What is Mary Kay MLM? Legit or another beauty scam?

What is Mary Kay MLM

If you are someone that loves cosmetics and beauty products generally, this could be a chance to become a Beauty Consultant for a reputable company and start selling the products you already use and love. In this industry, Mary Kay is already a household name. The fact is that Mary Kay is a strong brand that appeals to a lot of women. It is a company that is passionate about empowering women and helping them to maximize their potential through its MLM program. So, what is Mary Kay MLM?

As a woman that loves beauty products, Mary Kay MLM could be an opportunity to become a businesswoman.

In this Mary Kay MLM review, you will find all the necessary information about Mary Kay as a company, its products, compensation plan, and the important pros and cons. So, let’s get started.

New to MLM?

Read: What is MLM Business

What is Mary Kay?

Founded in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash, the company is established and known for producing top-quality beauty products for women.

With more than 5,000 people in its employ and over 3.5 million independent consultants, there is no doubt Mary Kay is a powerhouse in cosmetics.

The American company was ranked as the 6th largest MLM Company in the world with a volume of sales worth $3.25 billion in 2018. Mary Kay now operates in close to 40 countries enriching the lives of many women and their families worldwide.

What is Mary Kay MLM?

Mary Kay MLM is a business model on which Mary Kay products are sold. It is offered to individuals, especially women who are good at networking and selling products as its Independent Beauty Consultants.

The MLM opportunity by Mary Kay is a full package that includes business resources, support, training, and a comprehensive compensation plan that is very rewarding.

Longevity is one thing you must look out for when joining any MLM program. The fact that Mary Kay has operated for more than 50 years tells you a lot about its stability, resilience, and consistency.

How does Mary Kay MLM work?

Mary Kay MLM is a membership platform. Joining Mary Kay as an Independent Beauty Consultant does not require a long process of documentation. All you need to do is to locate an independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and sign up to get started.

If you cannot find a Beauty Consultant in your locality, you can go to the Mary Kay website and click on “Independent Beauty Consultant”. Type in the Zip Code of your city and click “search” to locate a Beauty Consultant. 

Mary Kay starter kit

Further, you will be required to pay between $30 to $130 for a starter pack. You can also choose other starter pack options and add-ons to jumpstart your business.

Watch the video below to get a fair idea of how to start a Mary Kay MLM business.

Mary Kay products

The categories of Mary Kay products include fragrance, body care, facial, skincare, and nail care.

Among many best-sellers, below are a few that you can find easier to sell:

Oil-free Eye Make-up Remover: This is a clinically tested formula to remove make-up from your skin without any irritation, tugging, or pulling. The product is free of allergic ingredients and suits sensitive skin and eyes. It can be used to remove make-up from the eyes, and waterproof mascara.

Mary Kay products

TimeWise products: This category of products consists of creams, moisturizers, cleansers, and serums for various skin-related problems. One of the solutions is an age-minimizer 3D cleanser that help removes dullness and other skin impurities. The formula works on both normal and dry skin leaving them clean, exfoliated, and brighter.

Mint Bliss Energizing lotion: A skin revival lotion, the product leaves soothing properties on the skin and improves its appearance. The overall result of this lotion helps tired feet and legs feel revived. It comes in cool mint formula and contains rosemary leaf extracts, glycerin, Salix alba, and Betula alba extracts.

All the Mary Kay products are backed by a 90% refund and return policy which may certainly increase your sales numbers.

The sad part is, that Mary Kay is not the only option to sell such a category of products. There are 100s of other MLMs and online platforms that offer women-oriented personal and skincare products to make your business journey more challenging.

Are Mary Kay products worth their price?

Mary Kay operates in almost 40 countries. With its annual revenue, you can understand that the products sell a lot. For instance, products like Mascara, Lipstick, and Mineral Foundation have excellent reviews even though they are costlier than other brands.

Mary Kay product reviews

If you check its TimeWise Miracle set reviews on Amazon, it has gathered more than 4.5-stars which is too good. This set costs $120 on the Mary Kay website. Some of its alternatives are cheaper compared to Mary Kay. Below is an example:

Even though Mary Kay products seem to be expensive but their reputation and quality provide incredible value for money.

How to make money with Mary Kay MLM?

