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

Dear New Consultant

Written by SteppingOut

Dear New Consultant,

I’m so excited you’ve decided to start this amazing new journey!! I know you. I love you! I was you. Did that first line seem familiar? Was that what your director said in her welcome email or text? I know you and I love you because I was you.

I can’t wait for you to see all of the possibilities this wonderful company has to offer! Would you have a quick few minutes today or tomorrow to grab coffee or FaceTime and go over how to get started?

I know you smiled ear to ear when you got that text!! Maybe you were busy though and needed it to be next week and she assured you it would be just a quick coffee and she promised not to keep you long but she was “totally booked up with appointments” next week so is there any way you could fit it in? You rearrange a few things because a director who has earned her car and diamonds or is working on earning a free trip wants to meet with YOU and help YOU!

I bet you don’t want to disappoint her though right? You want to be sure you know everything you can so that when you meet she sees you as the savvy business woman you want to be and not the girl searching for more that you are right now. After all, she’s incredibly successful right? So it’s time to put your best food forward and put those google skills to work!

I know your brain is probable racing with ideas from Pinterest to Facebook posts that look cute, party decor, cute pink lemonade recipes for your debut party, not to mention that coffee mug from Etsy that says “Wake Up and Make Up.” You start to envision yourself in that pink Cadillac or buying yourself new shoes, a new purse, or maybe just paying off your debt and it feels GOOD to imagine yourself finally WINNING.

You see the articles and blogs about why MLMs are a bad idea but you skip them because “Mary Kay isn’t an MLM! It’s Dual Level Marketing and it’s just you and the company and you WILL own your own store. Plus those women really are just so bitter and I know I can make this work because I’m so driven.”

Girl, I. Get. It. That was me!

I was going to get the cars, the diamonds, the money, the director suit, the dream life I’d been looking for. If only 2% of women are successful in direct sales, no one was going to tell me I wasn’t good enough to be in that 2%! I don’t want to talk you out of it though I promise! This will just be a quick few minutes of your time no pressure to hear a few things to help our team at PinkTruth with a training.  😉

  1. How excited are you to be in that F-R-E-E Car?! Did you set aside money for the co=payments for when your team doesn’t meet your required quota? If not, that’s okay! I’m sure your director can help you lay out a plan to put aside about $100 a week for that payment! You’ll have to sell at least $200 worth of product a week though but then you’ll break even!!
  2. Have you made your “wedding list” of women you can text and call to tell them how excited you are and see if you can borrow their face to practice? When you made it, did you think about who would be good at MK, who would spend a lot of money, who would do it just to help you…? But…its just for practice right…no pressure on them to buy…? (Does that “practice” line feel a little dishonest?)
  3. Have you “Imagined your life a year from now, two years from now” and thought, what could I do with all that money? Ask your director what she did with hers! Ask her if the house she bought with her MK money was funded with anything else. Did her husband’s income help? Was she given family money? If her entire team quite tomorrow would she still be able to pay her bills from sales? Because this isn’t an MLM right?? Its about selling! So she must sell a ton of lipstick to be so successful!!!!
  4. Have you asked her why it is so exciting to be in the top 6%, 4%, or 2% of the company as a Team leader, DIQ, or Director? Wait…. There are 2.4 million MK consultants in the world and only 2% are directors…. That’s only like 48,000… But girl you’ve GOT THIS! Though….If you’re into like crazy hard challenges apply to Harvard too!! Did you know they only accepted about 6% of their applications in 2018? So you’ve got a greater chance of getting accepted to the IVY LEAGUES. Girlllllll go on with your bad self!
  5. Are you ready to be at every weekly meeting, every training video call, every marketing event? Are you ready to hold 3-5 parties a week while booking 7-9 so that you account for the ones that don’t hold? Are you ready to bring samples to church, to the daycare, to your doctors office, to the grocery store, because everyone would be excited to get FREE pampering products right???? Have you ever said yes to the guy at the kiosk at the mall who wants to straighten you hair…? Thats FREEEEEEE pampering!!

New Consultant, I am so excited that you’re excited. I know you. I love you. I. WAS. YOU. I worked day in and day out. I earned everything you could earn. Read that again…. I earned everything you COULD earn. Money wasn’t one of them. I earned diamonds, cars, trips, purses, prizes, jewelry, and trainings. I didn’t earn money. If I did I had to use it for my “free” car or for prizes for my team or for weekly meetings or for trips or for training or for text services or for my director suit.

New Consultant, I know you want an amazing life. I want that for you too!! Go apply to Harvard. Go find a job at an office you love. Open your own store. Go back to school. Write a blog. Learn photography. Learn a skill.

I know you think you can succeed because you can do anything you set your mind to. You can do anything you set your mind to if it is humanly possible. Except succeeding in MK is nearly impossible, and you don’t want to bet your family’s money and future on the unlikely chance that the winner is going to be you.


  1. Shay

    No, $200 a week will not break her even. Tracy discusses this all the time— Products very rarely sell at full price so I would change number 1 to $400 LOL

  2. Peaches

    Very well put… But here’s the thing… Training? What training? Meetings, Marketing Sessions, Company Events… You meant to say either rah rah sessions, pat yourself on the back sessions, Spend More Money Sessions or Pay the baby sitter, piss off your husband sessions. Because let’s face it, all you are going to get is a slight pat on the back, a glimpse of the “free” car and no real training. You’d be better off taking an economics course or a marketing course at the local community college if you want REAL business education.

