You Can’t Quit Your Job and Do Mary Kay Full-Time

This is one of those sad, sad dreams that Mary Kay directors and recruiters like to build up for you. They tell you how easy it is to “replace your income” with Mary Kay. And it’s nonsense. Because we’ve seen over and over on Pink Truth how almost everyone in MK would be better off working a minimum wage job… they’d make more per hour at minimum wage than they make at MK.

It is next to impossible to build a client base large enough to generate a steady income in Mary Kay. Even women who’ve been in for years and have 100 or 200 customers (impressive sounding, yes?) aren’t doing consistent, significant sales.

The reality is that “good” Mary Kay customers probably buy $50 to $100 of products a year, on average. Sure, you’ll hear a Kaybot talk about the two customers she has that each spend $500 a year. They are the exception to the rule. Many customers spend only $25 a year, but we keep them on our preferred customer list because we think someday they’ll be won over and buy more.

Add to that the fact that once you start building that client base, you’re immediately encouraged to start poaching it for recruits, so you can “move up” and make the “big girl pay.” So even if you can start building a real customer base, before you know it, you’re recruiting some of them.

So how on earth can anyone think this Mary Kay propaganda is possible to achieve for more than about 5 out of 1,000 women? Well, the sad fact is that the recruiters make you believe that women all over the place are doing it. When they know good and well that they’re not aware of anyone who actually did it.

Here’s how they say to do it (my comments in italics):

Write down your yearly salary $_______
Okay, fair enough starting point.
Subtract out daycare expenses for the year $_____
Stop right there. You mean you won’t even have to pay for babysitters? If you’re trying to replace a full-time income, of course you will have to pay for child care!
Subtract out other expenses that you would not need to pay if you were able to stay at home (dry cleaning, gas driving to and from work, eating out for lunch, etc.) $______

Stop again. You probably will spend more on gas racing around to classes, delivering products, warm stalking women, going to unit meetings and guest events.
This new total is what you would need to make in order to replace your income from your job.
Kaybot Example:
$22,000 salary
-$10,000 daycare
-$520 gas, drycleaning
= $11,480 net salary you need to replace

Pink Truth Reality:
$22,000 salary
-$ 0 daycare (If you’re working Mary Kay full-time, you need childcare. If you’re caring for your kids, you’re not working.)
-$0 gas, drycleaning (In fact, you probably need to add money here to cover all the extra gas you’ll use up.)
= $22,000 net salary you need to replace (And this includes no paid days off and no paid benefits. All those are gone once you quit your job.)

Figure out what your average per face is. Take all your sales from facials and skin care classes and add them up. Then add up how many total faces those sales came from. That will be your average per face. Using a company average of $200 per class divided by 3 women is $66 per face.

$200 per class is inflated. You’re lucky if you sell an average of $50 per woman.

Divide your Net Total Salary by your average per face.
This will equal the number faces you would need to see in order to replace your income. $11,480 divided by $66 = 174

And this is where the big difference comes up. Because she started with a low and false salary to replace of $11,480, the numbers are skewed. They should be: $22,000 divided by $50 = 440

Keep in mind that we need to double the amount we just calculated, because you need to reinvest ½ of what you sell to keep your inventory at full inventory. 174 x 2 = 348 faces

440 x 2 = 880 faces
Take your number of faces and divide by 52 weeks. This is how many faces you would need to see per week to replace your income!!! 348 divided by 52 weeks = 6.69 faces per week

880 faces divided by 52 weeks = 16.9 faces per week

In this example you would need to see 7 faces per week in order to replace your take home salary of $11,480. Do you think you could do 7 faces per week and work a total of about 6-8 hours doing so? It really makes you think about how easy it can be to replace your income in a fraction of the hours that you give to your job.

Keep in mind that this formula ONLY takes into consideration new faces. You will also be receiving reorders and recruiting commissions that are not factored in!

If you are worried about your health insurance, I want you to start calling Health Insurance companies and getting quotes for your family. Calculate how many extra faces per month you would need to pay for your insurance! Or better yet, your recruiting commissions could pay for your insurance each month.

I hope this helps you see how easy it can be to replace your income and become a full-time Mary Kay consultant and then Sales Director.
Talk about false earnings claims! This is total fiction. If you use the realistic numbers I calculated above, you’d have to see 17 faces a week at $50 a face to replace your income. That’s 6 skin care classes a week.

To do 6 skin care classes a week, you’ll have to book about 12 to 18 full classes for each week. To do that, you’ll need to get referrals to about 48- 72 women… women you can talk to and ask to have a class. You hope that about 1 in 4 will actually book a class.

