Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pink Truth: Mary Kay is Prestigious

Please, please, please talk to me about this one.

First, go check out the post at Pink Truth.

Pink Truth declares, "...Mary Kay is prestigious...

Now look. One thing that I know is that value is in the eye of the beholder. When you buy an off brand soda (at ten cents to the dollar of the name brand) you are often buying THE SAME SODA. They just turn the machine off, change the labels, and start the machine again. (I know I am over-simplifying a concept here, but the truth is the same.) We have been conditioned to pay top dollar for bottled water that we are now discovering is "worse" (whatever that means) than our tap water. A Ferrari still serves the same function as a Camry (point A. to point B.) with the exception of the fact that one: gets worse gas mileage, breaks WAAAY easier, and has considerably less passenger space and trunk space, AND loses its value at an astonishingly faster pace. Which one do you think would cost more?

Prestige, as it always has been, is a matter of perception. It is that simple. If you can buy a product for $2 and can find it at every Wal-Mart, K-mart, or whachamacallit-mart... it will never be able to "rise" to the occasion of being sold for anything more than $2. NO matter how "high" or "low" it's actual quality is, it will always be perceived as "cheap".

Now, whether you "like" Mary Kay or not, the concept of marketing a product (choosing your demographic and pursuing it) is not "part of [a] massive shell game".

Tracy says,

"I'd rather not pretend that I have only two openings next week (when I really have the entire week free) so that I can sound busy and ask you which is better for you."

Now, I don't know exactly what she is referring to here, but it is a well understood fact (yes, I said fact) in the "sales and/or appointment setting business" that you are much more likely to receive a positive response if you don't ask yes/no questions. In other words, instead of, "would you like to meet with me some time next week?", you might ask, "I have two time slots open next week. My morning is open on Wednesday and my evening is open on Thursday. Which one of those would work better for you?" This leads more naturally to customizing a time that is good for them and makes them comfortable that they are not, heaven forbid, encroaching on your time.

All that to say, this amounts to little more than the difference between the retail salesperson that says, "can I help you" (response: no, just looking) VS "WoW those shoes would look FABULOUS on YOU!!! can I get a pair in your size so that we can see?" (response: oh sure, why not) It can't hurt to just look, right ladies?

Sorry, I digress. Pink Truth would love to make Mary Kay out to be this insidious disease that plagues our nation. (who am I kidding... "would" ... HA!! they "DO" love to...) The bottom line is that it is not. It is just a sales organization, with sales people that are selling a product. Perhaps if Pink Truth would turn their attention to the mess of a financial crisis our country has got itself into they could uncover a TRUE conspiracy. :D

Okay, this is supposed to be about all of you. What are your thoughts on this?

Is Mary Kay a prestige brand? Should consultants "pretend to be busy"? Do you know consultants... scratch that, PEOPLE in general, that think that time with them is a privilege?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section.

P.S. The following is an exert from today's P.T. post... adapted - just slightly - to be a little more truth-y. Let me know what you think.

Pink Truth is based upon numerous deceptions, and sites like Balanced Mary Kay are the only way to expose these deceptions to the general public and help prevent women from getting duped into living a lonely, bitter life.


  1. When I think of a prestige brand I rarely think about the quality of the product. ( I haven't tried all of these brands, how can I know it's actually any good? ) It's the name that does it for me. What is the reputation of this company? What is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name? Lancome, Dior, Estee Lauder, Chanel. When I think of these brands, I oooh and aaah. They've been around forever. The commercials always have the most graceful, delicate, perfect spokesperson. The girls at the mall behind the counter are always done up and seem just a little bit better than the average shopper. The hair is perfect and trendy. The make up is flawless. They are the popular girls in school that everyone wants to be. They rise above it all. They are stunning. Beautiful. And it's not their looks. It is their demeanor. It makes you want to be like them.

    The MK lady may have good skin but her demeanor is loud, pushy, agressive. She's not someone you want to be like. You don't feel like her life is better than yours. You actually pity her because she has to do this. I mean, who wants to be like her? Until you hear how much money you can make, then you may want to sell it.

