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Is LimeLife A Pyramid Scheme or A Scam ? [2020 Review]

Welcome to my LimeLife review! If you are wondering is LimeLife a pyramid scheme or a scam, you've come to the right place!

First of all, you made the right decision by doing the research before jumping in on an opportunity. It's damn near impossible to avoid all the scams out there, but doing your research is the only way to find the legit business opportunities.

I bet you wound up here because someone you know contacted you through Facebook or maybe even face to face about this incredible business opportunity.

That turned out to be LimeLife and now you are wondering is it legit or a pyramid scheme? Or maybe someone is just trying to push their products to you and you want to know if they are actually high quality or just a network marketing con.

Either way, I'm here to help you find out if LimeLife should earn your trust. I'll focus more on the business opportunity but we'll take a look at the products as well.

LimeLife is marketed especially for young women as their main product category is makeup and skincare products. It's even likely that you got introduced to this opportunity in a college.

But the million-dollar question is if you can help to pay your tuition fees by selling makeup on the side or if it's just a pyramid scheme that takes your money? Read on to find out!

Before we continue, I want you to know that I'm not affiliated with LimeLife in any way. I review business opportunities because my website is about finding the best opportunities for working on your own terms.

I do recommend products I truly believe in, so my content does include affiliate links from time to time. I want to be completely transparent about this because I trust the products I recommend and offer my full support if you end up joining through my link. It doesn't cost you any extra of course.

Understanding Pyramid Schemes

Before we look at if LimeLife might be a pyramid scheme, I think it's important you understand what a pyramid scheme actually is, because people mix MLMs and pyramid schemes constantly.

A pyramid scheme is a business scam that utilizes a multi-level recruitment model. Each recruited member pays to get in just to learn the business is about recruiting additional people into the system.

Every member will earn a share of the recruitment fees their recruit pay. They will also earn a share of the recruitment fees that their recruits get from the people they recruit. In many pyramid schemes this goes down to several levels, also called tiers or generations.

Sounds complicated? This video explains it perfectly:

If you understand a bit of math, you will realize that if each member is for example required to recruit three new members, the model grows exponentially over every generation of recruitment.

This is the reason why these schemes are created. They are very profitable to the people at the top because you can have thousands or even tens of thousands of people paying to join the program and you get a share of all the participation fees.

The problem is that there isn't actually any value added to the market place. There are no services or products being sold to consumers. Pyramid schemes are considered as a means of transferring money from the bottom of the pyramid to top.

The people at the bottom can never make back their investment because eventually there will be no one to recruit into the system.

This is why pyramid schemes are illegal almost everywhere in the world. They often take advantage of those less fortunate as people join out of desperation.

Many people are forced to recruit more people in an attempt to make back the money they have lost. This is of course morally questionable.

A good example of a recent pyramid scheme is One Coin and more recently a company called Crowd1 has caused a lot of warning from authorities. You can read more about that in my article: Is Crowd1 a scam or a pyramid scheme?

What Is Multi-level Marketing

Now that we know what a pyramid scheme is, it's important to know the distinction with pyramid schemes and multi-level marketing or network marketing, because LimeLife seems to be an MLM company.

Other MLMs you might have heard about include Primerica, AmeriPlan, and Avon.

MLMs use a similar pyramid model where their products or services are sold through a network of independent distributors.

Each distributor can recruit additional distributors and they will earn a share of the revenue of their recruits over several generations.

The key difference to a pyramid scheme is that there are products or services being sold to consumers and the distributors don't get compensated for the recruitment. They get commissions based on the sales from their downline (the people beneath them in the pyramid structure).

MLMs are considered legal in most parts of the world. The problem is that each company utilizes a slightly different kind of compensation and recruitment plan.

There have been MLM companies that seemed completely legit on the surface but turned out to be pyramid schemes. And that's the thing about pyramid schemes, they are virtually always masked as some form of a legit business.

So the line between MLMs and a pyramid scheme is a vague one and in some cases requires a thorough investigation by officials.

The FTC has been tightening its guidelines for MLMs recently. They seem to consider the whole MLM business model questionable as they have notoriously low success rate among members.

What Is LimeLife

LimeLife, officially LimeLife By Alcone is an US-based MLM company in the Skincare and Makeup niche.

