Mary Kay Fact Check

Hey everyone.  This is LONG overdue!  We NEED to create a few pages on this site where people can easily navigate to information concerning Mary Kay.

Please help me!  Here are a few of the ideas that I have thought of that we NEED, but I need help figuring out what else we need and also some researchers to come up with the TRUTH, not just what people have heard.

1. This page - Mary Kay Fact Check.  Often heard facts like "Mary Kay's Business Model is taught at Harvard."  Is this true?  To what extent is it true?  Where did it come from?  This will help people that are considering Mary Kay to evaluate whether they are being fed a bunch of fantasy stories or actual facts.

2. Important Mary Kay resources - Is there an 800 number for non-consultants?  Is there a way to check out a director or recruiter to see if they are as successful as they are claiming?  For consultants, what does it take to stay active? (A chart or graphic would be great! I can create that, but I need the information.)  How do you return product?  Things like this.

3. Stuff that Mary Kay and/or your recruiter might not want you to know.  What does it take to be a Director?  To drive a car?  To make NSD?  I know this might be a little scary to put out there, but Pink Truth is putting out their distorted version of it and people will be looking for it.  Spelling it out in black and white will help shut down their lies and hopefully will prevent some women from trying too hard too soon when they could wait and build a solid team.

I am tired of reading Pink Truth stories that could easily have been avoided if these women had real facts and figures to look at in an easy to follow format.  I can put it together, but I need to know what the information is.

For now, I will leave this page open to comments.  Please add the following types of comments:

1. What pages or information should be included?  What did you wish you knew before you started Mary Kay that you couldn't find anywhere?
2. I need the answers to the questions too.  mk4me, I would definitely love your input on this part - you can email me directly rather than comment if you prefer.  But everyone else, please take some time to offer what you know.  This needs to be facts and where the source is. "My recruiter said..." is NOT good enough.  "In my experience..." isn't either.  I want a copy of a Harvard syllabus or some other official document if we are going to say that Mary Kay is taught at Harvard.  If you have a few minutes, please take the time to do a little research for this.  Pick something you have always been curious about and look into it.  Comment or E-mail the results of your research.



  1. Lol, I will do as much as I can as you know already...

    Mary Kay and Harvard.... .... the Mary Kay model is not "taught" as in a course at Harvard but there has been a case studies. Also a few years back several universities were observing and researching the Mary Kay marketing plan. Several university personnel even attended our Seminar and I know that for a fact because they were introduced at the events.

    pet peeve.. perhaps some instructors have "taught" mk marketing... how would someone know whether it has or has not been unless they have been in every marketing class every taught? I had one high shcool teacher (before I was even using Mary Kay) that used some of the Mary Kay information in a class. I would not be "lying" if I said I was taught about MK in high school, but no I am sure not all of them do.

    Mary Kay is always asking us NOT TO misrepresent things, but there are just some people that open their mouths and nonesense just comes out.

    Almost all information can be found on I went into my site and searched on Harvard.. is what is came up:

    Case studies on the Mary Kay business model have been shared at the collegiate level at several prestigious
    universities. Professors and college textbook writers have contacted Mary Kay Inc. to learn more about Mary Kay Ash and the Company she founded.

    and regarding Baylor University:

    In a study conducted in
    2003 by Baylor University,
    Mary Kay Ash was named the greatest female
    entrepreneur in
    American history.

    so now you have......"the rest of the story"

  2. and.... one of the most top Nationals, Gloria Mayfield Banks is a Harvard Graduate.

    1. And....a case study on Gloria Mayfield Banks has been used in teaching at Harvard.

  3. Almost any thing can be checked and verified at if you are already a consultant. But I will keep providing any back up required. :)

    Great job to our administrator!!

  4. Perhaps the clarification about how the cosmetics industry calculates popularity of brand--while Pink Truth (among other skeptical websites) cast doubt about this claim, perhaps a better understanding about how retail cosmetics popularity is determined IN THE INDUSTRY would help clear any misconceptions up. I think there is a link on the front page of this blog to a website that starts to get to this topic.

    1. Brand Keys article on post March 5 2012 --- I don't have the time to do the research but my suggestion would be to google the brand keys and see if they explain how they rank things, it isn't Mary Kay reporting these figures - this is an independent company.

    2. Brand Keys is an independant company that surveys consumer satisfaction in all areas of, well, consumerism. From electronics to cosmetics. The key words with this annual report are "Brand Loyalty." For the 2012 survey, of 598 brands involved in the survey, Mary Kay was listed as the 12th best company at creating customer delight (the only cosmetics company in the top 20) Mary Kay also outranked all other cosmetics companies in the cosmetics category (luxury cosmetics was a different category, which Clinique took).