    Please know that I do not mean to classify all MK ladies. I am talking about the ones that I personally have met in real life. I am sure there are some very nice ones out there. Just like not all lancome girls have a good demeanor. This is my personal experience, where I live. I love those girls! I always feel like such a slob going thru the beauty section at Macy's. But if I buy their stuff I can be perfect, flawless. I never got that feeling with MK and Avon. The company reputations are just different.

  2. Well I am getting ready to get away for the weekend but I wanted to add my two cents.

    First I do believe Mary Kay is a quality product. (I don't think once in my career I have used the term "prestige" brand but that's just me.

    Maybe part of the problem with some individuals not succeeding in Mary Kay, is the simple fact they do not believe in their product.

    When I am talking to someone about considering Mary Kay, the first thing I say is that if you don't believe in and love the product, you probably will not do that well.

    From the all the negative comments on the quality of the MK products on pt, I can see why maybe some weren't able to confidently sell the product.

    As for "prestige brands" today if you talk to the younger set about Estee or Lancomb,they think of old lady stuff - if they even know what you are talking about. Say Mac or Bobbie Brown - they will understand what you are saying.

    Personally, many of the sales clerks at the makeup counters inn fine departments stores turn me off, many are snotty and the makeup is not done for normal, every day people. From the length of time my clients have stayed with me, I can only assume that they must be very comfortable around me. (AND I don't think I am better than anyone else - I got my flaws, just like everyone else).

    and just because she is in back of the counter and has a smock on, doesn't mean that last month she wasn't working at Burger King.

    I believe most of this is a matter of perseption. We are all going to see things differently.

    As for the filling your dates books with the "I am available Tuesday evening or Thursday morning"... this helps you design the schedule you want to work. (One does not need to say I am so busy these are the only times I can see you). When I call me doctors office, they don't say hey when do want to come in, they tell me what they have available.

    Now, when I read PT one of the big complaint is that they were always at the mercy of the customer and always had to do MK when they wanted to be doing something else... could it be if they had used a simple (yegads) "script" which time this or this-would be better for you??? They may have had more control of their schedules?

    Maybe there is a good reason to do things the way the Company suggests. Perhaps in many cases, if you make your bed, you will have to sleep in it.

    I have a larger and growing younger market, between Velocity and the mineral line - and word of mouth, I can't believe the interest from the younger generation.

  3. I read the Pink Truth blog and it's actually sad how much energy this person wastes on trashing Mary Kay.
    When I was reading the blog and the comments below, it was so very clear that none of those women have been in business before. Cosmetics is a billion dollar business. EVERY woman buys some sort of skin care or cosmetic and EVERY woman wants attention. Why would I waste my time and money buying a lipstick or cleanser that I've never tried before and may not work out? With MK you get the personal ATTENTION and the knowledge that you are getting a product that fits your skin type. I'm not going to say that MK has some magic potion that's better than all the others--they're basically the same. But, if I get personal attention from someone knowledgable about the product and can help me figure out what fits best for me than it is worth the few extra dollars.

    Arabella--as far as your department store cosmetics advertisements making you feel like you're flawless...than you've bought into their sales pitch. That's exactly what they want you to believe. That's what every sales person wants-- you to buy what they're selling, whether its a Mary Kay product or a new filter for your furnace. The difference is that some people are better at sales than others.

  4. Exactly, Heidi. When you see those girls at the mall you want to look like them. Or when you see their commercials, they seem so glamourous. When I think of MKC I think of MKA. Big hair, lots of make up. And the reps that I have personally met have been more of the same only add pushy and aggressive. Not someone I want to be. The spokesperson for a company adds a great deal to the "presige" of a company.

  5. I actually popped over there David to see what you were talking about and i am so sorry that I did..
    It reminds me of why I dont read that site, but I did today so that I would know what I was commenting on. All I can say is that when Tracy cant find any dirt or juicy tidbits to complain about she will make something up or "spin" something to make it sound bad or evil if it is being done by MK. I mean, I actually believe that she sits around and thinks up common Mary kary scenarios that all consultants face, and tries to see how she can put a negative spin on them.

    She is the worst kind of bitter person, always harping on why something is bad or wrong and trying to convince everyone else of the same.

    How many times have we heard this complaint for PTers:

    "nobody trained me, i dont know how to get bookings or how to sell, i am so sick of the meetings and the rah, rah, rah and the cheering, there is no real training.."

