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Makeup Primer, Arbonne, and my Cosmetics Quest (Part 1 of 2)

This post is part of a personal quest to find and use face and body products with fewer toxins. To catch up on this series, you can start here

So have you heard of ARBONNE? I hadn’t heard of this company until just recently, and now it seems all my girlfriends are mentioning it of late.

Like Tupperware, Stella & Dot, and other direct-to-consumer businesses, Arbonne is sold at parties in people’s homes. I’m sure you’ve been to similar types of parties … a girlfriend invites you over and you get to chit-chat, catch up with friends, have a drink or a coffee and then an consultant will walk you their product line.

Here is how Arbonne self-describes on its website:

“Arbonne is committed to the development of unparalleled products free of harmful ingredients, using a combination of botanical principles and scientific discovery. Our commitment begins with research and testing to ensure that each of our ingredients meets or exceeds industry standards for purity.”

In addition, all of the products are vegan and are never tested on animals.

So, when I received an invite to an Arbonne party recently, I thought the timing couldn’t have been better! I eagerly accepted it, especially knowing that this girlfriend would treat us to great coffee and homemade treats too. What can be better than shopping and hanging out with great girlfriends?

Off I went …

How the Party Rolled …

At the party, we were able to sample the products and browse some really nice Christmas gift packages.

They were all extremely tempting, but these kind of ingredients do not, apparently, come cheap. I held myself back as best I could so I wouldn’t blow my budget and bought two products: a facial cleanser that the consultant personally used and highly recommended, and a make-up primer.

I felt confident in buying these products and didn’t even mind the price tag because all of Arbonne products are formulated without:

  • Parabens
  • Formaldehyde donating preservatives
  • The following petroleum-based ingredients:
    • Benzene
    • Mineral Oil
    • Petrolatum
    • Phthalates
    • Toluene
  • PABA

The consultant was great, the party was great, and I looked forward to getting my hands on my new products to try!

Makeup Primer is a Gift from the Heavens!

Yes! The facial cleanser worked nicely, although perhaps my skin feels a little dryer than normal but that could just be the changing weather. A girlfriend who has extremely sensitive skin also bought this same cleanser and is really happy with it.

Arbonne facial cleanser

Now, the makeup primer. This stuff is a revelation! I’ve never used makeup primer before and now I wonder how I ever lived without it! It smooths out the skin on my face, creating a surface that makes makeup go on far better and easier. I really LOVE it.

Arbonne makeup primer


Although a rather forward-thinking friend of mine had already mentioned to me that Arbonne is not as “natural” as purports to be, I brushed this information away while at the party and took all of the information at face value.

Did Arbonne lie to me? No. Everything they said (as listed above) is true. But I didn’t follow the advice that Gillian Deacon gave me when I met her: “Read Your Labels!”

Book inscription by Gillian Deacon


I’ll continue this post tomorrow …


  1. multitestingmommy says:

    Hmmm…I’m interested to read more!

  2. Interesting. Seems like everyone I know is selling or buying Arbonne all of a sudden, but I didn’t know about the naturalness claims. Or makeup primer. Which I now want. 

  3. This product seems to be running rife in Australia right now and it makes my blood boil by claiming to be natural and chemical free, which is absolutely incorrect any way. There is NO product on the earth that can be 100% chemical free – everything is a chemical in some form. If skin care is sold to the public, then the systems have to be 100% correct – i.e. emulsifiers, anti-bacterial system, preservative system etc. or customers could develop eye infections or other skin irritations/conditions.
    However, there are good skin care companies that use ‘correct’ wording such as, natural plant based skin care, skin care free from harmful chemicals and the like. The fact that this company is promising prospective ‘Consultants’ (who have NO training in the skin system) a Mercedes Benz is disgusting! Yes, a very small number of ‘Consultants’ may earn the Merc, however, the majority will not. It is pyramid selling. However, it is not the pyramid selling that gets me, it is the promotion of ‘chemical free’ and ‘natural’ that is disgusting! They use chemicals that are NOT naturally derived and therefore the products could cause skin problems – i.e. irritations, reactions, sensitivity etc.
    Obviously they have the $’s to promote in a big way – they have been in Australia for 7-8 years and started off with cleaning products & grocery items!
    There are plenty of good quality, ethical businesses out there who are most likely ‘slogging their guts out’ to make a living with an ethical product and who don’t, unfortunately, have the big bucks to really go out and promote.

    • The Mercedes is for the VPs who qualify (ie. who have enough people under them) but it’s actually given as a lease that Arbonne takes under the person’s name. Arbonne gives a certain amount of money as “monthly bonus” to cover the installments; however this is very hard to maintain, as you have to keep your monthly $$$ requirements. In the end the “lucky” VP is left with a huge debt. NEVER SIGN UP FOR THIS SCAM!!!!

  4. i find it very worrying then i see post and reactions like this.. i am a consultant with Arbonne, and here in Australia we are trained to never say our products are natural… Arbonne products are botanically based , and we use the best of nature and science to deliver highly effective products..

    Our products are made to EU standards, which are much higher then those in USA or here in Australia, they are free of phetrochemicals, paraben, gluten, are vegan (in process of getting full range certified), never tested on animals ect ect…

    to Julie Long – i think you are confusing Arbonne with Amyway – arbonne has never had cleaning products or grocery items! and the company has never promoted themselves as chemical free.

    As far as the Mercedes bonus program..people do get there.. no i am not one yet.. But i have watched 3 people in the last 9 months that i have been a part of Arbonne acheve this level

    To Lily – Merc bonus program.. if somebody has worked and reached VP level, they should have plenty of volume going through to maintain this.. one VP i know have only 6 consultants directly to her and they are pulling enough volume each month to maintain this level…also it is a choice of the VP to lease, or they can Finance, they can get new or even second hand.. choice is up to consultant!

    Net work marketing is not a scam.. There are people who succeed in it and people who fail.. just like in any other business.. how many small businesses closed down in your area in the last 12 months.. were they a scam…no they just got something wrong…

    • yes, this. No where in the literature does Arbonne mislead people to think there are no chemicals (specifically “harmful levels” preservatives) and if a consultant said that, they were probably trained incorrectly.

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