New Mary Kay Consultant Finds the Pink Truth

A thank you note from new consultant, who was saved thanks to the Pink Truth we are telling here! This letter is very informative for anyone thinking about joining Mary Kay. Here’s the REAL story on how the recruiting and inventory talks go down.

I have to take a moment to say thank you, thank you, thank you for what you do. Thank you for this website to help people understand what joining Mary Kay really means. Today, I ended my Mary Kay career after a solid five days. I  had been on the fence, but decided to order the starter kit with promises of turning those tools into anything I wanted and then the inventory chat began.

I am employed full time and have spent the last year working to pay down credit cards and take my financial future more seriously. For me, Mary Kay presented a sort of “fun challenge” and a chance to maybe add some extra cash to my bank account. I had used the products in the past and liked them. The only reason I stopped was consultant fatigue. I never understood why I couldn’t just buy the products without someone trying to get me to work for the company. I don’t go to dinner and have the waiter ask me if I want a job. I never got it. Now I do,  I expressed those concerns initially and it was very much, “ooooh, I know. It’s not like that. Some people choose to run their businesses that way. You tooootally don’t have to.”…..(except, it turns out, that you totally do)

I also now more fully understand the look on the director and recruiter’s faces when I mentioned being nearly debt free–something I am very proud of. I was also very surprised when I expressed wanting to have a smaller, part time sort of business and have her suggest a $3,000+ inventory package which she quickly followed up with any number of suggestions of which local banks were currently running deals on low interest credit cards. I never entertained the idea of buying that much but I did seriously consider ordering some sort of inventory–$600 or maybe $1200. The idea of “having it handy” made sense, but ultimately, we agreed my decision could be left to the next meeting with my recruiter and thank God for that. That sort of “assumed compliance”  thing kicked in when, later that same night, I received an email from the recruiter about ordering sooner rather than later because….blah, blah, blah…I realize now they wanted to secure the sale before the end of the quarter.

I found your site, funny enough, by searching for a woman they had mentioned who had left the field I am currently in to work as a Mary Kay consultant full time. I was very interested in her story and wanted to learn more. Top in the search results was a Pink Truth article and my true education began. Had they not mentioned that person, I never would have discovered Pink Truth and I would probably be sitting here waiting for a boxful of unsellable junk. Little did they know, their excited chatter about a successful woman opened the door just enough for me to walk (or more likely run) straight out.

I was shocked and embarrassed at having been so easily taken in by all of it. I consider myself to be educated, somewhat street smart. I have always thought I have a fairly decent sense of people and their motives.  It was like lightning striking to realize that Mary Kay’s true customers are its consultants. That is the truth–no matter how much concealer you delicately pat on it with your ring finger. It just made me ill.  That next meeting I simply stated I had decided Mary Kay was not for me and while I could sense disappointment, there was no pressure. In my mind I thought that the pressure would be felt by her–thinking of how she would have to start over with another person–hoping for it to stick the next time  and the inventory order to go through, thinking about what she would tell the director.

But then I got a voicemail from an “unknown number.” Sure enough, it was the director “just wanting to touch base” because she had heard the news and was “afraid someone rained on my parade” and “wanted to discuss options with me as there are no quotas or territories…and…”

I did consider just selling to family and friends, seeing if I could at least make back the cost of the starter kit and then calling it a day but I realized I could consciously open up those people–the ones I love and trust the most–to something that I now see for what it is–pink smoke and mirrors. It would not be right for me to continue on in any capacity. I don’t even want to use Mary Kay products much less sell them.  They are selling a false sense of success and empowerment. At the end of the day, none of it is real.

I’m thankful that I have the ability to just walk away and chalk it up to experience. I fear so many women are not that lucky particularly those who do choose to try to make it work full time believing that they will be able to achieve all that is promised. I am so thankful that I do not owe anyone anything except the debt of gratitude I owe to Pink Truth. You are doing invaluable work and I imagine it must be very difficult when you are dealing with a company steeped in the sort of history and rhetoric as Mary Kay.

I cannot say it enough.  Thank you. You saved me so much time, money and effort that I can now put toward truly rewarding endeavors and you have taught me that no matter how old we get or how much we think we know, there are those who may try to take advantage and as always–if it sounds too good to be true, it is.