    Well here is an perfect example of training on how to book appts and Tracy spins it to sound as if we are teaching folks to be deceptive.

    So as uusal we are dammed if we do and dammed if we dont.

    Asking someone which day would be best for them is not done to make someone feel like you are in high demand. Its done out of being professional and respecting your time as well as the potential customers time. Telling someone that you have Tuesday and Saturday open is not a lie, even if you have no appts on your books, its still very true, because in that scenario you DO have Tuesday and Saturday open.
    This is done to help narrow down your bookings, just like the question "is the beginning of the week or the end of the week best for you?" Asking a general question like "when would you like to have a MK skin care class?" will almost always get you the answer that you dont want, which is "I dont know, or how about next month sometime", or worse "how about I just call you and let you know"
    And then you wonder why you cant get any appts on your books, and you run to Tracy and PT whining and crying about how this business doesnt work.

    Any sales person worth their salt knows how to ask open ended questions and to use that technique in closing the sale and getting bookings. And asking open ended questions is also a counseling technique that is taught in all counselor education classes. Its a way of asking questions that wont just lead to a straight yes or no, but instead engages someone in a converstation so that you can better understand their needs. Its not wrong or evil as tracy want everyone to think.

    Now as far as the perception of the brand being prestigious, i find it funny that MK is looked upon so differently in different parts of the country. I am from the south and I can honestly say that in no way is MK looked upon as the way arabella describes it.Many may not see it as being on the same level of department store brands, but they certainly see it as being better than what you can find at walmart of the drug store. Plus there are too many women here in this area who are successful with this business and who have many things to show for it. Even before I started selling MK I did not see a MK person as someone to pity. How can you pity a woman who can buy just about everything she wants, lives in a 3000 square foot home in an exclusive neighborhood and has the respect of family and friends and others in the community and has physical and inner beauty? My director and several directors in this area are like that. Not only do they look the part, but they live lives that could be the envy of any one else.

    Now I am not one to think that someones outward appearance or the amount of material things makes them a better person, maybe that is why the ladies at the other make up counters dont impress me, but arabella seems to think so as she uses those types of descriptions to explain why she thinks the sales ladies and their products are more prestigious than MK. She seems to have based everything on outward appearance. Like mk4me says, they could have been working at burger king the day before, and some of them are probably so broke that they cant pay attention.

    But even their appearance is a sales techinque, and as arabella has proven, it works. I am willing to submit that those makeup companies go out of their way to hire young women who are very attractive and fit a certain image, so that "the rest of us" will come into the store and engage in the fantasy that buying the products will make us look like them. Biggest sales tactic ever...but is that wrong or evil? According to tracy it is because its deceptive..isnt it, or is it just good salesman ship. But nobody cries foul when they do it, as a matter of fact, as arabella proves, many welcome it.

  6. I don't view it as a prestige brand, based upon my experience of using the products. I am a big makeup lover and I have tried just about everything out there. So I have tried Estee Lauder, Chanel, Nars, MAC, Shiseido, and Smashbox. I also have plenty of drugstore makeup. This gives me a really good basis for comparison when it comes to makeup performance.

    Having used MK for a year, 15 years ago: At that time, their foundation SUCKED. I hope it has improved. It went on really thick, dried too fast to blend, and if a tear ran down your face, it left a track. But you couldn't touch up or you had a blotchy mess. You had to start over.

    That is not how a prestige cosmetic performs. I have never had that issue with any other brand, not even cheap stuff like Maybelline. Like I said, I really hope they have changed the formula.

    color cosmetics...I don't know about the current ones. When I was a consultant, the blushes and eye shadows performed on par with the best drugstore brands such as Revlon and L'Oreal. In some cases, possibly a little better, seeing as how my L'Oreal shadow has a way of detaching bits of itself from my lids and settling on my lower waterline. :/

    So for the colors, not quite up to MAC or Bobbi Brown standards, but they were not shabby. However, I hear that the new mineral colors are pretty crappy and nowhere near as good as the former ones. I have not tested them personally though.

    Lipsticks...I'd say they were on par with, say, Maybelline. Not crappy, but not prestige either.

