Women Are Taught to Lie In Mary Kay

This is the story of a former Mary Kay director who was taught to deceive women in order to get the numbers to move up. When her directorship finally ended, she and her husband were forced to put their dreams on hold while they recovered from near financial ruin.

Here is the truth and nothing but the truth. I have always tried to be straight forward and honest, but sometimes we lie to ourselves.  Well over the last few months I have come to see clearly some things I have lied to myself and others about.

I signed up for Mary Kay 2 ½ years ago just to get my product at cost, since I was using plenty of it anyway.  Well after doing some reading I found it was much more profitable than the MLM I was doing for 1 year before Mary Kay.  It also offered a lot more as far as support and training.

I went to a meeting and I was hooked.  I was told I could make as much as my husband was making in corporate America in a short amount of time.  We had been looking for a way for him to quit his job for years and I thought this is IT!  So I immediately decided I was going to be a Director and went home to convince my family.  I had to be a Director because that is where they tell you the ‘real money’ is.  Also it is supposed to be a position where your life is devoted to helping women achieve happiness by putting God first, family second, career third.  Something I was completely in favor of.

Well I did everything I was ‘supposed’ to do (eventually).  At first I had a very hard time leaving my family for meetings, parties, facials, seminars, etc.  Then when I was home I had to be on the phone trying to get more business or I was on a conference call.  If I was not doing that I was stressed out because I wasn’t where I thought I should be (wasn’t making the money I expected, hadn’t recruited the amount of people the numbers told me I would, etc.). So I was never spending quality time with my family. The main reason I decided to be a consultant was to have a career where my family could come first, and so that my husband could put his family first as well.

So I thought once I am a director I will have ‘made it’ and paid my dues, then everything would fall into place.  So my husband quit the job he hated when I signed up, so he could take care of his mom whose Parkinson’s was advancing. In order to survive, since Mary Kay was not paying our bills, we refinanced our house, twice.

Of course I told everyone that we were living off of MK because the more you believe, the more your beliefs will become reality. I really wanted MK to pay our bills and if I was successful more people would want to jump on the bandwagon. I am so sorry to those that I deceived; in my defense I was deceived myself.  No one on my team has lost more money or more time with their family than I have, and I feel like such an idiot.

Which I guess brings me to the subject of lying.  In MK you are taught to lie… shame on me for falling into it.  In the beginning I would be asked questions like what I would do with $1,000 if I had it.  I would say pay off credit cards or something of that sort.  I was ridiculed and told to think of something better than that, like going shopping or take a vacation, or something frivolous. I was told I wasn’t dreaming enough, I had forgotten how to dream, and I will never get to where I want to be if I didn’t have a big goal to work towards, something tangible and showy.  So little by little I did what they said to the detriment of my family and our finances.

There is so much I could go into.  It is hard to tell other people how you can become brain-washed and go against so much that you hold dear.  But it is just like boiling a frog, little by little, and before you know it you are a different person with different values.  I have recently read so many stories of other people this has happened to and I relate so much.

I do not think that MK has always been bad, but it has turned that way.  I know there are plenty of great consultants out there who have others best interest at heart.  The problem is with corporate, Sales Directors, and National Sales Directors.  As soon as I became a director everything changed and I was given a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of MK medicine.  That is when the truth poured from the lips of other directors and corporate themselves.  No longer did anyone try to hide what their true purpose was, basically recruit as many as you can as fast as you can, and get their inventory order before they know what hit them.

Sell the dream of having everything you ever wanted (or will be taught to want) and for those who fall for it, get them to want to be a director so bad they can not think of anything else.  Make them long for it by not allowing consultants to hang out, participate, or even talk to the directors.  Make them think that what directors have is something so special and mysterious that they just have to have it too.

