Kaybot Commentary on Pink Truth

In an effort to help Kaybots save lots of time in responding to Pink Truth, I have put together a list of common things Mary Kay lovers say to Pink Truth members. These things are meant to show us how wrong / silly / stupid we are and how wonderful / workable / easy Mary Kay is.

I’m also including Pink Truth’s “official” response to these phrases. We’ve heard them all before and none of them hold water. They’re simply parroting lines from the upline and corporate. They make incorrect assumptions about our members and their efforts in Mary Kay. So let’s debunk these phrases… and save Kaybots the trouble of telling us such things in the future.

No one put a gun to your head. – Pink Truth members are repeatedly told that no one “forced” them to do anything related to Mary Kay. Most often it is stated, “No one put a gun to your head.” And this is true. No one “forced” us to do anything. However, all of us were lied to. Some of us were told deliberate lies about how much our sales director makes, how much we can expect to sell, how much inventory we’ll need, the benefits of carrying inventory, how we can make money with just a “few” hours per week, how directors make executive pay or “full-time pay for part-time hours,” and a host of other things. Others were told lies of omission. Information about Mary Kay and the success (or more appropriately, the failure) of others was withheld from us. Deliberately. Without all the information, and without the correct information, we could not make informed decisions.

You should have researched Mary Kay before you joined! – Sometimes we are told that we didn’t do enough research about Mary Kay before we joined, so it is our own fault for being uninformed. Not true. Mary Kay does not allow anyone to see the “negative” side of the business. Directors and recruiters withhold the negative information because they are desperate for you to sign up. So-called “negative” (real?) comments on Mary Kay websites or Facebook pages are promptly deleted. Don’t listen to those negative nellies! Until sites like Pink Truth came on the scene, there was literally nowhere else to get the rest of the story about Mary Kay. And today, recruits are told that Pink Truth is full of lies and no one should read it. Mary Kay and its representatives are discouraging research outside of what they want recruits to see.

You should have said NO. – In Mary Kay, women are taught that “no does not mean no.” It means “I need more information.” Women are taught to repeatedly ask other women to consider Mary Kay, even if they have already said a firm no. They just don’t understand enough about Mary Kay. If they knew more, they’d say yes. So keep asking, and eventually you’ll wear them down. So even saying NO doesn’t work in Mary Kay, because you will still be hounded… whether it’s to buy products, sign up to sell Mary kay, buy an inventory package, place additional orders that you don’t need, or go to a company event. And coincidentally, many of us said no. It was just dismissed by our upline.

The business is simple. – The concept behind Mary Kay is simple. Sell products. Recruit new distributors. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. The execution of the concept is not so easy, however. Due to market saturation, it is difficult to find women to sell to and to recruit. There are too many other options in the cosmetics market and there are too many other women trying to sell and recruit, with no limitations such as territories. Mary Kay sales directors and charlatans like Allison Lamarr will teach you about time management, scheduling, goal-setting, interviewing, closing sales, and the like. What they won’t teach you is an effective way to find more potential customers or recruits. Why not?  Because a method for finding such customers and recruits doesn’t really exist. It is next to impossible to get a consistent flow of new customers and recruits.  About the only way to do it is the equivalent of cold-calling… constantly. In a real business, there are tried and true ways of getting in front of your market in a way that will turn into business. In MLM, everyone is a target and there is no true way to isolate the good candidates (read: the ones who are easy to sway)  to give yourself a good chance of being successful. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. There are a few hundred women in Mary Kay who are very successful. Out of about 700,000 consultants at any given time, with about 500,000 of those consultants quitting and being replaced each year. Your chances of success are almost nil.

You shouldn’t have ordered more inventory than you could sell. – This makes sense, right? You should only order what you can sell. The problem is that women are coerced into buying large inventory packages with misinformation. They are told the products “fly right off the shelf” and that “you can’t sell from an empty wagon.”

Due to market saturation, the products are extremely difficult to sell. Women have too many choices available all around them, and many times they’d rather pick something up in a store or shop online… where they won’t be hounded to hold parties or sign up to be a distributor. It’s easier and more convenient to buy elsewhere. And even when women do choose Mary Kay, there are so many representatives to choose from and tens of thousands of Mary Kay auctions on eBay, giving them lots of options for cheap(er) products. Although carrying inventory might help facilitate some sales, women often have the wrong products on hand, requiring them to order more from Mary Kay.

Then there’s the issue of being “active” in Mary Kay. You have to order at least every three months to qualify for the discount, and at least every six months to retain your downline. Even if you have lots of inventory and you don’t need more products, you’re going to have to order to stay on the merry-go-round.

