Anyone Can Succeed in Mary Kay

Recently a pro-Mary Kay woman attempted to post the following comment on this site:

What does it matter how many people drive a pink Cadillac or how few people make alot of money? Most people in most businesses fail because of numerous reasons… Mainly they don’t work hard enough. As long as the guidelines are understood, which they are, then its up to the individual to make it happen, regardless of who makes what above them. Selling isn’t for just anyone and most people realize they don’t have what it takes and a few succeed. But if a few can succeed, doesn’t that mean anyone can?

Her conclusion is that “…if a few can succeed” then “anyone can.”  This comment is typical of the delusional nature of Mary Kay. I suppose if “someone” broke the world record running 100 meters, then “anyone” can break a world record,” right?  If “a few” people got a perfect score on the SAT, then “anyone” can, right?

Wrong. Not “anyone” can be in a pink Cadillac, and it’s simple math which makes this true. The MLM business model requires continual recruiting, and eventually those at the bottom of the pyramid have no one left to recruit.

The point I am making here when demonstrating how little money Cadillac drivers make, and how few of them there are, and how they’re at the TOP of Mary Kay yet still not making a lot… is to prove how impossible this business is for almost everyone.

14,000 Mary Kay sales directors in the United States are working their asses off every day, and most of them are barely making minimum wage. If you can slog through the process of DIQ (i.e. cheat to finish, as everyone does) and eventually make it to sales director, your chances are still slim of making even middle management wages.

No, “anyone” can’t be successful in Mary Kay. In fact, almost no one will even turn a profit. That is the truth behind MLM.


  1. Lazy Gardens

    Most people in most businesses fail because of numerous reasons… Mainly they don’t work hard enough.

    WRONG! Typical failures are because the person starting the business did NOT check out the local market conditions and launched a “me too” business in a competitive area. Or they overspent on inventory and trimmings of the business before they had the customer base to warrant the expense. Or they underestimated the time it would take to build up the business and didn’t have a plan for a gradual build-up.

    Just like Mary Kay, where you are recruited by a person who should be building a customer base, and who should NOT be spending money she doesn’t have on inventory, seminar, open houses, jump starts, boot camps and training materials sold by her upline.

    1. I can relate to this. Sometimes I hate that I even started a Mary Kay business. Those who are the most successful are in it to win it. I have to say that it has cost me more that it gave me financially. I’ve met some wonderful people along the way though.

    1. Cooling Off

      It means she’s qualifying to get a new one to drive for the next two years. If your unit doesn’t order enough to earn a Cadillac, she’ll have the middle-level Director Car.

  2. Not a bot

    She just said ‘selling isn’t for just anyone” yet says ‘anyone can succeed’. Complete contradiction. That is just as dumb as saying the best and brightest go to Harvard Law school, but every kid has a shot. I have noticed there are scripts that argue against people’s objection including that they aren’t sales people – they tell people anything to get their money and then blame them when they fail what was set up for them to fail.

    1. Crazy Dog Lady

      I was invited to a “makeover party” that ended up being a giant push to join MK. I caught on right away and said that I’m not a salesperson and am very happy in my current job. The rep said that anyone can do sales, and after I gave her a firm no, she set her sights on the others at the party.

      I’m at the point where I’m getting invited to MLM “parties” every week, and it’s sad to see friends getting caught up in it. They’re all convinced they’re going to get rich quick as “small business owners”, ignoring the fact that they’re losing money and friends.

  3. Patricia Boone

    Yes, there is some truth to this but it’s up to the individual when and how they make it in this business. yes it take lots of work, dedication commitment and time, your time if you’re ti make it to the top and drive a pink car, built a great customer base and a great team that have rhe same vision as the director. The money you make is time you put in it’s like your job low paying or high paying job you work 40 hours at low pay you get a small check, you put 40 hours into the business you can have a big pay check. What job give you a new car ever 2yrs free think about it.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      Patricia … Unlike my high-paying and low-paying jobs in various industries, where I knew what my weekly income for workiong 40 hours would be within a few dollars, there is no correlation between hours worked and income in Mary Kay or any other MLM.

      “What job give you a new car ever 2yrs free think about it. … it’s NOT FREE, it’s paid for by getting a unit to order a bunch of product.

      Company cars are frequently provided (really FREE, with no insurance payments, no co-pays and even free gas and maintenance) to employees whose job requires it. I had some nice cars as a field service engineer, courtesy of my employer. And I didn’t have to recruit anyone.

