Quitting Mary Kay After Seminar

Written by BraveAndFree

I’ve been reading the articles on this site for about 2-3 weeks now. Coincidence that it coincides with my return home from Seminar? I don’t think so. I have seen this site for years, read a few things here and there, and was really naive enough to think that this would never happen to me. “My director, my NSD, my other MK friends are nothing like these stories of terrible women,” I would tell myself. But this year….

I’ve been in MK for almost 10 years, but never “worked the business” until the last 4-5 years. I almost earned my first car in January. I almost finished DIQ in January. Then I didn’t. And I thought something was wrong with me. I thought maybe I had focused too much on my girls who weren’t working. Maybe I hadn’t held enough parties. Maybe I didn’t ask for enough help with my 1-year-old. Maybe I do need a housekeeper. So instead of really looking at what was going on, I doubled my efforts and really focused on booking more appointments.

But I wasn’t happy. The money wasn’t rolling in and I was struggling to pay bills. I found myself asking my husband for more and more money because I didn’t have any to put gas in my car, to get a haircut, to go eat lunch with a friend. Of course he was more than happy to give me what I needed, but the burning question was if I’m working so hard why is there not even $25 for a haircut?

And the MK goals? I didn’t really have any. I found myself dreading holding appointments and making booking calls. I wasn’t enthusiastic about my Facebook parties. And I held at least 10 in the last two weeks of June and probably sold about $500. My profit? $200. I went to Dallas in July with just enough money to cover my room at the Omni. My plane ticket went through on a credit card. My Court of Sales ring was “earned” from a loan I took out at the encouragement of my director so I could “finish the goal.”

I cried on the way to the airport because I was leaving my baby and I knew my husband was very unhappy with what I was doing. I cried nearly every day I was in Dallas and I was sick at my stomach the whole time. I knew I didn’t belong there, not because I wasn’t good enough, but because this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing with my life. Something so amazing as this opportunity isn’t supposed to make me feel depressed, anxious, sick and to be in so much debt that not even sales money can pay it off right?

And the whole Seminar was just crazy. Kali Brigham was bumped down to number 2 director in Ruby because Linda Toupin retired and her daughter inherited her team members. Stacy James was bumped up to number 1 NSD because Cindy Williams retired. How was this any different from waiting for someone to retire from their coveted position in a corporate job? It’s not, but that’s what everyone in MK will have us to believe.

Anyway…August 9th is the day that all my inventory needs to be postmarked by in order to get some of my money back and to terminate my consultant agreement. I have simultaneously felt relieved and at peace yet anxious and afraid. I have cried a lot these last few weeks, and I have felt shame for what I allowed into my life and for blindly accepting the bullsh*t that I was fed. I hate what I let this company almost lead me and my family into, but I am grateful that we are moving forward and closing this very long chapter in our lives. And I say “our” because the time I made for MK was time that I took away from my family. It affected them a lot more than I realized at the time.

I’ll end with this…if you feel that sick, sinking feeling in your gut, listen to it. And all the self-reflection and quiet time that is promoted in MK (but isn’t actually followed)? Actually take it and really look deep inside at what you want, not what you think you want or what someone else has told you that you want. You probably do have a dream for you and your family, but I bet it looks a lot different than the pink dream that you’ve been sold.


    • It took many years and a husband who loved me enough to not let me keep going down that path, but I’m glad I’m here.

  1. BraveAndFree, it’s not at all you. The company has allowed many wrongs to go unresolved, including what they allowed with Linda Toupin’s daughter. How could anyone work hard enough and achieve when a decades-old machine was placed under someone’s name?

    This compounds all the reasons I sent my inventory back, too. Not only did I do that, but I resigned from Directorship and sent my Cadillac back. I had a lot to lose, but I was sick of being associated with a company that supports cheating. Mexico was rising to be our top market, so corporate didn’t show as much support to us as in past.

    Send it all back. You’ll feel freer and will never have to hide $25 haircuts from your unit like many of us did.

    • I can relate to this. I’ve been number 1 in my director’s unit and in the top 5 or 10 in our National area for years. But it has felt so great to not have meetings and booking blitzes and to send out hundreds of text messages to try to reach a sales goal.

  2. Congratulations, BraveAndFree!

    Please don’t feel shame: the tactics these slimebags use to suck you in are designed to get past your defenses and twist your thinking so you feel like it’s your fault. It’s their fault for using mind games on people.

    Take that junk to the post office if you haven’t already, and enjoy your family and freedom.

  3. BraveAndFree…what a perfect name for you here! It takes courage to acknowledge truth when you’ve been fed lies and manipulative tactics, and then been encouraged to feed those same lies and tactics to others. It’s a vicious, horrible system. But now you will be free! You are strong because you are taking back your power by returning the products. Congratulations on getting your life back!

  4. What I get out of this is that NSDs are like the gold of MK corporate. Look at the hand off of units to daughters, as part of the competition. My NSD’s only daughter moved to 1000 miles away and said no as soon she turned 19. And let me tell you that was a large let down for NSD. Life is good!

    • My NSD’s daughter moved to and has repeatedly said no to Mary Kay. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next 2-3 years when she retires.

  5. Not only Linda Toupins daughter but many other NSD “daughters” that don’t work the business or even want to be associated with Mary Kay. Like the Wizard of Oz that same woman still behind the curtain that just can’t give it up. It’s eaten away her life and warped her mentality so she can’t even retire. Sad.

