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

Signing Up for Mary Kay on a Whim

recruitWritten by DupedByPinkFriend

Are you impulsive? Do you tend to make life-altering decisions on a whim, or are you the type to think things over before embracing a new venture? Do you think with your heart or with your head? Are you one to jump headfirst into a lake if you can’t see the bottom, or do you investigate first?

If you are asked by a bubbly, sharp looking lady if you would like to join Mary Kay, telling you that you’d be great at selling this wonderful product, your best bet is to do some serious considering, ask many questions, and ask to see proof of the answers you are given.

You see, the women in Mary Kay are taught to recruit as many women as they can, without regard to whether those women would be good at what they do for a living. (“Don’t prejudge!”) They learn from their mentors to try to get women to join Mary Kay quickly, without giving them time to think it over.

“What’s that all about?” you may ask, “I thought Mary Kay was about selling cosmetics!” So do many people who have never actually come into contact with a Mary Kay lady. The average person has heard of Mary Kay, the person, and has a clear image of an older, smart, kind lady who created a company which showers their salespersons with gifts of expensive jewelry, fabulous vacations, and of course, the illustrious pink Cadillac. One would think that these goodies are earned from personally selling lots of Mary Kay products, right? Wrong.

Women in Mary Kay Cosmetics earn the “big girl” prizes by recruiting more sheep into the flock, and by making sure that their recruits buy enough products from the company to maintain a monthly production quota. A Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant could sell tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in MK cosmetics and skin care each year (highly unlikely), and never even be close to winning these prizes.

She must also recruit new blood. She must build a group of women to work under her, and never does she or her unit members need to prove that they are actually selling Mary Kay products. She only needs to buy a prescribed amount of products, and make sure that her team members are doing the same. Oh, and one other small detail: she must maintain a specific number of members in her unit.

Very little of this information is typically divulged to a potential recruit. Women are usually only told about the possibilities of easy money and incredible prizes, but not much about everything that is required to attain and keep those carrots that are dangled in an attempt to get them to jump in, join, and start spending their money.

Once women excitedly sign up, and find out the gory details, many quit. And so begins the endless cycle of furiously recruiting more women to replace those who leave the unit. Mary Kay Ash herself referred to this phenomena as “filling the bathtub with the drain open”.

You may now be thinking that this is an insane scenario. It would seem that if the Mary Kay lady must always find more women to join, that there would be a Mary Kay lady on every corner and three in every neighborhood! And that would be a realistic assessment. Most communities in America are saturated with too many MK consultants who must always and forever be competing with each other for customers and potential recruits. And there are many more women in each community who have tried the Mary Kay opportunity, and found it to be not as they had been led to believe, and who quit, realizing that they are actually losing money. Still more women already know someone who is a Mary Kay consultant.

Once upon a time, the Mary Kay opportunity worked for some individuals who were willing to work hard. Now the opportunity still works for the few who are willing to live and breathe their work, but more importantly, it works for those who are willing to sell the opportunity without stating the realities of this complicated and oversold false dream of a career.

If you are feeling like you are being cornered into making a rash decision, and someone is very intent on getting you to quickly join Mary Kay under her “guidance”, please stop and gather your senses before you make a decision which is guided by your heart rather than your head. Ask to see proof of the claims of wealth and glorious prizes that the Mary Kay lady is excitedly telling you will be yours, if only you join, work hard, and stay focused.

Please don’t make a snap decision. Investigate that lake that you are about to dive into. Determine the true depth, realize that it is murky water, and that there are hidden rocks under the smooth surface that is so alluring.


  1. Pinkiu

    A friend of mine filled out the *prize* drawing at a David’s Bridal. Shocker…she won! And of course this stranger convinced my friend to join. My friend doesn’t have a job, has children and certainly doesn’t have the means to support purchasing a lot of inventory. I was sad to see that she’s in the MK IBC finder. So this tells me that she borrowed a LOT of money for this money losing scheme. The kicker to me is that the woman was a STRANGER to her!

