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

You Are the Mary Kay Target

Written by DupedByPinkFriend

Many folks visit Pink Truth and are surprised or appalled at the personal accounts of women who were manipulated by their Mary Kay sales directors and National Sales Directors. They are so excited about their new businesses, and their directors are so kind and seem to really care about them, they cannot imagine that any of the accounts here at Pink Truth could possibly happen to them. They rail against the true stories posted here simply because it has not happened to them. Yet.

How do you know if your recruiter or sales director is as honest and forthright as she seems to be? How will you know if you are being played, or groomed for a career in Mary Kay regardless of whether you are interested in such a future for yourself? How can you be sure your director is not working on gaining your trust as she slowly lays a trap for you? In short, how do you ensure you are not conned by a highly trained manipulator? Here are a list of red flags you should watch for if you are a Mary Kay Consultant or thinking of becoming one:

  • Ask how your recruiter will benefit by signing you up. Then compare notes here at Pink Truth. If she did not explain each way that she profits by having you in her unit, allow yourself to wonder why she would not take the time to make the situation crystal clear. She is in business to make money, not to lead women to a blissful life. She intends to profit from you, make no mistake about that. If she is gushing about enriching your life, realize that if that was her priority, she would be doing this with no intention of gaining from your decision.
  • Do not fall for the Husband Unawareness Program. Many directors are trained to make you feel like a fool if you are not willing to make a decision without getting “permission” from your partner concerning signing up for Mary Kay or placing inventory orders. Don’t be rushed into a decision. Do as much research as you can.
  • Don’t believe it when Mary Kay is described as a “dual-marketing” business model. There is no such thing. MK is a Multi-Level Marketing business plan and is designed to benefit the upper levels of this product-based pyramid scheme.
  • If you are told that the Mary Kay business plan is taught at Harvard, call the University and find out for yourself that this is a bald-faced lie. Ask your recruiter exactly how much you will be expected to pay for training, because it is not free.
  • Don’t make the mistake of believing the time-honored MK lie that your personal use products can be claimed as a tax deduction. That is not true.
  • Find out why Mary Kay Cosmetics does not track retail sales yet claims to be the best-selling brand. Is it possible to ascertain how much product is actually sold to real customers? Realize that when MK doesn’t track retail sales, then the person who buys from them is their customer. That’s you.
  • Ask for documentation that shows how many MK consultants are in your area. When they won’t give the information to you, ask yourself what business would not research the local competition. How smart is it to invest in a business when you are not allowed to find out the basic realities of your possible customer base?
  • Find out how you are allowed to advertise. Because you do not have a brick and mortar business that draws in customers, you should be able to advertise in the way you see fit, right? Wrong. Not in Mary Kay. You will be very limited in the ways you may advertise.
  • Ask what your expenses will be as a consultant. If you are not told that you will be asked to attend countless out of town conferences, seminars and career meetings at your own expense to get the training you need, you are not getting the full picture. Find out how much the samples are. What other items will you need to buy to conduct skin care classes and facials?
  • Demand a legal record of actual profit from your recruiter, including all sales and expenses. If your recruiter dances around this, and won’t provide an actual tax return, be very wary. If she waves a commission check in front of you, realize that one payment is just that: one payment, once upon a time. And that check does not reflect expenses or chargebacks, which is a bill that she receives from Mary Kay if any of her recruits returned their products to the company.
  • Don’t order products to meet a goal, win a contest, or help your unit. An actual business does not ever tie up their cash flow with unnecessary inventory.
  • If you ask about when the company plans to change formulas or overhaul packaging, and you do not get a clear answer that you can truly verify, stop. This happens constantly in Mary Kay with no warning and little notice, and your products immediately become obsolete.
  • Do not use your sales director’s tax preparer. Often MK directors use accountants who will fudge the numbers for you, or overlook inconsistencies and only care about collecting your fee. When you are audited because your tax return is flagged, pointing to possible fraud or claiming a hobby as a legitimate business, you’re on your own, baby.
  • Ask yourself why you won’t be invited to training events if you don’t bring a guest. Makes no sense, right? Why would you need a guest with you to receive training? Know that the name of the game in Mary Kay is recruiting and if you are not building a team, you are not worth their time or the space that you take up. You are just not earning them a sufficient amount of commissions if it is just you ordering small amounts.
  • Ask your recruiter how you will get customers. If you are told to hit up your friends and family, ask yourself if a legitimate business owner relies on her mother and best friend to get her started. If you are told to go to the mall and strike up casual conversations, “warm chatter”, and give compliments to total strangers, picture yourself actually doing this. Realize that you would have to do this to gain customers, because you can’t hang a shingle in front of your house, and open shop, waiting for the masses of women to buy overpriced, mediocre makeup and skincare.
  • If you are told that you would make a great director, find out why she thinks that. Are her reasons valid, or is she just stroking your ego? What does she actually know about you? Know that she needs you to quit being a stick-in-the-mud consultant and start recruiting in order for her to move up the career path.