Now to hold 6 classes a week, you’ll have to figure about 3 hours class time for each. That’s 18 hours. Plus you’ll probably spend about 1 to 1.5 hours each for coaching the hostess, packing up stuff, filling orders, and doing all sorts of little administrative stuff… follow-up phone calls etc. You’re now up to about 26 hours per week.

Then on top of that, you’ve got the unit meeting and probably another recruiting event (Muffins and Makeovers, etc). You will also want to factor in time spent warm stalking to get those 60-ish names per week that you need to get. And don’t forget general office work and such. I’m thinking you’re now way beyond a 40 hour week.

So we’ve now gone from the recruiting lie of replacing your full-time income with 6 to 8 hours of work per week. And you’ll be home with your child!!!

…. to the reality of… This is a time commitment of more than 40 hours a week to replace your income. And that’s only if you’re able to find those 60 or more names per week to harass into having classes. I’d challenge anyone to do that for a full year…. 60 names a week every week for a year. (Yeah, right.)

Are you as infuriated as I am at these types of completely false examples that set women up to expect something they cannot achieve???


  1. They also neglected to add all the expenses you can expect to pay that you wouldn’t if you weren’t in MK.
    Seminar: $1,000
    Career Conference: $500
    Weekly meetings: $5-10/week=$260-$620/year
    Other events ad nauseum: minimum $300/year
    Office assistant
    Credit card fees
    Premium babysitting charges for nights and weekends you should be spending with your family
    Formal dresses for seminar
    The list is infinite!

    • And don’t forget section 2 products, party prizes, and free products for hostesses that are all part of the cost of all these classes you need to be booking. Also, what about the cost of the benefits you’re losing if you give up your full-time job for MK?

        • Let’s not forget at tax time…. as an independent contractor….you are paying both sides of that social security tax ( employee and employer) as a self employed person. MK people have No Idea the tax ramifications that they are being subjected to… I didn’t until I got out. It really does suck.

  2. I have learned this the hard & expensive way. And time consuming. I’d say I’m embarrassed or ashamed, but at least I figured it out.

    I “left my teaching career” more than once to “pursue my Mary Kay career” … there’s so much more to my story. To steal a line from some NSD (who likely stole it from someone else), “Life is like an onion, we peel away the layers, and sometimes, we weep.”

  3. Expanding on Tracy’s math, 60 names per week is over 3100 new faces per year. In the US, about 2.3M new women age into the make-up demographic every year, which leaves enough new faces for only 755 reps in the US to succeed at making $22K…and that assumes EVERY new 18 (or 21) year old will be reached. The other hundreds of thousands of MK reps in the US don’t have a chance at this.

    For simple math, let’s assume there are 755,000 MK reps in the US. That translates to a BEST CASE of 0.1% success rate. This cannot be improved upon due to the limitated number of new faces becoming available every year in the US.

    And let’s not forget that nearly the same number is aging out every year, so those customers need to be replaced.

    Besides, people don’t generally buy MLM products from strangers…there is no pity to draw upon to motivate strangers to pay for these over-priced products. So most reps are limited to selling to family and friends (and their friends). You simply can’t make a living selling product to people you know personally. The big money in retail is achieved selling to strangers…and lots of them.

    And the money-makers in MLM are not doing so selling product to customers. They are selling product to members of their own down-line. In other words…recruiting and front-loading.

  4. You’ll wanna set aside for social security too. But hell ya don’t make a lick of income so I don’t know how you’ll be able to do that. I sure couldn’t. Let me tell you, I spent twenty-seven, (Yes 27 years) and way more than 40 hours a week struggling to make the equation, 3+3+3 work for me.

    Some of ya, know what I’m talking about. So, (I’d swear right here but don’t know if it okay here on PINK TRUTH so I’ll keep that to myself.) There is a lot I’d like to say on how my heart and mind were controlled with their sparkly lies. I fell for them all. There are many reason, I’ll spare you.

    Thing is like Tracy said “. . . would be better off working a minimum wage job… they’d make more per hour at minimum wage than they make at MK.” Now listen to her! She’s telling ya the truth.

    I am 72 years old now. My social security payment invoice is blank from 1977 to 2004 years, I was in Mary Kay. I sure could use that 27 years of savings now.

    Guess where I got a job when I quit MK? Cashier at a grocery store. I was 53, and had to get a job. I tremble just sharing this with yal.

    Mary Kay Cosmetics is a business cult.

    Keep going.
    Go where you are treated best too.

  5. Thanks for sharing P. MONEY, I know it wasn’t easy. All the Friday Critics need to read what you wrote and take heed. Perhaps someday you will be inspired to write an article.

