Is Mary Kay A Scam? Or A MLM’s Grandmother Legacy…

Making money from home is not a new concept at all. Beauty by Mary Kay has been working with this mission for women since 1960s. If you haven’t heard about Mary Kay, it is one of the oldest MLM (Multi-Leverage Marketing) company existing today. However, many people today are still confused about the legitimacy of this company – puzzled and asking “Is Mary Kay A Scam? Or A MLM’s grandmother legacy…

In this post, we will be going to make a thorough review of Mary Kay and answer these questions.

So, if you are interested to make money from home and wanting to know if Mary Kay is the best home business for you, then I must congratulate you for doing your research first before diving in.

That having said, there are thousands, hundreds and one way to make money online and onsite. MLM is one of the many marketing concepts you can choose from.  But what to except with an MLM business concept? Here are the brief pros and cons.

12 Pros and Cons of MLM concept: 

MLM or Multi-Leverage Marketing is also known as Network Marketing.


  • Good a way to share a product or service that people are truly passionate about.
  • An easy way to start a business opportunity.
  • It provides people with flexible working hours.
  • A chance to leverage income through network marketing.
  • The wheel doesn’t have to be re-invented to make money.
  • Mentorship is often a key component of the network marketing experience.


  • Most people don’t get rich through network marketing.
  • Most network marketing sales are face-to-face.  ( Only 6% occurs on the internet)
  • It takes time to grow.
  • There is a lot of face-to-face rejection involved.  (The conversion rate is only 1%)
  • There are many network marketing scams.
  • Sponsors aren’t always good mentors.

Are you tired of MLM’s? Get my FREE guide below and start your own business with Any Product. 

Mary Kay Review Summary: 

Product Name:  Mary Kay

Founder: Mary Kay Ash and Richard Rogers

Product Type:  Cosmetics, Skin Care Products, MLM, Network Marketing.

Price:  $100 for Starter Kit + $225 worth of product purchase every 3 months

Best For:  Women who want to start their own business by selling this easily recognizable brand.

Summary:  Mary Kay was founded back in 1963 and it still operates today. However, even though this company is very popular and well-recognized, I personally can not recommend this company as a home business.

First and foremost, just like any other MLM companies, selling products with this concept involves a lot of face-to-face rejections (conversion rate is only 1% according to my research).

Secondly, the income potential is really low from both profits and commissions (see computations below).

Third, the market saturation for distributors is high (see sample research below).

Lastly, storage problems (monthly purchase) can chew into your profits. Only retail stores normally face inventory storage problems.

Rating: 50/100

Recommended:  No

What & Who is Mary Kay?

In the 1960s, the majority of women have no jobs or have to stay home to take care of their children and household. That is where Mary Kay Ash founded this company in order to create a possibility for women to earn money from home by selling beauty products.

On September 13, 1963, Beauty by Mary was launched with only $5,000 as her capital back then. And the company has been operating successfully since then. Today they call it Mary Kay, Inc.

Since Mary Kay is the most pioneer in this marketing concept, this made her as the grandmother of all MLM businesses.

Mary Kay was not only a founder of MLM companies. She achieved a lot of recognition during her time such as an Award of Hall of Fame in the 1970s.

In the 1980s, she wrote her influential book which was a best-seller in Wall Street Journal, became one of the 25 most influential women in the USA and featured in Great American Entrepreneur.

In the 1990s, she established Mary Kay Foundation, which provides funding for cancer research and to prevent domestic violence.

In the 2000s, Baylor University names Mary Kay Ash the “Greatest Female Entrepreneur in American History” in an academic study.

In 2018, Mary Kay Ash’s legacy of empowering women through entrepreneurship lives on in nearly 40 countries around the world.

Mary Kay died in 2001, but her legacy in entrepreneurial empowerment continuously lives on.

Mary Kay’s son, Richard R. Rogers, now runs the company as Executive Chairman.

Mary Kay’s Product Line

Mary Kay has an undeniably great product line and that makes this company successful.

The company has 200+ products in a wide range of Women’s Cosmetic Necessities.

Product categories for Women include:

  • Makeup
  • Skin Care
  • Fragrance

Men’s product categories:

  • Men’s Colognes
  • Shaving Foams, Creams and After Shave Lotions
  • Sun Screens
  • Facial Soap

Some of Their Best-Seller Products: Check Mary Kay’s catalog here.


Getting Started With Mary Kay

To get started with Mary Kay, you need the “The $100 Mary Kay Starter Kit”. See image below.

The Starter Kit includes a few products, DVDs, brochures and catalogs, and access to your personal website.

Once you’re done signing up, you will become a consultant and start taking orders from your customers. As a consultant, you will be entitled to purchase Mary Kay’s products at 50% off the retail value.

However, to remain an active consultant, you need to make a purchase of $225 wholesale-priced worth of products every three months.

