One Woman’s Mary Kay Experience

The reality of the Mary Kay opportunity as told by a Pink Truth member.

I pretty much knew after a couple of months that the Mary Kay opportunity wasn’t for me.  I joined Mary Kay simply because I had just graduated college and needed to put some more structure in my free time.  I was used to my evenings having a schedule and when I no longer had classes to fill that time I looked for something (anything!) to fill my evenings.

I went to a skin care class and enjoyed the consultant and the product so I decided to join.  Since I was relatively new to the area, I was hoping to make a few friends and get a little bit of a discount on some of the product that I used.

But I began to ask myself, “Is the weekly harassment to take my business to another level worth finding some new friends?”

My director would constantly say she saw me in a red jacket, driving a company car or one day becoming a sales director.  First of all, I knew those were all lies.  No matter how much money she said that she made or was poised to make in her business, I still made a bigger salary at my current company than she made.  Also, I had health insurance.

My boss didn’t read passages from the bible every time we got together.  I have sick and personal time when I need take off (also maternity leave) and it doesn’t matter how free the car is, I’m not driving around town in a pink car!  I knew that the car wasn’t free. The gifts and the diamonds and the jewelry weren’t free.  You could save your own money faster to buy a Keurig coffee machine than you could earn it in the Mary Kay world, FYI.

Even with all of these thoughts in my head, I still went to career conference and entered the “pink bubble.”  Hey, she was a new sales director and paid for my registration, so I figured why not?

I’ll tell you why not.

I didn’t mind taking a day off of work and traveling down to the Inner Harbor of Baltimore because in my real job, I have the time to take a day off here and there and still be compensated.  Since I was meeting two of my other team members early in the morning and it was raining, I wore jeans and a nice sweater to drive in.

When we arrived at the hotel to check in, all of the other women there were wearing their skirts and MK attire.  But I’m the type of person that really doesn’t feel bad about that.  I went upstairs and changed and put on a nice dress and stockings and did my hair and went to the welcome ceremony.  That night after we had our pizza party in our director’s office, I changed into my pajamas and I went to the bar to have a nice glass of wine.  I am a girl in my thirties and more than capable of drinking one glass of wine.  And since I was banned from bringing it to the hotel room tha5 (might I remind them) I paid for, I felt more than entitled to indulging in one glass of vino.

The icing on the cake for me was when two of the women in our unit that I happened to be sharing my room with had a little tiff; nothing more than one girl running her mouth and the other asking why she was upset with her.  The girl who was running her mouth went and cried to our director that the other girl offended her and she felt uncomfortable and it became a big to do.  The “offender” was taken aside and reprimanded and said that confrontation was “not the Mary Kay way.” Seriously?! Two grown women have a little bit of a non-argument and trying to clear the air isn’t the Mary Kay way! To me, that’s called life and being grown-up.  That’s when I knew it was time for me to step out.

Now my pink story is a little different.  I still hold a consultant status but I place one order per year for product that myself, my sister and my friend use while I donate the rest.  I refuse to attend weekly meetings, seminars, career conferences or any other event that Mary Kay hosts.  I do not subject my friends or family to be models for anything related to Mary Kay.  When my sales director calls me or sends me emails saying that I’m in jeopardy of losing my consultant status, I simply listen/read, laugh and delete.

I recently read a post about how the author felt that over the course of her time with Mary Kay, she was becoming less and less herself.  And it’s true.

Mary Kay doesn’t care about who you are as a person, as long as you can churn a profit for them.  What I found at my Mary Kay meetings was often more sinister and more degrading than what I could have imagined.

Our sales director would often say that this was our business and we could run it any way we wanted yet when we were traveling or participating in anything Mary Kay related, we had to make sure that we looked a certain part; that of the Mary Kay “way.”  What I realized was that I don’t have to subject myself to that world.

For some women, this is a great opportunity that they love.  Good for them.  I’m not trying to talk anyone out of loving or believing in their Mary Kay business.  But in return, you should also respect my right to downright disagree with everything that this company is about.


  1. BestDecision

    If MK cared about us, they wouldn’t allow all the cheaters up on stage for Court of Sales or Sharing. We all know the ones. MK would shut them down in an instant, but they don’t because it brings them a major profit to have people ordering so much product. Whether they’re building a warehouse full of it, exporting it, or whatever, it’s a lot of money they’re handing to MK.