It is important to remember that your director is spending time with you because you have the potential to earn money for her. This is not a game, it is not playtime, girl time, or a mission she is on. No matter what she says, she did not join Mary Kay to enrich women’s lives.

Many directors seem to be gloriously prosperous, thrilled to have found the golden egg, and act as if they desperately want you to have that too. Most are drowning in debt, trying to get someone who will earn them commissions to help them dig their way out the money-sucking pit that they fell into, and can’t find another way to do it without filing for bankruptcy. Please spend some time here at Pink Truth and do much research before you take your next step.

If you are so excited about this business opportunity that you finally feel “alive,” and can barely breathe, calm down. Be rational and systematic, because you are putting yourself in danger by thinking about a business in emotional terms. You have blinders on. Your reality is distorted.

Are you displaying that excitement about becoming a MK consultant or sales director? Are you noticing that this person is suddenly really excited about your future and paying increasing attention to you? If so, you’d better watch out, because you are putting a bulls eye on your forehead, and you are her saving grace. You have become her target.


  1. Cindylu

    Sadly a friend (Former supervisor) I trusted brought me into MK. I wish that decent women didn’t fall for this nor recruit others. It is because of caring women believing the slogans etc. that so many others get hurt. Before you recruit or buy more inventory than you need wait a while. Wait and see if you can sell the product before it changes. Hold off on recruiting until you find out if your Director, NSD and recruiter are legitimately making a decent living wage.

    1. Char

      “Before you recruit or buy more inventory than you need wait a while. Wait and see if you can sell the product before it changes. Hold off on recruiting until you find out if your Director, NSD and recruiter are legitimately making a decent living wage.”

      If I may expand on this excellent advice:

      Make sure that “decent living wage” isn’t made from recruiting you and others, but rather from selling to non-affiliate customers. Otherwise, the recruiter/director/NSD are just a pyramid schemers aka endless-chain recruiters hoping to make you their latest victim.

  2. Jacirene

    “Ask what your expenses will be as a consultant. If you are not informed that you will be asked to attend numerous conferences, seminars and career meetings out of town, at your own expense, to get the training you need, you will not be getting the maximum scenario. ”

    In my first year of Mary Kay, I was pressured to enroll in the Seminary because I was told that it is in the Seminary that “magic” happens. Well, needless to say, that was one of the worst years of my life (2014). I came back with a Credit Card full of expenses like: taxi, lunch, dinner, hotel, airline tickets, trinkets that are sold at the Seminar … And there was still the order for that month (January). My director told me that all those expenses would be recovered in the next few months, I just needed to do “something else”. Of course, that’s not what happened.
    Today is a holiday in Brazil and TBT day on Instagram. I went to check some old photos on my computer and found the photos from the infamous Mary Kay Seminar 2014. Wow, I had forgotten how alienated I was. I was waiting for the NSD’s to arrive in a limo to photograph them. Among these photos, I found one of Gloria Banks wearing a dress of dubious taste. LOL. Thank God I’m from Mary Kay.

      1. morningstar

        Agree with all comments. I was last there in 2007 alone in my 240 per night room at the Aldolpho. I never shared a room. My bill was about 2800 us dollars with everything. I saw miss Gloria in that silk emperors robe a copy from china manchurin dynasty . Let me tell you that dress was actually a curtain made of silk. It was the heaviest thing I have ever seen, not to mention the colors, In person she looked like a dragon.

        Construction workers could use that as a rug for a year it was so thick. The sweat pouring down her face in mid summer Dallas….. was OK…..she had her beauty blotters with her.
        And people who would use them to blot HER face – last line meant as a joke.

  3. BestDecision

    Another way to see if your Director is faking it: Look at her retention. Under anniversaries in your unit newsletter, see how many people are still around. If there’s years missing from consecutive years, that’s a warning sign that they’ve all left. My Director has had a unit for over 20 years, but most those years’ unit members are no longer in the company. Why have they left??


    1. Jacirene

      There was a director who said: “Consultant is like biscuit, one goes away comes eighteen” (the words biscuit and eighteen rhyme in Portuguese). They always use phrases made to justify anything that shows that they are in free fall.

    2. Ruby Slippers

      Haha! Haven’t seen a newsletter in years. It’s so easy to figure out the truth from ‘behind the scenes in a newsletter’ . No wonder they don’t post them anymore.

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