What is demi method makeup, and what’s its connection to an alleged MLM scam?

By Emma O'Regan-Reidy

Published Nov 3, 2023 at 08:57 AM

Reading time: 4 minutes

Is your FYP flooded with new makeup tips, trends and products on a daily basis? Mine too. And one of the latest techniques to go viral has been the demi makeup method. Also before you ask, no, it’s not a makeup look inspired by Demi Lovato.

Sometimes referred to as Micro-Concealing or Micro-Colour correcting, this technique is said to provide coverage while still achieving that coveted barely there, minimal look. Some creators have even been calling it the “future of makeup,” but the term (and the technique itself) has also garnered some negative attention. Wonder why? Let’s dive into it.

What is the demi makeup method?

So, what is the demi makeup method exactly? Rather than following the popular makeup routine of applying consecutive layers of products, this technique takes what it calls a more streamlined approach.

The style prioritises colour-matching areas unique to your face instead of evening out your base with foundation and adding depth and glow by layering additional products on top. Demi makeup palettes typically contain a wide variety of hues—think blues, greens, oranges and purples—in addition to more traditional, neutral tones. It’s very much like the vibe of a rat girl who fancied a night out. She’ll make a little effort, but she’s not gonna go full glam.

How to apply the demi makeup method

According to TikTok tutorials that promote the method, you simply need to determine your skin’s undertones and apply pigment accordingly. For example, if you have dark under-eye areas, this could mean applying a darker product to the lighter areas of your face that contrast your under-eye. As a result, your skin will look more even with effectively less makeup.


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♬ original sound - TARA SIGARI | MAKEUP FASHION

Others implement more aspects of colour theory to their approach using opposites on the colour wheel to balance their tone; this could mean applying orange hues to cancel out blue undertones or using green to lessen reds.


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♬ original sound - Morgan Baldwin

Is the demi makeup method an MLM scam?

While the demi makeup method has inspired countless how-to beauty tutorials praising the technique to be revolutionary, others haven’t been as warm to welcome the trend. Sydney-based professional makeup artist Criss Scortezz spoke out against it in a TikTok, saying that it’s just a more confusing version of colour correcting and noting: “It’s nothing new; it’s nothing special.”

Scortezz then pointed out that the nothing-new technique has resurfaced as the demi makeup method, which Seint (an alleged multi-level marketing company) and its sellers (also referred to as artists) have been promoting. Now, we all know that smells dodgy. 


We HAVE to try the Demi makeup method… Actually, lets not. Here’s the truth #makeup #makeuptutorial #makeupartist #mua #demimakeup #tutorial #education

♬ original sound - Scortezz Beauty

Most notably, Cara Brook, Seint’s founder and CEO, has been credited for bringing back this technique. The businesswoman is even credited in a Teen Vogue article for “popularising [the trend] for the social media generation and giving it the ‘demi’ name.” On Brook’s TikTok profile, you’ll find dozens of videos explaining and praising the makeup method, with Seint’s products, of course, always on hand. Search “demi makeup” on YouTube, and most results will also be of tutorials by Seint sellers touting the brand’s products.

Formerly known as Maskcara Beauty, Seint’s product range is closely aligned with the demi makeup method, focusing on selling colourful correcting creams and build-your-own palettes. Like other network marketing companies, its website has a tab that allows you to join their ‘artist programme’. Here, Seint explains how you can earn commissions selling products and also join its community of fellow artists… Yep, it’s getting big pyramid scheme energy.

The page also provides answers to questions such as “What are the requirements for being a Seint Artist?” or “Should I sign up with a sponsor?” There’s also “Can I switch teams later?” and “Do I have to build a team?” Next, you’ll discover that you need to pay $12.95 a month to maintain your own Seint site (and access the app).

The website also advertises that “consistency is always key” when it comes to addressing the time commitment of selling and that “downlines” can’t switch teams, under any circumstances. Likewise, recruiting team members to join your team (and become your downlines) isn’t mandatory—but it is encouraged.

Seint’s 2022 Income Disclosure Statement explicitly outlines that 49.23 per cent of its active US-based artists (aka, 13,069 sellers) earned an average of $51 in 2022, while another 44.56 per cent (11,830 sellers) took home an average of $944.

However, in the sidebar, it’s stated that “all income paid to Artists summarized in this disclosure does not include expenses incurred by Artists in the operation or promotion of their business, which can vary widely and might include products purchased, advertising or promotional expenses, product samples, training, rent, travel, telephone and internet costs and miscellaneous expenses.” It also notes that “some Artists make no money at all.” Wow, that sounds super promising…

While the language and business model laid out on Seint’s site is similar to other alleged multi-level marketing companies out there, many are saying the brand’s social media presence and former beauty influencer founder totally caught them off guard. One Reddit user explained that she followed Cara Brook on TikTok “because her videos were interesting and I thought her approach to makeup was refreshing.”

However, she then found out that Seint (a name that’s rarely used in videos that promote the brand’s demi products), was an alleged network marketing company. This lack of transparency around the companies they are associated with certainly makes it harder to trust a creator and their advice—especially if the company employs such dubious practices. Even those who think they could spot an MLM from a mile away have been duped—myself included—which goes to show that networking marketing content has been evolving to entice new audiences.

All of that being said, you can still incorporate aspects of the demi makeup method into your go-to routine without supporting Seint and what it stands for. Next time you’re scrolling on Cult Beauty or walking through the aisles of Boots, look for palettes that are specifically created for underpainting or colour correcting.

One top-rated option is Stila’s Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette. Alternatively, you could also use a few of Inglot’s Freedom System Camouflage Concealers to accomplish the technique. The bottom line? The demi makeup method, colour correcting, or whatever you choose to call it does offer a fresh way to experiment with your existing makeup collection, no purchase necessary.

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