Adding Up the Cost of Mary Kay

Written by Lexie

Happy Mary Kay Consultant… You say you are making money in Mary Kay. And you’re happy. You think MK is fun.

Except you are in debt. You just don’t realize it. Please Google the term opportunity cost. Think about what you could have in any other job. No, actually let’s just take a minimum wage job. The one that doesn’t require a degree or fancy qualifications the one that you could easily do if you were not a Mary Kay Consultant.

Now take every single hour you have worked. Every hour you spent ordering, every hour you spent talking to other people, trying to make things happen, every class you organized but also all the time you spent driving to where you needed to be to talk to all those people. Take every event and make sure you take into account EVERY HOUR that you spent on Mary Kay.

Then every expense. Your $4,000 inventory, your clothes, petrol spent EVERYTHING. Your phone bill, your electricity bill if you hold the classes in your house. If you were working at Walmart you wouldn’t be home and you wouldn’t need the light in your dining room to be on. These are ALL expenses.

Now take ALL THE HOURS and multiply them by a minimum wage. Okay subtract the commute to your local grocery store or anywhere else you could be working. Still. Now take that number and add all the expenses of your MK job. Now the number you got is your debt. Because this is what you would get if you were working A MINIMUM WAGE job. If that was a job that actually paid more than that (I don’t know your skills or qualifications, or unemployment rate in your area) then the number would be even higher. Credit cards also have an interest rate and many have a fee. Other fees associated with processing credit card payments (there was a service costing 40$ that consultants had to sign up for if I am correct). All the free samples, trays make up mirrors, brushed that you use during your classes. These are also expenses.

Many women end up working way way over 40 hours a week on their MK business. But if you worked 40 hours a week for a year let’s say the minimum wage is $10 (it’s more where I live but again I don’t know where you are from so let’s just make it a nice round $10 for an easy calculation). Let’s say you work 50 weeks out of a year. That’s $20,000 dollars. Now add all your expenses. We know you spent $4,000 on your inventory and you know that is only the tip of the iceberg. I heard most people say $10,000-$15,000 thousand a year is easily just expenses. I’m pretty sure these people didn’t even consider gas or some of your household bills (if MK classes make you use ANY more electricity that is your cost as well). But let’s work with the lower figure. $20,000 plus $10,000. That’s $30k.

Also you didn’t have to stress about losing your friends that feel used and cheated, losing your spouse (you’d be surprised how many divorces happened courtesy of Mary Kay Cosmetics). Let’s not forget you do not have medical insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, you do not get those benefits that standard job offers. Your time is valuable. If you do not get rewarded for your time, if you do not get at least minimum wage for every hour you put in, not just the ones when you talk to customers, but every hour that has something to do with Mary Kay. Do you get paid overtime? Weekends? What about the Christmas parties where you still have to ask your family to buy stuff? Do you get paid double triple for your precious time during holidays?

And the downside? You have to worry about paying your bills every month. Some consultants have husbands and they can keep going without worrying about being evicted. Some consultants actually have no one to depend on but people that depend on them. Imagine you were a single mother. If you do not make money this month, your rent will not be paid, your kids will not be fed. Now please realize that some of the women here were in relationship. Mary Kay turned them into single mothers. It destroyed their relationships. Not because they didn’t try hard enough, not because they didn’t work hard enough, not because they couldn’t do it as well as others. It happened because this company is made on lies.

The only people who benefit are the ones who lie and cheat and force newbies to order lots of products. The people above you get paid NOT when you make a sale. They get paid when you order more inventory. They don’t care about you after that. As long as you don’t wanna return the product. And that’s only because it cuts into their commission check. They earn money on your stress, time and tears. Any credible company would award commission checks based only on the sales you make not on your wholesale order. That’s why so many people avoid consultants. They run when they hear the words Mary Kay.

Now leaving that aside. Mary Kay is not a top company. It claims to be one of the best and yet is never mentioned in Forbes. Why? Because it doesn’t make money on customers. It makes money on consultants ordering inventory. It doesn’t matter if consultants order 10,000 mascaras. That doesn’t make it a good product.

