Mary Kay Husband Unawareness Plan

Get involved with Mary Kay. Spend lots of money. And make sure your husband never knows about it. That’s the Husband Unawareness Plan.

This is one of the more sinister aspects of Mary Kay Cosmetics. Of course, this is an unofficial thing. Mary Kay Inc. will say they know nothing of it, and certainly don’t condone it. But the corporation profits from it.

Learn more in this clip from my HuffPost live appearance:


  1. raisinberry

    It is really something, that MK Nationals like Rena, used to teach this and other, anti women rants. So destructive. Always told with a “wink-wink” and right out of an episode of Madmen.

    And of course, like all other “training” in MK Land, all done by Nationals and Top Directors, never Corporate, and always, always, always passed down through the ranks, each Director repeating what was told her, because somebody Upline, says it “works”.

    Over 11 Years as a Director, I would try most of the “training”, myself. All the scenario’s…all the methods, all the closing sheets, all the meeting strategy, all the prize programs, and partly figured out that using 1960’s housewife rhetoric was and is, a real indicator of what is wrong with Mary Kay.

    If you can not talk about what is not working, and you can not change, and you can not figure out how to make this “executive income in part time hours” story come true, then all you can do is try to copy cat all the women who appear to be successful and do what they do. Key word: APPEAR. And thus, training like this keeps heading down the pyramid into the ranks, and they use it, never realizing what a turn off it is, how juvenile, and off putting…never mind a direct assault on husbands. It is anti-woman because it teaches disrespect, and superiority…and becoming a little white liar.

    And of course, we know, that is basic training for sure, for the bigger lies to come-
    in Mary Kay.

    Nope. Corporate knows nothing about it.

    1. enorth

      “all you can do is try to copy cat all the women who appear to be successful.”

      And you’re told not to change any of the scripts because “the scripts have been proven to work.”

  2. Sheena

    This is exactly what almost cost me my marriage!!!! When my husband confronted me about my credit card debt he was crushed! What happened to me was I was scammed into ordering more product, get a prize, don’t tell him, he will never know! I ran up credit cards, ruined my credit completely, and ruined the trust of my husband. It’s so not worth it…. My pink bubble burst and I quit…. I turned in my product and I now have a career that I can truly be proud of and the best part is I don’t have to make a quota or con anyone into joining me or con them into buying a product that they probably don’t need anyway! So now I’m picking up the pieces and putting them back together. Earning my husbands trust financially , paying my debt, and hopefully eventually fixing my credit. Still in the beginning stages so I’m trying!

    1. J

      I hear ya! When I finally realized that this site is not just a bunch of lazy, disgruntled losers and saw with my own eyes just how true it all is, I was the one to go to my husband and confess. I told him just how brainwashed I was, that I wanted some stupid $10 prize so badly, needed recognition and round of applause so deeply, that I used our money (his money, really) to get it. I had embarrassed myself around other people. I had pushed them away while trying to lure them in. I so desperately wanted to be accepted and not ridiculed (I thought MK was what I was looking for) that I got just that: ostracized and ridiculed by others. A few big moments for me, being a “D-C” personality, were: realizing after working so hard for two years, having $2,000 months, being so busy I don’t know how I ended up pregnant with my son, and I still took a loss. A loss. Who works that hard with NOTHING to show for it? My accountant didn’t lie to me. My son was a big stopper, the pregnancy took me by surprise and caused me to stop working so much, thank God! Another big thing was the sheer stupidity and simpleton mentality of so many of the SDs and NSDs. Not only do they not know the difference between you’re and your, they do not know of such a thing as spellchecker, and they have no clue what’s going on in the world. Never have I heard a real issue being discussed, even in private. Life is just flowers and lollipops for them. How else could they stay in this business?

      In short: my husband wasn’t angry at all. He was very understanding. I’m very blessed to have someone who puts my happiness before other details. I told him he had every right to be mad, but he was proud of me for realizing it and trusts me, still, with all of our finances. He knows me well, I suppose. He knows I was tricked and that reprimanding me now wouldn’t help. I am very blessed to have him. And I’m very thankful, thankful for him and thankful that my kids are young enough that they won’t remember this fiasco.