  1. BestDecision

    Your story is pretty much the same we all faced, so congrats on being wise enough to see through it. I dedicated over a decade of my life to my business, gave up so much time with my family, and I KNEW better all along! I, too, have a college education, but the dream of working my own hours and making the “executive income” they boasted about was intriguing. It was only when I became a Director that I learned the real math of MK, and I started to see everything clearer. If a Director didn’t qualify for the extended Director trip, she wasn’t making an executive income. My own Director bragged about that on my way out, but she couldn’t answer how much NET profit she makes.

    Congrats on making the BestDecision of your life, possibly!

  2. Tiffany

    My experience was horrible with Mary Kay because of the same thing inventory orders. I was told going into Mary Kay that all i needed was to maintain a 250.00 product order every quarter to remain an active consultant. So when i added team members to my team I told them the same thing. Because when you are starting out you don’t know anything about the products really to order 3000.00 worth of product. My director would call email and text my recruits and tell them how impairitive it was for them to order a star package with starts at 1800.00 or more worth of product and scare my team members into debit by saying they could get credit cards or get a loan from the bank to pay for the larger inventory orders which scard my recruits and I away. I called Mary Kay headquarters to complain and they did nothing. I reached out to my national sales director to try to let her know what was going on and she emailed me back and told my all of my director’s accolades and achievements and gave me the most politically correct answer without ever addressing my true concern. She didn’t care that my director was being aggressive and trying to force people into debit behind Mary Kay sge just wanted to keep her cash flow going and continue to drive her Pink Cadillac Escalade for free instead of truly taking our concerns into consideration and doing something. Pink smoke and mirrors I AGREE!

    1. BestDecision

      Only NSDs drive Escalades. What’s most sickening about your story is that NSDs are supposed to be the models for how all others run their businesses, and they’re supposed to “be” MK Ash after her death or extension of her even when she was alive.

      It’s pathetic an NSD is treating you this way. Not surprised, really, but it’s pathetic.

    2. enorth

      “I reached out to my national sales director to try to let her know what was going on”

      Here is what you must understand: The National already knows what is going on and she’s perfectly happy because SHE makes money from you as well. They don’t care if you go into debt. The more money you spend on inventory, the more money she and Mary Kay Corp make.

  3. Naomi Nistler

    I have been sucked into the smoke already. I spent over $3000 on getting all the items required to start giving parties a year ago next week. I am still $2000 in debt from it and I have yet to even throw a party. I agree that they don’t say a single peep about all the money you need in order to get your business started. Plus, nobody mentions the pressure they put on you in order to keep your business running.

    1. BestDecision

      And the pressures get heavier the farther up the ladder you are! To get into a Red Jacket, to earn a car, to finish DIQ, to maintain a unit…it never stops.

      Get out now while you can. Call MK’s Repurchase Department and get your money back on your inventory.

  4. Suckered2016

    I found the Pink Truth the day I signed my agreement. Prior to signing, I just wanted some makeup. I had no interest in selling MK and told my recruiter that several times. She went on and on about how good I would be at it and then started at me with all of the challenges she was in: “I am looking for a sharp woman to talk to my director about the MK opportunity. Would you talk to her for 10 minutes?” Of course, I said yes, because I wanted to help this snake win her challenge. So I talked to the director who further talked up the awesomeness that is MK and why an amazing mom/wife/person/friend such as myself should be a consultant. I felt very nervous about signing up. I wasn’t sure if my nerves was my gut telling me this was a bad thing to do or if I was just nervous because it was NEW thing to do. I was the perfect victim, a stay-at-home-mom who needed a boost and they were all more than willing to boost me up. The evening I signed my agreement, I found the Pink Truth. I immediately called my director like OMG I JUST FOUND THIS WEBSITE AND NOW I AM SO SCARED!!! She knew all about PT of course and dismissed it and said all of the things fogged up people say about this website. It made me feel better, I pushed this site aside and off I went. I was successful at first, but I kept coming back to this site. It was like this site knew what was happening in my life. Every post here pretty much lined up with what was happening in my real life. Reading about the Monday night meetings, the inventory (which of course I bought!!!), the manipulative things directors say to consultants and possible recruits…it became to hard ignore. I one night told my husband that the site I found that I previously ignored was 100% right. And so I began my process of ending my relationship with MK. I am disgusted with my recruiter, director and future NSD (LOL). They pretend they are Godly, but they are some of the biggest liars I have ever come across. I do not know how they sleep at night. Or how they pay their bills. I feel dumb that I fell for the trap that is MK, but so glad I found this site to know that I’m not alone. It gave me the validation I needed to get the hell out of this horrible, miserable company.

