Don’t Run Your Mouth About Mary Kay

Someone who calls herself Norma Hawkins left this as a comment on a post at Pink Truth. It’s a shame that Norma doesn’t know Mary Kay isn’t a Job. You don’t own anything. So if Norma thinks she’s telling people the truth when she is trying to recruit them, she has already failed.

Before you run your mouth and say things you really know nothing about check your facts.

MARY KAY is a business model studied by Havard Business College and many other entities and has been proven over and over again NOT TO BE A PYRAMID. It has multiple levels to build your business and your income.

So here is my story. I have a business with Mary Kay, I follow the steps of finding leads, booking appointments, coaching Hostess so Appointment holds, teach hostess and her guest, if any, how to care for their skin with products customized for their skincare care needs and concerns, I offer purchase options, give an invitation to consider doing what I do (no pressure) and invite her back to teach basics of glamour or other spa like experiences.

I earn money by selling product with a 50% discount. So if I sell $110.00 I make $55.00.

I have never recruited anyone with pressure, I give them the truth of how business works with an emphasis on WORK. Because it is a JOB, a business we own and it requires a commitment of time, planning education, and the knowledge that you are in business for yourself BUT NEVER BY YOURSELF.

Please just don’t hate on something you deep down think you would like to do, or maybe have done without the necessary commitment to your success.


    1. Mountaineer95

      Right? I’m waiting for Char to show up and remind everyone that drug dealing is taught at the police academy…not because it’s a wonderful business, but because we cannot defeat an evil if we don’t first understand it.

  1. Destiny Angel

    “has been proven over and over again NOT TO BE A PYRAMID. It has multiple levels to build your business and your income.”

    Claims it isn’t a pyramid scheme by proving it is.

  2. Kristen

    “Invite her back to teach basics of glamour and other spa like experiences.”

    Sitting around a kitchen table, scrubbing your own face, smearing on your own makeup while being asked, “Which product are you most excited about?” Or “ What did you learn today?” is not a spa experience. It’s not relaxing and there’s no professional esthetician or makeup artist involved. I’d rather go to a real salon or spa and pay a professional to teach me something or at least let me relax.

    As a consultant, if you’re not asking these questions or trying to push the victim into signing up (or at least buying a crap ton of products) you aren’t following Mary Kay’s “training”. You are running a charity and will not make enough money to recoup your debt. Odds are overwhelmingly against you succeeding anyway, so don’t try to find the secret to success here. Many, many women on this site have made it as far as directorship and earned cars. IT DOESN’T WORK!

    Millennials and Gen Z: you are better informed than we were! Don’t buy into this. You have the truth available to you.

  3. MultiLevelMoneyLosing

    Interesting. Does she know that the Direct Selling Organization, the trade group that lobbies Washington on behalf of “direct selling” and “dual marketing” companies, insists that direct selling is NOT a job but an “activity?”

  4. The Patient Whisperer

    Dear Norma,

    I assure you that nowhere “deep down” have I EVER thought I “might like to do,” nor have I ever, done MK. I have an actual career, thanks.

    I hate on MK because it – and every ?? other ?? MLM ?? – is a scam and a pyramid scheme which people like you (yes, YOU) have duped others into forking over money on the basis of lies of being a “business owner” who “needs inventory,” sending many of them spiraling into bankruptcy.

    But thanks for your “insight.” ?

  5. AnonyMouse

    It’s not a business you own. You’re an independent contractor no matter what level you are at. Actually you’re less than an independent contractor. Mary Kay touts this amazing “retirement plan”, but if you “retire” as anything less than NSD there is no retirement plan. And even if you’re an NSD you get no say in when you retire. It’s 65 years old whether you like it or not. If you want to retire or change careers before then, you lose everything. If it were an actual business that you owned, you could sell your business for actual money or bring on a partner to help run it or a dozen other options. In Mary Kay, if you dare to leave at any rank even as a coveted NSD before they say you can, corporate decides where your downline goes and you will never see a single red cent from all of your hard work ever again. That is not true business ownership. That is deceiving women into believing they have more rights and freedoms in their job than they actually do, and it is gross. And then they gaslight you to make you believe it’s all your own fault, that you didn’t work hard enough, you didn’t do things the “right” way, you are a negative person, you are a failure. And who profits off of this? Corporate. It’s the same in all MLMs. They’ve deceived you. And we’re here to expose this deception.