  5. This is a good idea. So much non-truth, half-truth and outright fantasy has been associated with this business at one time or another.Truth brings respect, honor and even power to the table when we present it and only it.

  6. I was a MK girl who saw the bad side of the business, directors who held your hand and lied to you but when you had personal issues they told you all is well, just place an order even if you have not sold anything...they even encouraged their units to go into MK debt. I refused because I knew what it was like to have a car loan and medical bills from just having a baby. It was a horrible experience and I left MK hurt and feeling like I was a failure until I met a relative who is in MK in another state. She told me that there are wolves and sheep, I was a sheep and the MK directors in my city were wolves. I am learning it is best to be a sheep dog and protect the sheep.

    1. Sorry that you had a bad experience with Mary Kay. As for me, this is my third time back. Why? I know that it works when I work. It's that simple for me. I have had two directors (my third time is with the second director). Why didn't I rejoin my first director? I thought if I changed directors my problems will be different. Stupid, right? My problems are still my problems. Plus too, I wanted to do it my way not the Mary Kay way. Stupid again, and I did it twice! Now the third time, I've decided to do it the way Mary Kay teaches, sell, book, recruit. I know without a doubt that this company works because I've seen two women who began with me are now executives and soon to be nationals. I mean I know them personally and I'm not on their team or area. I am so sorry that you had a bad experience but I know there are few directors out there who do not practice the golden rule (yes, I agree...wolves). There are so many wonderful directors who do have your best interest at heart to succeed in this business, who won't betray or try to get something from you (reorders), as long as you are willing to do it the Mary Kay way...and it's called working (I'm talking to myself here because I need this reminder). I work, it works. Sorry for soapbox. are not a failure because the director mislead you (I wish I could kick her in the shin for you). One thing I have to disagree with you is that not, 98% of them, all MK directors are wolves. You just happened to get one of the 2% which is so unfortunate because we lost you. I want you to have a great and wonderful day and God bless.

    2. Mkpatrice, just curious I experienced a director who encouraged me to get $1500.00 investment for my initial order so that I would have inventory (such as a store readily available) BAD CHOICE for me at least- because my question was - there are so many different skin tones out there -especially African American women...I was clueless as to which cosmetic products to purchase. I still have the products now- unable to give them away even to family and friends- I have tried to use some of them- I am curious about your success which you are experiencing after a (3rd) time of entering this business- with the economy and high unemployment rate- please if you dare- answer the following questions for me.
      1. In your opinion- what were the factors which were responsible for your other (2) business failures with MK?
      2. How much out of pocket money did you place up front for inventory or do you have extra inventory sitting in your house? in the first (2) businesses? How much on this business venture?
      3. How many bookings do you book weekly?
      4. How many of these MK booking parties actually materialize?
      5. How much is your actual net profit after expenses of time, energy, money, gas, free samples, book mailings, etc?
      Do you actually make any spendable money from this business? How much of the money do you reinvest into your business verses the amount of money you can actually use towards yourself as the extra income that MK states you can make?
      6. What is your marketing strategy? Is it a mixture of just randomly meeting people on street and passing out your MK card? Where do you go after you have used all your family and friends, and acquantences?
      7. Truthfully, from your own personal experience- is the amount of time, effort, and energy that you possess in this business a good return on your investment?
      8.Finally, do you faithfully attend those 2 hour weekly pep up meetings each week? If so, do you find the information which you are receiving or training profitable and worth your time? How much time do you really invest overall weekly-including the meetings and scheduled parties, preparing for the party bookings to be successful in your own eyes?