What started me seeing the light is shortly after becoming a director (it took me almost 2 years from signing my agreement) I was NOT making the money that was supposed to be so easy to make.  Granted the reason for this is because I was not recruiting 5 people a month to make that happen.  I should have realized that there was no way I was going to make money because in order for me to become a director I had to pay for many of my team member’s starter kits and inventory. They were not going to be worker ‘bees’ on the team, but you are told that you have to ‘make a way or find a way’ and ‘fake it till you make it’, which I always found disturbing, but I bought it because I wanted to be in the shoes of those women who were teaching this.

Back to the last few months.  Last spring my husband decided to become a pastor, which for him meant going to graduate school.  Partially because of this decision my mother-in-law decided to move to an assisted living facility.  I became a director in June, in July I left for Seminar in Dallas, in Aug I went back to Dallas for new director training, and in Sept I traveled to be trained by my adopted National Sales Director.  My husband would and I decided we needed to move closer to his school, so we sold our house and bought something closer to school.  We really felt like we were doing what we were supposed to be doing (and maybe we were, all except the Mary Kay part).

We found that seminary was way more involved than what we realized and Mary Kay still was not paying the bills (go figure with all the traveling I was doing, taking me away from business, making a move, and not having a working team).

So a few months back we decided my husband had to quit school at least for the time being and find a job.  He has now been searching for 4 months and I have been in limbo.  I  lost my directorship as of Jan 1st because we are just not making the $4,000 minimum production requirements. Directorship is such a trap and extremely stressful. My main purpose in telling you this is so that you will not fall for it or any other MLM company (which is truly what MK is).

I have enrolled in a cosmetology program near our house.  Since we do not know where we will be living in the next year (it depends on where my husband gets a job), we feel this is the best option for me at this time, so that I do not up and leave a company as soon as I get trained for the position.

My family is now in the healing process, are learning from our mistakes, and moving on.  My hope and desire from this is that others may not fall into the same trap that my family so sadly did.

By the way, MK is Not taught at Harvard… (I just found this out)… do the lies ever stop?

Please do accept my apology for perpetuating the brainwashing; I am truly sorry if I have caused any of you to be hurt in any way.


  1. Shay

    I would get a job rather than go to cosmetology school. I don’t wanna burst your bubble but you have to build up your clientele and it takes a long time to make money.

      1. TRACY

        You can work at a salon or spa doing things like facials, massages, nail services, etc. There is actually quite a bit of money to made in it if you work at the right place. You can have flexible hours if you don’t mind working nights and weekends.

    1. Shay, Cosmetology licensing may have been the least expensive first step out of the Mary Kay situation for her. With that said, the advantages of being a licensee to provide services within whichever state one is licensed in including reciprocal licensing with some states if she needs to move to another state allows for the flexibility possible with self employment options in addition to employment with beauty retailers for modest income opportunities including management. I would however, encourage her to work towards the more comprehensive license requirements of a beautician/hair stylist through to barber.
      True story, and this is a small example of what is possible for hair/beauty services. There is a small shop near my home and all of the women are licensed as barbers too. They provide their services to a high percentage of active/retired military and veterans(we live near a military base) with their lowest price cut available at $10 in addition to their female clientele and boy, are they busy! Each woman rents their station and most customers pay cash. I’ve seen ads for others including a ‘mobile hairstylist’ in a local magazine for Seniors for the last 5 years or so-the possibilities and need for hair care with ways to deliver it can be a good opportunity. Most definitely though, if she is not hanging the license with an employer to start with a salary and benefits package and build her client base at less cost as an employee. As with any self employment endeavor, she will need to ‘hang in there’ and bear all costs including marketing for 3-5 years while she markets and builds her client base.
      In closing, the saddest thing about this story and others like it reveal that those who signed up (me included) were easily hoodwinked due in no small part to the low to non-existent financial education in most of our public schools from grade school onward. Legal education is another tie in too and MLMs prey on ignorance using the law in their favor as it relates to buying,selling and the rest of their practices.
      In closing, here’s a quote for anyone who is thinking about Mary Kay, already in it, or like many here, thinking of getting out or out already: Laws are like Cobwebs, which may catch small Flies, but let Wasps and Hornets break through. – Jonathan Swift