    Compacts: Paying separately for a compact is just dumb. So is having to buy separate brushes, considering how small and cheap they are. If I buy a compact from MAC or Clinique, it will have the powder *in* a mirroredcompact, with applicator included. No having to pay for the compact to put the powder in or buy separate applicators.

    So in that way, Mary Kay is below either prestige brands or drugstore brands. I consider the compact issue to be a big problem of theirs.

    Brushes: Again, I don't know what has changed, but when I was in MK, the brushes were crappy. The eyeshadow brushes did not come in enough shapes and sizes and were not the correct density. The black dye washed off the bristles of the brush set when I washed them, and the little blush brushes are *much* too small to be useful.

    So I would put their brushes on par with those I have purchased from Wet N Wild. Definitely not prestige. Have you guys tried brushes by MAC and Urban Decay? *big* difference!

    Treatments: oh, so problematic. Wrinkle treatments would cause my foundaton to roll off my face when I tried to apply. Eye treatments made my eyes itch and burn miserably. Those were really bottom of the barrel. I know it's not just me because I had a lot of customer returns for the same reason.

    So experience was that MK offered drugstore quality at department store prices. I don't think it's a good deal. Product performance does not match hype.

    Dave, I take it you are not a cosmetic you are getting this second hand from women. Trust me on this, goths use lots of makeup, we experiment with new things all the time, and we are very quality conscious. I'm super experienced when it comes to this.

    Miranda AKA Gothchiq

  7. Woops, I think perhaps I missed (part of) the mark. I discussed cosmetic performance. I didn't touch on image at all.

    I think that if MK wishes to have a prestige image, certain things must be revamped. Right now, I feel that it's more of a cheesy image. So here's what I think they can do to fix it:

    1. Director suits: Please, MKC, stop making your directors wear ugly suits. If you're going to make them pay for these things, then get something nice for them to wear. Not smurf blue or barney purple. How about charcoal with a light pink pinstripe or chalkstripe, for example?

    2. Demeanor: The pushiness has got to go. I do realize there are non pushy consultants. I was one of them. Just let them know you offer makeup for sale and you offer instruction on skin care and cosmetic application (and then make sure you do in fact know your stuff.) Side note: When I was a consultant I bought the little book that explained all cosmetic ingredients. When they asked me "what is this ingredient and what does it do," I had the answer ready. People are very concerned about these things.

    3: clothes for the consultant. I think the 1960's version of professional dress is not the way to go with today's women. I would say, think "casual professional." And yes, pants. There is nothing wrong with pants. I don't wear them much because they bother my tummy, but many women love them and look fabulous in them. So how about a nice pair of pants or acomfortable A-line skirt worn with a fitted blouse and a pair of nice yet comfy flats? It would make the customers much more comfortable. Why be all intimidating in a suit? Wear something the customers would like to wear, just like the girls at the cosmetics counter do. They'd not like to wear that suit and those closed toed pumps, I promise you.

    4. Signature style: QUIT FREAKIN CHANGING THE COMPACTS ALL THE TIME. Do what other prestige brands do: Develop a signature style, shape, and color, and stick with it.

    5. Haircuts. Quit talking the women of the sales force into chopping off all their hair. It's not for everyone, and it's not all that slammin' either most of the time. Emphasize good hair, groomed hair, healthy hair. Let them wear their own styles. Once again, the customer will be more comfortable with a consultant who is looking like herself (a nice polished self) rather than conforming to a cookie cutter hair standard.

    6. Application! Teach application beyond the basics! Have good brushes; a selection of shadow brushes especially. I know how you do the "mk eye" and stuff but you have to learn more than just that. That's basic. I was doing that in middle school. Teach about how to select color for various skin tones, how to shape the shadow to flatter various eye shapes, how to highlight and lowlight areas of the face to contour. If your customer looks fab, and your makeup is how she got that way, then she'll want to buy. If she learns nothing new and looks no different...meh?

    Anyway, that's my summary of what MK can do to create a prestige image.

