Opinions requested on Arbonne (company and products)

A good friend of mine has just announced that she has signed up as a ‘consultant’ for Arbonne skin-care products, and has asked me to give her an opinion on whether it’s a wise move or not. My first response is to say ‘hell, no’, simply because as near as I can tell, Arbonne is just another variation of an endless number of faintly grubby pyramid-like multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes, because their products do not appear to be anything special compared to those available at similar cost through normal retail outlets, and because there appears to be a noticeable odor of money-worshipping self-actualization cult about the whole thing. But hey, I’m willing to be convinced if there’s an upside to the deal.

I haven’t had any trouble finding information on the 'Net about Arbonne or about MLM in general, so what I’m mainly looking for is personal experiences of dealing with the company or its products, and whether or not anyone has actually made any money at all from such a sales program. Please feel free to share, positive or negative.

I have been to exactly one Arbonne “party”. I’m sure there is money to be made as a consultant, just like Mary Kay and Avon reps do. I found the sales pitch to be very high pressure, and a lot of what the consultants say about the products seemed like BS to me. For instance, they tell you that applying SPF 15 moisturizer and then SPF 30 foundation would result in an SPF factor of 45. I don’t believe that at all. The products themselves are, IMO, way overpriced. I did buy a few products, mostly to be nice because I liked the people hosting the party, and partly because the stuff smells amazing. Bad news: when I arrived at the party, the consultant had me do the full face regimen (I don’t remember exactly what it was, but there were at least 3 products rubbed into my skin). I have large pores and I do still break out. It took days until my skin stopped feeling like I’d been coated with shortening. I had a worse than usual breakout period for a few days too. But that’s just me. The company is making money, so there must be women who love the stuff.

Summary: bath products smell great. I won’t spend another dollar on Arbonne products.

This is just MY opinion, YMMV.