Just the Mary Kay Facts

Mary Kay Sucks
Mary Kay Sucks

Written by JTA

If you are considering ‘moving up into management’ in Mary Kay, ‘promoting yourself to Director’,  or even just getting started in the business, here are some facts that you might not be aware of.

Fact 1: The majority of Sales Directors make very little money.

To check this fact, you can do a couple of things.  One real eye opener is to ask the Directors you admire to provide their 1099s for the last few years.  They can easily access these from Intouch.  Some may argue that this does not provide a true picture of income since it does not show expenses.  However, even without deducting expenses you will be surprised at how low this number is.

Another easy way to check this is to take a look at the Applause magazine.  The lowest Directors (and Nationals for that matter) are not making very much, and remember that the majority of Directors that make less than this.

Fact 2:  The expenses are huge for all involved, especially Sales Directors.

There is already plenty written on this site that goes into more detail on this.  If you take the income and subtract the huge expenses there is barely anything left, and I’ve seen many consultants and even Sales Directors that actually spend more than they make.  Expenses start at the consultant level with meeting fees, conferences, travel, cotton balls, etc. and go up as a Director to the $400 suit, the additional travel, meeting space, etc.

Don’t be fooled by the ‘tax advantage’ line.  Money is money, and if you are spending it on expenses, deductible or not, that is money you don’t have.  And don’t be fooled by the ‘you have to spend money to make money’ line because it never stops.  That applies perhaps to a new business where at some point you turn a real profit, but with Mary Kay you’ll never get there.

Fact 3: Directors and Nationals exaggerate income and downplay the work involved.

I have yet to see one that is honest.  None will be straight with you on Facts 1 and 2.  They will either exaggerate their personal income, or if they do make decent money, as I did, they will not tell you that they are working 24/7 to have this type of income.

Recently my husband encountered a beauty consultant at business networking event.  She was a recruit of one of my former offspring. She announced to all that her Director made $80k per year and she was going to quit her job and do the same.  Sadly I know for a fact that Director has never even broken $30k, but she is an adept speaker and has persuaded this poor woman that she makes this ‘executive income’.  Be VERY wary of any Director who states that she makes a good income, see #1.  I have written before about my offspring who at most made approx $30k but at the least made less than $10k before expenses.  Sadly, this is the norm but you would never know it seeing them speak at meetings or at interviews.  THE DECEPTION IS HUGE!

Some do make great money, as I did, as several of my friends did.  However, we worked around the clock.  We had huge expenses.  In this case, if you happen to know one of these, ask to see her full tax return.  The expenses for big money Directors will knock your socks off.  And the per hour income once you break it down is pathetic.

Fact 4: You do not own your own business

This is huge.  Take it from someone who invested over a decade and ended up with nothing.  You own some product and that is it.  You can build it huge, as I did, but in the end if you do not stay with it, you walk away with zero.

With a business that you own, you can sell it and have something to show for it.  With this, be warned if you do not want to do it for the rest of your life, you leave with NOTHING when you decide to do something different or just ‘retire’.  All the 100s of people that I had in my future area, all the personal recruits, all of the offspring, they all went into the abyss.  I stopped getting commission, period.  All of the customers were turned over to someone else and I stopped getting the profit from the sales, period.  All I got was some money for my leftover inventory.

You own NOTHING.  You are simply an independent contractor that hawks products and pushes the same ‘opportunity’ for a big corporation.  That’s it, don’t be fooled.

Think about it, your involvement with MK makes no sense at all, and there is no future in it. You are being used and lied to (and dare I say ‘brainwashed).

I’d love for any lurkers to dispute any of these facts, but sadly they are indisputable.  By the way I was an Executive Senior Cadillac director tracking NSD, so your theory that I was lazy or didn’t do it right doesn’t fly. I was the one you saw speak at all the events, the one you listened to on CDs and whose training you followed, the one you admired.

17 Comments

  1. Done Girl

    All of this information hits the nail on the head!! It’s TRUTH! I was one of those Cadillac Directors working around the clock 24/7 to make it to NSD. I walked away and left it all behind…..There was nothing left except left over inventory. My so called “friends” we’re also gone as well as my so called “best friend” Sr. Sales Director. She actually hasn’t spoken to me since I stepped down. I guess she realized I was done and wouldn’t be brainwashed anymore. Needless to say, I’m so happy I’m OUT!!!! Don’t waste your time on MK. Thank you for confirming nothing but the truth about MK….. Once again!!

    1. Chantel

      That’s sad to hear….I went to my friend’s events to support her new job but I wasn’t planning to work for them. I’m fine buying products but I’m just not a people person who can sell stuff.

      I feel like my friend should get out and now definitely after reading the truth with what goes on behind the scenes. I mean she’s been distant before the job and now she seems like she’s only catching up to recruit me. And I feel like it’s putting a strain on our friendship.

      How do I get her director to not be so pushy to get me to sign up?? I mean some of the people seem nice but I keep trying to them school is my priority and I’m broke…Seems ridiculous to have to pay for a freaking kit just to start

      1. nomoremlm4me

        Chantel, it’s NOT a job. A job has a steady paycheck, benefits, etc. She has some products to sell that she already paid for. The only way to help your friend and stay out of the director’s crosshairs is to stop purchasing any product, and recommend to both they look at Pink Truth. Trust me, the director will drop you like a hot potato – can’t have any negativity! Lastly, a true friend would catch up just to spend time with you, not to recruit you. She will not be able to be a true friend until she gets out of this scam.