  8. Dang, Miranda. How do you really feel?

  9. Ara, I'm transparent as glass! I'm also a fairly smart cookie in this area, though. ;)

  10. Miranda,

    I am a fan of the products and I definitely think they have improved the quality over the years. I also think they have stepped up the marketing and product packaging to be more appealing to younger women.
    That being said, I agree with a few of your comments:
    *Suits=MK has nice looking brown suits for the directors, however the hideous red jacket is still alive. I'm a new consultant and I'm so not looking forward to wearing that thing. It would be better if I could buy my own --the level of quality fabric that I prefer.
    *Pushiness=I believe that has to do with your personality. I am not pushy and I hate pushy sales eople. A good sales person will know how to read a customer and sell to that person's style.
    *Clothes for consultants/Hairstyles=I am a conservative dresser, accessorizer, make-up wearer, etc. I can never be, nor will anyone make me, a glitzy over-the-top MK consultant. It's not my style. I have to admit, some of those NSD's look like they're straight outta glamour shots circa 1990. :) While I do enjoy the rah-rah attitude, as it reminds me of my sorority, I know my style and I know I don't put people off. This is how I will be successful.
    Anyway, I work in a professional enviroment and I own many nice suits--some skirts, some pants--that I have no problem wearing to events. I don't think you need to get glammed up, but I also think you need to represent yourself as a professional and look up-to-date clothing. :)

  11. How long have you been out Miranda? Things have changed so much in the last few years. I started using MK in the '80's. Remember when you HAD to use water with the eyeshadows? I love the product so much more now! Over the years I've tried all kinds of skincare and cosmetics. I always come back to MK.

    My take? Love, love, love the new brushes. They are soft and, frankly, great feeling. When I wash them, I put them through the wringer (kind-of). I've become a YouTube devotee, and follow Enkore's brush cleaning practice. My brushes have stood up to a daily brush cleaner and a weekly, baby shampoo, deep cleaning for about 6 months now.

    I would like to convince MK Corp to come out with a bigger brush selection. I want a pencil brush, and I want a big, freakin' Kubuki brush! I broke down and bought a Two-faced kubuki brush, OMG, I'm in heaven. MK needs a good kubuki brush! MK corp also needs to come out with a good brush cleaner, though I'm using Enkore's homemade reciepe, so it's not a big deal to me....

    I'm very happy with the new mineral colors. They glide on beautifully and blend great. I haven't had any of the problems with my shadows the PTer's bitch about. Me thinks they may be lyin'.

    The compacts? I really like them. To me, they look prestigious. I'm a klutz and constantly drop stuff. My compact saves the day. I haven't had anything break in the compact. My only comlaint is that I'm slightly OCD, and the fingerprint smudges on my case drive me nuts. Really no biggie... a quick wipe with a soft cloth takes care of that.

    MK prestigious? Hmmm... I've always found it to be an in-between deal. Nicer product and slightly higher price-point than drugstore brands. Not as pricey or prestigious as say, MAC or Este Lauder. Maybe more on par with Clinique.

    My 18 y/o daughter loves playing with my make-up and brushes. Will she have her friends to a party? Possibably. She says they think MK is old lady. They lean toward MAC. Hopefully I can get them over here to check out my stuff soon. Dd is working and going to school so she doesn't have much time to have her friends over.

    Oh, the uniform issue. Yeah, I'd like to wear pants, dressy capris, or even those cute, dress short-suits sometimes. Guess what, MK is not breathing down my neck at the SCC's I run. If I want to show up in those, I do. At the same time, I love having this chance to dress up. I run a home daycare during the day and wear jeans, sweats, or shorts all day. It's nice to throw on a dress and high heels sometimes.

    The director suits? I kind of liked the smokey purple ones from last year. I thought the color was pretty. I went to Seminar this year and saw directors of every color there. The new brown suits looked AMAZING on each and every one of them. I almost want to be a director just to wear that brown suit.

    Dave, one thing I have to argue with you about is... one cola is NOT as good as the other! As a die- hard Pepsi fanatic I can say Coke does NOT taste the same. And generic cola definately does NOT taste even close to either. Yuk!

  12. WOW...anyone who admits they haven't tried the new mineral colors but have "heard" they were crappy...well, yeah, I'll listen to that perspective...
    From a business/marketing standpoint, Mary Kay IS considered a prestigious brand based on: testing standards, percentage of certain ingredients, satisfaction surveys, etc. Come on people. It's business, here. Of COURSE there is a difference in product ingredients between products.

