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

Mary Kay Doesn’t Pay the Bills

Written by PinkPeace

How do we get into so much debt in Mary Kay? Honestly, it’s not even so much the business expenses themselves, although they can be a bear. We have real-life bills to pay, but our Mary Kay income doesn’t begin to cover them. But if you’ve quit your real job (doh!) and have nothing else to fall back on, what do you do when Billy needs braces and the hot water heater sprung a leak?

Credit cards to the rescue!

I didn’t have a big enough bank account to pay my “real-life” bills, so . . . Kids’ doctor visits? VISA. Insurance premiums? American Express. Groceries? MasterCard. Gas? Discover. And don’t forget those awesome convenience checks that come every month. They really help out to pay for mortgage and utilities.

Every month I would stress through the bills, deciding which ones could wait until the next month to be paid and which ones couldn’t. Would the electric company cut off my service, like the notice said? Maybe I’d better figure out a way to pay that one. The dentist bill can wait, except I hate to do that, because she’s a good family friend. Department credit card bill? Well, they’ll just roll it over until next month. I know I’ll get a big fee charged, but maybe next month my check will be better.

This is how so many women fall into serious debt with Mary Kay. It’s not simply product orders or business expenses, although that can be part of it. It’s trying to make ends meet with a business that is not designed to make you money (no matter what your upline tells you). It’s believing that if you work harder and you get a couple of big months with Mary Kay, you’ll be able to pay off that debt and have it made for the rest of your life.

Pink Truth Lurkers, how many years have you been in this situation? Has your debt decreased or increased? Are you and your family going without, because you’ve had yet another “unbelievable” month? Are you pinning your hopes on your unit to order a lot next month or your recruiting prospect to sign?

Do you wake up in the middle of the night with heart palpitations wondering how you’re going to get out of this credit card mess? Are you hiding the credit card bills from your husband, because you’re scared to death he’ll find out how poorly your Mary Kay business is doing? Are you sick and tired of living this way?

PLEASE! Hear my heart, as they say. You will NOT get out of debt until you get out of Mary Kay. It’s no shame to step down from directorship or to send your product back. It will actually be the smartest thing you’ve ever done in your business and will be your first step in getting out of debt.

Here’s my definition of insanity, “Continuing to do Mary Kay year after year, and expecting different results.” Stop the madness, stop the debt, stop Mary Kay.


  1. Char

    If your job as a consultant is to sell products as part of the “sales force”, I propose you do just that. Here are my suggestions:

    – Don’t use the product yourself. This is supposedly a business, so don’t eat into your own profits. You can get great products elsewhere for less than your wholesale price. You don’t have to tell your clients this.

    – There’s no need to stock anything, and why take up room in your own house. Let MKI keep the products in their warehouse until a customer wants them. Order when you have a customer purchase only. It’s the age of internet orders and fast shipping!

    – Since you are the “sales force” for a company, ask the company for free samples to show customers. If they want you to sell their product, this should be a no-brainer.

    I think these suggestions are reasonable for any “sales force”. You should not be pushed to make purchases using your own credit card when you work with a company as a sales representative.

    If you want to get out of debt, or not get into debt, stop buying! You don’t need to order initial inventory, or any inventory, and neither does your downline – unless you want to place debt upon them. Everyone stop buying, and start selling. Place orders as needed for customers only.

    (Lololol. Debt-free Mary Kay Corp. is coming for me!)

    1. Mountaineer95

      “Since you are the “sales force” for a company, ask the company for free samples to show customers. If they want you to sell their product, this should be a no-brainer.”

      ^This!!! (Sorry Char, I seem to do this with many of your posts. Probably because they’re brilliant. ?)

      MK is a beauty and skincare company. There is NO reason that they can’t produce inexpensive and small samples for their “sales force” to carry around and give out. It’s not like they are a furniture company, or a fireplace company, or pretty much any type of company that would struggle to produce sample sizes of their products. MK isn’t one of them; they’re operating in a (cosmetics/skincare) space where hundreds of companies have samples available. Hundreds.

      WHY won’t MK Inc offer samples to their sales force? What argument do they have to justify NOT giving their “consultants” samples for free, or even offering samples at THEIR cost?

      It’s simple: MK Inc does NOT care whether ANY of their independent contractors actually sell the products they’ve already bought and paid tax on. Those “retail” sales are not important to MK. They don’t track them (even though they easily could), BUT they somehow use the estimated retail sales dollars when declaring how much they “sell” every year as a company.

      If you have to pay for training, sales meetings, samples, and even the most basic “starter kit” to be “blessed with the opportunity” to “sell” Mary Kay, maybe it’s not really the opportunity you were told it was.

  2. Char

    More debt? An article from last year discusses a conference in Orlando. Nathan Moore of MKI is quoted about how much money consultants will be spending – and proud of it!