MK is known for discontinuing products much to the dismay of the recruits. Why are they doing that? Are their products bad? Why would you get rid of good products that sell well?

Would it be because so many people complain? Many consultants can’t even use Mary Kay because it is known for causing break outs and allergies even on people that rarely have this problem. I’ve talked to about 15 people who do not normally have trouble with cosmetics, are not especially sensitive. And yet they all say, MK mascaras are really bad, it makes eyes red and painful. Just like many skin care products. Foundations are another common problem. Pain, rashes, break outs, are only among the few complaints. Even the former MK consultants trying to quit can’t keep the products. Many try to find something they could use just to cut their losses. After all returning it to MK doesn’t give you ALL the money back.

Many say products are bad quality. Overpriced. You know Mary Kay is proud to say they are much better than CoverGirl or Maybelline (these are mass market oriented brands according to MK that are not the target clientele of MK, which describes itself as high class product comparable to Estee Lauder.) Yet these people I mentioned don’t have trouble with any of the cheaper brands, or even supermarket own brands. Mary Kay seems to be particularly bad when it comes to causing acne, soft and bad quality eye shadows that are often getting in your eyes (especially when you use too much – well known technique, many sales directors recommend telling your potential customers to use a lot more than needed to push more product or to get rid of old stock that is about to be discontinued), poor quality foundation that looks cakey, skin care products causing itching and rashes the list goes on. Some former consultants compare it to cheap brands and find that not only are other brands better they are a lot cheaper and come with a satisfaction guarantee that doesn’t come out of the pockets of people who sell it. Oh they don’t have to pay for the shipping either.

The people here experienced it all. Some went through painful divorces, some had family members or friends turn away. Some don’t get invited for any family meetings because MK made them desperate to turn any event into sales opportunity. You have insulted them. You don’t know them but assume you do, and say they didn’t try hard enough, they didn’t use the opportunity, they were gullible. You know what these people are? Wonderful and compassionate. After all the horrible things they went through with this disgusting scam of a company they VOLUNTEER their free time to help other women LIKE YOURSELF to get out before it’s too late, before you get in debt, before your family turns on you, before stress gets the better of you, before it ruins your life. I am absolutely sure that they would much rather have nothing to do with Mary Kay in fact, I bet they would love to NEVER HEAR THE WORDS MARY KAY every again in their life. But here they are. Forcing themselves to relive the nightmare to HELP OTHERS LIKE YOU. I don’t care what you think of them. You defend people who try to get your money. Who value your money over sisterhood, friendship or whatever other values they seem to preach. God first? And you pray for … reaching your sales goal? That’s offensive, shallow and pathetic. Family second? Then why does it destroy so many? Why does it have a whole scheme to lie to your husband? Why does it promote little money here, bits there on one card, other card to make sure your husband doesn’t know? What my marriage is based on is honesty and any company that tries to have a go at that is automatically on my blacklist.

Career third… well just not your own one. All the directors that are on tip of the world… why don’t they stay there? Why is the employee rotation so damn high?

Why don’t they answer questions? Why do they use insults and scare tactics when you try to hold onto your integrity and quit?


  1. BestDecision

    I love that Trip Director Kelly Brock posted a snarky comment that we might have benefits with our jobs but that she can work from home without a bra.

    Kelly, I also don’t have to leave my home at night to hold a unit meeting or skin care party. Nor do I have a holiday training workshop to attend on Saturday or a business debut or conference call on Sunday.

    And I spend plenty of time in my home without a bra, yet I don’t have to brag about it anymore.

    1. Char

      “she can work from home without a bra.” –

      And what is this “work” to which she refers? Oh that’s right, lying to women and convincing them to join a pyramid scheme. Encouraging people to purchase product, using the guise of a “business opportunity”. Falsely stating MK in not MLM when it clearly is. And so on…

      That, my friends, is “work” in Mary Kay – whether you wear a bra or not.

      1. SoNotPink

        I work from home teaching online, and I don’t have to wear a bra or make up. I also don’t to brush my hair or even change out of my my pjs. Tell me again how an MK “business” can my life better. I get PTO, full benefits, and retirement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *