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

A Mary Kay Victim Spared!

A reader sent this to me to thank us for helping her avoid the Mary Kay scam. I love these emails! This, my friends, is the whole reason we exist. I want resources to be available to those who take the time to research before they sign up for MK.

I just wanted to tell you that I think your website is terrific. It’s so addicting to read! I stumbled across it after I started doing research on Mary Kay after a weird experience with a MK consultant.

A couple of weeks ago, a Mary Kay consultant came to my apartment to give me a makeover. I didn’t know her personally. She got my name from a church event that I had participated in. We all got mini-facials at this church event. In order to get it though, we had to fill out this little form about what we knew about MK products and the company. She said the forms we filled out would be entered into a raffle drawing for free MK products. Cool, I thought.

Anyway, she called me about a week later and said I had “won” $10 worth of MK products. The only caveat was she would have to come over and do a makeover on me.Never one to turn down free cosmetics, I agreed to it. She asked if I wanted to have any of my girlfriends join me for an evening of “pampering.” Knowing full well that this would mostly be a sales pitch, I dragged my sister into it (because that’s what sisters are for). I even planned to buy something just so her trip wouldn’t be a wasted effort.

After she left, however, I had a really bad feeling about the whole organization, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what bothered me.

First, she tried to sell me these expensive product kits. The cheapest was somewhere around $60. Like I said, I had planned on buying something, but I had not budgeted for that much. I asked if she sold the products separately. She seemed reluctant to hand over the catalog of the separately-sold products.

I finally settled on a mascara and eyeliner. My $10 credit covered part of my $30 order, still pretty high for my cosmetics budget but it was okay since it was a one-time thing.

My sister wanted to buy just the foundation but the consultant said that was not possible. She refused a sale because she wouldn’t buy the whole TimeWise kit.

While she went down to her car to get our orders, she had us fill out these forms about what we thought about the company’s motto of “God first, family second, career third,” or whatever it was, as well as other questions pertaining to the the company and how great it supposedly was.

She didn’t try and recruit us there on the spot or anything and I did learn some nifty make-up tricks and stuff, but after she left, I still had this weird feeling about the whole thing.

It just struck me as a complete scam, like it was never really about cosmetics to begin with. I wondered why this consultant, who seemed like such a bright young woman, would be doing this. She was almost like a robot, especially when she spouted off the company motto, how far along she was in the company, etc… She even mentioned excitedly that she was about a year off from one of the cars they “give away.”

Anyway, I was unnerved enough to google Mary Kay out of curiosity. I found your site and love it.

I have this feeling that this won’t be the last time I hear from the MK consultant, especially now after reading some of your site and learning how the process/scam works.

I feel a little more prepared should she try and “stalk” me as a potential new recruit.

Your site is great. Keep up the good work.



  1. Brainwashed no more

    Congrats for listening to your intuition. Great job doing your research.

    My top 10 for staying away from MKult
    1. Company philosophy: MK, MK, MK. It’s never enough. Give up your life for this scam.
    2. No flexibility. Giving away your personal and family time. Losing your time for MKult scam.
    3. never make 50% on product sale. Everyone wants a discount.
    4. Over saturated market. Recruit your best customers, lose their sales and compete against your friends and family.
    5. Lots of pressure and stress because it’s never enough. The goals keep moving.
    6. Low quality stuff for lots of work from you going no where on a hamster wheel.
    7. No Tax deduction Years of no profit and possible audit for deductions. It’s a hobby, not a business.
    8. No limit for how much MKult Corp can earn when their customers, the consultants, are buying from them. They are making the money. They don’t care if any products are sold to your customers.
    9. Get your own car without the constant stress. You’re paying for the car because the goals are not possible to meet.
    10. 90% buy back for products minus any samples used to sell minus “prizes” that you got.

  2. Enorth

    From Heather Daniel Kent’s June 2 post (caps are hers):
    “Congratulations, YOU have finished qualifications as a Prestige Top Unit! Frank Kent IV and I will be honored to represent you this year in Scotland and Ireland!”

    YOU have finished the qualifications, but SHE goes on the trip?

  3. Lazy Gardens

    You were right. It is NOT about selling cosmetics. “It just struck me as a complete scam, like it was never really about cosmetics to begin with.”