How To Make Money With Mary Kay? 

As mentioned earlier, Mary Kay is an MLM business in passion. The business opportunity provides its customers/consultants to earn money in two ways.

  •  By selling their products to the customers and earning retail commissions
  •  By recruiting people

And like any other MLMs, Mary Kay relies on two major types of marketing:

  • Word-of-mouth or face-to-face marketing
  •  Social media marketing

Probably that’s how you may have heard of Mary Kay in the first place. However, given the fact how established and popular Mary Kay is, you were probably exposed to the brand in more ways than one.

Ways to make money with Mary Kay: 

  • Profits from direct sales:  You earn a 50% profit on each sale made through their wholesale pricing.
  • Team Orders Commissions: Their commission rate is at 4% on your downlines’ sales and it can increase as your rank increases.
  • Team Building Bonuses: These are set dollar amounts, from $50 to $3,000, depending on the leadership level and some performance requirements.

See the video below for more information about making money with Mary Kay.

Tired of MLMs? 

3 Major Things I Don’t Like About Mary Kay Business

1. Low Income Potential 

The company does not provide an income disclosure or earnings representation for the US consultants, which is an important thing for anyone who is planning to become a consultant.

However, there is a provided earning representation for Canadian Employees. See the image below:

Let’s look closer…

As of 2017, there are more than 32,400 members of their independent sales force of Mary Kay Cosmetics Ltd. Canada.

  • 3,818 members who have been part of the company for at least a year and earning commissions. Out of that 3,818, only 47.4% earned commissions in excess of $100.
  • 455 members who were ranked as Sales Directors. Out of the 455, only 50% earned commissions during the year for only $20,331 and in excess of $100,000.
  • 6 Mary Kay Independent National Sales Directors. Out of the 16, only 62.5% earned commissions in excess of $100,000.

Do you see how many people are actually earning from this business opportunity?

The Top earners are only 6 out of 32,400 members.
Doing a simple math there are only a total of 3,818 who are probably earning commissions.
The rest, which is roughly around 28528 members who are not earning at all in Canada.

Take note that these are commissions, which is really not Mary Kay’s primary income-generating source for its distributors.

So how much did Mary Kay earn?

In the USA, according to Direct Selling News, Mary Kay earned $3.25 Billion in revenue with 3.5 million salespeople in 2017.

Take note, that Mary Kay operates in 40 countries around the world and the $3.25 Billion is just from 1 country (USA).

But how much do you think each consultant potentially earned in 2017?

This will blow your mind!

Each consultant earned around $928.57  ($3.25B / 3.5M salespeople) in profits for the year 2017! Remember that 50% goes to wholesale pricing.

That’s only less than $80 per month in retail profit!

Well, of course, that’s the average rough computation. Some consultants earned more than $1000 and some consultant did NOT earn anything at all in 2017.

2. Highly Saturated Market.

Market saturation is a big indicator of sales within an area.

I tried to search how many beauty consultants in a given area. I chose a postal code 96505 just within one area of Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

And I found these 10 consultants just in this area. And they reside not far away from each other.

Well, this looks really crowded for me, if I were to choose this kind of business. 

So, no wonder why consultants have a limited earning or low-income potential because the competition is high among other consultants.

3. Stockpiling, Personal Use… Can You Really Earn Full-Time Income?

As mentioned earlier, a consultant needs to have a purchase of $450 ($225 discounted wholesale price) every 3 months in order to remain active in the company.

This means that a consultant needs to have a storage for products or the inventory until they are sold. This is also called as stockpiling.

Well, three months for selling $450 worth of products may not be that much. However, considering a saturated market of other consultants in an area, that’ll most likely end up as your own product for personal use. Otherwise, it will definitely become a storage problem for the inventory everytime you need to purchase just to stay being an active consultant.

And what about your earning then?

Well, that’s almost common sense, if you meet the requirement of $450 sales, then you earn $225 for 3 months and that’s an average of $75/month. This basically supports the average earning of each consultant of less than $80/month stated above.

So, if you want to earn at least $3,000 per month as a full-time income, you need to sell $6,000 per month or $18,000 every 3 months as the direct selling. That’s a lot of face-to-face, word-of-mouth and networking tasks in your everyday. Oh, how about your storage for inventory then? Or the unsold products? Well, I bet you know the answer.

What I Like About Mary Kay Business

This is going to be short and quick. Considering you are a top earner or an excellent sales consultant, then you can avail the company car incentive – a Mary Kay’s Iconic Pink Cadillac.

You will be rewarded with this Pink Cadillac if you managed to generate a sales of $100,000 within a year.

Final Thoughts…

So, is Mary Kay a Scam? No, it’s definitely not a scam. It is a well-reputable and well-known brand globally, especially in the USA.

