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

35 Years in Mary Kay and Not Making a Living

Written by Suzanne

I read everything that is written on your site and I know how true it all is. So here I am still a Sr. Director in MK after over 35 years and today I just wanted to scream. Recently I sent a note to my Sr. Dir. to thank her for an anniversary gift and explain why I could no longer attend any area events. I just can’t ever tell my “I story” again since I would have to be truthful and tell everyone that my pink bubble burst. After I went bankrupt a while ago, I find myself old with no health insurance, a bad heart that needs surgery and barely keeping a roof over my head.

Her response to me was no real surprise. She told me that she believed in me and recommended a web site about believing in yourself. Wow, isn’t that what I spent the last 30 years trying to do.

I believed in myself when I was being told by my former husband that I wasn’t really making money. I believed in myself when I was running all over doing classes, trainings and meetings and missing some of my children’s events. I believed in myself when I ran all those sales contests that ended up costing me more in prizes than what I made, because we were taught to keep offering things to keep consultants believing kept believing in myself when my accountant told me that I really wasn’t making any money.

I kept believing in myself and got divorced from that “negative” husband that was holding me back. I kept believing as I continued to spend the money to travel to all the areas where my unit was located even though they often had personal things to do and didn’t show up for the meetings. I continued to believe when I kept going to Dallas to receive the awards and get my head pumped bigger and bigger. Yes, I kept believing while my life fell apart around me…..and then one day I didn’t believe any more, but I was too far in debt and spent too many years to know what do next.

Today I believe that I did a lot of good things over the years by putting some real happiness in some women’s lives. I never asked them to place orders to help me but was more concerned about them selling product. Selling product in MK is a nice hobby or part time income.

The only real money in this business is if you can, without any conscience, recruit, recruit, & recruit with constant pushing for orders. It doesn’t matter if you ever teach them to sell. The company will keep changing products so they can keep ordering and you can keep collecting the checks. I actually don’t know how some directors sleep at night. That’s where the real believing comes in. They have to keep believing that they are really giving their recruits a good opportunity to earn money, when actually they only care that they order and don’t ship back product.

I will probably be taking care of my customers until I die, but I no longer “believe” that success will come just through “believing in yourself”. It’s just the hype that keeps people going so that others can benefit. I believed myself into a life of poverty.

I am still not a negative person, but I am cautious about what I just “believe in” without real proof. My riches in life today are the joy of a sunny day, the laughter of grandchildren and the love of family and friends. I gave up so much over the years while I lived in the pink fog. I hope more women can break out of that type of hold before they lose as much as I did.

Thanks for listening and keep up the good work with Pink Truth. If anyone ever wants my figures I can tell you that in my best year in the company I had 90+ consultants, was in premier club, queens court of sales, three offspring directors and my bottom line taxable income was less than $20,000. How’s that for a harsh reality?


  1. MLM Radar

    I wonder what would happen if she did go to one more conference, to get up on stage and tell her REAL I-story.

    Sudden microphone power outage? If you’re determined to be heard, a power outage won’t stop your voice from projecting.

    What would happen next? Flashing room lights? Fire alarm? Fake medical emergency?

  2. cindylu

    At least she seems nice. My SD had a brow beat husband to maintain her absurd life style. I’m sure she’s been in 35 years too. If we dared mention our challenges, she would avoid us. Her solution was to find someone to become a DIQ, sabotage them and take their consultants to top up her never ending unit failures. I’m sure her husband was co paying for her pink car for decades. There is no way my SD would tell anyone to listen to something positive. She wouldn’t sit with any of us at Seminar either. We had a really nice group of women. Most of them were kind and empathic. Interesting how these pink wolves can sense the women who are kind and compassionate. I’m sure the debt is real and painful. Finding a way to get rid of older product and then returning her product probably would be difficult but a better choice. I’m sure she could find some sort of job that would help her pay off the rest of the debt. She probably is struggling to figure out the 90 customers. I’m sure other women in her unit could take those on. At least she’s begun to defog and I pray that she finds the courage and strength to end this pink nightmare. Yes. It sure would be nice if a MK husband and wife team spoke out at Seminar. You’d be cut off but if you could blurt out that this is all a lie, it sure would be helpful to many many women needing to hear that publicly.

  3. nomoremlm4me

    This makes me both sad and mad – 90 consultants, 3 offspring directors, $20k net income. She would have been so much better off working for minimum wage with benefits. I think sad is winning for Suzanne :'(

  4. pinkpeace

    My heart goes out to Suzanne, and I applaud her bravery in telling her story.

    I can really relate to her bottom-line income, even being a “successful” sales director. The worst of it is, when you make minimum wage at the local fast-food restaurant, no one expects you to dress in pricey clothes, have the latest hairstyle and fresh manicures. No one expects you to provide giveaways for people, go to expensive conferences and stay in the best hotels.

    But when you’re making minimum wage (or worse) in Mary Kay, you have to keep up the image that you’re rolling in the big bucks. It’s fake it ’til you make it – right into bankruptcy.

    1. BestDecision

      Oh, yes, we had to always “paint the picture of success” with our hotel choices, shoes, manicures, etc. It was non-stop work. Never have I been so high maintenance in my appearance!

  5. BestDecision

    In any issue of Applause, the Go Give award winners’ bios always reflect the truth, too. In the company for decades, yet only a Senor Director or not in a Cadillac. Typical, month after month.

  6. Char

    I feel doubly sorry for this woman. Not only nothing to show after 35 years, they still have their hooks in her. It’s sad because I don’t even think she realizes it. I hope she completes the process, as she is certainly on her way to leaving the fog.

    Let me be the one to say it, and I’m not trying to be mean as it was brave of her to write in. However, she “outs” the company, but is still going to sell scam products to customers. I hope posting this calls it to her attention. She says, “ I will probably be taking care of my customers until I die,” Why???????????????? Why be a part of a pyramid scheme that harms women such as her admitted self?

    She also defends that she’s not “negative”. Years of brainwashing has taken its toll. No need to defend. Negative is not the opposite of smart or astute. In fact, there are plenty of positive albeit dumb people. “Negative” is a word used by MLM scams to manipulate people.

    Please don’t take my post the wrong way. The article will no doubt help a lot of women. However, anyone who keeps this pyramid scheme in business by buying or selling their products needs the complete picture. They are, or still are, participants in a scam.

    So no, selling products in MK is not a nice hobby unless you fancy yourself as a part-time pyramid schemer.

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