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

Mary Kay Like a Gambling Addiction?

A former Mary Kay sales director shares how her her story was like a gambling addiction, waiting to hit the jackpot with the big commission check. 

My journey to the end began the day I was on the computer looking for something and I stumbled upon Pink Truth. It was a shock to see this because I thought everything about MK was great. It was like a splash of cold water. At first I was angry but I kept coming back because deep in my gut I knew there was some truth to what was being written. The doubts started. So of course I went to my SSD and she told me, “never look at that again. It is poison and it will ruin you.”

But I also knew the reality of being a MK director. DIQ was absolute hell. I said and did things I never thought I would so that I could be the “find a way, make a way” type woman and I naively believed that once I became a director, I would have arrived to all my success. Because most of the women I signed up that last month came in to do a one time order, I did not have a unit. I did not really have a team. I was also deep in credit card debt, because I made up the difference each month chasing the mirage of my MK dream.

I did not ask the right questions. My senior director did not mention the cost of the suit, leadership conference (which was only 1 month away because I debuted in December), my director debut, prizes, meeting costs, newsletters and so on and so on. I even had to pay for my unit members to attend the Star Bash, even though I was only a director 2 weeks of the quarter, but my SSD said it was now my responsibility. So I did all of the above and more.

I was not able to sleep at night because I was so afraid of what was happening. I lied to my husband and there are still things he does not know. My friends were avoiding me, I can’t imagine why – HA! It was horrible. Then like a gambling addict, I kept going thinking that I just need to hit that one big month and get a big check and then I would be okay. I did have one really good month and my check was over $3,000. But most of that went to pay for current expenses and barely made a dent in what I owed. I kept thinking what is wrong with me. Other women make this work, why can’t I? I felt like the biggest loser but of course on the outside I was great, directorship was the best and so on. I have never been so fake in all my 45 years.

That is when I began to notice things. The directors gossip about their unit members and each other. There were cat fights in the group I was meeting with. Their high checks were the same each and every month. My senior director is the queen of faking it and manipulating. I began to see the real her and it made me sick. I was making production and then I would miss it. I would make it and then miss it.

My senior director kept the pressure on saying I just needed to work with more numbers. My husband kept asking me when my short term sacrifice would be over, he would love to have dinner every now and then. My house stayed a wreck, there was never any food in the fridge, laundry piled up, it was crazy. The phone rang all the time and it would be one of the directors I met with needing to swap product. I began to wonder if they ever ordered. My senior director has been in 26 years and in that time has only had 2 offspring and both of us have stepped down and she has never had a unit over 80 or driven a caddy but she walks around like God’s gift to MK. She is still wearing her senior pin, even though I stepped down in February.

I would occasionally peek at Pink Truth. But I could not quit because I am not a quitter. I was told this is what God wanted for me and to quit would be to let Him down and all my unit.

Then came the day last year when my unit had not made production for 2 months in a row. Now because I am a big girl, I had already called the Company and they extended me another month because I was still new. So I knew that I had at least another month to make it happen. My senior director called me while I was out running errands and she blasted me. She told me that I had let her down and put her in a awkward position by not making production. Why had I not called her for help. She thought I was fine because at the meeting I seemed like all was well. Then she called me a fake and told me I was a loser and that all the consultants who looked up to me would be so disappointed when they saw the real me.

I felt as if I had been punched and could not breath. I told her I was doing what I had been trained by her and all the other directors to do – fake it until you make it. I then pointed out that she could see on InTouch what my unit was doing, so what was her problem and why had she not bothered to call me. I then hung up on her and started bawling there in the bank parking lot.

That is not the last time I faced her wrath. She came after me another day in front of another director and said very hateful things all because I did not agree with something she said. She has sent me nasty emails and continues to accuse me of all kinds of things. She even went to our adopted NSD (we are in go give) and talked to her about me. So I began to make some calls and talk to other directors about what directorship is really like for them and found out most of them do not make money and they are waiting for that big month. They talk about calling for orders, begging so that they can keep their car or unit. One caddy director I met told me her nightmare began when she earned the caddy because her unit was not large enough to support it so she is making huge copays to keep the image up. She said she felt like she sold her soul to the devil.