  3. I ran up my credit card debt like both of you ladies and came home from a MK weekly meeting when my husband got the bill. I thought I was going to lose my marriage over it. Thank god my husband is understanding and supportive! I just returned my inventory and am looking for a job to pay off my debt from the other expenses. The thing is I made a six figure salary for years before MK!! I thought the scripts and women were stuck in the 80’s so I rewrote them all and did it my own way. The bottom line was that recruiting had to be done by my director who is a pushy predator. I was only in for a few months but she scared two of my new recruits away because she was pressuring them to sign agreements, watch Roya’s recruiting/inventory video and telling them to buy inventory immediately. One of my recruits said not now (thank God) the other spent her wedding money on $2k in inventory without telling her fiancé. I was crushed, this poor girl should not have done that. I knew that if this is how my director was going to recruit I had no chance. I would have been honest with people and her and I would have fought. In the end, I’ll go back to corporate make a good salary. I am so thankful to you ladies for pink truth! House parties and scripts from the old days are a thing of the past, women are too busy and order online now. Oh and I cannot tell you how many scammers I got from the mk website, you should do a story on that at least 7 in 3 months!! The reason so many women quit is because they are pushed and lied to! It’s sad that MK won’t change their business model. When you have a whole department for repurchases and half of your consultants quit every year, your company has a huge problem!! Keep it up pink truth. I’m slowly letting some of the girls I met at MK check out your site in hopes they will see the light!

  4. enorth

    “It’s sad that MK won’t change their business model.”

    Why should it? MK’s business model is working VERY well… for Mary Kay. It pulled in $4 billion last year in revenues.

    Yep, the model is working very well.

  5. RecoveringMKLady

    It’s amazing to hear everyone’s story. I didn’t hide my expenditures from my ex-husband, but I remember the day I sat in front of the computer in hysterics while doing my taxes, realizing that he was going to see how much money we lost in my first year as a director. It was so embarrassing; it felt like I was being sent to the principal’s office when we had to talk about how I was working so hard and making no money at all.

    1. exibc78

      I felt so bad for everything I did by 1) not ordering enough to get you out of DIQ and 2) quitting all together, for so many years. It took that first article you wrote for me to see that it was not me…I did everything right in that case by not helping my friend. The amount of guilt they pile on people if awful and then they scripts and lines like this only make it worse.
      I am so glad you quit and I am so glad you sent me here.

    2. MLM Radar

      That’s one of the sick twisted aspects of a Mary Kay “business.” You don’t figure out how much money you lost until sometime the following March or April when you’re doing your tax return… or even later if you file for an extension. You’re SUPPOSED to spend the year in ignorance, and then when you DO find out you’re told “it’s a great tax deduction.”


      In any other business – any real business, that is – you’d have been taught to prepare monthly financial statements of some sort. Business financial software is relatively cheap and the software tutorials are very user-friendly. You’d know each month if you made a profit, and three clicks of the mouse would generate a report comparing month-to-month results.

      Using that software, in any real business you’d know instantly whether your sales and profit are increasing. You could even track inventory and see whether you have enough or too much on hand.

      Ever wonder why Mary Kay doesn’t teach you how to use business financial software? Ever wonder why they teach you to paste smiley-face stickers on posters instead?

      1. enorth

        Who needs financial software when you can use a colorful Activity-Tracking Sheet? Just color in the little circles to track activities such as, “I put Mary Kay on _____ faces this month.” Be sure to turn it in to your director to earn a cheap ribbon and tiara from the Dollar Store. And wear them with pride in your Facebook picture, where you’re sure to get accolades from your friends and family for your “achievement.”

      2. almostduped

        I actually asked my recruiter about taxes during the interview and she was a) shocked that I asked and b) was so wishy washy.
        Her first response was “wow, I didn’t even think you would know what a 1099 was! I don’t think you get that until you make a certain amount of money?”
        and then said “Well, your whole life basically becomes a tax write- off! I even get a write-off on the product I don’t sell during the year!”
        which honestly, I don’t think is legal if she is also using the product for her personal use.

