Mary Kay MLM Review

Most Beautiful Scam or Money-Making Business? (2022 Update)

The fact that Mary Kay Cosmetics has been in the industry for decades doesn’t mean it is good, or is it? 

Many companies have made it to the 10+ years mark, and when you have a close look at them, they are nothing more but scams in disguise. The question is, does Mary Kay enter this group? 

We would love to say it doesn’t, but we are more inclined to the “yes” considering the type of business model it follows. 

Based on MLM or multilevel marketing plans, Mary Kay opens a business opportunity in which you pay a membership to make money by selling products but recruiting people more than anything else. 

All MLM companies work in the same manner (of course, with more details), which is why you will notice that ARIIX, Natura, Herbalife, or similar ones you must have heard about are similar in structure. Well, they follow MLM as well. 

Now, compensations, commissions, earnings, and every detail of MLM companies change based on the terms and conditions they have set. Thus, we will need to go over all the details of Mary Kay to answer the main question: Is it worth it?

Mary Kay Is Actually a Person’s Name: Founder

Unlike some MLM companies, this one takes the name after its founder, Mary Kay Ash, who is known for being an amazing entrepreneur and growing her empire back in the 60s to 80s. 

Unlike some regular MLM reviews we write here, we consider it crucial to focus on her before jumping to the company itself. That way, you should be able to understand how the business model comes and works later. 

Commonly known as Mary Kay Ash, her real name is Mary Kathlyn Wagner. She was born in Hot Wells, Texas, on May 12, 1918.

Lula Veber Hastings was her mother and was later a nurse. Edward Alexander Wagner was her father, but we are unable to find any information about whom he was in specific or any profession registered. 

Ash has no reliable record in education, or more like we don’t know if she actually had one in the first place.

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Coming from a decade and era that women used to marry quite young, she married at 17 and had three children with Ben Rogers. 

While being married, Ben served in World War II as she sold books door to door.

The marriage didn’t last much longer when they decided to divorce in 1945 after he returned from war. However, Mary Kay married George Hallenbeck years later. 

Ash has been a successful professional and career woman. In 1939, she was hired as a salesperson by Stanley Home Products.

She was an excellent worker and hostess who encouraged people to purchase household products. She didn’t stay with the company for long after noticing her talent for sales and opportunities.

World Gifts hired Ash in 1952 as a salesperson. After working for the company for just over a decade, she quit protesting when she saw Ash’s former trainee be promoted and get a better salary. 

This was despite her having contributed greatly to the company and the fact that the company didn’t give her an increase, presumptively because she was female.

This difference in genre annoyed her, and she decided to aim for something better, bigger, and hers. 

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What Is Mary Kay Cosmetics? – Founding an Empire

Mary Kay is a multilevel marketing company today that started in 1963 when its founder, who gives the company its name, began her business with $5,000 and later purchased formulas for skincare products that had been created by a relative of a tanner who also worked with hides.

Of course, Mary Kay didn’t start as an MLM company but rather a sales business that offers cosmetic options. 

Richard Rogers was one of her children and helped her to open a Dallas store and hire nine employees. This is how Mary Kay Inc.; a multilevel cosmetic was founded.

The company turned a profit in its first year due to Ash’s business skills and philosophy. The company also sold products worth nearly $1 million in the second year.

The product concept was based on her experience in her early career. It was very similar to those she had previously worked with.

At-home parties were the best way to sell cosmetics. She also took advantage of her exceptional skills, which previous companies did not value.

Ash was determined to stand out in her industry by using incentive programs, limiting her sales territory, and having a strong belief that “Treat others as you want to be treated.”

Her motto is “God first. Family second. Career third.” This is something that many entrepreneurs need to remember today.

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Since Mary Kay wanted others to be able to be successful from her business, she developed the MLM (multi-level-marketing) system in it, and it is probably one of the very few companies you can trust with this model.

They were her consultants as a result of their implementation in her first business venture. They purchased May Kay products wholesale from May Kay and sold them to their customers at retail prices. 

Like every multilevel company, they could also earn commissions for new consultants they recruit.

The company was first listed in the public market in 1968. After the stock price dropped, Ash and her family purchased it back. According to their website, they now sell more than $3 billion annually.

Ash’s enthusiasm was key to the success of this organization. She was also well-known for her passion for pink. From product packaging to the Cadillacs, it could be seen everywhere that she gave top-earning consultants every year.

Her business model attracted lots of attention because it was not dependent on “man wisdom.” She proved people wrong by not relying on women more.

Ash continued to be involved in the business even though she was forced to step down in 1987 as CEO.

The cosmetics mogul, who was a billionaire in the cosmetics industry, died on November 22, 2001. Her company was a global business with representatives in more than 30 countries at the time.

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Products for Sale: What Are Mary Kay Products?

Entering the product topic, we need to clarify things before you decide to join the business. 

Since independent distributors are in charge of selling all the products offered by the company or have the chance to do so, growing familiar with them is natural if you consider this.

Since it is a cosmetic company, the wide variety of products focus on skincare and makeup, which the business and some reviews claim are high-performance and quality. 

The most popular company’s products include the Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, Ultimate Mascara, Micellar Water, and Hydrogel Eye Patches. 

Of course, the list just continues as Mary Kay offers over 100 different products today, and over 81% of them have great reviews by unbiased customers (with some biased ones out there). 