  4. Cindylu

    1). Faith Family Career (except you’re away from family most evenings and for conferences including Seminar. The rest of the time your on the phone or doing one more thing MK related.
    2). You can’t sell from an empty Wagon”. You can’t sell period with an over saturated market and 50 plus years of lying to women.
    3). “We treat our people like royalty. If you honour and serve the people who work for you, they will honour and serve you.” Mary Kay Ash. It doesn’t matter if you treat them like royalty. If the products are over priced, if you lie to them, then eventually they can’t honour an mlm that is misleading.
    4). Fake it till you make it”. This means not being sincere or true to yourself. It means over looking the many flaws of this mlm
    5). “Never give up, because you never know if the next try is going to be the one that works.” This is how they keep you on the hamster wheel. It’s like a gambler thinking their next fix is just around the corner
    6). Training etc is free in MK. Wow. Except for the meeting hall, the samples, the business cards, your gas, clothes(Suits, dresses etc), seminar and other conferences, the co pays on cars.
    7). “Give yourself something to work toward constantly.” Mary Kay Ash. Here we have the workaholic with no room for critical thinking philosophy. Work like a servant for a company that reaps all of the benefits without actually having to compensate it’s thousands of recruits.
    8). “There is a way; Up, Around, Over or Through.” Unfortunately the way has become by changing the products constantly at the expense of many families who are in debt
    9). ” believe that you should praise people whenever you can; it causes them to respond as a thirsty plant responds to water. ” Except that in most cases it’s false praise. Getting praise for buying product rather than actually selling product is false praise.
    10). “In fact, depending on how much you earn, you can afford to pay somebody to do almost anything you don’t like to do. ” – Mary Kay Ash. Except since this is an mlm and this is 2020 with social distancing etc, many MK trusting souls can’t afford the credit card bill that MK has wrought.

    Thank goodness MK had quite a few women in the early 1970’s who worked hard to build her company. It was because of these many women that MK could afford those housekeepers etc. It was because there were stay at home women who didn’t realize that those silly parties were actually contrived sales pitch to get you and your friends to buy or recruit. Thank goodness for PT which points out that it’s about recruiting and the failure of many women below you. Women are preyed upon with visions of freedom, economic independence, praise with trinkets etc. Morally it became questionable for me when my cold hearted SD recruited a woman who could barely afford groceries. 🙁

  5. Mel

    My friend who was a down to earth farm girl in Manitoba, is suddenly putting herself in debt, buying inventory, suits, getting her hair and nails done. I don’t know who she is becoming, but it’s sad to see. We can’t do anything without her trying to sell Mary Kay. All she ended up with was debt so far. Her director Ashley Krause pretends to be her friend but she’s just using her to profit for herself. I couldn’t find much on her social media, it’s private. She came up in google on a site about gold diggers, it says she’s successful from her ex’s money. I feel like my friend has been brainwashed by her. How do I make her see this girl is fake and selling her a fake pretend life! I have a robot friend in debt now. I miss my old friend! What can I do?

    1. MLM Radar

      My approach was to try to show my BFF the folly by becoming her supportive business coach. Be her voice of conscience to keep her from being blinded by the pink cloud.

      An excellent measure of small business success is that within 6 months you’re making enough sales to cover your current monthly expenses. Are you willing to promise that you’ll sit down in 6 months to evaluate your sales, and continue ONLY if you’re covering current expenses?

      Your Director asked you to commit to this for a full year before quitting? Do you realize that she has an secret motive for this? Specifically, if she can get you hold you onto your inventory for a full year, it’s not returnable and she won’t have to repay her commission. (She wins, you lose.) Remember, it’s YOUR business, not hers, and you’re not answerable to her for your business decisions.

      Let’s build your business plan:
      To make sales you have to make phone calls. How many people have you called today? Did you set any appointments? How many phone calls will you make tomorrow? Where will you get the phone numbers?

      Let’s treat this like a business from day one. Track your expenses for filing your tax return. How much money have you spent and on what? Did your spending on [whatever] increase your sales?

      Track your time and mileage. How many hours really went into having this weekend’s appointments? Did you do better than last week?

      You had an appointment! Yay! What happened? Did it cancel? How many people showed up? Did you get enough referrals to make phone calls this week?