    Your point about being impulsive is just another way that MK tricks you. I know my friend was told that she would “lose out” if she didn’t make a decision right now. I’m sure she was told about the “free” product at each different level for her first order. I know that the recruiter lowered her voice at each lessening level and made my friend feel guilty about a $625 order that we know will sit on her shelf because she won’t be able to sell it. I know that when you don’t have money, you don’t want to look like you don’t have money, and sometimes go into debt to keep up appearances. I hate MK because it exploits this very problem.

    What irks me about how this recruiter is how she was only in it for herself with no regard, as you stated, to my friend’s life situation . My friend lives in a rural town. None of her friends or family have money either. But I’m sure the recruiter told her how easy it is to move up in leadership because of how she deceived my friend with that David’s Bridal scam that we all know and hate here. I wish the owners of David’s Bridal would kick all of the Mary Kay boxes and all the rest of the mlm scammers out of their stores and referred to real makeup artists for weddings.

    I told my friend about Pink Truth (as I do with all my friends in mlms) and hope she finds her way here someday so that she can return her product.

    If this sounds like I’m talking about you and that I’m your friend, just know that there are thousands of us here who could have written the same story about a friend. Friend, many of us have shared the message of Pink Truth to people we care about because we wished someone had shared it with us when we dived into the pink world. We were deceived and manipulated too. That’s why we are here – to show you a way out. It’s not too late. You can return ALL the product purchased within a year (not just your first year – within your last calendar year of purchasing product) for a 90% refund plus taxes.

  2. morningstar

    UH HUH! My whim was when Suzanne Brothers was pushing her downline as she was touched by MK to get ‘er done. All stops were pulled let’s say…

    By the way, I was cleaning the attic this weekend and found angelfire house spray……red bottle… so that is when she was pushing for NSD. Those days are over and she took her cut. And she wanted us to be a “dacia”

  3. NayMKWay

    Mary Kay does NOT work for anyone who cares one whit about anyone else. Unless you’re willing to exploit everyone with skin, whether they can afford it or not, you have no chance. It’s no coincidence that so many at or near the top in MK display narcissistic tendencies. As with any MLM that’s been in business for more than a very short while, the market is so saturated with sellers that the only way to gain is by making others lose.

    1. BestDecision

      They’re doing everything online and using Zoom to hold group appointments and meetings. The only thing that kept me afloat as long as I was was being face-to-face with people and building relationships. You just can’t do that with someone you’ve never met over a screen because it’s not the same. For example, we were taught as Directors to travel to see our people, meet them in their homes, hold parties with their families and friends. There’s just no way to do that strictly through a screen, and I’ve already heard it’s killing production.

  4. Cindylu

    Maybe the social distancing will be the final straw that brings about the demise of this recruiting scheme. That would be helpful to many women who are in serious debt.

  5. Mountaineer95

    Women who inspire to be MK #bossbabes should, without question, ask for and know the answers to the following questions:

    How many active IBCs, directors, and above are currently living in my area/region? (The saying that you’re not limited by geography…you can sell ANYWHERE, yay! Doesn’t work here.)

    Out of these active MK sellers in my area, what are the average number of sales per week (or month or year)?

    Out of these sales made in my area, what is the average dollar amount sold?

    If your potential recruiter cannot or will not answer these questions (and ALWAYS ask for verification to back it up…ie reports and other documents from MKC itself…NEVER TRUST VERBAL NUMBERS OR PROMISES), then you don’t have enough crucial info to decide whether you want to start your MK business.

    Real start-up retail business owners know the answers to these questions, and they choose whether to proceed with their new business accordingly.

  6. MLM Husband

    Does anyone have a reference to the quote by Mary Kay Ash about “Filling the tub with the drain open” that is not from MLM Truth. Maybe in some Mary Kay literature or a video? That one really resonates, but it needs to be shown in context from the source to be believable.

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