The Mary Kay Tipping Point

Written by SuzyQ

The process of deciding to leave Mary Kay is daunting. There are so many unanswered questions, a lot of fear, guilt, anger and grief. We get into Mary Kay and Mary Kay gets into us.

At one time, the inculcation process seemed healthy and good and God was guiding our journey. For some of us, it was the first time we had ever been told we were doing what God really wanted us to do. It was powerful and so potentially destructive. To question anything in or about Mary Kay was to be avoided at all costs. We were criticized for thinking too much.

The doubts do not fade away. The small voice inside of us gets louder and harder to ignore. After a period of time, a period of reflection, of personal accountability, and ambivalence, we entertain the idea that we may have to leave Mary Kay.

During this period of questioning, nearly everyone attempts to strike a tenuous balance between following the pack and veering off the path. To do what is right as opposed to doing what is taught. Many of us start reading PinkTruth to determine what NOT to do with our units or our businesses. The cognitive dissonance we feel is overwhelming at times. When old “friends” are sought out for support, we are criticized and shamed backed into submission.

When we reach our tipping point, there is no turning back. There appear to be as many tipping points as there were reasons for us to start Mary Kay. The decision is made and the die is cast. Finding the tipping point seems to be more difficult for directors. We were quite simply immersed in the fog. We lost our identities. Our emotional and financial investment was greater. The pain and guilt runs deeper. The sense of betrayal and manipulation is gut wrenching.

It is very much like a little death, complete with the stages of grief. The biggest difference — the most important difference, is that we are finally in control. The pain is a reminder of our growth and our determination to help others behind us and beside us on the path out of the pinkness and into the light. And that, my friends, is pretty wonderful.


  1. raisinberry

    Right on the money, SuzyQ.

    Within the tipping point is the fact that we did to others what was done to us! When you realize you had warning buzzers on your behavior, yet you did it anyway because others said, “everybody does it”, because find a way-make a way, and every other mind numbing slogan…you stand in disbelief at how you managed to rationalize, yet again, whatever was necessary to achieve whatever goal.

    They fostered dependence in us, regarding the “pink bubble”…so to leave it means to face reality and stand alone.

  2. cindylu

    We begin by believing the stories. We aren’t aware that the MK story is mostly fabricated. Dual marketing is actually mlm. At seminar many haven’t truly earned those accolades. Mostly the early NSD’s from thirty years ago at the top of the pyramid are the only ones who have made a decent wage. Very few NSD’s, SD’s or directors are actually earning executive income. Nowadays those being conned into joining this cultish pyramid scheme should come to realize all the deceit that has gone on for decades. There is no free car. In fact many lose those cars or have ridiculous co pays. Women today are sick of those silly make up parties. The consultant has been fed a series of mostly impossible dreams and goals. MK is very mean spirited. We are convinced that the products are high quality and will sell. We are advised that booking classes will be doable, to the point of dove tailing some. Maybe for Jackie Brown the very first Director who seemed to surpass even MK’s expectations but was betrayed too. The very first Directors had entire cities with no competition from the internet etc. However the abuse continues and the consultant is blamed for this failing pyramid scheme. Front loading and absolutely NO where to advertise. While lugging those products, face cloths, samples etc into dubious neighborhoods, the consultant quickly learns that absolutely NO one wants the products at full price and most don’t buy period. Some return half used products demanding new ones. (when they probably got the products at a discount to begin with.) Very few skin care classes hold and participants are angered by having to do the facial themselves. MK Consultants are not real make up artists and not allowed to actually touch the participants. You cannot work this lost cause venture part time successfully. You will find yourself being away from family a lot (demonstrations are mostly evenings or weekends when women are home). Also there are far too many conferences etc. that cost too much for very little return and high expectations (what you wear, transportation costs, where you stay etc). Little by little you become aware of just how misleading this all is. Eventually you have to objectively analyze what you’ve been told for months or years versus the truth, reality and financial myths. Even the NSD who preached her success in my area seemed to be a fraud. Her home today (decades later) is an ordinary house just like mine. Bottom line is my kids and husband hate the word MK even being mentioned. I wasn’t in long but my family saw the deception well before I did. In leaving I got back my ethics, my family and my life. MK is NOT ever worth the sacrifice. I am doing much better financially and otherwise because I left and returned product.

