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

Husbands Must Stand Up to the Mary Kay Con

divorceThe Mary Kaybots will say you’re unsupportive. They’ll tell your wife that you’re just “trying to hold her back,” or that you “don’t want her to have something just for herself.” You’ll be called negative. They’ll say you just don’t “get it.”

The real truth is that you understand all too well what a losing proposition Mary Kay Cosmetics is. The failure rate in this so-called business is astronomically higher than any legitimate business. Why? Because it’s more of a pyramid scheme (in which only a very small few win, dependent, of course, on all the rest to pass their money up the chain). It’s not a real business in which results are reasonably correlated to your efforts.

So Mary Kay representatives must demonize those who use logic and reason to debunk this flopportunity. The Mary Kay director wants your wife to “invest” thousands of dollars in inventory, and you suggest she start with a very small order until she sees what she’s selling. “Unsupportive! You need inventory to be successful! He must want you to fail!”

The husband recognizes that the family’s money is going down the black hole called Mary Kay for repetitive “training” events which are nothing more than recruiting events. Between supplies, gas, postage, and a myriad of other expenses, the husband sees that after months, this “business” isn’t even close to showing a profit. What happened to that “50% profit” they all bragged about? The ability to start earning money right away? The husband sees Mary Kay for what it is and questions the bottom line. “He doesn’t get it! It takes time for a business to make money! You have to work the numbers! He must not want you to succeed!” 

Mr. Right finds out that his wife is placing an order for a bunch of new products, even though he sees that large initial inventory order still sitting in the same place… collecting dust. Of course, the story is that she needs the newest stuff, that it will fly right off the shelf, that this product is totally different and will jump-start her business. (Or maybe even worse, she may tell him that she’s “finishing star” which is a big deal in MK and something she can’t miss out on!) The husband wisely suggests that she use a few catalogs to gauge interest in the products before ordering them and adding to the credit card bill and dust collectors. “You don’t need his permission to run your business the way you see fit! By the time you get around to ordering, the good stuff will be sold out! He doesn’t understand what women want!”

And so this story plays itself out  in households around the country. Husbands seem to be in a no-win. If they see the signs (and most do, very quickly) and they don’t do anything, they’re headed down the road of financial ruin. If they do say something, they’re demonized by the Kaybots because that’s the only effective way to get women to NOT listen to the logic and reason presented by the husbands.

But husbands, you need to stand firm. Stop the Mary Kay train as fast as you can, before it ruins your marriage. Here is one reader’s story:

I admit to being a little bitter when composing this but I have good reason to be. I recently filed for and completed my divorce with a 10 year Mary kay director. During our marriage I made many sacrifices believing in the Mary Kay myth that she so well propagated. I turned down jobs and promotions to raise our child to give her the 60-70 hrs per week she needed to work. I destroyed my credit so she could drive a free pink cadillac that ended up costing us $600+ per month. I at one point even joined her unit and bought inventory so she could make recruiting quotas during her DIQ. That was just the tip of the MK iceberg.

The real colors were shown however during the divorce. This self proclaimed Independent woman with a “career” that she said allowed her to work at home, make good money, and be available to raise a child is now a proven  myth and warning to all who read this.

This Independent woman cannot function alone and has moved her mom into the house I gave her. (31 + yrs old and living with mommy) real independent (I wonder if this pitch is used to recruit). She often stated to her new recruits “a man is not a plan”. Though I only worked part time she still depends on me for monthly support. according to her, she cannot afford clothes for a toddler, her father pays her healthcare, both water and electric have been turned off several times at the house, and there is no cable TV anymore.

Yet despite all this on review of her credit card bills (which she actually expects me to pay) She is charging Limousine rides, Hotels at career conference (held only about 15 miles from the house), $700 Mary Kay dinners, prizes for lazy consultants, $350 a month for a meeting hall, and it goes on and on. So much for “once I become a director I will start making money”.

True gross incomes in MK can look nice when they show you their check in a meeting. What they are not telling you is how expensive it is to run that kind of “business”. By the time you add it all up I was making more working 25hrs a week retail than my wife was as a 10 year director working 60 hours a week and destroying a family while doing so.

This story is repeated all across the world everyday I’m sure, However even in her own unit her top two people have separated from or divorced their husbands recently as well. In the last year I have grown dramatically and forgive her for everything and wish her well.

Though Mary Kay wasn’t our only problem it made the little ones bigger than they ever would have been. I just hope this letter finds the right people and they get out of this scam before it is too late for them as well. Maybe had I been more pro active I may have been able to save my family.

Husbands, stand up to Mary Kay. Help guide your wife’s decisions regarding Mary Kay, because her decisions are clouded by the pink fog, emotional manipulation by her upline, and nonsensical logic as to why she should order more. the best way you can support her is by standing up for your family and your finances.


  1. Juliet

    I happened to click on the document under MARY KAY FACTS yesterday – THE MARY KAY PYRAMID, and even though I read it before, it means more each time as I learn more. Nonetheless, it truly felt like a punch in the stomach when for the first time I realized the VITAL distinction between MK and A REAL JOB or business – ORDERING ORDERING ORDERING. WTF??? How does this not slap one across the face right off the bat that ORDERING CRAP TO QUALIFY even as a consultant, and more and more to progress upward, is the most bizarre way of doing business there could be. NO selling – just ORDERING.

    I hate MLMs.

    I am so sorry to all the people who are so hurt by this wickedness. I admire the writer above who has grown and forgives his wife, he is so much better off for forgiving, but it doesn’t seem there’s any progression for the wife, and that is so sad.

    1. BestDecision

      She only has 5 Red Jackets in her unit, so she’s not anything I’d race to see. She only has 5 offspring, and her personal unit added only 8 new recruits in May. (Source: her newsletter)

      1. EyesWideShutNoMore

        Lol it’ll be a pretty short session then from Frank!

        HDK did a million once, maybe that’s what her husband is speaking on, how to be ok with your MK wife ignoring you and buying a ridiculous amount of inventory to “get the million.”

  2. Not a Bot

    Husbands should say the wife supports her own ‘business’ either from earnings from MK or another job. No family money. If she has to do real work outside the house to earn real money to pour into MK, she may be less willing to spend on inventory that doesn’t sell, be selective about events, and just be overall discouraged that her MK ‘job’ sucks money and that she walks away with nothing but a lot of wasted time.

  3. Beth

    It really bugs that MK’s scripts are intended to sow divisions between husband and wife. Why else would they say things like “he doesn’t want you to succeed”? “He wants you to fail”? The intent actually seems to be to break up the marriage. Are single women easier to control?

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