Mary Kay Director Quits and Admits to Cheating (at the Request of Her NSD)

Former Cadillac sales director (more recently a Premier Club director) Kimberly Perkins has quit Mary Kay. And she’s done it with a flourish!

Let’s back it up. Kimberly started MK in 2008.  In 2012, she got her first pink Cadillac. She requalified several times, but failed to qualify the last go ’round, and in January picked up her Premier Club car.

As recently as February of 2020, Kimberly was talking about how she was going to be a national sales director (see hashtag #nsd2be).

And as recently as February, Kimberly was all Mary Kay, all the time, doing YouTube lives with other directors.

Except suddenly she’s decided she can’t be in Mary Kay. Well… not suddenly. She claims she has been thinking about this for four years. See this Instagram post where she spills the tea. She drops things like:

  • Someone who I valued and trusted asked me in June of 2012 to do something I never imaged doing. Cheating the system so that she could gain a title.
  • My work ethic and desire to win was taken advantage of from someone I deeply trusted. As a competitive individual who loves the race, my performance was constantly interrupted ,threatened and de-valued. The people I loved the most were taken from me because of lies that they choose to believe. I was isolated, lied about and the very core of who I am was called in to question.

She also posted on Facebook about “stepping down.” (Rumor is that Kimberly might actually have lost her unit for failing to make production, but I haven’t been able to confirm that.)

Who is this upline accused of getting her to cheat in June 2012? It’s her NSD, Somer Fortenberry, who qualified to become an NSD in 2012.

It had something to do with “earning” the Cadillac in 2012. Which more probably included paying for people’s orders, recruiting people who didn’t exist, putting recruits in units below Kimberly so she could become a senior sales director, or something of the sort.

And then there’s the 2017 cheating allegation. That’s the year Kimberly finished the top director trip to Alaska. And that was also the year that the Fortenberry Faith area had something they called their $200,000 day:

As usual, I’m sure tons of products were ordered in others’ names, paid for with Kimberly’s credit card. But she was told that long term she’d benefit from that because when women see someone moving up fast, they’re more likely to sign up and start recruiting rapidly too. That’s how the scam continues: women in the downline see the (fake) success and want it, and are convinced to buy their way up the ladder too.

What’s with the sudden development of a conscience? It’s been nearly 9 years since Kimberly’s 2012 cheating happened. It’s been nearly 4 years since the 2017 cheating happened. And NOW she has a problem with Mary Kay?

No. Kimberly doesn’t suddenly have a problem with Mary Kay. She just doesn’t want to be in Somer’s area anymore. Kimberly Perkins and Somer Fortenberry have had a falling out, so Kimberly is quitting MK (for now). She’s becoming a “virtual assistant” who will do social media stuff for Mary Kay directors.

She’s also calling herself a business coach. How unique.

And after she sits out a year, Kimberly will sign up for MK again under someone else so she can be in a different national area.

Mary Kay ladies are nothing if not petty.

Let’s take a little trip down memory lane and see how Kimberly gushed about her “mentor” Somer:


So Kimberly went from being an “executive senior sales director” a few years ago, to losing the Cadillac, to maybe/probably losing her unit and blaming her former friend NSD Somer Fortenberry for getting her to cheat in 2012 and 2017 to finish goals.

And yet, Kimberly’s plan is to stay involved with the MK ladies through her little coaching and virtual assisting. Then she will sign up for MK again, start at the bottom of the pyramid, and recruit all over again to try to become a sales director, pink Cadillac driver, and so on.

Even after saying this, she still wants to join MK again next year:

To my family- the ones that caught that raw end of the deal when my head was buried in the sand from achievement and success… I love you and appreciate you! There are not enough words that I could say to tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to sit on a back burner for a season when my priorities were messed up. Thank you for loving me at my worst and praying for God to wake me up! Thank you for your willingness to go above and beyond to help my business grow even signing up as team members just to help reach another goal.

She doesn’t really even grasp that she just wasted 13 years of her life on a scam. A scam in which she did massive cheating in 2012 and 2017. And she has to walk away with nothing. Nothing. And start all over again a year ago. And Kimberly will do this willingly. This, my friends, is true cult behavior.

UPDATE: Did someone say petty? Here was Somer Fortenberry’s response last evening.

33 Comments

  1. NayMKWay

    She thanks the customers who bought “ONE MORE ITEM” they couldn’t afford and didn’t need so SHE could reach some goal. That’s not a business, that’s panhandling. If she can’t see that, she has zero qualification to be a “Biz Coach” (LOL. Would you hire someone who called themselves that?)

