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

Mary Kay Sucks the Life Out of You

When women leave Mary Kay, I always find myself wanting them to tell the truth about what an awful company it is. And they almost never do. Our friend JTA was brave enough to tell the truth, and she likely lost all her MK friends because of it. Most of the time women stay quiet because those “lifelong friends” they made in Mary Kay will be the first to shun you if you say negative things about MK. And remember former NSD Amy Dunlap who told us all in her lawsuit that Mary Kay is a pyramid scheme, it’s nearly impossible to sell the products, and NSDs don’t make the big money the company claims?

Former sales director Kelly Brock (you know, the woman who was in Applause magazine a bunch for her commission checks and who went on the Top Director Trip last year) told the world about how Mary Kay almost ruined her marriage.

And she has finally been brave enough to be honest that Mary Kay cost her big time! Both in and out of the company. Now of course, she doesn’t mention MK by name. (Sadly, she preys on MLM participants with her coaching venture, so she can’t risk turning off her best market of potential customers by directly saying something bad about Mary Kay.) But we know exactly who/what she is talking about.

Kelly Brock first talks about the fact that she lost herself while in MK. She “altered” herself slowly for the women she was around, the other sales directors and NSDs. You know… the old fake it till you make it? The lies that are required to recruit women, because no one would sign up if they knew that 99% of MLM participants lose money. The pressure to only say positive things about MK.

My favorite quote below: “Be yourself, but when you work here, this is how we do it.” The ever-present pressure to do things “the Mary Kay way.”  (And no, this MK way isn’t a good thing. It’s all the deceptions and the fake happiness.) Mary Kay became TOXIC to Kelly. (Her word.) She describes sadness and heaviness while in MK.

“Everyone else is happy with this life, why can’t I be?”

And then Kelly talks about how quitting Mary Kay (i.e. giving up everything) cost her big. The MK culture “kept her small,” with worries about what they would think. Oh, the peer pressure in Mary Kay is massive. And it only gets worse the further you move up. The cattiness gets worse. The unhealthy level of competition and comparing yourself to others.

Congratulations for leaving, Kelly. Now if you would just be honest with people about the fact that their MLM participation is unethical and unlikely to lead to profits. But no, you depend on them for your new livelihood.



  1. BestDecision

    Top Director Trip winner describing herself as “sicker than ever”. It consumes you when you’re a Director, no matter the level, and she sums it up perfectly: “I was getting up early, staying up late, doing my best, and had no idea there was any other way.”

    I bet she got to Hawaii and saw behind the curtains on so many there with them. Even backstage at Seminar and Career Conferences, you overhear conversations about how people finished a goal, how they recruited a ton of people. Then, you go home excited to try all over again, revamp all of your systems to emulate someone you heard about while there, and hope you can catch that wave of success.

    It’s sickening. If MK is so easy, more people would be doing Trip. More than 1 person would’ve earned a car in February. And we wouldn’t have people like Kelly or even myself leaving a DECADE of work and heart behind.

    1. TRACY

      Wow. When she first started this coaching thing, she was talking about Amare products but said she wasn’t a distributor. I can see one of her buddies got into her head and convinced her it was dumb to not take advantage of her big network of people and whore out a new MLM. And it’s great because her husband can be the Amare rep, so she doesn’t have to worry about MK pursuing her for violating the non-solicitation clause.

      1. enorth

        “whore out a new MLM”

        The Amare compensation plan is nearly 20 pages. The usual MLM language: personal volume, active, incentive trip, leg, qualified, eligible, rank, commissionable volume, preferred customer, etc.

      2. BestDecision

        She just posted that she never allowed herself time off when she was a Director. I love all this stuff getting exposed! Real life, real experiences that they still try to cover up when we’ve left.

  2. anythingbutpink

    It’s petty, I know, but the grammar of these women just kills me. It’s “bawling” not “balling” your eyes out Kelly! I’m not sure you should be coaching others to success of if you can’t get this basic stuff right.

  3. J

    She’s still toxic. She’s the “it’s just allergies” person. No, ma’am, you’re sick. Please go get healthy before telling us how to achieve optional health.

    The photos of casual bliss are nauseating. If you were actually peaceful, you wouldn’t have to sell it. You wouldn’t have to promote enlightenment. These ‘simple moments’ would be so plentiful, they would register as significant—we should get a photo of this!

    When you have your shit together, people can see it. No need to photoshop it.

    1. TRACY

      How “peaceful” can you possibly be when you are doing Instagram stories ALL. DAY. LONG.????

      She has 25+ stories on Instagram per day on a regular basis.

      Peaceful, my ass.

      1. Neverpink

        That sounds incredibly narcissistic and exhausting. Yikes.

        I’m just imagining what she looks like, constantly taking pictures of herself. No thanks.

        1. MultiLevelMoneylosing

          I shouldn’t, but I love following her, she brings the insta-cringe every day… But it really is sad, you know there is a lot of insecurity behind the haircolor, botox and clothing that’s way too young for her. It’s kinda sad how she makes her daughter her personal photographer too. She also constantly posts stories of text from some book where God is the speaker but it isn’t the Bible? So weird.

  4. Mountaineer95

    So I spent a few minutes looking at K. Brock’s business site via the link provided. So much bull. This I found interesting:

    “I am ready to coach you through my step by step framework to take your business to your next 6 figures. I am showing the exact knowledge that allowed me to take my tiny start up idea to a 6 figure within 6 months and now growing to what I know will be multiple 6 figures in 2020.”

    …really? Sounds like more faking it until you make it. She’s making six figures after only six months of this? I doubt it. And yep her hubby is the Amare rep she solicits her readers to join.