        1. ran4fun

          What I think they don’t understand is…if it’s a tax write-off, it’s an expense. An expense for your business is money you spend to do business, which is money you can’t spend on your family/groceries/mortgage/tuition/retirement/vacation/etc…

          It’s logical for a business person to take advantage of all legal tax write-offs, but at the end of the day, if it leaves you with little to no income (money to spend on family, etc.) or worse yet – a loss …what’s the point in doing it at all?

        2. enorth

          Go to YouTube and Vimeo. You’ll hear, “In Mary Kay, everything is a write-off, even vacations!” and “Don’t worry about ________, because YOU’LL GET IT BACK on your taxes!”

          Those with little knowledge about taxes fall for it.

          1. MLM Radar

            It costs you $100 in real cash losses to save $15 to $25 on your tax bill… At the end of the day you’re still out $75 or $85 of every $100 in real money that you’ll never see again… Assuming all those expenses really are deductible from your taxes.

            Many Mary Kay expenses are not deductible: the suit, the black skirt, that vacation… And you can only claim Schedule C losses 2 years out of every 5… But the Director who just got audited and handed a big tax bill won’t tell you that. It’s negative thinking.

        3. J

          It’s not all legal. My SD goes on and on about what she writes off…she even said her accountant lets her write off her manicure because she uses her hands to show products! My accountant, however, is not a moron. He told me straight up that MK is one of the MOST SCRUTINIZED companies by the IRS and that you MUST be careful. You can write off your personal use stuff, but not gifts (you know they tell you that you can write off your Christmas gifts after buying everyone MK junk at wholesale). He also showed me that I took a loss both years in MK and that even though I was actually selling a lot, I was NOT MAKING MONEY.

  6. Iescaped

    I do all the financial stuff in my family so I never felt like I was hiding what I spent. But it was definitely a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. I too am very fortunate to have such a remarkable husband. He had found Pink Truth shortly after I joined MK, but he knew how stubborn I could be and just hoped that I would come to my senses quickly. He did put in quite a few jabs about wanting to see SD/NSDs tax returns. I think that I knew deep down they would never be shown because they wouldn’t look that awe inspiring!!

  7. Iescaped

    I do all the financial stuff in my family so I never felt like I was hiding what I spent. But it was definitely a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. I too am very fortunate to have such a remarkable husband. He had found Pink Truth shortly after I joined MK, but he knew how stubborn I could be and just hoped that I would come to my senses quickly. He did put in quite a few jabs about wanting to see SD/NSDs tax returns. I think that I knew deep down they would never be shown because they wouldn’t look that awe inspiring!!

  8. pinkymcstinky

    i got two versions of the HUP pushed at me by now NSD roya mattis…

    1) when i said i would not sign until i spoke with my husband, i was asked two things: “aren’t you allowed to make decisions for yourself?” and “wouldn’t you agree that it is better to ask for forgivness than permission?” (in case you were wondering, that is word for word.)

    2) when selling during a party or SCC, i was directed to offer the HUP so women could “split up the payment over cash, check and credit so the husband never knows.” (again, word for word.)

    on number 1, i told her to back the eff off. (sadly, i still signed… only after feeding my hub the BS i had unknowingly been fed), and on number two, i never once offered it. it would often come up in our weekly rah-rah ‘training’, and other consultants would ask why i didn’t. saying “it’s sleezy” didn’t fly too well in the fog…

    1. RecoveringMKLady

      I think that teaching the HUP at the Skin Care Class helps prime people for it in the future. (OK I talked about this in the interview but it got cut). Once you see who uses the HUP once, you now ALREADY KNOW who will be susceptible to it in the future.

      Roya Mattis, man. She’s local to me. Makes me shudder how many events of hers I spent money on.

        1. RecoveringMKLady

          Thanks. You know with 20/20 I had to have people to talk to who would understand! I literally had a friend say to me “well I’ll watch the show but you know the whole thing was your own fault and you never should have gotten your directorship in the first place so I don’t know what you’re complaining about.” Yes I KNOW THAT.

          1. exibc78

            Who was our SEnse you can pm me her or on fb. She actually is the reason I left so quickly. You were genuine, she was disturbing. When she said I had to have 10 people at my debut for her to show, that was the beginning of then end.

