The Truth About Mary Kay Directorship

This is the story of a former Mary Kay director who was taught to deceive women in order to get the numbers to move up. When her directorship finally ended, she and her husband were forced to put their dreams on hold while they recovered from near financial ruin.

Here is the truth and nothing but the truth. I have always tried to be straightforward and honest, but sometimes we lie to ourselves. Last year I finally saw clearly some things I lied to myself and others about.

I signed up for Mary Kay just to get my product at cost, since I was using plenty of it anyway. Well after doing some reading I found it was much more profitable than the MLM I was doing for 1 year before Mary Kay. It also offered a lot more as far as support and training.

I went to a meeting and I was hooked. I was told I could make as much as my husband was making in corporate America in a short amount of time. We had been looking for a way for him to quit his job for years and I thought this is IT! So I immediately decided I was going to be a director and went home to convince my family. I had to be a director because that is where they tell you the ‘real money’ is. Also it is supposed to be a position where your life is devoted to helping women achieve happiness by putting God first, family second, career third. Something I was completely in favor of.

Well I did everything I was ‘supposed’ to do for 2.5 years. At first I had a very hard time leaving my family for meetings, parties, facials, seminars, etc. Then when I was home I had to be on the phone trying to get more business or I was on a conference call or working my social media accounts. If I was not doing any of that, I was stressed out because I wasn’t where I thought I should be (wasn’t making the money I expected, hadn’t recruited the amount of people the numbers told me I would, etc.). So I was never spending quality time with my family. The main reason I decided to be a consultant was to have a career where my family could come first, and so that my husband could put his family first as well.

So I thought once I am a director I will have ‘made it’ and paid my dues, then everything would fall into place. So my husband quit the job he hated when I signed up, so he could take care of his mom whose Parkinson’s was advancing. In order to survive, since Mary Kay was not paying our bills, we refinanced our house, twice.

Of course I told everyone that we were living off of MK because the more you believe, the more your beliefs will become reality. I really wanted MK to pay our bills and if I was successful more people would want to jump on the bandwagon. I am so sorry to those that I deceived; in my defense I was deceived myself. No one on my team has lost more money or more time with their family than I have, and I feel like such an idiot.

Which I guess brings me to the subject of lying. In MK you are taught to lie… shame on me for falling into it. In the beginning I would be asked questions like what I would do with $1,000 if I had it. I would say pay off credit cards or something of that sort. I was ridiculed and told to think of something better than that, like going shopping or take a vacation, or something frivolous. I was told I wasn’t dreaming enough, I had forgotten how to dream, and I will never get to where I want to be if I didn’t have a big goal to work towards, something tangible and showy. So little by little I did what they said to the detriment of my family and our finances.

There is so much I could go into. It is hard to tell other people how you can become brain-washed and go against so much that you hold dear. But it is just like boiling a frog, little by little, and before you know it you are a different person with different values. I have recently read so many stories of other people this has happened to and I relate so much.

I do not think that MK has always been bad, but it has turned that way. I know there are plenty of great consultants out there who have others best interest at heart. The problem is with corporate, sales directors, and national sales directors. As soon as I became a director everything changed and I was given a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of MK medicine. That is when the truth poured from the lips of other directors and corporate themselves. No longer did anyone try to hide what their true purpose was, basically recruit as many as you can as fast as you can, and get their inventory order before they know what hit them.

Sell the dream of having everything you ever wanted (or will be taught to want) and for those who fall for it, get them to want to be a director so bad they cannot think of anything else. Make them long for it by not allowing consultants to hang out, participate, or even talk to the directors. Make them think that what directors have is something so special and mysterious that they just have to have it too.

