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

Are You in Debt From Mary Kay?

Written by Raisinberry

I remember lying in bed looking at the ceiling, sick inside, because 4 credit cards were maxed out… How did I get here???

At an area event, I was teaching the DIQs, and I opened my mouth and these words came out:

”How many of you are in more debt than ever since joining Mary Kay?”

Every hand went up. The directors sitting in the back of the room had heart attacks.

Since I was “still a believer,” I said:

“That stops today. No more personal ordering until you have sold at least $1500 to clear some debt. From now on, exact records must be kept, including all costs, deducted. If you end the month with a profit, send another 50% of that to your lowest balance credit card.”

You could have heard a pin drop. Even the Mocha Bronzes went Soft Ivory. And that was the beginning of the end. How dare I encourage them not to order! They were DIQ!! Was I nuts??? One of the DIQs said, “Are we allowed to talk about this?”

Let that resonate for a minute. Are. We. Allowed. To. Talk. About. This.

In the face of some 15 women raising their hands, the reality of the situation still escaped their ability to assess the truth. Mary Kay and its directors cannot afford any honest information about money management, ordering for goals (rather than because you’re selling), and the lack of accounting, with wall to wall financial denial going on.

Because they need the opposite. Upline and corporate make their money, off YOUR credit card debt. They know it. We know it. How easy would it be to teach and verify, good accounting practices?

But would that change the reality of how little is sold, how little money you make even if you are one of the “big” sellers, and how Mary Kay is really just about recruiting and frontloading.


  1. Shay

    i am listening to This American Life, episode 74 called Conventions, LOL a cashier is talking about how Mary Kay ladies bombarded her., Who episode it’s gonna be about Mary K but I thought I’d share. . I’m off to work..

  2. Lazy Gardens

    If it were treated like a “real business”, with daily cash flow accounting, monthly balancing of the books, good inventory management, seeing credit card balances as short-term debt, calling inventory a liability not an asset … people would quit in herds and hordes.

    1. raisinberry

      Lazy…I can’t tell you how many times I was told that my “inventory” was an asset!.
      I’m trying to image myself going to the bank to buy a home, offering my multiple STAR orders as collateral.

      1. Brainwashed no more

        Can’t sell from An empty wagon. But then before we sign, we are told, you don’t need to buy inventory. Only$100 to start. Then we’re told, $250 start up costs. Then told, do you know how much it costs to open a franchise? Thousands… then we’re shown packages with free products that we get for different levels of inventory. The lies keep coming. Same comments over and over

  3. NayMKWay

    ” ‘How many of you are in more debt than ever since joining Mary Kay?’ “

    …and very hand when up. Fifteen out of fifteen.

    Mathematicians have a phrase for this: “statistically significant.”

    To all the critics who think the horror stories here on PT are the rarity and not the norm, look at the above random sample of 15. Every single person had gone deeper in debt trying to achieve directorship. The road to Director is not pay-as-you-go, it’s try-to-climb-out-of-the-hole… the hole you dug for yourself when you maxed out all your credit cards.

    The bad news: it doesn’t get any better. Directorship is just more s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g for the vast majority of Mary Kay Directors. More debts. More time away from your family. More running on the hamster wheel.

    Listen to the ones who have been there. They’re right here.

    1. raisinberry

      Nay, right on the money!

      We thought Directorship was the RELIEF from DIQ! We, I, HAD NO IDEA, that while Directorship might have larger commissions, it would ALSO require larger inventory ordering as needed to reach…um….well….goals!

  4. New MK 2021 Consultant

    I just fell into this hole purchasing my $600+ inventory for the past 3 months as I was trying
    to meet “personal” goals ?. Now I’m $2,000+ in debt and my director said I’ll get “there”. Get where…more debt? Now I’m selling off my inventory at 40%+ off. I was scammed.

    1. TRACY

      Yep, that’s how they do it. You end up with a bunch of crap you can’t sell, and you accumulate it in steps, as your up line keeps reassuring you “you’ll sell it!” You’re not spending money, you’re investing in your future, and you can run out and sell it any time.

      If you “could sell it any time” you wouldn’t be accumulating. But it’s hard to see that when you’re in it. If it makes you feel any better, lots of us here fell into this trap.

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