Being Home With Your Children While Earning a Living in Mary Kay

If you’ve been around Pink Truth for a while, you know the chances of making a real living in Mary Kay are slim to begin with. Even the 2% of current consultants who have supposedly reached the upper levels of success as sales directors…. Most of them aren’t making a real income.

If they’re lucky, they’re like almost all of the directors, they’re making $10,000 to $20,000 per year . That’s not bad if you’re comparing it to a minimum wage job. But in the real world, we don’t exactly call that making a living or having career earnings.

But let’s suppose you believe $20,000 a year is a good living. Can you really earn that while being “at home with your children”? Because Mary Kay recruiters will lead you to believe that you can. Well, not really “lead you to believe”… They’ll falsely tell you that you can!

Here’s the truth: If you want to make that whopping $20,000 or more doing Mary Kay, be prepared to work a minimum of 40 to 50 hours a week. And when I say work, I don’t mean schlepping around in your jammies and making a few phone calls.

The kind of work you’ll be required to do in Mary Kay will have you out in the streets, looking for new blood constantly. You’ll be trolling for new victims and then working to convince them to “get together with a few of their friends.” There will be plenty of prep work for this gathering (the “skin care class”), including phone calls, coaching postcards, pre-profiling, and general administrative work.

If you can get the bookings, be prepared to be up and out of your house for about 3 hours for each appointment. (You didn’t really believe them when they told you it would only take an hour or so, did you?) After that appointment you’ll have follow-up contacts with people as you try to recruit them into Mary Kay.

Now don’t be too worried about the portion of the job that I just described. Not many women these days want to have home parties, so you won’t be burdened too often by having to partake in this. (Although, unfortunately, those parties are where you find new recruits, so if you’re not having parties you’re not recruiting either, which leads to the dismal earnings mentioned above.)

But wait.. you can sell on social media! Make sure you follow the many rules. Spend your time staging the perfect photos that show the perfect MK life (even though you know your reality is nothing like that). Be prepared to message all of your Facebook friends repeatedly about your new promotion, the event you’re having, the sale that is currently on. You’ll get a couple of people who reply, but nowhere near the volume you have been led to believe you would have. Yet another MK activity where you invest a bunch of time and see little return on your effort.

You will also be busy with weekly unit meetings, nsd guest events, and events with cutesy names (designed to recruit new victims, of course). Don’t forget events sponsored by Mary Kay Cosmetics like seminar and career conference. And of course if you do find potential recruits, you’ll be trying to corner them into meeting with you and “taking care of the paperwork”.

If you or your unit members get one of those unsuspecting victims to sign up with Mary Kay, you have to start a whole round of meetings and/or phone calls and text messages designed to con her into ordering the biggest possible inventory package.

Don’t forget that you’ll also want to have meetings and conference calls with your movers and shakers to try to entice them into “promoting themselves” up the Mary Kay ladder. Your meetings with them are focused on getting them to envy you, “the suit”,  the material goods brought to you by Mary Kay, and your superior position as sales director. If you can get them to envy enough, you might just convince them that they want to be you and want to move up. You will need to have women who are trying to get the car and directorship in order to boost your own numbers.

There are many more parts to the Mary Kay “job,” but you get the idea here. There are a ton of things that you’ll be doing, none of which involve being at home with your children. (And if you ARE home with them while you’re doing your MK activities, you’re certainly not paying attention to them.)  Mary Kay is not flexible. You will be working it often during prime family time…  nights and weekends, when your spouse and children are likely at home and wish you could be with them.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that having your child unpack boxes of inventory from Mary Kay is equal to spending quality time together. Don’t think that “shushing” your child because you’re on the phone means you’re developing a relationship with her or him. Hauling your child with you as you warm chatter women at the mall doesn’t count either.

Mary Kay is all about sacrifices, and your family will be the first to be sacrificed. Sure, you’ll be told that the sacrifice is only short-term, and that your family will appreciate it in the long run. You’ll be told to use your children “as your reason, not your excuse.”

Let’s just be truthful: You can’t really work Mary Kay as a career and be home with your children.


  1. Formykids

    My SD soon to be ex wife, who has been a SD for 8 yrs, and does all of the above and then some, has shown 13k in net taxable income in each of the last two years on her schedule C. Some weeks she works over 70 hrs. Assuming an average of 50 hrs per week(which is very generous as it really more than that) it works out to $5.20 per hour. Also remember that she will pay additional self employment tax on that 13k, that regular employees don’t pay, so it is really less than $5.20 per hour as compared to a regular hourly worker, plus No Benefits.

  2. Lazy Gardens

    Before you sign up, your SD is all warm fuzzy feelings about being there for your children, baking cookies and checking homework as you effortlessly contribute to the family income. in 5 hours a week.

    As soon as that initial order is in, she’s all about you never missing an event even if you miss your child’s important events, hiring a babysitter so you can work your business, dumping the kid with family members, and shunting a lot of your Mary Kay business work onto your husband after he works an 8-hour day.

    You may be at home, but you aren’t with your children in any sense.

    1. onelessSD

      ^^ That is truth! This whole idea that you’ll have more time for your family / children is a complete farce. This is the biggest regret I have with my stint in MK… I missed out on so much of the little things with my children because I was focused on getting farther along in my business. You are “encouraged” to be at all the meetings, guest events, trainings, etc… and I remember passing off the kids to my husband in a parking lot after he got off work and I was heading to my meeting/ training, etc… not giving a thought to what they would do for dinner, etc. So much juggling of our schedules to try to make this work, but always feeling like we were out of control. The pressure of “making it” in MK is huge, and very damaging to families.

