One woman’s experience with a persistent Mary Kay lady, originally posted at Epinions.com.
The Bottom Line I once knew a scary, scary Mary Kay Lady.
I’ve been stood up, yes, stood up by the Avon Lady. She promised me she’d deliver my products Wednesday evening; it is now Friday and there is no sign of her. How am I possibly supposed to go another day without smoothing creme and shine spray for my hair, I ask you? Must I go endure another day of this dull, lifeless agony that is my hair? What’s a girl to do?
Sitting around waiting for my newly appointed Avon Rep to deliver me, started me thinking about the last time I got mixed up in organized cosmetics – oh, the horror! I began to regret having innocently placed an order just one week earlier, as I recalled my encounter about ten years prior, with the Mary Kay Lady from hell.
A friend of mine was hosting a Mary Kay Party or facial I think it may have been called. This was a time in my life when I was flat broke and a complete slacker – as cliche as that may sound now that the term has been overused. My purpose in life was to work a job that was easy and made me just enough money so that I could party and have fun and that didn’t require I get out of bed at some ungodly hour. So yeah, I pretty much made six bucks an hour and drove a big heap of crap car. Well, actually, it was was a compact heap of crap car. I still look back fondly on those days, though these days when I can afford to have my teeth cleaned and a vehicle that doesn’t require the passengers to wrap up in a blanket in winter have their charm too.
Well, said friend knew I wasn’t in a position to buy anything, but she told me she wasn’t expecting me to and that it was her first party and it was for fun and for her to learn from. I agreed thinking it might be fun and I thought I might pick up a lipstick or something. I’ll never be so naive again.
We went to the home of the Mary Kay Lady who would be training my friend and, wow, did this woman live luxuriously on a beautiful acreage just outside of the city. The house was gorgeous, they had a pool and a pool house and a stable. Obviously this lady was doing quite well as a Mary Kay Lady although she hadn’t been at it long enough for me to quite believe all of this wealth was obtained by selling Mary Kay. I think she had a pretty good start, and from what I read in another review of Mary Kay, it takes about $700 to get started as a rep. Not a fortune, but still a substantial enough amount that I wouldn’t want to risk.
While we were cleansing our faces with some three step process and determining exactly what color scheme would best go with our complexions, we began to be told of the great wealth you can amass by selling Mary Kay. The top richest women in America are involved with Mary Kay! and Mary Kay is the leading Fortune 500 company for women! or some such thing. I started getting all caught up in it thinking, Oh wow, this is really great for feminism! This company is all about women – yeah! But then the reality of it hit me hard – Duh! This is the beauty industry! Women getting rich by selling over-priced beauty products to other women! Let’s face it, that’s not so cool after all.
After reading the other review of Mary Kay (which is by jennifernorth by the way, and very funny), I think the women who are getting filthy rich off of this are the women who are selling those “starter kits” for $700 to other aspiring reps who want pools and poolhouses and stables.
I asked about one of my causes – animal testing – as I had recently been inundated with letters from PETA about the evil Gillette and L’Oreal companies who were testing cosmetics on poor little rabbits – spraying stuff in their eyes because they don’t have any tear ducts and such. For the record, this was nearly ten years ago and the aforementioned may have (hopefully) stopped animal testing. Anyway, the Mary Kay Lady smiled and answered, Oh no, and in fact, we were one of the first companies to stop animal testing! I think she was just making that up as she went along, but I could be wrong.
After we had all experimented with the different products (and I admit, that part of the party was sort of fun), we were ushered into another room alone with the Mary Kay Lady. I was sort of nervous, she looked very serious and asked, “If money were no object what would you buy?. I thought to myself that if money were no object I could certainly find better ways to amuse myself than at a Mary Kay party, but instead I racked my brain and answered with the obvious “skin care basics” which was a set consisting of three different things to clean your face with and foundation. She said, Okay, that will be $63.42 (or something like that). We take Mastercard and Visa. I’m like wait, hold up! You asked a rhetorical question and I don’t spend $63 to wash my face when I can go get a bar of Dove soap for a buck-fifty.
Somehow I let her convince me to take the set home for a week and just give it a try. She was so sure I would want to purchase the product after using it, she simply insisted and said if I didn’t want it at the end of the week I could return it at no charge. Thinking I had nothing to lose, but of course knowing now – it meant another encounter with someone I was increasingly growing to dislike – agreed to this.
Well, I tried it. I really did. I thought maybe it would make me so gorgeous, I would work a second job merely to get my hands on another drop of these miraculous oils. After about three days, my face turned red and began to burn and I stopped using the products. I’ve since been told that Mary Kay does that to some people’s skin when they begin to use it and that it eventually goes away. To be fair, usually women who use Mary Kay do have great skin and look nice, but I couldn’t afford it and I thought I looked alright without it.
She called and I told her I was done with it and I was done with her and I wanted her to come pick the stuff up. She agreed, no where near as friendly but still not losing her composure being the perfect woman she was and all. I greeted her at the door with my Mary Kay supplied in hand with no intention of letting her in my house. As we spoke, she kept getting closer and closer to me, invading my space, until I felt so uncomfortable, I took a step back and she actually stepped into the house. She was trying to talk me into SELLING Mary Kay! Incredulous, I replied, Sell it? I don’t even want to use it! and she said that was okay, some reps don’t. She started getting closer and closer to me again and I refused to move and she finally left. A couple of months later, she called again as a follow up, but was not very persistant this time.
Needless to say, I run like hell when I see Mary Kay coming my way… But, where is that Avon Lady…