How SeneGence blew up the internet

SeneGence is a lipstick MLM better known by their flagship product: LipSense.

You know those videos taking over Instagram of girls applying lipstick and then wiping their lips with one finger to prove it doesn’t smudge?

That’s SeneGence. Check the hashtags, these guys are trending.

So have I been involved?

This video explains everything:


Make sense? Either way, here’s the full review on SeneGence.

Overview

Despite the current LipSense-mania, SeneGence has actually been around for a long time. Since 1998, to be exact. But they were kind of a nobody until recently.

Just check this chart. Crazy.

So what pushed the hype train on SeneGence into overdrive?

Probably a mix between the increasing popularity of social media (in particular, Instagram and YouTube) and, well, Kylie Jenner…stay with me here.

Love her or hate her, Kylie Jenner started a worldwide trend with her infamously bloated (and purportedly fake) “Jenner lips”. A YouTube/Vine trend called the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge”, in which women used lipstick to grossly exaggerate the size of their lips, took the internet by storm in 2014.

Thus, the cultural obsession with lipstick was reborn, and it used social media as its platform right from the start. You’ll notice that this is around the time that SeneGence started taking off.

With their ultra-long lasting LipSense products and the potential to turn their direct sales model into social media influencer marketing, SeneGence rode this wave like a pro. By 2015, they were up to $15 million in annual revenue and breaking sales records left and right. In 2017, they made it to #47 on the Direct Selling Momentum Ranks, which measures the momentum of an MLM based on their Alexa ranking, the buzz they’re getting on Facebook, engagement on social media, and their own polls.

Joni Rogers-Kante, the founder of SeneGence, is the reason SeneGence has been so successful. She was trained by the best in the business – Rogers-Kante is a former pink Caddy driving Mary Kay lady. After learning the ropes and hitting top sales numbers, she went off on her own and started SeneGence.

Headquartered in California, the company has 80 full-time employees and now operates in over a dozen countries worldwide.

How much does Senegence cost?

To become a distributor, you need to pay a $55 sign-up fee. This will get you all the necessary marketing and training materials, but you won’t get any product.

To start up with some product (which you have to do if you want to sell anything), you can choose from two kits:

  • Lips Kit: $95, comes with select lip product
  • Glamour Demo Kit: $295, comes with a sampling of all their best-selling products

In order to remain qualified, you need to sell at least 300 PV each month.

Products

It’s not just their lipsticks that are long-lasting. All SeneGence products were formulated to last longer than any other cosmetics on the market. Long-lasting makeup is just now becoming a trend, but they’ve been doing it since the 90s.

SeneGence makeup is all semi-permanent, water-resistant, all-day wear makeup. And when they say all day, they really mean all day. SeneGence is still known for having some of the best long lasting cosmetic products on the market.

Their products come in the following categories:

  • Skincare
  • Anti-Aging
  • Face
  • Eyes
  • Lips
  • Body

They also recently started selling perfume as well as a line of special, dermatologist formulated products called SeneDerm.

Their products aren’t outrageously priced, but they’re pretty expensive. LipSense, for example, costs $25 for one color. On top of that, you’re technically supposed to purchase the $20 LipSense Gloss in order to “seal” the color as well as the $10 Ooops! Remover in order to properly remove the lipstick. If you really want the Kylie Jenner look, you’ll also need the $50 LipVolumizer. That’s a total of $105 just to look like you’ve got bee stung lips.

It’s also a lot to invest in up-front. As a distributor, you’re going to want some product on hand so that potential clients can try it out. No one wants to spend $45+ on a lipstick they can’t even try first – what if it looks bad? You’ll want to have all the different colors on hand for them to try, too.

This is turning into a pretty hefty initial investment.

Compensation Plan

You do get a pretty generous discount on product, which is a huge plus for a lot of SeneGence distributors. They often join just for the product discount.

The product discount starts at 20%, but it can range all the way up to 50% if you sell enough. You have to hit at least 750 PV per month to get the 50% discount, but that means you’re taking in 50% retail profit on your personal sales. That’s one of the highest commission rates out there (on par with Mary Kay).

You’ll also get residual commission on your downline. This is paid out on a unilevel structure, and it only pays out 5 levels deep. Most MLMs pay residuals 7 levels deep.

However, their rates aren’t bad. You get 10% on the purchases of your level 1 recruits, 20% on your level 2, and 30% on your level 3. And you only have to hit 100 PV monthly to unlock that. Eventually, you can unlock an extra 5% on your level 4 and level 5 recruits.

What this encourages you to do is to focus a little more on quality over quantity when building your team. Other MLMs pay down 7 levels deep with lower commission rates, which makes it pretty easy to just sit back and let your downline recruit, recruit, recruit without training them much in sales.

With SeneGence, there’s a big focus on your first three levels, so it becomes important to train your recruits really well and help them succeed.

They also pay residuals 5 levels deep on the sales volume of your downline, which totals out to 25%.

Recap

If you’re really into SeneGence products, you should probably join up as a distributor. They offer great discounts, and it could turn out to be a really fun hobby.

But if you’re expecting to make a living off this opportunity, good luck. You’ve got to invest a lot of money to start up, and you’ve got to sell like crazy and recruit a HUGE team. This just isn’t realistic for 99% of people.

Hitting it big with a company like SeneGence really only works if you’re already a pretty well known beauty blogger or YouTuber with thousands of loyal followers. You’ve already established a huge customer base, and they trust your recommendations.

However, don’t expect to build an empire from scratch. If you don’t already have a following and a very big, loyal client base, you’re probably going to be throwing your money at SeneGence while your words fall on deaf ears.

If it’s financial freedom you seek and you like automated ways to build passive income, there are better ways.

(and you can trash those old MLM habits, too)

Meet the Author

Jeremy Page

Jeremy Page teaches network marketers (company cheerleaders) how to build a real business. Far from a hater, he still LOLs at 3-way calls and building "downlines". If you like Monday morning conversations with your kids by the pool, you might like this.

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