    As a professional marketer, if anyone believes that they've not been fooled by the brown-lips behind the Nordstrom counters, HELLLOOOO~~~ of COURSE they're hired for the way they's all marketing baby.

    My suggestion? Be an HONEST, caring, sincere consultant. People will see the difference between you and those smocky-wearing Lauderbots any day. Except Miranda and Arabella apparently.

  13. Oh, I can tell the difference between the Lauderbots and the Kaybots. There is a HUGE difference.

    The Lauderbots are there when I need them and only then. They know what they are talking about since their product line is not constantly changing. And they look wonderful and glamourous. Like a person in the makeup field should look.

    The kaybots, on the other hand, will stalk you until you die; and then have the nerve to warm chatter at your funeral. Their product is constantly changing and there is never enough time to learn what it is each thing does, to which skin type.

    Now, I say this because I have never met an honest, caring, sincere IBC. I am sure there are some. But during my years as a PUC I never once met one. That includes my director on up to my national.

  14. Speaking from my own experience, I used MK for 10 years before I ever became a consultant. It was the only skin care that did not aggravate my sensitive skin. I had tried the department store counters, and I could not get those women to LISTEN to me when I explained what I needed or wanted. My consultants listened. Plus the ladies at one of the counters all wore overdone, freakishly garish makeup. Yuck! Why would I want to go listen to their advice on makeup? The consultants for MK I worked with always looked beautiful, not overdone. (I will say that the Clinique and Chanel ladies always look nice, but they wouldn't listen and their products killed my skin).

    When I became a consultant, I had people who were THRILLED to learn that I was selling MK now. They were excited to have someone they knew selling a brand they loved. My customers love that they can get a quality product for a less expensive price than Lancome or Chanel. So yes, here MK does have prestige and image.

  15. How is buying everything individually a negative?? Before MK years ago, I use to use Estee or Lancome, I had a ton of beautiful EMPTY mirrored compacts with the brush/applicators that were good for nothing because I had used the product. I had paid dog gone good money for these.

    When I went to buy another, you had to buy everything again, you couldn't say, well I already have the applicators so I don't want anymore. My case is really good so I just want you to refill it.

    In MK, if you don't need the apps, you don't buy them. If you only need a refill you just buy the refill.

    Buy pricing each piece individually, each person only needs to pay for what they need, they don't get stuck having to pay for stuff they don't.

    With MK, one doesn't pay "extra" for these things, they only pay for it if they need it.

    This is a posetive not a negative!

    Reviewing a product because you "heard it was crappy" is hardly a fair review. I have had NONE of the problems with the mineral line that the pt posters complain about. (And I see alot of people and have tried it onl tons. - and personally I think it is superior to our previous line even though I think our previous line was great.)

    And reviewing and commenting on something you haven't used in 15 years is no and accurate account. Things can change ALOT in 15 years.

    and Diet Pepsi is the only way to go!

  16. I think that the bottom line here is that there is something out there for everyone. Not everyone is going to like MAC, or Bobbie Brown or Mary Kay. There are enough customers to go around for each brand. If MAC was so great and better, then everyone would be using it, But we know thats not the case and the same goes for Mary Kay.
    Not everyone likes the look of MAC, Fashion Fair, Este Lauder etc. I have had customers tell me that they dont like MAC, just as there are folks out there who dont like MK. I personaly think MAC wears too heavy and looks to heavy. I can tell if someone is wearing it because it looks like stage makeup to me and very "Rupaul-ish" Mary Kay is suited for a more everyday look and not all women want to look like the are getting ready for a photo shoot. So apparently there is a market for our products. But If you dont like them, then dont wear them, dont sell them and just dont buy em.

    I get compliments on my makeup all the time from women of all ages. My customer base includes women of all ages. Like Mk4me I am seeing a lot more women in their 20's and 30's and they luv the new eyeshadow colors. They have a choice of what they can wear, its their money, but they choose to spend it with me without me chasing them or "stalking them till they die". I have never done that, dont have to. I know arabella and miranda find that hard to believe but its true.