    3. Angel Nurse - I can't answer all those questions, but I can answer a few.
      Personally, I do go to every meeting every week, unless I absolutely cannot. Even when I'm visiting my family in the town I grew up in, I've found a director there from my National Area who lets me attend meetings when I'm home. I hope to build a unit there eventually, so she'd be a great adoptive director. The saying goes if you've had a really great week the meeting needs you and if you've had a really bad week you need the meeting. This is so true. I signed my agreement to make money so I could be home with my son. I have stayed through all my trials and tribulations for the girlfriend time. Yes, I've had problems with my business. But like mkpractice said, it ultimately boils down to me not doing the work. This business is simple, but it does take work. You just have to want it bad enough.
      Inventory - I did not start with inventory. I was a rare bird in my unit that way. With the job I had at the time I was able to reinvest all my profits back into the business to build up an inventory. It took me the better part of 2 years, but now I have about $4000 worth of inventory. I do not carry bronze and dark beige shades because I do not see that demographic very often. I have them in my demo kit, but if I sell one I use the customer delivery service for that. I just don't live in an area with that demographic. If I move, my inventory will change. I do have things that become "obsolete" like quarterly limited edition things I haven't sold out of. I just mark it down and put a "clearance" bin on my table. Or I break up gift sets into smaller bits and give them away as prizes, gifts for not rescheduling, etc. That's a tax right-off.
      Marketing - the best way to get future bookings is referrals and bookings from bookings. At your parties you get the guests to book their check up facial (2nd appt) and get them to invite all their friends. Plus, at some point during the party, you tell them that you run your business by referrals and the greatest compliment they could give you is to referr their friends and relatives to you. You have them write down names and numbers on the back of their profile card. Give them a set amount of time, the person who puts the most down gets a prize. (make sure you say over 18, within driving distance, I haven't seen them before, etc). If they don't book a check up facial you have a bunch of names to call.
      Spendable income - like I said, I haven't worked the business to its full potential like I should, and I've been reinvesting to build inventory (that stopped this summer). However, I have witnessed in my unit no less than 5 women be able to resign from their jobs, be able to work from home and spend as much time with their families as the need/want to, earn the use of pink cadillacs, become sales directors, and one even retired her husband. I've also seen many many more drop out because they weren't getting out of it what they wanted. But you get out of it what you put into it. My sales director made over $120,000 in recruiting commissions alone last year (doesn't include the car, her sales, prizes, bonuses). This is not her telling me...I was her office assistant until recently, I saw her income statement.
      The numbers - 1 in 3 bookings will hold. 1 in 5 people you talk to will book. 1 in 5-10 phone calls results in an actual conversation. 1 in 5 interviews signs up. I don't know if these are nation-wide averages, but these are the numbers I was taught and they seem pretty accurate so far.

      I hope this information helps.

    4. I am so sorry for your experience- I had the a very horrible experience years ago but only because I was not trained well. I am back in my Mary kay business and I am loving every minute of it!

      I pray that all your personal life can some day line up with the Mary Kay opportunity! Remeber Mary Kay comes last and it is sprinkled throughout your daily activities- God first, Family second and Career third! I want all of my unit members to have financial freedom and make a positive impact on every woman they meet!

      Mary Kay for Life:)

  7. UARK/ETEC Grad Student, I am sorry your experience with Mary Kay was so awful. I hope your relative wasn't in MK at the time you joined Mary Kay -- many directors wouldn't ask if you had a relative in the Company but many would. If you had joined your relative's team -- her director would have been your director and your experience may have been very different.

    The director can make a very huge difference in the experience one has in the mk career. I would much prefer to invest my time in my consultants and have them with me for a very long time then to "churn and burn" them... those that operate under the "find them, bring them in big, and let them go" philosophy and up having to replace that person with another big inventory order newbie when the first big order is returned to the Company.. hence the reason many of these struggling directors complain about the "hampster wheel" --- treating consultants right and having them sell and order and sell and order... keeps production coming in and thus ending the hampster wheel mode of operating... my production from my unit comes form seasoned working consultants, my new consultants production is only icing on the cake for me. And perhaps that is why I absolutely love my business, my unit, and the Company. When I have to deal with those doing it "their" way.. usually if I am just patient ... they end up being gone before long...

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I see no where to trackback to your article, but I have linked you onto a blog I wrote You can see your link here

    Thanks Take Care Sandy
    Sandy Metcalf
    Authority Marketing Consultant
    Attraction Marketing Coach

  10. Hi there,

    I live in Ottawa Canada and have been doing some research recently regarding Mary Kay and have been contemplating on becoming a representative. I have read numerous negative stories about pushy directors and that has concerned me quite a bit. Nonetheless I contacted a representative in my area on Friday looking to join and have not heard back from her yet and then decided to send an email directly to the company this morning and have not had a reply back from them either. This all very disappointing. I was all gung ho to start and then read so many discouraging stories and still have not had any replies back from anyone regarding sign up that I'm just beginning to wonder about all this?. Is this usual to have to wait so long to get start up information etc?.

    Many thanks,

    1. Kathleen,
      Sorry you are having such a hard time. And NO this is not the norm for signing up. If you don't mind I will be more then happy to help you out. Feel free to email me and I'll give you a call and maybe we can get you pointed in the right direction.

      I look forward to hearing from you!

      Vera Smith Mary Kay IBC

    2. Kathleen, Sorry about your experience, I would love to help you find someone in your area and I can help you with my 7 years’ experience to find the right director for you. The company has many different phone numbers maybe you call one and left a message with someone in the wrong area. I would start with this number 1-800-MARY KAY , but you still have to navigate the menu to get results. If that does not work please post and I can call my friend at corporate and find out which number to dial.

      Thanks Kristyn Stillwell

    3. Hello Kathleen, I am a consultant in Toronto, Ontario. The phone number for Mary Kay in Canada is
      1 (866) 455-5454. Or alternately, you could contact me at we can get you going in your area.

