Consulting and Confidence

Charlotte Penberthy’s start with Mary Kay Makeup

In addition to being a track star, ROTC Captain, and committed to Vanderbilt University, senior Charlotte Penberthy is adding one more accomplishment to her already impressive resume: Mary Kay consultant.

“My mom sells Mary Kay makeup, and she’s been doing that for about eleven years now,” Penberthy said. “So I grew up watching her be successful with her own business and meeting great people. I thought that was so cool, and I decided to do that when I turned eighteen.”

Penberthy’s experience with makeup can be dated back to her time at Simpson Middle School, where she had lead roles in the musicals. Bridget Penberthy would bring huge compartments full of Mary Kay makeup and help the young actors and actresses prepare for the stage.

As she got older, Penberthy was incredibly busy with her extracurriculars, but when the moment presented itself she jumped at the chance to work with Mary Kay.

“After I finished all my college applications I got a lot off my plate,” Penberthy said. “I was ready to quit my job at Rita’s and start my own business, and I’ve loved every second of it.”

When first becoming a consultant for Mary Kay you have two different options.

“You can get a $30 E-Start, or you can pay the $130 Start, which gets you the E-Start and a big starter kit, which is a huge black purse,” Penberthy said. “It’s super cute and it comes with $450 worth of product, but you get it at a great discounted price. I chose to do that because I knew that I wanted to do this business, and I knew that I wanted to get that really great deal.”


After paying the $30, the E-Start includes access to a Mary Kay website for one year, access to ProPay for one year, which is a credit card processing service that allows you to charge card orders, free apps to help sell Mary Kay products, online step-by-step instructions to set up your business, and digital marketing services.

The $130 start includes all of that in addition to physical products that can be sold immediately.

“My inspiration for starting this was to have more freedom with my time,” Penberthy said. “I’m a really busy person and I have ROTC in the morning, I have track after school, I play a sport year-round, so I didn’t really have too much time on my hands, but I still wanted to have a way of making money. I thought that Mary Kay would be the best way for me to have such flexibility, because in the end I get to determine when I work and how much I work, which I just love.”

Most of Penberthy’s customers are high school students, and she advertises to them through her Instagram accounts.

“When I get new products I love posting on my instagram story. It’s so fun and it’s kind of satisfying,” Penberthy said. “I also have a separate account just for Mary Kay, it’s a private account and I post about beauty tips, and whenever I get new products I talk about the benefits and the prices and stuff.”

Her private account is called “shinewchar,”  and in addition to posting about Mary Kay products, Penberthy gives self-care tips, positive messages, and words of encouragement to all the young ladies who follow her.

“I think it’s amazing,” sophomore Margaret O’Brien said. “She’s advocating for normalizing things like having acne.”

Another way she connects to her clients is through at-home facials, which Penberthy hosts.

“So, with the facial we start off with hands. We do some satin hands, which is hand exfoliation, then we do lip exfoliation, and then we do DIY facials,” Penberthy said. “During these facials I’m not actually touching them, they’re learning how to do it themselves, because ultimately, if they decide to take these products home, I want them to know how to do it themselves. Finally, when we do the DIY facials, we use a charcoal mask, which is really great. We do a botanical set which is perfect for young skin, and then we do a ‘dash-out-the-door’ makeup look, which is some CC cream, liquid eyeshadow, mascara, and lipgloss.”

Penberthy extends the facials to the mother of her clients, and even hosted a Valentine’s Day party with girls and their boyfriends.

O’Brien attended a facial session with Penberth on April 3 and said, “I absolutely loved it! The products made my skin feel super smooth and clean. Charlotte was super professional and made sure to explain everything that we were doing.”

O’Brien bought the Botanical Effects Skincare Kit, and commented that the ‘dash-out-the-door’ makeup was “super light, but also very pretty.’

“My favorite part of that is seeing the end result, and seeing the young girls look in the mirror and be just so happy and satisfied with how they look,” Penberthy said. “It’s a very light makeup look but it can make such a huge difference, and it can make someone so much more confident.”

While Penberthy adores running her own business and bringing self-esteem to her peers, she also notes the difficulties of it.

“Being your own boss is a double-edged sword. You have to be really good at time management, because there is nobody looking over your shoulder saying, ‘you have to do this, you have to get this done’,” Penberthy said. “Being your own boss, you have to be able to force yourself to do stuff that you might not want to do. You would probably rather watch Netflix, but you have to set that time aside and work on your business, and that takes a lot of responsibility.”

Regardless, Penberthy is constantly smiling in all of her posts. She holds facials regularly and offers advice on the best products for different types of skin.

“My favorite part about being a consultant is definitely sharing the beauty of makeup and skin care, and helping to perfect young people’s skin care routines,” Penberthy said. “Looking in the mirror we see our faces every single day and if I can make one more person more confident in themselves, that brings me joy and it makes my job so rewarding.”

Penberthy hopes that her products and encouragement are used to increase self-love in all of her clients, and she strives to make the point known in her most recent Instagram post.

“Don’t let other people’s opinions hold you back,” Penberthy said. “Because if you live worrying about what other people think of you, you’re not actually going to live.”