      Know what happens when you recruit your customers: you LOSE sales, lose referrals, and only get paid a pittance from her orders. The only time you should recruit is when you have so many customers that you can’t serve them all.

      Are you exhausted yet? Are you earning enough (after expenses and taxes) to keep this up for another month?

      1. Mel

        Thanks everyone for the advice. I showed her this site and told her that her director Ashley Krause probably makes no money. I showed her the post about her being a con artist, using her ex’s money to pretend she is rich from Mary Kay! Her director is a lie, I wish she would open her eyes! Ashley Krause is only using her. She pretends to be her bff and then she orders even more inventory for parties she pushes her to have. Her relationship and friendships are falling apart, but she has a new brainwashing bff and her new idol Mary Kay! She quotes her all the time and tries to walk, talk and act like the rest of them. It’s a weird and fake world ! How is she not able to see this? This is an actual cult I think! It’s sucks to lose my friend like this, I hope she wakes up!

        1. EyesWideShutNoMore

          Does Ashley have an NSD? Might be Brenda Summach? There are a lot of pushy directors out that way, and that’s where the majority of the NSDs are (other than QC) so I think the hold on the IBCs is stronger. I haven’t been in MK for about 2 yrs now, so maybe I have outdated information, but I used to get the impression that the west from BC to MB was a stronger area than here in ON bc there were more NSDs to turn the heat up.

          1. Mel

            I think it’s her NSD. I knew nothing about Mary Kay until this girl entered my friend’s life and is ruining her in every way. At first I was supportive, until I started seeing red flags.They tried to get me to join. No way! She’s so blind, I don’t think her husband knows how much she has spent on inventory. They don’t have it to spend, plus all her new suits, shoes, etc. She idolizes these girls, but they are so fake! I bet her director Ashley put her husband (ex now I guess) in alot of debt too, I hope my now ex bff wakes up before her life turns into somethung like her director’s sad life. No husband now and searching for women to prey on to keep up with the lies.I’m disguisted at Mary Kay! I told her how I felt about this girl brainwashing her and now we’re not speaking! Great company! Ruining lives!

            1. EyesWideShutNoMore

              At least seminar is canceled, so your friend will hopefully save some money by not having to get a flight to TO etc. And, maybe reality will hit sooner since she won’t attending, she won’t get sucked in deeper by hearing all the (fake) success stories.

      1. Mel

        This is a great idea, I wish her director would be honest with her before she’s in too far over her head in debt. How can someone do this to another person!

  6. morningstar

    I wish you well, avoiding the abuse from MK personnel is stellar. The rest of us here are learning/learned our lessons with dignity thanks to PT. The voice of reason in this MK MLM lying, vying insanity.

  7. Jacirene

    Mary Kay Company should be ordered to pay fines and repair the damage caused to the planet. Annually, tons of products leave the garages of IBC’s and Directors Sales straight to the trash!

  8. Old friend

    Hearing all of this is certainly no surprise to anyone who knows Ashley Krause. We were friends until she deceived everyone with Mary Kay, left her fiancee of 9 years for Mary Kay because of the debt she acquired, that caused massive stress on her fiancee who is an injured veteran with PTSD. He had to pay $40,000 of her credit card debt that she acquired doing Mary Kay, then he paid off a $70,000 truck loan to help her clear her credit when they split up because he was still trying to help her. Her appreciation was short lived as she then took over $60,000 out of this mans Military Pension that he got for serving his country for 19 years before being injured and medically released from the Army. That was the final straw for most of her friends. We are all so happy that her ex got out of that toxic environment and found himself a down to earth woman who works in a busy Hospital, far, far away from Manitoba. As far as her, she certainly does not follow the Mary Kay motto because she is not religious and she would abandon loved ones for $20 or a sale commission. Fake as fake gets!

    1. Jess

      I know of her, correct, she is fake. She’ll do anything to get herself up the social ladder. No one I know likes her. Poor guy she’s with now, you can tell she’s just using him. Glad I got out of MK.

  9. Jess

    Ashley Krause is a want to be somebody. Always trying to climb the social ladder and will use or step over anyone to keep her appearances up. We have mutual friends and no one I know of really likes her. She has a new guy she’s using now. Hope he likes debt, that’s the MK life, she’ll drag him down with her.

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