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

How Do Women Get Sucked Into Mary Kay?

Written by SuzyQ

Okay, so here’s the thing…

So many people ask the question… how do women get sucked into MK and why do they stay?

Easy. Most of us do not get the recognition we crave in our everyday lives. No one applauds when we clean out the fridge, clean and folded clothes are magically delivered into drawers by the clothes fairy, and food and shelter are provided respectively by the food and shelter fairies.

So, we go to a meeting and we are applauded because we are new… we get applause when we have a “good skin care class” and make “$125/hr… the applause continues as we start to recruit, go to events and get standing “O’s” for “sales” or recruiting. The women who fuss over us are over-dressed with too much make-up, BUT they fuss over us and make us feel good. We want what they seem to have. The directors seem poised and well-off, the people in the red jackets seem happy and kind and we just want that.

We want what they appear to have.

I mean really, I could not remember the last time a room full of women clapped for me— had a room full of women EVER clapped for me? I have been a nurse and/or therapist all of my professional life. The only praise from supervisors I ever received was praise by omission, meaning that if I wasn’t being “counseled” or “talked to, “ I was doing OK. No one had ever praised me for doing well. And these women are lovin’ on me like I was the second coming. Heady stuff.

The process of getting into MK is slow and seductive. The saying goes something to the effect that you get into MK and then MK gets into you. This is accurate. We are very carefully and very slowly taught that MK is the way and anything to the contrary is to be avoided. I am not a stupid woman. I have several advanced degrees and years of real world experience under my belt. But I fell for the bullshit. Hook, line and sinker. Were there red flags and areas of concern? Absolutely! Did I question things? Of course. And were they answered appropriately? No. I was told to avoid negativity and let nothing mess up my dream. Oh, and to take God as my business partner.

Know why this whole thing works??? It’s not rocket science. It’s a little faux Christianity thrown in with a whole lot of guilt, self doubt and blame, coupled with recognition and rewards. We are taught to believe those who perform at seminar with their last minute miracles are telling the truth. Really? Recruits at midnight on June 30th? Really? Orders at midnight on June 30th? People wait until midnight to order? I am in bed at midnight, but maybe that’s just me. I didn’t believe enough. I didn’t work hard enough. My deserve level wasn’t high enough. Whatever the reason, it’s obviously my fault.

It has taken me years to come to terms to what happened to me in MK. And what I did to others as a director. The lies about the necessity of having product on the shelf, the ability to make an executive income with part time hours, the ability to sell the product, trying to spin the product changes as a good thing, and the idiotic statement that “The product on your shelf is your ATM and recruits are your retirement.”

I suppose the bottom line is the need for all of us to support each of us so that the stupid recognition that MK gives is no longer necessary… The price MK recognition extracts is too great and is false. Anyone can buy whatever it is they think they need… Have you heard the one about nsd’s achieving their goals because they helped so many others achieve their goals? You know that’s not true don’t you? YOU, the “downline” are making the house payments on their McMansions every time you order. Dual marketing? Seriously? It is called multi-level marketing with up and down lines and golly gee, you are in the thick of it. You do not own your business, you can not sell your business; you are not a “business woman.” You ARE an independent contractor and as such, have no rights. Really. You are on a treadmill that will devastate your soul and your financial security and your self esteem.

Mary Kay is not the answer. I think it’s ironic that Kaybots call this site satanic when the reality is that MK is the demonic one. PT is restorative. MK kills the soul slowly and methodically with smoke and sequins. Smart women get sucked in because we have credit and need validation. The validation from MK is false, and will cost you more than you can bee-lieve. Unless you exploit other women, you will never succeed in MK. Is this what you want as your legacy?

One more thing… how DO the nationals sleep at night? Denial?


  1. Data Junkie

    Thank you SuzyQ. This is wonderful. I want to add that, as an outsider, I see these stark differences between Mary Kay and PinkTruth:
    – Pink truth has compassion for the downline and disdain for the upline (and MKC) and their tactics
    – Mary Kay, meanwhile, promotes praise for the upline, and recommends ignoring “stale” downline consultants once they stop ordering
    – Pink Truth treats former consultants as victims who need love and support
    – Mary Kay treats former consultants as failures to be shunned by the MK community
    – Pink Truth recommends transparency and honesty when talking about the Mary Kay opportunity and the consultant experience
    – Mary Kay relies heavily on half-truths, “lies of ommission”, exaggeration and falsehoods, and shuns critical talk of any kind
    – Pink Truth asks nothing of consultants beyond sincerity and honesty
    – Anyone loving on you in Mary Kay wants something from you, and that usually involves orders or recruiting for their downline

    So, who cares more about you as an active or former Mary Kay consultant or director? The manipulative love bombers at Mary Kay, or the genuine contributors at Pink Truth?

    1. NayMKWay

      Excellent points, Data Junkie.

      The Kaybots call Pink Truth a “dream stealer,” but really, Pink Truth offers a better dream: the dream of freedom from the false promises and manipulation by Mary Kay and its endless hamster wheel.

  2. Destiny Angel

    I think it’s ironic that Kaybots call this site satanic when the reality is that MK is the demonic one.

    I’m reminded me of a scene at the beginning of Good Omens where the demons Hastur and Ligor are talking about planting the seeds of temptations in a priest and a politician which will take decades to corrupt them while Crowley took down the cellphone network around London potentially corrupting millions of people at once.

    Crowley would be behind MLMs. Each lie, each abuse of God’s name, each covetous look at thy neighbour’s caddy; each worship of MK herself; each a small but cumulative sin willingly committed in pursuit of an illusion of fame and fortune. Slowly and surely surrendering the small evils. If some supernatural entity is behind MLMs, it’s not God.

    1. BraveandFree

      This is so true! And I think we often forget that spiritual battles are real. I have wondered since leaving MK just how much of the financial “blessings” are actually rewards for selling out, little by little, to a more demonic force. There’s a lot that I could say on this topic, but evil doesn’t show up as evil at first. It looks beautiful and it promises so much that we want. And the chipping away at our values and beliefs happens on such a small scale that we sometimes don’t even realize it.

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