You Can Run But You Can’t Hide From the Mary Kay Ladies!

This was originally posted at Epinions.com …. The Bottom Line: The pressure to buy products, host parties and become a Mary Kay lady is relentless.

My first experience with Mary Kay was when the wife of my husband’s manager cornered me at the company Christmas. Julie told me I had such wonderful skin and she would love to use me as a model for a facial/makeover. I had an uncomfortable feeling that there was more to this than just being a “model” but considering who her husband was, I decided I should go.

The meeting was at a hotel and when we arrived there were about 20 Mary Kay ladies and some of them had also brought “models”. I soon discovered that being a model meant that we were taken over to a corner where we were instructed in the use of Mary Kay skincare and makeup, while being lectured on the wonderful world of Mary Kay. From what I gleamed, the way to make money with Mary Kay isn’t in selling the products, but in signing up new Mary Kay saleswomen.More…

The skincare was nice but the makeup was ugly. They had green eye shadow and bright pink blush! I have extremely fair skin and even the lightest Mary Kay foundation made my skin look orange. At this point all the models were required to go up to the podium and tell everyone what they thought about the products. Not wanting to be rude, or get my husband fired, I stood up there with my orange face and glow-in-the-dark pink blush and said how great the products were, etc.

I was then presented with a Mary Kay starter kit, $60 of skincare and foundation, which I was told that I simply must buy. I asked if I could buy the skincare but not the foundation. They said no, the foundation was an essential part of the Mary Kay skincare regime and forgoing it was simply not an option. Duly chastised, I shelled out $60 plus tax and felt grateful to escape without having to buy the green eye shadow.

I thought this would be the end of my Mary Kay nightmare, but alas it had just begun. Julie called me relentlessly for weeks about hosting a Mary Kay party for my friends. I tried to put her off, but she wore me down and I gave in. I then had to beg and bribe my friends to come the party. Four of them finally agreed after I assured them that I would have several bottles of wine to make the event more palatable. Julie was not happy that only four people were attending, she wanted six to eight, but she went forward with presentation despite my failure as a Mary Kay hostess.

Again, I thought I was finally done with my Mary Kay obligations, but now they started pressuring me to become a Mary Kay lady! Julie invited me to lunch, but forgot to mention that her district manager, Barbara, would also be there. Barbara spent an hour telling me that selling Mary Kay was only way I could find financial freedom and become fulfilled as a woman. I told them that I didn’t think this was the right time in my life to take advantage of this “wonderful opportunity” and fled from the restaurant like the hounds of hell were on my heels.

Luckily my husband took a job in different city and we moved away from Julie and Barbara. Unfortunately we moved to Dallas, the home of Mary Kay herself. But I have learned from my experience and now tell people that my mother sells Mary Kay and I buy my products from her. It’s not true, but at least they leave me alone and I am safe from the clutches of the Mary Kay ladies!