The Mary Kay Faucet Is Turned Off

Have you heard that women are selling tons of Mary Kay since the pandemic started more than a year ago? Don’t believe the hype. A small number of women have had success selling a bunch of products. But most women in MK are buying inventory they’ll never sell.

Those new “top directors”? It’s the same old same old. Other “top directors” are quitting or failing, new ones take their place. Don’t believe the statements of “my unit sold $1 million in MK products.” They ordered about $400k wholesale, and the vast majority of those products are sitting in basements and garages. Very little of it was actually sold to customers. The $1 million figure is a pretend number that corporate and the top directors know is complete fiction.

For those who have had some success selling products, that has slowed considerably. Here’s one consultant who shared with a group on Facebook. Her “MK faucet” has been turned off. The responses are hilarious. Mary Kay is not a prestige product, no matter how much they tell you it is. But yes, many don’t like MK products, and the market is saturated with women peddling MLM products (not just MK, but also other MLM companies).




  1. “…this is not meant to be negative…”

    Mandatory disclaimer from someone indoctrinated that telling truthful but bad news is anathema. I’m betting all the women with similar stories to relate were just waiting for someone else to speak up first.

    “The market is too saturated. Everyone sells MK now…”

    Well, that’s what happens when Corporate makes a huge push to recruit, recruit, recruit at $30 a pop. Do you really think they cared one whit how that would affect their existing membership?

    “…that’s why they push for us to get team members under us…”

    That is not why. They (MK) push you to recruit your own competition because that’s how they make more money. When you understand the consultants are the primary customers, you understand what really motivates Corporate’s actions.

    It’s like 2006 all over again, but back then it was Avon. Avon’s sales had been in a slow decline, so they started a concerted push to recruit; to sell the opportunity over the product. They even bought a Superbowl ad that hyped the wonderful opportunity that awaited those who joined Avon. Corporate financial reports started emphasizing how many they had added to their sales force, as if that were a more important metric than actual, you know, sales.

    It only staved off the inevitable. There was a brief surge from all the frontloading before the decline started again, only faster. The rapidity of Avon’s fall made Wall Street take a harder look at the fundamental weaknesses of the MLM model, and they quickly soured on MLM companies. Avon exists today only because Brazilian MLM Natura bought them out. And what did Natura want out of the deal? Avon’s six-million-member sales force, that’s what. At least, that’s what they said in their press releases. In reality, they bought 6 million new customers. But they couldn’t say that out loud.

    Gayle Peterson “market is wide open” Moore is just fooling herself. The market is indeed saturated, and women everywhere are learning there are plenty of places to get quality make-up and skin-care products from sales people who 1) have actually been properly trained, and 2) aren’t hounding you to “join their team” all the time.

  2. The market “is still wide open” is one of the biggest lies I have seen repeated over and over in MK and other MLMs. Actually, the market is not wide open. Competition is as fierce as ever in the cosmetics and beauty world, and market saturation is a concern for retailers. The beauty market is tight with more options for shopping than ever before. The mini Ultas that will be in Target stores is a very savvy move by Ulta since it puts them front and center with a lot of shoppers. This is a similar move to having mini Sephora stores inside JC Penney (although JCP as a company has been struggling for well over a decade now).

    Consumers are looking for pleasant shopping experiences, the latest trends, loyalty and rewards programs, and knowledgeable staff. They are looking for stress-free shopping and the ability to purchase a variety of products from a variety of brands in one place. MK does not offer that. No MLM offers that.

    A tangent here — many households received stimulus money, and many people spent said stimulus on all kinds of things. A whole lot of people did not receive the second stimulus check (we didn’t), and many of the people I know spend one or both on home improvement projects, boosting their savings accounts, or buying big-ticket items (like a washer and dryer). They were not buying stuff from an MLM.

    • Also, MK is NOT a prestige brand. At best, it’s a mediocre, middle-of-the-road brand that can in no way compete with prestige brands like Laura Mercier, NARS, Chanel, Urban Decay, Clarins, La Mer, and more.

      And thanks to places like Sephora and Ulta, many of the prestige brands are now available to the general public. Heck, I use Ulta rewards points to purchase many prestige brands (like my NARS foundation).

      • Agreed. I consider MK on par with drugstore brands. To be clear, there are some drugstore products that I like. There’s such a variety of stuff out there, and we should all find what works for us. But we should not pretend that MK is a high quality, department store product.

  3. Interesting. I’m very interested to see where this goes in the next few months.

    Also. “The market is not saturated, not everyone is selling Mary Kay.” Well Mary Kay doesn’t seem to understand “market saturation”. Their idea of market saturation is when literally every woman in the world is either selling or using Mary Kay.

    • Every woman and man, you mean. Don’t forget they have a men’s line!

      Seriously, they have scripted comeback for when someone brings up market saturation. It’s variations of this: “How many people with skin do you know? Our market is anyone with skin!” or this: “Do you ever go to Target, Walmart, or the mall? Do you see how much space is devoted to cosmetics and skincare? We don’t compete against each other in Mary Kay. Our competition is what you see in those other stores!”

      • I fell for the line”Other MK consultants are not our competition. We’re in competition with Wal-Mart, Target, and Clinique at department stores. If we had enough Mary Kay consultants, we could put Wal-Mart and Target’s cosmetics out of business.” Ugh. I feel so dumb for falling for it. Reality is if Target, Wal-Mart, (and Sephora, & Ulta), are all selling cosmetics, who needs Mary Kay?

        • “If we had enough Mary Kay consultants, we could put Wal-Mart and Target’s cosmetics out of business!” Except Wal-Mart and Target sell a large variety of brands of cosmetics and skincare, unlike Mary Kay consultants.

  4. “Do you see how much space is devoted to cosmetics and skincare? Our competition is what you see in those other stores!”

    I’m reminded of the movie Down Periscope. When Kelsey Grammar learned he was to command an old diesel submarine in a war game against modern nukes, he said, “I think I’m going to get my butt kicked, Sir!”

    [He didn’t, but this was a Hollywood farce, not real life.]

    • LOVE LOVE LOVE that movie!!!

      Also, many of those cosmetics brands in the department stores are owned by the same parent company. Estee Lauder brands own Becca, Estee Lauder, Smashbox, Clinique, Aveda, Glam Glow, MAC, Origins, and Too Faced. Shiseido owns NARS, Bare Minerals, Laura Mercier, and Drunk Elephant. It’s ALL the same two or three companies owning everything. They aren’t in competition with each other in the stores.

      • So Estée Lauder is responsible for closing up Becca? I’ve been really bummed about this because I love Becca products.

  5. Retinol is not, um, new. It’s been around for *years*. So I have no idea why this MK person is acting so shocked that people know about it….

  6. Wow, Katrina admits to turning to liquor over low sales. Ulta and counters for the win!

  7. The MK mascara is $18 but if I sign up as a consultant I’ll only pay $9.
    I won’t play that game.

  8. My daughters (23 and 19) have spent many hours over the last year refining their eye make-up. They are not looking at MK or Avon or Younique. They are buying at Saphora or Ulta and they are happy to wait a few days to get their kits.

  9. Yeah right. Try and get that money back from the consultant and see what happens. Yeah. Um. Okay. They will try every trick in the book to make you not take cash. #fact I have seen it first hand.

  10. I can’t decide if I’m more amused by Brooklyn’s worry that staff have been educated to understand their products or Katrina taking offence that some-one wants better results from their skin-care products.

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