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

Truth and Ethics in Mary Kay

One of our readers provided this insight on Mary Kay Cosmetics.

MARY KAY IS A SCAM which drives women into debt with their trinkets and labels them “failures” when the real issues are an unworkable, unprofitable business model and manipulative corporate culture set up for failure with unethical behavior, and no conscious.

MARY KAY is a faulty business design with lies, conning, and manipulation. Do you have any idea of the abuse at the hand of Mary Kay upon women?

MARY KAY has hidden real results, real outcomes, real expectations of earnings.

MARY KAY is a pipe dream for you which only drives THEIR profitability.

Within the world of Mary Kay, the dynamic is control. We think alike, we talk alike, we script alike, we program in the positive and regurgitate only what our upline and top directors have told us. If you suddenly awake from that indoctrination and discover you have been a willing dupe, you may be guilty of a lack of analysis, but who told you it was paralysis? We did what we were told and conditioned to do, and since the programming remains intact by the never-ending events a director must attend, they rarely get an independent viewpoint to fully assess the damage.

The “control” continues, throughout every incident of director duties. You must attend or you let the area down. (Cha ching) You must have the new line or your unit won’t order it. (Cha Ching) You must re-qualify for your car or your unit will feel like losers. (Cha ching) You must “stretch” so you can attend the luncheon…the speed of the leader is the speed of the gang. (Cha Ching) “What if I haven’t sold it?” “You’ll sell it.” Another dose of soft pressure, combined with a willingness to please, and another director bites the production bullet. (Cha ching)

All any ethical director needs to do to find out where the truth lies is to look honestly at her financials, her people, their results, and her past. Look at every team leader and up, at all the product they bought and never profited from. Look at every DIQ who was taught to order to “make production”…and upon doing that, fell deeper into debt. Look at every consultant who joined to make money and lost it instead. Look at every director placing orders to hit the minimum $4,500 wholesale production per month, over and over again. Imagine how in the world could they be selling all that product? Face that you know, they aren’t. You don’t sell what you have on your shelves. You lie to yourself to quiet your own conscience, and you condemn as unethical the directors on Pink Truth who are done with the charade.

“Listen to your NSD / director” was taught at every retreat, meeting, event, luncheon, career conference and seminar. Don’t think: Do! Keep it simple sweetie. You get 13% commission on your unit …are you really going to lose your meaningless “no value” Director title for lack of production? Come on! Put it in. You’ll sell it. This sage advice begins the “stretching” that is required for the remainder of the career path.

Wouldn’t an ethical company actually track real retail sales? All contests, unit clubs, trips, cars, quarterly stars, queens and courts are all based on wholesale ordering. Not ONE piece of seminar retail glory is actually TRUE! Ponder that a minute.

All directors go along with the premise of seminar because that is what is done. The company tracks wholesale…its easier we’re told, and every director plays the game without question. That means that it is space on credit cards that is being acquired, not sales excellence. Period. Each NSD attempts to get her downline crew to work to the last possible second, borrowing credit space, recruiting and frontloading newbies, and maximizing product purchases in a heated frenzy, having NOT ONE THING TO DO WITH ACTUAL SALES. Portions of these orders will be sold or get sold, but that’s not what seminar honors. In a word, seminar is a FRAUD!.

We chased the “dream” long past any chance of fruition. Most of us were good at it. We were encouraged to never quit. We were told the only women who fail in Mary Kay are those who quit, and since we believed, we kept going, trying every new idea to make it work. In reality, the only ones who fail are those who continue, blindly repeating the lies they were fed without ever evaluating the facts. They fail as human beings.

They do not care how many of their members are drowning in debt, on their good advice. It’s just an opportunity, they tell themselves, and they move on. No? Next. The only women making money in Mary Kay are the ones who are making it off the backs of their offspring and downline unit members. They do it the Mary Kay way…which surprisingly is the most unethical way of all. We who are the “weeded out” are happy to finally be among the clear headed women of the world who know the real definition of integrity, and have paid the price of fighting for it.

Run far away from any organization that doesn’t permit critical thought or thinking.


  1. Juliet

    There is so much agonizing pain behind your words, my heart just breaks for what you have been through. You have written an emotionally brilliant piece here with facts and truth piercing the gut wrenching words. I hope this piece spreads far and wide. I pray you heal beyond your wildest dreams. Thank you going through the pain of writing this so others can learn without going through it perhaps.

