Another Potential Mary Kay Victim Spared!

An email from one of our new readers:

I just wanted to tell you that I think your website is terrific. It’s so addicting to read! I stumbled across it after I started doing research on Mary Kay after a weird experience with a MK consultant.

A couple of weeks ago, a Mary Kay consultant came to my apartment to give me a makeover. I didn’t know her personally. She got my name from a church event that I had participated in. We all got mini-facials at this church event. In order to get it though, we had to fill out this little form about what we knew about MK products and the company. She said the forms we filled out would be entered into a raffle drawing for free MK products. Cool, I thought.

Anyway, she called me about a week later and said I had “won” $10 worth of MK products. The only caveat was she would have to come over and do a makeover on me.Never one to turn down free cosmetics, I agreed to it. She asked if I wanted to have any of my girlfriends join me for an evening of “pampering.” Knowing full well that this would mostly be a sales pitch, I dragged my sister into it (because that’s what sisters are for). I even planned to buy something just so her trip wouldn’t be a wasted effort.

After she left, however, I had a really bad feeling about the whole organization, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what bothered me.

First, she tried to sell me these expensive product kits. The cheapest was somewhere around $60. Like I said, I had planned on buying something, but I had not budgeted for that much. I asked if she sold the products separately. She seemed reluctant to hand over the catalog of the separately-sold products.

I finally settled on a mascara and eyeliner. My $10 credit covered the eyeliner and I spent $17 on the mascara, still pretty high for my cosmetics budget but it was okay since it was a one-time thing.

My sister wanted to buy just the foundation but the consultant said that was not possible. She refused a sale because she wouldn’t buy the whole TimeWise kit.

While she went down to her car to get our orders, she had us fill out these forms about what we thought about the company’s motto of “God first, family second, career third,” or whatever it was, as well as other questions pertaining to the the company and how great it supposedly was.<

She didn’t try and recruit us there on the spot or anything and I did learn some nifty make-up tricks and stuff, but after she left, I still had this weird feeling about the whole thing.<

It just struck me as a complete scam, like it was never really about cosmetics to begin with. I wondered why this consultant, who seemed like such a bright young woman, would be doing this. She was almost like a robot, especially when she spouted off the company motto, how far along she was in the company, etc… She even mentioned excitedly that she was about a year off from one of the cars they “give away.”

Anyway, I was unnerved enough to google Mary Kay out of curiosity. I found your site and love it.<

I have this feeling that this won’t be the last time I hear from the MK consultant, especially now after reading some of your site and learning how the process/scam works.

I feel a little more prepared should she try and “stalk” me as a potential new recruit.

Your site is great. Keep up the good work.




  1. BestDecision

    Tossing in recruiting when you just met someone is what we were all taught do do, yet it isn’t smart. Like in this example, you run the risk of scaring people off from being your customer or even from using the brand. Recruiting should flow naturally. If you’re selling a lot of product at a party, chances are the hostess or someone will ask you how the business model works. If you’re having fun and showing obvious success with lots of sales tickets flying around, it gets people’s attention. So, you’d never have to be sly and connive ways of getting them to hear about the opportunity.

    Just like people getting information from strangers as they warm chatter, most people aren’t fully disclosing what company they’re with. Asking someone to be a “model” but without saying you’re with MK, not wearing your pin is twisted. If MK the brand was all that, you’d have people seeking you out.

  2. Susie

    I agree-so glad I came upon this site. I have a friend who is deep into MK and it has helped prepare myself for the sales and recruiting tactics-and boy was I glad to know that when she invited me to her weekly meeting/class! Because we were friends before I would have gone along with her to the meeting not realizing she was trying to recruit me but I sure would have been mad as all heck when I got there and realized what the true intention was. This site has helped me also realize just how many MLMs there are, who they are, and how to steer clear of it all.

  3. ww1971

    wonder why she didnt want to sell her the foundation. Maybe she had no stock? Maybe because she would have to order one item and pay a lot of shipping?

    1. PinkEYED

      This happened to me at my first MK party I went to. I didn’t want the expensive kit, one I had a baby in diapers (all the moms attending did) and not enough cash, and two, because I wouldn’t use every step. A friend wanted two products from the kit and I wanted the other two and she STILL wouldn’t sell to either of us. After the ‘party’ I was cleaning up the kitchen at my friends house and I heard the MBot tell her how ‘cheap’ we all were, and could she please find better friends with money and try it again. After she was out the door, my friend and I dished over a glass of wine on how crass she was. And yep, she tried to recruit every one of us.

    2. BestDecision

      “Breaking the basic” was a no-no because it was the skin care that made the foundation look so good; not the foundation itself. I turned a lot of people away from our foundations because I wouldn’t break the set and followed what I was told. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING will make the Matte Ms Luminous-Wear foundations look good. Worst formulas ever!

