You Can Quit Your Job and Do Mary Kay Full-Time (No You Can’t!)

This is one of those sad, sad dreams that Mary Kay directors and recruiters like to build up for you. They tell you how easy it is to “replace your income” with Mary Kay. And it’s bull. Because we’ve seen over and over on Pink Truth how almost everyone in MK would be better off working a minimum wage job… they’d make more per hour at minimum wage than they make at MK.

It is next to impossible to build a client base large enough to generate a steady income in Mary Kay. Even women who’ve been in for years and have 100 or 200 customers (impressive sounding, yes?) aren’t doing consistent, significant sales.

The reality is that “good” Mary Kay customers probably buy $50 to $100 of products a year, on average. Sure, you’ll hear a Kaybot talk about the two customers she has that each spend $500 a year. The fact is that they’re an aberration. Many customers spend only $25 a year, but we keep them on our preferred customer list because we think someday they’ll be won over and buy more.

Add to that the fact that once you start building that client base, you’re immediately encouraged to start poaching it for recruits, so you can “move up” and make the “big girl pay.” So even if you can start building a real customer base, before you know it, you’re recruiting some of them.

So how on earth can anyone think this Mary Kay propaganda is possible to achieve for more than about 5 out of 1,000 women? Well, the sad fact is that the recruiters make you believe that women all over the place are doing it. When they know good and well that they’re not aware of anyone who actually did it.

Here’s how they say to do it (my comments in italics):

Write down your yearly salary $_______
Okay, fair enough starting point.
Subtract out daycare expenses for the year $_____
Stop right there. You mean you won’t even have to pay for babysitters? If you’re trying to replace a full-time income, of course you will have to pay for child care!
Subtract out other expenses that you would not need to pay if you were able to stay at home (dry cleaning, gas driving to and from work, eating out for lunch, etc.) $______

Stop again. You probably will spend more on gas racing around to classes, delivering products, warm stalking women, going to unit meetings and guest events.
This new total is what you would need to make in order to replace your income from your job.
Kaybot Example:
$22,000 salary
-$10,000 daycare
-$520 gas, drycleaning
= $11,480 net salary you need to replace

Pink Truth Reality:
$22,000 salary
-$ 0 daycare (If you’re working Mary Kay full-time, you need childcare. If you’re caring for your kids, you’re not working.)
-$0 gas, drycleaning (In fact, you probably need to add money here to cover all the extra gas you’ll use up.)
= $22,000 net salary you need to replace (And this includes no paid days off and no paid benefits. All those are gone once you quit your job.)

Figure out what your average per face is. Take all your sales from facials and skin care classes and add them up. Then add up how many total faces those sales came from. That will be your average per face. Using a company average of $200 per class divided by 3 women is $66 per face.

$200 per class is inflated. You’re lucky if you sell an average of $50 per woman.
Divide your Net Total Salary by your average per face. This will equal the number faces you would need to see in order to replace your income. $11,480 divided by $66 = 174

And this is where the big difference comes up. Because she started with a low and false salary to replace of $11,480, the numbers are skewed. They should be: $22,000 divided by $50 = 440

Keep in mind that we need to double the amount we just calculated, because you need to reinvest ½ of what you sell to keep your inventory at full inventory. 174 x 2 = 348 faces

440 x 2 = 880 faces
Take your number of faces and divide by 52 weeks. This is how many faces you would need to see per week to replace your income!!! 348 divided by 52 weeks = 6.69 faces per week

880 faces divided by 52 weeks = 16.9 faces per week

In this example you would need to see 7 faces per week in order to replace your take home salary of $11,480. Do you think you could do 7 faces per week and work a total of about 6-8 hours doing so? It really makes you think about how easy it can be to replace your income in a fraction of the hours that you give to your job.

Keep in mind that this formula ONLY takes into consideration new faces. You will also be receiving reorders and recruiting commissions that are not factored in!

If you are worried about your health insurance, I want you to start calling Health Insurance companies and getting quotes for your family. Calculate how many extra faces per month you would need to pay for your insurance! Or better yet, your recruiting commissions could pay for your insurance each month.

