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

Fifty Former Mary Kay Go-Give Recipients (and 78% of them aren’t Go-Giving enough!)

This article was originally published in March 2009. We are running it again to illustrate what happens to Mary Kay “stars” in a period of five years.

Written by The Scribbler

Curious about that title, dear seeker?  If you are, you’ve found the right flight!  Pass your battered Ziploc bag packed with 3 oz bottles to that TSA agent over there – the one with the barrel-chest and the Pop-Tart sized choppers – and we’ll clear security in no time.  What?  You need one of us to volunteer to be searched?  Fair enough; I’ll be the sacrificial lamb if it’ll help get everyone else to the gate unspoiled.

While TSA agent Bluto swabs me from port to starboard, pass the time by flipping open this copy of Mary Kay Cosmetics’ Applause magazine and heading for the section featuring the Go-Give Award recipients.  There’ll be five of them, along with their Mary Kay accolades and current rank – got it?  Good, for it is there we will begin our great odyssey.  Well, you, anyway; mine is well underway – HEL-lo, sailor!

Bit O’Backstory, Honey:  I have a tidy selection of Applause issues dating back to 2004.  As I was thumbing through February 2005 recently, I wondered how these women were doing in their Mary Kay careers circa AD 2009.  Channeling Inspector Gadget (minus the whole “Dr. Claw-wants-me-dead-and-buried-but-can-never-send-anyone-smarter-than-a-fried-egg-to-do-it” thing) I tracked down fifty Go-Give recipients from the Feb 05-Feb 06 time frame, did a bit of number play, and am pleased to bring you my interesting findings:

Out of 50 women, 11 (22%) made rank, to include four higher-level directors (Executive and Elite Executives) making NSD.  The rank with the highest number of women moving up was that of Executive Senior Sales Director, while the lowest was that of Senior Sales Director.  While I applaud the determination of the women who managed to make it to the top, I don’t applaud the mass recruiting, manipulation, and frontloading tactics I know it took to get them there.  Confucius say, “Many fall so one can stand.”  And by Confucius I mean me.

24 women (48%) were still at the same rank they were back in 2005/06.  The rank with the highest stagnancy was that of Senior Sales Director, while the rank with the lowest stagnancy was that of Future Executive Senior Sales Director.  (Remember that last tidbit – it comes into play later!)

15 women (30%) lost rank.
Interestingly enough, the rank with the highest demotion factor was that of Future Executive Senior Sales Director.  And it wasn’t by a few, either; 7 out of the 15 demoted women were FESSDs!  Apparently, women didn’t stay at the Future Executive level because they were movin’ on up to the East Side; it was because they’d lost the position altogether!  The lowest demotion factor went to entry-level Sales Directors.

Now I wasn’t about to stop there.  I wanted to delve a bit deeper and reflect on the achievements of the women who’d lost commissions, units, and Heaven knows what else as a result of their rank reduction.  Consider these three examples:

  • Senior Sales Director “Cara” was four-times Queen’s Court of Recruiting, nine-times Sales Director Queen’s Court of Personal Sales, and four-time Triple Star Achievement.  She is now a Sales Director.
  • Future Executive Senior Sales Director “Becky” was a four-times Queen’s Court of Sharing and a 10-times Circle of Achievement recipient.  She is now a Senior Sales Director.
  • Elite Executive Senior Sales Director “Jen’s” accolades include Queen’s Court of Recruiting, six-times Circle of Excellence, 10-times SD Queen’s Court of Personal Sales, and a pink car.  She currently holds the rank of Senior Sales Director.

Keeping those women in mind, I’d like to close it out today by presenting the Mary Kay community with a handful of questions:

  1. How do women like now-SD “Cara” make the Court of Recruiting four times and still slip down the career ladder?  It takes 24 qualified women to make the QCR, so getting the title four times equals a grand total of 96 new (and qualified) recruits.  How can 96 new recruits – each of them coming in with at least a $600 order – not be enough to keep Cara on top of the heap?  Is it Cara’s fault that she was demoted, or the fault of a company where promotions are based on the number of recruits dragged in and not selling proficiency?  This SD’s situation speaks volumes about Mary Kay’s turnover rate.
  2. Do the 24 women that remained stagnant for the past 3-4 years just not want NSD badly enough, or do you think they ran mediocre businesses?  Please note that some of the accomplishments among these women included making the Circle of Achievement 16 times, making Queen’s Court of Recruiting nine times (that’s a whopping 216 new recruits, by the way), and hitting the Sales Director’s Queen’s Court of Personal Sales 13 times.  That’s a tremendous amount of work with no promotion to show for it – are we talking about Mary Kay business owners or slaves, here?
  3. Finally, what about the women who lost rank?  These aren’t 6-month IBCs we’re talking about; these are women in the top 2% of the company.  Can you women hot on the Mary Kay career path look me squarely in the computer monitor and tell me that Elite Executive “Jen” fell from MK grace because she didn’t work her business hard enough?

Well, that’s that.  Think I’ll send Bluto a nice posy of roses once I make it to Albuquerque, which is considerably more than what NSD Milkem N’run will send you once she’s done violating your dreams, your morals, and your good credit.  Now, who’s up for some stale pretzels and a sticky copy of SkyMall?


  1. BestDecision

    My Senior is in the same place she was in 15 years ago. She’s done the Court of Sales several of those years, but we all know that was mainly because she finished cars and unit Circles with her own orders. (This is the same person that had unopened boxes by the dozen in a huge room in her house. All inventory bought when she didn’t need it.)

    Question #1 is dead on. When we earned a car, built a unit, did eithe Courts, did any of the unit Circles, how can someone with half a brain accuse us of later being lazy and not working? For those current Consultants and Directors reading this, I resigned without being forced, without missing production, and without anyone seeing it coming. I had had enough of watching people who’d done Million not make it to NSD (look how long it took Laronda Daigle to make it!), so I called and asked them to come get my Cadillac.

    Sylvia Cook, Ann Sherman, Deb Dudas, Krystal Downey-Shada, Cindy Machado-Flippen, Marsha Morrissette. These are just a few of the women we watched hit Million, some more than once, and they still aren’t NSDs! It’s not their fault, but it’s the business itself to blame. Open your eyes!

  2. sonotpink

    My first director in MK has been in for 30 years and is still a Sales Director. The director from my second time in (I know, really bright of me, huh?) has been in since she was 18 and is now in her early 30s. She is STILL a Sales Director. I sent her a a subtle hint on FB the other day to see if she had made NSD yet. Her reply, “Not yet, but I am close.” What baloney! I wanna say, “It ain’t gonna happen, girly.” I think what a waste that she has spent so much time and money with MK. It’s sad, really.

      1. Iescaped

        I got a neighbor (former coworker in a real job) who is constantly going on about her “future Area”.

        She is a SSD (her only offspring is her daughter) and she just lost her “free” car!

        Doesn’t sound like much of a great future to me:)

        1. BestDecision

          No, anyone not in a current Cadillac isn’t even close to being a National. (Note that I said “current”. Buying an older model and driving it so you look like you’re a pink Cadillac Director doesn’t count.)

          It’s sad, really, and exposes how desperate they are to appear successful. It also shows weaknesses in their character and mental health, frankly. Anyone who felt confident and comfortable in themselves wouldn’t need the ego boost of a fake award.

  3. enorth

    The award mentality starts from Day One. I watched a training video where the newbies who “saw at least three faces last week” were awarded …get ready…a post-card from the Director! Other “earned awards” included a Girls Night Out at the bowling alley, a trip to a ceramic shop where they made a whatever, and a trip to Six Flags amusement park.

    This is an expensive hobby/social club, not a career.

    It spills over to customers. “All my bookings seem to cancel!”, complained a newbie. To which the SSD responded, “You need a different carrot. Find out what they want and give it to them.”

    Indoctrination underway.

    1. BestDecision

      Remember getting a pencil as an award at your Director’s unit meeting? Grown women using pens everywhere, and you get a pencil. That’s the picture of success, isn’t it?!

    2. Formykids

      My soon to be ex MK wife’s, NSD, is offering a pool party at her house for some current wholesale contest…….sounds appealing if your ages 6 to 12??

  4. enorth

    ” pool party at her house”

    I saw that an NSD near me had a pool party as a reward. The FB photo showed about four women (it’s always the same three or four up-and-comers) on lounge chairs. NO ONE looked happy. I saw what looked like wine bottles. Knowing where these people live, they each drove about a three-hour round trip to attend the “party.”

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