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

Every Seminar: Right Place, Right Time

Written by ProblemPink

Every year at seminar, executives from Mary Kay proclaim that THIS is the right place and the right time. Every year. And each time, we believed it.

Every. Single. Year. The company has never been doing better. We are on the cutting edge. After X years in business, we’re still going strong. We’re even better than ever.

“Sales are up! Business is great! The sky is the limit!” a corporate big cheese emphasized during the annual State of the Mary Kay Union message at Seminar. We knew what was coming next: the killer close. Emotions ablaze, we leaned silently forward, straining to internalize every word. The exact phraseology escapes us, but the strength of emotion which the words evoke does not.

The essence of what we heard was, “We do not know the fate of this great country of ours, but we DO know that the future of our great company has NEVER looked brighter! We ARE in the right place, AT the right time, IN Mary Kay.” Nothing could have distracted us from this message.

We thunderously applauded this brilliant oration, tearfully affirming its truth to each other as we jumped up and down, squealed, and hugged each others’ necks, NEEDING to believe every word we had just heard.If you’ve been at Seminar, you know this moment—how it feels and the havoc it can wreak on both the dignity and common sense of an otherwise pragmatic woman. Innately, you understand that THIS is what draws the masses to Dallas each summer.

“Mary Kay Mecca” IS a true analogy, and the Mary Kay Moment you have experienced can be likened only unto manna from heaven. You treasure the swelling hope imparted to your spirit, praying it will last. You shout within yourself, “Yes! I AM in the right place! This IS the right time! THIS is the year I will do great things for mankind, AND for Mary Kay! I repent for ever thinking that I shouldn’t have spent the money or taken the time to be here! I’ll refocus, work harder, and this time I WILL succeed! I cannot, will not fail!!”

Just as anticipated by Sales Development and your NSDs, that old Mary Kay black magic has you in its spell again. You have worshiped at the foot of the Seminar stage; you are theirs. Hook, line, and sinker, baby. That’s all she wrote.

Refueled by both the company’s apparently unstoppable success and your uplines’ fervently stated belief in you and your abilities, you jubilantly return home. You are ready to hit it. You review your leads and your date book. From your business office, your best professional self orders a sizeable amount of the new Holiday Line products despite the fact that your shelves are bulging with items unsold from months (even years) gone by. After all, you must not lose momentum. You must “strike while the iron is hot.” Because “people only buy what they can see and touch,” you simply MUST have the products on hand, and plenty of them. You do not have time to waste either trading or waiting for orders to come.

You are a woman on a mission. Your NSD told you so, and you KNOW IT!! EVERYBODY wants to see what’s new, and this product WILL sell itself. The opportunity will sell itself, too. You will cast your vision net and bring in the poor benighted souls who have been doing without the sisterhood of Mary Kay for far too long. They will hear your heart, see what you see, and sometime soon will thank you from the bottom of their hearts for believing in their poor, pitiful selves. Due to your generosity of spirit in sharing, they were lifted up out of the miry clay of their futile existence and set upon the solid ground of their own Mary Kay business. You truly are designing your life and, soon, you WILL be living your vision of being a top National Sales Director with Mary Kay! Is there any reason you can’t get excited about that?!?!?!?

You’re a rock star, baby!!


It’s time to snap out of the Seminar-induced fog that you’re in.

For many, these Seminar memories are a painful reality. Some of us can now look back, see our brainwashed selves and howl with laughter when thinking how we must have looked. Oh, how corporate and convention staff members, plus the NSDs must have laughed behind closed doors.

The most painful years of recovery are behind some of us. But, for many, this is no laughing matter. It’s your life that’s being messed with and, if you are still in Mary Kay or any MLM for that matter, you have a decision to make right now: Will you acknowledge that this happens, or will you quickly squash it down into your mental wastebasket of negative thoughts?

Before finalizing a thing, please STOP and consider:

  1. Does anything above strike a chord for you?
  2. Do you have a monthly rolling credit card balance related to your Mary Kay business which is becoming increasingly more difficult to justify and/or handle? You’re not making money AND you have to take money from your family’s funds to pay your MK credit card bill, and that’s painful.
  3. Do you NEED to go to Seminar and all other events mainly to rekindle your passion for your Mary Kay business because deep inside you know things are not working out? You are not a quitter! You’ve been a stellar success in all areas of your life. You must be missing a key piece of information that will help you adjust your strategy.
  4. Are you are somehow feeling “less than” because you have not achieved the success you believe you see in the others who surround you in Mary Kay?
  5. Corporate knows the right words that hit you in your heart. You may try to get away from it, but they know the words and phrases that will get into your head and stay there. Some of them will burn into your heart. You will not be able to shake them easily.
  6. Maybe you know something’s not quite right, but what it is eludes you. You kind of think it might be that the values you see in both sales and company leadership do not align with yours. Oh, but that would be negativity, wouldn’t it? And, you’re a professional. You wouldn’t want to bother your busy up-line with questions like this. You will just search harder within yourself and attend more training. You know you’re smart. You’ll figure it out.

