Did Someone Ask You to Sign Up For Mary Kay?

recruitWritten by Heather

Are you impulsive? Do you tend to make life-altering decisions on a whim, or are you the type to think things over before embracing a new venture? Do you think with your heart or with your head? Are you one to jump headfirst into a lake if you can’t see the bottom, or do you investigate first?

If you are asked by a bubbly, sharp looking lady if you would like to join Mary Kay, telling you that you’d be great at selling this wonderful product, your best bet is to do some serious considering, ask many questions, and ask to see proof of the answers you are given.

You see, the women in Mary Kay are taught to recruit as many women as they can, without regard to whether those women would be good at what they do for a living. (“Don’t prejudge!”) They learn from their mentors to try to get women to join Mary Kay quickly, without giving them time to think it over.

“What’s that all about?” you may ask, “I thought Mary Kay was about selling cosmetics!” So do many people who have never actually come into contact with a Mary Kay lady. The average person has heard of Mary Kay, the person, and has a clear image of an older, smart, kind lady who created a company which showers their salespersons with gifts of expensive jewelry, fabulous vacations, and of course, the illustrious pink Cadillac. One would think that these goodies are earned from personally selling lots of Mary Kay products, right? Wrong.

Women in Mary Kay Cosmetics earn the “big girl” prizes by recruiting more sheep into the flock, and by making sure that their recruits buy enough products from the company to maintain a monthly production quota. A Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant could sell tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in MK cosmetics and skin care each year (highly unlikely), and never even be close to winning these prizes.

She must also recruit new blood. She must build a group of women to work under her, and never does she or her unit members need to prove that they are actually selling Mary Kay products. She only needs to buy a prescribed amount of products, and make sure that her team members are doing the same. Oh, and one other small detail: she must maintain a specific number of members in her unit.

Very little of this information is typically divulged to a potential recruit. Women are usually only told about the possibilities of easy money and incredible prizes, but not much about everything that is required to attain and keep those carrots that are dangled in an attempt to get them to jump in, join, and start spending their money.

Once women excitedly sign up, and find out the gory details, many quit. And so begins the endless cycle of furiously recruiting more women to replace those who leave the unit. Mary Kay Ash herself referred to this phenomena as “filling the bathtub with the drain open”.

You may now be thinking that this is an insane scenario. It would seem that if the Mary Kay lady must always find more women to join, that there would be a Mary Kay lady on every corner and three in every neighborhood! And that would be a realistic assessment. Most communities in America are saturated with too many MK consultants who must always and forever be competing with each other for customers and potential recruits. And there are many more women in each community who have tried the Mary Kay opportunity, and found it to be not as they had been led to believe, and who quit, realizing that they are actually losing money. Still more women already know someone who is a Mary Kay consultant.

Once upon a time, the Mary Kay opportunity worked for some individuals who were willing to work hard. Now the opportunity still works for the few who are willing to live and breathe their work, but more importantly, it works for those who are willing to sell the opportunity without stating the realities of this complicated and oversold false dream of a career.

If you are feeling like you are being cornered into making a rash decision, and someone is very intent on getting you to quickly join Mary Kay under her “guidance”, please stop and gather your senses before you make a decision which is guided by your heart rather than your head. Ask to see proof of the claims of wealth and glorious prizes that the Mary Kay lady is excitedly telling you will be yours, if only you join, work hard, and stay focused.

Please don’t make a snap decision. Investigate that lake that you are about to dive into. Determine the true depth, realize that it is murky water, and that there are hidden rocks under the smooth surface that is so alluring.


  1. Or even worse, the bottom may be a foot thick with murky silt that billows up into an impenetrable cloud as soon as it’s disturbed, completely blinding you and leaving you so disoriented that you can’t tell up from down, and unless you can keep calm enough to either float naturally to the surface or can orient yourself by air bubbles going past your face, you risk swimming even further down into the murk and drowning in it. Additionally, doing so releases methane and other toxic gases resulting from decomposition that were trapped in the silt so they come boiling out in a big toxic lakefart. AND IT’S PINK!!!!!!!!!

    • You should say that the Mary Kay sea is full of sharks, and you’ll be eaten as soon as you hit the water.

  2. I think some conversations need to occur here. Such as:

    “I understand the upline profits in Mary Kay depend on significant downline losses. Can you show me the aggregate P/L for your entire downline (including all active and former members)? Once you can demonstrate that your downline is making more than it is spending, I will be interested in hearing more. Until then, I don’t want to become a cog in the wheel of a money-losing system. Not another word about this until I can see that complete P/L, okay? Have a good day!”

  3. I’d like to ask

    What’s the oldest unsold item in your inventory?
    What percentage of sales have been at full price?
    How often do you file for reimbursement of your sales tax for items you’ve sold at less than full retail?
    How many of your customers have ordered the same item more than once?

    • Do they even know this is possible? Would a director want them to hear this bit of negativity? “How often do you file for reimbursement of your sales tax for items you’ve sold at less than full retail?”

      AFAIK, they are taught to always charge sales tax “on full retail” no matter what the product sold for. It’s illegal! but they are taught to do it.

      • There used to be a form you submitted to the distribution center that your products were shipped from.

  4. Well written! ❤️ it occurs to me though, that the decision should be made with the head, rather than heart. The post advises you to follow your heart, not your head, which is exactly what Mary Kay wants you to do. They don’t want you to think or use your head. In fact, using your brain is grounds for being shunned. I know. It happened to me.

    • We were told to “take your ego out of it”, which meant “stop thinking that you’re so smart.” One more subtle way of layering on the belief that any problems are your own fault.

      • I can just imagine all the recruiting attempts that will take place the next two weeks in Dallas while Seminar is going on. RUN!

      • Purple… there was a SD in my general area that used the phrase “too dumb to doubt”… that phrase always made me cringe. Why would I want to be “too dumb”? Just another way for them to shut down any person who had doubts and were starting to express them. Ugh.

        She’s no longer a director, nor even with the company… so apparently she WAS too dumb, and made the decision to exit the pink fog.


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