Founded in 2012, the Canadian-based Beauty Generation storefront claims to be dedicated to empowering young women through the creation of affordable makeup kits. The business is a spin-off of a similar service out of South Africa. Beauty Generation sells products from influencer-created makeup kits to a variety of affordable brands, and is reportedly endorsed by dozens of international bloggers.
According to a report by Bakers, Beauty Generation Working Conditions — which is related to a major story by the same name run on BuzzFeed earlier this year — have forced female employees to deal with minimal pay for overtime, long hours and a propensity for sexual harassment. Many of the employees said they had been intimidated by superiors who threatened them with career-ending consequences if they did not comply with requests to perform things like unsupervised product testing.
Beauty Generation also uses internships to fulfill its sales goals, including working 14-hour days. The workers reportedly witnessed employees abuse their power over them, including dictating they not look at Kylie Jenner and even, allegedly, “fondling [workers’] breasts.”
“Unsurprisingly, a lot of this conduct was still very clear to the employees as they witnessed this behavior everyday,” the report stated.
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All of the allegations are classified as violations of the minimum wage and the Ontario Human Rights Code, according to the report.
After working with Bakers, a member of Bakers co-op who wished to remain anonymous, stated that before any profits were taken from the company, paid workers were paid $3 per hour. They also worked an eight-hour day, receiving five hours of actual work time and working until the rest of the crew finishes before starting their own tasks. Additionally, the majority of the workers received absolutely no overtime pay. The report claimed that the average “stack rank” in the company was ranked between 7 and 9, meaning if a worker worked a 60-hour week, that person would be graded as the leader of a group of 6 people, according to the minimum wage.
“When that happens, it means that when that person goes home at 6 p.m., the rest of the members of that group cannot go home because they have to wait until they are all finished working,” the report stated.
Beauty Generation has not commented publicly on the claims, although they have deleted all of their postings and page updates on social media. The allegations also call into question the current makeup industry. Typically, makeup artists only pay between $60 and $100 per makeup artist and make money from a greater number of makeup spots, an often-cited argument that allows these sort of companies to operate with lower wages.