    P.S. I do own an actual business. And there is no comparison. Owning a real business was the nail in the coffin for me as far as MLMs are concerned. And yes, Mary Kay is an MLM. It’s not “network marketing” or “dual marketing”. An MLM by any other name is still an MLM and 99% of people who sign up for it will make very little money or lose money.

    1. Peggy Hicks

      My cousin’s ex-wife has been in MK since 1981 & a NSD since 1997. He & I recently talked about the compulsory retirement age of 65, & how the annuity payments are for a period of only 15 years. He told me something I’d not heard before, & perhaps you ladies could enlighten me. He said that NSDs can only be NSDs for 25 years, after which they must retire. If that’s true, then his ex will be 61 when she reaches 25 years as a NSD. I wonder if she collects annuity payments at age 61, or if she has to wait until she’s 65. She has a degree in nursing & I keep thinking about what her life would have been like had she not been recruited into MK. She wouldn’t have been running on the hamster wheel 24/7 for the past 40 years, scrambling to recruit & make production. She would have been able to leave work at the hospital or doctors’ office & not have to be concerned about it. She would have had time for my cousin & would have been there to raise her two sons. My cousin gave up his own business to help with hers, & ended up raising their sons by himself because she was gone most of the time doing MK. She would have had a salary, benefits, & paid vacations had she kept her nursing job, & she would most likely have been able to take early retirement if she invested her money wisely. Unfortunately, she got into the pink fog when she was only 21 years old, & fell for it hook, line & sinker. She’s paid a very high price as a result of her involvement in MK, & I can guarantee she was never told that it could (& did) end her marriage. Very sad indeed.

      1. SavingThePinkBees

        That is so sad. I know there are differences between the U.K. and USA, but we have two NSDs (yes only 2 in the whole of the U.K. and Ireland) and I seem to recall at least one of them if not both celebrated their 25th anniversary, they haven’t retired, neither has a Senior Director whom I know celebrated their 65th birthday and said they’d retire, but didn’t, which was strange. So possibly some truth in that corporate decides when you can leave/retire, but not sure about the 25 years as NSD. I’ve heard of marriages ending due to MLMs and I know these women have their whole families involved in their ‘business’ which I think is the only way it would work, if the whole family is involved (and brainwashed) with the pink fog.

      2. BestDecision

        No, we weren’t told the net profit or others’ actual time spent building the business. I was lied to and accused of being negative because I asked simple questions. High level people lied to me and used illness and God to trick you into believing and trusting them.

        Nurses know how much they make an hour or are salaried. They know what shifts they’ll be working (day or night), and they know that each month they work the same hours will give them the same pay. They also receive FREE continuing education by their employers or their state nursing board.

        Not so with MK! I worked hours I never received compensation, and I thought about it when I wasn’t physically working it. I checked production and calmed down my unit members when I was on vacation because the owner of my business (me) could never afford to be fully off and have things fall apart while away. All the notes I mailed never got reimbursed by anyone, and my suits, shoes, and accessories were at my expense. If I gave up a Saturday afternoon to hold a party and spent 3 hours working, I had no guarantee of profit from it. All the Section 2 supplies I bought were on me, and the education I received, although mostly inspirational speeches, was my cost.

        I can’t think of any other job or career with that much unfair practice, and I can’t wait for the day MK is shut down or sinks. What a waste of my life!

        1. Mountaineer95

          “What a waste of my life!”

