Tired of Faking It in Mary Kay

Written by Lynn

I am sick and tired of all the fake I have seen in Mary Kay. I’ve watched my director go from someone who seemed caring and thoughtful to pushy and rude to anyone who isn’t on board with her mission. Looking back I can see how she played off my emotions in order for me to pay up for inventory, events, my recruit’s orders, because “only I could make DIQ HAPPEN.”

The production amounts each month are ridiculously stupid and impossible to build an actual legit team and train them properly. It’s all about HIGH PRODUCTION and not HOW MANY YOU ACTUALLY RECRUIT AND YOUR HARD WORK. It’s always moving onto the next one, and the next one, and the next one.

It’s so superficial and I feel like I lost a lot of friends who were once team members simply because they didn’t have enough production. It’s like a popularity contest.  The only real way to make any money is to NOT go to the events and lose thousands, NOT order just to stay active, and NOT pursue “huge throw up goals” that make YOU want to pay out of your own pocket to NOT look like a “loser.” To actually only order what you sell to your customers who are loyal.

Team building seemed great, until people turn their product in and YOU get IN DEBT from that. I am so glad I DID NOT have credit, because I hate to think of how much I would of spent under the pink spell of wanting to keep my “status.” I lost a lot of money my first year in, and then I took a whole year break and basically became a personal use consultant with some loyal customers.

During that break I remember my director asking me what was wrong because she could tell something was wrong. Yeah, something was wrong! I lost thousands of dollars under the pressure to not let “you” down. It was never truly about me and my family. I felt like I couldn’t tell her any of this because she would of just said, “no one made you spend money.” Nooo just convinced me and played off my believe and trust in your “friendship.”  I felt so much anxiety and I felt so defeated when I didn’t become a director like it was somehow my fault even though I tried SO hard.  I’m way happier actually keeping the little I do get, rather than “moving (paying) up the career path.”

I was told to take “personal responsibility” because “we can’t say my team this my team that.” okay.. well how are you supposed to be a director by yourself when it takes a TEAM to get there? No matter what I did, it was never good enough.

I hate to think of how many women have lost money believing they would make it back, or could pay themselves back. I’ve held so many parties and appointments I have lost count. Rarely, people actually use the skin care continuously and make-up. More often, they buy little items, never to buy again. They say they have no money, or promise to buy something, and never do. I tell my director my struggles of making sales and it is as if what I am saying goes in one ear and out of the other. If I question anything, I’m “negative,” and things online “lie.”

I was 100% on board to make my dreams a reality, and then I booked, and booked, and booked. Recruited, recruited, recruited. I booked 20 appointments in a month! 30! 40! to have cancellations, not enough sales, my recruits having cancellations, and not enough sales. I did it all “the way I was told” and I only ever TRULY got as far as a Team Leader. DIQ didn’t work out, probably because I didn’t have a credit card to keep “paying my way up.” So glad I didn’t! I’ve lost enough money. Granted I’ve met some really great people who are still my real friends and loyal customers, but that’s the only good that came from it. I learned a harsh lesson, don’t trust anyone who is making money off of you, being judge mental, and shoving religion down your throat.

I saw her true colors when she makes fun of people who aren’t “exactly her one way.” I can’t talk to these women about anything real in my life. REAL is not in their vocabulary!!!! They have great products, but I’m done “buying extra” to “finish star” or “reach a big goal.” I hate to even think of everything I have lost, and all that I could have saved, and paid off. I had just came out of a very abusive relationship and I was vulnerable to all the praise and love I “seemed” to be getting. The truth is you are just a number, and if you were to stop being useful, you’d mean nothing.

I also went to my last event this past spring, and could literally feel my skin crawling riding with these people. A team member I had recruited had become like her little puppet on strings. It was sickening to watch. I know I was being secretly talked about, it was just that feeling that you get when the fake and tension is so thick in the air you could cut it.  Gag. Gag. Gag. I thought I wanted to go to Seminar this year, but I ended up backing out, because the idea of being around a bunch of fake people made me want to throw up. Plus, I could see the money coming out of my account once again, and flashed back to how much money I lost years ago, and realized I didn’t want to go back down that path. My first Seminar I was so excited, (delusional), I pursued my goals relentlessly, and lost thousands in the process. No thanks. Not again. No matter the fact that I have made sales, when you add in all the expenses and money lost, you didn’t make much if anything.

