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

Mary Kay Myth: I Took God As My Business Partner

Written by SuzyQ

This is a favorite line used often in the context of seminar speeches and uplifting motivational “I stories” to answer the question “How did she do it?”

Let’s talk about that a little.  The “god” that is used in Mary Kay is a little different than the One we were taught to worship.  Mary Kay’s god has an amazing facility to “bless” unethical, immoral and dishonest practices.  Mary Kay’s god blesses Cadillacs, recruiting pitches, skin care classes, unit clubs, top director trips, seminar openings, and warm chatting adventures. 

This god places sharp women in people’s paths, presses other people’s names on one’s heart, gives lists of people to call for classes and interviews, views prosperity and name it and claim it as a divine birthright, and last but not least, holds Mary Kay in the palm of his hand.  This “god” understands the necessity of selling the sizzle, so if that director’s check you wave around and let it be understood that this is your normal monthly check, it’s OK, because some day it will be your real monthly check.

This god allows women to frontload others with inventory, distorts the recruiting interview, allows lies by omission and often out-right lies.

Mary Kay’s god doesn’t worry about the process so much as the outcome, and those who are find a way, make a way sort of women, are “blessed” more than those who express concern or doubt.  This “god” supports dumping the non-supportive spouse, letting friends go who don’t get it, encourages shunning of those who have left the company, and doesn’t allow questioning.

This “god” endorses interesting payment plans for products, allows agreements to be falsified, and smiles down at the winners of the cars and the courts at seminar.  Frowns from this god are reserved for those who didn’t believe, trust and stretch to make it to the sacred stage. In short, this “god” has very fluid, flexible and situation-dependent values.

Now, looking at this objectively as I can, this appears to be much ado about nothing.  Nothing more than a silly company with silly leaders and silly events.  Maybe.

Except, the reality for many is incredible pain, confusion and profound guilt.  Where did this information come from?  The nationals.  Mary Kay’s daughters who are passing on her legacy.  I don’t know whether Mary Kay herself is ultimately accountable, or, if many of the nationals decided to practice their own style of preaching on their areas independent of her blueprint for her company.

Where else can a person hear that The Secret is Christian, because you are asking the universe for this or that, and God created the universe, so it’s same thing same thing?  Or that the Prayer of Jabez was referencing unit and area size?  The Golden Rule?  It now means that the way you treat your nsd and your director is the way you will be treated when you attain those positions.  That Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Jack Canfield, etc. etc. are speaking directly to the Mary Kay sales force.  That “Name it and Claim it” is a viable spiritual belief?  That Mary Kay is a Christian mission field?  That pink Cadillacs are a way to attract people to God?  That materialism and the excesses displayed so frequently are also a way to attract people to God? That the Mary Kay sales force is the only “bible” some people may read?

And negativity.  Any negativity, any questioning of business practices, any concern, introduces the devil, the “enemy,” the darkness that is pressing on your heart and stealing your dream.  If I had a quarter for every time I heard the phrase “Speak no negativity” I could retire my entire MK debt in one payment.

And the phrase “Be too dumb to doubt.”  Or “God equips the called, he does not call the equipped” is a reference about becoming a Mary Kay beauty consultant?  “Don’t give voice to your doubts?”  “Step out in faith, not fear?”  So many phrases conscripted and distorted by Mary Kay nationals.

And the one that struck terror in me personally was “You are just a baby Christian” with the implication I wasn’t working hard enough, didn’t believe enough and would never achieve any sort of success unless I believed the way this national did.  Oddly enough, this was during a directors only Bible study she led and I learned it was OK to pray for production and new red jackets.  We could also specify how many stars we wanted to bring in the next month.

The end result of all of this distortion and deception is incredible pain in one’s very soul.  If one loses faith in Mary Kay, it follows that one loses faith in God.  If spiritual success is measured by trips, cars and production, many are lacking.  If God is not blessing, then He is punishing.

If God has led you to Mary Kay and you are not successful, you are more than a business failure, you are spiritually bankrupt.  The only answer remaining to you is to immerse yourself more in Mary Kay.  To work harder, to believe more, to trust the process more, to do so many things more and better, and if still, there is no change, it’s back to spiritual bankruptcy.

It’s one thing to make money by hook or by crook.  It’s quite another to use God as a means to that end.  The shame and guilt that many of us felt as we let God down, yet again, should instead be laid directly on the shoulders of the nationals who perpetuate this religious abuse.