What started me seeing the light is shortly after becoming a director (it took me almost 2 years from signing my agreement), I was NOT making the money that was supposed to be so easy to make. Granted the reason for this is because I was not recruiting 5 people a month to make that happen. I should have realized that there was no way I was going to make money because in order for me to become a director I had to pay for many of my team member’s starter kits and inventory. They were not going to be worker ‘bees’ on the team, but you are told that you have to ‘make a way or find a way’ and ‘fake it till you make it’, which I always found disturbing, but I bought it because I wanted to be in the shoes of those women who were teaching this.

And then the last few months of my involvement in MK…. My husband decided to go to graduate school. I became a director in June, in July I left for Seminar in Dallas, in Aug I went back to Dallas for new director training, and in September I traveled to be trained by my adopted National Sales Director. My husband  and I decided we needed to move closer to his school, so we sold our house and bought something closer to school. We really felt like we were doing what we were supposed to be doing (and maybe we were, all except the Mary Kay part).

Graduate school turned out to be way more involved than what we realized and Mary Kay still was not paying the bills (go figure with all the traveling I was doing, taking me away from business, making a move, and not having a working team). My husband had to quit school at least for the time being and find a job, but was not able to find anything for months. I lost my unit because we were not making minimum production requirements.

Directorship is such a trap and extremely stressful. My main purpose in telling you this is so that you will not fall for it or any other MLM company (which is truly what MK is). The healing process took a long time. We wanted to learn from our mistakes as we were moving on from MK. My hope and desire from this is that others may not fall into the same trap that my family so sadly did.

Please do accept my apology for perpetuating the brainwashing; I am truly sorry to those I caused harm.


  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad the blinders are off now and your life is getting back on track.

    However, MK was rotten from the start. Mary Kay herself was a greedy woman who set out to design a company that would profit her. Cosmetics were a means to an end, not chosen out of sincere desire to make women beautiful and cure their skin problems. She pitted women against each other, playing on their ambition and jealousy, and made out like a bandit from their sacrifices.

    The mansion and cars and diamonds and furs all came from failed hopes and really good PR.

  2. MK is a MLM, period. An MLM cloaked in pink fairy tales, but an MLM none the less. MK herself was a MASTER Manipulator. Let’s see, in MK you worship the idol MK, who had at least 6 or 7 husbands… If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, try calling corporate and having a sane/rational/business centric discussion, you can’t. I know, because I tried when I was researching the “Family Security Plan.” Their own NSD retirement plan is cloaked in misleading information, that I don’t think a talented lawyer can make heads or tales of.

    Let’s hope many read today’s post and get out NOW, before you ruin your relationships, your finances, your self esteem, AND other people’s lives!

  3. “The problem is with corporate, sales directors, and national sales directors.” … NO, the problem is with the MLM business model that pays upper ranks from the losses of the lower ranks. No sane business model has you recruiting your customers and making them into competitors.

    • I especially like this line which further exposes the insanity for a supposed retailing business, “I signed up for Mary Kay just to get my product at cost, since I was using plenty of it anyway.”

      That’s just what retailers want their good customers to do, not. Even more ludicrous and already pointed out by Lazy, the consultants will actually encourage this of their customers and tell them to make it a business, like hers. In fact, this is their ultimate goal.

      (We here know that MLM is all about recruiting and building teams of people ordering products direct from the company. MLM is inherently flawed as a retailing business for the affiliates.)

      I have to wonder why the OP was even buying MK in the first place, and how long it was before she signed up?

      Note to OP, thanks for sharing your story. There’s some great info in it.

  4. Hate you were told(or led to believe) YOU were to pay for anyone to get started let alone their inventory!! I have been a consultant with MK for 27 years working it as a side gig and NEVER have I been told those were requirements for me to build a team OR become a sales director-I truly am sorry for what you’ve experienced..I am well aware with being a part of the company for as long as I have that there are numerous slicksters who are not truthful with women when answering questions about becoming a consultant/sales director..There are deceitful representatives in any business, I hate you were so misled…Hope your husband has been able to finish school and you have found a great career that beings you joy and pays the bills 🙂

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