  2. Char

    “MARY KAY is a pipe dream for you which only drives THEIR profitability.”

    Yep, it was never about the consultant being a “business owner”. That’s just THEIR sales strategy lie to get people to buy stuff from them.

    When you view it from the proper perspective, i.e. MKC is the real sales business, it all makes sense. Unfortunately, that business lies to it’s customers; then it teaches those customers to repeat the lie bringing in even more customers dubbed consultants.

    What the “consultomer” re-sells at the neighborhood yard sale matters not to MKC. In fact, MKC would rather you recruit your neighbor so she will buy directly from them. MKC doesn’t see any extra profit from a re-sale at the yard sale. Duh!

    But wait, an endless-chain recruiting model is illegal. Yes, but you have to get caught and audited first.

    The whole “sales consultant” crapola is a dishonest sales strategy by MKC, and that’s why it’s a scam.

    It’s so not about the consultomer other than their role as a big buying, repeat customers. MKC just make it seem otherwise with pageants, tiaras, fake titles, and fake discounts. This, so you’ll buy lots of stuff and give them cheap advertising.

    All of this on your dime and time no less. No wonder MKC is debt-free and most of their consultomers are not. Duh again!

    Don’t get me wrong, “top liars” in cahoots with MKC can make ‘some’ money, but probably not as much as the neighborhood drug dealer. I hear some of them are pretty “successful”.

  3. Maggie

    I’ve been reading this site for about a week and I am so thankful because I almost was going to sign up with mary kay even though I have never even used the products ever! Why? Because I wanted the money and car that those girls flaunt on Instagram.

    It was like a tennis match in my mind, I would see an Instagram post of a women getting a new pink Mary kay car then read the pink truth and sober up.

    Then see a women with all her Mary kay friends having a blast with their new Kate spade purses , read some pink truth and it was like this site would splash cold water on my face and I would wake up from my pink mary kay dream.

    Thank you ladies you won the match!

    Sincerely, Maggie

    1. BestDecision

      Maggie, I drove one of those pink Cadillacs, and I assure you it’s not worth it. Nor are every prize winner legibly winning them. Money takes you places in MK.

  4. ThinkPinkThinkAgain

    “We were told the only women who fail in Mary Kay are those who quit, and since we believed, we kept going, trying every new idea to make it work. In reality, the only ones who fail are those who continue, blindly repeating the lies they were fed without ever evaluating the facts. They fail as human beings.”

    I wish I had listened to the small voice in my heart early on in my MK career, which lasted five years. I remember a specific conversation with my director circa 2013/4 where she assured me, “The only way to fail is to quit.” I responded, “Or to lose a lot of money.” She insisted, “No, you’ll only fail if you quit.”

    If I had quit then, I might not have carried MK credit card debt for four years.

    Mary Kay fulfilled a social need for me–to feel valued and to look successful. (It was a lie; I was in our National Area Consultant Court of Sales every year, but I broke even on my taxes only ONE out of five years, and even then I still had that credit card debt from a prior year.) I loved it at the time. I breathed pink and I loved my “sister consultants” and the way we “praised each other to success.” I told people I was a “lifer” and assured my clients they would never need to look for another consultant.

    The only way I escaped from the magnetic pull of Mary Kay was by 1) looking at my financials with my husband and 2) deciding to stop attending events. The numbers looked a lot worse than I expected when I added in all of the “hidden” expenses, like the cost of gas and the Seminar flights I paid for with personal money. When I realized I was literally paying Mary Kay to be a consultant who SUPPOSEDLY SOLD $20,000 A YEAR, I started quietly questioning the company’s narrative. I started reading Pink Truth. I started reading about MLMs and accepted, finally, that Mary Kay was one. I stopped ordering to reach Star status. Even then, it took about six months before I was ready to stop attending weekly meetings. And then, six months later, I told my customers I was getting out.

    I am so excited for August to come to an end because as of September 1, I will officially no longer be a Mary Kay consultant. PHEW.

    1. Angelina

      Congratulations! You should tell your customers that MK is a scam and to no longer purchase products. And how about informing the other ladies as well? Maybe not your Directory but the others on your team?

Comments are closed.