    A lot of women in Mary Kay are a work in progress. So you must factor this in when you talk about image. To sit behind the makeup counter at the department stores I am sure that you have to "already" meet a certain beauty standard before getting the job. This is a sales technique that works as Arabella has pointed out because she admits she buys into the hype. But there is no beauty standard or physical requirement needed to sell MK and if there was, that other site would make another case for why MK is evil, eventhough other makeup companies do it all day long.

    Some consulants hair and clothing may or may not be "trendy" as some see it, but it does not mean that it wont eventually be that way once she starts doing better for herself.
    Mary Kay women are real women, not cookie cutter images of women you see behind the makeup counters in the mall. The MK consulant is supposed to be appealing to the everyday woman who wants to feel a little better about herself, and take care of her skin. Our main product is the skin care, not the glamour. So as far as image being a factor in whether or not MK is prestigious, you have to consider many factors, because not all women want to look like those ladies in the mall. But I know MK consulatants where I live, who look like they just stepped out of a fashion mag and can hold their own against any one behind a MAC counter any day.
    As far as being pushy, I have seen some pretty pushy sales people in the mall behind those makeup counters, and some have been snooty and rude. Many people choose MK or Avon so that they can avoid the rude sales ladies at the mall. Most of the mall sales people work on commission and they just want to make the sale, they dont care if it looks right on you or not. They could care less about your repeat business. So I completely disagree with arabella description of the mall sales ladies as being all goodness and light.

  17. Now, now, Shashew. Did I say anything about *you* personally? I did not. *clucks and tuts* I'm allowed to speak about my experiences, whenever they happened.

    *raises an eyebrow* Wouldn't you agree?

  18. seeing that Mary Kay is the official beauty sponser of the Country Music Awards this year says alot about the quality of the brand and the products. I am proud to tell my customers about this.

  19. Gothchiq/aka Miranda,
    Please don't worry! I’m not personally insulted by your insults at all. In fact I in no way thought you were addressing me, or any of the wonderful ladies on this site. In fact,
    1. Director suits: Don’t have one. Seen ‘em, and they’re not that bad. Beats a smock.
    2. Demeanor: I am not pushy. You admit you were one of them. Probably that’s why you weren’t successful.
    3: Clothes for the consultant. I agree…and I don’t wear the 1960's version of professional dress. I wear the 2008 version of professional dress according to the group I’m meeting with. For example, I dress differently for the 20 something college crowd than I do for moms my own age, or at offices with corporate women. I agree there’s nothing wrong with pants. Especially not in the winter here in Connecticut. My hair and makeup always look great.
    4. Signature style: In its last iteration, the Mary Kay compact has a very unique, very beautiful, highly regarded signature style, shape, color, according to the Media, including Oprah, Tyra, the View and fashion magazine editors. But times change, fashion changes, and MK is changing with the times. Just like cars, soda, clothing and technology, companies change. That’s considered smart marketing in business. Stagnant products are relegated to being considered “old-fashioned” and eventually fade away. MK has decided to keep up with the times and I’m glad MK it has. In reference to the products, science changes too. And gets better. And always will.
    5. Haircuts. Ummm…so someone convinced you to chop off your hair? I have very long hair, so does my director. I’ve never heard this one. Obviously you’re not talking about me here.
    6. Application! I’ve learned application and have made up brides on their wedding day to business leaders being taped for seminars. How about “Learn” application beyond the basics? I did not have that skill before I joined Mary Kay and I learned this skill from Mary Kay – for free. And I LOVE our brushes.
    Anyway, that's my summary of why I know you weren’t talking about me. So don’t worry, no offense taken over here ;-)

  20. I actually really like this years director's suit! And for what it is worth, I respect the Company guidelines when I attend Company events. (and for all the whining over on pt - nylons and closed toe shoes are no longer required), but when I am doing my skin care classes, facials, etc.. if I want to wear sharp trousers - I do. When I am doing our very redneck country fair, you may even see me in very dressy capris or a very dainty sundress. I learned early on if I wore a suit, not only did I die of heat exhaustion, but people seemed very hesitant to come visit the display. So I relaxed and I don't look out of place.

    Sometimes... "when in Rome, do as the Romans do"

    I still look sharp and conduct myself professionally but let's face it, the Mary Kay police are not going to come lock me up if I wear pants at my presentations.

    And if I am just running to the store, gasp, I may even by in jeans. I just don't look frumpy.