    We also know there are NSDs getting special treatment, getting overlooked as they sell themselves for massive prices at workshops and events. Sadly, there has only been 1 to get reprimanded (Allison Lamarr). What about Gloria? Pam?

    MK claims to be so ethical and gets everybody oohing and defending them when they have Charitable Foundation donations, yet it’s the company that is exploiting our emotions and getting money for it. They made a fortune out of me personally. The company that DOES do animal testing. The company that has lost innovation and has subpar products. The company that charges up to $900 a month for a lease on someone’s Cadillac.

    Glad I’m out!

  2. Pinkiu

    Why give any profit to MK by ordering once a year? I found much better products on QVC and HSN for much lower prices. I’m willing to wait the week for my order because it feels like a present when I open the box of goodies. I ordered a 6 month supply of a brand from HSN and am truly impressed. I used to be an artist for Dior and Chanel and I know skinny I know ingredients. This set cost me $140 and I received around 10 products. I’m a fan of most of them. Plus it’s a 6 month supply of cleanser, day and night serums, eye treatment, day and night moisturizers, foundation, and those little squirt packages. All of this came in a tote bag. Even my husband noticed a change. Trust me…there is a better world out there than MK.

    1. Jeannette Chieinos

      Yeah see, i was a consultant six years ago and stop cause many reasons, one of them my director was insane. But i have not found better products, i love it all and i keep buying it. My new consultant has a special sale 30%off in Thanksgiving and i will stock up in stuff at that time.

    1. MLM Radar

      I remember reading a longer version of this personal account, or perhaps it was another just like it. The lady who relaxed in the bar was subsequently lectured for (1) drinking alcohol at a Mary Kay event, and (2) not maintaining a proper Mary Kay appearance throughout the event.

      It all goes to show that Mary Kay is about appearances, not substance. Bright and shiny exterior, corrupt underneath, and don’t you even think about doing something that could put a crack in that bright and shiny shell (like relaxing in the bar before bed).

    2. Jeannette Chieinos

      Hahaa… I was thinking of that too, i sat at bars at hotels after a seminar believe me, but not in pjs! I want to look pretty at a bar. You never know the next mr. Right or mr. Right Now could be there. 😊

  3. Dani

    I was a former consultant with no support from the director of my unit, so I was done. I then joined the second chance program while working full time in a preschool with toddlers. I walked into a unit meeting with no makeup on, tee shirt, shorts and sneakers with a top knot, as I just got done with work. The looks I got were priceless. I stopped attending unit meetings that night. Accept me for me, or don’t accept me at all.

  4. Happyyogui

    I was a MK consultant for 2 years. In the pink bubble I began to discover the hypocrisy and how in MK want you to change who you are, and became another person like the Director or NSD. Also in the activities they include an Christian minister to do a service. They want you to be Christian and I am not Christian actually I am Buddhist. And the issue of MK products in PETA as company that test on animals is against my faith. We are vegan. Today I am happy because I am free from the pink pyramid.

      1. Lazy Gardens

        BestDecisdion – Testing on animals is worse than releasing cosmetics with untested ingredients for humans? Remember the groovy nail polish, “Mentality”, that made people’s nails peel off?

        Currently Europe and the Americas maintain a joint database of ingredients that have been tested. Being tested and approved in any of those countries means approved in all of them – it’s been a long effort involving many treaties and trade agreements. Because MK is behind the ingredient curve they just pick from the list, as do most companies that claim they don’t test in animals … they mean that they select already-tested ingredients or don’t bother to test them.

        The problem is China – they require in-country testing of ALL cosmetic ingredients (I don’t know if it’s every blend or just single ingredients) and perhaps (again, I don’t know) require every company to do the testing. You can’t get around the requirement by importing finished products (china is protecting its cosmetics industry). So to do business in China, MK has to follow Chinese law

        The USA and Europe are working on getting China into the group that uses the database, but it means reciprocity – ingredients tested and approved in China would be considered OK everywhere else. To be blunt, they don’t trust the Chinese labs doing the testing and the Chinese government is resisting the oversight and quality control testing that most labs consider normal. So it’s pretty much stalled.

        1. BestDecision

          My problem is MK had stated online for a very long time that they don’t use animals. And then there’s still a lot of NSDs and Directors claiming they don’t do animal testing, when, in fact, they do for the very reason you outlined. MK is big on wearing sheep’s clothing and looking so PC, so Godly, yet they profit from exporting to markets that abuse animals.

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