There are two basic ways to make money with Mary Kay MLM:

  • Sell the products directly to your clients and earn retail commissions and,
  • Build a team of consultants to earn bonuses on their sales/product purchases.

Mary Kay compensation plan

With Mary Kay, you can earn as much as 50% of all sales. This means if you want to earn $100 monthly as commission, you must be able to sell products worth $200.

You don’t only make money from retail sales; you can also make money off your downline depending on their efforts.

Apart from selling the products, you have to go all out to sign up some individuals as Independent Beauty Consultants who will be on your team.

If you are a good recruiter, you can be a Director in no time and earn 13% additional income. Just like other MLM programs, Mary Kay rewards a large volume of sales.

You will also be required to place a minimum order worth $225 every 90 days to maintain an active status that would qualify you to earn a 50% commission.

Can you make money with Mary Kay MLM?

Yes, people do make money with Mary Kay MLM but these people are those who have spent a considerable amount of time and money.

Mary Kay income disclosure statement

Going by the 2019 income disclosure statement of Mary Kay consultants, more than 83% of its consultants were not eligible to earn commissions. 15% of consultants earned average commissions of $206 and a national sales director earned more than $120k annual commissions with 15 years of service.

The earnings are exclusive of any investments made during the stint. This includes membership costs, product purchases, and any other money you may spend on promotions, marketing, traveling, etc.

This reflects the hardships and challenges one has to face to survive in this ever-competitive world of MLMs. The money is there to be made but it comes after a lengthy hiatus of physical struggle and personal investment.

Is Mary Kay a scam or a pyramid scheme?

Mary Kay MLM is not a scam. It is very legit and the company pays its Independent Beauty Consultants and Distributors up to 50% commission with other incentives.

Mary Kay has been operating for more than 5 decades which makes it a trustworthy and reliable company to work with.

It has many physical products pertaining to personal and skincare for both men and women. Pyramid schemes do not offer any products and therefore Mary Kay is not a pyramid scheme in technical terms.


  • Established company – The stability of the company for over 50 years means they have overcome its challenges and become stronger. So, there is no fear of closing down. Joining Mary Kay MLM means you will be leveraging a well-known brand to improve sales and performance. A well-respected brand saves you advertising costs.
  • Useful MLM resources – Mary Kay provides you with high-quality sales tools that help their Independent Beauty Consultants (IBC) to excel in their businesses. These tools include digital marketing tools, a free mobile app to help you sell anywhere and anytime, a personalized website for one year, and wonderful customer support. 
  • A higher percentage of commissions – There are juicy incentives and financial rewards to encourage IBCs. The commission is as high as 50% for every product sold. This is against the typical trend of MLMs who do not exceed their commission limits above 30%.
  • Positive product reviews – Mary Kay products are very popular among its users. Irrespective of the pricing, people have praised the performance and results of Mary Kay’s skincare solutions. Positive reviews and feedback can be a deciding factor to boost your selling campaign.


  • MLM recruitment challenges – You won’t make any meaningful progress alone until you start recruiting other individuals as your downlines. This usually starts with recruiting family and friends who may not be eager to join since MLM is very drilling.  
  • Ever-evolving product category – Mary Kay keeps changing product formulas and packaging since customers want newer versions. This makes the old leftover products in the hands of the IBCs outdated which could turn into a big loss of investment.
  • Over-competitive market – The products are not exclusive to IBCs alone. Amazon and eBay sell Mary Kay products too. This is capable of affecting the sales of IBCs. Not to forget some of the other MLM companies that offer a similar category of products.

Conclusion: Is Mary Kay MLM recommended?

Mary Kay is perfect for women who want to be self-employed. The business opportunity could lure single moms, married women, retirees, pensioners, and enterprising ladies. It is also suitable for young and strong independent women.

However, suitability is not the only reason to join an MLM company. MLMs’ financial success rate is a bare minimum. It takes tremendous effort, knowledge, experience, and money to survive the MLM waters. Personally, I don’t like MLMs for their risky business model.

What makes Mary Kay different is its sheer existence and stability.

Mismanagement and lack of foresight are the common reasons that lead to the closure of many MLM companies. But Mary Kay is an exception. If you have a gist of working with MLMs then you must consider Mary Kay on your list.

In case you are looking for similar kinds of earning opportunities with low investment and higher returns, you can find many such options in Google search. One of them is my recommendation below.

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