Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thrifty Thursday: Sticking with my MK

This post is going to sound like a sales set-up.

Not my intention.

It is no secret that I'm an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics.

It is a business. Not a hobby. Anyone in direct sales knows they won't be in business for very long if they:
  1. Treat it like a hobby, and
  2. Keep it a secret
I've been using Mary Kay skin care for just about 10 years. I've been selling Mary Kay skin care for just over a year and a half, and began using their color cosmetics at the time that I became a consultant. I like using the product and I like making money selling the product. It's a win-win.

I will continue to both use and sell the product upon moving to Beaver.

"Ok, Joline, we get it. You dig the pink biz. But why is this post making it into Thrifty Thursday?"

Because with Mary Kay I am thriftier with my spending on beauty products.

My family can attest that I have ALWAYS been into cosmetics and skin care. I used night cream when I was in 7th grade. I love jars, and colors, and yummy whipped creams, and tubes, and brushes, and scrubs. Perhaps having been in professional theater beginning in 6th grade, and thus needing to clean burnt cork, or pancake, or really red lipstick off my face night after night had something to do with my early interest in beauty products.

My fabulous Aunt fed my enthusiasm. Every Christmas I could be sure that she would give me some sort of glamorous makeup kit or set. I remember fondly one brand of shadows, blushes, and cream lip colors by Calvin Kline that sat in stackable trays. I felt like a hot shot. I never knew where she found these! It was like a hidden treasure that only the cool Aunt could find and bestow upon you.

My favorite store used to be the now defunct Cosmetic Center, followed by Ulta 3, and when I was still doing on-camera work, the M.A.C store on East Oak downtown, where I received a SAG discount. I could spend hours in these stories. And cash. Hours and cash.

Regardless of what store, I spent a ton of money on both skin care and cosmetics. I had enough to fill a tackle box or two. Now, in my defense, I was performing regularly in theater, and thus needed product. Not so for commercials where they handled my face for me. Boy, was that nice.

Once I "retired", (a term I use loosely), from performing, I was left with a big box of colors and products that I just couldn't use daily. The colors weren't right for "every day", especially the lip colors. Many eye products got chucked, as I'm a stickler for keeping my cosmetics clean from bacteria - especially eye products - and thus, I just pitched everything that was over two years old.

I would then restock with items that I thought worked for me. Never actually finishing an entire product. My box was refilled with useless, unfinished items. I still had my Mary Kay skin care (Classic Basic), but I would also purchase extra, non-Mary Kay products, for no reason other than that I liked to shop for them. I didn't need them. And so they sat. And sat.

Enter Mary Kay. I now spend less on myself than I did in the past. I get my products half-price, and I make 50% on everything I sell. I don't ever need to run out to the store to peruse the aisles wondering if a color will work for me, or if a product will jive with my skin. I get to try everything in my home before purchasing an item for myself, and after using it for a bit, if I don't like it, I can return it - even if I've used it. The company has been in business for 45 years. They are a debt free company. They enrich the lives of women, like myself, who just need to bring in a bit of extra income. They don't engage in animal testing. They are in 38 world markets. The have an awesome research/development/and medical team that I can personally contact on behalf of myself and my customers. They have staying power.

Even NPR had a recent story about direct sales cosmetic companies and how they are providing a bit more support for women during this economic recession. For in economic times, most women are not willing to give up the products which make them feel good.

I'm one of them. Only, I get them even cheaper!

I have less makeup than I did before becoming a consultant. I have less skincare than I did before becoming a consultant. I spend less money on these items than I did before becoming a consultant.

But, here's where we may differ. See, I really like skin care and cosmetics. So this works for me. Give me some Microdermabrasion and Oil Free Hydrating Gel and I can feel happy for hours. Even in this economy, I will continue to "splurge" on myself. Only now, a splurge means an eye color and cleanser and moisturizer and lip color at wholesale prices. No gas. No parking. No wandering the aisles. No closet full of half-used bottles or tubes of lipsticks that have been used twice only to be handed over to Harper for play make-up. As if she even plays with make-up. Not.

I should add that shopping drives me insane. Upon having children I lost my ability to browse. So, perhaps, this is another reason that I enjoy my business: the perk of not having to shop in an actual store.

Does Mary Kay = Thrifty? Well, it does for me. I'm not going to give up purchasing and using personal care products. So, I may as well get them for a better price and make money at the same time. Mary Kay works for me while I work for Mary Kay. Sounds like a thrifty opportunity to me!

Have you been able to turn a personal interest into a thrifty opportunity during this economic conundrum? (Isn't that a great word?)

Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship. ~Benjamin Franklin

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I have used Mary Kay (even was a consultant for a little while) for 16 years. It's why I still look like I'm 25. ;) Okay, not quite, but I sure don't look my real age. I agree with you 100% on everything you said.
I, too, am not willing to skimp on myself in this area. Mary Kay and professional hair color are non-negotiable. In this economy, it's the rest that's up for grabs.