    It’s like she sorta kinda sees the light, but not really. She seems to think it’ll be better under some other NSD. Nope.

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  2. PurpleH

    I hope she’s not counting on her NSD’s area to support her new business. She didn’t name names, but she threw her National under the bus with her comments, and she should expect to be shunned. She mentioned being lied about and slandered already; the worst is yet to come.

    1. TRACY

      The directors in Somer’s area won’t OPENLY support her. But how many of them have been part of the cheating and the pressure? I bet behind the scenes some of them are praising her. Others, of course, are shunning her.

  3. TRACY

    Other fun stuff:

    Kelly Brock quits MK and starts Kelly Brock Co. to sell coaching and merchandise. She later tells the world how MK almost ruined her life and her marriage.

    Kelly coaches Leah Cade, MK director who starts CadeCo., doing “home decor makeovers” and god knows what else.

    Kimberly starts Kim Co.

    Kelly Brock and KT Martin (also former MK top director turned coach) both like Kimberly’s “quitting MK” posts.

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  4. Pinkiu

    She still doesn’t recognize the deceit and manipulation that goes hand in hand with climbing the ladder. While it may not be “cheating” it’s still evil. For instance, she will tell her recruits to ask people to be a model for a meeting or muffin’s and makeovers without telling the person that it’s really a recruiting event. She’ll tell a recruit to ask friends and family to do a practice interview with Kimberly and the recruit so that she can gain skills. But again, she won’t tell them them that it really is a real interview to try to recruit them into her downline.

    When she does land a new recruit she’ll lie in a roundabout way. She’ll tell the newbie that she doesn’t have to order up front. But then when she meets with her to go through the levels of initial orders, she’ll focus on the high-end with “free product” and as she goes down lower and lower in cost, make it sound that a $600 order isn’t worth her time because she won’t be at “profit level.” What she won’t do is tell her recruit that the minimum order is $300 (I think it’s that now). Why? Because she won’t get a bonus for any order under $600. And when the recruit says, “But I thought I didn’t have to place a big order?” Kimberly will be all serious and say, “You could do it that way, but I’ve found….” And of course, “You can’t sell from an empty wagon.” We all know that the biggest order is that initial order and SDs have to find a way and make a way to get it. We have the scripts. We used the scripts.

    All of us here can cite over and over all of the ways SDs will deceive by omission and manipulate for people to order with phrases such as, “stretch” and “Our unit is on target for _______. Can’t you place an order to support the team? We can’t do it without you.” And then she’ll manipulate with cheap prizes while making them sound like a million bucks. She’ll offer exclusive time with her for ordering or an exclusive prize for placing a big bucks order.

    Remember too, that SDs are also taught how to use temperament/personality skills to learn how to target in on women’s needs and to manipulate that need to show how MK will fulfill it. Need girlfriends? Mary Kay will give you lots of friends. Need money? You earn 50% on every sale (lie). Need acknowledgement? MK gives you prizes, ribbons and recognition. Need a career path? MK has levels.

    Here’s the big thing. MK does not track sales. The consultant IS the end customer. Kimberly will never tell you that. They pretend that MK is about selling, but how does an SD spend their time? Filling the never ending hole of recruits. Why? New recruits are where they make their money – wholesale orders to MK. It’s a pyramid scheme dressed up as a makeup company. How much do you want to bet that Kimberly has thousands, if not tens of thousands of retail dollars sitting on her shelves at this very moment? She can’t return what she bought in the last year if her plan is to return as an IBC in a year. Well….she could. Her new SD/NSD could beg MK to take her back…and they would.

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  5. AnonyMouse

    Dear Kimberly,
    If you happen to sneak over here to our little corner of the internet to see what we might be saying about you, I hope you see this comment.

    Mary of Bethany did not only lay her alabaster box at the feet of Jesus.

    She broke it open. She shattered it. She completely sacrificed it. There was no going back to it.

    If God is truly asking you to give Him your “alabaster box”, then understand what He really means according to Scripture and the societal context at the time. Shatter it. Render it useless to you. Walk away from it completely. Truly give it up. Keeping your fingers dipped in the edge of the Mary Kay pond while proclaiming to have laid it at the feet of Jesus in the way Mary of Bethany gave up her alabaster box is not the obedience you’re talking about.

    I hope you truly see the light. I hope you shout the truth from the rooftops, that Mary Kay is not the upstanding moral company it claims to be. It will cost you a lot. It might cost you everything related to Mary Kay.

    But what did it cost Mary of Bethany?

    Everything.

