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

I Saw the Signs Many Years Ago

Written by CoralRose

Years ago, I came upon Pink Truth by accident when I was still a personal use consultant. I was shocked by what I was reading: Consultants and directors in debt?! Car co-pays? Making less than minimum wage?! Mary Kay is all about recruiting and front loading, not retail sales?!

As I read article after article, lots of memories from my time as an active Mary Kay consultant came back and lots of things finally started making sense. I realized there were red flags there the whole time; I just didn’t recognize them as such. Here are just a few of the red flags I saw at my first (and only) Seminar that should have tipped me of:

Unsold Merchandise: I went to Seminar as a brand new consultant when they were phasing out the platinum compacts. There was a HUGE recycling bin at Seminar filled with THOUSANDS of platinum compacts the sales force was getting rid of. When I saw it, my stomach sank. I thought, “That is a lot money in unsold merchandise waiting to be recycled! (Some) Consultants must be losing money.” But, I reminded myself that we make 50% commission on our sales (yay!) so surely that makes up for any unsold product, right? And *I* wasn’t going to end up with unsold products; I was going to “work my business.”

Queen of “Sales”: My roommate (a stranger) was part of a different unit. She was telling me she was surprised that she was Queen of Sales for her unit, because she wasn’t selling that much. She even said “I don’t know how my director can be making much money if I’m Queen of Sales.” Unfortunately, my thought was “This is exactly what my director was talking about at our last meeting: False Modesty! She’s not giving herself enough credit for her accomplishments.” I encouraged my roommate to not sell herself short, and said that with the director’s clothes, nice nails, and expensive- looking hair highlights, I was SURE she was doing just fine.

Former Director and Unsupportive Husbands: At our National Area Awards Night/ Banquet, (which was NOT, by the way, the can’t-miss “gourmet meal” promised by my director) my director and another one were chatting right next to me about a Cadillac Director who recently resigned to return to her nursing job “for the benefits.” I heard, “Was she buying production?!” and “I don’t think her husband was very supportive.” I had no idea what “buying production” was at that time. After reading Pink Truth, now I know. I was very puzzled as to why her husband wasn’t “supportive.” Directors make executive pay for part-time hours, right? Who wouldn’t be supportive of that?! And, if she was making so much money, why couldn’t she just buy her own health insurance? My dad owned his own business; he bought our family’s health insurance himself.

All MLMs are the same: Throughout Seminar, my Director kept saying to me “Isn’t our company wonderful for doing this for us?! What other company does this for their sales force?” On the flight home, I happened to sit by a woman who was coming home from a National Convention for some candle MLM. I was telling her a little bit about Seminar: So inspiring! There was music, lights, back-up dancers, prizes of JEWELRY and TRIPS, we wore ball gowns! Turns out her MLM had all of that, too, except the ball gowns. We both seemed to think OUR MLMs were the best opportunity. I have to admit, she was a better MLMer than me: I gave her my card and a sample hoping to gain a customer, she gave me her card and asked me to join her team.

It has been so many years since I have been in Mary Kay. And yet the story is still the same. Just about everything I’ve mentioned above is still a problem. The scam continues.

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