  9. That is so sleazy! I could never pull something like the HUP on my husband cuz both of us do our respective part in our home’s finances (him: taxes, me: monthly budgets) and since we live on a limited income, every penny must be accounted for. Even for extraneous purchases, we always consult each other before making the purchase, if we do at all. It’s not an issue of being independent or not, this is how healthy marriages work. I would be mighty pissed off if my husband dropped a grand on stuff without telling me. Likewise, he wouldn’t be happy with me if I bought $2k of Mary Kay to “sell”. He wouldn’t divorce me, but he wouldn’t be happy about the whole mess.

    1. Ms.Leigh

      I’m glad to see that many ladies who posted on the above comments were able to open their eyes and save their marriages. My fiance divorced a kaybot. He sees the role he played into feeding money to the MK monster’s mouth for nearly 10 years, he admits he enabled that part of the problem. The cherry on top is that his ex is a compulsive hoarder and shopper, which took matters to a disastrous level. After seeing a video of the inside of the house they used to live in i am surprised nobody called in an anonymous tip to Child Protective Services. I recall seeing boxes on top of more and more boxes of MK crap among thousands of empty soda cans, coupons, old newspapers, clothes, piles of cat feces, you couldn’t tell there was a sink or a dining room in the kitchen, none of the furniture could be seen since it was covered with anything you could ever imagine…add two very endangered toddlers to the mix and a cat to keep rodent pests at bay…their credit cards were constantly maxed out and their joint bank account overdrawn. She didn’t hold gainful employment through most of their marriage. I’ve been told she considered MK her job. She is now 43 and just started “nursing school”. We believe it’s just a ploy to avoid real employment, she is still trying to make it in MK. Mental illness and MK do not mix well. He is still trying to pay off a home equity loan he took to keep things afloat back then. He recently told me the whole story about his previous marriage and he was afraid i’d leave him since he is still financially messed up from that ordeal. I love him and admire that he got out of such a “marriage”. It is sad to see the scope of the damage a scam like MK can bring to families. In this particular case an already precarious situation was aggravated by the con of this pyramid scheme.

        1. Ms.Leigh

          I have encouraged him to file for supervised visitation until his ex can show an improvement in her living situation, hoping she could get some counseling and help for the hoarding and shopping issues. We can provide a clean, safe and healthy environment for the girls in the meantime or for as long as it is necessary. It is such a difficult situation!!! I try to keep a healthy distance because she is not my problem…though i am living through the ripple effect of the past they shared together. I am feeling the “butterfly” effect, it is unreal how far reaching our decisions can be. At least his family and friends are supportive and they avoid her like the plague after she churned through them with her MK crap. They know her rather well. Another issue with my fiance’s ex is that she acts as a self righteous christian, and that is one of the main reasons she is still in Mary Kay. Yet she is giving my fiance a hard time, calling him an adulterer for daring to move on and building a life with me, she recriminates him for divorcing her after all that went down, because of course God hates divorce…talk about seeing the splinter in somebody’s eye and not the beam in your own. I despise cons like Mary Kay because i think they perpetuate and normalize religious hypocrisy. It is very irresponsible to twist religious principles for their own purpose. I am sure God hates divorce just as much as he hates when a woman tears down her home and family’s well being brick by brick. How could i go to church when my home was an unsanitary fire hazard? Feeding the kids McDonald’s (instead of nourishing food) because the house is unlivable, when i waste the resources i didn’t work for on MK junk to hoard, when i weigh 300 lbs (not taking care of my temple, isn’t the human body a temple of God?) because when i’m not compulsively shopping or hoarding i’m eating junk food as i watch endless hours of TV or glued to Facebook hoarding friends throughout the night?
          I truly believe Jesus forgives no matter what as long as we are repentant…thank goodness for grace…i couldn’t make it one day without it. Shoot, i think i need counseling now…lol…but thanks for reading, it is so cathartic! 🙂

          1. It’s ok, Ms. Leigh. Believe me, I know all too well about the damage sanctimonious hypocrites inflict on others around them. Interestingly enough, Mary Kay herself was said to be one.

            Your fiance’s ex definitely needs help. Whether she retains custody of the kids should be conditional upon her (un)willingness to get help for both her hoarding and psychiatric issues. I am surprised CPS didn’t stop by the house at some point during the divorce proceedings to check it out before the judge awarded her custody.