    Sincerely,
    AnonyMouse

    23
  6. Lazy Gardens

    Are some of her unit going to sit out a year and sign up with her under the new NSD? Wow, that is totally brainwashed adulation. “There are not enough words that I could say to tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to sit on a back burner for a season when my priorities were messed up.”

  7. J

    Surely a year of working a minimum wage job would be enough of a jolt—realizing you’re making more flipping burgers.

    …But, creating a fake business that will also be a money suck… probably won’t feel much different and will affirm she’s on the right path, playing the waiting game. Sad

    Also, in real job world, you can request a manager change. Just saying

  8. Mountaineer95

    She has some thinly veiled resentment towards anyone who bothers to get a college degree (or degrees) rather than join an MLM as a teenager. I bet she’ll resent them even more when she realizes that an “Elite Executive Sales Director” in MK means squat in the real world, and that generally when someone achieves that level in an actual career, they’ve got at least a four year degree. But I doubt she’ll ever even attempt a real J.O.B. She’ll be a career MLM-er I think.

    Also, I’d rather repeatedly poke myself in the eye with an extremely sharp stick than have to spend even one minute in a room with this woman.

  9. Char

    “Thank you Lord for the opportunity to represent such a wonderful company that rewards their sales force with the ability to drive a career car!”……”He is blessing us beyond measure. Lord thank you for giving me a passion for leading others and a purpose for helping.”

    But wait, now…..

    “Done with anything that didn’t align with God’s purpose for my life!” And, “Thank you for loving me at my worst and praying for God to wake me up.” And, many more references.

    So, which is it?!!!!

    Oh the beauty and convenience of cult belief systems. You can just make $hit up as you go. It isn’t a coincidence that MLM and organized religion are so closely intertwined. Fog doesn’t only come in pink, demonstrated today by Kimberly Perkins.

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  10. Amy Walton

    I just can’t even read most of her postings. All of the over-the-top religious stuff, blech. NOT that I have an issue with people who are very religious or very spiritual or very steeped in and active in their beliefs. But the hypocritical going on-and-on (and on-and-on) just shuts down my ability to even listen to whatever the heck it is she is trying to say.

    I know plenty of very religious people, not a single one EVER sounds like this.

    Maybe, just maybe, she will be away from the pink bubble just enough this year to start to figure out what a crock it is and what crap she perpetuated.

    And maybe pigs will fly.

    1. Heather

      I think that is one of the many things that really bothered me while I was with MK — the over-the-top religious Jesus-god lovefest. Don’t get me wrong – I was raised in a Christian household and follow typical Judeo-Christian values. Yet I have always considered myself my spiritual than religious, and that was always a problem with MK events. I don’t want to hold your hand and pray over every little thing. I am not up for singing hymns all the darn time. And I am certainly not up for being proselytized to at every. single. event.

      1. BestDecision

        The hypocrisy did me in. Pam Shaw preaching to not watch TV, yet she has one in her kitchen. Preaching to be authentic, yet she has posted videos with mysterious bruising in the areas Botox is typically applied. Multiple divorces while quoting scripture.

        I agree, Heather! The use of scripture and praying The Prayer of Jabez, bragging about going to church consistently, being told books we needed to read to “be right with Jesus”…it was disgraceful. So happy to be back working with PROFESSIONALS once again!

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    2. Mountaineer95

      I think the frequent mentions of her religious beliefs, including some aspects I would consider perhaps personal things that should be kept between her and God, would be acceptable IF she actually worked in ministry. Then, work and religion are properly intertwined. But instead, this woman spews so much religion as it relates to her work , that if she weren’t an independent contractor but instead an ACTUAL (as in J.O.B.) sales manager with a number of direct reports, these kinds of constant invocations of religion as it relates to her work would get her company fined and her probably fired. Why can’t she just keep the religious comments in PERSONAL posts only? Or how about she respects her relationship with God to such a high degree that she keeps the details to herself? Yeah, neither of those is going to happen.

  11. Wasrings90

    Maybe I have just been working in an office for too many years, but people are going to pay her to help them learn how to manage their emails and online calendars?

    I don’t get it, most people who work in the real world, get that part of work figured out pretty quickly, or least in all the jobs I have had it seems most people have it figured out.

  12. cocoabeige

    In reviewing the closeup cover pic of Somer & Kimberly two things popped. Is it just me (or poor lighting?) that makes Somer’s foundation appear that she needs a new color? And a jawline electrolysis and/or waxing?

  13. Mountaineer95

    Right now there’s a true crime show on Discovery ID in which the victim’s name is Diane Fortenberry. (Murder in the Heartland…Caught in the Act). Most likely unrelated, but I thought the last name sounded familiar.

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