Mary Kay’s Truth vs. the Pink Truth

Written by Raisinberry

Have you noticed the big difference between the “story” told by Mary Kay Inc. and its representatives, versus the real truth here at Pink Truth?

It occurred to me that “consulting” was the best part of the Mary Kay business. You know, the “one on one” with a real client. That happens every now and again. You get a chance to connect with someone you just met who is interested in skin care. If you left it there, all might be well in MK land. You would make your 50% gross profit, give her a gift with purchase (which reduces your profit), offer her a discount as an incentive to purchase (also reducing your profits, if any), make a friend, and be on your way with a referral or two.

Along the way, a class could be held, but it would be with people who wanted one and loved getting women together. It wouldn’t be with dragged in in-laws who were there to keep family peace… or other consultants’ customers.

The comments here by women who are pro-Mary Kay show complete disbelief that we would order more product that we hadn’t sold, or order just to gain recognition and acceptance. These pro-MKers, it would appear, aren’t necessarily going for big goals. Selling the product means you book when you want to make some money, hold a facial instead of a class if you want to, handle reorders and provide good service. Selling $150 or $200 a week is fun. On a rare week of $500 or more, that’s more fun. But running your own business doesn’t mean you are racing with month-end deadlines or pressure from uplines. You are doing your own thing.

Contrast this with the life of the sales director on the hamster wheel. We probably did well when we first started. Directors usually are wired to achieve, suited to leadership, and respond to appreciation and praise. We want to do well so we take the advice of the leaders around us and do what they say.

That is a vulnerability that appears to be lacking in the pro-MK crowd. They are incredulous that we would find ourselves in MEGA DEBT being manipulated to “achieve,”  when it appears we didn’t want to “work the business” with all its ups and downs. Because we meet here for a daily dose of healing, we are criticized as “negative” and out of touch with the real mission of Mary Kay Ash herself. How did so many of us get in this career path mess?

One thing I think the pro-MKers are failing to realize is that we all were working the business or we never would have made it to directorship. We started the career path recruiting one consultant, possibly to get our pearls of sharing. We were encouraged along the lines of a full circle business… holding appointments and inviting guests to our meetings. For the most part, it wasn’t until we got in range of Future Director status that things started getting questionable. If you haven’t “won” a car yet in Mary Kay, you have no room to criticize anyone who is sharing their “negative” struggle. You have no clue.

At that point in your career, when the minutes of the month end are ticking down, you will be placed in a character revealing moment. To Mary Kay, you must find a way or make a way. That’s Mary Kay Character. But I really wonder what kind of character is really being revealed? When your Director asks you to find a good customer who would be willing to “help you win your car,”  and to tell that customer “you only need one more,” when you need three, and you go ahead and DO it… you have stepped over the line. A line that will be tested again and again and again.

In Mary Kay career path growth, this is entirely okay. In fact it is applauded. And you slowly learn that the moment will be passed quickly as the next goal is placed before you. You have no time to reflect on what you have done, no time to evaluate, no time to concern yourself with ethics because its 1, 3, 5, 8, 16, 24, 50 recruits. Each of those numbers represents a “goal” in Mary Kay.

You will become a future Director with 8 active, possibly doing that last $225 activation on your own credit card, and you will get your FACE on the cover of the newsletter and your NSDl will snuggle up close to you, and you will be praised to success, and all eyes will gaze at your celebrity, and your fraud will become a dim memory. Until the next time you need it.

I am noticing that sellers of Mary Kay products, real sellers, aren’t rabid recruiters. Naturally they wouldn’t be. They figured out that customers buy at a 100% markup. (duh!) Recruiting commission will never be 50%, so the very basic simple math is sell to consumers and leave the career path alone. If you can handle intermittent sales at a 60/40 split, and know that that is not ever going to be a “living wage,” Mary Kay is no problem for you. Mary Kay is a helluva problem for those of us who were coerced up the career path, believed our directors, and found a way or made one…

Once we learned to “maneuver” reality for the sake of the goal, were applauded for it, and whisked to the next goal so we never had to really face the fact that we were doing many unethical things, or let’s say, “expedient” things, the rhythm of the business became ingrained in us. Every move choreographed to one focus. Grow the Unit.

