Reasons I’m Happy I Quit Mary Kay

Written by SuzyQ

More than a decade after leaving Mary Kay, I think about the emotions I had when I left the big pink cult. It was big! The first thing I felt was relief. It was really, really over, and I didn’t have to worry about Mary Kay any more. To this day, I still reflect sometimes on all the reasons I am happy that I quit Mary Kay. I thought I’d start with the top 50 reasons:

  1. Not having to worry about production. I know exactly what I will make each check, when it will be deposited, and I have all the usual “corporate” benefits from a J.O.B.
  2. I don’t have to go to events anymore. Events include the usual official ones like Leadership, Career Conference and Seminar, and all the others like weekly meetings, director’s meetings, area events, NSD events, retreats, power up days and on and on.
  3. My employer pays for all of my training. Everything. Really. No out of pocket expenses.
  4. I don’t get thousands of email rah rahs to pass on to my unit members, same song different day stuff.
  5. I don’t have to pretend that the 57 step MK skin care program really really works! I mean, I used it all, and none of it worked, but I convinced myself it did.
  6. I can tell people that Mary Kay cleanser really doesn’t cleanse.
  7. A little birdie keeps me up to date on my former “area wannabe” and it’s pretty grim, although just like lots of things—every now and then, they have a good month, so here comes that intermittent reinforcement thing that keeps the hamster wheel going… very much like gambling.
  8. I don’t feel embarrassed about telling people what I do for a living.
  9. I don’t have to update my unit website. Now, I guess it’s all the social media stuff that I would feel pressured to participate in.
  10. I don’t have to have a home office anymore and actually end my day at a reasonable time.
  11. I don’t have a co-pay on the car I own, and nobody can take it away. If I want a new car, I don’t have to re-qualify for it, and my insurance is cheaper.
  12. My credit cards are not maxed out to make production.
  13. I don’t have an inventory. And I learned again how much fun it is to cruise the aisles and the counters to see what’s new.
  14. The guilt is gone. No waking up in the middle of the night wondering how I am going to make all of this work.
  15. No more newsletters and the same old queens of everything, trying to get people to order more by comparing them to others, contests, scoreboards, uggh….
  16. No more “Fake it ‘til you make it.”
  17. Hanging out with the people I love without guilt, or without asking them to wait until after “prime people” time- 9 AM to 9PM.
  18. Not having to worry about how to spin the most recent corporate snafu to my consultants.
  19. Realizing on a deep level that truth is not negative.
  20. Not having to do the same thing over and over every month, every quarter, every year.
  21. Understanding that the MK cult is alive and well, but escape and recovery are possible.
  22. Knowing that the women who “keep the dream alive” are trying to rationalize their emotional and financial investment. I was in for 10 years, and I can’t imagine how painful it would be to have invested even more time, only to learn that this whole scheme will not work unless there is a gradual moral erosion as a director. There seems to be a sale of a soul to the devil under the mantle of “God” and “goodness.” How else can people be referred to as numbers—“It’s a numbers game. You have to work the numbers?” Ladies, please remember that those numbers are actual women with real lives and you are messing with them. (Unless you are being honest.)
  23. The cachet of being a director is comprised of sequins, smoke and mirrors.
  24. No more bees and stars everywhere.
  25. No more really ugly over-priced director suits.
  26. No more skirts, skirts, skirts. (And back in the day, closed toe shoes and pantyhose.)
  27. I can talk to women without an agenda.
  28. Learning that being in MK causes cognitive dissonance. We are told that if we can’t afford to go to an event, that is why we need to go to that event. Other examples:
  • It takes money to make money
  • You can earn executive income with a part time business
  • You own your own business
  • You can set your own hours
  • This is a numbers game
  • Mary Kay is not for everyone, but how will you know unless you try?
  • We don’t want sales people
  • You don’t need to know a lot of people
  • You can stay shy the rest of your life, or you can take the MK life improvement course
  • It only costs $100
  • You are not required to carry an inventory
  • You can’t sell from an empty wagon
  • I will match my time with your effort
  • There is no competition
  • There is room at the top
  • Never recruit anyone you wouldn’t want to share a room with at seminar (unless, except)

You all have your own examples…

You really didn’t think I would do 50 did you? There are so many tangible and intangible benefits of being out of Mary Kay. It took a while for Mary Kay to get into me, and took another while to get me out of Mary Kay. It was incredibly painful at times. I burned my bridges to my former profession (as advised by my senior director—that would insure my success and motivation for Mary Kay) and I had pretty much lost my ability to speak or think of things not related to Mary Kay.

I learned that if I lost faith in Mary Kay, it meant I had also lost faith in God. My senior was fond of saying that when she died, she would have to face God and Mary Kay, and the two became somewhat interchangeable. I learned at a Bible study conducted by a NSD that it was perfectly fine to pray for production. I learned, too, that God wanted me to have a pink Cadillac because it would help bring other women to Mary Kay and God.

Other NSDs told me that God had a plan for me and the plan was Mary Kay. If I abandoned my “dream,” I was letting God down. I was taught that Mary Kay was my mission field, and that it was my duty to bring women to Mary Kay. I was the only Mary Kay some people would meet; I was the only Bible some people would read. AND THIS IS NOT A CULT? Oh, please.

So, there you have it. I know my experience may not have been your experience. I hope it wasn’t. I am learning about the power of the internet. So much is available to us now that wasn’t accessible before, what a gift information can be!