And of course, there is the pressure from your upline to constantly order. Directors and recruiters are notorious for hounding women to order additional products. The excuses run the gamut from “order the limited edition products before Mary Kay runs out of them” to “we’re trying to meet a goal and an order from you would help the team.” If you are working toward a goal and trying to move up in Mary Kay, more times than not you will need to “top off production” by placing an order for yourself. You don’t want to get so close to the goal and then miss it because your production was a little short, do you? You’re told that a modest order now will pay off in the long run, as you will be eligible for higher commissions and you’ll eventually sell the products.

Sure, women still have the opportunity to say NO. But don’t underestimate the constant subtle (and not so subtle) pressure to continuously order products.

You just didn’t work hard enough. (Also: “Mary  Kay works when you do!”) – Either we didn’t work hard enough, or we didn’t work “the Mary Kay way,” or we didn’t believe in Mary Kay enough, or we didn’t do the right things. No matter how much work you did, you will always be accused of not doing it right or not doing enough. You must be made to feel guilty for your failure. Because Mary Kay doesn’t want you to realize that it is the fault of the multi-level marketing system and a host of market conditions that almost ensure you will lose money. Pink Truth has had thousands of members who all worked hard and did things exactly as they were instructed. But they didn’t get the results because this “business model” dooms almost everyone to failure.

You wanted a get-rich-quick scheme. – Pink Truthers are often accused of wanting to make money fast with little to no effort. It doesn’t matter that they were told they could make money in “a few hours a week” or that they could make “full-time pay for part-time hours.” Those are deliberate lies, used to downplay the amount of time and effort needed to have even the slightest chance of success at Mary Kay. Yet recruiters continue to push these phrases, implying that Mary Kay is a get-rich-quick scheme. Even still, the vast majority of Pink Truth members realized that any small business takes a lot of work, and they put in the time and effort. They simply didn’t succeed because MLM sets almost everyone up for failure.

You quit before you had a chance to become successful. – MLM promoters commonly say that people didn’t quit because they failed…. they failed because they quit. They claim that too many people quit before they’ve had a chance to succeed in MLM, making their failure all their own fault. The problem is that 99% of people fail in MLM. They see the failure, and they quit. That’s a good business decision. Stop the bleeding. MLM is not like a real business. In a real business, your chance of success is reasonably correlated to the effort you are willing to put in. Not so in Mary Kay. There are hundreds of thousands of women diligently putting in the effort – – working many hours, doing all the things they’re taught to generate leads and business, holding classes and following up – – and they still lose money year after year. It’s because the system of MLM guarantees failure for almost everyone. The real truth is that you didn’t quit too soon.


  1. raisinberry

    Well done! I have never heard Mary Kay, Inc., it’s Directors or Nationals, EVER have a frank discussion on the state of the “opportunity” that was not 100% fluff. Sayings and platitudes and parading Directors telling their sanitized “I-stories” is supposed to be training for success.

    Sometimes I think they are afraid to even admit it to themselves…what this company and its marketing plan, have degenerated into. Where’s the integrity? If you are a Director who tells accurate information at interviews or guest events, you will be kicked under the bus and find yourself lowest on the heap, struggling to maintain your Unit. It isn’t that you can’t sell Mary Kay’s cosmetics…because you can and you will, to a limited warm market and a smattering of fans. It’s “pin money”. But a business? An actual profit producing business? No, that’s way up there in Exec Sr. and NSD land, where you have to trick women into NOT thinking its a pin money hobby, and glean your income off their large start up inventories, and BAITED for PRIZES orders!

    You have to become an opportunist. A callous manipulator. No one needs “start up inventory” and certainly NOT 3600.00 worth ($7,200.00 retail!–are you kidding??? For a lauded $300 retail week??)

    No, these ladies are con artists, only they delude themselves into believing they are women “of excellence”. I guess they’re excellent liars.

  2. Scrib

    “And today, recruits are told that Pink Truth is full of lies and no one should read it. Mary Kay and its representatives are discouraging research outside of what they want recruits to see.”

    Agreed. If Mary Kay was so solid, directors would be telling potential recruits, “You know, we have nothing to hide. Here’s some information from Mary Kay, and after we’re done here having our Starbucks, head over to Pink Truth and read up there as well. Give me a call in 48 hours and let me know what you’ve decided after looking at both sides of the coin. You know, like a truly smart woman should.”

    Fat chance. Production doesn’t make itself, and encouraging a potential recruit to read up at PT and get the rest of the story when what that recruiter really needs is a $3600 to finish out the month is…well, I think we know which choice is more likely to be made.