        1. Chantel

          @nomoremlm4me I know she hasn’t been acting like a true friend late like before her ‘job’ but I thought we’d catch up and bond by me going to the events but mostly it’s us separated so they can teach/lecture her and other workers while me and other guests basically wait…she wants me to go later tonight for another one of their events but idk how to decline nicely. last time I went to their ‘facials’ and ended up late for class the next day!
          My friend said she googled before joining and didn’t find anything. My mom says i should stay out of it so it doesn’t wreck our friendship. I agree but I hate to see a bad investment when it could have been prevented.

          Maybe she will make $ but I don’t want that kind of job so I hope she won’t be mad that i’m not joining and helping her became a red jacket. she loves the pins so I try to be supportive.

          1. enorth

            “she loves the pins so I try to be supportive.”

            LOL “Pins” won’t pay her bills. Don’t “help” her become a red jacket. Don’t buy anything and don’t sign up. She’s using you.

          2. diane

            You cannot help someone get their Red Jacket! That’s the oldest recruiting trick in the book! That’s how I came in the 2nd time, to “help” someone! (Lol) She had NOBODY! And she had a TON of “stuff” (product) to move along with one of those Ladder Of Success pins which simply showed how much she purchased. When I left MKC, I was a Sr with two active Consultants. “All I needed” was one more right? I even picked my music for my Debut! I looked under EVERY rock and tree and could not find that elusive third person. I left and moved on to “greener”(vs pinker) pastures!

          3. Chantel

            Glad you got out, green is definitely more economical for ur wallet haha

            And my “friend” stopped trying to talk to me when she realized that I wasn’t gonna sign up or buy anything. Now she’s doing some shop for people job but she suggests that we ‘catch up’ while I help her study for her entrance exam for school because I’m good in math. Feels like I’m being used ugh which makes no sense since she was never like this before.

      2. Done Girl

        Just keep telling them you are poor and broke….. Eventually they will realize they won’t be making money off you and don’t fall for the pitch, “If you are broke, then you need Mary Kay!”….. You don’t need MK. They need you…. To make their numbers.

        1. Chantel

          Good point y’all, I was gonna buy something but it kind of irks me to know that she gets it for $5 while I pay her $10! I mean ya you gotta make profit but can’t I just pay $5 too?

          And the sad thing is she didn’t even give me a magazine, I had to ask for it even though she gave one to our other friend.

          If she’s just using me then I want to keep her at a distance as an acquaintance… Caz it’s not cool that I put half $ in for food at her party (only 2 ppl showed up) and I only got ¼ portion of food. It’s not my party so I shouldn’t have to pay an extra share.

  2. mstar1125

    I think the last point, about not owning the business, is critical for women in MLMs to understand. My husband is selling a successful business that he can no longer keep up with for various reasons, and he will make a profit because not only does he own all components of the business but those components also are of real value to someone else and cannot be easily obtained elsewhere. When all you “own” is a bunch of product, most of which is discontinued, you cannot even give it away let alone sell it for a profit. If your MLM closes overnight, no matter what you have “built”, it all goes away with the MLM: the products have no value, your downline has no obligation to you, your upline has no obligation to you, and your only profit stream no longer exists. The fact that you have no choice over whether the MLM closes or not should tell you everything you need to know about your “ownership” of it.

    1. diane

      How right you are mstar1125! I’ve been with at least 3 businesses that shut down almost as fast as I joined them! The company owners decided to “pack it up”, sent out email announcements and everything was over and done with (snap a finger) just like that! You leave clients, hostesses, and recruits “hanging”! Then you have to start from scratch…no fun, believe me when I tell you!

  3. raisinberry

    These “shares” are really outstanding, because remember, they have to work SO HARD to dismiss Pinktruth members as “negative, lazy and losers”. What will they say when their Unit members find out we were their teachers at Career Conference, Seminar, Regional Events, Local retreats???

    There is a reason women gather here and admit their involvement, and post their warnings. Having nothing to gain, any intelligent person can see, there is no point in lying. But BOY does MK have a reason to lie. The whole pyramid collapses if women find out what happens behind the fake smiles.

  4. truthwins

    There’s that magic $80k again! Yrs ago, SD C.W. in OH stated she can devote her time to MK because her husband makes $80k. Strange, I thought. A yr later she recruited my sister, and claimed she makes $80k and hubby will retire in his 30s. So tired of these lies.

  5. MaryKay Ate My Sister

    My sister is a National Sales Director who’s been in Mary Kay for over 30 years. Obviously she didn’t start out a NSD – but, she also didn’t start out as a woman with a huge ego and no problem(s) pushing hard on the people she recruited.

    She even went so far as to push me when I was only nineteen to get a bank loan in order to buy a box. At the time, I was working at two retail jobs and in the front office of a Title Company. As I was preparing to move out of the parents house she practically threatened me or as she would say ‘influence’ me to do the right thing and make lots and lots of money selling cosmetics to my retail clients. The pressure was daily and I had to finally tell her – that Nordstrom wasn’t going to allow a part time employee to sell cosmetics in their department store and I certainly wasn’t going to try and sell cosmetics at my day job –

    I returned the kit to her and demanded my money back. Boy, it’s been twenty years since that happened and I can easily draw up the visual image of her whirling dervish response.

    We were never close, she’s ten years older and left the house to marry her high-school boyfriend at 18. It took her another 10 years and two husbands to find Mary Kay and claw her way to the top – and another two husbands to stay there.

    I saw the tactics from a far and tried to be as supportive as possible, but, we didn’t ever recover. The Mary Kay model doesn’t make sense – except for those at the Top – and the fear and shame tactics are deplorable.

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