    Finding Friends… What… Swimming in the Pink Shark Tank?
    Sellable Products… What with so many other brands out there that are better including the “drug store” and Wal Mart brands like Olay and Regenerist?

    Director Suit… If you get that far… Will you even have time to put that bad boy in the cleaners to air it out with all the events you are mandated to go to?

    Fun… Not Likely because by the time you find out you are not having fun, you are treading water just to break even.

    Money.. . You’ll spend it all on “re-tooling” your store because no sooner than you get in, the packaging is changing.

    Appointments… Talk about Stress on Steroids… You have to BEG to get them and when you do… You have to offer everything under the sun including half the store to keep it.

    Mary Kay is what it is… a pipe dream that will leave you deeper in debt, with no friends and dashed hopes.

    Just sayin’

      1. Coffee Canuck

        Still better than what MK does. I honestly thought that when I went to career conference, I was going to learn about the products, how to use it, what it was made of, and why it worked and how to do sell the product properly with knowledge. All learned was “if you dream it you can achieve it” crap and absolutely nothing useful.

        That was an eye-opener for me.

        At least with university/college courses, while outdated, they help to my accreditation and continuing education requirements.

    1. Char

      “Very well put… But here’s the thing… Training? What training?”

      Everyone needs to understand they ARE training sessions. The confusion seems to be that people were expecting a different kind of training, but that doesn’t mean it’s not training.

      You are being trained to be an MLMer. I actually think MK does a good job judging by the pictures. The ladies seem to really enjoy the crowns, sashes, and walking across the stage. We must keep in mind that they are training/brainwashing you to be a good pyramid schemer – because that’s what you need to be when you join a pyramid scheme. Duh, right?

      “You meant to say either rah rah sessions, pat yourself on the back sessions, Spend More Money Sessions or Pay the baby sitter, piss off your husband sessions.” – Yes. This is exactly what MLM is. If you join an MLM company, why would anyone expect a different kind of training? That would be a waste of time and money.

      MLMing = endless-chain recruiting = pyramid scheming

      1. MLM Radar

        That’s not training.
        Training is when we sign up for “how to sell makeup to customers” classes and we receive instruction in how to sell makeup to customers.

        What Mary Kay provides is indoctrination.
        Indoctrination is when we expect to receive “how to sell makeup to customers” training, but instead we get instruction in “why you want to recruit your customers” and “why you want to buy 3 of everything in the MK Look Book even though you only have two customers.”

        There is a difference.

        1. NayMKWay

          That is the point Char is making. Mary Kay’s business is a pyramid scheme, so that’s the “training” they offer: how to grow the pyramid. That’s how Mary Kay grows their customer base, so that’s what they train their people to do. It’s the same as every other MLM company out there: get out there and grow that pyramid by selling more and more people on “the plan.”

          In this light, the fact that the training they offer is short on how to improve your personal retail sales is unsurprising. It is far better for the company to rope in more IBOs who can be coerced into buying inventory.

  3. NayMKWay

    Your “Journey.”

    It’s always a journey with these MLM scams. You sign up: you’re starting your journey. Your social media posts will invite everyone to follow along with you on your journey. It all sounds so noble and life-affirming. After all, Life is a Journey, right?

    As long as they keep you focused on your journey, you might miss the fact that it’s a journey to nowhere. Head down, push through, one foot in front of the other. Concentrate on your next meeting, your next skin care class, your next warm chatting outing. Buy inventory to match your desired “success level.”

    If you dared to look around you a bit more, you might notice the meetings are nothing but silly rah-rah sessions. That you have to twist arms to get people to agree to come to a class, and if they do there’s a good chance they won’t show. That inventory is piling up unsold and unwanted. That family and friends are avoiding you because all you seem to want to talk about is your new business. That’s OK though, you have new family and friends now, they get you. They’ll help you stay focused on your journey.

    Take the blinders off and you’ll see your journey for what it is: endless running in place on a hamster wheel. You just need to step off and get your life back.

    1. MLM Radar

      Interesting. But I never thought a hamster wheel was a journey. Just like riding a static exercise bike, treadmill, elliptical in front of a TV set showing the Travel Channel isn’t a journey.

      You can be completely absorbed in the video, and use a lot of energy, but when the machine stops turning you’re back in the same place where you started.

      1. NayMKWay

        And that is why they keep you looking down at your feet instead of at your surroundings. As long as you keep doing that, you’re not on a hamster wheel, you’re on your “journey.”

  4. lulutoo

    Great posts and comments. This is a little off topic but I just read (2 years late!) that Longaberger Baskets (with the big basket-shaped building) went bankrupt in 2018. Weren’t they a ‘party plan’ type of business, or MLM?

  5. Mel

    So many scammers. So glad I didn’t get sucked into this, Ashley Krause, Director in Manitoba tried to steal all my money with this Mary Kay scam. She uses her ex veteran boyfriends money to keep her scam going. Took him to the cleaners to support her Mary Kay addiction. How low.

    1. PurpleH

      Mel… Where is she operating in MB? I don’t live there anymore, but someone in my hometown is pushing hard. It’s a farming/ factory town of 1200 people so the math is hopeless. Wondering where the SD’s are and I don’t think there are any NSDs there pulling the strings.

    2. Mel

      PurpleH do you know her? She has scammed some of my friends into this, they lost money. Yes farm girls who are suddenly selling ugly makeup. It’s crazy. They tried to get me to join, she seemed so fake and off, acting I guess. I heard she had the highest debut in Manitoba, recruited 75 or something, part of the Summach group I think. A nobody trying to be a somebody, stealing everyone’s money! Shame she’s bringing other women into this scam!

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