I hope this helps you see how easy it can be to replace your income and become a full-time Mary Kay consultant and then Sales Director.
Talk about false earnings claims! This is total fiction. If you use the realistic numbers I calculated above, you’d have to see 17 faces a week at $50 a face to replace your income. That’s 6 skin care classes a week.

To do 6 skin care classes a week, you’ll have to book about 12 to 18 full classes for each week. To do that, you’ll need to get referrals to about 48- 72 women… women you can talk to and ask to have a class. You hope that about 1 in 4 will actually book a class.

Now to hold 6 classes a week, you’ll have to figure about 3 hours class time for each. That’s 18 hours. Plus you’ll probably spend about 1 to 1.5 hours each for coaching the hostess, packing up stuff, filling orders, and doing all sorts of little administrative stuff… follow-up phone calls etc. You’re now up to about 26 hours per week.

Then on top of that, you’ve got the unit meeting and probably another recruiting event (Muffins and Makeovers, etc). You will also want to factor in time spent warm stalking to get those 60-ish names per week that you need to get. And don’t forget general office work and such. I’m thinking you’re now way beyond a 40 hour week.

So we’ve now gone from the recruiting lie of replacing your full-time income with 6 to 8 hours of work per week. And you’ll be home with your child!!!

…. to the reality of… This is a time commitment of more than 40 hours a week to replace your income. And that’s only if you’re able to find those 60 or more names per week to harass into having classes. I’d challenge anyone to do that for a full year…. 60 names a week every week for a year. (Yeah, right.)

Are you as infuriated as I am at these types of completely false examples that set women up to expect something they cannot achieve???


  1. Lazy Gardens

    From …

    If you do ALL THIS, you won’t even start Mary Kay, because you will see that it’s not a money-making proposition.

    1. Gather financial statements.
    You’ll need to create at least three financial documents for your business: a profit-and-loss statement, a balance sheet and a statement of cash flow. “The [profit-and-loss statement] shows you whether you’re making or losing money. The balance sheet shows you how much money you have, and cash flow shows you the sources of cash,” Carey says. Together, the three will provide you with an accurate snapshot of your business.

    (Mary Kay does not encourage recruits to do this at any time because they know that the results will be unfavorable. Instead they tell you that the inventory on your shelves is like an ATM full of cash, and that you will be able to double your money.)

    2. Forecast business performance.
    With the documents above, piece together a realistic forecast of how your business will perform each month. You’ll need to know how much cash you can expect to generate today and down the road.

    As you build the business, you’ll need to factor in sales growth along with added expenses. Steer clear of rosy estimates; be brutally conservative. “Typically, entrepreneurs will be overly optimistic about revenue and over-optimistic about containing costs,” he says.

    (Until you have been in business a full year, you won’t know the annual patterns. And in an MLM, you will not be able to get accurate information from anyone in the company. Ask your experienced SD for her accounting info and you will get lies or stonewalls.)

    3. Factor in your personal costs.
    When you quit your day job, you’ll want to keep your business afloat, but don’t forget about personal expenses like rent or mortgage. (snip) As for assigning yourself a salary, “Just make it whatever you need to get by, nothing more,” Carey says.

    (Freelancers like to have 6 months or more of bare-bones expenses in the bank – FOR THE BILLS, NOT FOR THE BUSINESS!)

    4. Get a second opinion.
    Even the most level-headed entrepreneurs should ask for a second opinion before moving forward, says Kevin Spain, a general partner with Emergence Capital Partners, a venture firm in San Mateo, Calif. While an accountant is likely worth his or her weight in gold during this process, you might also tap a trusted colleague or friend for an opinion. Says Spain, “Have someone who you trust take a look at your financial projections to ensure you’re not being overly optimistic.”