Her legacy was created back in the 1960s where women had a very limited opportunity to earn from home.

That being said, today is not the same case anymore in my own opinion. To earn money from home has become one of the trends since the 2000s or since the internet and world wide web became available.

And that’s what makes people be able to earn a full-time income online, not only for the stay home women but for anybody who is willing.

There are a lot of legitimate MLM companies today like Mary Kay, Avon, Forever Living or Amway. However, there are too many MLM companies that abuse the concept of a real MLM company. Some are just Ponzi schemes or pyramid schemes and that’s what makes it difficult to distinguish the legitimacy of MLM companies especially the new ones.

Nevertheless, I have tried 4 MLM business many years ago – Forever Living, Avon, Power Homes and VitaPlus. These companies are legit but the concept of Multileverage Marketing or Network Marketing has never worked for me. Why? I don’t like direct selling and recruiting! I hate being rejected face-to-face! 

Today, I love working for my own business from home. This type of business has made many people a huge fortune. While some are earning around $10,000/month and this is what I’m doing. What’s this business? It’s a simple Affiliate Marketing!  You can Get My 6-Figure Affiliate Marketing BluePrint Here. 

There many reasons why you should use this concept to earn a full-time income from home. And these were my reasons when I started with this business.

  • I can sell any product I want entirely just on the internet
  • Unlimited earning potential
  • No face-to-face or direct selling
  • No face-to-face rejection
  • No networking
  • No recruitment
  • No inventory
  • No administrative work
  • Very low investment
  • I can work entire just with my laptop and internet.
  • I am my own boss.
  • Scam protected
  • Anybody can do this business
  • No educational background needed
  • No technical knowledge required
  • I can earn Passive Income online!
  • Last but not the least, I can help a lot of people to earn full-time income online as well.

So, if you are a shy person like me that is not a fan of product demonstration or presentation, public speaking and certainly not a fan of recruiting your families and friends just to earn, then this is the best business for you.

Start your affiliate marketing business now. Earn while you learn and build your passive income online. 

I’m looking forward to seeing you and guiding you in this awesome community. See you on the other side.

If you have any thought or more suggestions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Good luck with your journey to financial freedom online. God bless!


6 Reply to “Is Mary Kay A Scam? Or A MLM’s Grandmother Legacy…”

  1. Wow, this is a great review about Mary Kay, not only her business model but, also about her products.

    I have heard about Mary Kay years and years ago and I guess a friend of mine, back then, also gave me one of her creams to be tested. I have to lie how the results were  because I can’t remember anymore, bummer.

    Anyway, what I didn’t know is that Mary Kay is one of the oldest MLM company. Since it was created in the 60’s it might have worked for the “ordinary” woman to make some extra money on the side without too much pressure.

    However, this kind of “making money model” is much tougher today and I couldn’t see myself to run either, from door to door or, to host a product party etc, as well I don’t like the “must” buy of products every three months which can lead to overstock and so forth.

    I appreciate your detailed information and I also agree that it isn’t a scam but it isn’t suitable either for someone who is just starting out because this can/will lead to a major disappointment. Just my opinion.

    1. Hello Sylvia, 

      Indeed, MLM is not suitable for everyone. Some people love it and some people hate it. 

      Mary Kay concept was developed for women in 60’s so that they can earn extra money from home. And I agree with you that MLM is a tough business model today. 

      So, if someone wants to start with this business and expecting huge result of a full time income, then big chances are just big disappointments, as you also mentioned. The earning potential is really very low. 

      Best regards, 


  2. I can see how it would be difficult to earn money with Mary Kay products, unless you knew a lot of people who would keep buying the products.  You would be losing money if you had to keep buying products every three months whether you sold everything or not.  That would cost a lot.  It would be easier now to earn a lot more money online without the constant product purchase.  Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn money without having to worry about product puchases or storage.

    1. Hello Shy, 

      That’s very true. And even you have 20 people will constantly buy your products (let say your families and friends). They will definitely not buy all your products every single month. Because if they would, so they would rather choose to become consultants as well to enjoy the 50% off the retail price! 

      Affiliate marketing is indeed the easiest and the most recommended concept for making business online.

      Thanks for dropping by and for sharing your thoughts about Mary Kay MLM concept. 

      Best regards, 


  3. I have seen people driving around with the Mary Kay stickers on their cars saying that they work with selling Mary Kay products. It seems like a tough niche to get into and succeed at. I suppose with a huge network of interested people anything is possible but for someone starting out with limited income – success is not likely. 

    1. Hello Dave, 

      Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts. I definitely agree that this niche is a tough one. Imagine how many salespeople just in the USA alone? 3.5million! And they are all selling the same products. That makes the earning potential poor if you are just an ordinary guy or gal without any sales background. 

      Thanks for dropping by. 

      Best regards, 


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