I came home from Leadership Conference  thinking, okay, I will give it one more try. But after much soul searching, prayer and sleepless nights I knew what I had to do. I was building my very own tower of Babel. MK had become all about me making it to the top so that I could prove to everyone that I deserved to be in the suit. It was no longer about my unit members, customers or family. So God had put a halt to my business and it was just not happening no matter how I tried.

I called the Company and told them I would be stepping down. I have now decided to get out of MK all together knowing that I can’t be a part of what is going on. I can’t be a part of the lies and the mirage any longer.

I now feel so free. I am putting a resume together to find a real job to pay back my debt. My husband is so excited to have me back. I love being home at night watching television and not at all worried about month end and now the craziness of year end and I am not going to Dallas to sweat my but off in a suit and hose, spending money I do not have, smiling at people I do not like!

Instead my husband and I are taking a few days to get away together for a real vacation. Thanks to Pink Truth for opening my eyes. This site was truly the beginning of my journey back to the light. Sorry for any typos, I am typing this fast because I am on my way out to have fun with my hubby and friends!


    1. TRACY

      She didn’t want to say, and I didn’t really care. It’s the same story no matter who the senior is. Sometimes it’s fun to talk about exactly who is doing these things. Other times, I think the names distract from the real issues. So…. she’s not going to say who it is, and I’m okay with that.

      1. BestDecision

        I agree. My own Sr is in the same place she’s been in for 16 years, having been in MK for over 20 years. It won’t be long before she’s 65, not yet an NSD, and will have nothing to show for those years.

        It’s more common for there to be Directors stagnant than it is really moving, so names don’t necessarily change a story.

        1. TRACY

          Uggh… can you imagine 20 years with the company and having no retirement to show for it at the end? I doubt she’s been able to save much for retirement if she’s like nearly all of the directors who are struggling to get by. I thought MK was the best opportunity in the land?

          1. Did Pink

            Exactly. I have a friend who 20 years ago was a SSD. Turns out had one off spring. Lost that one and has been a director since. Still churning it out and close to 70 so no retirement either.

  1. raisinberry

    Man, the story never changes, does it?
    Over and over, every Director story corroborates all the others.
    You’d think, by now, they would stop denying it…
    You’d think, by now, they would see that their system of doing business is toxic and fraudulent. You’d think they would put their NSD’s through ETHICS training to stop the manipulation. There is so much wrong with Mary Kay no amount of charitable giving will offset the vast financial ruin that has been coerced out of and inflicted upon the sales force.

  2. morningstar

    This director’s actions cited here, are truly an example of how all directors are ultimately treated by those above them in the food chain of MK. Meaning the angry spiteful actions are a translation of what she is getting from above. You are not good enough because xzy, abc reasons and passes this mantra onward. The sheer frustration can come out in personalities and the treatment of the downline is horrible. She is putting this person down so she can feel better about herself in this MK farce.

  3. Lazy Gardens

    I wrote this after seeing an interview with a slot machine designer and having the similarity smack me in the face.


    “Never give up, because you never know if the next try is going to be the one that works.” ~ Mary Kay Ash.

    ”You want the player to have the feeling, ‘I almost picked that one; I’ll get it next time.”’ ~ Randy Mead, slot machine designer.

    “If that tenth person says yes, you can’t wait to make that next call to talk to somebody else! That’s how success inspires you.” ~ Mary Kay

    “You can see it on their faces every time. They feel they came soooo close. They’re ready to try it again, because next time they’re going to get it.” ~ Anthony Baerlocher, slot machine designer.

  4. Lindsay Ameye

    “I was told this was what God wanted for me”

    What a horrible lie.

    Do you know that we all have a spark of God in our heart? Did you know that by consequence, the will of God is YOUR will? Whatever excites you, makes you feel passion and joy, THAT is the divine will making itself felt. If it makes you feel burdened and sad, or feels off in anyway, then it is NOT God’s will. Everything that makes you feel like you are diverging from who you really are, is more likely to be the devil’s influence…
    I’ll say it once more, MK is a satanic cult.

    1. enorth

      Shame on her. How does SHE know what God wants for YOU?

      I’ve heard this type of manipulation in other MLM videos:
      – God put you in ______ for a reason.
      – You’re on this team for a reason.
      – God put you in _____ and on this team at the right time.
      = Being on this team is not an accident.
      – God put this dream in your heart.
      – If you quit now, you’ll have to answer to God.

      Guilt and manipulation.

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