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

The Reality of “Cadillac Director” Earnings

You know I love to get my hands on these things: the real, live numbers that prove how few people are actually making money in Mary Kay. Now let me set this up for you to prove that almost no one is making that “executive pay” in Mary Kay.

A sales director driving a Cadillac is supposed to do $102,000 wholesale production over two quarters (previously it was $96,000 over two quarters). That works out to $17,000 wholesale per month, which equals a commission check of about $3,400 monthly (using an average commission rate of 20%). That equals $40,800 per year gross commission if the director is just meeting the Cadillac minimums. (And then you have all the business expenses that must be paid out of that!)

While the production requirements went from $16,000 per month to keep the Cadillac, to $17,000 per month to keep it… the cash compensation that you can take in lieu of using the Cadillac stayed the same at $900 per month. (Remember, you don’t GET a Cadillac and you don’t WIN a Cadillac. You get to USE a Cadillac for a period of time IF your unit keeps making production.)

And there are plenty of Pink Cadillac drivers who don’t make the minimum production, so their commissions are even lower AND they have to pay extra money to the company to keep the car.

Why do I do these figures? So that you can understand that all the directors below Cadillac (which is the vast majority) are making less than that per year.

As of 2016, a reported 1,308 pink Cadillacs were on the streets in the U.S., meaning less than 10% of sales directors had them.

See how few in Mary Kay are actually making any money?


  1. pinkpeace

    These figures don’t lie. The vast majority of sales directors are barely scraping by.

    You’ll have sales directors tell you, “Well, those numbers don’t reflect my product sales. I sell a TON of product.” There’s a way you can check to see if that’s true. Simply ask them if they’re in the Queen’s Court of Sales, which is currently $40,000 in personal retail production. If they say no, then you know they aren’t supplementing their pitiful commission checks by much.

    If they say yes, then they are pocketing under $20,000 per year, sometimes by a significant amount, given hostess credit, product sales, etc. Even if they are a Cadillac director with annual commissions of $38,400 per year, adding another $18,000 or so does NOT add up to executive income.

    Of course, as the article shows, the vast majority of sales directors are not receiving Cadillac commissions, nor are they selling $40,000 retail. They are stuck in the hell of having to talk a good talk and maintain the appearance of prosperity, all while sinking into debt and despair.

  2. raisinberry

    The great big scam of Mary Kay is as pinkpeace and Tracy have said. The ONE CHECK that is always touted is a Director’s “highest check”. The implication is that it is her average check, or she gets near that on a consistent basis.

    In my stint at Mary Kay, I heard the same high check figure for the majority of my colleagues for over a decade. Nobody ever seemed able to better their position…in decades! And since they also say, you can give yourself a raise anytime you want…you can’t help but wonder how come this number never changes, if it were true!

  3. onelessSD

    ^^^ Raisinberry for the win! I too always heard roughly the same figure (always rounded up) from the same people… and very few of them have advance beyond the status they were at the time- in fact, many of them have lost a level or 2 on the Director ladder…. I find it all very amusing now.

    So so thankful to this site for opening my eyes back in 2008… I’m so much happier now with my life than I would have been if I had stayed on that hamster wheel from hell.

  4. BestDecision

    Hey, Linda Toupin, the charcoal mask has been on the market by other brands for almost a decade. This is complete prof MK’s products are outdated and behind other brands. It’s not new. Origins will continue to kick MK’s butt, along with the other brands that are current.

    Also, please stop boasting that your Starter Kit is the equivalent of millions of dollars of “bought and sold” products. We all know MK doesn’t track actual retail sales, so please don’t try to fool people into thinking your units’ retail totals is equal to that much product actually being sold. I’m sure at least 1 of your Area members has a room, piece of furniture, or garage full of unsold product.

    1. Notpink

      Charcoal masks are super trendy right now…yes they have been around forever, but they are a very in thing atm, if you are a millennial. Wonder if mk will have the peel off kind or the wash away.

      1. EbayMaryKay

        I could find out for you – my former director just messaged me out of the blue the other day (after a full year or more of radio silence) to see if I’d try it for her and give her my feedback, and maybe I could bring some friends along too.

        Uh. Right. I’ll get you right on my calendar between my leprechaun dance party and my unicorn race.

    2. Happyskin

      Don’t think mary kay cares about origins. Rodan and Fields is #1 and people are not flocking to Sephora anymore to try stuff on. Online shopping is the preferred way. Amazon, airbnb, uber, etc.

      1. BestDecision

        For half a second, I thought and misread what you were saying about Sephora. When they offer rewards points at the 10,000 level, of course people are still buying Sephora! Only, you’re right…online shopping is huge! And I love Sephora. So many brands to choose from and sales at least twice a year.

        As for the charcoal masks, my only opinion is this: MK is once again coming out of the starting gate with a new product much, much too late. Microdermabrasion was the last launch that we had that was timely and significant. When Clarisonic has been on the market for well over 6 years, MK just launched one. I could go on and on. Sadly, MK corporate is tightening the profit margins for its people with these late blooming products.

        1. happyskin

          yes, to me sephora is like a mini makeup mall. where i live, they only have them inside jcpennys, though there is a big one at the airport. (sfo) unless it’s gone now. but i love that i can try the products right then and there. you’d think they (mk) would want to create more products/update more often so that the consultants could make better sales, since it benefits them as well. they did recently hire a new CSO, a doctor from procter & gamble, that will create new products and patents. saw it on their website. so maybe that will change things up.

  5. Pingback: Pink Cadillac Drivers and Executive Income – Pink Truth

Comments are closed.