    1. ran4fun

      So glad you are seeing clearly now. Call the repurchase department as soon as possible so you can return all your inventory and give all your upline a nice chargeback! 🙂

    2. BestDecision

      Don’t feel dumb. I personally have a bachelor’s degree and other credentials, and I fell into the trap for years. It’s not about intelligence when you’re targeted, manipulated, lied to, and used.

      My Director is in the same position she was in 16 years ago. She’s driving a Cadillac, yet the Applause magazine shows she’s not making Cadillac production. (That could cost her up to $900/month.)

      I’ve seen and have heard monstrous amounts of credit card debt among all levels of the sales force, so be glad you were open-minded enough to listen to others’ stories on here. I drove a Cadillac and had diamonds, but I could no longer support a company and people that acted they way they do. I predicted a lot of the things that have happened since I resigned, and I’m so glad to be out!

      Call the Repurchase Department first thing Monday morning. 1-800-272-9333. Get your money back and save yourself the heartache and stress.

  5. jstduck

    I’ve received my MK starter kit few days ago, my husband told me to do research how this Mary Kay works and I’ve found pink truth. I’m considering now of returning it back the kit however, my worries is my recruiter got my personal information like my Social, driver’s license. Am I still safe (identity thief)? I am not a good seller, my sole purpose is just for personal use only but since, I need to shell out first more money to get my 50%, might as well quit.

    1. BestDecision

      If you did an online Agreement to order your Starter Kit and you did it yourself, no one has access to your SSN other than MK.

      If all you’re after is a discount, you can find more reasonable priced but quality products with other brands at Target and Sephora. Sephora itself, for example, has a stellar line of skin care and cosmetics and does not do animal testing. YES is a great line of skin care at Target.

      If you’ve not opened your kit, you can return it to MK by calling 800-272-9333 today and ask for the Repurchase Department. They’ll guide you through returning it for a full refund.

      Be aware that your Director, if she has a small unit and is working in desperation, may contact you with an entire script to overcome all your reasons why you’re sending it back. As Directors, we grew very quick and adept at striking and turning things around.

  6. jstduck

    Thank you! Do I need to informed the Mary kay company or my recruiter that I’m going to send back the kit? I’ve opened it but never used anything on it.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      If it is within 30 days and all the product is unope3ned … just send it back with a tracking number on it.

      You do NOT need to tell the recruiter anything, just get that kit returned ASAP.

      If she gets all in your business, tell her this: “Leaving Mary Kay is in my best interest and the best interest of my marriage and career. Please respect my decision.” (and stop talking … she’ll have a boat load of scripts to get you to stay in, and talking gives her an opening to bring them out)

  7. Robert

    Hi Everyone!

    I read the post and all of your comments.

    Did anyone here actually work their MK biz 20+ hours consistently every week? Did anyone here make sure to talk to enough new woman each-week through lead events and while out and about to generate enough new leads to see 30+ faces per month for at least 1 year? Because if you haven’t, you don’t have the experience yet to form a viable opinion about the MK business opportunity.

    The reason I ask these questions is because my wife has run her MK business in this way for several years. She is a MK, car driving, several diamond ring earning, sales director who runs a debt free, profitable, successful MK business. She doesn’t practice her business in the deceptive ways you all are writing about. In fact she teaches her new recruits to have a minimal of 6 new faces or more booked for appointments before placing their first inventory order. That way their new inventory orders can support their first run of appointments. And, she teaches her existing MK business partners to only reorder enough inventory to maintain and help their MK businesses grow. This business model repeated has grown a successful, profitable MK team that meet with my wife every week for new training.

    MK has delivered everything my wife and her team have earned through consistent, smart work. It’s has been amazing witnessing all their success and achievements!

    P.s. All the peopke on pink truth are responsible for their decisions and actions. Their are no victims here! 🙂

    1. TRACY

      Hello, Robert. Yes, many of our members worked far more than 20 hours per week. Unfortunately, Mary Kay is not a business. It is a grand scam in which almost everyone loses money. There are, in fact, victims of Mary Kay. Lots of them. The victims were lied to about how much money women were making, how much time and effort it would take, the fact that almost everyone loses money, etc. If your wife makes money (that’s a big IF), I am willing to bet that it is far less than you think it is. But again, MK is not a business.

      1. BestDecision

        They don’t keep track of P & L. It’s all about friendship, rah-rah time, and unicorns–not net profits and actually taking a hard look at how much money they’re making or losing.

      2. Robert

        I’ve got 2016 and the last two months.

        FYI: All numbers have been rounded up to the next dollar amount.

        Net commissions: 44780
        Net retail sales: 41582
        Net expenses: 41,200
        Net profit 45,162

        August 2017
        Commission: 3,874
        Retail sales 3458
        Expenses: 3395
        Profit: 3937

        September 2017
        Commission: 3,555
        Retail sales: 3709
        Expenses: 3481
        Profit: 3783

        Keep in mind that she works 20 to 25 hours per week. Hope this is helpful.

        1. TRACY

          Robert – Let’s assume your numbers are truthful. Your wife is selling $800 to $1000 a week. That means she’s on court of sales every year? Again, assuming you’re telling the truth about the numbers, your wife works much more than 20 to 25 hours a week. It’s impossible to sell that much and have a unit large enough to generate the commissions you say she’s making in only 20 to 25 hours per week.

          1. BestDecision

            As a former Director, I concur. Impossible to have a unit growing and devote that much time to personal business. His math is all wrong, by the way. $23K/year max net profit.

          2. Robert

            Tracy, she is extremely efficient with her time. To add clarity, the 20-25 weekly estimate includes, booking, selling, and recruiting. It doesn’t include office work, coaching, and travel time between appointments.

            Yes, she sells inventory tiger-fast and has been on stage 3 years in a row for earning her ring. She truly earned these rings because she actually sold enough product. She averages multiple $300 to $500+ parties per month. She just had a $900+ party this week and her top party to date was over $1,200. Her reorder business is strong too because of the large customer base that she has built and nurtured over the years.

            Her outreach is tremendous offering a facial/makeover to almost every woman she meets. For example, by the time we are done shopping at a grocery store, she’ll have a handful of new leads from women she met while we were there. She truly loves what she does and I think that transfers to others through her genuine ability to make people smile, laugh, and feel appreciated. She is the most loving, integrity driven, positive minded person I have ever known, and that’s why I fell in-love with her.

            We believe that consistent, strategic work does create success in any vocation. Each MK calendar year she creates a strategic plan that includes every goal she wants to achieve. This plan of action is refined into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

            1. TRACY

              And little by little the story begins to crumble. 20-25 hours a week was a lie. So that’s only for the parties, and you can bet another 20 or more for all the other stuff.

              You can believe whatever you want about this being a “vocation.” Unfortunately, Mary Kay is not a business. It is a grand pyramid scheme in which almost everyone loses money.

              The fact that your wife allegedly makes money (allegedly, because as we have seen, you’ve already been untruthful) is nothing to be proud of. She only profits because others lose.

        2. BestDecision

          Your math is actually wrong. Her retail sales would only be HALF of that added to her commissions because she/you paid the wholesale value of it and SOLD it at retail. My calculations show a NET profit of $1,928. As a Director, if she is one, September is always one of the biggest months for production and commissions, so, if $1,928 is a “big” month for her, you’re in deep trouble. If that were her average net profits for the year, that’s only $23K income. Definitely not near enough to be called “executive income” when it’s only about $12/hour.

          1. Robert

            Hi Best Decision, I didn’t say she was earning an executive income.

            The 2016 wholesale net product expense is included in the 2016 net expenses. Net Commission + net retail sales minus net expenses = net profit.

            The August and September 2017 product wholesale expenses are included in the expenses listed under each month. Commission + retail sales minus expenses = profit.

            1. BestDecision

              So she’s working close to 40 hours/week and, according to Aug-Sept is making about $18/hour. The, you subtract taxes and she’s earning about $13/hour.

              The entire company, including NSDs, boast about making an “executive income” at the Director level up, and you and I can both see and agree the reality for most Directors and even some Nationals is that they aren’t earning even close to that. The latest statistics show an executive level income is about $180,000/year.

              Robert, please take a look at the Applause and see how FEW NSDs are even clearing that after expenses and taxes. I was a Director with Offspirng and drove Cadillacs, and it’s even tougher to clear good profits the higher you go. As a Director who should be growing her unit to move ahead, she’s going to find she’ll have to PAY someone to maintain those reorders and will start to phase out from holding so much personal business. At New Director Week, we were taught a formula of how much percentage of our work time to devote to unit versus personal business based on our unit size, so just know that THINGS ARE GOING TO CHANGE.

