My Suspicions About Mary Kay Were Right

Written by Cassie

Thank you Pink Truth! Although I can’t say you were 100% the reason I avoided being recruited, you are 100% the reason that reaffirmed my suspicions.

I almost got recruited and thankfully decided to do some research because my “friend” who was trying to recruit me made it sound like I have to do it now or never and I am always skeptical when someone puts me or anyone in a position like that.

My “friend” neighbor girl was always nice to me. When I moved in this apartment building she would always hold the door for me and tell me her name (Amanda) and hand me her business card. It had her name and “independent beauty consultant” spelled in all lowercase caps. No company logo or anything. A phone number and an email. I really didn’t know what to make of it.
One day when leaving I saw her at the bus stop that is at least 3 blocks from our building and apparently the only one left in town. I pulled over and offered her a ride and she happily accepted. As she got in I complimented her makeup. Oh. What a mistake.

This is when she told me she was an “independent beauty consultant” for Mary Kay. I heard of Marykay before. When I was a kid, my mother’s friend brought over a ton of Marykay makeup for us to have. And it was FREE (imagine our faces when we realized it was free) it was heaven for us to play dress up. My mother would never allow us to play in her Estes Lauder, Chanel, Christian Dior makeup.

Amanda asked me if I was interested in making a 6 figure income and enriching other woman’s lives and gave the pitch I could even work part-time. I laughed to myself thinking “girl, you don’t even have a car” but then thought.. hmm “maybe she does make money cause these apartment aren’t cheap”

I do like makeup so I figured I would go to the meeting to “find out more”

Of course I drove us. We traveled 9 miles across town. I paid the $12 entry fee for both of us (Amanda forgot her wallet) there were about 5 cars in the parking lot. We get in there and after paying the $24 fee for both of us there must’ve been about 25 people there. Interesting I thought. (I notice weird stuff like this, 5 cars; and 25 women)

The whole thing turned out to be a recruiting event which I totally expected but I didn’t expect what came next.

After the event I drove myself and Amanda home. She asked me what I thought and I was honest. I told her it made no sense to recruit me to sell the same things she is selling. She told me it would all make sense after I signed up. She was very pushy and made it seem like I had to do it NOW. I was firm with her and told her I always think things through before committing to something especially when my social security number is involved. I even scolded her and told her she was being too pushy for my taste and I am skeptical anytime someone is pushy like she is. That made Amanda upset and she was quiet for the rest of the ride home.

I did some research and found your website and I am just blown away. The money comes from recruiting and recruiting looks a lot like recruiting strangers because it’s either you try to recruit friends & family or save relationships and recruit strangers like Amanda attempted to do with me.

Poor Amanda lives with her boyfriend and could never afford to live anywhere let alone here just selling product. I don’t say that to sound snooty. I worked hard to get where I am at. I live alone. I worked hard to get where I am at in life. I chuckle myself when Amanda now avoids me because I picture her asking me “where I want to be in 5 years from now” and still has not paid me the $12 back.

Amanda, I hope you can afford a car one day girl. I don’t say that to sound mean girl at all. I sincerely hope you are able to find a real job cause Marykay isn’t doing it for you. I just saw you in Walgreens 2 weeks ago trying to recruit strangers and was embarrassed for you.


  1. So sad for Amanda. The easiest way to shut down MLM recruiting pitches is to insist they personally prove the viability of the opportunity first. “Hey, this business sounds promising, but I am not a speculative investor. Once you are personally netting six figures at this (as shown on line 31 of your sched C) for two consecutive years, let’s talk. Until then I don’t want to hear another word about it, and I won’t be investing any of my time or money learning about it. No Sched C, no discussion. Understood?”

    At that point, change the subject and never entertain the MLM topic with her again. If she insists, say “I refuse to discuss this until we review your sched C from the last two years. I am not the right person for this. Please take your pitch elsewhere.”

    • …And Amanda, since 31 on the Schedule C shows both retail sales (if any) and recruiting commissions combined P/L, I’ll need to see a further breakdown of your profit/loss from actual retail sales to non-affiliates. If you’re going to show me profit/loss that includes pyramid scheming, even though you just told me this is product sales business, I’ll be compelled to question your honesty. FTR, I’m not the least bit interested in becoming a pyramid scheming scamming liar, even if you’re able to show a profit from that. I’m looking for a legitimate sales business; I’m not looking to be in the pyramid scheme business…….profit, or no profit.

      • Not to worry Char. Insisting on six figures of profit after expenses eliminates the possibility of that recruiter ever bothering you again. There is no way the folks who are recruiting strangers into an MLM can afford the tax implications of faking that kind of sales revenue.

