Written by SuzyQ

Oh, I wish I had the magic words! Just what does it take to get the message across to the pink believers that MK is a scam? What part don’t they get?

Maybe a short reminder would help:

1. Mary Kay is the best selling brand in the U.S. – This is an old phrase that has been manipulated over the years to make it appear true. The biggest problem is that the numbers assume everything sold to consultants ended up in the hands of a real customer. We know that’s not true. So if Mary Kay is the best selling brand, it’s only to the consultants.

2. Mary Kay is a dual marketing plan. NO. It is a multi-level marketing plan, plain and simple. Dual marketing is a lie. Why are they permitted to say it? Because there are different descriptors that are legal for MLMs to use that sound a bit nicer. It smacks of a pyramid scheme. The NSDsat the top are making money off the orders from those below them. This is NOT a gift from Mary Kay for all of their hard work, this is money from YOU! And your orders!

3. There are no quotas. Then please, explain the earned discount system and the minimum wholesale order every three months to stay active. Also explain that quotas to remain a director and to qualify for a car.

4. You have to show up to go up. Wrong again. Seriously, how many of you have attended everything offered faithfully and are still not “moving up?” It doesn’t matter how often you show up. If you want to go up, you must recruit. Period.

5. You are the owner of a home-based business. No, you are not. You are a distributor of products purchased from the company. You are not allowed to advertise, sell your business, open a store front, or sell your customer base. Your dentist owns a business. You do not.

6. You have “job” security. You cannot be laid-off, fired, riffed or demoted. You really don’t believe that do you? Read your agreement. If the company chooses to, they can give you 30 days notice. If they choose not to, your termination is immediate, with no recourse. Mary Kay can terminate you at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. You own nothing.

7. Mary Kay products are on-trend. Hardly. Look around the department stores and the discount stores/drug stores if you want to see on-trend cosmetics. You will not find them in Mary Kay. MK will tell you that product “delays” are as a result of intense product testing and quality control. This is a clever ruse.

8. You can write your own paycheck and give yourself a raise whenever you want. Not exactly. You CAN make more money if you can book and hold the classes and facials, and recruit those people. Good luck with the class holding thing. You might be lucky enough to get some sales through social media, but good luck making that consistent. If you were in business for yourself, would you have another business owner hire your staff? Why does your director have to do the inventory “talk.” Why is she interviewing for you?

9. How about that warm chatting thing? Have you looked at it from a safe distance? What must people think when you approach them? Have you noticed that if you get a name and a number, it may not be accurate? If you have such a terrific opportunity and fantastic product, why don’t these women take your calls or reply to your emails and texts?

10. Having to “run through the numbers…” This is a “numbers game…” “No means next..” Again, if this is so wonderful, why do you need so many people to say no, before someone says yes? Are they all stupid? Can there be that many people who “don’t get it?” Is the “quality” of people you are asking the problem? Are you intimidated by “sharp” women and find it is easier to approach those who may need a hand up? Join the rest of us.

11. The unlimited income potential. See above. Note that they numbers you hear do not include any deductions. Nor does the facsimile check that your director parades around. There are lots of expenses that no one mentions, and those expenses are a big part of the reason almost everyone loses money in MLM.

12. Time for your family. Not really. If you are showing up and going up, booking, selling and recruiting, working full circle, playing the numbers game… you are not available to your family during those times. If you are working on unlimited potential income, you are not seeing your family. At least, while they are awake and receptive to your attention. (And having your kid unpack more boxes of inventory you don’t need, does not count as family time.)

13. Being a team player. Benefits your director. Period. Your orders increase her check. That’s all. Really.

Decided to stop at 13 as that is the Mary Kay sacred number. Please. You cannot make it in MLM. Read and listen. Watch and learn. I promise you, your dream is carved in sand.


  1. Mary Kay has cleverly employed every psychological trick that exists. That is why women in MK have such a hard time reading, hearing and believing the truth. Let’s see… there’s the “sunk cost fallacy”, bait and switch, principal of reciprocity, and the biggest one: social proof. That is what got me when I was in MK. Everyone seemed to be going along, excited, super successful. I didn’t want to be the outcast. Our brains naturally persuade us to go along with this crap and MK exploits this.

    We WANT these things that MK tells us to be true. They sound so great!!! We don’t want to admit that these beautiful, successful women have been lying to us and manipulating us out of money, that we have been had. We don’t want to admit that if we just work a bit harder, becoming a millionaire driving a pink Caddy is not going to happen and even if it does, it will mean lying to and duping other women the way that we have been duped. It feels like a lose/lose proposition. Faced with the decision to look like a fool to to our friends and family by admitting we “failed” or just believing these excited beautiful women , we choose the one that feels better. That is why MK pays the big bucks to their real employees who work on these tactics to sell to the real consumer, the “consultant”. It’s far easier to sell thousands of dollars of product to a customer who thinks they will then be making money than to a customer who just needs some makeup. After all, who needs that much makeup?

  2. “1. Mary Kay is the best selling brand in the U.S.” No, they aren’t. L’Oreal has 10 times their annual revenue, and a large portion of that revenue is from their many make-up lines. And unlike Mary Kay, L’Oreal’s sales trends are upward.

    “7. Mary Kay products are on-trend.” (<– This from the company that chooses ever-uglier Directors' suit designs year after year.) I mean, come on, when was the last time Mary Kay came out with a product and other manufacturers rushed their "me too" copycats to market to compete? (*crickets*) Nope, it's the other way around. Remember the $17.50 ($70 for a pack of 4) masks Mary Kay was last to the party with?

  3. “6. You have “job” security….You own nothing.” Except a lot of inventory that you’re not allowed to liquidate on eBay even after your agreement is terminated. You were told that you can’t sell from an empty wagon. The problem is you can’t sell from a full wagon either. See #1 above.

    • I’m sure the women in Australia and New Zealand would disagree about “job security”.

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