Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Hypnoprized: Pink Truth’s Star Prize Breakdown!

Written by The Scribbler

Titled, “Go Me: How I’ll power up my best year ever,” beauty consultants will enjoy the updated recipe used to cook up this quarter’s star prize brochure:  Combine one part ham and fourteen parts cheese; sprinkle liberally with eye-rolling puns, serve with a downturned eye and muttered apologies.  Busy career path trekkers will appreciate the brochure’s dual function as goal poster/motivational handbook; the wee wads of wisdom scattered throughout will give your brain a proper Mary Kay lathering – that is, if they don’t scrub your frontal lobe down to a nub first.      

Obligatory Fine Print:  All prizes not covered here.  If I was unable to find an exact match for any given prize, quotes will be given based on items found with Google searches that used the item’s brand and/or description.  (Translation:  I do the backbreaking work so you can laugh at it later.)

1800 Sapphire:
Sound the horns o’ plenty right off of the bat by paying $1800 for a digital photo keychain! (Amazon.com, $14.98)  The keychain’s simulated image shows a tender scene of a woman kissing her backpack-wearing daughter.  I figured it was a “back to school” thing until I popped myself in the forehead with a V8 can.  “Stupid!  This is a Mary Kay publication, remember?  It’s probably portraying a hasty mother/daughter coaching session fresh from the pages of the Helou handbook:  “Before [my daughter] Sidney goes to a slumber party, I say, “Here, take the (eye color) and the fragrance and spray it on everything. Then take orders.” (NSD Kathy Helou, “Mary Kay Seeks more Youthful Look,” Cincinnati Enquirer, 16 Sep 01)  Always press through to a win, cupcake; I believe in you!

2400 Ruby:  I missed commenting on last quarter’s prizes, but there’s a few in the batch worth covering, like the pink princess chair offered for last quarter’s Rubies ($79.99 at Celebrateexpress.com).  The chair’s only 20” X 20”, so unless you’re a direct descendant of the Leprechaun King, your tuckus and this throne are pretty much a cursed match.  Nevertheless, you know that your zaftig pal Director DiGiorno will not only win it, but cram her beskirted chuck roast into it at a unit meeting to illustrate how Mary Kay is “a perfect fit for everyone.”  Might as well have some fun with it; give the Discovery Channel a ring before it all goes down and let them know that you’ve got the perfect opening segment for Destroyed in Seconds.

quarter’s Ruby level offers buyers a chocolate fondue fountain. (amazon.com, $58.52).  Corporate’s pretty much nullifying all the wellness affirmations with this one:  “It feels good to make healthy eating choices!”  “I love beet juice – it fills me with juicy goodness!”  “Rice cakes make me tingle!”  Bleah; you just acquired a chocolate-spewing fountain and by golly, that’s what it’s going to spew.  Resist the temptation to load the thing up with liquefied celery and melba toast for your next get-together, because nothing will shoo off your guests quicker.  (Well, nothing except those “Marmite and Makeovers” galas your director keeps having.  And she wonders why you repeatedly turn down her dinner invitations – well, duh!)

3000 Diamond: Whenever I leaf through a Mary Kay publication, I can’t help but bust up whenever I encounter phrases that hint at the reality of the business.  The feel-good phrase at the Diamond level is a prime example:  I’ll charge ahead full force!  (To insure fluid success, take two Venti mochas in the a.m. and repeat the phrase five times each time you have to go make your bladder gladder.)  The Diamond prize was a $50 Customer Motivators gift card, however, I was more interested in the “DVD Movie Reward Certificate” described on the card’s website; choose any DVD from the website’s B-list and voila, Recognition City!  If you need a few quick flick picks, here are mine:

For recruiters:  “Hook,” “Snatch,” “Bewitched”
For DIQers:     “Fools Rush In, “Anger Management.”
Directors:  “Daddy Day Care,” “The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss” (subtitled, “A Cracked Coast-to-Coast Collection of Clips Compiled from NSD Cattle-Calls.”)

3600 Emerald:   The drawing accompanying the Career Conference 2009 registration carrot is worth pondering:  three Geisha-eyed red jackets sit in a line, all easily 7 feet high and 100 pounds apiece.  Keep your eye on the middle one, baka gaijin – her expression whispers, “I am skilled in the honorable and peaceful ways of the tea ceremony, but so help me Buddha, try anything funny and I will “enrich” your life by lodging this pen in your temple at 50 paces.”  Seated to the left of Red Jacket O-Ren Ishii is her BFF Gojira, ready to whip off her briskly-knotted scarf and work a finishing move on those who dare to deny her a three-way call with her director.  “Pink Sugar Heart Attack!”