        Insist on that Sched C. If they say, “Hey, that’s none of your business!” Reply with, “I respect your terms for privacy. Please respect my terms for discussing your MLM. No sched C, no MLM discussion.”

        It’s really that simple. If you want to twist thing up, add, “And you would be wise to insist on the same from your immediate up-line.”

        • “There is no way the folks who are recruiting strangers into an MLM can afford the tax implications of faking that kind of sales revenue.”—

          Who is faking on their tax forms? I don’t understand this statement and what it has to do with my comment.

          • My bad, Char. In skimming the comments, I misunderstood what you were trying to get across, and I thought you were implying they may overstate their earnings to the IRS for bragging rights. Instead, you were saying that “legit” income must come from product sales, or you don’t want any part of it…and I agree. Sorry I missed your point the first time!

            In misunderstanding your post, I tried to indicate that few are reporting retail sales margin to begin with, since they are still in the hole on their inventory purchases and don’t want to pay a penny more than necessary. Mary Kay reps are forced to report commission/bonus income, thanks to the 1099 reported by Mary Kay Corp. A consultant’s retail profit over $400 annually must also be reported, and this part is on the honor system…with penalties if the IRS is able to prove you cleared more than that.

            I wonder how many reps actually generate a margin of more than $400/yr given how little mark-up their customers will tolerate. Then having to pay income tax and double-FICA on that margin. Ouch! They have a very strong incentive to under-report income on sales margins.

            I will read more carefully going forward before responding…sorry for the misunderstanding Char!

            • No worries. And don’t get me wrong, I do think it would shut them up. The issue for me is with sending the wrong message. I’ve narrowed it to these key points, as I see it:

              – 99.9% chance the recruiter can’t show a significant profit, agreed. But on the off chance they can, and we know that the profit would likely be from endless-chain recruiting, should we be impressed by the pyramid scheming numbers? Do we condone the MLMer when they can show a profit? Do we respect GMB’s Schedule C? (All, no)

              “Mary Kay reps are forced to report commission/bonus income, thanks to the 1099 reported by Mary Kay Corp. A consultant’s retail profit over $400 annually must also be reported, and this part is on the honor system…with penalties if the IRS is able to prove you cleared more than that.”

              – Line 31 includes 1099s and/or product sales numbers. As we often say, you could do MK, make money, and never sell a product. The P/L could literally be all pyramid commissions reported on the Schedule C, line 31.

              – We constantly argue that MLM is not a legit business. It isn’t. I feel like we are validating that it is a business simply by asking for a literal business P/L Schedule C. Note: This is the context of us asking for it, i.e., prove to us you’re running a profitable, and therefore (implied) legitimate business. We are contradicting ourselves because it’s not a legitimate business.

              Technically, even illegitimate businesses should file tax forms. The context only works if we add something like, “Prove to us that you make money in the MLM scam known as MK. No, I don’t want to become a pyramid schemer, even if you can prove you made money scamming your friends and family. I was just curious how successful a liar and cheat you are. Showing a loss? Great. You’re a terrible liar and con artist.”

              Suffice to say, it’s not about whether you’re a profitable pyramid schemer or not. What’s most important is whether you’re an active participant in a pyramid scheme giving it life.

              The one phrase I really dislike is, “It’s a scam because you don’t make any money.” Too often said by people when referring to MLM. No, it’s a scam because you must lie to and use your downline in order to make money.

      • Hon,
        Amanda hasn’t paid back $12 back to Cassie.
        Amanda ain’t making s***. LOL
        Amanda don’t even have a car.
        Amanda is using scripts. 🤣

  2. I also hope someday Amanda wises up and gets a job where she can afford a car and an apartment on her own, because beind dependent on someone else for your living situation is never a good place to be in. What if they break up? Where will she go? What if she ends up staying in a less-than-ideal situation because she can’t afford to leave?