It’s like a constant gamble. Spend money, Make money, spend money, make money, spend money. I am at a point in my life where I want to make money and save money for my future. Not stay broke. I am mad at myself for the little bit of money I have lost this year from the huge prices of registration for events, hotels, meal plans. It’s not nearly as much as I lost my first year. Thousands next to a few hundred, but it still sucks. I’ve finally managed to save some money this year, and by not investing any more into MK, I know I’ll recover slowly but surely.

It’s nice to know I am not alone.


  1. Lazy Gardens

    ” I feel like I lost a lot of friends who were once team members simply because they didn’t have enough production.”

    Mary Kay herself said “If they hadn’t hosted a show, then they were probably no longer friends.”

  2. The business with “friends” stuff is horrible. Recently needed some work done on my computer. Wife has friends in her “network” that do computer stuff… next thing I know is I am on the phone with some guy who’s asking me a ton of questions when I clearly told him what the issue was. The he quotes me some “estimate” that is twice what I expected, and twice the rate that is actually charged for a standard repair.

    My wife put me in a VERY UNCOMFORTABLE position of having to say no to this guy. The result was predictable: Anger from my wife for rejecting her “friend” and his RIP OFF price.

    What pisses me off even more is the knowledge that my wife would pay that ridiculous price if it was up to her, because she would be “supporting” her “friend’s” business. If he is her friend he’d be giving her a better price, right? His business is probably failing because he charges twice the standard rate in our area.

  3. Char

    There are several excellent highlights in this article pointing out why MK is a pyramid scheme, and why it’s not about “you”. I agree. It isn’t. Scams don’t operate that way.

    What I fail to comprehend is why a person so disgruntled with a corrupt company, and rightly so, would continue to buy, sell, and thus support such a company!!!!

    Hate to say that because I’m glad she wrote in, but she still doesn’t get it! The pink Koolaid is still in her system. I write that because I hope by reading this post, she will better understand!

    So, quit buying products even as a PUC from a pyramid scheme that exploits women so you can make a buck and/or use their products.

    (Sorry about the tough love Lynn.)

    1. TRACY

      I have the same concerns about someone continuing to be affiliated with the company. But there are women who are upset with MK, but continue to be involved. It’s reality.

      1. Char

        I honestly think that it just hasn’t registered with ‘some’ of these folks. Perhaps it’s due to to just how cleverly disguised the scam is? People don’t stop and think that they are in fact supporting a pyramid scheme when buying products even though they aren’t actively recruiting.

        Now that it’s pointed out, I hope they give it some thought.

  4. MLM Radar

    My husband thought he’d found the way out of his financial mess with multi level marketing. If I said something about how much money he was spending he’d snarl, “You’ve got to spend money to make money!” Then he’d tell me how stupid I was for not seeing what was obvious to him. But what I saw was money being sucked down a bottomless pit, and the only stopping point was when the bank quit letting him have overdraft protection. The worst times were when he had small overdrafts, big overdraft fees, and giant chargebacks at the same time.

    Did you know that if you have several withdrawals in the same day, and the total is greater than your available balance, the bank will process the largest items first? Your single $500 chargeback will clear, but each of the multiple $5 to $50 items will be bounced, with a $35 processing fee slapped on every one of those smaller items.

    I almost got ulcers knowing how much money and time he was throwing into the pyramid schemes. Spend. Spend. Spend. Yes, he made a little, but it all got eaten up in expenses and chargebacks. The only reason I got any sleep was because I’d already closed all our joint accounts.

    “You’ve got to spend money to make money” is just a sick slogan that encourages willful blindness. Spending money is just spending. There’s no end to the ways multi level marketing has to empty your pockets.

  5. Renay

    O/T but if anyone is looking for a new podcast, “The Dream” is a show highlighting the scam that is MLM.

    This week focuses on MK and her guests include an economist as well as a female pastor/former director.

    It’s a new show and this was the best episode yet.

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