          Hey BD, I want you to know that while your years and tears dedicated to MK have come to be considered bad, you’ve made such a difference here! Your insight is rare; very few women who’ve reached your level in MK are here and so open and sharing.

          The relief you feel by being out of MK is hard-earned and you deserve every happy, content, and relaxed minute of it!

          While you did devote many years to MK, and it might seem like a waste, what you bring here is hugely appreciated. Having someone who’s truly lived this life be here to share knowledge is just incredible in providing legitimacy and truth to the PT message.

          So if I may say so, your MK years were not a wasted part of your life; they were learning years. And while we’d all prefer that our difficult “life lesson” years are short and few, the truth is that they’re often not. But we need them, and to come out of the end of that dark tunnel and live better, happier, and wiser is the reward. I hope you can see that, BD. Hugs ((( ))) and ?

            1. Kristen

              I agree with Mountaineer. Pink Truth needs the former directors. I never made it there. I went years believing the directors had “made it” and it’s crucial for that consultants see the reality that Mary Kay works to keep secret. Otherwise they just blame themselves.

        2. SavingThePinkBees

          This is why in the U.K. the anti-MLM are now petitioning the government for better regulation, rather than an outright ban.
          We feel getting regulation and income security, national insurance and pension plans should be part of any job someone does, whether an independent contractor or employee. We had a court case here on behalf of Uber drivers and they won, the Supreme Court recognized all of Uber drivers as working for the company rather than serving as freelancers. I understand similar cases are filed in the USA …and this might just lift the lid for many MLM victims, if only they got paid honest wages for the hours of work they put in and get a pension at the end of many years service. Then the money doesn’t just funnel to the top, but those on the bottom would earn a living wage as well. This petition here only started on Tuesday 10 May and has already reached over 2,500 signatures. Not enough for the government to respond, but we have 6 months to gather preferably 100,000 signatures from the British public. At 100,000 signatures the government will discuss this in parliament. Meanwhile we all write to our Members of Parliament to put the pressure on them to bring it to the appropriate minister, Secretary of State for Trade Policy.

          We’re also looking in to bringing court cases, starting with businesses like Inteletravel/Plannet, a travel ‘MLM’ which during the pandemic claimed to be in a travel boom and had thousands of people join as ‘travel agents’ who only get paid after a vacation has been taken, yet no-one was allowed to travel anywhere, in some cases not even within the country! People from England couldn’t even travel to Scotland, during parts of the pandemic, we were all told to stay at home and not travel, so how can there be a ‘travel boom’ and if anyone got paid anything – we know some people did get paid, others got peanuts – this income could only be on recruiting and each ‘travel agent’ was paying in monthly fees, so we have a straight up pyramid scheme hiding behind an MLM, which would be a worthy court case, if we can pull it off.

          For Mary Kay to get exposed like this we need to show the numbers. We need to provide evidence and especially during last year with supplies being diabolical, there must be disgruntled customers, consultants and end users alike, and there are examples of MLMs being taken to court like LuLaRoe, check out Roberta Blevins and how that case was handled in Washington State, she explains all of it in several YouTube videos, especially 3 interviews on ‘Not The Good Girl’ channel.

          The thing to do is find a way in, which might be through an Attorney General, but do background checks of involvement, because the DSA is a huge lobbying campaign and there’s political involvement in MLMs. Read Ponzinomics to find out or listen to Roberta Blevins podcast ‘Life After MLM’ episode 15 & 16 with Robert L. FitzPatrick where he explains some of the Ponzinomics.

          1. AnonyMouse

            SavingThePinkBees, yes!!! We need to show the numbers!!! If Mary Kay is soooooo great and sooooo many women are successful, where is the public income disclosure statement? And if soooooo many women are making a good living just selling product, where are their actual profit numbers? MK doesn’t require consultants to turn in sales slips to show that they’re actually making a 50% profit. They base consultants’ “sales” numbers on their wholesale orders. Which is IN DIRECT VIOLATION of the FTC’s Direct Selling Rule. The FTC is a joke when it comes to enforcing its own rules on MLMs. The public needs to demand better.