      1. Shay

        I think back to Virginia Solesmith’s article about MK that mentions people who went to cosmetology school. I know several people who went and none of them are doing hair, nails or make up. 😳

  2. Jamming Berry

    I am so sorry this happened to you. I am in a similar boat: I bought into Mary Kay thinking it would help me go to part time in the job I was tired of, so I could spend more time with my kids. I knew SD was not in my books, but here it is three years later and I’ve only paid off half my Mary Kay debt. I’m determined to stay in long enough to pay back my retirement funds and then I’m giving what’s left to my daughter for her birthday! She will love it all, since she’s under 12.

  3. Shay

    Um, just got this in an email from a friend with subject line, “GURANTEE PLEEEEASE”

    The question was, “I got a call from MK through Davids Bridal, is it a scam” link at bottom,

    jamilaJust Said Yes
    on Sep 27, 2017 at 11:55 AM

    Hey, ladies. I am a Mary Kay Consultant have been for going on 17 years. 1st of all Mary Kay is not a scam. GIGGLES. Yes Sometimes contract through David’s bridal and share your info. You as the bride have the option to opt out for this simply ask David’s not to share your info with the 3rd party wedding vendors. They will remove you. MMMMKAY? Great! 2. the free facial. State law requires you have to be a licensed esthetician to perform a facial. Mary Kay Consultants are women who start a business lol we are not Estheticians. The Free Facial is our TRY before you buy STANDARD. and we offer a 100 % money back guarantee on any products you purchase. SMILES. Now for the pushy part. as states before sometimes wedding stores share. but most often this is what’s happened. A cute little Mary Kay lady smiles at you and says omg hi are you cute and you blush and she asks you when’s your wedding date and you get all gushy and say _____ and she say congrats and offers you a bridal make over and you say yes and you give her your number. or you see a cute little box that’s says enter here to win a free facial and you happily fill the card out and give her your number and well ILL BE A MONKEYS UNCLE she actually calls you back. You just agreed for her to call you until you say you are no longer interested. Ignoring her call. Ignoring her text. All will GARUNTEE you one thing she will call you back in 1-2 3 4 weeks later may even follow up 6 months to a year. BECAUSE that’s how you run a business my darling. Now the 50$ off product that’s free product she’s giving you out of her pocket so if a product cost 100 and she gives it to you for 50$ guess what she made NO MONEY NO PROFIT in hopes you will be appreciative of it and actually become her customer. THE Recruiting. YES we ask other women would they like to do what we do. SO the bottom line is WE Pink Ladies have an awesome job we meet people we become friends to connect and grow personally from our customers. We are not lions waiting for our next prey we are women who decided to make beauty our business and well ladies Mary Kay has been around for over 50 years and Business is still booming. You not goanna find that with any other cosmetic company so before you believe the hype GET the free facial and find out for your self. ON AND PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE FALLS TO MY KNEES WE WILL NOT TAKE OFFENSE IF YOU ASK US NOT TO CALL YOU CAUSE I GARUNTEE YOU WE DO HAVE OTHER THINGS TO BE DOING THAN TO CALL YOU AND I DON’T MEAN TO SOUND RUDE.”

    1. Shay

      “You just agreed for her to call you until you say you are no longer interested. Ignoring her call. Ignoring her text. All will GARUNTEE you one thing she will call you back in 1-2 3 4 weeks later may even follow up 6 months to a year. BECAUSE that’s how you run a business my darling. ” <- 😂🤣

  4. enorth

    “I had to pay for many of my team members’ starter kits and inventory”

    That’s sick.

    There are two women near me who were in and out of directorship so fast, their heads must have been spinning. Thousands of dollars flushed down the toilet trying to achieve directorship, plus the suit and accessories, plus travel to Dallas for director training, plus expenses they had while director, the dreary (I saw photos) director-debut parties. Almost immediately, one started holding weekly meetings at her home, and you could even bring your children.

    I bet they wish they had that time and money back.

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