Years went by. No one the wiser about what we did to reach the constant challenges. Didn’t matter, the next one was already in place. And this could go on forever because questioning our ethics was never a part of MK directorship training. It was NEVER a topic at a NSD meeting. Why? Because they simply could not fake that level of hypocrisy. Getting the JOB DONE was what was celebrated… whatever it takes. And as long as no one talked about it… no one knew just how bad it was. Piling up years of questionable activity, and teaching offspring, DIQs and Team Leaders to do the same, never had to be faced.

Those of you who come from the pro-MK world, are either oblivious to the “insider” world of the directors, or in denial about what your current situation really is, or too new to know better. For career path consultants it is just painful to face what we really have done to get where we are. It is painful to realize we trusted in innocence, followed in blind faith, cauterized our own consciences and then became the predator ourselves. An old Indian proverb states “You have not earned the right to criticize me, unless first, you have wept for me.”

Oh, and one more thing. Before you spout off again how easy it is to sell Mary Kay and how fabulous your sales are, can you at least make Court of Sales a few times? It would go a long way toward giving you some actual credibility. (And YES, you have to actually sell those products that got you to Court of Sales. )


  1. JessicaB

    “At that point in your career, when the minutes of the month end are ticking down, you will be placed in a character revealing moment.”
    That was the turning point for me.. July 31st, 2019 around 10pm getting a text from my Director saying I either should place an order or $424.XX to be on target for “Star Consultant” or at least place an order for $34 to add another month (through October) to keep receiving my 50 percent discount. To avoid being looked at as a non-team player, I decided that evening to place an order for $34…I bought a mascara and something else, I can’t remember. After taxes and shipping, my total was $55. $55 I will never see again. I eventually returned my inventory, but the pressure to order, order anything that end of every month is real.

  2. NayMKWay

    In reading through many years of “Pink Truth Critics” letters, I noticed that they all came from non-directors. They showed plenty of other patterns as well: they thought everyone here just had a bad director (wow, that’s a LOT of bad directors, then), that no one here knew how to work their business, you’re all a bunch of whiners, no one put a gun to your heads, etc., etc. And they all came either from clueless husbands or from women who never made it past the red coat.

    The answers from the MK veterans were pretty consistent also: “You poor child, you have no idea what it’s really like until you have unit goals to meet every month. We do, and that’s why we’re here trying to warn you away.”

    If you’re here thinking you know better than women who actually drove Cadillacs, or if you think you know how to “do Mary Kay right,” you’re kidding yourself. You are part of a well-orchestrated corporate plan of deception; the sooner you get out, the better.

      1. NayMKWay

        Thank you so much. I am honored and humbled. Before I contributed, I spent several days reading articles and comments from the past 2+ years, and I’ve found your comments to be consistently informative and insightful. I also think you chose the perfect screen name, Best Decision. Because you did make the best decision for yourself and your family. Don’t ever doubt that.

  3. Cindylu

    MK truth is a misnomer. Considering MK herself advised we lie to our husbands, that shows it began unethically. Win a car is another misnomer. Free training is another inaccurate deception. Impossible not to lie or be dishonest since much of MK is a flawed deceitful con. Putting facial boxes into legitimate businesses is a misleading tactic. First of all they won’t truly win a facial. MK consultants are not certified to give real facials. Everything is an unscrupulous lure to dupe unsuspecting women into joining this mlm. Calling MK dual marketing is another cover your bases tactic the company used early on. Many of us heard the word pyramid scheme, cult and scam decades ago. Finally through PT we’re able to shout out loud and clear that MK is a losing venture and to avoid this Pink nightmare completely.

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