  4. raisinberry

    “Not breaking the basic” was taught when the original 5 step skin care was the staple product. The foundation wouldn’t look the same (or as good) without cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing, and the way it went was, selling the foundation only would ultimately cause her to be unhappy…so don’t do it.

    Also the idea of mixing products that were not designed to work together (ie. her cleaner, someone else’s moisturizer and Mk foundation) would also cause “chemical warfare” on her face. Anyone remember that training? Lol.

    1. PurpleH

      Yes, they said that different brands used different proportions of AHA or other components and you couldn’t count on the formulas to be compatible. The supposed results could be that they cancel each other out, or cause “chemical warfare” including burns, peeling, and discolouration. The message was that your IBC would keep track of what you use & make sure that the MK products are the right (safe) ones for you. Complete BS, of course.

  5. Jamming Berry

    Everyone always “wins” the raffle — except the IBC who has to pay for it out of her own inventory. This is why I never did those. Plus there are very few products for $10 and under. She wants you to have to get something more pricey, so you have to pay some $$.

  6. Pinkiu

    After seeing the folly of losing sales for not breaking the set, I rebelled against that silly lie and made a little more
    money. Thank goodness I also eventually saw the folly of mlm/dual marketing direct sales and quit.

  7. FormerKoolAidDrinker

    Yeah, sounds like basic MK business practices.

    And while it sucks to be on the receiving end of it, it also highlights the problems with what the IBC’s go through until they see the light. She “sold” $27 in products that she gave $10 off for. So $17 revenue. Of this, she paid $13.50 for the products – maybe a little more with tax and shipping. But minimum of $13.50. This leaves her $3.50 for all other expenses (do they still use those foam trays, face cloths, etc?). Even assuming she had no other expenses (ha!) and was able to walk to the appointment instead of using gas, she made $3.50 for what was likely a minimum of 2 hours. So, if she was lucky, she made $1.75 an hour – and I’m being generous here.

    To all consultants who heard “The business works when you do,” please don’t believe that. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty over a broken system not working.

  8. Escaping the cult

    The only thing I disagree with is that is that I actually really like the matte foundation for my oily skin. Any good dupes out there you ladies have found?

    1. BestDecision

      There’s a million! Clinique has 2–their Stay Matte and the Acne Solutions one. Tarte makes a great one, and so does NARS. Best shade range on the market is Bobbi Brown. Try her Long Wear Even Finish formula. Anybody at Sephora can help you. Excellent customer service and extensive product knowledge.

  9. enorth

    “She seemed reluctant to hand over the catalog of the separately-sold products.”

    They’re taught to sell sets, I think they even use place-mats that only show sets for sale. “Which set will you be taking home with you tonight?” Gosh, they’re so clever.

    It’s all over-priced. You can buy better makeup at any drugstore or discount-mart for less money. Want makeup tips and tricks? Watch YouTube videos.

  10. PinkJedi

    When I was Kbot, one of my recruits booked a party, so was so desperate for sales and needed the money. My director had just front loaded her and she was struggling with selling the products. I offered to help her with the party. I went there and looked around. The place was a shack, you could see the ground between the floor boards in the house, their were roaches everywhere, screaming kids. The snacks were crackers with cheese wiz. I knew there were going to be no sells tonight, I did not want to sell these people anything, not because I thought MK was superior but because their money was needed elsewhere and Maybelline and CoverGirl were just as good. I helped my friend with her party there 10 ladies, they were all beautiful ladies inside and out. Most people I think would have ran out when they saw these conditions but there were the nicest ladies ever. I left all my samples and gave each one a gift. A couple people felt bad that they could not buy anything left immediately after. My recruit, the one who was supposed to the party was in tears because no one purchased anything. I was just taken a back by it because I felt like no no money was made but we were still leaving their richer then when we got there. Needless to say neither one of us ever did a party again.

  11. Cindylu

    I have a similar story where my SD literally talked a woman into becoming a recruit. I’m sure she used her grocery money to buy the useless pink kit. I was still deep in believing MK was dual marketing and cared about women. I soon learned that this was an mlm, predatory pyramid scheme. My ice queen, SD and NSD did NOT care one iota about bankrupting poor women with this scam. Fortunately I came to my senses when I visited Corp with my concerns. The men there DID NOT care one bit about my SD’s unethical behavior. I also came to realize that MK herself manipulated and exploited women for her own gain.

  12. Beth

    I’m surprised that the OP learned some nifty makeup tricks. I wonder if the MK lady learned them on their own, because basically there’s nothing in MK’s “training” about applying makeup.

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