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

The Pink Fog Overtook Us

mary-kay-pink-fogWritten by WorkedPink

She came into town, tall and beautiful with a look, demeanor, and “way” that many of us could just hope to ever possess. She was a Mary Kay Consultant, a business owner. Her makeup was always flawless, her black skirt and white blouse always perfect and crisp–such a lady. She often spoke of the “blessings of God” when she mentioned her business and soon, many of us were hooked.

You see, we were all Christian ladies in a small town and we wanted to have careers that allowed us time to be with our spouses and children. We wanted to work from home and be there when the school busses arrived and our husbands pulled in. We wanted Executive pay for private school and to supplement how hard our husbands worked. Many of us quit day JOBs, so excited about the opportunity. And, secretly, we wanted to be as beautiful and poised as she was. She embodied womanhood to us–elegant, cultured, well put together, SHARP.

I didn’t join right away. I did, however, become her assistant. I watched as she moved quickly–consultant , Red Jacket, car owner, Director. Oh, she looked so beautiful in her suit, with her the jewelry she’d won. I believed her when she said that some months she was short paying me because in order to have her business she had to reinvest short term. But it always bothered me that her nephew was a consultant. And those sheets she gave me to do newsletters, well the figures didn’t add up. And, tell me again, WHY you need to not pay me this week and will double up next week…

Other things didn’t add up either–like the obviously mentally disturbed woman who could barely read that had those pink cases hanging up in her home. Or the woman who had come to the church for a donation for her light bill–but had those cases hanging up in her home. But she told me that the opportunity was for all women and women who’d started out in worse circumstances had become highly successful businesswomen.

Soon, many of us traveling in the same circles were Consultants. It got to the point where those of us not in the fog started avoiding phone calls. We’d had as many parties offering facials to our unsuspecting co-workers as we could. We’d come to as many Pizza and Possibilities as possible. We’d had enough Muffins and Makeovers. And if we said as much to these Consultants, they’d sneer and let us know that there were positive people out there who would help them.

For many of us, the final straw was her Director celebration. We paid tickets to eat a catered chicken lunch on a weekend when many of us should have been with our families. We didn’t get our meals right away, no we had to watch her and her unit, which by now was really comprised of some questionable folks, hop around and chant, almost in a frenzy–we were uncomfortable, to say the least. Then we were ushered into a room where a different plastic director presented “the opportunity”. We were shocked. We thought it was supposed to be a celebration, we thought we were there to congratulate a friend who’d made quite an accomplishment. We thought that “no” meant “NO” and many walked out, pushing past the consultant who served as “doorkeeper”. The plastic Director continued her spiel, giving dirty looks to those who chose to look away from her. We finally got our cold, tasteless meal and many of us left, forever turned off.

Well, her Consultants were now “fired up”, especially the Red Jackets. If she could make it to Director, so could they and anyway, she now needed to look to the next phase. Those of us that remained out of the fog were now completely aggressive in saying NO to all the requests. No facials, no Tuesday night meetings, no Holiday Open Houses–NO. I think the most hurtful thing that happened was to the young woman who was diagnosed with depression. A Consultant stepped up friendship with this woman and invited her over for lunch–where the Consultant presented “the opportunity” as a cure for depression. “Are you ready to pay your $100 and get better?” she asked the ill young woman. That Consultant has since come out of the Fog but that relationship will never be the same. The Unit eventually folded although a few women got themselves “adopted” and continued to try to become Directors.

It was an awful time in this community. All of those women have finally quit but the worst part is that in their quest to make millions, they alienated friends–some of us had been friends for 10-15 years before the madness ensued. I’m glad it’s over–at least here.


  1. Data Junkie

    My heart hurts when I read these first hand accounts of the damage caused by these MLM companies…especially the exploitation of the vulnerable.

    To quote Dean VanDruff:

    “One can’t help but wish that the ‘neighborhood’ could be like it once was. But an MLM storm has blown through, ruining valuable relationships with no regret or conscience.

    What goes unnoticed to the MLMer is that when the neighborhood is turned into a marketplace, something precious is lost… which is not easily regained.

    This aspect of the MLM experience should not be underestimated, and the reflective reader would do well to think twice about the value of friends, family, community, and church fellowship before joining or continuing in an MLM.”


  2. Kristen

    A savage pink tornado whipped through your town… leaving destroyed friendships, empty bank accounts, alienated spouses and resentful neighbors. Nothing remained but garages and closets full of cheap cosmetics. Almost sounds like a bad movie…? But no. Reality, sadly.

  3. ihatemk

    ahhhh, the fake it til you make it scam was going strong. MK DOES NOT cure depression! Might cause it if you get in their dumb games. Clinical depression is a true medical issue and is NOT cured by an MLM. Clinical depression needs treatment by qualified professionals. Sometimes in life we do suffer depression due to life circumstances and that is the type of depression or frustration a lot of people do experience. Being sucked into the MLM vortex could possible cause life circumstances depression for some people. Sounds like this consultant was sugar sharp and had learned all the dumb things MK says to do and her presentation of herself was nothing more than a facade. Just remember sometimes what you see is NOT what is really going on.

  4. morningstar

    most of us have these stories. mine is when the waitress poured OJ all over my suit and purse at a brunch while the nsd looked on and continued her speech. Coach purse ruined. Restaurant paid for suit cleaning that is it. Brothers can put her feather boa where the sun doesn’t shine, I decided then and there.

    or when at seminar almost got accosted by the transients between the hotel and convention center. Yep a MK grandam rolled up and said get in…..trouble is I did not know them and trusted the MK logo on the car. Made it to event. omg.

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