The internet beauty community erupted this week after celebrity Makeup Artist and Youtube Vlogger, Alexandra Bond, shared (via snapchat) the details of a recent encounter with the CFO of Milani Cosmetics. The specifics can be a bit hard to sift through, so here’s the breakdown:
- Alex was hired to do an event in Haiti.
- The event was rescheduled, and then it was finally cancelled.
- An airplane ticket was purchased in Alex’s name.
- Alex learns that the full value of $640 ticket will be lost if someone doesn’t use it.
- Alex calls Delta Airlines, and is credited $350 of the $640 ticket.
- Alex applies the $350 credit to a new flight unrelated to Milani.
- When Milani learns that the ticket has been cashed in for a credit they contact Alex and ask for the total $640.
- Emails are exchanged with the CFO of Milani Cosmetics, but they (The CFO and Alex) couldn’t reach an agreement.
- Alex calls the CFO to hammer it out.
- Alex agrees to refund the $350 credit.
- The Milani CFO wants the entire $640 and won’t take no for an answer.
- According to Alex, the conversation takes a turn for the worse when the CFO begins to speak to her in a “dismissive and condescending manner.” “It took me by surprise,” Alex told us. “I’ve never spoken with the CFO before and I’ve been working with Milani for 5 years. She basically told me that I had to pay $640. She then brings up the fact that I am an engineer and that if I was as smart as they say, I’d do as she says.” Alex alleges that they ended the call with the CFO stating, “Don’t have a good day. Have a bad life.”
- Stunned and emotional, Alex takes to Instagram and Snapchat, tearfully recounting her side of the story.
- Alex accuses the CFO of trying to bully her, a small business owner.
- In solidarity, Alex’s supporters storm the Milani IG account with lipstick Emojis to show they stand with Alex and to call out the CFO for being unprofessional.
- Milani makes their IG private in an attempt to stop the flood of Alex supporters posting to their page
- Eventually the owners of Milani Cosmetics catch wind of the story
- They (the owners) call Alex and apologize on behalf of the CFO
- The CFO emails Alex and likewise issues a formal apology
- Milani and Alex are working on rebuilding their relationship
Bond who has been making YouTube videos since 2006 and has a longstanding relationship with Milani says it isn’t about the money.
I held it together on the call, but then I lost it. When I’m in my feelings I usually take it to snapchat…I really felt like they were some big company, and that they (The CFO) was thinking ‘you’re a little makeup artist and what you do compared to what we can do is nothing.’.… Never in a million years would I have thought so many people would have been involved. I was ready and willing to give back the money I spent. I just do not like or appreciate the way I was handled. It was the way she was like “this is what you better do or this is what you’re going to do.” I was shocked.
Folks have been weighing in with their verdict on who was right and who was wrong in this situation, however, the biggest thing to note here is that social media influence is real. Word about Bond’s video spread like wildfire throughout the black blogging and beauty communities, and sparked a much-needed conversation about the relationships smaller, personal brands, have with powerhouses like Milani Cosmetics. More and more brands are relying on social media influencers to help grow their businesses, but this is the first time we’re seeing how that power can potentially hurt larger corporations.
Bond issued the following statement via her rep:
Alexandra is a woman of integrity, and has worked hard to become a self-made success in the makeup industry. She will always be open, authentic, and honest about her experiences and that is why hundreds of thousands of supporters on social media relate to her and are passionate supporters of her endeavors.Alexandra moves forward with dignity and in the spirit of forgiveness; she wishes Milani Cosmetics all the best. Alexandra will continue to succeed, and is grateful for the outpouring of love and support during this most difficult time.