The Ugly Truth About Mary Kay

Written by Trina

It is time for me to tell the ugly truth about Mary Kay. If you don’t want to hear it stop reading now.

Let me start by saying that I met a lot of great women in this business and I am so very thankful for that opportunity. I joined the company on June 28th, 2014. I became a Star Team Builder in September. I was a Team Leader two weeks after that. In October I entered DIQ (Director in Qualification) and finished my first month of Grand Achiever car. I finished car in the four months and DIQ a month early, three months. I debuted as a Grand Achiever car driver and Director in Mary Kay on February 1st, 2015 at the age of 23. I also earned two trips one to Turks and Caicos and another to Puerto Vallarta. That is pretty amazing and quite the feat.

When I started I read the Pink Truth sites just like many of you. I was told they weren’t true and the situations were blown out of proportion. That is not true, there is a whole lot of truth to those posts.

I am going to break this down the same way you do at your facials or parties. MRS CAB.

Let’s talk Money. There can be good money in this business do not get me wrong. My highest commission check was over $1,600.00. However, when you break down that my whole unit made $5,000.00 in production that month but not my personal team members I still had to pay for the car I earned as well as the insurance. I needed to recognize my team with prizes. I am known for giving away the best prizes and they were quality! Earn 50% on everything you sell? Unless you’re using a set sheet, giving discounts for referrals, or leaving a facial with zero sales.

Recognition. Wondering where all the attention went? Well you see when you first start your business you’re going to get a lot of attention because your director wants you to put in a nice sized inventory order so she can reach production for the month. To do that they shower you with gifts and attention to try and show you this is nothing like the corporate world! When you work your business and keep bringing in that production and you keep recruiting and bringing in people that will earn you some recognition for a while too. Recognition means prizes in this business.

Just so you know I would say 9 out of 10 directors get their prizes from “secret” sites. These sites are where the directors can buy the jewelry and purses you get for super cheap, most under $5 each. Did you put in an extra $50 to your production with product you didn’t really need for the month so you could get that prize? You could have bought 10 on your own with that $50. Oh and the diamonds from the company? You have to put in huge amounts of production and/or recruit 24 people and they have to put in a qualified inventory order ($600+).

When I became a director though I stopped getting prizes and that recognition went away. What came? Production. Production. Production. Where are you with production? What do you want to get in production this month? How are you going to meet production this month. The trips! They sound amazing don’t they? Those are the Top Directors. Directors alone are in the top two percent of the company and the top of that top two percent are you get to go on those trips which are free and fabulous. The chances of you getting those trips are extremely slim. Well what about the two trips I earned you ask? I had to pay for those. Yes, they were discounted, but they still would have cost about $2,000 to go on

That leads me to self- confidence. I went up the ladder in this business very quickly. That does not happen to everyone; in fact it hardly ever works out that way. Yes you have some really positive ladies surrounding you. But, when you leave a party with no sales and no recruits and your director asks how you’re doing and you say no sales and no recruits that’s a downer. I have seen just as many girls gain confidence as I have seen lose confidence in this business. You see the positive people around you making money and being inspirations and you’re giving it your all and getting nothing out of it that breaks your heart.

The Car. It takes $20,000 in production from you and your team members (recruits). This is what a Chevy Cruze costs, the car is paid for in full by the end of your qualification period. However, you and your personal team members have to continue to reach $5,000 in production each month or you have to pay money to the company. Keep in mind the car is already paid for in full to buy!!! Yes, some of it will be covered with your commission but not always. My insurance per month was $140.00 and they did not pay 85% of it. Needless to say, take the cash if you ever reach this point buy your own car and be able to keep it at the end. They said as long as you work your business you will be just fine. That is not true. I was doing a Perfect Three ($300 in sales or 3 recruits, 3 parties (15 faces), and 3 interviews) every week. We were not making the production we needed to in my personal team to reach the $5,000 each month. By the way it takes about three months to get the car, just so you know it takes less than three days to make a car.