    2. BestDecision

      MK doesn’t “give you a car every 2 years” like you argue, and I put more than 40 hours a week into my business and NEVER made what I did in my former career. I gave up nights and weekends when my family and friends were home or available. I wore heels and hose in heat when no one else would. I was packed and prepared everywhere I went.

      Since you think you know so much, answer these: Why has MK not given Directors a raise in over 10 years? Why are there only 3,000 of them at last week’s Leadership Conference? Why are there still Top Trip Directors and Million Dollar Directors who can’t make it to NSD after decades? Why are there NSDs and Directors that habitually abuse the system and cheat their way to the stage but are ignored by MK?

      Please. You need to back off your uninformed opinion of the business and give an earnest ear to those, like myself and many on here, that DID work it. That did have moments of success. That gave up everything and then ealized their values, morales, and hearts were worth more than the small statistical chance they had to make it to their dreams.

    3. CarolinaGirl

      My husband gets a new company car every 2 years. His gas is paid for, the oil changes, insurance, tags, tax and any work that needs to be done. He does have the option of taking a monthly car stipend but he would rather they pay for all the gas and expenses of the company car.

      So to answer your question…my husbands company gives new cars every 2 years to their executives and he is a REAL executive with a REAL executive income.

      1. enorth

        Yep, because your husband is a REAL employee who is valued by his company for his skills and abilities. I bet he even had to go through a REAL interview to get the job.

        But in MK and other MLMs, all you have to do is fork over some money and “you’ll own your own business.”


      1. BestDecision

        Oh, yes, I’m very aware there are since I went every year as a Director. That’s a max of 6,000 total Directors attending now when there used to be 15,000 Directors. And now Directors are called the “top 1%” instead of 2%. Total ship sinking!

        1. Pinkwhat

          Dacia is #5 in emerald I think, so her saying her directors are 1% just says to me that because she’s #5, they are top 1%. In any event, I don’t consider any mk ship to be sinking. There’s alot of social media based beauty mlms now, and because it’s all online people are more interested in it than mk. However, you only make 20-30% and your offspring is only 3-5%. It is unlimited depth tho (mk is 1, 2, 3rd line only I think?) But personally mk is better, you can make 50% even if you’re just shopping for yourself, you can earn a car, and honestly it’s time consuming to do social media based.

          1. TRACY

            Pinkwhat – You are promoting a HUGE fallacy in MK. You do NOT make 50%. EVER. If you sell products at full retail, you have 50% gross profit, and out of that comes all sorts of expenses. The reality is that products are rarely sold at full retail. Consultants make a gross profit of something more like 10% to 30%, and that’s only if they’re actually able to sell the products. (Millions of dollars of unsold products sit in basement and garages each year.)

          2. Pinkwhat

            I don’t understand what expenses you’re talking about. I have sold both, mk and for social media based. I don’t pay for a website, I don’t pay for gas to deliver, I don’t pay for postage to ship to customers. I charge my customers shipping costs. I don’t pay for propay. I don’t give discounts, I don’t do samples, I don’t offer free tax. Same goes for social media based. I don’t do a hostess program. I don’t mail out post cards. I don’t go to meetings. I dont do giveaways. I don’t spend anything. I do about 30-34 fb parties from home a month. My average is $233 sales per party. I sell $7,000 per month on average. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. I know many consultants don’t run their biz smart, you’re right. But, I have an 1800 mortgage, 2 kids, and I don’t have time to lose profits. So I run my biz the way I run it, haven’t had a problem yet in the past 18 months. I like to read your guys stories for a laugh though, it boggles my mind that people invest in inventory and it really boggles my mind that people have stuff in their basement. I love the products, I don’t know how you don’t sell them. Maybe it’s easier where I live or because I used to be a sephora manager and know good sales techinques, who knows. Have a great life, life is what you make it.

          3. BestDecision

            If you knew the facts, you’d realize the ship IS sinking. Only 6,000 Directors at Leadership this month. A new description of Directors as the “top 1%” when we used to be the 2%. Second Chance offers for several months in a Seminar year. Fewer Cadillacs on the road than ever before.