    Now I see why unethical charlatans like NSD Pamela Shaw have potential recruits sign agreements BEFORE the interview begins and why she feverishly advises her recruiters to: “Get the agreements, get the star order.”

    1. costalot

      They discourage research outside of what they want recruits to see because…..IT’S A CULT.

      Every single cult shown on Dateline or 20/20 discourage their followers from looking outside…..It’s the same with Mary Kay.

  3. costalot

    “You own your own business in Mary Kay. You can work it as much or as little as you like, depending on your own financial needs and desire.”

    Not true. If I owned my own business, I would market it the way I want with advertising. I would sell the product at fairs and large events. I would not limit myself to a home with 3 friends and call it a “skin care class”. Who are we kidding?

    My financial needs are simple: I need money to survive and to take care of my family, just like everyone else on the planet. I’m not sitting around expecting anyone else to take care of us. I’m working a full time job, and I’m getting a full time paycheck. Don’t lie to me and tell me I can make executive income working my “Mary Kay business” 15 hours a week.

    Ordering a lot of inventory that doesn’t sell (for a purse, coffee pot, fake jewelry, ribbon or trinket) is not something a smart ethical business woman would do. It’s what girls do who belong to a cult or a very expensive club.

    It’s 2014. Gals are not signing up for skin care classes. Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

    1. CaliforniaGal

      Amen, sister! I couldn’t agree with you more. I remember putting an ad in our community paper & getting a call from a local director chastising me for that ad. Against Mary Kay rules. Yikes, so many restrictions! Ya almost need to be a lawyer to figure it all out. Own your business my foot!

  4. Kinzie

    Your rebuttals are excellent but, sadly, they probably won’t stop just one more pro-MK lackey who will come on here convinced that she has the magic words to properly school us and give us our “AHA!” moment regarding the error of our ways.

    1. Tanya

      Agreed. I’ve been following here for quite a while. As a former consultant, I am loving reading that I’m not the only one who was completely snowed into this ridiculous ” business”.

  5. Victoria

    I was extremely excited to sign up for MK. I was told all of these same lines. I used to clean her house and she told me about the opportunity lol. One of the things that also troubled me was she had pictures of herself in her future “pink Cadillac”- a supposed way to remind her of her Mary Kay goals. I prayed about the “opportunity”. She was a Christian woman, so she did encourage me to pray about it and see where God led. I felt God bringing this Scripture to my heart:
    And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Matthew 13:22

    I felt that God was telling me not to do this. Looking back, this Christian woman had long ago been one of those whose message had fallen aside in her quest to become rich. Not that it mattered it was at other peoples expense. But I didn’t listen.
    However, my MK recruiter did.
    She listened and encouraged me the same line as above, not to sell from an empty wagon.
    So I bought about 700 dollars of products not to mention the starter kit.

    What a mistake.
    My husband and I attended a sales meeting a few weeks beforehand where the sales director had encouraged all of the women to bring them. They wanted to sell them to the idea of MK and what it meant. Most likely, to lessen the threat and also to make them less resentful when money was lost to MK in the long run. A national sales director was speaking that day and she told the audience that she would not even consider signing someone up for Mary Kay unless they had a minimum order of 1200 dollars. My husband was absolutely disgusted upon hearing that. I was not in the room at the time, I was tending to my child outside so as not to disturb the meeting, an active 3 year old.
    Later when my husband told me about that, he wasn’t shy about his level of discomfort and anger at what was said.
    When I brought this up to my recruiter, she said that the NSD was right in saying that because she only wanted to deal with “serious recruits” and if someone spent more money, it meant that they would invest more into their business.
    That is sad to me because MK tries to sell women EVERYTHING when they first start out. Business cards which are around 40 dollars, a website around 20 dollars a month, maybe more. Products at the VERY bare minimum 5 dollars each not to mention shipping. We also had to pay 6 dollars each meeting to attend OR you could pay month 20 dollars a month. Ridiculous that you would have to pay to be motivated and “encouraged” when the person who was hosting these meetings was already a sales director who was already making money off of everyone already joining, purchases, etc.
    Putting this type of financial strain on a new recruit is what drives them into desperation, not success.