      3. Mountaineer95

        Peggy, this is so sad! Her choice to follow MK affected not only herself profoundly, but those closest to her as well. And what does she have to show for it? It’s a bit late for a career do-over or mulligan, but she still *could* find honest work if she needs to, and with the divorce she might need to. Unfortunately, I think decades in the pink fog have forever altered her expectations of what “jobs” are really like, and what behaviors are appropriate and what aren’t. She is a (sadly) perfect example of how decades as an “executive” in MK or other MLMs does NOT translate to non-MLM companies, in that she likely will not find an executive-level position in any “regular” business. Her job options above minimum wage are limited. But if the NSD retirement package is as “executive’ and ‘elite’ as the position itself is touted, why would ANY National Sales Director EVER need to work after her retirement?

        One more note, inspired by this quote: “She would have been able to leave work at the hospital or doctors’ office” or wherever her J.O.B. is…I cannot stress enough how much of a benefit it is to be able to leave your work at work. And to enjoy true paid time off…a week vacation? In late June? Where you can turn off your phone and spend quality time with your family?

        Lol at MK; there is no paid time off, and if you dare take “unpaid” time off, even if one week a year, you’d better believe you’re still expected to somehow make your wholesale production requirements. If you come up short and now owe a copay on your pink Caddy, telling the MK Corp folks that you missed production because you were on vacay will be a futile argument.

    2. Mountaineer95

      “if you “retire” as anything less than NSD there is no retirement plan”

      It seems like there are so many “lifer” directors who either don’t understand this or refuse to acknowledge it. Like, how many directors have been in for 20+ years? (I might be wrong but I think the lovely Cynthia Ruccia is one)? I can’t believe that any MK sales director has been able to exclusively work her MK “business” for 20+ years without a bread-winning spouse. It’s just not possible. I cannot imagine spending 20 years working my own “business” that could be literally ripped away at any moment and I’d have no say in it nor recourse.

      I’m also amused by youngsters like Jamie Taylor proclaiming how excited they are that as an NSD, they’ll earn this fabulous retirement. Jamie won’t be 65 for a few decades. Does she really think MK Corp will still be around in 30 years? Or that MK Corp won’t figure out a way to not be liable for any future retirement payouts when they do close up shop?

    3. Mountaineer95

      So well said, AnonyMouse! And not one bit of what you shared is “negative”. It’s just the facts, ma’am! But we know our Friday Friends in MK will stick their fingers in their ears and sing “nanananana, I can’t hear you” and finish with some poorly-spelled diatribe in which you are a horrible lazy looser.

  6. NayMKWay

    “Because it is a JOB, a business we own and it requires a commitment of time, planning education, and the knowledge that you are in business for yourself BUT NEVER BY YOURSELF.”

    Yeah no, it’s not a business and you do not own it. Read the contract you signed: it says you are a contractor, not a business owner. It also says MK can terminate you at any time at their sole discretion, and you will have zero to show for it. You own nothing.

    Believe it or not, we’re on your side. You’ve been hoodwinked, and we’re trying to convince you (and your fellow victims) to open your eyes and see that for yourselves. Take a breath, check your emotions for a moment, think logically, and look at some of the many ways Mary Kay has lied to you:

    1. They’re not studied at Harvard and never have been. They know it’s a lie, but keep saying it anyway.

    2. It’s a lie that you keep $55 out of every $110 you sell. Between discounts and expenses you’ll be lucky to break even.

    3. They lie when they say everyone pays the same price for products. The higher-ups get commission on their own purchases; in effect, a rebate. Their net cost is lower than it is for those at the bottom, so why does Mary Kay claim otherwise?

    4. “Free car!” is a lie. You have to give up part of your commission if you opt for the car; how is that “free”?

    5. They lie about how many classes you can expect to hold each week, and about how much you can expect to sell at each class. Surely you have already experienced this.

    6. They lie when they say the products will “fly off the shelves,” and that it’s “executive pay for part-time work.” But don’t take our word for it; try keeping a log of how many hours you work and what your net income is. See for yourself.

    There is plenty more, but I’ve gone on long enough.

  7. Enorth

    doTERRA addresses the MLM “elephant in the room” on its website. In the Business Resources section (for distributors), it lists “Common Objections” and scripts to address them. Among them:

    > Objection: “Buying from MLM”

    > Script: “I totally get that; a lot of people feel that way. The thing I love is that doTERRA is unique in network marketing. In fact, 82 percent of people who buy doTERRA products are just customers who don’t sell the products. That’s unheard of in direct sales. The reason we have so many customers is because we have the most tested, most trusted products that people can rely on. Are you open to joining the millions of people who are changing their lives with natural solutions?”

    1. NayMKWay

      “I totally get that; a lot of people feel that way. The thing I love is…”

      That’s just a variation of the feel, felt, found comeback. “I know how you FEEL, I once FELT the same way, but I when I started in this business, I FOUND blah, blah…” Nearly every MLM uses some variation of it, including Mary Kay.

      If do the math on DoTERRA’s claimed numbers, they’re actually pretty bleak. 82 percent of the buyers aren’t sellers, eh? 82% buyers and 18% sellers means the ratio of buyers to sellers is 82:18, or 4.56 to one. Can anyone earn a living selling essential oils to a customer base of fewer than 5? Even at doTERRA;s hyperinflated prices, not a chance.

      But doTERRA thinks their numbers are worth bragging about: “That’s unheard of in direct sales.”

      Well, that’s a lie, because in true direct sales, ratios run much higher than 4.56:1. But doTERRA isn’t direct sales, they’re MLM, and it’s unfortunately true that greater than 4:1 is pretty much unheard of in MLM. In income disclosure statements that include those statistics, the typical ratio is between 2 and 3 to one. (They usually use a pie chart, which makes the stat look better than it is).

      This is why we are here trying to warn people away from these scams.

      1. Enorth

        “a variation of the feel, felt, found comeback”

        Yes, and every objection response used that same formula, and each one ended with a question. The training is also loaded with phrases such as “changing lives”, “increase your level of belief”, “trust the process” and, of course, “success is up to you.”

        1. NayMKWay

          Oh, yes, the always-end-with-a-question gambit. It forces the other one to stay engaged, goes the theory. It wouldn’t work on me. Sometimes I fantasize about being in front of one of these people.

          Them: “Are you willing to be part of this wonderful opportunity?”

          Me: “Are you willing to shut the hell up and leave me alone?”

          [alternate response]: “Are you ready to go get a ladder and jump up my butt?”

          Ah, fantasies…

    2. SavingThePinkBees

      “… because we have the most tested, most trusted products that people can rely on…”

      Completely ignoring the damage DōTERRA essential crap has caused to people…? Watch Netflix (Un)well Season 1, Episode 1 on Essential Oils… pretty damning evidence that these Huns cause damage with their products.

  8. Pinkiu

    “I have never recruited anyone with pressure,…”

    This is how I interpret this statement: “I HAVE NEVER RECRUITED ANYONE with pressure…”

    She’s telling us she has not recruited anyone and so she must be still be in the warm market stage.

  9. DonewithMK666

    So think about this for a minute… I remember watching Pam Kelly cry because she knew that she would never attain the position of NSD Because of her age. Now for the person who says this is a job and that you own your own business then please explain to me why somebody who has been diligently doing Mary Kay for well over 20 years cannot attain the position NSD? This is a person who does training at her house, Who has been crowned the queen of sales, the queen of recruiting, and the unit queen all in one year. Also I used to go to training at her house and I have seen personally have boxes from floor to ceiling in a room that was at least 10’ x 16’ that had never been opened because she was “buying” her position as “queen of sales” … So for the person who wrote this this comment please come back and explain to me and everybody here why she cannot attain the position that she still wanted and worked so hard towards if she owns her own business?