    (MLMs will tell you that the accountant who looks at your $3,000 a month income from your day job, your $2,999 monthly expenses, and your $150 in the bank and says “you aren’t ready” is stealing your dreams. They will tell you that the spouse who looks at the business plan and says, “Honey, my income can’t pay all the bills while you are launching, we need more in the bank first so we can stay afloat” not supportive. )

  2. coralrose

    This is an excellent post. I was “sold” into the MK dream of replacing my income while spending more time with my children. This post explains perfectly why that was not possible. When I read pink truth, I am soooo relieved I didn’t quit my job to pursue directorship like my SD recommended. When they recruit you, they say anyone can make money selling MK, but once you’re in, it changes to “the real money is in directorship”.
    To anyone in MK: keep careful track of ALL your hours spent working, keep detailed lists of ALL of your expenses and profits, and see if Mary Kay is really worth it.

  3. Shay

    You know I respect and adore you,right?

    I mean this in the nicest way possible-
    It’s so hard to sometimes tell who wrote what. I wish you would highlight your input in a different color.

  4. Jamming Berry

    This isn’t even counting the fact that no one wants to have a party the week of Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter or other holidays.

    This is how I was sucked in: I didn’t even want to quit my full-time job. I just wanted to be able to afford to go to 3/4 time — make a little extra so I could take my kids out of after-school care and be the after-school Mommy I always wanted to be. Fat chance of that. Once I realized recruiting was the key, I was OUT. Warm stalking? Forget it! A Macy’s was closing in my town and my SD called me and told me to go recruit all the makeup counter gals and I’d have my unit and be a red jacket less than 3 months after signing up. No way!

    1. Jamming Berry

      Definately not worth the effort. I tried to make my parties interesting with facts I looked up about anti-oxidants and vitamin E and such. But it always came down to the “pity purchase” of on Satin Lips set or one lotion or mascara. And then you have to stick with your promise of giving the hostess all kinds of gifts, along with the “party prizes” for the raffle or whatever.

      It’s a lose-lose situation and you only make about $50 profit in the end. Not worth it for gas, time, pretending to be peppy, and wearing a skirt or dress.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      My house cleaner had a full schedule on word of mouth recommendations, charged well over minimum wage, and was worth every single penny of her pay.

      She was taking home more spendable money than almost all Mary Kay caddy-driving directors. For less hours worked.

      1. Lazier Than Durt

        I admit that if you are a good cleaner with a good reputation, there is no selling. I’m lucky to say that I have no business cards, brochures,, wensite ads or other marketing expenses. The work keeps coming. It is waaaay easier than trying to sell stuff.

  5. I had a very bad MK experience once in my early 20’s. The girl stalked me in the aisles of Barnes and Noble one Saturday, and told me while I was huddled up with my book that I have such pretty skin, and I should be a model, and “OMG you should TOTALLY come try a free makeover with a face like that!” As someone with self-esteem issues, I ate up her words. I dragged a friend, and my friend figured it out before I did that we were being sucked into a MK meeting. I was in denial until we walked through the doors and the ” free makeover” was a skin care class with a bunch of other strangers, and we had these ridiculous little trays of samples we had to put on ourselves. I was SO embarrassed that I had my friend come and it was all a lie. I never forgot that…even 13 years later when I found myself at another skin care class that a ” friend” of mine was having. This time, I knew what I was getting myself into and rolled my eyes internally at all the ” OMG I’m SOO EXCITED Y’ALL to tell you about our NEW skincare line.” blah blah blah. The problem this time was, was that I actually had a good time. She made it fun, and I got sucked in. I was signed up by the end of the evening, because why not? I could always return it and get 90% back! I made it less then 3 months before realizing what a bunch of crap it all was. I caught my NSD in a flat out lie about something, ( I kept my mouth shut, it wasn’t worth the drama), but the final straw actually came from my recruiter/ ” friend”. She kept hounding me to give her names to call so she could ” help me” share the ” opportunity”. I was dragging my feet. Mostly because I don’t know that many people, and my friends and family, while they love me, wouldn’t want to hear the “opportunity” anyways. I gave her a few names one night, one being a close friend that is like my mother ( recruiter didn’t know that). She called my other mom and apparently when she answered, didn’t understand who it was or why she was calling because she was half asleep. She ended up being really short with her, and my recruiter texted me the next day and said ” she wasn’t very nice! Is there anyone you know that actually LOVES you?”. And I think that was the moment for me. That was the moment I knew this isn’t something I want to be a part of. Because to her, people who love you, will support you in your ” MK dreams’. People who are rude or don’t want to hear the ” opportunity” meant to her that those people don’t really love you. How f***ed up is that?? I think it was also this moment that pushed me into discovering PT. It hammered the final nails in the coffin of the ” dream” that was already dying. Whatever. I sent the inventory back, threw away my ” awards” from ordering all of it, and paid off my credit card. Woot!

