Executive Income For Part-Time Mary Kay Work

Written by Frosty Rose

Pink Truth has reported time and time again how little money Mary Kay sales directors earn. But how did we get to those income figures?  Surely, all those numbers are from grumpy former directors from years ago, before inflation, before MK restructured how directors are paid, before… whatever.

The current Advance brochure lays out exactly how director compensation is calculated. So, let’s go back to this lovely picture from a couple of weeks ago and break down the earnings for Jamie Taylor’s top 10 directors.

The caveats and assumptions:

  1. Sales directors earn a maximum of 13% commission on their personal team’s orders (if they have 5 personal team members ordering at least $225 in the month and if they themselves order at least $600 wholesale). I’m giving them all the benefit of the doubt and assuming they’re maximizing this part of their commission. I calculated based on each of them having $5,000 in personal team production each month.
  2. There was a double credit month during this period of time. This artificially increases retail sales numbers only for contest purposes. It doesn’t impact car qualifications, commission payments, or anything else that actually costs MK Corp money. To get a more accurate monthly average, I should have divided their six-month production by seven, to account for stupid double credit. I did not. We wouldn’t want the Kaybots saying we’re downplaying all their hard work, now would we? These calculations are, if anything, inflated in their favor.
  3. Based on the top 10 recruiting numbers also shown on this page, no one in Jamie’s area qualified for the Unit Development Bonus, which directors earn when they have 4+ qualified consultants (i.e. strong-armed into ordering $600+ in their first two months) in a month. I have assumed that each sales director personally recruited one qualified consultant each month and earned that $100 bonus.
  4. Everyone on this top 10 chart qualifies for the maximum unit commission rate of 23%. If a director’s production is less than $5,500, she’ll only earn 13% commission that month. If it falls below $4,500 for the month, her commission rate will fall to 9%. Directors slightly below these production numbers will see their income plummet.

Let’s start with Jamie’s #1 director, Megan Coleman. Her unit retail value orders from July-December were $319,913. That’s retail, so off the top, we’ll divide it by 2, bringing us to $159,956.50 wholesale. That works out to $26,659 average monthly unit production. I’m also going to assume there were no fluctuations, and she was exactly even for the entire six months (we know she wasn’t—that’s just not the nature of sales).

  • $26,659 x 23% = $6,131.57
  • $5,000 personal team x 13% = $650
  • Bonus for 1 qualified personal team member = $100
  • Total monthly commission = $6,881.57 = $82,578.84/year

Now, that’s nothing to grumble about. Over $80,000/year is a really good salary. But keep in mind, this is the very tippy top of sales directors in the company. The #1 in her area. And notice, it’s not six figures like they always promised when they were recruiting. And after expenses, I’d be utterly shocked if she got home with half to two-thirds of that. Still not bad, though. Certainly not the numbers Pink Truth usually gives when we talk about sales directors making less than minimum wage.

Let’s do the same calculation with the #10 director. She’s still ranked, after all. She’s getting recognized at the top of her area. Surely, she’s also making good money!

Sarah Burgette’s retail number (not sales, just orders by consultants) for July-December was $82,083, so $41,041.50 wholesale for the six months, averaging $6,840/month.

  • $6,840 x 23% = $1,573.20
  • $5,000 personal team x 13% = $650
  • Bonus for 1 qualified personal team member = $100
  • Total monthly commission = $2,323.20 = $27,878.40/year

Wait, what?? The tenth-ranked director in the Jamie Taylor are is earning under the poverty line?? But, she’s so glamorous, so poised, so put-together. She makes us think we want her life! She sells the sizzle of the business!

You mean to tell me she’s making less than a McDonald’s fry cook? And let’s remember that fry cooks don’t have to pay studio rental, buy overpriced “designer” uniform suits every year, pay for samples and gifts to entice their customers to purchase from them, or stock crates and crates of overpriced, overhyped eyeshadow and lipstick. Bless her heart. She must be the outlier.

I’ll spare you all the math, but I’m sure you’re wondering what these women, the epitome of success in their national area, are averaging as a group. Surely, Sarah is sucking wind behind the rest of them and most are closer to Megan’s earnings, right?