    And sorry Miranda, as for changing the compacts all the time?? it has been 13 years since the last shape change, that can hardly be considered all the time.

    As for the outside packaging, I have never, not once had a client complain because they did not receive the most current packaging for their product. Not once.

    My daughter is 17, her friends think it is so cool that her mom does Mary Kay, many of them purchase it. Even outside of my daughter's circle I have a large potion of young ones on the velocity line with color.

    I believe in the last couple of years MK has taken a big step forward as for as not being thought of as a product for the more mature woman. And my younger market just seems to be growing rapidly.

  21. ARGH! Shashew! Time out!

    I'm not insulting you. I'm saying what I saw wrong when I was in MK. I'm also asking you not to get personal on me. mmkay?

    I said I was *not* pushy. Please quote me correctly if you're going to quote me. I don't have the kind of personality to be pushy. It's embarrassing to me even to think of it, much less do it.

    Compact shape wise, I don't know any more what shape they use. I do know about compact color changes. pink-silver-black. I know they went from pop-in to magnetic.

    Look, I'm not interested in a snarkfest. Dave solicited opinions. I gave mine in detail. If you think it's dumb, ignore it.

  22. I've been out since '06 so I'll say this: I like the foundation because it didn't make me look like a mannequin. But since being out I've found Benefit and I love it more because not only does it look like I'm not wearing anything, I don't feel like I am, either. (I could always feel MK's foundation on my skin and no, I didn't goop it on.)

    I loved MK's eye liners. Sincerely, I l-o-v-e-d them. I haven't found anything comparable since. Amazing considering that most eye pencils are manufactured in Germany, including MK's (according to the "made in" stamp on the ones I had when I was in.) Right now I use an angle brush and a contrasting shadow. I like the soft effect better than than the pencil. So I've taken to skipping pencil altogether.

    I loved the eye shadows and eyesicles. I kept at least one of everything when I cashed in. I should probably dump what I have but most I haven't used so I'm going to hang onto them for a while longer.

    I enjoyed the 3in1 and the moisturizer. There are others out there which I now use. But I have to say that one thing I will never give up is the oil free hydrating gel. I keep it on hand for the kids when they have a cold and their nose is runny. It takes the red out, "just like that", and relieves them better than anything else. Both the kids had colds for picture day and I slathered that stuff on them that morning and you couldn't tell in their pics that they had been rubbing and blowing their noses. The stuff is amazing and totally worth every single penny.

    Some MK stuff I think is worth the retail price (basic skin care). Other stuff like fragrance and spa stuff (Limited Edition, especially) is overpriced considering that similar product is available in the department stores packaged similarly for half MK w/s price. I don't think that that stuff is prestigious at all. That's just my opinion.

    Generally speaking, I'm a jaded consumer. I believe everything is crap packaged prettily. (I abhorred the hit-you-in-the-face, day-glow pink Signature packaging that was properly tossed into the garbage whilst I packaged an order in a nice(r) cellophane bag.) I love to be proven wrong about something and I will holler from the rooftop when I've found a product that lives up to what it claims to be. In the same breath, I will let as many people know what I think about something if it's crap. I will say that I think the black lacquer packaging is MUCH (emphasis) nicer than the clunky silver compacts. I like the magnetic palate, too. (Less likely hood of something snapping off/breaking.) Also, when I was in Mary Kay, one of my friends asked me before agreeing to do a class if the Mary Kay stuff was "still" pink because otherwise she wouldn't be into it. !! So according to some of my customer base, they liked the silver more than the pink. I know that they would like the black lacquer even more. It's just too bad that Mary Kay didn't do a more gradual evolution of their color line and a lot had to read PT to hear about the changes long before their directors were willing to share the changes with them.

    Miranda, I remember you. :) You're "good people".

  23. Psst, flybye! Have you tried Stila Smudgepots? It's cream liner and it's excellent! Use that same angled liner brush to apply. Put a circle of waxed paper on top of the product to prevent it from drying out. Stays all day until you take it off, can be worn as a crisp line or a soft smudged line, as you prefer.

    And thank you! :)

  24. Actually Miranda, no I haven't. But next time out and about and I have a few moments to putter, I'll look for them. :)


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