The mother company Alcone has actually been around since 1952. It's a family-owned business based in New York City. The company was originally formed by Alvin Cohen to serve high-quality makeup products to the city's thriving theatrical community.

The company has since grown to become the leader in supplying fil, television, and theatrical productions with professional makeup and award-winning special effects. The company has for example provided the special makeup for The Blue Man group.

So the company has established a very solid footprint in the show business and professional makeup scene.

In 2013 Alcone lanched Alcone at Home, an MLM company that made it possible Makeup Artists and Beauty Enthusiasts to sell professional makeup to consumers.

Alcone at Home was soon rebranded into LimeLight By Alcone and skincare products were added to their product lineup.

In 2017 LimeLight is rebranded yet again into LimeLife in an effort to make the MLM business global. I found some information suggesting that L'Oreal actually bought the rights for the brand LimeLight everywhere else, so the company was forced to rebrand for the global market.

LimeLife Products

So as we established, Alcone products are based on the professional quality makeup they've developed and used in show biz.

But how about if you become a LimeLife sales rep? Well, they are basically offering the same professional make up products plus a line of luxury skincare products.

The skincare product lineup includes:

  • Cleansers
  • Face masks
  • Moisturizers
  • Serums
  • Face Oils
  • Suncare
  • Men's
  • Bath
  • Hand & Body

The makeup product lineup includes:

  • Priming & Setting
  • Complexion
  • Eyes
  • Brows
  • Lips
  • Body
  • Custom Palettes
  • Makeup Remover
  • Makeup sets & Collections
  • Vegan

LimeLife Business Opportunity

LimeLife offers an MLM business opportunity as a "Beauty Guide". You will earn up to 35% sales commissions and if you choose to lead a team, you will earn a percentage of your teams (downlines) total sales.

There are three steps to join:

  1. Choose a starter kit based on skin complexion.
  2. Complete an online application
  3. Agree to operate within the company's culture.

Since it's an MLM you have basically three ways to earn an income. By selling products to consumers, by recruiting people into your team and through bonuses.

You can find more information on the LimeLife compensation plan.

Is LimeLife A Pyramid Scheme?

So here we are, the million-dollar question. Is LimeLife a legit MLM business or a pyramid scheme?

There are three questions I like to present when assessing if an MLM company might a pyramid scheme.

1. How Long Has The Company Been Around?

Pyramid schemes are generally very shortlived because they are illegal and it's only a matter of time before the authorities and the media shut the operation down.

So if an MLM company is very new and growing very fast, it's much more likely it's a pyramid scheme than a company that's been around for decades.

Well, the mother company Alcone has been around since 1952, but LimeLife has actually been around only since around 2013 (before re-branding).

That's still good 7 years and they have managed to grow into a global MLM during that time. The fact that the mother company has a good reputation and has been around for almost 70 years is also a good sign.

So nothing that suggests a pyramid scheme on these criteria.

2. Are There Real Products?

Pyramid schemes either have no products or services to sell to consumers or they are vague and just a front for the recruitment.

It's clear that LimeLife is selling makeup and skincare products to consumers as the mother company has been in the business for almost 70 years.

There's no evidence that would suggest that LimeLife is only getting revenue from the participation fees of new members. How a large percentage of the products are actually being sold by the sales reps is another matter and something I couldn't find any data on.

But I would say LimeLife seems to be a legit MLM based on these criteria.

3. Are there any lawsuits?

Pyramid schemes get usually noticed by officials and there will be lawsuits from the FTC or class action lawsuits from former members typically before the pyramid collapses.

Typically a company the size and age of Alcone will have several lawsuits but rather surprisingly, I couldn't find any online. So there doesn't seem to be at least any lawsuits that have gotten any major media coverage.

The only concerning things were a couple of bad reviews at Better Bureau and a petition at concerning undelivered products.

But definitely, nothing that would suggest LimeLife is a pyramid scheme.

So I feel fairly confident saying that LimeLife is not a pyramid scheme. But it is an MLM company. And I can't really recommend it as a business opportunity because of that.

MLMs have a few key issues that make them risky for the average person. The first thing is that direct sales is seriously hard work.

The average consumer avoids direct sellers and telemarketers like the plaque. People want to decide without pressure what they need.