    • Thanks T.
      Naw, it ain’t easy, you’re right. The hardest part is how being in MK resulted in injuring my sons. MK was a no face person who pretended to be a god fearing mother, granny figure that never ever delivered, her promised big results, if ya just only did this or that. I believed the lie and promised my sons and no matters how hard I worked do do this and that, How many cold booking I got, how many shows i booked, I never delivered either. 🙁

  6. This analysis of the “opportunity”, even stacking the deck in favor of the MLM, shows how it’s noit going to work:

    Does the Mary Kay home business opportunity provide the typical consultant with enough income from product sales to replace an entry-level, minimum-wage job such as burger flipper, Wal-Mart greeter, or convenience store cashier?

    Not only no, but hell no! You’ll be lucky to afford to buy a burger for your kids.

  7. To fund your Mary Kay hobby (it’s a hobby), you have the following options:

    — A real job
    — An employed husband
    — Family money
    — Other source of income
    — Credit

    Of course, some people have advantages over others…for example:
    — Your mom is NSD
    — You are multi-lingual
    — You can afford to pay for phantom team members
    — You have contacts in foreign countries
    — You have business contacts who “help” you

    There are ways to play the MLM game. When they say, “Think outside the box”, they’re not kidding.

    • I tell you what Enorth, ya made me laugh out loud, “When they say, “Think outside the box”, they’re not kidding.” Oh my gosh.

      So i was at a new year, Jump Start event, got to the hotel during set up time. I’d travelled two hours left earlier than needed, but it’s Calif. ya plan that way. The event was put on by soon to be NSD Catrina Harris with three or four of her most favorite cronies directors helping her set up a section using two cafeteria size tables on each side, made a square, they all were on the inside of the table space.

      I was watching their efforts from a good distance away as they opened, seven or eight big cardboard boxes. Course I was wondering, “What’s this all about?” Now I tell ya, I was always and I seldom use the word always but in this case I want ya to know how desperate I wanted to make the Applause list of Sales Director commission paychecks checks list. I needed that kind of money. (I couldn’t figure out what is wrong with me? What is this working for them but not me? A carry over of self deprecating thoughts about myself from childhood. I’ll spare ya.) Whatda they doin that I’m not.

      They all start digging in the boxes I’m thinking supplies or the books, tapes,T-shirts. But no they’re pulling out purses. All different shapes of knockoffs of the Louis Vuitton brand of purses! I kid you not! Well I was so flabbergasted, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and had to take a closer look. Asking, “Why does she need to sell these purses?” I’m thinking bout her paycheck in the Applause, and those sales directors helping her I knew their commission checks.

      I had to know what, why, how come she was selling knockoff purses. As she arranged the purses on the table I ooh and aah them, “how much is this one, what about this one?” And watched how deep she was diving, standing on her tip toes to retrieve every purse in the huge box. This is when I asked her, “Catrina why do you do this, selling these purses?” I was looking at her with a, this doesn’t make sense. Our eyes met, her hair was a mess from being upside down, then she belittled me, “When you get to the level I’m at. I’ll tell you. Then she dismissed me by opening another box.

      She was selling all the purses for 200., and the table was surrounded by consultants all day giving her Team Leaders ( who manned the table) 200. cash only purchase that claimed to be what it wasn’t! She was selling a lie, to those who didn’t know better.

      In all my years spending a small fortune (I’m cussin’ (I’ll spare ya) right now feels so good) on so called training that dismissal was the down and out punch that woke me up! Hell I stayed the entire day. I could actually tell Catrina’s eyes worked to avoid mine. But when our eyes met, she broke away first. If ya’ve ever had that happen ya know the strength I was given in holding stead with eye contact. Gives me chills right now. Wonderful to experience this again.

      It took me a long time to process what I saw, experience. But yeah Enorth, you’re right on, if she is a Sales Director or more, she had ‘to think outta the box!’

      Tracy thanks for this opportunity to share my experience on you site.

      MK is a business cult.

      Keep goin’
      And go where you are treated best!

      P. Money

      • Well, that was an interesting story about NSD Caterina selling designer-purse knockoffs. Her LinkedIn account shows her as a “National Sales Trainer” with MK. She offers an array of services, such as:

        Life Coaching, Diversity & Inclusion, Career Development Coaching, Public Speaking, Team Building Training, Business Consulting, Event Coordination, Leadership Development and Event Planning.

        Her FB page also lists her as “Leader at Anthony Earl Ministries” (her husband). The husband has a church, along with The Jeremiah Company, Innovative Leadership Solutions, and The Apostolic School of Prophets., which is…”the training and development engine for the Jeremiah Company. The Jeremiah Company is comprised of a network of global prophets whose primary function is to identify and activate prophets and prophetic people throughout the earth.”

        Multiple streams of income.

  8. As one of my favorite actresses, Taraji P. Henson, recently said, “The math ain’t mathin.” Anyone reading here, please don’t fall for the scam.



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