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

I Run an Honest MK Business

I am a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and I love it! I feel so bad that many of you have experienced negative aspects of the business.

It’s very true direct marketing isn’t for everyone. I find the best candidates who end up being successful are those women who have the courage and fortitude to stand up for themselves and continue building a business at their own pace.

Growth potential is: your ability to properly and responsibly manage money, especially your business accounts; your own resourcefulness; your ability to listen, learn, and implement a tried and true marketing plan; and your survivability.

Survivability is: do you have the inner strength to hang in there when times are tough? Every business in America has problems and personnel who don’t follow the rules and behave dispicably. Mary Kay is not exclusive in that respect. There are unscrupulous people in every facet of America business.

I run an honest, upfront independent Mary Kay business. I have found I don’t need to employ predatory tactics on anyone to succeed and achieve my goals. I don’t care much what the actual prizes and gifts are monetarily worth, it matters that I am rewarded for my hard work and my time. The prizes aren’t what butters my muffin, it’s the $$$.

I have worked at other jobs in my life and at 37 have yet to find any job that has brought me such personal satisfaction as I have found in Mary Kay. I run into crabby, negative, and complaining consultants all the time. Life today in the world can be depressing and stressful enough. I don’t have any room or need to indulge in all of that. I surround my self with bright, supportive and stylish women. I find that helps when I need a lift.

How can a company founded on ideals such as, “Enriching Women’s Lives” “Faith first, Family second, and Career third” and “the Golden Rule” be so horrible as you all represent.

I have my day planned out. This way I have time for my family, my business, and my other social commitments. I’m still making $$$. Were you all forced at gunpoint to place a large inventory order. There are a lot of comments regarding pushy and forceful recruiters and sales directors. I feel if you didn’t posses the personality to stick up for youself and state with firm resolve, your business plan and that you’ll run it the way you want, then you probably weren’t cut out for this type of industry.

There are some minimums. Yes, in order to stay active you must place a minimum order every quarter. If you aren’t in a position to do that, this isn’t the business for you. I live in NY were women are generally skepitcal and jaded, but I don’t let that defeat me. Fact, women spend more money on looking good every year than anything else. If I’m not proactive and organized I won’t get a slice of that revenue, Macy’s or Sephora will.

I believe in what I sell therefore I don’t have to lie. I believe I am doing other women a favor by offering them the oppotunity to use great products and an opportunity to be happy and successful like me. I think a lot of the failure and harsh feelings here stem from the belief that the women you did or did not meet were doing you an favor. Somewhere in your business scheme and personal ego, there existed a great deal of doubt in your own sales ability, deficient conviction in the company and it’s products, and an absent strong inner voice. This is not criticism, merely observation.

I’m flawed and certainly don’t pretend to be perfect. I hope you all find peace and solice here at this website and I respect your constitutional right to speak out. I would have enormous and profound respect if you actually posted this message.


  1. Lazy Gardens

    So … can you back up your claim of making money with tax forms and MK earnings statements? Can you tell us RIGHT NOW how much money you have spent versus how much money has come in as sales?

    And blaming people for not being able to stand up against a pushy recruiter? When the pushy ones are carefully taught how to bulldoze over any boundaries? When they are taught how to spot the ones they can bulldoze?

    1. Brainwashednomore

      “women who have the courage and fortitude to stand up for themselves…”
      Why would you need to stand up for yourself if your director wasn’t pushing you to order?

       “The prizes aren’t what butters my muffin, it’s the $$$…I’m still making $$$.” Show me the money. Show me the proof that you’re telling the truth now.

    2. Mountaineer95

      The crux of this isn’t even about dealing with pushy or manipulative recruiters; it’s about how seemingly non-pushy and non-manipulative recruiters use TOTALLY FAKE “numbers” to get recruits to join and spend money….

      “I am SO fortunate to have paid for my house/utilities/whatever with my MK business!” “I used to be a nurse working crazy hours but now I make MORE than that and with FEWER hours!” And so on. How many posts here on PT show how even some of the most revered directors LIE about the income they make?

      I’ll agree that if anyone falls victim to badgering or manipulation, WHEN THEY’VE OTHERWISE BEEN TOLD THE TRUTH about the “opportunity”, then that’s on them.