  3. Poisonberry Sparkle

    This is the second time this year I have read the entire site and finally decided to step away from MK. It’s hard because of the dear family member who is deeply entrenched and invested and to say anything is to cause great disruption in the family dynamics and universe and to someone I love dearly, but I can no longer ignore the truth. Thank you all, every single one of you, for contributing to this site and necessary wake up call. It is an expensive lesson for me, but luckily I popped my pink bubble ( I was so good at reciting the scripts…gosh I was ridiculously indoctrinated…FOMO is an evil manipulator), and this time for good before going down the “all in with 8” rabbit hole. Now…to try and “sell” what I have left before resorting to returning the product and opening that pandora’s box with my beloved director and family member…SIGH. Wish I had found this site sooner. Love is blind indeed.

    1. Jamming Berry

      Good luck selling what you can — at a discount to try to move as much as possible. I’m in the same boat, so I feel your pain, looking at that case of all those eye shadows and mascaras and those other expensive eye products no one wants. UGH!

    2. Zaridra

      Return the product. Don’t try to sell it because you are worried about upsetting your family member (director). If anything you should be upset with them for dragging you into this mess. If you don’t return the product you are out more money than that family member will be out from losing their %. If they can’t understand that then I would cut ties with them.

    3. onelessSD

      Poisonberry.. .I know exactly what you are saying… my MIL was my Sr. Director. I walked on egg shells for months contemplating when to let Directorship go.. because I didn’t want to severely damage my relationship with her. I finally had to do- to save my sanity and put the $ for my next order towards helping my daughter and her schooling. Did she get angry with me- absolutely. Did she blame me for her success (or lack thereof) to start to crumble- yes … I heard it from another family member. Did it damage our relationship, sadly yes. It took quite a bit of time for it to start to blow over. However, I am very happy to tell you- that eventually we came to a truce, and our relationship has been rebuilt, and the feelings of anger and hurt have gone away. There is hope on the other side.

      I told her a few weeks after I quit directorship that I did it for my children. That if I screwed up in raising my kids- then I’ve really screwed up, and nothing was more important to me than to give my children a loving, grounded childhood… with their Mom an active participant and to be present in their lives. My children were late elementary school age at the time. Now they are both in college- and doing very well. I have no regrets in leaving directorship -other than I wish I would have done it sooner.

      It won’t be easy to do what you’re going to do, but I’m here to give you hope that down the road… you can rebuild the relationship with them- and it will be healthier, because it won’t be built on what you can do for her, etc.

      Good luck! 🙂

      1. Poisonberry_Sparkle

        It is the saddest thing to see…And I believed every line she fed me because I love her so…I started boxing up the product and will request a return form soon. It will definitely not be a welcomed revelation, but I will never sell all that crap. They (MK co) are so insidious on the way they push product on everyone, and in turn the IBC do it too. UGH. I hate that I was so gullible. It never felt right…I played along because I wanted her to succeed…how CRAZY is that? I didn’t care that I was lighting cash on fire because it was helping her with her “business”. Thank you again for your support and words of encouragement. It’s very much appreciated!

    4. Lazy Gardens

      to say anything is to cause great disruption in the family dynamics and universe and to someone I love dearly

      And this is the special EVIL of MLMs … they entangle business and family and relationships to keep you from being able to make a plain business decision, and discussing the business as a business.

  4. Char

    For anyone reading the comments who hasn’t been sucked in yet by a family member, please heed this advice:

    You have to “Just Say No” straight out of the gate. Do not buy “any” MLM product from “them” EVER – even just to be nice and supportive. Why would you want to support a pyramid scheme product anyway? We should not enable MLMers (cult followers) for their own good.

    Buying anything or signing up will just open a can of worms you will regret.

    Set your boundaries and never ask how their “business” is doing. They will lie anyway. “Fake it til you make it”. MLMers never make it unless they are willing to lie their way there. That is a fact due to the inherently flawed model of MLM-ing.

  5. ThinkPinkThinkAgain

    It’s taking me a long time, for sure. I stopped holding appointments nine months ago, but only stopped going to meetings two months ago. I’m not willing to put tons of time and money into converting all of my Miracle Set customers to the new stuff when I KNOW I won’t ultimately do more than break even. Besides which, I’ve been using it for a few weeks but not enough to know how well it actually works yet.

    I can’t wait to be done.

    I still have a good amount of product on my shelf, unfortunately. I am STILL struggling with whether to send some of it back. If I do, I need to do it in the next few weeks since I bought over $1700 whsl last June.

    I’m just tired of all the B.S. in Mary Kay.

    1. MLM Radar

      You made a June purchase? Call the repurchase department NOW!

      Mary Kay will take their own sweet time sending you the paperwork. It could be a week or longer, especially since so many other women also were pressured into making big June purchases.

      You can decide how much to send back while you’re waiting to get the paperwork. But if you wait any longer to make that request you may not get the authorization in time to return anything.

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