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

Premier Club Director MaryBeth’s Earnings

This is the tax return data for MaryBeth, a solid Premier Club sales director in Mary Kay. I’ve heard many figures thrown around, and most often seem to hear that car driving directors make between $40,000 and $50,000 per year on commissions alone. Not even close!

If you do the math, you’ll see that it is almost mathematically impossible for a Premier Club director to make that much, because it would require more than $16,000 wholesale per month (and almost the entire unit would have to be the director’s personal recruits). No one whose unit does that much month after month is still in a Premier Club unit… they’d be a Cadillac unit.

This particular sales director works Mary Kay between 20 and 30 hours per week. She watches her expenses closely, and says that hers are low compared to other directors she’s talked with. You see below, that for one year, this sales director made $13,530.

Where did that “executive income” go??? At 20 hours per week, this sales director is making about $13.53 per hour, assuming she takes a couple of weeks off. (Although we know you never really have time off in Mary Kay.) If her hours are on the higher end of her estimate and she works 30 hours per weeks, she makes about $9.02 per hour.

I know, I know. Your sales director makes more. You make more. Women can make more. They might make more. They should make more. Blah blah blah. The reality is that the vast majority of Mary Kay sales directors are BELOW the Premier Club level, so they’re making even less.


  1. BestDecision

    Perfectly written! Just because someone did Unit Club doesn’t mean they cleared an “executive income”.

    What’s also disturbing is how many former Million Dollar and Trip Directors have done $300,000 or more LESS than that this year. A trip Director doing $350k. A Million Director doing $750K. That’s about $35,000 less gross income for each of them. Now, how many people in corporate America would still be so in love with their company if they got $35K less this year for the same effort?

    1. Formykids

      Remember that on that $13,500 of taxable income her taxes are higher than the hourly worker because she has to pay the employer part of the tax burden. Also, if she has children, subtract out any babysitting cost added to the mix because she is working……..any full time hourly employee under the ACA must be provided health benefits, so if she doesn’t get health coverage from her hubby…poof…..that 13,500 is gone, and then some……..she is likely losing money.

  2. enorth

    One near me just made Premiere Unit. With all the social media photos and congrats, you’d think she’d won the Powerball. “I’m breaking belief barriers…” zzzzzzzzzz

  3. Cindylu

    So even the older NSD’s spent many years making sub par wages. I remember an NSD talking about losing units and also cars over and over again in the 1990’s. If it took a 1970’s Director decades to make a decent income than the pyramid/mlm MK scheme has maxed out. MK herself chastised this NSD on stage at seminar for supposedly squandering the first million she had made. Truth be told this NSD had to lie and cheat her way to the MK illusional top. As Jackie in the book “Ask Me About Mary Kay”, said it wasn’t unusual for the MK rules to change as things went along. MK often learned that in the early days NSD’s were surpassing the goals laid out. After all when direct sales and home parties were new, women felt an obligation to help each other. There was no internet and mlm schemes were not well advertised. The original NSD’s were able to prey upon the USA, Canada, Mexico etc. Even with that they lost entire units over and over again. Older NSD’s didn’t profit for many years. Also back then fewer women had credit cards and so most sales were either cash or check. Newer NSD’s today can’t rely on actual sales because fewer women believe the hype. The MK product is not well advertised on tv, magazines, or the web. Women intuitively know that direct sales means over priced and often problematic sales pitches. Home parties are now avoided. So even the original directors barely made any profit for many years. Once MK finally folds, some of the newer NSD’s may be left high and dry too.

    1. BestDecision

      My Senior has lost more Directors than she has today, which is same amount as 15 years ago. A newer NSD shared with me she’d lost DOZENS before she was even an Elite. It’s an exhausting wheel!

      1. ran4fun

        Exhausting for sure! Exhausting the financial resources of all the “lost” directors. Don’t they ever wonder why so many “lose” their directorship? If people would be making real money and being truly successful they wouldn’t leave. Every “lost” directorship represents thousands of dollars lost by each director. Sad.

  4. MLM Radar

    Product sales minus returns minus inventory cost = $1,267. Subtract customer gifts and her net sales are $130. For the year. Less than $11 per month. How can she possibly, in good conscience, tell anyone that there’s money to be made in selling products?

    Did you notice that nearly half of her net income comes from “Car Value $6,000”? That’s not cash. That’s the amount Mary Kay reported to the IRS on her Form 1099. Cash in her pocket is $7,530, at most, before income taxes.

    I’m quite sure that she could have leased a similar car and bought insurance directly for a whole lot less than $6,000. Not because she got it “free” from Mary Kay now she has a bigger tax bill.

  5. morningstar

    Thank you for taking out the cash in pocket and showing the “take home” pay per month of $11.00.

    Note the high office expenses $805 (aren’t you out selling?) and the advertising costs for the year $1904, as noted in the post above MK does not promote the product.

  6. Formykids

    My soon to be ex wife is a premier car driver and due to low unit production she is currently paying a $150 per month copay on the car, as i suspect, many others are. My wife’s senior, who was driving a cadillac till recently, came by the house in a new MK Chevy Cruz…..two levels down……..and so the hamster wheel turns.

  7. MSgtK

    My interpertation of Jackie’s statement of compensation changes was due to the fact MK couldn’t have anyone in her company make more than her. Similar to her recently demolished show home…cant have NSDs with a bigger house.

    1. enorth

      “the demise of BeautiControl”

      Having read some Glass Door employee reviews, the company was poorly run and it was a matter of time before it closed.
      According to a BC rep, there will be a resurrection in a few months of a new cosmetics/beauty company from the BC ashes.

  8. coralrose

    My former SD told me she could support her family (3 kids) if something ever happened to her husband with her MK salary, as a way to motivate me to directorship. Which based on the numbers here, is clearly not true. She wasn’t driving a MK car then.

    1. BestDecision

      Always look at the car they’re driving. If it’s not a Cadillac, they’re taking home less than $25,000/year. You don’t even have to see tax returns. Just the simple math of their minimum car production x 23% – 25% taxes x 12 months. Then, be aware they’d have expenses that would then be subtracted from that total.

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