      But when smart, wise women choose to undertake a MK “business” based on income potential LIES, that’s criminal. Like seriously criminal.

  2. BestDecision

    Inflation has jumped in the last few months and is now the highest it’s been in 40 years, so show us your reference of where women “spend more money on looking good every year than anything else”. Grocery store shelves are empty, so you’re trying to convince those of us that were in MK that women care less about buying cream cheese, crackers, and meat than they do $70 paper face masks.

    You’re about to see millions of healthcare workers possibly laid off because of mandates, yet you’re in a fairytale that they’ll care more about makeup than anything. (And, no, they’re too smart to fall into a recruiting snare you might be creating right now.) MK’s prices are going up, and it blows my mind you think the company is innocent and loves its sales force.

    Why do you think there are fewer Career Conference locations? Why do you think your get a wholesale credit of only $20 for going but that you HAVE TO ORDER SOMETHING TO GET IT?

    I can cite references on my statements. Can you?

    1. Destiny Angel

      My daughters (24 and 20) haven’t been buying as much lipstick and blush but their eye-shadow, liner and mascara buying is up. They are constantly posting pretty eye photos. And they have both managed to wing their eyes equally.

      1. Mountaineer95

        “managed to wing their eyes equally”

        As in, both daughters have equal skills at winging their eyes, or the two girls have managed how to get both of each of their eye wings to match? (You have no idea how hard it was to figure out how to word that where it hopefully makes sense).

        I’m old but have been seriously playing with my makeup a lot recently. It doesn’t always work out well, lol. Neither does my attempt to explain it. :/

        1. Destiny Angel

          Mountaineer95..they have spent 18 months doing the swish and swipe saying wingardium leviosa. I have absolutely no idea how they do it. Must be I’m a muggle or a squib.

          My make-up is a swipe of eye shadow and mascara..possibly eye-liner. And some lippy.

    2. BestDecision

      Still waiting for your references. While waiting, report shows retail sales were DOWN in December. The biggest shopping month of the year!

      Sling anything this way. We’re all here waiting.

  3. Eyes Wide Open

    Oh, Hun Bun! I have to say that at least you sound educated. I can see that very soon you’re going to cross over to the darker side when you decide to “move up” and join the “big girls club.”

    You will be using that big pink gun pointed directly at some unsuspecting recruit and dig deep into her pocketbook. And you will do it again and again and again to reach YOUR goals. You will be trained to seek out the weak and needy and promise riches, friendship and glitter. Stick up for themselves??? You will hope not!

    OR, you will dig deep into this site, read and educate yourself about the realities of ALL MLM’s. You cannot succeed without recruiting. You cannot sell enough make-up to make a living. You cannot sell enough mascara at that elusive 50% “profit level” to buy a Starbucks bevy.

    Nobody on this site wants any woman to fail. That’s precisely why facts are presented and we’re passionate about helping you see the true picture. Take off the pink lenses and take a clear look.

  4. Kristen

    Thank you for “not criticizing, just making an observation”. You are essentially telling us (in nicer, patronizing words) that WE are negative, lack accountability, financially irresponsible, gullible, disorganized, and cowardly losers. Detailing how it should be done is the epitome of arrogance. You clearly didn’t read enough here to gather that there are former highly successful sales directors on this site. You are regurgitating what you’ve heard in Mary Kay unit meetings and events, not your own experience.

  5. Enorth

    “I would have enormous and profound respect if you actually posted this message.”

    Well, of COURSE you wanted this posted. That’s because it’s a thinly-veiled recruiting pitch, meshed with verbiage to help salvage possible quitters.

    This was not sent by a lowly IBC.

    1. Dorothy G

      The author states that she is 37 but surrounds herself with “bright”, “stylish” women. Most 30-somethings do not use these words to describe their friends and co-workers.

      1. The Asian Girl

        Can confirm as a 30-something. Also, while it is true that women will spend more money on looking good, please believe it isn’t on shoddy MLM products like Mary Kay. Whenever I see someone shilling then, I frown with a face full of Fenty, Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona. I don’t spend anywhere near as much on skincare products; I’ve found quality and reliability from the ones I get from Target and Ulta. Very few people my age are turning to Mary Kay.