    “According to Visit Orlando, the official tourism association for Orlando, the 2020 conference will pump an estimated $17.5 million into the local economy in direct visitor spending.

    “With acclaimed sunny weather and some of the best attractions in the country, we’re thrilled to hold our Leadership Conference in Orlando with thousands of Mary Kay Independent Sales Directors from throughout the United States and Canada,” said Nathan Moore, President of Mary Kay Inc.’s North America Region. “As we paint the town pink, our Mary Kay entrepreneurs will infuse millions into the local economy through hotel-room stays, restaurants and retail shopping.””

    Isn’t that nice.

    1. PurpleH

      Bunking 4 to a room, tipping servers with lipstick samples, and stocking up on convenience store snacks for when they don’t earn a lunch? If that’s “painting the town pink,” they can keep it!

      1. BestDecision

        So many memories of Career Conference and wasted time! Sharing hotel rooms as grown women. Standing in line after line. Running in heels to save seats. Faking excitement. Dancing in the aisles to “Electric Slide”.

        Just gross. I can’t believe I fell for it.

        1. Juliet

          BestDecision, I THINK I see a lot of your posts that reflect self-disparagement at having been in MK. Well, truly, one cannot have a testimony without taking the test. Those who have literally walked the walk of a difficult situation HAVE THE MOST VALIDITY when speaking as to the positives and negatives of the subject.

          I say a lot “sometimes I am being taught a lesson, and sometimes I am someone else’s lesson”.

          It is possibly easier to be learning that I have wrongly treated someone, and now I see the light, and although I sadly may not be able to make amends to the person but at least I have learned how I hurt someone and vow to not do such a thing again.

          As opposed to being wrongly treated so that someone else can later learn that is not fair or right, and change their ways when they see what they did to me that was wrong.

          BestDecision, I did not get that written as clearly as I would wish, but my message to you is that your suffering through an experience you so wish you had not gone through DOES MATTER TO OTHERS. You ARE a light in the darkness for someone who is in the midst of the fog and while you may not ever know it on this side of the human experience, you may have literally changed lives, saved the sanity of others, and all because you suffered through what you thought WAS YOUR BEST DECISION AT THE TIME.


    2. Mountaineer95

      “With acclaimed sunny weather and some of the best attractions in the country, we’re thrilled to hold our Leadership Conference in Orlando…”

      The English major in me just HATES this sentence. The first part doesn’t match with the subject of the second part. If we keep the first part and correct the second, it would be something like this:

      “With acclaimed sunny weather and some of the best attractions in the country, Orlando is the ideal place in which to hold our Leadership Conference.” Basically, the first phrase is describing what should be the subject of the following portion. They’re clearly describing Orlando as having the “sunny weather and some of the best attractions”, not “we’re”, meaning MK.

      Okay, dismounting my grammatical soapbox now. ?

      1. enorth

        Just like the oddly-worded announcement about the Rockin’ Red Rally (participants would “revel in recognition”). Perhaps the writer’s native language is not English.

  3. NayMKWay

    Some of the toughest decisions we are faced with in life is when to cut our losses. It hurts to admit defeat, because it means facing the truth that we made a wrong move some time in the past. At that moment of crisis, when we stand at the crossroads, taking the exit ramp can feel like failure, even when it’s the right path to take.

    It is at that moment we must force ourselves to think logically and dispassionately. To write down the pros and cons and see which list is longer. To look at our financial situation with math instead of wishes.

    All this is much easier said than done, but it can be done. And it’s worth doing, for the feeedom it brings.

  4. Cindylu

    The sunk cost fallacy is when we continue an action because of our past decisions (time, money, resources) rather than a rational choice of what will maximise our utility at this present time. MK like every other corporation is about greed. MK does NOT care about you. With a real job, you can get a weekly income. You can pay your bills while not going into debt. With MK you buy products, they won’t sell. You try to book facials or recruit. Most are not interested. That unsold product is debt. Your MK meetings, conferences, Seminar, advertising, gas, time are all expenses. With a job you’ll at least work, a set time with set expenses and get an actual pay. There is a reason MK earns billions. They earn that from taking every last cent you make. There’ll come a time when those MK products will take over your house, your life and when you’ll resent ever being recruited and recruiting to begin with. Leave now before you begrudge the foolishness called MK.

  5. Mountaineer95

    I think I’m going to leave this link in most of my comments. I have definitely fallen “victim” to the Sunk Cost Fallacy. And I think most MK hunbots, especially directors, have as well. It’s worth a read.


    If you don’t click the link, at least read this sentence:

    “a sunk cost is a sum paid in the past that is no longer relevant to decisions about the future”

    I can’t think of any quote more fitting in relation to MK.

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