to 3199 PV in a week = 35% retail commission rate for that week
- generate 3200 or more PV in a week = 40% retail commission rate for that week
Maskcara pays residual commissions via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
Maskcara caps payable unilevel team levels at five.
Residual commissions are paid out as a percentage of sales volume generated across these five levels as follows:
- Elite Hac.er – 3% on level 1 (personally recruited affiliates)
- Top Hac.er – 3% on levels 1 and 2
- Ambassador – 4% on levels 1 and 2 and 2% on level 3
- Elite Ambassador – 4% on levels 1 and 2, 3% on level 3 and 2% on level 4
- Top Ambassador and higher – 5% on levels 1 and 2, 4% on level 3, 3% on level 3 and 2% on level 5
The Generation Bonus allows a Maskcara affiliate to earn beyond the first five levels of their unilevel team.
Maskcara defines a generation when an Influencer and higher ranked affiliate is found in a unilevel leg.
Once found, affiliates under the Influencer are the first generation of that unilevel leg.
If a second Influencer or higher ranked affiliate is found deeper in the leg, they cap off the first generation.
The second generation of that leg then begins immediately after them.
If no such ranked affiliate exists, the first generation of that unilevel leg extends down the full depth of that leg.
Using this generation structure, Influencer and higher ranked Maskcara affiliates earn the Generation Bonus on up to three generations per unilevel team leg:
- Influencers earn a 3% Generation Bonus on up to one generation per unilevel team leg
- Elite Influencers earn a 3% Generation Bonus on up to two generations
- Top Influencers and Executive Directors earn a 3% Generation Bonus on the first two generations and 4% on the third
The Enroller Bonus is a percentage bonus on PV generated by personally recruited affiliates.
- Elite and Top Hac.ers receive a 5% Enroller Bonus
- Ambassador and Elite Ambassadors receive a 6% Enroller Bonus
- Top Ambassador and higher ranked affiliates receive a 7% Enroller Bonus
Note that because PV can be retail sales or an affiliate’s own purchases, the Enroller Bonus doubles as a potential retail and recruitment-based bonus.
Personal Leader Bonus
The Personal Leader Bonus is a percentage paid out on Personal Leader Group volume.
Influencer and higher ranked Maskcara affiliates qualify for a 2% Personal Leader Bonus.
Unfortunately Maskcara’s compensation plan doesn’t define what a Personal Leader Group actually is.
Update 11th December 2019 – According to Maskcara Influencer Heather Burge in the comments below (#1), Personal Leader Group is a Maskcara Influencer’s entire downline up until an Influencer is found in a unilevel leg. /end update
Maskcara affiliate membership costs $199 for a Basic Artist Kit or $399 for a Pro Artist Kit.
The difference between the two kits is more bundled Maskcara products with the Pro Artist Kit.
I have a confession to make: The only thing I know about the beauty influencer community is the James Charles drama from a few months back.
Still, I respect anyone who can take an idea, grow it and eventually turn it into a fully-fledged business.
While Cara Brook might not be as prominent in the online beauty community as she once was, Maskcara seems to be doing fine.
I can’t speak too much to the company’s products, save to say they seem relatively reasonably priced.
The deciding factor will of course be the quality, which when you’re dealing with a social media audience, is pretty crucial not to screw up.
All it takes is one bad product launch and before you know it everyone within your niche on the internet is talking about it.
Following in Brook’s footsteps, there’s a bunch of YouTube videos demonstrating Maskcara’s various personal care products. That’s probably a good place to start (avoid any obvious shills).
Moving onto Maskcara’s compensation plan, the only glaring issue that stood out was there being no retail volume qualifier.
While retail is definitely encouraged by both the variable retail commission rate and in Maskcara’s marketing material;
The foundation of your Maskcara business is selling products and creating new customers.
It’s still possible to ignore it and focus on recruitment volume. By that I mean recruiting affiliates under you who self-qualify for commissions.
They do the same etc., and their purchases form the bulk of your commissionable sales volume.
The good news is Maskcara makes due-diligence on this point easy.
Elite Hac.er is where the MLM opportunity kicks in, and to qualify you’re looking at maintaining 240 PV a month.
What you want to ask your potential Maskcara upline is how much of that 240 PV is genuine retail sales (i.e. sales to retail customers they can provide evidence of (receipts)).
What you’re looking for is at least a 50% split. Given makeup is a consumable, it’s not unreasonable for a Maskcara affiliate to have a standing order.
A problem arises however if they self-qualify for commissions, and are earning from a downline that does the same.
If your potential upline is Top Hac.er or higher ranked, you can get a bit sneaky and ask how much of their monthly GV qualification is their own PV.
If it’s hitting the 40% barrier and they can’t provide evidence of retail sales, it’s safe to assume there aren’t any.
Unless there’s something I’m missing though, Maskcara’s products seem reasonably priced and backed by someone who knows how fickle the social media space can be.
It’s one thing to post fake filter enhanced Instagram beauty shots. Selling a physical product that anyone who purchases it can review and is likely to on social media, seeing as that’s where you’re focused, means you have to deliver.
And let’s be honest. This is make-up – something a lot of females are passionate about (trying my best not to sound sexist here…).
One niggle I have is Maskcara failing to define what a “Personal Leader Group” is. It’s a bonus so not critical to understanding Maskcara’s compensation plan, but significant enough to be deemed an oversight.
Easy fix though… but a little concerning it hasn’t been addressed in the six years Maskcara has been around.
Rank qualification criteria also deserves a mention, in that it involves active legs as opposed to direct recruitment criteria.
All you need is at least one Elite Hac.er ranked affiliate in a leg for it to qualify as active. That definitely eases rank maintenance pressure, which hopefully gives Maskcara affiliates more time to develop the retail side of their business.
A few final thoughts:
When I first saw “hac.er” I thought it was some cringey millennial “look how clever I am” wordplay.
In the New York Times Article linked in the introduction of this review however, I learned it was a throwback to Brook’s early days.
Cara Brook, 28, sings the praises of highlighting and contouring one’s facial features, a process she refers to as HAC’ing.
I thought that was a nice touch.
Also a nice touch are the tutorials and general information provided on Maskcara’s website.
Again a throwback to Brook’s blogging origins, they \provide plenty of info for those unsure to digest.
This provided material also demonstrates that Brook, who features in some of the tutorials, knows what she’s talking about.
The implication being that her experience with make up products is hopefully reflected in Maskcara’s range.
Once you’ve got an idea of what colors and products you might be interested in, Maskcara provides a neat little Pallette Builder tool on their website.
The tool assists potential retail customers with putting together an appropriate make-up selection, complete with incremental pricing.
I know it’s a simple concept but it’s above and beyond what I’ve seen any other MLM personal care company offering.
And little things like that help to differentiate Maskcara from some of the bigger personal care MLM offerings out there.