4800 Pearl:  I should be surprised with the offering of the leopard print coat at this level (bostonproper.com, $159), but I’m not; maybe because I know that – much like pink glittered paper crowns, tinsel wigs, and purple feather boas – animal prints just aren’t all that common in Mary Kay culture.  The brochure assures that “the coat’s fierce pattern will suit [your] sassy style!”  And really, who doesn’t want to show the world how sassy they are?  (Bert the Bum on the corner of 5th and Lake, you think the world’s not ready for your dog-dropping sculptures, but I say that now’s your time to glow, sunshine!  You can’t hide what’s inside!)

A warning:  use caution when wearing this frock out to eat.  The other day I had a quart of fish heads thrown on me when a PETA loony accosted me in Long John Silvers (“How can you support the frying and eating of sea kittens!”) When I showed her my genuine tarantula-fur scarf, she grabbed a handful of moist towelettes and got to work picking stray fish eyes off me.   “You rule!” she repeated for five minutes straight.  “You SO stinking rule.”  She proceeded to explain that wearing fur is okay – nay, encouraged – if the fur comes from anything that can’t give you the “I Wish You Would Take Me Home and Dry My Lonely Tears so I Can Love You Forever” Look.  Keep that in mind as you splurge on that luxurious warthog-pelt pashmina!

6000 Pearl:  How happy your husband will be when you award him with the Cuisinart juicer and griddler (Macys.com, $29.99 and $129.99).  These household tools will pair beautifully with the red iRobot Roomba featured in last quarter’s brochure to form the complete Husband Empowerment Package!  Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not introducing any machinery into my house that has “I-Robot” written on it – did you see what those rabid NS-5s tried to do to Wil Smith?  I have a bad enough time trying to get my Dustbuster to comply, let alone willingly introduce hyper-intelligent technology into my home.  Ounce of prevention, people.

7800 Pearl:  Order $7800 wholesale and get the perfectly pimpy ipod pink crystal case (yallstore.com, $4.99) and itunes $50 gift card.  The actual Apple iPod was offered last quarter at the 9600 level, so if you missed out, you’ll just have to grudgingly go to Apple.com and pick one up for $249 (it crushes your spirit, I know).  And because Mary Kay’s brand of thinly-veiled feminism is all about the right to make choices, check this out:  Get your complete music package by ordering $15600 across two quarters or simply pay $303.99 outright.  Bonus:  Go with the second option and enjoy the benefit of being able to walk down your hallway without having to turn sideways absolutely free!

9800 Pearl:   Straight from Scrib’s, “I Gotta Get Me One of These” Lists, the 9800 level offers consultants the BlackBerry Pearl (Verizon.com, $149.99 after $100 mail-in rebate).  The Pearl’s got lots of fun features, such as a 2.0 megapixel camera, full e-mail capabilities (great for getting those always-inspirational  “Nothing You Do in Life Will Ever Be Good Enough For Me” e-mails from your mother) and the convenient VZ navigator which provides you with turn-by-turn directions – great for those last-minute product deliveries to questionable neighborhoods!  (“Go 1.2 miles on State Street, turn left at the crack house, the extended-stay hotel will be on the corner; look for the hooker wearing candy-apple red hair extensions; he answers to “Summer Clearance.”)

Now I generally don’t mention the back cover, but I’ve got to highlight the sheer desperation that’s conveyed here; it’s as if Corporate’s cramming as much as they can in a last-ditch effort to bring up the numbers:  I’ll be seeing stars!  And with the star consultant program, I know what that takes!  Celebrate when I make it – and will make it!  In fact, I’ll be an All-star!  I’ll make this my best year yet!  Revel in my awesome awards and enjoy the life I love!

Sheesh, anyone else getting the disturbing visual of Mary Kay Ash straddled across your torso, hammering a rolled-up copy of Ready, Set, Sell! past your tonsils?  Say it, cretin!  Say you love your life!  Say you’ll be an All-star!  Saaaay it!

I’ve heard it mentioned time and again that “It’s not about what a star prize costs, OMG, I would never just order product so I could get a Richard Rogers bobblehead for my bathroom sink!  It’s about the wonderful recognition I receive for working my business!

Hey, if you’re easily selling $9,800 wholesale in a given quarter and have zero credit card debt (because you’re only ordering when you need it and you’re paying off any debt with profits gained from product sales), I’m not referring to you.  In fact, I’m applauding you, so is there any reason why you won’t join me for some curly fries and a Jamocha shake later on?  (You can say the health affirmations later on; I promise to cover my ears and look away).  However, if you’re a hard-working director caught in the trap of continually topping off production, continually stretching, continually ordering what you don’t need (and repeatedly justifying it with ‘I’ll sell it later!”), then I encourage you to make a business choice that benefits you this week, despite what someone above you might say or think.

Now who’s up for throwing on their leopard coats and heading over to PETA HQ with a big bucket of fried “farm angel” legs?  My treat!