Wrong. Only 3 of them are earning over $50,000/year (before expenses!) based on these numbers, even with my generous inclusion of their imaginary production from double credit month.

And the average income among the 10 of them? $3,720 per month. That’s less than $45,000/year.

The bottom seven, consistent with the statistics shared here, are earning just at or under $40,000. Far from the executive income flaunted during recruiting pitches, even before we consider the thousands of dollars of expenses that directors incur each and every year.

Executive income for part-time work? Puh-leeeze.



  1. Many years ago a commenter on Pink Truth summed it up very nicely. They said: if your director isn’t in a car production unit, they’re earning, I think it was under $24,000/ year.
    Can anyone here clarify that number.

    Also, you mention “expenses”. In the example you gave you said the director needs to place a $600 order. I’m assuming that’s $600 retail. So that’s essentially paying $300 to get a $650 bonus. $300/ month in product you don’t actually need will add up quickly!

    My former sales director lost her unit, but she still sent emails to her former team once in a while trying to inspire us. That was very sad to me…. Obviously, this isn’t working as a career path. She stopped sending me emails when I sent her a link to pinktruth.

    • “In the example you gave you said the director needs to place a $600 order. I’m assuming that’s $600 retail. So that’s essentially paying $300 to get a $650 bonus.”
      My apologies for the confusion. That $600 order is wholesale, so by the time you pay taxes and shipping, it’ll be nearly $700 out of pocket to qualify for that part of the commission. The reality is, many lower-level directors will order much more than they really need to in an attempt to maintain minimum production to keep their director title.

      Sales directors have a TON of expenses that come out of their income. For an idea, you can read some of the articles by clicking on the “numbers” tag on this article. This one is the most recent:

      • So they’re spending $600 to get a $650 commission? Yikes!! I know the argument is they can always sell it, but if they’re busy recruiting all the time, what director can really sell $1,200 wholesale consistently per month?

        Directorship is the biggest con of all. You have the potential to lose LOTS of money & time. Consultants generally lose less money than directors, in my opinion.

        • Ugh, I should have said $1,200 RETAIL/ month. Plus, I see Frosty Rose said they’re spending $700 (including tax & shipping) to get $650 commission, not $600.

  2. Not to mention these people are working wayyyy more than part-time hours for their not-executive wages.

  3. The dirty secret behind all of this is the actual aggregate loss in the down-line. Even if an SD is able to turn a profit, the question should always be, “at what cost to the down-line?”

    I would love to see a forensic view of a number of cherry-picked SDs, showing the total spent by the SD and all members of her down-line (including all who spent but have left MK). I know this is a pipe dream, but to be able to show this would be shocking to new recruits. The up-flow of funds from the bottom, with the bulk going to Mary Kay Corporate, and then the tiny payouts to the SD. Even at the full 13% (which is misleading due to the qualifying costs), $20K in bonuses for the SD cost their own down-line at least $154K.

    And what is rarely discussed is how much the SD personally spent on her way to SD! Once you include all those expenses, adding current expenses including co-pay on the car, this eats up most if not all of the SDs bonuses (in aggregate). No one can tell us how many SDs actually turn a true aggregate profit (meaning more personally received from than sent to Mary Kay Corporate plus expenses). It is likely that most SDs don’t keep an accurate ledger, and ones who do are too embarrassed to admit the poor performance of their Mary Kay “business.”

  4. Ah, Megan Coleman. The one who made some posts about how indignant she is that people say she doesn’t own an actual business because she doesn’t actually own anything…without providing evidence that she actually DOES own anything.

    What she doesn’t own: any trademarks, her customer list, her downline list, any brick and mortar, etcetera…basically look at it this way: if she owned a business, she’d have something that she could SELL. Brick and mortar, client lists, etc. she owns nothing of her unit. The only thing she owns, and I mean ONLY, is the inventory in her home that she’s already paid for.

    But hey, she OWNS a business, no matter what you haterzzz might say!

    Also, I’d love to see her actual net income after she HONESTLY deducts all of her costs AND after paying her self employment taxes (who wants to wager whether she claims them fully or even at all). Then factor in the lack of health benefits…I’d be shocked if she truly nets even fifty grand at best. Possibly way less. Fifty grand isn’t horrible, IF it includes health insurance. If it doesn’t…yeah.

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