    The answer is she can’t. Mary Kay controls every aspect of your “business“. Mary Kay tells you where you can and cannot sell, what you can and cannot do and so on and so forth. I think the biggest issue is the people that write these comments is that they are simply consultants and they don’t realize that the people that contribute to pink truth Have taken those next steps on to directorship and maybe there’s even some nationals in here I don’t know but for sure there are top directors in here who are now trying to prevent and warn other people against the downfalls of Mary Kay. As a person who was in the MARY KAY fog for over 20 years, I understand it’s hard for somebody who still has blinders on to come and read what the contributors of pink truth are saying however my hat is off to Tracy and to all of the people who are brave enough to state their experiences.
    For the person that wrote this comment I hope that your blinders will come off sooner rather than later and that you will be brave enough to tell your story and help others!

    1. NayMKWay

      “I remember watching Pam Kelly cry because she knew that she would never attain the position of NSD Because of her age.”

      Hmm. Isn’t that age discrimination? I’m pretty sure “not eligible for promotion because you’re too old” falls into that category. Maybe there’s a legal loophole because she’s not an employee, but still…pretty sucky.

      So is mandatory retirement of NSDs at 65, IMHO.

  10. Mountaineer95

    “So here is my story. I have a business with Mary Kay, I follow the steps of finding leads, booking appointments, coaching Hostess so Appointment holds, teach hostess and her guest, if any, how to care for their skin with products customized for their skincare care needs and concerns, I offer purchase options, give an invitation to consider doing what I do (no pressure) and invite her back to teach basics of glamour or other spa like experiences.

    I earn money by selling product with a 50% discount. So if I sell $110.00 I make $55.00.

    I have never recruited anyone with pressure…”

    1) “So here is my story”. Referring to it as a “story” undermines its credibility. You’d have been more convincing if you referred to it as you experience (and not starting with “so…”)

    2) “I have a business with Mary Kay”. So do you have a business? LLC or C Corp or other? If not, how have you tracked your business finically and how much did you pay in personal income tax (you do know that’s required, right?). Did you just use your MK “business” to load up deductions but didn’t account for your personal income taxes owed IF you actually made any money? While we’re talking about taxes, what inventory do you currently have that you haven’t yet sold? Even if it’s a small amount, you do realize that you’ve already paid the sales tax on that inventory whether you’ve sold it or even if you ever sell it? How do you plan on getting MK Corp to return to you the sales tax they collected on that product you ordered and haven’t yet sold?

    3) “I follow the steps of” blah blah blah entire paragraph blah blah…okay, so we know what you DO, but we don’t know what you MAKE from it.
    Spa experience/options/customized/skincare…blurgh…I’m not calling you out on having done all of those things; I’m calling you out on having made LEGIT net profit from those things.

    4) “if I sell $110.00 I make $55.00”. Hmm. I’d be more inclined to believe you if you’d said ‘WHEN I sell $110.00 I make $55.00.” The IF in your statement tells us that you don’t regularly make such sales. (And frankly, I’d be more inclined to believe you if you said that when you sell $110 you make $35, because freebies/sales/discounts). But hey, if you just BEE-LIEVE it, right?

    5) “I have never recruited anyone WITH PRESSURE (emphasis added)…”. So, you’ve recruited. Hey, at least you’re not one of the Friday Lunch Specials that go on about how they’re only personal use and never ever recruit. Half a point for honesty there.

    Tracy, thanks again for the Friday critic posts. They’re always so entertaining!

    1. Mountaineer95

      ETA, I missed this fun morsel:

      Blah blah blah proven “NOT TO BE A PYRAMID. It has multiple levels”. Whelp, glad THAT’S taken care of. A pyramid isn’t a pyramid if it has multiple levels.

      Shut ‘Er down, guys, we’ve been wrong all along!

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