If you are lurking, or if you are wondering why a site like this exists, please continue to read. Just as there are all sorts of people in Mary Kay, there are also all sorts of people on Pink Truth. Some of the stories and experiences will resonate with you, some will not.

The Mary Kay experience itself tends to be different for those who were or are directors and those who are or were consultants. If Mary Kay is working for you and you are comfortable with your decisions, good for you! If you are questioning Mary Kay, good for you!

It’s been a wild ride. Here’s to many more Mary Kay-free days and years!


  1. AlmostPink

    This is a great list. I actually signed up years ago. Thank goodness for my husband’s good sense and Pink Truth. When I naively presented the inventory packages to my husband, he luckily got me to see what a ridiculous thing I was proposing bringing into our lives. How did I think “investing” thousands of dollars was so casual and a good idea?!

    Anyway… like I said, I signed up under a lady who was an Elite Executive Senior Sales Director and she is now an NSD. She really sucked me in and I am fascinated by all things Mary Kay culture. She drove two hours to meet me at Applebee’s for the “career chat.” What a waste of time for her and me. It must have been disappointing to drive that far, have me sign up/purchase the starter kit, and then I go MIA after I came to my senses…

    But, what makes me really sad is these poor consultants who would hear her romance and embellish this story to sound like a slam dunk new recruit and make it sound like Suzy Consultant should do the same thing. I mean, drive 4 hours round trip, an hour at Applebees, the hope of someone signing up and then POOF they are gone. What a waste of time, energy, lost opportunities (you can do a lot in 5 hours!) and ultimate disappointment.

    So, imagine doing this over and over and over again. Ugh.

  2. Char

    Here’s a simple thought everyone should consider:

    Why isn’t the recruiter trying to sell you the product and make her 50% markup? Why is she creating competition for herself?

    It’s all downhill from there when you understand the multi-level marketing method, otherwise known as pyramid scheming.

    Also, we’ve all heard about the psychopath who said God told him to kill people. Fact is, a human can say anything they want and use the excuse that God told them to do it. Frankly, we can’t prove that God didn’t tell him. My point is that it’s a crock when someone uses God to excuse their actions, or uses them as a motivator. That’s a huge red flag that you are about to be scammed.

  3. enorth

    ” presented the inventory packages to my husband, he got me to see what a ridiculous thing I was proposing”

    If you had told the ESSD that you were planning to talk with your husband, she would have responded with, “You don’t need his permission”, and “He doesn’t understand the MK business”, and “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.”

    If you complained later that you were stuck with the inventory you ordered, you would be told, “It was your decision. No one held a gun to your head.”

  4. LD

    Amen sister.
    I have been out of the pink fog for 3 years now. I should have left right away.
    I still have the bag i got when i signed up but my daughter uses it as an overnight bag for Girl Scout camp lol.

  5. Cindylu

    Reasons for being happy I left MK. I don’t have to be away from family to go to a pretend meeting. No longer obligated to trying to find new patsys by warm stalking these unsuspecting women at malls. I always found the whole MK pink bag, applying make up thing extremely embarrassing. I don’t miss my very cold narcissistic SD and NSD. I don’t have to lie to vulnerable women anymore. I don’t have to convince neighbors and friends I need their help for some stupid contest. I don’t have to listen to Directors lie about their high paid check from years before. No being in a scam that pretends to care but puts up road blocks along the way. No where to advertise and products constantly changing. Hanging around women in overdone make up with throw back dresses became slightly repetitive. I definitely don’t miss those ridiculous made up I stories from top directors that eventually get included in the book “There’s Room At The Top.” I also don’t miss those top Directors giving each other fake air kisses either.

  6. Cynthia

    SuzyQ, I read your posts back in 2007 and I respect your opinion. You and Raisinberry were why I quit MK back then. I am only a consultant, and I am active again…. but I don’t want to recruit…
    this makes me sad…..”The Mary Kay experience itself tends to be different for those who were or are directors and those who are or were consultants. If Mary Kay is working for you and you are comfortable with your decisions, good for you! If you are questioning Mary Kay, good for you!”
    I love my Director and NSD who are legit honest people…. guess that’s why they aren’t at the top of the scoreboard… and MK is something I missed the past 12 years and I enjoy selling the product and teaching glamour. I have obviously been sheltered from what many of you experienced. Glad I didn’t, but sad you did. My director has told me never to load up a credit card for product… to go sell it first. She must be the exception to the rule. Thank you for your insight. My goal is to make $1500 a month in retirement…. nothing big. Guess I won’t shoot for Director…. sounds like a nightmare.

    1. TRACY

      You still don’t get it? Everyone thinks their director is the exception to the rule. She is NOT. She is making minimum wage, just like most of the other directors.

      As for selling products…. we have shown here time and again how it is nearly impossible to make a consistent income selling products.

      Check out this article:

      We ran the numbers for someone wanting to make $2,000 per month selling products. To do that, the consultant would need $5,000 sales per month, and would need to speak to 70 new women a week when trying to book appointments.

      You want to make a little less than that. So you’ll need to speak to about 50 new women a week. Do you have a plan as to how you’ll come into contact with 50 new women EACH WEEK???

      Oh, I’m sure they’ve told you that you’re going to sell a ton from reorders. That’s where your sales will come from! You know better. You might sell a few hundred a month in reorders after you’ve been rolling for a while. But the bulk of the $4,000 or so in sales that you’ll need each month to net your ideal $1,500 will have to be from new people.

      I’d love to hear your plan for finding these new women and getting them to book and hold. That’s the only thing that would hold you back.

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