If any of the above is true, then please, for your own good, DROP Mary Kay or your other MLM! Get back into reality, and remember that:

  1. If it’s time to do something different, doing it NOW will lessen the recovery time, as those of us who know from much painful experience can testify.
  2. Just because you are 100% sure about something doesn’t guarantee its success or mean that it was ever even right for you in the first place. It doesn’t even mean that God wanted you to do that. You’re a free moral agent. You can do what you want to do, and most of us do. Emotions are fickle friends. It may have just been a learning experience you were meant to have in order to prepare you for the next step in your life journey.
  3. The sun ALWAYS comes out after the rain. Most bad memories do eventually dry out and blow away. At the very least, the pain mellows some, and you gain new perspective on a lot of things.
  4. There is not just one way for you to have a better quality of life, and other opportunities will appear once you tie up loose ends. Happiness will not elude you simply because you turn your back and say, “Stop the insanity!” to Mary Kay.
  5. You DO have ultimate control over your thoughts and emotions. Are you using it, or are you mindlessly traveling through time not paying close attention to your thoughts and why you think the way that you do? If you don’t think about what you think about, you can be assured that your up-line and Mary Kay do have the upper hand, and they’re playing with your deck of cards.
  6. There is no shame in changing your mind, no matter how firmly you made it clear that would not happen. People do it all the time. Don’t believe me? Think about your success with bookings and recruits. Bad things do occasionally happen to good people. Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent (Eleanor Roosevelt)!

As you consider your dreams, I am compelled to remind you that TODAY can be the start of a new life. I encourage you to spend time planning how you can make sure it’s a GREAT one. Invest a Power Hour to organize yourself. Then, make a to-do list with deadlines of what needs to be done to set your life back on track. Move forward with power and with passion! You’ll be glad you did, and we’ll be cheering you on at Pink Truth.


  1. Kristen

    I truly remember the shame of admitting I’d failed and had made a mistake. The excitement-gone. The hope-gone. What a yucky, dark feeling. It’s so tragic that Mary Kay has made millions (billions?) on repeatedly draining a woman’s bank account and then leaving her with that feeling. The positive tenacity trait is exploited to keep her sucked in. The choice is clear: keep losing money for a “business” or feel like trash. Thank God for Pink Truth. You are not alone. Take those positive traits and use them where they will do some good. Return the product, recoup your losses and take the learning experience to something that brings joy and happiness to you and others. Oh, and return the shame with the product. They can have it back.

  2. Nancy

    Someone yesterday mentioned that they are not receiving Applause any longer. I received a postcard from MK which advertised their digital version of the magazine. The discussion was about the commissions for National Sales Directors.

  3. NayMKWay

    What a great article! Two things really jumped out at me. The first was this quote…

    “We do not know the fate of this great country of ours, but we DO know that the future of our great company has NEVER looked brighter! We ARE in the right place, AT the right time, IN Mary Kay.”

    …because it’s so much like the Amway message. The poor Ambots are convinced economic disaster is right around the corner, and that they alone will thrive while everyone else is in bread lines. “Everyone will still need their soap/cereal/toilet paper, and they’ll be buying from you!” Sound familiar? Have you ever heard “Even during recessions, women want their make-up!”?

    Using fear and uncertainty to cloud the thinking of otherwise rational minds is the hallmark of cults everywhere.

    The second was this…

    “There is no shame in changing your mind, no matter how firmly you made it clear that would not happen.”

    ^^^Yes! Sometimes the wisest move is to cut your losses and walk away. Even though it’s hard to change course, it can lead you to a better place.

  4. Cindylu

    There is also the cost to the environment. Thousands of products all over the world that end up in land fills. Our environment being exploited for: skin creams and make up. All those plastic bottles polluting the planet.

  5. MSgtK

    I started out with a small initial order to MKC back around 1990. Since I was fully employed it was easy to pay for scaminar. I figure this would help me make the decision to order a second time or not. Yes, it did! It was the most unprofessional “business ” seminar with the worst food I have ever had in my Life! My high school competitions and seminars put them to shame, let alone my adult experiences. My big take away: I was in shock as the awards had not progress from the 1960’s!!! Who wants a fur Coat? A pink caddy? Tacky Jewelry? All the seminar was about money, furs, caddies and bad jewelry and how you seek them too! That whnt against everything Jesus said so I came home and set my stuff back. At least the directors suits were not hideous like nowadays. So if you are a godless 60’s woman, MK is for you…..unless you want to act like a weird teenager, then there is room for you too. Pajama Parties? 4 to a hotel room? All these other 5 year old activities??? NSD’s dressing like trash??? I will say, back in the day, that wasn’t the case and religion wasn’t mentioned. I think a lot of NSD’s are more about making big money as the next Joel Olsteen….Jamie Taylor’s NSD during the NSD “appointment” video. By the way….I found it a slap in the face that when we get appointed at seminar they only allow like 5 minutes to speak….someone who spends years to get to NSD and they get 5 mins??? Any of you only get a 5 min promotion ceremony???? Take a clue MK ladies, you are being H A D!!

  6. MSgt K

    Sorry about the two typos and wrong verb tense discussing NSD appointment. I meant, ” When THEY get appointed to NSD”, NOT “We” oh my Lord…..lol. Even if it was not an MLM, I’d never, ever go again. Other’s statements about how bad it is are totally true!!!!! S T A Y. H O M E. Go on vacation with the family instead.

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