  5. Bethany

    Kelly Brock has an IG video you can watch where she alludes to how much she struggled in MK. Very interesting. She recalls her parents babysitting their granddaughter and her parents describing how much her daughter wanted her and needed her and how it seemed like she (Kelly) was “always running for a goal” even though she painted it as temporary sacrifice for long-term gain. ”
    ” “One of many moments that I thought, “at what point do I stop at what point am I actually waking out a life that I want?” I didn’t know how to stop. ” ”
    -while running for a big goal, her husband reminded her that this is not the life she claimed to have and that MK gives her – mainly owning your time and having balance and flexibility to plan your time and prioritize things like working out. Her husband said, “How can you NOT have time when you are in charge of your time??”
    Her asking herself- “At what point will I be in control? At what point will I start choosing the things I actually want? You are always giving away your control to other people.”

    “I kept waiting for the moment to arrive when I would be at a place to be able to rest…I was
    living in denial….living in an environment that just supported more of what I didn’t want.”
    A culture of “never stopping long enough to ask themselves questions”.
    And believing and seeing that “this is how everyone does it…this is just what success looks like.”

    Doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

    1. TRACY

      Did she write about MK though? Something is amiss. She left “voluntarily” but the rumblings are that she was in big trouble with MK. I wish we could get some inside info on this one! People have said she left because she wanted to write a book. She is going to be lucky if she makes $10k on that book. She didn’t willingly choose that over her big MK paychecks.

      1. EyesWideShutNoMore

        I used to follow her on FB, don’t judge lol. It was shortly after she did the million that I started, she was “a famous underdog” bc she went from not a huge unit (doing I think it was 300k or so) and then doing a million saying the goal was “Kim’s million” to honour her sister who died that year. Basically, guilt people into signing up or buying product in the name of her sister to be a Million Dollar Unit.

        From what I remember seeing on her fb page, it seemed like a conflict of interest of sorts bc she said God told her to write book while she was still in MK and she worked it into a whole coaching thing and a progress report of how her book was going and getting a brand presence in order to get a publisher. Her angle was finding joy in every day trials and tribulations, she said that’s what God wanted her to write about.

        She would have coaching / tip videos with current MK directors, one I do clearly remember was with Kailey (?) Deblander. She had HUGE pit stains because she said only used that crappy MK setting powder to stop sweating. In Florida. It didn’t work. I can’t remember however, if Dawn made it public who they were affiliated with, I think that got her into trouble along the same vein as Michelle Cunningham. Can’t mention anything that identifies that you’re with MK, for example, can’t say Pink Cadillac.

        Sorry, I don’t have the insider info but it seemed it was all of a sudden she wasn’t in MK. I remember my director was shocked bc she didn’t think it would be hard to run a million dollar unit “it runs itself at that point” AND write a book.

        Maybe it just sounded so insane to even corporate to go around saying God said to write a book and so they didn’t want anything to do with her lol.

          1. EyesWideShutNoMore

            Lol, was it the huge pit stain description that did it?

            I just remember being amazed that Dawn Barton did this big feat in a short time and then poof, she wasn’t in MK any more. She did a video or maybe it was a blog about having to suddenly rely on her husband for money and what it was like to get the pink caddy towed away. She seemed to put it all out there and how she struggled to write a book because as she said, she’d never even read one.

            So, she started doing those recruiting and selling tips and tricks videos and would have other MK directors on and also a blog. It seemed to take on a life of its own, writing this book turned into a whole lifestyle / branding / coaching thing to generate interest before the book came out. At the time when I was following Dawn (and subscribing to her blog site) her info was free. She would post about going to writing workshops, finding a book agent, the process to get a book published, things like that. Oh, and coined herself as a Joyologist. Apparently, she has quite the life experiences outside of MK because really, she’s only known in MK circles so that’s hardly enough of a draw to sign her on as an author. And so a Joyologist is born.

            1. TRACY

              It’s not that hard to get someone to take you on as an author. They just have to make sure they’ll make their money back on the editing and production costs. Someone like Dawn wouldn’t get an advance, so they don’t have to worry about losing money. She just has to make a good enough case for minimal sales and she’ll find someone to publish her. It sounds like a good concept. She’s just not going to make much from the book. She is likely hoping to get paid speaking engagements so she can be a “motivational speaker.” She’s got a good hook. If she could get lucky enough to have a big TV host bring her on their show, it could work. I’m doubtful about her odds.

              1. EyesWideShutNoMore

                It was a very specific type of publishing house that took her on, I want to say one that only does Christian non fiction, something like those Chicken Soup for the Soul books. It would have to be that bc who else would go for the “God told me to write a book.”

                Maybe she’s hoping Oprah will promote it!

              2. BestDecision

                Kelly Brock just gave example of her daughter missing her while in MK. “At what point do I stop?” in response to her Dad’s “It seems like you’re always running for a goal.”

                No more precise description of the life of someone in MK. There’s always another hurdle to achieve, be it a monthly contest, a Star quarter, a car, a Unit Club. It’s like treading water with no rescue boat in sight. She’s bringing up so many memories over on her IG videos!

        1. BestDecision

          I resigned without being forced to when my production and checks weren’t horrible, so it is possible to leave when your numbers aren’t struggling.

      1. Cynthia

        I don’t know if it’s been mentioned on here before but Directors and above can not publicly promote anything besides their business. It’s in the contract. Also, if you write something while you are a director, MK takes ownership of the said product. That’s why Michelle Cunningham is doing her own thing, etc. I don’t know how Pamela Shaw gets away with it with her 90 day planner. Linda Toupin now can profit from her Changes tapes/cds/electronic media now that she’s retired.

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