    I also found a lot of hypocrisy in the way MK runs their business. MK Ash herself purchased everything cash, including the building in Dallas. But the people who run MK now, encourage their consultants to pay for their new found opportunity through credit cards. Makes me really sad to think about and how unfair. When women are trying to make money for their families and instead leave the business broke, disillusioned and in some cases deeply in debt that only grows long after the products expire due to interest.
    Thankfully in my case, I lost less than 1000 dollars, but now that I know the behind the scenes of MLM, I wont fall for that ever again.
    To update on my relationship with my recruiter, I eventually told her I would be leaving the business. I told her that I wasn’t making enough money and that I couldn’t see myself continuing to lose money buying products that I didn’t need only to continue sitting on my shelf.
    She left the house, called her NSD to tell her the news. I then lost my job cleaning her house, I think that she ended up hiring another MK potential recruit to take my place.
    Another person she had also referred to my business ended up firing me soon after for no apparent reason. They were neighbors so I’m sure that she shared with her something bad about me.
    I guess she took it hard when I quit the business that she felt like she couldn’t have me around anymore at all. I actually feel bad for her because she left her job as a school librarian to pursue her MK dreams. I really doubt that she will make as much money doing MK but if she likes the life of rat on a wheel, more power to her.

  6. Angelique

    i know exactly what are you talking about. when my director calls me to tell me about the promotions or how much more i need to order to become a star consultant, i always tell her i need to sell my current inventory first. I know they talk about how they receive 3k and p monthly comission. it does give you some extra money, but you have to be really careful, i dare to say DONT LISTEN TO ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. I dont go to the meetings. One time i got so mad they charge 5 dollars per meeting, and say they use it to buy gifts for a ruffle, so i thought that was fine. One of the consultants won the ruffle and what a surprise t was.. the gift was a mailbox cover that you can get at any dollar store. im still active but i dont receive any calls from my director and if someone order something i dont have(cause my inventory is very low probably 300-400 retail) i just make my customers order from my website and the pay the shipping and everything. i know PINK Truth dont lie, cause thats exactly how they work. And this is coming from a current consultant.

  7. Laura McClave

    I currently just signed up to be a consultant. I really want to do it for personal use and to help my friends and family that are using product to get the discount. I’m really not in it to make money. BOY what have I got myself into. I just want to be low key. The Sales Director is on the verge of second cadillac or something like that. She is totally hounding me to get inventory. I have not even received my starter kit yet! Did I mention I want to be low key? Oh and I went to one of the meetings. I was sad when I looked around the room. They are after young college students. (I am in my thirties I get the MLM thing). They are trying to get these young ladies to sign up. Most of these ladies are working in a mall or restaurant they do not have the money to buy huge inventory’s. I was sad that this how Mary Kay was run. I’m glad I found this site. I think I’m going to get my starter kit look what’s in it and if I decided not to buy anything call it a day. I’m sad cause I really did just want to have fun with this, but with the pressure I’m not feeling it. ANY Advice would be great!

    1. MK Taints the Color Pink

      Welcome to PT!

      Here’s my advice: save yourself the headache and refuse delivery of your starter kit. Then you will be reimbursed for the full amount. You can google what comes in the starter kit, but I guarantee it is not worth the supposed $400+ they say it is. Mary Kay is a subpar brand. it is overpriced because they have to pay commissions to so many levels in their scheme. If you really must have the product, shop on eBay or Craigslist, but you are really better off shopping at a store like Ulta or Sephora.

      Join the discussion board if you have any other questions.

      Best wishes!

    2. MLM Radar


      If you want the products at “wholesale” price buy through Craigslist or eBay. Instead of supporting this predatory company yourself, help out some poor girl who got stuck with a bunch of inventory she couldn’t afford to buy. Tell your friends and family to do the same.

      Better yet, when the Starter Kit arrives, don’t open the box. Write “REFUSED” on it, hand it right back to UPS, and Mary Kay will refund you the whole purchase price of the kit. (If you succumb to the temptation of opening the box you can still return it intact for the full refund, but you’ll get stuck paying the return shipping.)

      Then invite your friends to join you at Ulta for your own makeup sampling party and spend your money on something that is actually worth the money. That $100 you dropped on the MK Starter Kit will buy a lot of really good products at Ulta.

      Congratulations for seeing through the pink fog.

  8. Nikki

    I have been scrolling for about a week or so on PT. I’m so glad I found this site!

    I signed up for MK 3 weeks ago. I purchased a starter kit, business cards, and the minimum amount of inventory. My SD told me that she was very disappointed in me for ordering such a small amount of product and how I missed out on all of “free bundles.” I told her I wouldn’t order any more product until I built a client base and asked her for suggestions. She informed me to listen to the training calls and I haven’t heard from her since. I’m thankful that the items I ordered were for myself and family. I’m officially done with MK.
    This site is so enlightening!
    (P.S. while attempting to invite my contacts to an MK meeting, I discovered about 10 women who had done MK at some point. I wasn’t the only one suckered! Smh)

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