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

Milking the Cash Cows: NSD Linda Toupin’s Take on Money Management

Written by The Scribbler

It’s always fun to browse through Mary Kay NSD websites and see what constitutes “money management” training.  Naturally, when I came across the “Fall Retreat Money Management Slides” on NSD Linda Toupin’s website, I was interested.  “Wow, an NSD that’s actually teaching her National Area how to avoid debt?  How nifty is that?”  At least, that’s what I thought until I read the very first slide:

Face palm.  Sigh.  Roll eyes.  Pour a stiff Pepsi.  All of the above.

NSD Toupin’s a Class A product pusher, actively “encouraging” her followers to load themselves (and their new recruits) with mountains of makeup for a myriad of reasons.

Want to make an easy $2k in commissions?  Saddle up five freshly-signed fillies with diamond star ($3000) orders!  Just starting Mary Kay?  Toupin advises that “$3600 wholesale is suggested for new consultants beginning with a debut.” Or maybe you’re looking to become a director, in which case Toupin warns you that “The average Toupin director stocks 4800 wholesale (non-discontinued product).” But don’t worry; Mary Kay products sell themselves!   Just ask all 25,653 hits (as of 5 Feb 10) for “Mary Kay” on eBay.

As you browse Toupin’s Powerpoint productions, you’ll run across basic Mary Kay business concepts such as the 60/40 split, the separate checking account, and lookie here, there’s even a 90% buyback should you choose to return your product but by golly, you can’t rejoin MK ever again and you’ll have to go back to the non-enriching drudgery of teaching first-graders how to read, God help your soul! I suggest we burn through this chaff and get to the good stuff, like the slide that begs, “Teach me how to make $2000 a month profit.”

Toupin starts with assuming you’ve sold $5500 for that month.  (Is not laughter good for both belly and soul?  Indulge, I pray thee, for it will fatten your head with oil and all that other great stuff you see in the Psalms.)  What’ll make you slap your forehead is the fact that – according to the “Team Toupin Stats,” – the all-time consultant record for “Highest Sales 30 Days After Debut” is $4393, $1107 short of the $5500 benchmark.  Uh-oh, someone’s lazy!

After figuring deductions for inventory, Section 2 goodies, and hostess gifts, Toupin reaches a gross profit figure of $2200.  She then allots $200 for business expenses.  It was at this point that my “Bravo-Sierra” flag started flapping about worse than a duck’s rump in a rainstorm.  The expenses included $15 for Intelliverse, $40 for door charges/raffles/hostess contest entry fees, $ 45 for postage/copies, and $100 for MK events (Seminar, Fall Retreat and Career Conference).  Bam!  $2000 net profit!

But wait a second.  Did you notice that NSD Toupin earmarked only $100 for MK events?   Perhaps she means for consultants to squirrel away $100 for the purposes of using it to fund Seminar, Fall Retreat, and Career Conference.  Sounds peachy, but as you’ll soon see, any cash consultants had hoped to stash gets pillaged by the legion of events on Toupin’s double-booked calendar. Ever wonder why consultants are taught to bring their checkbooks to unit meetings?  Wonder no more:

February: 3-day Red Jacket retreat, $49 ($65 per day hotel stay) TOTAL: $244.  This figure does not include travel expenses such as airfare, rental car, gas, and so forth.

Lexington Career Conference, $80.  Hotel and travel expenses not included.

April: 4-day Spring Director Boot Camp, $200 for all three sessions.   Toupin recommends that you stay at the Sheraton 700 for $159 a night.  TOTAL: $677, travel expenses not included.

May: Toupin’s “Finish Strong” event:   Although current prices are not listed for this one-day event, last year’s price of admission was $35.  According to the flyer, there were “No qualifications to attend!”  I found it hard to believe that an NSD was even capable of typing such a blasphemous phrase, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Toupin’s kids burst into the room while she was typing, tased her, then quickly typed the offending phrase on the flyer before Toupin came to.  I bet those kids giggled about their kooky caper for hours, huddled under their Hanna Montana and G.I. Joe bedcovers.  What’s that?  Toupin’s kids are grown?  Fine, the bedcovers came from JCPenney’s Cindy Crawford Collection.  Happy now, Tom Clancy?