        1. Destiny Angel

          ITA, my daughters in their early twenties and basic white skin tones have so much choice out there. And now their college and work-mates whose skin tones are far more varied than I knew at that age have so many choices of make-up which cater for them.

          Rather than the white, white, white and other that i grew up with in 1980’s Britain.

  6. Cat Ballou

    “I feel if you didn’t posses the personality to stick up for yourself and state with firm resolve, your business plan and that you’ll run it the way you want, then you probably weren’t cut out for this type of industry”: I did exactly that. I was upfront that I was not going to carry inventory. Despite that, I was pressured repeatedly by the woman who recruited me and her director to order inventory, and to get a MK credit card to do so. I told them that I have plenty of credit and I wasn’t ordering inventory. After that, they treated me like I was invisible. What part of “ideals such as, ‘Enriching Women’s Lives’ ‘Faith first, Family second, and Career third’ and ‘the Golden Rule'” is that again? The fact is, the “tried and true marketing plan” that you praise so highly is predatory and unethical.

  7. Heather

    I’m pretty sure the words honest and MLM/MK Business don’t belong in the same sentence together.

    Show proof of your income claims with tax documents. Otherwise you are just another cog in the wheel of the MK MLM that will continue to prey on women.

  8. Char

    Soooo, how many people have you endless-chain recruited into your downline team? I’ll bet that took a lot of hard “work”. I assume you made some commission off your new recruits. Was that clear to them when they joined?

    Tell me, did you suggest this was a “business” for them; did you clearly state they were joining an MLM company; did you suggest they would make 50% profit on products?

    What is your net profit from product resales only? Have you told your clients they can get MK products for “wholesale” or less, or do you just rip-off friends and family for your own profit? If there is any, that is.

    Do you tell your customers about PUC? Oh boy, that’s a bit of a pickle for the sales person. ANYONE who is a “good customer” can just buy their products at half price. And so on…..

  9. AnonyMouse

    “I run an honest, upfront independent Mary Kay business.”

    No you don’t. You are a 1099 independent contractor who in reality has far fewer rights than an independent contractor in other fields. Read your contract with Mary Kay. You don’t run a “business”. They can terminate you at any time for any reason. That’s not the freedom and independence they promise.

    Also. You ask how a company founded on the “principles” you quoted could be bad. Easy. They lied.

    1. Mountaineer95

      “You are a 1099 independent contractor who in reality has far fewer rights than an independent contractor in other fields. Read your contract with Mary Kay. You don’t run a “business”

      ^^^ That’s it in a nutshell. Remember the recent thread on the board about how fired up the directors are about how a retiring NSD can just “will” her area to whomever, but that run of the mill directors don’t have that “right”? So much chatter about how they have NO say in who gets “their” unit when they leave. Lol, even still they don’t understand that they OWN nothing, they have no “business”, and the ONLY thing they own (even after twenty plus years as some of them said) is the expired inventory filling their closets and garages. But STILL! They truly don’t understand that they don’t own a business. *repeated facepalm*

  10. NayMKWay

    “How can a company founded on ideals such as, ‘Enriching Women’s Lives’ ‘Faith first, Family second, and Career third’ and ‘the Golden Rule’ be so horrible as you all represent.”

    What, seriously? Those aren’t MK ideals; they’re slogans. Enron and Theranos had cute slogans, too. Slogans are just words; actions are what count. MK’s actions encourage endless recruiting, which oversaturates the market with sellers and guarantees most representatives will be utterly unable to make money is MK sales. And when I say “guarantees,” I mean math is math. Until MK takes steps to downsize their sales force in line with actual sales, they are a crooked outfit, making promises that are impossible to keep.

    “Founding ideals.” Please.

    1. coralrose

      Interestingly, MK isn’t the only MLM that spouts the “Faith first, Family second, Career third” slogan. AdvoCare, which just was in big trouble with the FTC had that slogan too. I’m sure there are others as well.

      It was a helpful slogan, because it told me to RUN.

