Fake It In Mary Kay

Written by A Mary Kay Quitter

Faking it. That’s what I was doing as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. Could it be you, too?

Do you find yourself wearing clothing that really isn’t you–but you do it because you have a ‘dress code’ to follow? The rules under my director were simple. As a new consultant, you wear a black skirt, pantyhose, a white button down shirt, and a black blazer.

Once you ‘earned’ it, you got to buy the red jacket. Even if you didn’t have the money, this was required of you at all meetings. I was to look the part of a business woman. The owner of my company. Successful.

But I wasn’t. I faked it all the way. I was told I shouldn’t leave the house without my face and hair done. Don’t wear jeans or yucky clothes if you were going out in public with anything Mary Kay on your person. Certainly don’t hand out a business card or tell someone you sell it unless you were dressed for success.

At first, this was a huge self-esteem boost. Looking like a million bucks . . . fooling yourself and everyone around you . . . but then I started to realize that I wasn’t me. Somewhere along the way I had sold my self-esteem.

But how is that possible? Well, when I was dressed the part, when I had the role down, and when I was in my Mary Kay persona, I wasn’t me. I felt I needed to hide who I was. I was ashamed to be a middle class woman. I was ashamed when I, a dressed to kill consultant, didn’t make a dime at a class. How could I not have made the sale? I was dressed the part. I had faked it. Why hadn’t I made it?

Well, because I wasn’t really me. I found that when I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, when I was approachable, I did better at Mary Kay. But that isn’t what they want. They want a bunch of women all dressed and looking the same, faking who they are and what they believe in to be representative of their cosmetics. In fact, it was Mary Kay herself who once said, “You can’t sell a Cadillac in a junkyard.” Well, actually, you can.

Once I finally walked away from Mary Kay, and the dreams I had set for myself, I was able to make goals that were realistic for me that didn’t involve cash and jewelry and cars. They involved reboosting my self esteem. Valuing who I was based on who I was. Not what I had sold the week before. My clothes became comfortable again. I was happy in my skin.

I was done living a lie. My outer shell matched my inner shell, and I felt like I was a person of worth. Of value. Isn’t that what life is about? The ultimate goal?


  1. morningstar

    Oh how I hated to dress up for a brunch on a Sat. after a tough week at the job. I feel funny in red and was very self conscious about that jacket. At a brunch a waitress spilled full wine glass of OJ in my lap and all over my coach bag, the NSD and director saw this and turned their backs to continue the show. I am soaked sitting with my guest (winter in co), she was floored and saw how truly MK folks act. Sitting there cold and 8 oz of OJ quickly setting into the clothes was a defining moment, like I am done with this dress up. Another day, I asked director dearest why did you guys watch and turn away and then circled in for the kill to recruit my guest. Her answer “What was I supposed to do?” – Ugh like maybe talk to wait staff? Anyway the coach bag was history, even the dry cleaner could not remedy. And my guest well, she got an eyeful of how people in MK treat truly each other and ran the other way.

    Good post, I agree that dressing up makes one feel better, and it works for a while, then the esteem goes out the window bc no one cares about you dressing to the nines (outside of the MK clique), they are interested in more than that in a person.

    Contrast this dress to the Lularoe legging fiasco, where people covet the unicorn print, even to the extent they wear them with the holes until big blow out.

    Off topic – over on the defective legging FB page, people have commented on how MK is da bomb and need to sign on to that MLM after the implosion. Eye roll

  2. QueenOfTheTanned

    I wore pants to a meeting once. I had no choice, I had got off work late (from my REAL job that really pays my bills) and just so happened I was WEARING PANTS! GASP! I got some looks…not to mention a comment on my lack of makeup (yeah, about that…seems that MaryKay won’t stay on my face longer than a minute). Apparently, it was more important to look good than to actually be present in the meeting. I think that was one of the last meetings I ever went to. I don’t miss that. At. All.

  3. juliegal

    I hated that “fake it until you make it.” – they didn’t tell me about that before recruitment. I loved the advice person wrote couple days ago: “You sure can’t FAKE it at a real job.” For sure; one has to be qualified and kn ow what one is doing on real job; – not like MLM’s.

  4. BestDecision

    I had trouble faking my admiration and awe over NSDs that had horrible makeup skills. Kimberly Copeland posted a picture the other day of her compact full of gray, silver, black, and burgundy shadows. On an ebony skinned lady, maybe. But not on a medium toned face! No wonder she looks cheap and skanky.

    Then there was the hair. Amie Gamboian and Cindy Fox come to mind. Do they not get a makeover for their official NSD portrait and have any desire to replicate what is done to them then? Frosted hair went out 25 years ago. And then over-primped, stiff looking hair did about 15 years ago.

    (Just in case someone out there reading this thinks I’m being too harsh, I never had compliments on my skin or makeup until I resigned and got on something other than MK. I get compliments quite frequently from my friends on how much better I look now.)

    And let’s not forget how many Saturdays and Sunday’s I’ve had completely free since I left! Not one guest event. Not one business debut. No worrying about quarters ending on a weekend or June 30th.

    Not faking it anymore!

    1. D. Phillips

      BestDecision, I agree with you 100 percent. NSDs have horrid makeup skills, most especially Kimberly Copeland. Her clothes also add to her cheap and skanky look. I do believe she sales her clothing line at a shop she owns called “Shabby Chic.” It should be called “Skanky Chic.”

  5. Emmy

    I like to play with fashion and would hate being told exactly what to wear. I’d be much more likely to admire the style of the woman in a boho printed shirt, jeans, and sandals than stiff looking women in black or red jackets, skirts, and pantyhose. A real sense of style is better than faking their version of sucess.

  6. PinkJedi

    I remember my director was trying to get this poor girl who was about to be evicted, had no money, no support, no job buy inventory. She told her that he last paycheck from Mary Kay was like 7K. The girl called me up crying saying she would like to make that kind of money but did not know how since she had no money. I called my director up and asked her why the H*** did you tell her your paycheck….She said she needed to see that she can make money, that you fake it until you make it.
    I was just appalled and still am to this day!

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