So as a direct sales distributor, you are going to have to be very active, constantly contacting and getting leads and you have to be able to take no for an answer without getting depressed. You also need a tough skin because people can be seriously rude towards marketers.

Then there's the whole thing that if you want to be more than a salesperson, you will need to focus on recruiting as that's where all the money is in MLMs.

But if everyone focuses on recruiting, who is doing all the selling? You catch my drift here. Then there's the fact that MLMs have abysmal success rates on average.

But make no mistake, there are people making good money with MLMs. They do reward hard work and being very active. But I honestly recommend a regular temp job if you need some cash fast.

As a business opportunity, I personally use a business model that is superior to MLMs in every way in my opinion.

A Better Business Opportunity

I make money online with my websites using affiliate marketing and search engine optimization. It allows me to earn income on automation and I can work on my websites from anywhere in the world. All I need is a laptop and an Internet connection.

I learned about online business and affiliate marketing over a decade ago and I tried it several times, but I always failed because I didn't know what I was doing and lacked direction.

I finally managed to build success by following the training at Wealthy Affiliate, a one-stop-shop for online affiliate marketers. They have a very simple and actionable step-by-step training that walked me through the process.

All I had to do was follow it and put in the work and sure enough, I started seeing results. You can check out my Wealthy Affiliate review for my full story and information on the platform.

I'll just say that you can't find better value anywhere online, I did my research on this before I joined a couple of years ago. And I haven't regretted a minute I did.

The process is actually really simple. You pick a niche, find keywords, create content around those topics, and recommend relevant affiliate offers.

Of course, all that includes hundreds of small steps you need to take, so a step-by-step guide that walks you through it is a priceless resource. Believe me, I tried to do it without one and it sucked. I didn't get any results.

So if an online business is something you are interested in, definitely check this opportunity out. They have a completely free starter membership that includes the first module of the training, so definitely take advantage of that at least! You can use the information in working life.

Also, check out my free 7-day online marketing course where I walk you through the initial steps of building your own income-producing website.

You can enroll for the 7-day course by submitting your email address into the form below. I will not spam your email and you can unsubscribe anytime. 


I hope you found this LimeLife review useful. If you have any additional questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I'll get back to you.

LimeLife doesn't seem to be a pyramid scheme. They are simply an MLM business that focuses on selling professional makeup and skincare products.

That said, I can't really recommend MLMs as a business opportunity. You risk losing money as you are usually required to buy inventory and if you don't manage to get any sales you are stuck with the products.

My recommendation is to get a regular job to pay the bills and build an online business on the side. Online business is recession and COVID proof because you have the global audience of the Internet at your disposal.

It's also one of the best ways to achieve financial freedom in the long run. But it takes time and perseverance, so don't let anyone tell you it can make you rich overnight.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you will start seeing results, and eventually, you will reach a point where you can get full-time income and more through your business.

Thanks for reading and if you found this review useful, remember to share it on social media!

4 replies on “Is LimeLife A Pyramid Scheme or A Scam ? [2020 Review]”

Hi Jukka
Thanks for a thorough review. One of my reactions to this story is to wonder whether Alcone uses the MLM business model to market its products in the movie business. I am guessing that it doesn’t probably because corporate buyers aren’t as gullible as individual consumers? My other reaction is to reinforce to myself a conclusion I made many years ago – MLM is not for me. Thanks again for a thorough review.
Best regards

Glad you liked it Andy! I’m fairly confident that they are so established in the movie business that they don’t need to use the MLM model there. It seems to be a recent attempt to expand their business into global audiences.

You have helped your readers understand the difference in a pyramid and MLM very well, and I must admit I know very little about these since I avoid them as a way to earn an income online. For one thing, I am not any good at recruiting people and secondly, I will not invest in any kits or inventory. I am not saying these are scams, but I am saying neither of these is something I would join myself


Thank you for the kind words Jeff. I think the whole MLM and pyramid scheme thing confuses people. Some people think all MLMs are pyramid schemes or scams while others think they are a completely legit business model. I personally think they can be either. The MLM business always has the possibility of being a pyramid scheme, so honest companies will/should do their best to be transparent about the recruitment, earning potential etc. to create trust among distributors and consumers.

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