              I appreciate you being polite and transparent with your wife’s story and numbers, as that’s not the norm for what we get on here for current sales force members. All I ever ask of them is to face REALITY with real numbers, which most don’t take the time to track anyways. My senior claimed to make more money than I knew she did based on the Circle of Achievement she did, and then she said she doesn’t track what her net profits are yearly. Hers is not a business but a hobby with that mentality.

              Good luck to you both. Keep reading the facts, the numbers, and don’t fall for the “enriching women’s lives” as the most important result of her business. I am very glad I resigned and now have health, dental, vision, retirement, disability, and paid time off by going back to my former career. Those things are priceless!

        3. pinkvictim

          No Robert, the actual P&L spreadsheets. Or, does your wife not keep those?

          Schedule C’s are IRS forms. Scan your wife’s 2015 and 2016 Schedule C’s and post the images.

    2. BestDecision

      Robert, I did work well over 20 hours a week. But, even with my diamonds da and Cadillacs, I never profited (NET profit after taxes and expenses) what I should have for being in that position or for what I used to make in my former career and what I make now. I didn’t veer into the cheating, lying area, either, but it kept me at the level I was. I could never rise because I wasn’t willing to go with what so, so many backstage will tell you they did to get there. 20 boxes of product to finish a stage walk? Yes, indeed. Signing up fake people or even dead people so they get a luncheon invite? Yes again.

      I’m not ignorant enough to think 100% of the sales force is evil, but I very much have a distaste for MKI corporate and many, many of the NSDs leading them.

      Just wait…your tune will change.

    3. Lazy Gardens

      Robert … Did anyone here actually work their MK biz 20+ hours consistently every week? Did anyone here make sure to talk to enough new woman each-week through lead events and while out and about to generate enough new leads to see 30+ faces per month for at least 1 year? Because if you haven’t, you don’t have the experience yet to form a viable opinion about the MK business opportunity.

      You know … this tiny town has at least 8 current Mary Kay representatives and a total population in the county of about 17,000. There are 5200 females between the ages of 18 and 65 (30% of them living in poverty). At your recommended rate of 30 “faces” a month per consultant, they will run through the population of eligible females in under 2 years … at that time they will be fighting over the few who turn 18 every year. Unless someone recruits someone and then it gets worse.

      That ^^^ up there, Robert, is what saturation looks like: there is no “fresh meat” for the recruiters because everyone in town has heard of the company, has been in the company, or has a relative selling the stuff.

      “Work your bizness!” ROFLMAO … the first time I heard that, it was a pimp in Norfolk yelling at one of his girls to get her butt out of the coffeeshop and back on Granby street to make him some money.

      Pimps and MLM uplines seem to be the only ones who use the phrase, and it’s appropriate.

      1. Robert

        Hi Lazy Gardens, Reaching beyond the confines of a small town and county would be a great step. There is a successful NSD we met who started in a town with a population of 8,000 people.

        1. Lazy Gardens

          Reaching beyond the confines of a small town and county would be a great step.

          To where? Why do you think that the larger towns would be any better? Mary Kay does NOT provide any information on the numbers of consultants in any region or city. The only reason I know there are at least 8 in my town is because they pop up at every event, including the swap meet.

          Look at eBay: 47,857 results for mary kay as of this morning. That may be a single eyeshadow, or an entire inventory going for far below wholesale.

          Look at FaceBook. How many people show up on search for “Mary Kay Consultant”?

          Do the math
          2015 Worldwide Figures
          $3,700,000,000 in sales
          3,500,000 consultants

          Which turns into a whopping $1,057.14 revenue per consultant. If any consultant makes more, it means others make less – the revenue pie is not stretchable.

          If you look at the USA, there are approximately 600,000 to 700,000 consultants. (figures vary, and Mary Kay does not report this directly, but that’s the best guess). Their market is the 120,000,000 women over the age of 18 (figures from to the census bureau).

          120,000,000/600,000 = 200

          That’s a market of 200 women per consultant. Can you make a living selling cosmetics to a market of 200? Remember if I get a customer list of more than that, or if someone recruits another consultant, someone loses because the market size is fixed. It doesn’t magically expand with every recruit.

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