Rewards for Telling Mary Kay Lies

Written by Sad In Pink

While there are some honest Mary Kay women out there in MLM land, there are many more who lie on a regular basis. From lies of omission, to little white lies, to the big whoppers they tell…. they’re all lies nonetheless.

Many in leadership positions fail to give the whole picture to their units or their national area. They paint a pretty picture in their monthly newsletters and on social media, but so few consultants who see it (or for that matter directors) really know the lie behind the statistics.

For example, I was perusing the recognition section of a national’s website, and here are some interesting things that few people in the area would even know. There was a director listed who had over 150 unit members in her unit. She was receiving recognition for this great accomplishment. However, the reason she had so many in her unit was not because she was doing so well in her business. The truth is she frontloaded many people and pushed them to directorship. Then, because there was no foundation under those directors, they eventually lost their units and she inherited their hard work for which she is now being recognized. See how the “MK spin” works?

Another example can be found in the list of the top units for the area. One of those recognized is the daughter of the NSD. As first line directors to the NSD retire, lose their units or step away, their unit members are given to the daughter. She did not have to work for these units. She is being given a nice slice of the pie and being recognized as though she did the work. Again… this is something that many people would not be aware of if they just looked on the surface.

Of course, one of the most outstanding examples of “spinning” is a list of those who are driving Cadillacs, Premier Club cars or Grand Achiever cars. If you read the name, and then, look at what they are doing in production per month, often you will see they are that they are falling short of what they need. There is a lot of pressure with driving an MK car. More often than not, there are co-pays going on behind those fake smiles. I know… I did that for a while and it is no fun.

Perhaps the biggest lie with a reward tied to it was found where they talk about the Queen’s Court of Sharing. In order to be on the Court, a director must recruit 24 seminar qualified women during the year. To be qualified, you must have the recruit do a minimum $600 order.

One of those listed on the page had many more than 24 during the year. However, what is not published is how she managed to do this. She basically signs the person up, gets them to get a loan through her bank the same day and gets the order in immediately. If they try to back out, she reminds them that they just signed loan papers and cannot back out. It is a neat and quick operation and it netted her high results.

What readers of the letter do not know is that this has to happen over and over and over in order to maintain a unit. Each month, a director has to add 10 new people to the unit to grow. Recruiting five will only maintain the unit but not grow it. It is a never ending cycle of replacing people and getting them to buy inventory. In addition, this director like many others will experience huge chargebacks as they march towards the diamond bumblebee. What a price to pay for a piece of jewelry… what a hardship for the women recruited.

When it comes to “spinning” (so everything looks upbeat, positive, and solid), no one does it better than MK directors and NSDs. They make the business sound exciting and fool proof. However, they are more like the bureau of disinformation when it comes to being downright honest.

If consultants and even other directors only knew the real stories behind all the rewards and recognition, they might see that Mary Kay is not enriching lives but impoverishing them. As my mother so often told me, don’t believe everything you hear, see or read. This goes double for the Mary Kay world.


  1. I was never a director. Reading this, I found myself thinking, does this ever get easier? If not, why do they keep doing it? For those of you former directors with honest consciences, what kept you marching forward? Just curious. No judgement. I only know my own experience. I failed, of course, but only as a consultant and I figured I was doing something wrong or just really, really bad at sales. I am fascinated by the concept of MLM’s now, because they still get so many women sucked in, a number even move to directorship, all despite the repeated disappointments. I can only assume it’s the mental fog that we get under with all the hoopla and meetings and “enthusiasm”. Did you think that relief was always around the corner?

    • We were lectured about how quitting is for the weak, and it was hard to give up what we’d already built. When I left, I gave up my Cadillac, offspring, team, and unit. And that’s not counting all my customers. I’d sacrificed countless nights and weekends following the people so I could sell and recruit more.

      Believe me—walking away without being under warning by the company and under no duress was very, very hard. But, I’d had enough. I was sick of hoping for a miracle and constantly duplicating either what I’d done before to get onstage or mirroring what someone else had to to get nowhere.

      There is way more pressure for Directors than meets the eye.

  2. “they’re all lies nonetheless.”

    A script I heard in a video went something like this, “Hi _________! I’m soooo excited! I’ve been accepted into Mary Kay’s Leadership Development Program! One of my assignments is to get in front of 15 sharp women and I thought of you!”

    • If someone calls you “sharp”, there’s a 99.99% chance they’re in an MLM and want to recruit you. LOL

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