June: Seminar, $175.  That’s not including airfare, hotel, food, clothes, tips, special “Please Let Me Touch You” nights with your NSD at the karaoke club, and the hiring of a priest to mop holy water over a bathroom that’s been befouled by your three roomies ten minutes after checking in.  And which one of you pigs had the curry?  It’s Janet, Director Jackson if you’re nasty.

What events await you post-June? How about Fall Retreat, Fall Director Boot Camp, and the Toupin Area “Consistency Club Adventure” to the Biltmore Mansion?  I like what Toupin put on the bottom of the Biltmore flyer:  “0% Credit Cards or low interest loans are often used in our business to stock our shelves but never to place orders simply to ‘win’.”

Stock your shelf, order to win, it doesn’t matter what reason you give for violating your Visa because the end result is the same.  Product is getting ordered in mass quantities when it’s not necessary to have that product on one’s shelves to begin with. And as long as Toupin is tacking ordering requirements onto her events (as she does for the Biltmore outing), the temptation to order so one can go on a getaway or win a prize will be ever-present.

NSD Toupin may be teaching a form of money management in Mary Kay, but between her penchant for frontloading and her billfold-busting bacchanalias of baloney, she’s making it challenging for the women in her National Area to keep their financial bathtubs filled when she’s twirling the drain cork.  And while reading of these morally-defunct practices may cause the PT public to grow wide-eyed or furrow a brow, these practices are business as usual for NSD Toupin.  I’m beginning to think that her catchphrase, “Just go milk the cows” is no coincidence.


  1. raisinberry

    We live in a world of hypocrisy…so many people seem at ease telling their scripted scenario’s, without any regard for the actual truth of any given situation. Toupin acts as if her Directors stock 4800 wholesale because they NEED it.
    WHO NEEDS 5K to 9K rotating retail product on a $300-$700 week?? She KNOWS and is justifying that level of retail to add credence and calm down her DIQ’s and Directors who are panicking, looking at that level and MORE, because they haven’t sold it, and have to justifying buying MORE as the month comes to a close. Right, no one is supposed to “buy” to “win”. Right. Nice try. As soon as the next ribbon winning contest is announced, the pressure to “achieve” will also follow.

    Hypocrites one and all.
    The idea that any recruit could

  2. Lovinmesomesephora

    In the Toupin National Area a “profit level” inventory is acknowledged at the $3600 level with NO discontinued product in that number. Then you get the “choices” pin for maxing out a credit card that lets the world know YOU are at profit level in your bizness.

    On a side note: LT once referred to recruits who could not afford inventory as “the dregs of society” …..
    This was recorded at a training event.

    I still have that cd….

  3. Lovinmesomesephora

    And….if LT was so concerned about her unit/area members learning about finances, she should have had Dave Ramsey teach rather than Suzi Orman. One says “no debt” ….the other does not.

  4. enorth

    If you’re a Sales Director attending the Toupin Fall Retreat, you’ll be paying a $49 registration fee, plus $330 for a resort-hotel room for two nights, plus gas/flight/etc. No meals are included, so you’ll be paying top-dollar for the resort’s restaurant food. Tack on resort taxes and fees, tips, perhaps a “gift” for LT, and who-knows-what-else you’ll be asked to kick in money for, and you could be looking at spending $700 or more. That’s on top of what you’ve spent ordering inventory to guarantee yourself some “recognition.”

    Of course, you can always share a room with three other women, carpool, and bring granola and tea-bags from home.

  5. Nancy Mills

    Of course Toupin is wanting those large orders. She’s cranking it up for her retirement. Has to get those averages up to determine what her “pension” is. The one her area is funding. No $$ contributions by her. Her presentations made me cringe. My school teacher mother scolded us if she ever heard the word “ain’t”. A word that spills out of her mouth over and over. Most unprofessional. Even a 3 year old knows better.

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