  6. I can remember being less enthusiastic about being a consultant once I had children. I had a supportive husband but felt guilty about leaving to hold appointments. I ended up leaving MK after ten years….best decision for my self esteem and family. I retired from the school district in our area and now have a monthly pension. So happy I left when I did!

  7. I resonate with this so much. A few weeks ago I started typing up my story but I haven’t actually submitted it yet. This year I chose not to go to Seminar. The first time since I have been in MK…. Not including the past few years because I did “attend” the virtual ones. It felt weird to not go but watching the stories of my friends who have gone, I can tell I didn’t miss much. I chose to not wrap up Princess court, the first time in 8 years. I chose to not wrap up star, the first time since I joined. I had never missed. I was on track to wrap up both Princess and Star when my SD said something to me that woke me up. I was already waking up because of something else that had happened months prior but this was a gut punch wake up and I chose to do NOTHING in June. I think I had maybe $50 wholesale in due to an online order. Instead of feeling joy and excitement by this business I have felt stress and anxiety. More and more time away from my family has been asked of me. Especially in the evening time when my husband is getting home from work. My husband works 12 hour days and is gone for 14 hours due to travel time. So when he gets home I like to have dinner ready so we can sit at the table as a family and eat together. But when 4-5 nights of the week are being asked of my time, and I say it’s too much and then I’m made to feel like I don’t “want it badly enough”, something is wrong with the system, not me. It’s not God first, family second, career third. It’s career over your family and faith. And there is something so icky about being asked to go to church to find new prospects. That’s not why I go to church but we are asked to put MK into every aspect of our lives. It’s just icky and I’m not doing it.

    • I believe your name is intended ironically – I only know about “get in losers” or something, I think from Mean Girls, cause someone a decade or more younger was elaborating on it. As long as you are in the driver seat saying that to your director and company OKAY. 🙂

      There is responsibility, I realize, on the consultants who first are manipulated into the mlm, and then move up using the same tactics on others, but from the start, you never had a chance to actually succeed in a legitimate subcontracting business, if nothing else, and for that, you can forgive yourself for sure. You weren’t seeking a way to avoid your husband. You weren’t looking for a way to make your friends and strangers uncomfortable because you were following your leader’s directives to approach anyone with a face or something.

      I don’t want you to change your name cause we all, I know, would like to keep up with you to give you the kind of support and appreciation mk lies about providing, but your name doesn’t need any reference to being less than brave and beautiful just like the writer of this particular post. Looking at a mistake and saying “I made this mistake, and I know the best resolution for any harm I have done is not making that mistake again” – and being able to go to church for your spirit, not your director’s wallet – you are free, brave and beautiful.

      Freedom can feel really uncomfortable when it’s not been your state of being for a long time. Keep being uncomfortable, it will wear off and I sure hope we all can help you transition to a cult free world if you need us. I was never in an mlm but I didn’t need to be, my own life was one of being gaslighted and manipulated and coerced into ways of thinking that just weren’t true but there was no one to tell me different for a long time.

      Welcome! xoxoxoxxo

    • Congratulations Brave and Free! Wait until you take your first Family Vacation, without MK hovering over you, without all the guilt, it’s AMAZING!!!

  8. Please continue to post here. Congratulations and I’m interested in hearing about your future.

  9. Congratulations BraveandFree! I can tell you from personal experience.. you’ve made the BEST choice for your family by sending it all back! I spent way too many years chasing the pipe dream of MK… and my children were entering Jr. High when I woke up out of the pink fog. I have many regrets for their elementary school days… but they both have assured me that they don’t remember it as I do- which I’m grateful for. Enjoy that precious time with your family… as your children will grow up fast- and leave the nest. When I quit directorship .. I told my director why… and my why WAS my family. I told her that “if I screw up raising my kids… I’ve really screwed up.” I hope she understood at the time… as she was my MIL. I was able to be completely present in my children’s lives during the hard years of jr. high and high school… and I’m grateful. Seeing them become truly exceptional adults is the best gift ever.

    Good for you!! You will never regret this decision!! 🙂

    • It’s easy to see on this side of things how much I was giving up of my own values and what was important to me for a Mary Kay “dream.” And they definitely use our kids to bait us into working harder. But at the end of the day, if they don’t have us being fully present, no amount of money, private school, or cool vacations will ever measure up.

      • #Truth! Seriously… so so true! Because all of those “cool vacations, etc.”… I spent looking for ‘sharp women’.. and tried to make a connection with them. I wasn’t even 100% present while on those vacays. (so sad!) Some of our BEST vacations since have been camping with friends… un-plugging from everyday life and simply enjoying nature and each other.

  10. August “Applause”: Sales force can now roll over Star Consultant points to future quarters. Proof their lower prize levels are insulting!

    Remember Downtown Brown? It’s back.

    • I just saw Downtown Brown a few days ago online and thought WHAT?????? That came out in 1999 or something like that!

  11. It’s interesting how Seminar is supposed to inspire, but many times wakes us from the fog. I too, quit MK after attending my second Seminar. It was many years ago, but what struck me was when Gloria Mayfield Banks was debuting so many directors and each one would cross their arms over their chest when they came on stage. I had also overheard one of her new directors talking about a certain Pastor they all followed. I just thought it was so cult-like. My husband was with me that year and we both looked at each other, got up and left the arena never to return. The woman who was my Director at the time has never spoken to me since.

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