  10. Michael S.

    I’m glad Ms. Leigh posting information like this. I am going to come right out and identify myself. My name is Michael Schwers. My wife is Betsy Westcott-Schwers. My situation as a husband, father, and sole provider is a bit different being married to kaybot. I can’t tell you the number of time JP Morgan Chase collections has called the house and refused to give me any information regarding Betsy’s MK credit card. The last young man from JP Morgan Chase with whom I spoke told me I was in no way responsible for the charges made to the card as I was not an authorized user. I’m sure he meant well, but I seem to recall debt collectors can place liens on collective assets (husband and wife) in an effort to collect on the debt owed. This of course includes fees, etc. It’s reached what I call “critical mass” on two occasions when I told her I was paying the card off on the promise she would quit this pointless scheme and return what inventory she could. Both times she said if I was not happy I could leave anytime I wanted. How do you even reason with someone who says that after 16 years of marriage. There are several other things Betsy could do for entertainment and social gatherings without owing JP Morgan over $4,200. (and this is the second time the card was maxed out for inventory that’s still in the basement). As the provider, I feel my back is against a wall. I want what is best for the family, but not at the expense of my sanity and financial well being.

    1. BestDecision

      I’m a former Cadillac Director who also had a Offspring Directors. Gently sit her down, showing her the last few years’ tax returns displaying her net profit. We were all taught it was about “people & love”, not profit, but that mantra has gotten skewed from what Mary Kay Ash meant. She only meant to work with kindness and ethics, not behaving badly towards others on our way up. It’s so deeply ingrained in your head when you’re still trying to build it, but it eventually comes. I personally asked myself how worth it it was on my integrity to cheat and order more than I needed to just to get an invitation to a luncheon. I asked myself how I’d feel walking onstage for an award when all I did was buy it or cheat it when someone in the audience was thinking I was amazingly talented. What could I be doing with that money instead? My Senior Director had told me that she went to the bank and took out a loan for over $5,000 just to keep her Cadillac, and it floored me. Another Director nearing National status shared how she just shifted credit card balances from one to another, created fake recruits to get bonuses and awards, and had complete disconnect from her husband. When I started to see everything wasn’t as it seemed (right around the end of my DIQ time) and then all my time as a Director trying to do it ethically, I grew tired and fed up.

      I don’t know if this helps, but I found it just had to come from me. Looking at our tAx returns and answering those questions to myself did help, though.

    2. ran4fun

      Dear Michael, My heart aches for you. I know a husband going through a similar experience. How genius of MKC and the NSDs to create the pink bubble cult that is capable of turning women against their husbands, just for the sake of makeup! I don’t know how to get these wonderful women who are duped by this charade to see the light.

      My only advice to you would be to not bail her out in any way. Do not pay off her credit cards. Freeze her credit (Experion, TransUnion, and I forgot the other one) so she can’t take out any more credits cards. Let her know you will stand by her business if she follows a budget that tracks income and expenses. You must stop financially enabling her to continue, while emotionally encouraging success through good financial practices. It’s a fine line you must walk, but to save your marriage and finances you must be firm, gentle and unwavering.

      I am praying for your strength and wisdom. God bless you.

    3. Definitely putting your foot down and refusing to pay off any more credit card debt would be a good first start. I suppose you can look into freezing her credit so that she doesn’t take out any more cards, though I don’t know the details of how that would work.

      I would definitely recommend sitting down with her and inputting her expenses and incomes from MK into a basic accounting software (or even an Excel spreadsheet) so she can see with her own eyes how her work isn’t paying anything. Like I mentioned in my comment, being open about finances with a spouse isn’t a sign of you being overcontrolling, this is how healthy marriages work.

      Good luck!

    4. raisinberry

      Wow, Michael. Do you love her? Was she somebody you loved BEFORE the Mary Kay Cult took hold?… Cause look- there is a REASON why MK hooks women… and it is all about deficiencies in human relations… stuff learned when we were way little… in our childhoods. You might be her rescuer, and she might be trying to amount to something without you rescuing at all…

  11. Pingback: Warm Chatter: A Mary Kay Victim’s Story of Attempted Manipulation (Part 1) – Pink Truth

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