  11. coralrose

    “It’s very true direct marketing isn’t for everyone.”
    “…Then you probably weren’t cut out for this industry” Why aren’t IBCs upfront about those facts when trying to recruit? Why do Sales Directors teach their consultants not to prejudge? Because they’d lose money on initial orders!
    So, you run an honest ” business”? Do you tell recruits how much your LAST check really was, or just tell them your highest? Do you tell them how much time it actually takes (including phone calls, driving to appointments, warm chatting, packing their supplies before classes) or do you just count the time spent in skin care classes?

  12. Mountaineer95

    “Survivability is: do you have the inner strength to hang in there when times are tough?“

    Nope. Maybe in some situations, but not in actual business. Inner strength doesn’t pay the bills; it doesn’t pay the RENT for your business, it doesn’t pay the UTILITIES, it doesn’t pay your STAFF, it doesn’t pay for your INSURANCE, it doesn’t pay your PAYROLL/BOOKEEPING, it doesn’t pay for your SUPPLIES AND GOODS FOR RESALE.

    Survivability in ACTUAL BUSINESSES is generally based on if you have deep enough pockets to weather a long storm.

    Oh wait…did I just describe costs for a REAL business? Sorry. I guess the “inner strength” you refer to in MLM is only how much you’re willing to pay for wholesale product that you can’t sell. My bad. Tell us again exactly how what you “have” with Mary Kay is an actual “business”?

  13. BestDecision

    Wow! Remember MK Connections? MK is ripping people off in even more ways. Charging $23 for a plain polyester tablecloth to be used at booths and displays. I’m still looking over all the junk they’re selling, and it’s adding up quickly.

    $1.25 for ink pens!!

  14. Maggie

    Hi Tracy, I was never a mary kay consultant but from what I understand when you guys talk in the comments you say they make way less than they actually do make after expenses.

    But posts like these say “I make money blah blah blah”

    Then the comments continue with “let’s see proof.”

    I’m tied of the dance.

    So I was wondering if you could Please post something at the top of your website saying something short like:

    “Dear Mary kay consultants if we are wrong about your income being (example: under only 50 percent of actual income or whatever the case may be according to pink truths calculations) show us proof! And we will make a public apology!”

    Maybe then you guys will win the mlm war I hope!

    Anyways I will keep visiting your site my favorite posts are when you cover actual mary kay consultants!

    Peace to you ladies!

    1. TRACY

      Hi Maggie – Thanks for visiting us a bunch! I’m certain that no matter what I post at the top, it won’t stop the Mary Kay ladies from being all about nonsense. Your favorite posts are my favorite posts too. I love showing their social media stuff and using it against them. Some of them have gotten smarter about what they post, though. Also, I often don’t have time to scour social media for this stuff. (Which is why I love when our readers send me things. ) Thanks again for commenting!

  15. Data Junkie

    “There are some minimums. Yes, in order to stay active you must place a minimum order every quarter. If you aren’t in a position to do that, this isn’t the business for you.”

    In other words, if you can’t afford to be a regular Mary Kay customer, this isn’t the business for you. Think about that for a sec.

    Who is she kidding anyway? She’ll take you even if you have to borrow money to make that inventory purchase.

  16. OnelessSD

    “I run an honest, upfront business”… well, let me put this bluntly… if you’ve EVER withheld / fudged / exaggerated any information regarding recruiting, sales, minimums, qualifications, stating income, etc… you’ve lied. I do not call lying… “honest & upfront”. I call BS on your statements.

  17. Mountaineer95

    “ It’s very true direct marketing isn’t for everyone.”

    Right. Here’s who it IS for: people who have no clue about how successful businesses actually work. The “direct sales” business model dictates that new individuals MUST be brought in to the fold, otherwise it cannot work. “Direct Marketing” is a very viable and lucrative business model. It brings profits to the corporation that runs it, and there are many “direct sales” companies that are profiting handsomely via this model.

    So, if you are going to start your own “direct marketing” company, you might realize a profit at some point.

    However, this model does NOT suit the IBC-level “contractors” who participate. Direct marketing NEVER realizes consistent profits for members at the IBC level (nor at the director level, as is shown here).


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