Written by Raisinberry

Why Mary Kay still won’t work when you grow a conscience.

There is a part of the whole pro/anti Mary Kay debate that usually isn’t discussed. In most comments, consultants share the nasty self-serving character traits of their director, when probably 90% of directors are actually good women, following a success plan that was taught to them by their national and senior.

Consultants share how the prizes they got were cheesy. But in our opinion, at least you got a prize! That you didn’t like the prize is a bit unappreciative, don’t you think?

I am serious here. Directors shop for prizes, using the 5% formula we were taught so that prizes don’t bankrupt us. We spend many hours at the vendors or online looking for something in that price range that will attract consultants and look good and fun. Some of us are successful at knowing what’s trendy and some of us are woefully inadequate. So we borrow somebody ELSE’S prize flyer.

We do this because it is being done to us. All the way up the career path, somebody is offering a prize for getting out the door plus doing a wholesale order. There is ALWAYS a wholesale order attached to a prize.

Consultants crab about “elitist” treatment… how directors stay with directors at Seminar and Career Conference. Well, that’s how we’re taught. We have to qualify to sleep in a room in our NSD’s house. And Top Directors don’t room with Lowly Grand Achiever Directors unless they’re offspring. The whole preferential treatment thing is a core principle of Mary Kay Cosmetics. Separate out the unachieving so that they may gaze upon the receptions, parties and hoopla that the ACHIEVERS earn.

At some level this makes sense I guess. Not everybody can win the 1st place trophy. The difference in any other arena though, is that winning results are verifiable. Mary Kay is an entity that routinely awards those who haven’t actually earned the prize, in order to fool the others into believing that you can earn the prize too. And before Pink Truth, directors usually had no idea that was the case.

Directors stood up at your meeting and told you the awesome results of the superstar directors and the Seminar Queens fully believing that they were true. The only time we heard anything contrary was a whisper of a thought about that rare individual who cheated… the Queen of Recruiting in Emerald whose 24 recruits started sending back their $600s in July August and September. (RED FLAG) Stuff like that.

We knew WE cheated to finish DIQ… or maxed a few cards to finish Caddy…or won a recruiting contest on $20 Re-signs that belonged to other terminated consultants who would never know… but SURELY unit clubs weren’t bogus! (Is there ever a seminar year that doesn’t include “double credit” anymore? Which, of course, pushes directors to higher unit clubs.) Surely national areas weren’t bogus!

Your director never meant to harm you. She is chasing the wind. She cannot level with you because it will discourage you and that is not her job. She still wants to believe it will work out somehow. She is doing everything she knows how to do, and everything that she was taught, and she uses other people’s words because maybe, just maybe, they will work better than her results have been.

She is responding to “intermittent rewards.” She holds on to the fact that she did a “perfect start” so surely they are still possible. She watches motivational MK videos when her star quits and she has to face that disappointment and keep going. Her NSD is in some cases her close friend and she cannot disappoint.

She has been in the trenches with other directors and because SOMETIMES efforts produce results, she carries on, month after month, year after year trying to be positive and supportive and creative and consistent in the face of rude consultants, demanding consultants, critical consultants and pressures from above to keep that unit afloat.

She goes to Seminar looking for the magic words that will make her commit to big things. She doesn’t commit really because in the back of her mind… she knows that there is a whole lot of bogus going on and she just can’t get behind it.

She became a director to help women. Now she is so buried in debt, she had to stay a director to dig out. She is conflicted and stressed and because of that, unmotivated to add another team member into this “opportunity” but she MUST.

Since she started reading Pink Truth she is not frontloading any longer and she is sensitive to her own manipulation tactics, she wants to be a better director. She is hoping she can return to ethically running her business. She is just going to work on PERSONAL BUSINESS, and run a meeting.

It will take her about 3 months to see it just won’t work. And now a new trap for your director has begun. How can she get out, without destroying you? She told you how great this opportunity was… and you believed her. She will be punished by chargebacks if she does an open disclosure. She will be ostracized by her “friends” in Mary Kay. She will be dissed as a LOSER. And she will lose what small commission and car benefits she has, just to get free of it all.

All this for believing the opportunity lies of her upline and succumbing to intermittent rewards. From start to finish, the director’s heart -a good director- was to help women become more that what they ever thought was possible.

To stand by them and encourage them when they struggled, and to offer support. She picked up the meeting room fee when you didn’t feel like dropping in $3. She listened till 12 am to your failing marriage details. She met you at restaurants when your guest didn’t show and even picked up the tab because you were discouraged. She bought flowers when you got into your red jacket and balloons when you won your car. She did this over and over and things you never even knew about for your benefit. She even paid for tickets that never got reimbursed and never embarrassed you in front of your guests. She praised you and applauded you and ran down front to take your picture when you walked on stage. She really meant it. She was really proud of you.

And now that she is out of the fog, she is wounded and grieving and looking at the future with uncertainty, but with honor.

She is walking away from this because she never wanted to hurt anyone. Least of all her own family. She just trusted the women above her to be telling the truth.

They weren’t.


  1. Great write-up Raisinberry!

    “She just trusted the women above her to be telling the truth. They weren’t.”

    The foundational issue in MLM is deception. All the silly titles, accolades, meetings, seminar, outrageously complex compensation plan.
    It is all a “slight of mind” to hide the truth…that the sales force is the true customer.

    You bring up a great point that most directors are not “in” on the deception. Mary Kay Corp has spent decades perfecting the messaging and creating distractions to hide the deception as long as possible from most of the sales force. It works…for a time. (Meanwhile, the NSDs are well aware of how this all works.)

    But at the end of the day, the opportunity in MLMs like Mary Kay is a ruse. Sorry for the broken record…but the fact that every SD is overseeing a money-losing down-line should be revealed to every new recruit. But this key info must be withheld because MLMs can’t flourish without hiding the identity of the real, target customer…the sales force.



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