  3. Well,
    Amanda approached me today on my way in and asked why I would be communicating with this awful ugly pink “lying” website that is “slanderous” to a group of society.
    After realizing what Amanda was talking about I told her I simply submitted a comment. I was informed by Amanda my comment was made into an article (chuckles🤭) and she was upset because I used her name. According to Amanda everyone in MaryKay reads this website “screen shots it so no clicks are given” and it was really bad I did this because they will know. Who is they? Everyone according to Amanda. And by me even clicking on this website I am helping promote it.
    Okay I said. I told her I didn’t give our last names or the city we are in and I am sure MaryKay has more than one Amanda. 🙄
    I am okay my comment became an article 🤷‍♀️

    I spent a lot of time yesterday reading about MLM and pyramids.
    Amanda says MaryKay is not a pyramid or multilevel marketing, she said it’s dual marketing where Mary Kay sells the product to the consultant. I then told her if it’s dual marketing that’s a problem’ too because they know the products will never get sold. I tried to explain if she is telling me she is supposed to be selling the product , the problem with multi level marketing , the product passes one hand to the next and the more expensive the product becomes (due to commissions paid). So either way, I told Amanda dual marketing or multi marketing through MaryKay is not going to make you money.

    I asked Amanda if she made any money since she started with MaryKay and she said she recruited 4 people so far in 6 months who purchased “nice inventory packages” and her commission check is coming any day now and she will give me the $12 back. I never mentioned the $12 to her.
    I asked her if she sold any product and she said she was unable to because everything she purchased she ended up needing for herself.(doubtful)
    I just hope she can collect commission because bless her soul she sure tries. I will give credit where it is due. She does a beautiful Smokey eye.

    I assume she is still an independent beauty consultant and nothing above that. I didn’t see any MaryKay pins or uniform.

    I don’t understand the delusion. Maybe if Amanda had to take care of herself like pay rent and bills she would get it. She is not young but also not old. I would guess between 27 – 32.

    Oh, when I asked her what this website was lying about she said “everything” and the website is very bias, mean, awful and targets a group of people and that is against the law. One day there is going to be a huge lawsuit.

    I was exasperated after 20 some minutes. This doesn’t even sun up the whole conversation.

    Oh well. Im off to work.
    Amanda, keep the $12 bucks.
    I do not look down on you for not having a car. I just thought it was strange you were asking me if I wanted to make six figures (as if you were) you know what I’m not even gonna finish the sentence this is too much already of a comment and you know what I meant.
    I do NOT look down at you or anyone for that matter. I come from a family of immigrant parents. We are expected to work harder than everyone else around us because our parents packed us up and left everything behind for us to have a good life in this country. We were reminded everyday we live in the best country in the world and we must take advantage of the opportunity god gave us..
    And you know what?
    You deserve a good life Amanda.
    You deserve a job that pays your bills. This country affords you that opportunity and you need to take advantage of it.
    No, I am not saying I am the hardest worker of all my peers. I am saying our parents always expected us to work harder than everyone around us. I know you will find a way to twist this Amanda.

    • “she said it’s dual marketing”

      Will someone PLEASE show me where the term “dual marketing” is mentioned on the MK Corporate website?

  4. Maybe it’s just me, but in as much as Cassie likes to say she’s not trying to be a mean girl, she very much is, again and again. Cassie, take pride in the fact that you dodged a bullet, but there really is no need to keep piling on regarding Amanda’s situation. Amanda obviously drank more than her fair share of the kool-aid, but I think Cassie needs to let go and move on.

  5. “Oh, when I asked her what this website was lying about she said “everything” and the website is very bias, mean, awful and targets a group of people and that is against the law. One day there is going to be a huge lawsuit.”

    No, there won’t, Amanda, or at least not one that has a chance in hell of going anywhere. Discrimination only affects classes protected by law: gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. Employment is not a protected class. Posting your opinions online isn’t illegal. Posting MK’s own propaganda and figures isn’t illegal. If being mean, biased, and awful was enough to get a website shut down, the whole internet would have poofed out of existence decades ago.

    Tracy and Pink Truth have been a thorn in MK’s side for 17 years. If there were ANY viable legal grounds on which to sue her, they’d have done so years ago. But they haven’t, because they aren’t stupid and know that bogus lawsuits only waste time and money and would make them look like the fools.

    Please try to look past your anger and embarrassment and stick around a while. This site is full of stories from people who were in the same place you are now, and how and why they got out. Maybe something will click with you.

    Oh, and please get some kind of a job where you’ll have your own money and credit. No matter how good a relationship is, something WILL happen and you’ll need it. My mother never as much as balanced a checkbook in her life, then found herself a widow with 6 kids at 42. Life happens, so fight back.

    • Exactly, 17 years and the legal department has yet to do anything. I’m sure there is a little peon charged with keeping an eye over here. We have the receipts of everything we say, screen shots from IBCs up to NSDs, copies of their own paperwork, and more importantly our lived experiences.

      As I often point out, there are websites and blogs which talk about the negatives of working for Wal*Mart, Disney, Amazon et alia why should Mary Kay multiple married names’ company be any different? Or any MLM company for that matter?

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