With this in mind, we will be mentioning some of the most popular ones and their prices so you can have an idea of how much they cost overall: 

  • Oild-Free Eye Makeup Remover: $17.
  • Ultima Mascara: $15.
  • CC Cream Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15: $22.
  • TimeWise Miracle Set 3D: $110.
  • Hydrogel Eye Patches: $40.
  • Extra Emollient Night CreaM: $15.
  • ClearProof Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask: $24.
  • Clinical Solutions Retinol 0.5 Set: $120.
  • White Tea & Citrus Satin Lips Set: $22.
  • TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Set: $205.

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You will find a wide range of prices covering anti-aging, makeup, skincare, and more products. As cheap as you find some, others can be a bit more pricy. 

Joining Mary Kay: Beauty Consultant

Are you planning to join the company or considering it? You must know then that all MLM work with fees, starter kits, or memberships. Although there are exceptions, Mary Kay isn’t. 

You will be known as a Mary Kay independent beauty consultant

 when working with the company and officially joining. 

Now, you need to spend $100 to purchase the Mary Kay Starter Kit for the cost. 

The idea of the kit is to provide you with enough products to start selling once you join, but this also covers a membership that isn’t exactly mentioned yet is there. 

The kit comes with retail-sized products, samplers, and business supplies like brochures and details with a few sales tips. 

The benefit of joining the MLM company is that it works with up to 50% commission on every product sale, and this means you can earn more money when selling them at retail price, thanks to the discount you get.

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Although $100 is cheap, Mary Kay comes with more expenses considering it is a business opportunity. 

To maintain your membership active, you must maintain a sales quota of $75 every month. If you are unable to do so, you will obviously have to pay for it. 

Considering that the first couple of months it can be hard to sell with the MLM model, you could end up investing over $200 in addition to the kit. 

Compensation & Earnings: How Much Can You Make?

After considering the investment in the business, you must be wondering: Are long-term earnings worth the wait? 

Going back to MLM and what they are, companies who work with this business model often offer two options to earn money only: Direct sales and downline sales. 

Direct sales are the typical “make money by selling products at retail price,” which we mentioned you could earn about 50% for each product. 

However, the downline sales is a 4% commission on your downline, which is the people you have recruited to join the company and have purchased the starter kit. 

Every time they make a sale, you earn 4% of that.

Mary Kay also follows the team-building structure that claims to help you make between $50 to $1,000 (monthly) based on your rank. 

However, you can only climb in ranks when you recruit more and more people. 

To have a better idea of the earnings conditions and what the company mentions you can earn, you can have a look at the picture below: 

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If you feel a bit confused with everything, it is natural. 

MLM companies use very complicated plans, and although they follow the same structure, percentages, money, possible earnings, and more, they are always confusing. 

Pros & Cons: Beauty Scam or Worth Your Time?

Having reached this point, we are sure you are a bit more inclined to a decision or another when it comes to joining. 

But warning! We want you to consider these pros and cons before you make the final one: 


  • The company has been around since the 60s and has built a great reputation.
  • It isn’t hard to sell the products, and there’s a wide range of prices to aim for different target customers.
  • You can work from home with online sales and recruitments or rely on person-to-person sales as well.
  • The company provides professional and high-quality sales tools to help with your independent business.
  • 50% of commission for product sales is much more than other MLM companies.
  • You can opt for more bonuses and commissions.
  • It’s similar, but it isn’t an illegal pyramid scheme. 


  • The MLM business model isn’t made to earn lots of money as the company promises.
  • Mary Kay often tends to change their product formulas, which can be bad for sellers when providing them to customers.
  • You need to invest close to $500 to join since most beauty consultants don’t make sales in the first months.
  • The compensation plan, when leaving aside the direct sales commission, isn’t appealing.
  • You can only grow in the company by recruiting people. It doesn’t matter how much you sell.
  • Despite a good reputation, it has been declining in recent years because of the quality of some products, which can make it a bit hard in the long run to sell them.

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Overall, you will notice that the problem isn’t the company itself but rather the business model. 

Multilevel or network marketing is saturated, and unless you are a recruiting machine and find hundreds of people, making thousands every year is impossible. 

MLMs aren’t the best option for us, but we will discuss what we choose next. Don’t worry.

Skip MLM Companies with This

MLM companies can be a huge “pass,” even if the ones you consider investing in offer great compensation plans and work. However, if you just want some extra cash, yes, you can try them. Why not? 

But on another note, what do we do with our money and investment options if we don’t want to invest in them?

We favor business models that allow us to be self-employed or independent business owners and seek direct sales and services that can bring us a passive income or independence.

Local lead generation is one option. Although it may cost more than Mary Kay in the short term, it won’t take all your savings and has a lot of potentials to make you six figures when working in it for over a year. 

Although it can take some time, it is possible. Just keep in mind that it does require hard work, and this isn’t a “pay to earn” option. 

Local lead generation is entirely online. This means that you don’t need to stock products or work around the needs of stores.

How can you make money from lead generation?

This is a model that focuses on building or creating websites for clients. You can either contact them directly or bring their attention to you. In addition, you must also ensure that their sites rank well in Google, so they get organic traffic.

Traffic is then converted to leads, and these leads can be used later by clients.

These leads must take action on the websites of the companies. They often end up becoming clients.

It’s easy to get around it. You just create leads and customers.

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It is important to be willing and able to work hard. However, it will pay off when you realize how much you can have for free and other benefits.

A good training course is not easy, but it can help and is necessary as well. 

This #1 training has been a huge success, and we can’t recommend it enough.

Here’s Our #1 Recommended Online Business Model:

1 - local lead gen vs other online business models - blog

Interested in starting an online business to build passive income? Check out the local lead gen business model. Click here to learn more.

Written by Dame Cash

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