Are You a Mary Kay Mark?

Written by DupedByPinkFriend

Many folks visit Pink Truth and are surprised or appalled at the personal accounts of women who were manipulated by their Mary Kay Sales Directors and National Sales Directors.  They are so excited about their new businesses, and their SDs are so kind and seem to really care about them, they can not imagine that any of the accounts here at Pink Truth could possibly happen to them. They rail against the true stories posted here simply because it has not happened to them. Yet.

How do you know if your recruiter or Sales Director is as honest and forthright as she seems to be? How will you know if you are being played, or groomed for a career in Mary Kay regardless of whether you are interested in such a future for yourself?  How can you be sure your SD is not working on gaining your trust as she slowly lays a trap for you? In short, how do you ensure you are not conned by a highly trained manipulator?  Here are a list of red flags you should watch for if you are a Mary Kay Consultant or thinking of becoming one:

  • Ask how your recruiter will benefit by signing you up.  Then compare notes here at Pink Truth. If she did not explain each way that she profits by having you in her unit, allow yourself to wonder why she would not take the time to make the situation crystal clear. She is in business to make money, not to lead women to a blissful life. She intends to profit from you, make no mistake about that. If she is gushing about enriching your life, realize that if that was her priority, she would be doing this with no intention of gaining from your decision.
  • Do not fall for the Husband Unawareness Program.  Many SDs are trained to make you feel like a fool if you are not willing to make a decision without getting “permission” from your partner concerning signing up for Mary Kay or placing inventory orders.  Don’t be rushed into a decision. Do as much research as you can.
  • Don’t believe it when Mary Kay is described as a “Dual-Market” business model.  There is no such thing.  MK is a Multi-level Marketing business plan and is designed to benefit the upper levels of this product-based pyramid scheme.
  • If you are told that the Mary Kay business plan is taught at Harvard, call the University and find out for yourself that this is a bald-faced lie. Ask your recruiter exactly how much you will be expected to pay for training, because it is not free.
  • Don’t make the mistake of believing the time-honored MK lie that your personal use products can be claimed as a tax deduction. That is not true.
  • Find out why Mary Kay Cosmetics does not track retail sales yet claims to be the best-selling brand. Is it possible to ascertain how much product is actually sold to real customers? Realize that when MKC doesn’t track retail sales, then the person who buys from them is their customer. That’s you.
  • Require the legal documentation that shows how many MK Consultants are in your area.  When they can’t come up with that information either, ask yourself what business would not research the local competition.  How smart is it to invest in a business when you are not allowed to find out the basic realities of your possible customer base?
  • Find out how you are allowed to advertise.  Because you do not have a brick and mortar business that draws in customers, you should be able to advertise in the way you see fit, right? Wrong. Not in Mary Kay.  You will be very limited in the ways you may advertise.
  • Ask what your expenses will be as a Consultant. If you are not told that you will be asked to attend countless out of town conferences, seminars and career meetings at your own expense to get the training you need, you are not getting the full picture. Find out how much the samples are.  What other items will you need to buy to conduct skin care classes and facials?
  • Demand a legal record of actual profit from your recruiter, including all sales and expenses.  If your recruiter dances around this, and won’t provide an actual tax return, be very wary. If she waves a commission check in front of you, realize that one payment is just that:  one payment, once upon a time. And that check does not reflect expenses or chargebacks, which is a bill that she receives from Mary Kay if any of her recruits returned their products to the company.
  • Don’t order products to meet a goal, win a contest, or help your unit. An actual business does not ever tie up their cash flow with unnecessary inventory.
  • If you ask about when the company plans to change formulas or overhaul packaging, and you do not get a clear answer that you can truly verify, stop. This happens constantly in Mary Kay with no warning and little notice, and your products immediately become obsolete.
  • Do not use your Sales Director’s tax preparer.  Often MK SDs use accountants who will fudge the numbers for you, or overlook inconsistencies and only care about collecting your fee.  When you are audited because your tax return is flagged, pointing to possible fraud or claiming a hobby as a legitimate business, you’re on your own, baby.
  • Ask yourself why you won’t be invited to training events if you don’t bring a guest. Makes no sense, right?  Why would you need a guest with you to receive training?  Know that the name of the game in Mary Kay is recruiting and if you are not building a team, you are not worth their time or the space that you take up.  You are just not earning them a sufficient amount of commissions if it is just you ordering small amounts.
  • Ask your recruiter how you will get customers. If you are told to hit up your friends and family, ask yourself if a legitimate business owner relies on her mother and best friend to get her started. If you are told to go to the mall and strike up casual conversations, “warm chatter”, and give compliments to total strangers, picture yourself actually doing this. Realize that you would have to do this to gain customers, because you can’t hang a shingle in front of your house, and open shop, waiting for the masses of women to buy overpriced, mediocre makeup and skincare.
  • If you are told that you would make a great director, find out why she thinks that. Are her reasons valid, or is she just stroking your ego?  What does she actually know about you? Know that she needs you to quit being a stick-in-the-mud consultant and start recruiting in order for her to move up the career path.

It is important to remember that your SD is spending time with you because you have the potential to earn money for her. This is not a game, it is not playtime, girl time, or a mission she is on. No matter what she says, she did not join Mary Kay to enrich women’s lives.

Many SDs seem to be gloriously prosperous, thrilled to have found the golden egg, and act as if they desperately want you to have that too. Most are drowning in debt, trying to get someone who will earn them commissions to help them dig their way out the money-sucking pit that they fell into, and can’t find another way to do it without filing for bankruptcy. Please spend some time here at Pink Truth and do much research before you take your next step.

If you are so excited about this business opportunity that you finally feel “alive”, and can barely breathe, calm down. Be rational and systematic, because you are putting yourself in danger by thinking about a business in emotional terms. You have blinders on. Your reality is distorted.

Are you displaying that excitement about becoming a MK Consultant or Sales Director? Are you noticing that this person is suddenly really excited about your future and paying increasing attention to you? If so, you’d better watch out, because you are putting a bulls eye on your forehead, and you are her saving grace. You have become the mark.


  1. Formykids

    The sooner you get clear about what all these MKbots are up to, the better. Once immersed in the Pink Fog, you will have great difficulty ever seeing clear again, and once you take “God as your business partner” you are toast… if God is looking for business opportunities and has selected MK to join forces with. Mark Twain wrote, “It is much easier to fool someone, than to convince them that they have been fooled.” Don’t be fooled or you may never see clearly again.

  2. cindylu

    There are so many scripts, so many manoeuvres and so many ways to con mostly women into this mlm. As a part time job for stay at home moms or those who need some extra cash. When they spout the faith, family and career, we feel lucky to have found such a business model. We believed the dual marketing ploy. We trust what we are hearing until products change just after we’ve placed an order. I saw so much deception, so much greed, so much front loading of product and many cancelled bookings. I saw women avoid my table at a trade show. I put together a Christmas open house and no one showed. I was constantly away from my husband and family. I saw bickering directors at seminar. My own SD and NSD were cold as ice. Also new consultants be aware that you are extremely limited in how or where you can market these has been products. Also in my area there were hundreds of present and past MK sales women. The chance of any of us becoming directors or NSD’s were minimal. In my area I see the exact same NSD from decades ago. After I left, I went on to have a great career with many benefits. I have a nice pension and savings. I have real friends and I’ve had many fabulous vacations with family and friends. In MK I wasted time, was away from family and it was a total waste of money. I also had a few scary facials in areas where I felt horribly unsafe. Also my husband worried and disliked MK intensely. To this day my family hates even the mention of anything MK.

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