  6. nopinkplease

    All this “faces” stuff is kind of creepy, too! It sounds like something Arya Stark would be involved in. Are they allergic to saying person or customer?

  7. enorth

    “samples we had to put on ourselves”

    I heard a SSD instruct her unit to call it a “self-guided, anti-aging facial.”
    And the Satin Hands treatment is a “hand-cial.”

  8. BestDecision

    Recruiting calls at 9PM. Guest events on Saturday mornings. Unit meetings at night. And that’s even before we start adding in skin care classes, facials, booking calls, product deliveries, pre-profiling, packing, and warm chatting.

    I didn’t go to college and get a degree to work like that. After reading too many posts defending Directors and Nationals who paint the picture of success and complete flexibility in their “careers”, I just have to put my foot down and say this: I paid the price to not make so little money to work like that! I’ve heard it worded as this: “That’s below my pay grade.”

    And it is!

    Why else did I go to class, study, take exams, and then start my career than to not have to work as I did in high school and college or like those I still see struggling? It’s not about laziness. It’s about TRULY being able to be where my people are. They’re at home weekends and weeknights. They’re resting and not scrambling to get guests at the last minute onto a marketing call. On a Sunday night, no less!

    To work for decades and to have no Social Security and no retirement benefits is insane. But, sadly, that’s what my Senior is still doing nearly 25 years in. And so many others. I’m still embarrassed to admit I was a part of MK and that I gave even a month of my life to falling for it.

    Now, let me get back to CHOOSING where our next vacation is and WHEN it’ll be without regard to conferences, qualifications, or deadlines…

  9. Kara lynn

    I think that it’s so sad that you women have build a site that tears down other people and or company. We have enough hate in the world, and here you are bringing more. If Mary Kay isn’t for people allow them to make that choice. There are people who misrepresent brands all the time. If you target employee isn’t helpful and or rude do you not go back? I would reconsider your thoughts… coming from someone who doesn’t work with Mary Kay but was saddened with my data research that there are grown bullies still to this day…

    1. TRACY

      Yes Kara, we ARE allowing them to make their own choice about Mary Kay. We are helping them receive the FULL story about the company so they can make an informed decision.

      Take time to read the thousands of pages on this site. All about the lies and the failure that is nearly guaranteed in this scam. THere is no need for us to “reconsider our thoughts.” We are well informed.

    2. BestDecision

      Bullying is threatening someone to do what you want them to do. I’ve yet to see someone on here threatening anyone, so please grab a dictionary and research definitions before you casually toss around words.

      No one pressured me to resign, yet I was pressured to spend money I didn’t have. No one pressured me to get a refund on my inventory, yet, in MK, I was pressured to conform to what others needed of me by using tactics like abusing God and religion, etc.

      And as for “tearing down other people” like you accuse us of, the names that are given on here are real-life quotes and examples of the very people that are hypocrites or are continuing the bad reputation MK has with consumers and making the sales force’s climb very steep.

      Please, don’t water down the word “bullying” into something far from what it really is.

    3. ran4fun

      ” If you target employee isn’t helpful and or rude do you not go back?” … If a Target employee is rude to me I would go to the management of the store and report it. If Target continues to hire rude employees, yes I would stop going. A real business will address bad employees.
      Good luck reporting “bad” consultants to MKCorps. As long as the consultant orders from them, they wash their hands of the “bad practices” of the “independent” consultants.

      BTW, you didn’t mention what kind of “data research” you are doing that brought you to this site. We are truly interested.

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