Nothing Has Changed in Mary Kay

Written by SuzyQ

Hello again. Did you know that I sent my inventory back to Mary Kay in 2007? And that many of the articles on Pink Truth authored by me were written then? We keep updating and re-sharing them on the front page because nothing has changed in Mary Kay.

Everything that the “old guard” wrote is still applicable, and as I said in one article, there is a “backstage reality” in MK, meaning that the audience changes but the play remains the same.

When I sent back my products in 2007, I used a return form found on Pink Truth. I remember clearly not using the company return form because I did not want my senior director to know I was sending back around $4,000 of inventory. I didn’t know that it would cause a chargeback for her in June, but I took special delight in that.

I still think about MK and come to Pink Truth to check out what new idiocy is spewing. It’s rewarding to see new people finding the site. I remember my first visits and reading my story when I hadn’t written it yet. It was so validating to learn my concerns were not demonic and I wasn’t crazy. There came a point when I couldn’t sustain the smoke and sequin lies anymore. It was pretty dramatic all in all. My “free car” was towed, the company told me that if I quit being a director I would lose my unit, my senior director told me I could still be a team leader, and my NSD sent me a birthday card wishing me “Your best MK year ever!”

I “knew” about the shunning from the other directors, I did not KNOW about the shunning from the other directors. These women had been in my life for 10 years. Those were years without personal boundaries. I knew more about them than they knew about themselves. There was nothing we didn’t share. Even our fear of failure. Those talks occurred after we drank copious amounts of alcohol in dark rooms at events where alcohol was not permitted. (Mary Kay does not permit alcohol at events.)

We also talked about kids with problems and the guilt of leaving them at home because we had to attend events. (Mary Kay does not permit children at events) And on and on.

The hypocrisy was stunning and somehow it was justified, and I was okay with that. Those director high checks at events that were represented as normal monthly commission checks? They were probably one-time things that happened years ago. We were supposed to “Sell the Sizzle” and draw unsuspecting women to us.

And what was not to like about us? Our makeup was perfect, we were neatly groomed and had “slammin’ haircuts,” we were poised and confident. And we put God first, family second and MK third. We were all in this, all in, together until one of us “stepped down.” Or quit.

The shunning began immediately. No more email, no more phone calls, nothing. I knew what was being said about me because it had been said about others before me. I was negative, didn’t work my business, didn’t beelieve enough, didn’t have a high enough deserve level, looked at “that evil site,” and my personal favorite, “I let satan steal my dreams.”

Everything I have read about Mary Kay since I “stepped down” continues to reinforce all of the abusive cultish behavior that persists in MK (and other MLMs).  I do believe that I could still recruit someone today, because I was that good at recruiting. Recently, when I was talking about my experience in MK, I launched into the recruiting spiel, and the woman I was talking to responded in a positive manner to my questions. I stopped and said something to the effect that this is all a lie! She said “Damn, this is what happened to my friend.” Her friend is no longer in MK and has visited Pink Truth.

I believe we are making a difference with Pink Truth. It was so wonderful being in the 20/20 episode and having at least a small voice from the “other side” of the MLM debate. It is satisfying to watch numbers of consultants drop, and I enjoy learning that some seminar areas have been absorbed into others, career conference cities have decreased and there is likely only one leadership session in 2020. (Please note that the “easier” the company makes the requirements to be a director, the more likely she is to be unable to sustain her unit. This only benefits her senior director.)

I also enjoy watching the newer NSDs continue to find themselves on the never-ending hamster wheel of churning new recruits and directors. As our beloved MK told us, “people are coming in the front door, and leaving by the back door” and” your unit is like a bathtub with an open drain…” or something like that. SHE KNEW. She knew and spewed this opportunity anyway.

One last thing. I was told to burn my bridges. I was told repeatedly that MK did not want her directors to work, so I let all my licenses, certificates and assorted initials behind my name go. (If I “burned my bridges,” I would be more focused on my Mary Kay career.) So, I did.

Fast forward 10 years after a non-stellar Mary Kay director career (although I did have 40 stars on my ladder of success, 96% of them green). I was in the Court of Sales (ordering) and I sold that ring for $50  to a gold dealer because the “diamonds weren’t worth anything. “ I also “won” 4 career cars and had numerous other awards and honors. If you were in MK in my huge national area back then, I might have been a speaker at a retreat or event. I was a short lived very big deal. But, hey I am a failure.

I had to take refresher courses, clinical practice(s), many exams, and spend thousands of dollars to get all my initials and credentials back. I got them back. Thank God.

Technically, I should retire. I am above retirement age and I am still working. I love my job and the work I do. And if I retired now, I would be bored stiff. But, the other issue is that because I lost 10 years of earnings that could have contributed to my social security. (Those fantastic business write-offs and the low commissions, resulting in little to no taxable income.)

You can judge me all you want, I did what I did because I was told and I believed it was the right thing to do. I believed it was the right thing, the Godly thing to do. I believed that I was the only Bible some people would read and that Mary Kay was my mission field. I was changing lives and offering the best opportunity in the land to women!

All that I believed at the time was a lie. If you are defending Mary Kay, you have bought into this cult. I wish I could talk to you and tell you the truth. If you “stumbled” upon this site and are horrified at the “negativity” please continue to read. You can access the archives. You, too, will be able to read your story before you have written it.


  1. Lazy Gardens

    “SHE KNEW. She knew and spewed this opportunity anyway.” So do the NSDs, especially the one with the bragged-about MBA … they know exactly what they are doing. But as long as they make money and/or get the ego-stroking they crave they will keep doing it.

  2. Darlene

    That taxable income is something a lot of people in MLM do not understand. Come retirement time, the majority of MLM lifers won’t be able to retire because their SS benefit will be all they have and that number will be around $900 a month. It’s a very sad and scary position to only have SS as your only budget in a regular life but having it as your only budget after you did 10, 15, 20yrs in MLM, it’s impossible.

      1. Darlene

        It really is and I don’t know many people who think about that cycle until they are close to retirement. Heck, it’s even hard for people who have worked in regular jobs all their adult life to get a SS check that they are able to live on. My sister and her husband are in the same boat because while they have had constant work (they are 63 and 55 now), they were not high income jobs and now they are facing retirement with little retirement savings, no pensions and SS being the main source. Conversely an “*mway relative is in the same boat but far worse off and still pouring money into the dream while complaining that she can never retire. The irony is lost on her since we have been hearing the “Dream” for almost 30yrs from her.

        1. MLM Radar

          Very sad and ironic.

          One of the first lines pitched to me by MLM recruiters was “retire early and live off of residual earnings from other people’s effort.”

          It sounded too good to be true even when I knew next to nothing about MLMs. The difference now is that I can tell you why it’s too good to be true. You have to make your monthly production quota to collect those so-called residuals. And you have to requalify again every single month.

          No such thing as having one really good month which covers the next three months. In MLMs (including Mary Kay) every month stands alone.

          If you’re working to make production you’re not retired.
          If you’re buying MLM products to make your production quota you’re giving the company more than they’re paying you.

          1. NayMKWay

            “retire early and live off of residual earnings from other people’s effort.”

            That’s rich. What “other people”? The ones you have to keep replacing, like trying to fill a bathtub with the drain open? You can’t retire and collect residual income from people who quit after a few months. Even if there were no quotas, the continual attrition means continual recruiting just to maintain your level. That hamster wheel must never stop spinning.

            Not to mention the fact that those new recruits are being preyed upon and coerced to spend money on a faux opportunity.

            The numbers don’t work. It’s morally bankrupt. Other than that, though, it’s a great system. Yay, MLM.

  3. Roo2

    I find it hysterical how many of these NSD’s Instagram focus seems to be less about Mary Kay and more about other ventures. If this truly was the cush job of selling products that sold themselves, why would Dacia feel the need to blog, be an influencer, and pitching non Mary Kay products. Kim Copeland is running a pretend reality tv show. This list goes on and on. Mary Kay is not the dream for anyone including the ones at the top pretending to create this vision of success.

    1. NayMKWay

      You’d think their “executive income” would be enough, wouldn’t you?

      I’m imagining Tim Cook starting up a monetized YouTube channel. You know, just to help make ends meet…

    2. TRACY

      There is so much money to be made off MLM victims, both in MK and in other companies. We were always taught in MK that you should buy the videos and all the “extra” things if you really wanted to be successful. The NSDs figure out that they could exploit that mentality and make a ton of money outside of MK. So once an NSD retires, she still has the income of the products along with her retirement check.

      1. NayMKWay

        Similar to the “tools” scams inside Amway, then. It’s better organized in Amway, though; semi-permanently ensconced as AMOs (Amway Motivational Organizations) like WWDB (WorldWide Dream Builders) BWW (Britt worldwide), etc. I think there are some 50 AMOs inside Amway, and the only way you can sign up with Amway now is through an AMO. It’s like letting someone take blood from one arm while someone covers your other arm with leeches. Double blood loss.

  4. Roo2

    It really is tragic that the FTC allows this to continue and the lobbying is so strong from these companies. The only way to shut them down is to not give them any more victims/money. I have commented and lurked on this site for years and you continue to do powerful and meaningful work from telling the truth about what this is and letting people that got torn up and spit out come here to vent. It’s funny when there are the negative comments but sad at the same time. Numbers are numbers they don’t lie. The only defenders of MLMs are the ones still trying to make money off of a broken system

  5. morningstar

    Dear MK corporate viewers-

    Do you get it yet? The fact that so many women are noting that Yeah you can run you BS con game anyway you like, That is your prerogative.

    However we understand reality and are refusing to be continuously in a gaslighting mode as you have engineered for your profit margin.
    Thankfully- so many are waking up and guess what; it is so awesome to see NSD’s tanking, doing other gigs trying to be raking in the dough they are pissing away on the system. Amazingly I thought NSD’s had to be loyal to the company and not do outside “jobs”, and corporate craps on the consultants head about this topic as a no no.
    Spend an afternoon at discount store and or drug store….amazing products for a song compared to MK. Pamper yourself at 1/4 the cost and updated product items that work!

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