            Now, since you obviously don’t know the facts, let’s look at the numbers from just a few years ago. 15,000 Directors. Top 2%. Never having discounted Starter Kits or Second Chance offers. Never having Double Credit for recruiting or sales. Pink Cadillacs visible in every city. Easy Repurchase process (now very strict because they have so much being returned). Fewer NSDs. Fewer NSDs making Inner Circle commissions. New NIQ qualifications (making it harder to retain status, don’t automatically get to go on NSD trip).

            By the way you worded your comment, I’m gathering you aren’t in MK. So, I’ll forgive you somewhat. But, please do inform yourself.

          4. TRACY

            Pinkwhat – Liar, liar, pants on fire. There is no way you’re selling $7,000 per month after only 18 months. And certainly not from online parties. If that were true, you’d be one of the very top people in your seminar division. So go ahead. Which division are you in and what number were you for sales? Please feel free to show us a picture as well.

          5. Pinkwhat

            I don’t sell MK. I sell younique, and yes I do sell $7,000 or more a month. I have customers in the us, Canada, mexico, and England. We operate in many countries, and are allowed to sell and sponsor in all the countries we operate in. We don’t have divisions or separate seminars, sorry. We have one conference a year, it’s called convention if that’s what you mean. I get paid 3 hrs after every sale, directly on a debit card that is powered by quikpay. I can use the card or transfer to my bank for 50 cents I think it is. I never transfer the money but it’s 50 cents I believe, definitely under a dollar. It’s not uncommon to sell $6-10,000 a month with younique. We all sell online, using fb and IG YouTube and blogs. Now mary kay you can only sell in the United States or wherever you live. I am a mk consultant but just for my own products. I love the time wise skincare. Younique has good skincare but it’s not anti aging and is naturally based, I personally prefer MK skin care so that’s why I am a consultant is for the discount. I order my time wise stuff about every 3 or 4 monthe, whenever it runs out and I enjoy spending 50% less. I think the MK opportunity it great, but I think they need to work on their social media trainings as the consultants are really missing out. I’ve been with younique for 18 months. Now you do have to work more hours being online, compared to MK where you do parties in person. But, I use tiny torch for all my posts, and pre recorded videos. So once every 6 months I’ll spend probably 30 hrs recording and editing. I’m really surprised you guys on this website don’t know about social media selling. But I guess you guys only hate mk. Anyway, nice chatting, I won’t be back as you guys are a bit too snarky for my taste.

          6. pinkwhat

            you know damn well i am prohibited from sharing any income statements by younique, it is part of our compliance. that would be making an INCOME CLAIM which is ILLEGAL. mk releases that info in their applause thing, but in younique we are prohibited, and i am sure you know that because you just want to make me look like a liar. our presenter agreement in on the website, you probably saw loud and clear that i am not allowed to present you with any official income disclosure sheets. good try though. i really have no idea why you think i or anyone would lie, i don’t have anything to prove to you, why would i waste my time making up lies? i don’t even sell mk, except to myself and a couple relatives who also like the timewise. my biz is with younique. and i am not the only one selling $7,000 a month. actually, there’s quite a few selling 12-$14,000 a month, who have a larger social media following than i do. they’ve also been doing it 3-4 years, and i’ve only been with younique for a year and a half. if you have a fb, i am sure you’ve been invited to a 3d lashes party. our company also runs a sexual abuse foundation, but you probably think that’s a lie, too. man you guys are too much. do some research on younique, and all the countries we are in, and you’ll realize selling $7,000 a month is not that big of a deal. seriously. at minimum i do 30 facebook parties every month, at most i do 35. each party lasts 10 days online. does every party have sales, no. but i average $7,000 and therefore my average party is $233. you earn 25%, or 30% if you have a team. have a great life.

          7. TRACY

            Pinkwhat – No, I know no such thing about Younique. I’ve never seen their agreement. I suppose they may prohibit you from making income claims, but I’m not sure how showing a tax return or similar document would violate a rule like that. The document is what it is, and if the company is giving you a truthful document, what’s the harm in letting someone see it? You sound really indignant, except you already HAVE made income claims. LOL

            No, there are not “quite a few” selling $12,000 to $14,000 of mascara per month. It’s just nearly impossible to build that kind of volume of actual sales in MLM. That’s why MLM is such a scam!!!!

            But… the biggest way that MLM is perpetuated is through these wild claims of all sorts of sales and profits… when the truth is that 99% of people lose money in MLM.

          8. Lazy Gardens

            Pinkwhat saud, “you know damn well i am prohibited from sharing any income statements by younique, it is part of our compliance. that would be making an INCOME CLAIM which is ILLEGAL.”

            No … that would be sending her PROOF of income. An “income claim” is what you did when you said you were selling $7,000 a month.

            Here’s what the agreement says, and as you are NOT trying to recruit Tracy, you can send her actual proof of income.


            10.5- Using Income Claims in Recruiting Efforts

            In your recruiting and sponsoring efforts, you may not make specific claims to demonstrate the earning potential of
            Younique or party plan/direct selling opportunities by sharing your own earning information or sharing the earning information or testimonials of other Presenters. Not only can this activity be counterproductive, there are laws that regulate, and even prohibit certain types of income claims and
            testimonials made by people engaged in direct selling.

            When you are discussing the Younique business opportunity or Royalty Plan with a prospective Presenter you may not make income projections or income claims or disclose information about your personal Younique income.

            Similarly, you may not exhibit actual, copies or representative reward checks in the promotion of the product or the Younique
            business opportunity. You may not use hypothetical income
            examples to help her/him understand how the Royalty Plan

            I find that last sentence odd … you can’t use EXAMPLES to explain how the commission scheme works, but you can’t use the only real data you have?

      2. Pinkwhat

        You’re welcome to Google our agreement and check out page 28. I am not allowed to present anyone with copies of any royalty checks. Our commissions are called royalties. I am not allowed to present anyone with tax information. Doing so is illegal as it is an income claim which is not allowed. It’s fine for me to share my sales on this website, you have no idea who I am or what my presenter number is. But for me to send anyone anything personally, not allowed. Also, yes we have a good amount of top sellers that do sell 14,000 every month. It’s not just mascara. We have a foundation line that was actually sold out for 6 months, due to videos going viral. We are a full makeup line and as of last year a full skin care line. Because we have trouble keeping up with demand, coty has purchased 60% of us this month, so that we may actually keep up with demand of sales. We lost alot of presenters and customers because of so many items selling out so fast and being on backorder. Once a video goes viral, the products are gone within days. I’m really surprised you aren’t aware of youniques success. I am not understanding how you think sales are fake, we don’t carry inventory, every sale is done on our websites, which are free. I’m really shocked you’ve never seen a younique foundation video or eyeliner or lipstick or mascara as those are our most popular products and the videos are all over Facebook and YouTube. We are allowed to sell worldwide, in any country we operate in. We are allowed to sponsor worldwide. We don’t pay hostess gifts, the company does all that. Maybe you should try looking up hash tags for PRS because everyone gets a charm for sales of various amounts. But even then you’d probably think it’s fake I guess. I guess my mortgage I pay every month with my royalties is fake too. Lol you guys are too much. You know I have a good friend that sells jewelry for keep collective, she started last year and has already sold over 70k. Her company doesn’t have the compliance rule about not sharing, I’ll ask her to send you something, maybe you can order a bracelet from her that says pink truth lol. Have a great life folks.

        1. TRACY

          It’s interesting that you can make a random claim about a particular amount of sales per month and that is okay, but you couldn’t show the paperwork that would actually prove whether your claim is true or not.

          The reason I don’t believe you is because it is almost impossible to sell that kind of volume as an individual through an MLM. I’m not saying it can’t happen, I’m saying it is ALMOST impossible.

          God bless you if you ARE selling that much. The problem is that there are so many inflated claims in MLM, that it’s hard not to look at them skeptically, especially when the person making the claim refuses to show anything that might prove the claim is true. It’s easy to say “I sell a billion dollars of mascara”…

          1. BestDecision

            Something IS fishy because the Younique Corp Instargram account only has 125K followers. If their videos really did go viral and they had such a strong social media presence, wouldn’t they have more than that?

  4. Gloria J

    Do I taste sour grapes? There’s a little secret to succeeding in ANY thing you choose to do in life: it’s called “get off your butt and do it”. There’s no magic, but there is initiative. Stop whining. If you joined MK or any other direct sales company and did not achieve your goals you might want to look just a little past your own noses instead of placing the blame elsewhere.

    1. raisinberry

      Gloria, just an FYI. This site is populated by all levels of achievement in Mary Kay. We succeeded.

      Do you get that? We succeeded. Many of us taught at company events. Many walked on stage. We are Car winners, throne sitters, trip takers, suit wearers.

      We are here to pull back the curtain and expose how it gets done. We are whistle blowers.

    2. BestDecision

      I looked past my nose and the Cadillac logo on the front of my car and CLEARLY saw who to blame. I took ownership for my success, but it wasn’t I that created a business model so poorly run or an unethical sales force. You’ve NO idea who is on this site.

    3. CarolinaGirl

      Have read the discussion board? Have you read all the stories posted here? If you haven’t then you really shouldn’t comment on people having sour grapes, whining, or not getting off their butts and working their “business”.

      This site is filled with women who worked their “business”, drove the pink Cadillac, and were directors of all levels. There are also spouses on this site who have shared their stories about having a spouse in MK & that person being deep in the fog & the spouse didn’t know what to do because of all the money going out & the spouse spending money they didn’t have.

      ALL these people worked their “business”. They aren’t lazy losers, they aren’t here to complain about MK, they are here to shine a light on the problems with MK & the deceptive tactics that are used.

      So please, don’t come here and say people haven’t worked hard to try to make it. Maybe since you found this site you need to take a long hard look at what brought you here. If you’re not in the “business” then I’m not sure why you had to comment at all when these wonderful people on this site are doing their best to help others in MLM.

  5. MeganH

    I know this doesn’t have anything to do with this post, but I’ve been using the mary kay bar soap for three days (the older one I guess…not time wise) and I normally have oily skin. My acne has cleared up a bit, but within three days my skin has become so dry and painful and is a deep red color and peeling. I just washed my face with clinique and applied a different brand of lotion and it was so painful it made my eyes water.

    Does anyone have any short-term solutions to clear this up? Please help me, I’m so desperate at this point. So sorry for posting this in an unrelated post!

    1. BestDecision

      I’d use aloe on it. Clinique makes a toner that has aloe in it, and their Extra Mild liquid soap won’t strip you anymore. Coconut oil could hep you temporarily, but I thibk you’ll find Clinique’s Extra Mild and toner 1.0 are the best on the market. Go read Caroline Hiron’s blog for more ideas. I’m so sorry you’re facing this!

      1. MeganH

        Thank you! It was partially my own fault for trying the soap in the first place, but those all sound like great ideas. I will definitely be trying that. And I’ll check out that blog right now, thanks!!

    2. Lazy Gardens

      Meghan –
      STOP doing anything to your face! Warm water and a soft cloth to remove any actual dirt, and that’s IT. Let it heal.

      Paradoxically, the more you try to ‘dry’ oily skin the oilier it can get. Some people have had success using almond or grapeseed oil, or coconut oil as a cleanser. But harsh de-greasers seldom work.

      1. pinkvictim


        Just let the skin heal itself for a few days. Putting more goop or lotions on won’t make your skin heal any faster and may actually hamper the natural healing process.

      1. ran4fun

        My skin is allergic to many things that can cause dermatitis, which is no fun, especially when your eyelids are as puffy as a boxer’s!

        My dermatologist recommends Cetaphil for cleansing, which works well for me, but I also like just plain hot water and a washcloth. Go easy on moisturizers that might clog your pores.

        As others have said, let your skin rest and heal. Also, drink lots of water. Think hydrate and cleanse from within. Best of luck to you.

  6. enorth

    “working their asses off every day”

    It’s the same in all MLMs. I heard another makeup MLM rep explain why she was leaving. She was working like a dog and spending money to order products just to buy her titles and maintain them.

    She finally realized the only ones making money were the company’s owners and her upline.

  7. EmmaLee

    Wow. All the Mary Kay passive support in these comments kind of disgusts me. Only because I have seen the rampant manipulation and seedy quality of Directors and NSDs outright lying to recruit people. I have seen what their incomes really look like, and have been misled and manipulated to try to convince me that they are making “huge money!”. I have experienced it, and while I agree that some things are a matter of point of view, this is one instance where it is more important to know the truth.
    Mary Kay is a con. It spreads with falsehoods and ruins lives. I have seen it happen all over the world. If you managed to escape unscathed, that does not mean the company is good, or that the business model is true.

  8. NoMaryKayForMe

    Late to the game here but isn’t Pinkwhat in violation by working another MLM while selling MK? Even though the poster states they only buy for personal use, later the poster mentions selling to a couple of other people. What if those people also buy the Younique products?

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