      My children are now both in college- one out of state, and while I’ve had the last 8 years or so out of MK… I still miss those times when they were little and what fun we missed out on because I wasn’t focused on them- but the “pipe dream” called Mary Kay.

      1. raisinberry

        ^^^^ DITTO! My daughter suffered the most, being lugged around on deliveries and being “shushed”…I really regret not being actively present in her life…Monday meeting, Tuesday/Wednesday a class-party, Thursday new consultant training, Friday supposedly date night, and Saturday, any variation of Muffins and makeovers, a Debut, or a facial…

        Working hard never bothered me. Working hard to keep just ahead of attrition/production, meaning “getting nowhere”, did.

    2. Save time and incorporate your children into your (not your) MK business. They can count and recount your inventory to better their math skills. Develop communication skills by taking them to your Wal-Mart warm chatter marathons. Put samples in the goodie bags they take to school. And don’t forget business cards in the valentine cards.

      You aren’t working full circle unless you suck your family into the pink vortex.

  3. enorth

    If you believe social media, all they do is spend their time at spas and yoga, shopping trips, fabulous “free” vacations, and glitzy MK events where they are lavished with hand-me-down handbags and other worthless prizes “just for doing their job.”

    Have kids? Make sure you include photos of you and the kiddos at a park or snuggling at home in the middle of the afternoon. Have the pink Cadillac? Be sure to stick the kid in the back seat and take pics as you are “making deliveries.” A quick photo like this every two or three days is enough to perpetuate the myth.

    1. Nope. No. Not EVER!

      I’m in the spa industry. A few MK ladies come in on occasion. . They book the least expensive treatment and ‘tip’ us in lipsticks or most likely discontinued product. All the while trying to recruit our Massage Therapists, Estheticians (who visibly shudder at the thought of using MK products) and our reception staff. Then they take ‘selfies’ with us and tag us on facebook with that #mymklife. Oh, how I want to respond to that hashtag. They use our business to promote their ‘lifestyle’ and it’s anything but what they actually do here at our spa. We have some therapists who simply will not book them because they feel they use them on social media as an implied endorsement of MK. Terrible.

      1. raisinberry

        Wow, Nope. But yeah that fits. Mary Kay training is all about leaving out the details and letting a target come up with their own conclusions and assumptions. #MymkLife propaganda hides a multitude of truths, like Electricity being turned off, late fees on credit cards, car co-pays, multiple maxed cards and second Mortgages to fold inventory purchases into. At least you see it-you’re not going to fall for it.

  4. morningstar

    If you were to perfect all the tasks called out in this post, you would still have trouble recruiting bodies, meaning if a person spent time honing the skills to recruit and move up in MK it still is mostly a miss. When consultants are new they spend so much time thinking it is themselves when it is the MK system that is terrible. It takes a special personality to carp all the recruits, a personality that most of us would not want as a friend of any sort. I am sure these women who prey on others successfully look for the same type they are and guess what there are not many shallow women, thankfully in this world. Works for MK corporate, the consultants not so much. I felt stressed when I read this post.

  5. Changeyourthinking

    Trying to get through DIQ as a SAHM and a husband who travels was the most stressful thing I’ve ever been through. Schelping two kids to “mommy and me” parties/play dates and “career chats”, scheduling appointments at my house during homework, dinner, and bedtime, spending hours in the car for deliveries, telling them to shush while i made my calls or hiding in the garage to get something done. I believed the lie that i was building character and patience in them and that they would be SO proud of mommy. They constantly said “i hate Mary Kay”, “Mary Kay sucks.” I brushed it off because they’re boys and thought they just didn’t like that it was makeup. Nope, they were trying to tell me that they wanted my undivided attention every once in a while.

  6. Hhart

    This was one of the biggest things that turned me off of Mary Kay. My director knew I wanted to be able to stay at home with kids one day and tried to convince me that this was possible. She used her life as an example because she was a teacher, but had quit her job and “stayed at home”. Yet every time I saw her, her husband or mother was watching her kids. Her calender was ALWAYS booked full of appointments. She even just recently posted a video on facebook asking for some help “around the house”, someone to help watch the kids, do laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc… not exactly my idea of being a stay at home mom! She is too busy with Mary Kay to do anything else! I didn’t want my life to revolve around skin care products and makeup. I got out quick and I have never regretted it!

  7. Kiki

    My ISD always had her kids in day care or with her husband. In the six months in MK, I never saw her kids except on her fb posts. I find that sad considering her kids are only toddlers. She also has them in her MK videos as promos. Sad, sad

  8. Michelle

    In my first year of Mary Kay, I profoundly remember leaving my husband to go hold appointments time and time again while he was planting trees or painting the garage. If I was lucky, a friend or referral would agree to a ‘pampering’ session and receive a $10 giftcard. After spending at least an hour to get ready, pack my car, and drive to her home, I would actually LOSE money on the appointment. I tried to tell myself, “That’s ok, maybe she’ll re-order in the future.” Back to the point, I regret leaving my husband at home doing projects without me.

Comments are closed.