Denial of Reality in Mary Kay

Written by Raisinberry

Heartbreak is the only word that comes to mind, as we who have de-pinked, watch the parade of our friends going over the cliff, pursuing the Mary Kay “dream.”

For a long time, I actively cared about my senior director, my offspring, my fellow directors, and former unit members. I didn’t care much about my NSD. Even though I think she was in the pink fog, I think she was also well aware of the financial wreckage of all of her downline (current and past).

It is hard to believe that “denial” is a big enough word to cover it. We remember what it was to be fogged. When we were in MK, Pink Truth was the demon site. Women who were lazy, negative, hostile, ignorant, probably “C” personalities that always gave directors the most trouble ‘cause they just never were satisfied with our answers. Pink Truth members didn’t work Mary Kay the right way and just wanted to complain. Their failure was their own fault but they wanted to blame someone, bash the company, and ruin the dreams of others. Good riddance, we thought, to those Pink Truth members who left MK. But one day, we read more on Pink Truth. We couldn’t help ourselves. We came back and started reading and reading. We saw scenarios that we understood all too well. We used to think our Mary Kay failure was all our fault and that we weren’t doing things the right way. We found that the scripts and tactics used by the upline on us have been used for years. We saw that the shaming, the lying, all the dirty tactics are real and widespread.

The beginning of the end commenced. Today, far from the hoopla and hype, we can clearly evaluate what happened to us while in MK. Many of us are now watching our friends who are too afraid to look long and hard at this so-called opportunity. They make stupid decision after stupid decision because they still “bee-lieve.” We just can’t reach them. They won’t let us. (Not yet, anyway. Many come around if given enough time.)

A couple of years after I left Mary Kay, my senior director had to start paying for her Cadillac. She motivated my friend who stayed in, to become one of the “big girls.” My friend thought she owed her “success” to me because I believed in her for all those years. She was told I went “negative.” My cautionary tale fell on deaf ears. My friend decided she was going to be a top director. But within a few months of becoming a director, she went $9,000 into debt  just from her wholesale purchases (done to help cover the minimum production her unit needed, so she wouldn’t lose the director title, of course).

A woman who looked sharp and was willing, and wanted to matter and be accepted and important, slowly went into financial ruin, just to wear “big girl panties.” I was not able to reach her. I know my national and senior director saw exactly what my friend’s limitations were, and they happily took the wholesale from her anyway. I wonder how they thought she would ever catch up from $10,000 of debt the year before she became a director and the $9,000 after becoming a director? She hasn’t a chance in hell to move $38,000 worth of retail product at full price to pay that off, and nobody seems to want to face this level of opportunism.

The denial continues….


  1. Thanks Raisinberry. This stood out to me:

    “Even though I think she was in the pink fog, I think she was also well aware of the financial wreckage of all of her downline (current and past).”

    While it may seem negative to make this point, this is something every recruit needs to know, and every xSD should have to explain…

    “So, how exactly can you continue to promote a business model incapable of producing even one profitable downline? Are you honest with your new recruits that in aggregate they will spend far more than they will ever make in Mary Kay? And that your only hope of turning a notable profit personally rests firmly on the aggregate losses of your own downline?”

    I just wish women were armed with these questions at those make-up parties. Then again, the response to those questions will be even more lies, so who knows if it would do any good to ask.

  2. Thank you for sharing this and thank you Data Junkie for the comment. I am currently in MK and I am lost right now. I am 1,500 in debt, with Mary Kay Visa Card, and as it might not seem much, it is for a single parent trying to make ends meet. I fell into this thirst trap. I love some of the product, but to continually have to pay every 3 months to keep status is insane. I bought over 2,000 in product and still have a lot at my house that I do not know what to do with. My SD says that we can make you more money than you can know what do with, but was told I have to put the time and effort in. I was going to meetings couple times a week, trying to do parties, etc. It was taking away my time as a parent with my children. I feel like its costing me now and want to get this debt paid and product out. I am an observer and I am glad I saw this earlier. I am also glad that a friend that use to do Mary Kay also talked to me. I felt alone and thought I had to do everything they were telling me to do. SD talked about how they uplift woman and how spiritual they were, in reality I listened to my SD talk bad about others in the business. It went against everything that I am about.
    With that being said, and all this word vomit I needed to get off of my chest. I need some advice/feedback on what to do next. I am not sure what to do with the product. Also I would like to just stay with MK just to get half price product, but is it worth it, or is there extra hidden costs that I am not aware of?

    • If you really like some of the products, you can always get it for 50% off or even cheaper on eBay. There is ALWAYS someone selling it for way less than full price.

    • The last I hard you need to buy $250 Wholesale/$500 retail a year to keep your privilege of being a consultant. That’s a lot of cosmetics & skin care from one brand, imo. And, I’m sure you know you need a minimum $250 wholesale/$500 retail just to get your discount.

      A few hidden costs,
      Te money back guarantee doesn’t apply to you if you’re a “consultant” so even if you buy something for personal use & hate it, you can’t get your money back.

      You also lose money on shipping fees & pay taxes on the *retail* amount , not the wholesale amount, so that’s double the taxes. On a $500 retail order that’s $30. You’ll sometimes probably get emails and newsletters from your director or her upline if you’re active briefly. And there’s the ethical question…Do you want to financially support a company who gets rich off the backs of women?

      I personally kept my “discount” for WAY too long buying for myself, my mom, and my MIL, and a few friends. I thought that would help me meet my minimum easier. What I found was my friends would order 1 item here & there & putting together orders & delivering them was a PITA for such little pay-off. Even though it was half-off, they still did not want to buy much! Or after I ordered someone would want something. Except my mom; she bought a lot of skin care. It was hard to guess how much product I’d use in a given year or 6 months to time my orders. And, when I found a product I’d like MK would change the formulas & I wouldn’t like it anymore. As a former personal use consultant, I found the discount wasn’t worth it. There’s better products you can buy compared to MK’s “half price”, or cheaper than MK’s half price, in my experience. I’ve been completely out of MK for years now & never miss it. My mom easily found another consultant who would give her a 50% discount.

      There’s probably loads of people selling in your area for 50% off. See if you can connect with one of them, or possibly even an active consultant will give you 50% of or 40% off, if you don’t want to go the eBay route.

      • Well put, CoralRose —

        An Ultamate Rewards member at Ulta who spends $500 a year is considered a Platinum-level member. You get 1.25 points for every dollar purchased plus numerous other benefits, free gifts, coupons, and more. Diamond members have spent $1200 a year and receive even more perks. The upside to shopping at a place like Ulta is you have access to hundreds of brands at all price points and hundreds of thousands of products for hair, skin, nails, tools, bath/body, and more. Plus, Ulta offers a wide range of beauty services — hair salon, skin services, waxing and brows, and makeup.

        Very Lost, I would highly consider sending your products back. Recoup whatever money you can and pay off your MK debts. MK products are nowhere near as good as you might think, especially for the price point. There are some amazing products available at the drugstore and Ulta (see above paragraph) that won’t break the bank for you or your family. I believe you are being exploited by your SD because you fit their narrative of a single mom doing this for her kids.

  3. The hook is now quarterly $225 and like another person here, don’t know what to do with inventory I have purchased. Most of it, I give to my girls, daughters and granddaughters, plus whatever I use. I guess I will see what I have left after the holidays, then attempt to get some of it back.


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