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

A Mary Kay “Interview”

If you have every participated in a Mary Kay “interview”, you’re going to see some common threads in this story from a potential MK victim. We’ve all seen these tactics used before. Sadly, exposing them over and over on Pink Truth doesn’t seem to deter women from using them.

And we all know these aren’t “interviews.” No one is trying to decide if you’re right for Mary Kay. You are right for MK if you have a pulse, a credit card, and a willingness to sign up.

Yesterday, I decided to meet with a [Mary Kay] “recruiter” (let’s call her Laura) and “director” (let’s call her Renee). I didn’t even know that Laura was a recruiter since Renee did most of the talking.
So prior to the meeting, I met Laura because a couple weeks ago my friend had a birthday and she had a [Mary Kay] facial party with Laura as the host. I went and wrote down names of many women in my contacts to win the “prize” (which I haven’t even received). Laura a week later texted all of them, I didn’t realize that she was so committed to doing that. I was somewhat embarrassed as I had written down some names and phone numbers of people that I didn’t speak with anymore just to reach the required number to get my “prize”.

At the facial party Laura scheduled meetings with me and the other girls who came to provide more information and get us into a drawing for a prize. I wasn’t able to meet due to my car having a dead battery. She continued texting me and I ignored it, until a few days ago when she asked if we could meet so I could simply fill out a survey to get entered in the drawing. I am currently going through a rough patch and I decided I would like to try my chances, so I decided to meet yesterday.

We met at the Starbucks down the street from my job and they came off very friendly and even humorous church going women. Laura even bought me a drink. They started asking me interview like questions that I was unprepared for, I thought it was a simple survey and I would be done. So I obliged and answered the questions that went like, “how would you describe yourself”, “what brings you joy”, “if time and money wasn’t the issue, what would you be doing right now”, etc.

I now realize those questions got the answers for them to sell me the idea of being a consultant and fulfilling my dreams. I then had forgot the reason I met with them, to fill the survey to enter in the drawing. I felt skeptical about the compensation and prizes that you receive from selling the products, like a new free car and paid vacations? Like it sounded like a dream come true for a young woman who works full time unhappily at her job and is about to start college soon.

I also expressed my skeptical thoughts since, with the benefits they express, how come I’m just now hearing about it? Why aren’t many many women in the job?? To which Renee explained the “history” of Mary Kay to ease my worries. To which she said, Mary Kay started in the 60’s during a time when women suffered, stayed at home and didn’t have rights so Mary Kay ash started her business to help those women out, because she knows if you dangle a prize a woman wants, she’ll bend over backwards to get it. That touched the righteous woman in me and had me consider the job.

I also had questions about how they started and they went into their goals of using the profit they made to help out orphan children in Africa and South America. How that was their passion. Renee even went as far to say she was working for a non-profit child care here in Kentucky, her “dream job” and how she worked hard to start a salary and how they made her go from 40 hours a week to 60-80 and after 8 months she quit. During that time her friend got her into her Mary Kay party she was hosting, talking about the business aspect of Mary Kay. Renee had stated before she started, she wasn’t the makeup girl, never wore any. And I saw then how she now wears make up and so I thought if someone who wasn’t into makeup can sell Mary Kay products, why can’t I?!? And as well after a few months in she was making more money than the salary she got from her “dream job”

I myself love makeup and I wear it. So I figured I could do this, just for the financial benefits. To wrap it up, Laura stated she was quitting her part time job to work full time for Mary Kay to reach her full potential and as well to support her husband so well that he could quit his job to pursue his dream job. Renee also stated that Mary Kay only gets back 7-9 cents of every dollar because hey, they’re a multi billonaire company. So when they asked when I wanted to start, I of course said “now!” So I had already forked over $100 for the started kit and I was excited about my future with Mary Kay!!

Until, something inside nagged at me about it still being too good to be true. So after my nap I decided to do some research on the job. And viola!! I found pinktruth. I am horrified about the truth of Mary Kay and very thankful my gut told me to research this scam. I never considered that you would have to buy products to sell, I don’t know why I assumed that Mary Kay provided it. I think it’s because Laura had told me she previously worked for 31, a bag company and how she had to buy the supplies and basically spent more money arranging parties than actually making profit. I am very naive and gullible but I will not buy into this. Thank you all for sharing the truth before I got invested into it!!!!! One less consultant for them.


  1. Kristen

    Hooray! So glad you decided to do the smart thing and research first. I don’t think you’re gullible. You were lied to and manipulated. They used so many principles of psychological manipulation, like buying you something so you felt obligated (reciprocity).

    What is with all the outright lies? Come fill out a survey/win a prize (no survey or prize). Give us all your contacts and win a prize (no prize materializes). I picture the upper level scammers advising ways to ensnare more victims: “Just tell her you’ll give her a prize or something. Say whatever you have to.”

  2. Char

    (No joke or creative writing.) This article really produced a picture in my head:

    Two polished con artists, working together, attempting to lure a young victim into their trap. If successful, the two sleaze balls, dressed up in professional costume to help the deception, would’ve taken her money by convincing her to WILLINGLY “invest”. That’s the difference between a robbery and a con (confidence trick).

    noun: confidence trick
    a swindle in which the victim is persuaded to trust the swindler in some way.
    “they were the innocent victims of an elaborate confidence trick”

    Tip for the author even though she seems to have already figured it out. But, just in case:

    All MLM companies are scams. It is the method that’s the problem; it is not necessary to focus on the product or company name. That’s a trick the con artists use! Just avoid the MLM scam, period. Don’t get wrapped up in the tools they use to lure you in.

    To identify if they are using the MLM scam method ask: Is there a limit to how many team members I can add? Do I benefit if my team members also add people? Do I have a territory? Act enthusiastic with these questions, and don’t ask if this is a “pyramid scheme”.

    Important note: Product-based pyramid schemes all have products.

    People DO make money in scams. But guess what? Con artists make money, drug dealers make money, successful bank robbers acquire money, etc.. “Making money” does not legitimize anything. It is “what” you are doing to make the money that matters – even if you “work hard” doing it. The women in this story were “working really hard” setting up their con and lying to their prey.

  3. Cindylu

    I am very happy you found PT before you got persuaded to join MK. These mlm’s are also actually risky. I once had my vehicle carjacked while I was trying to recruit someone. Fortunately it was close to a Police Station. I was lucky and got it back. Also the individual I tried to recruit was wise enough to doubt this MK scam. It probably isn’t a good idea to go into the homes of strangers or invite them into your home for an open house. How convenient for MK that every ounce of risk often isn’t there’s. Risks like: Sales to strangers in creepy homes, recruiting strangers, paying for advertising and most of all carrying on the the deceptive tactics of direct sales. These schemes are nothing short of theft of the labor and the wages of hundreds, if not thousands, of desperate women. (Just trying to make a few extra dollars). All those untrue claims: Make full time income with part time hours, products fly off the shelves (Most won’t book facials and MK products are difficult to sell or even give away). Directors make executive income. Most don’t in mlm’s. Your table at a vendors market will be ignored. No one will come to your open House. The Free Car (is often NOT free with co pays), The training is NOT free either. (Weekly meetings, Conferences and Seminar are all quite expensive). The constant product changes also add to the futility of trying to sell products very few actually want.

  4. NayMKWay

    It’s all a house of cards built on a foundation of lies.

    They lie to get you to come to a “party” and then ambush you with the hard sell.

    They lie when they say you’ll get a prize for listing everyone you know with skin, when they are in reality tricking you into turning over your personal data so they have a list of more victims to troll for.

    They lie every time they open their mouths about numbers. How much you can sell, how much you can earn, how much to expect from a skincare class, how many classes you can hold per week, what retail sales really are, and so on ad nauseam.

    They lie when they pretend “no territories!” is a good thing. It isn’t. Territories are for the protection of the salesperson; when that protection is taken away…well, picture a Shark Week documentary showing a feeding-frenzy. Yeah.

    Most victims take awhile to catch on to the reality that they’ve been conned. The fortunate (and discerning) ones find Pink Truth before the brainwashing has taken hold.

    To the writer of this submission: good on you for trusting your doubts enough to keep researching, and thanks for telling your story!

  5. Pinkiu

    ” I never considered that you would have to buy products to sell, I don’t know why I assumed that Mary Kay provided it.”

    It’s logical to assume this, right? A consultant does parties and facials and makes some side money from sales. But that’s not the gig of any mlm. Why? Because the CONSULTANT is the end customer! Buying “wholesale” is the final sale in the MK selling chain. If the consultant can sell it to someone else, then good for her. But the third party customer isn’t the final link in the consumer chain for MK… it’s the consultant. That’s the hardest truth for an IBC to realize.

    1. NayMKWay

      I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: in a real job, there is risk involved in hiring an employee. The hiring company is making an investment in the employee, paying for salary, benefits, office space, equipment, etc. With MLMs like Mary Kay, there is ZERO risk in bringing in more salespeople. The consultant pays for everything, and every purchase by the consultant is profit for the company. (The latest atrocity: $15 for a cloth face mask. Don’t believe for a second their profit margin isn’t sky-high on that ugly face cover.) Then the consultant is rewarded for roping more people in, but that reward doesn’t come from the company, it comes out of the pocket of the new recruit. Oh, they spin it to look like there is no reward for recruiting, but that first inventory buy is commission in the pockets of the upline.

      Of course they’re debt-free; they make their starry-eyed consultants pay all their expenses.

      Kaybots like to sneer at the poor schmucks who have to go to work every day for someone else, calling them “just over broke.” But hey, just over broke is better than fully under water, which is how 99% of recruits end up.

  6. Mountaineer95

    The author of the post says:

    “I am very naive and gullible…”

    I don’t think you are, and I think many others here would agree! You trusted your instinct, felt something wasn’t right, and looked into it, then made an excellent decision. You are not naive nor gullible. You are cautious, careful, and curious. You did well, writer!

  7. Amy Walton

    I would double check to make sure they didn’t cash your check or charge your card for the $100 you gave them. And make sure they didn’t actually already sign you up. Many a less-than-scrupulous director has used such info to sign someone up who didn’t know it was done. If they tell you it’s too late to stop your registration, be sure you call MK corporate and tell them to cancel your Consultant number (and get proof of that having been done). If a starter kit shows up at your door, refuse the shipment without opening it or you will own all of it. Congrats for figuring out the scam before you got too deep.

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