Advancement, the sky is the limit so they say. But it doesn’t depend on how hard you work. It depends on the customers. Who are you facialing, who are you warm chattering, who are you sending videos to. But, you can talk until your face is blue and until you get a recruit you don’t get advancement. It is as simple as that. Other ways to advance? Not really. You have to recruit to get a promotion. If one of those becomes inactive? You lose that promotion and have to go for it again. Be prepared to ask everyone from your grandma to that girl you walked by once in the hallway in high school for a facial or to share the opportunity with. Call referrals from customers and go to people’s houses you don’t know and maybe even drive an hour to get there. Again, who knows if they will buy anything.

Be your own Boss? Until your Senior Director calls you and gives you your goal for the month and tells you the events you need to go to. You don’t meet that goal? No problem! You will miss out on that five dollar prize, but you will also get a brand new goal made for you the next month! Make your own schedule? Sure! As long as you come to each event, some that are two hours away. You can always say no, but you can assure there will be a trip associated with that too. A guilt trip!

About two weeks after I started I couldn’t go when my director was in town because I was very sick, as in I had been to Urgent Care and given nebulizer treatments. I got calls though and I was guilt tripped into going. Be your own boss as long as you follow the dress code as well. We wear skirts and dresses, and don’t forget your hosiery. If you reach the promotion to be a director you also have to remember you’re a service leader. So even though you’re at the top if you want to get recruits and keep them happy you have to be on their schedule. That is all hours of the day. Many directors put boundaries on. But, how are you supposed to do that when you need to meet production and if you don’t this month you will lose your director status? Time with your family?

Nuh uh! Don’t forget you need to run a unit and keep your personal business up! Most people work all day so when are you going to work? At night! When you become a director you also have to pay more for the weekly meetings you may go to if you do not run your own. You might even be talked into signing a lease and getting a studio for $500 a month so you can use it for two days a week.

Did I think this was an amazing opportunity in the beginning? I absolutely did. I believed in this company from day one. However, I have been given the short end of the stick for too long. People ask me why I sent products back? Because I never, ever want to do this again. My recruiting and production is the reason that your director now has director status. Yet, I haven’t gotten even a thank you. Instead, she has called corporate so that she can get the unit production I would have gotten. I only got calls when she needed something.

I am tired of being used and having the people above me receive the benefits from it. Not the corporate world? That sounds pretty corporate to me. Production? That sounds pretty corporate too. I’m sending it all back and never want to do this again because I feel lied to. The car? Not free. The trips? Not free. The self confidence? Only when you’re doing well. Recognition? Only when you’re helping your director. Advancement? Dependent on someone else. Be your own boss? Only if its around everyone else’s schedule except your own.


  1. BestDecision

    It’s so true that you have to do a whole lot more as a Director to get recognition than earlier in business!

    And when MK started to water down Directorship, I really felt it. Having Future Directors and DIQs attending Leadership was the worst idea ever. Lowering the DIQ qualifications and allowing them to come to the only conference we had where we could solely focus on ourselves and our growth made it less special. Why should they work any harder when it’s given to them with 8 Active?

  2. Char

    I congratulate Trina for getting out and writing into PT to share the ugly truth. Thank you.

    I don’t mean to be overly critical, but I do think her article only taps into the first layer of exposing this scam. Frankly, there is still some pink fog lingering. Forgive me for delving further:

    – You did not have a “business”, you were an MLMer.
    – You moved up quickly because you recruited women to spend money and lure them into a dream and scheme.
    – “Production” is having recruits buy product. That’s not an ethical achievement.
    – HOW did you make that $1600 check? Pyramid scheming!

    There is so much more and I think she is still deprogramming. The way this article is written is a testament to how misled consultants really are. Again, I just wanted to point that out and create awareness.

    It’s not ‘only’ about whether or not you actually make money, have co-pays etc., but also WHAT you are doing to get there – or not. This is so important to understanding the scam called MLMing.

    You’re not leaving a business Trina, you’re leaving a con game. That does come through in much of your writing when dissecting it further and peeling away the layers.

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