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

Do You Choose Mary Kay or Family?

Written by Natalie

I have 3 kids, and I’m going through a divorce. I was dragged to a Mary Kay party. I had been looking for a job at the time. I fell in love with the products and was very interested in the opportunity. The woman doing the party didn’t actively try to recruit me at all, but I went home thinking about it. It looked so easy! I called her a few days later and said “sign me up!” She sent me the link and I got going.

I got the call the next day from my sales director and she instructed me to listen to Lisa Allison’s boot camp and her podcasts. I ate the stuff up. I was so excited! Next came the inventory talk. I was floored that I was being asked to buy so much product, but you can’t sell from an empty wagon, RIGHT?? I totally agreed. Unfortunately, I had no savings, terrible credit and don’t use credit cards. My sales director asked me to try to borrow the money, which I did, but no one would give it to me. I ended up selling my third car to pay for it and came in at a Sapphire level.

I got off to a slow start, taking the time to read and watch everything. I soaked it all up like a sponge. I shadowed my sales director at her classes and attended every meeting and guest event. When I had my first party about a month later it was with friends and I was so nervous. I sold a little, but it was terrible! I didn’t let it deter me.

I put out facial boxes and started calling the names. I set up a bunch of parties and got going. I called my SD after each one and discussed how I did. I started talking to her every day. It wasn’t all fun. One woman told me I needed to get my nails done and two separate women told me I needed to smile more and make it more fun. I took it all in stride, although it was embarrassing and I got my nails done and did better the next time.

I started to book and book and book! I was doing at least 10 parties a month, a power start at least every time. By January, my ribbons were to the floor! Other consultants were telling my sales director they wanted to be ME when asked what their goals were. I became addicted to ordering more and more. I LOVED when that box of pink crap came and I would lovingly label it, organize it and put it in my “Mary Kay room”. The amount of recognition was mind blowing.

At our Christmas dinner, I was given a sapphire and diamond necklace as “Most Consistent” consultant! I was constantly falling for being “on-target” for this and “on-target” for that. It felt so good. I was not just part of the “in” crowd, I was leading the “in” crowd. And I became the sales director’s clear favorite.

We talked every day and not just about MK. She would spill her guts to me about her family and her life and I felt really special. But something was nagging at me. I didn’t really like her much. She was always gossiping about other consultants and telling me too much about things I didn’t really want to know about. It made me a little uncomfortable. She would tell me that “xxx is jealous of how close we have become, but she’s not doing the work! I give my attention to people who are working their business” and things like that. She would mention me as example on her conference calls all the time and I went to Career Conference with her.

We started to talk about how I needed to focus on recruiting so I could move up. She started to tell me what a GREAT director I would make and so on and so on. We worked on my I-story and my ticket game. Things really started to pick up in April. I became a Red Jacket thanks to one Muffins and Makeovers. I invited a girl I had been layering and a friend who cleans for me, who I had also been working on for a while and her friend. They all signed up!! I lent my friend $1300 and her friend $600 because I wanted them to qualify and get started and the other girl qualified on her own. That red jacket was mine! But, still something was bothering me. I couldn’t put my finger on it.

I never really felt totally comfortable with all of the recognition. I knew I wasn’t actually selling that much, but HEY, I must be selling more than everyone else, so…OK! In May, I finished up Court of Sales. It was about this time that I kind of started to question things. I had been racing another consultant who was also finishing up Court of Sales. I finished it up by placing a huge order for things to round out my inventory. I mean, did I really need to have every shade of foundation?? REALLY? But, it put me over the top. And all of a sudden, I was a super star!

Which brings me to Seminar. I had my gowns, and had had my flight booked for months. All of a sudden a family emergency came up and I knew there was no way I could leave for Dallas on the date my flight was scheduled. My sales director tried her hardest to make me ignore my family responsibilities and still go as planned. Eventually, she convinced me to change my airline ticket to one day later (that cost me dearly!) so I could tend to my family and still go to Seminar.

Off to Seminar I went. At our Area awards dinner, I won awards for my sales. I was thrilled, but underneath, I felt like a huge fraud. How could this be? I didn’t sell that much! I knew I wasn’t making any money. That had been pointed out to me by my best friend on numerous occasions and I knew it was true.

The Seminar classes were horrible. I didn’t learn anything. I had this terrible nagging feeling that I was supposed to be getting more out of this, but all I could think was this is a huge cheerleading session.

The kicker was awards night. I walked across that stage knowing I was supposed to be feeling that this was the most exciting night of my life and I acted that way for the benefit of others. I collected my cheesy diamond chip ring that didn’t even sparkle. And I couldn’t wait to get home. I wanted to see my kids. What was I doing here?

After Seminar, I went on a family vacation I packed up my calendar, my names, my profile cards to follow up with customers and some hostess packets. I was going to book my heart out and get back up on this horse if it killed me. I had been in a serious slump since I finished Court of Sales. My sales director had even told me I was starting to annoy her.

But, I didn’t do it. I spent all my time with my family. Every waking minute in the pool with the kids and was loving it. They NEEDED me! Was I ever going to find the motivation to start booking again? Weren’t the kids supposed to be the reason and not the excuse or something like that?

When I got home, I got a Facebook message from one of my team members. The friend who cleaned for me who I lent the $1300 to. She was losing sleep about how much she owed me and couldn’t think about anything else. She was having a real problem getting her life together and felt ashamed that she hadn’t been calling her names.

I think that’s when it hit me. “What have you done to her????” My friend asked me “when are you going to get back to MK?” and I heard myself say “I think I’m going to quit MK” . I couldn’t believe I said it and wasn’t sure I even meant it, but there it was. I had been on Pink Truth briefly when I first started but had written you all off as “bitter” and too lazy to work the business, etc.

Curiosity made me come back. I really read the site this time. I mean I read everything! And it was all SO TRUE! Everything that had been nagging at me all year all of a sudden seemed to make sense. And I had to get out. As soon as possible!

Ah, but my dear dear sales director. What to do about her? She is one of the top directors in Mary Kay and not likely to let me go so easily. She will be shocked…won’t she? So, I composed that email, sent it, and you know the rest. The tactics began…. emotional manipulation, trying to delay my return, trying to talk me out of returning my products, even lying about the return process to stop me from returning.

I want to thank you all at PinkTruth so much for opening my eyes. You’ve saved me from God knows how many more years compromising my principals and hemorrhaging money. It is now my mission to help others out of the pink fog!!


  1. Char

    Natalie sounds like a PinkTruth kind of gal. Thanks for sharing.

    All up, I wonder how much she and her downline bought from Mary Kay? You know, that billion dollar debt-free company.

    It’s such a fallacy that consultants are anything more than purchasing mules who fall temporarily in cahoots with the scheme. Stop paying for friends and compliments ladies, and go find some genuine friends and a company that pays you – not you pay them for the privilege to buy product and affection. This is extreme, but think of a man paying a hooker. Does he really think she ‘wants’ him? Do you really think your commission dependent “director” is your friend? Stop ordering and test her.

  2. PinkPubblePopped

    Welcome, Natalie! Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to tell your story. Unfortunately, you learned the hard way that you are only as good to your upline as the money you make them. I commend you on your honesty to your cleaning lady, and hope you’ll get to the rest of your downline before your director poaches them all!
    Looking forward to more of your posts!

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