The evolution of the anti-Mary Kay movement


What began as a loosely organized group of women casually discussing their dislike of the “business opportunity” offered by multi-level marketing companies like Mary Kay Cosmetics, has been slowly developing into an organized, credible attack on the tactics that abuse participants.

Pink Truth, a website created and maintained by me, systematically exposes the lies and half-truths told by those trying to recruit new independent beauty consultants. I thrive on numbers, and regularly expose the pathetic reality of the Mary Kay business. While women regularly brag about bringing home “executive” incomes for part-time work, the reality is that the vast majority of the so-called executives in Mary Kay (sales directors) make annual incomes in the $20k’s, if they’re lucky.

The recruiting process includes parading around “high checks”, which are the largest commission checks sales directors have received. These don’t even come close to representing the normal commission checks, and they don’t reflect any of the expenses that go into running a Mary Kay business.

Half-truths about “free” cars are told. The amount of time required to earn an income is generally downplayed. Recruiters brag about the 50% profit that can be earned on the sale of the cosmetics, but never mention that most products are sold at a discount and therefore that 50% will never be realized. (That’s if they can actually find anyone to buy the products.) New recruits are encouraged to buy large inventories without any sales experience or a customer base to support the inventory.

These realities are exposed daily on Pink Truth, much to the chagrin of the sales force that is attempting to recruit new blood into the Mary Kay pyramid. The longer the site exists, the stronger and more refined our message becomes. And people are listening. Mary Kay Inc. is listening.

7 thoughts on “The evolution of the anti-Mary Kay movement

  1. Peter Camper

    Oh, for the love of Glub! Stop waving your hands, start citing ACTUAL numbers instead of your prejudiced, biased, self-serving guesses.

    MLM milks most participants? Sure.

    Still, there are more than just a few ladies who pull down the “free” [sic] cars and the decent paychecks. Did it ever cross your mind that a SUBSTANTIAL segment of the MK MLM market just enjoy the spending money, the cheap cosmetics, and the chance to socialize?

    Apparently not. To you, it seems, that every woman without an accounting degree is just another barefoot and pregnant sucker.

    Get over it. You couldn’t cut it in MK and you feel the imperative to assume that every other woman in the MK network is a victim.

    Speaks volumes for your character. Is MK a waste of time for most of its dealers? Sure. Is that an excuse for you to break out your “broad” brush?





  2. Tracy Coenen

    Hi Peter – Thanks for your interest in Mary Kay. Unfortunately, MK won’t release the actual figures because it would show how pitiful the earnings of their reps are. But fortunately, I have had numerous women give me their data for analysis. Sadly, even the women who MK proclaims are at the top 2% of the company are making very low incomes. Even the vast majority driving the not-so-free cars are only making $10,000 to $20,000 per year from Mary Kay. I’ve been researching this company for 6 years, and have plenty of data to support my conclusions.

  3. mary

    People in Mary Kay who want to own a business (not want a discount and socialization time) spend maybe 4k if they’re totally set on it. If they opened any other business (a dress shop for example) they would spend at least 50k on the building and 20k filling it up with dresses, and those are small numbers. If their business fails they’re out all that money and pretty much ruin their credit. Mary Kay, on the other hand has a 90% buy back guarantee for the first year! If a woman wants to own a business and she does the research she would see that Mary Kay is a great opportunity. You are wonderfully determined and fascinating I hope you have a great day!

  4. Gabriella

    First, I want to thank you for your work in exposing the truth about Mary Kay’s practices. As I’m sure you’ve heard from many other readers, it has been lovely to read something that validates my discomforts with the company.

    Second, I want to forward an article ( that I thought you might find interesting. I noticed in your post that your content focuses on the schemes of the company rather than the sexism that makes this scheming possible. I’ve written this piece in the hopes of exposing the veil of feminism under which I believe the company operates, a veil that makes the financial pyramid-scheme possible.



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