Note to nationals: Practice whatever sort of religion that is popular with you now, in your own homes. Do not inflict it on your areas.  Mary Kay is not a church; it is a skin care and cosmetics corporation.  Your area is not your congregation; it is comprised of the women who pay your bills.

If you are going to quote Scripture, how about putting it into context?  Better yet, leave the Scripture to those who are ordained, and leave your “god” out of it. Teach your areas how to sell the product you insist they order.   It’s the right thing to do.  Try it.


  1. Iescaped

    And again, the phrases that I heard in Mary Kay over and over are flooding back into my mind.

    One that is standing out was used on a DIQ. My SD/NSD was about to wrap up her area and debut at Seminar as a new NSD. She needed this DIQ to become a SD ASAP. Unfortunately, this particular DIQ was a bit afraid. The SD/(soon to be NSD) used this woman’s faith as a way to push her.

    She told the DIQ the story of Peter and how he was afraid to get out of the boat and walk to Jesus. The SD/(soon to be NSD) referenced the DIQ as being in the same position as Peter. And she kept using the phrase “get out of the boat” to push and push.

    DIQ followed and became a SD.

    This phrase (“get out of the boat “) was used over and over in meetings as a way to push us from our fear and into faith when pursuing the MK Opportunity.

    I found it blasphemous to equate Peter and Jesus with the MK opportunity. This NSD will stop at nothing, to use someone’s Faith as a tool against them is downright disgusting.

    But every day that you are in MK, the Scriptures are twisted and manipulated to poise MK and God as interchangeable. That somehow turning your back on MK is actually turning your back on God.

    So many meetings I just thought we’d be struck by lightning or burst into flames for what was being said.

    1. It is blasphemy. For a company to act like they have God’s seal of approval and then behave as unethically as they do does a tremendous amount of damage to God’s name and the faith of anyone who believes in Him.

  2. morningstar

    The reference religion is a red flag. At fall retreat one year the NSD had a mormon church service on a Sunday complete with singers. Sean Keys was there too. My husband was there and we both were confused and uncomfortable. This lead me to quit MK because religion is our own personal thinking and here the NSD is pushing her brand on many who may have their own way of spirituality. I felt embarrassed for other denominations of people being subjected to HER religion. My upbringing was taught to respect all religions, this was layering (for the sales force production) and using God (as in this top article) to shame us into doing ‘better’ in the MK business. At that time the SD’s were carrying around the prayer of Jabez, holding the book physically close to their selves, acting like if you did not read it you are doomed to flame out in this business. Again, follow me attitude and you will be prosperous. These women will stop at nothing to make you feel inadequate, hoping to inflate your ego to place more orders.

  3. Kalefa84

    “That Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Jack Canfield, etc. etc. are speaking directly to the Mary Kay sales force. That “Name it and Claim it” is a viable spiritual belief?”

    It’s interesting how similar these “preachers” and their false prosperity gospel is to MLMs.

  4. 4:8 girl

    I was in MK for 16 years & a red jacket the last 2 years. The day I wised up & took God as my partner was the same day I decided to quit MK. During DIQ to boot! Best. Decision. Ever! God convicted me to leave this scammy unethical “business” & I’m grateful I heeded the call. ?

    1. pinkpeace

      Raisin, obviously they must not have bee-lieved enough. If only they had enough faith or prayed harder, they would be NSDs by now.

      It couldn’t possibly be the fault of Mary Kay or of a perverted theology. It HAS to be the fault of beauty consultants and directors.

  5. hreneej

    I was a consultant for a month went to every meeting and I constantly heard”God first, family second, and career third.” My 3 yr old has some health issues so I couldn’t “perform” with this weighing on me. I needed to have my attention on him. I told my director about what was going on and I needed to take a break to concentrate on my son and I haven’t heard from my director since and it’s been over 2 months. I don’t think that is the Christian way.

    1. Iescaped

      hreneej, just be happy in the long run that your SD left you alone. Glad you got out and spent time with your son and not MK.

      Not very Christian for your SD to behave like that, but none of the ways she behaves is probably very Christian like.

      She easily could have told you that spending more time and effort (along with money) was God’s way of helping your son. I’ve unfortunately seen this happen before to others.

Comments are closed.