      Take care.


    4. Hi ladies, Gosh I'm so sorry for the very very tardy reply LOL. I had no idea anyone had responded to me LOL. I assumed I would get an email alerting me to any responses from the site and when I didn't I just figured no one had answered :).

      Thank you so much for all of your replies. I did join Mary Kay after all and have been active for 1 year now and I have to say my experience has been a very positive one. I have a fantastic director who is helpful and kind. She goes out of her way to help and is always available. I had my concerns before joining due to all the negative things I had read but I think if your are clear about what your intentions are before starting and have an honest conversation with your director about what how you want to proceed with your Mary Kay career than you will have a better understanding of how that particular group/director operates and if this is inline with your expectations.

      Ask questions and if they are a good director like mine is they will listen and answer your questions.

      I'm very pleased with experience and I don't regret my decision to join, but as I said...ask questions and be clear about what your expectations are too :).

      Many thanks,
      Kathleen Desmarais

  11. To answer some of #3:
    What does it take to be a Director? To drive a car?

    My director was always very forthcoming with this information. I knew this before I signed my consultant agreement.

    Free car:
    15 active consultants directly underneath you, aka you find people who want to do Mary Kay and they like and trust you enough to do it under you. An active consultant is someone who has placed a $200 order within the last 3 months.

    Director status (a little more complicated):
    Someone in DIQ (Director in Qualification) may qualify as an Independent Sales Director in one, two, three or four months (after signing the agreement with the company to head toward directorship), based on when she achieves the following:

    $18,000 cumulative unit wholesale production

    “24 total active unit members”
    (To count toward this requirement, none of your team members can be any of the following; the spouse of an Independent Beauty Consultant, your spouse, a current DIQ or a current Sales Director)

    $4,000 per month minimum wholesale unit production to continue qualifying (even if you’ve reached the $18,000 total).

    $1,800 in personal cumulative wholesale production.

    At least 10 of 24 active unit members (not including the DIQ) must have at least $600 in personal cumulative wholesale production.

    The DIQ’s unit members must contribute at least $14,000 toward the $18,000 wholesale production requirement.

    The DIQ may contribute up to $4,000 in personal wholesale Section 1 production toward the $18,000 cumulative wholesale production during the qualification period.

  12. I'm currently a customer.I love the makeup and micro dermabrasion.My rep is a senior sales director and wants me to join.I don't understand why she can't accept me just bring a customer.

    1. just keep telling her, I love my "customers", they're what make me LOVE this gig. She certainly see potential in you but you make that line clear.

      Thanks for enjoying MK!

  13. I have plenty of customers that I have asked to join my team, but I dont bother them anymore if they say no. Make sure you say no and dont beat around the bush. Tell her that you would rather be a happy customer. If she can't accept you as a customer, then she is obviously giving us a bad name.

  14. I am thinking about Selling Mary Kay. I need to make some extra money but simply can not get a 2nd job. I am aware of the cost for the web sit and to take credit cards, but I have people telling me there are all there's hidden costs you don't know about, and they strong arm you in to buying a ton of inventory. I would love some feed back. While yes I know you have to spend money to make money and I am prepared to do so. I also can not afford to be taken for a ride.
    Thank you

    1. Jamie,

      Your director should never strong arm you into anything if she is a good person. Yes, you have to spend money to make money, but you are the business owner and you make your decisions. I usually show you the inventory options and suggest what you should get depending on how much you want to work. Again, you are the decision maker, not me. Remember you can sell it back for 90% buy back if things do not work out. Email me if you have any more questions.
      Sorry, I did not see this until now.

  15. I am thinking about Selling Mary Kay. I need to make some extra money but simply can not get a 2nd job. I am aware of the cost for the web sit and to take credit cards, but I have people telling me there are all there's hidden costs you don't know about, and they strong arm you in to buying a ton of inventory. I would love some feed back. While yes I know you have to spend money to make money and I am prepared to do so. I also can not afford to be taken for a ride.
    Thank you

    1. Hi, iv been a consultant for almost 2 months. They do suggest to get inventory packages when you start, but like me, I had not enough for that. You have to realize to make $, you have to put $ into it and time. Each time I places an order until recently iv re invested to habe more items for people to try before thry buy. I also got the buisness cards ftom walmart and made them myself for $5, ... other thanmaking sure I had a bank account for mk only, paid to get my site, and signed up for propay..that's it...just have to make sure you have the qualifying order each 3 mo...butits not hard to do. Do your best to stay positive, and have good training.

  16. can somebody make a laboratory test for MK products?. it is very horrible!!!


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This Week On Pink Truth - Click Here
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First Post - Why I Started This Blog
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