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Is Mary Kay a scam? latest 2019 information

Is Mary Kay a scam

Is Mary Kay a scam? The truth revealed

Hi all and welcome on our 2019 review on Mary Kay! 

Let me guess! you’ve always dreamed of trying nice makeup, skin care products, and earn money easily at the same time?! 

Well guys, you are at the right place!

It is now time to talk about cosmetics, beauty, skincare, and most importantly make easy revenue! Read the below about Mary Kay.

If you’ve reached this page, this probably mean you’ve been told about Mary Kay Cosmetics, maybe to buy the products or maybe to find an interesting business opportunity out there!

Well, the good news is that in both cases I will be able to guide you and make sure you take an almost clear and right decision, if your idea would be to join this business.

First of all, you need to know i am not associated nor I am involved with anyone working for the Mary Kay company. My only purpose is to help you by giving you the latest and most objective information about a potential pyramid scheme, a scam, or more simply a business opportunity for you.

What is Mary Kay MLM company?

Mary Kay is a US based MLM company with headquarters in Addison Texas, dedicated to skin care & cosmetics.

Story of Mary Kay company:

Mary Kay is one of the most popular beauty MLM companies worldwide. Founded by Mary Kay Ash, it has been in business for more than 50 years now (since 1963), and they are fully dedicated to the cosmetics and skin care industry. 

The Mary Kay business use to have at the time nine skin care products and now there are about two hundred products under this brand.

With a gigantic sales army of over 3,5 million Independent Beauty Consultants and billions in revenue, just be sure we cannot talk about a scam anymore! 

Mary Kay has a large range of products including Skincare, Makeup, Body & Sun, Fragrances (men & women).

Controversies about Mary Kay

According to all the information I could read, sometimes quality of the products may be questionable, and it seems the products are tested on animals. You will read more about this below… So, let's say opinions are overall divided about this business!

Let’s dive further in the Mary Kay business…

See also Mary kay vs Younique, Which one is the best MLM company?

How does Mary Kay opportunity work?

Like all other MLM businesses, Mary Kay sells cosmetics through home demonstrations and online websites thanks to the so called Independent Beauty Consultants.

How To subscribe to the business opportunity?

Once more, like many other MLM businesses, each consultant need to purchase a Mary Kay starter kit. In the case of Mary Kay, the starter kit bag is $100. It includes samples, brochures, retail-sized Mary Kay products for demonstrations, DVDs giving tips on how to make money right away (access Here).

As a consultant, you will not only earn commissions from your sales but also from people you will be able to recruit, in order to build a downline. An Independent Beauty Consultant can earn up to 50% commissions! which is not bad at all!

Other point that sounds great, and you’ve probably already heard about it...How can we get this nice pink car?! 

Pink car Mary kay

Well, easy!! Each top sales people is able to get one! WoW!... but only if you reach $100.000 per year in sales. Ooooh… not that great at all… even less great when you know it is a 2 year lease with Mary Kay paying your monthly lease. BUT, if you fail in earning the requested amount, Mary Kay stops paying the lease, and you’re left with the almost $800 lease to pay on your own… not so shiny after all!

Mary Kay's Compensation Plan

There are three basic levels you can reach in a Mary Kay career:
1. Independent Consultant or Distributor
2. Independent Sales Director
3. Independent National Sales Director

Each of the above levels contains specific qualifications that must be met to reach the level, and to be eligible for commissions and bonuses associated with each level (See advance brochure Here).

Who is eligible to earn commission ?

Every distributor has to meet the specification of placing an order of at least $200 every quarter to qualify as an active member. Otherwise, he will be considered as inactive and will eventually lose the membership.

Mary Kay's compensation plan works in the way that once an independent distributor is recruiting new distributors and they are resulted as active members, he is considered in a position to claim the qualification for a senior consultant. At this stage the compensation plan will also be changed and the distributor will be paid at a higher level.

Build your team to earn more commission

When a consultant or distributor comes with at least 8 personal recruits, he qualifies himself for the director position, and at this stage the distributor is required to build a team of at least 30 active distributors or consultants. In order to maintain the status of Sales Director, the team of representatives will have to generate at least $4000 wholesale for every month.

Mary Kay Compensation Plan consists of number of bonuses and commissions which are performance based, and are rewarded to the representatives according to their achievements. These commissions and bonuses are specifically associated with the levels of career path.

A commission of 50% off the retail price of the products, sold by representatives is offered for all levels of career path. A representative is also entitled for a commission of 4% to 13% on the orders made by his team.

The representative also earn a bonus of $50 for recruits joining with a minimum order of $600. For Sales Directors, bonus for recruits increases to $100. Sales Directors receive commissions and bonuses on sales volume on their entire unit, not just their personal recruits.

How much money does a Mary Kay consultant make?  

In average, the earning potential can go up to $26,494 a year.

Is Mary Kay a Pyramid scheme?

Like many direct marketing companies, Mary Kay also seems to favour recruitment over product sales (According to an interview with Virginia Sole-Smith by Tess Vigeland of Marketplace.org).

Virginia Sole-Smith wrote the cover story for the August issue of Harper’s. It’s titled is “The pink pyramid scheme: How Mary Kay cosmetics preys on desperate housewives.” It reveals the ugly truth of this company known since 1963 whose business model sounds more like a pyramid system.

"A business in which only a select few earn real money while everyone else pays to play sounds a lot like a pyramid scheme. The Federal Trade Commission distinguishes between recruiting salespeople to sell a product, which is perfectly legal, and making money exclusively through ‘fees for participation,’ which isn’t. What constitutes a fee is, of course, vague, but the FTC has charged some multilevel-marketing companies with employing pyramid schemes. In those cases, the majority of sales occurred between company and salespeople; the retail products were essentially decoys. The FTC has never taken action against Mary Kay, and an agency spokesperson told me that he was ‘unable to confirm or deny’ whether the company had ever been investigated."

Virginia Sole-Smith

However, when you seek the consultants reviews who have worked at Mary Kay, no one reveals that the company is a pyramid system and no one goes against what Virginia Sole-Smith claimed in 2012. So what do you think?


Like any MLM company, recruitment is part of the game but does not seem to be their main method. In addition, Mary Kay's 2018 income represents $3.6 B and it is unlikely that this money is realized in part through person recruitment.

What Are The Pros & Cons of ?

What are the Pros of Mary Kay?

As said earlier in this review, opinions are quite divided regarding some subjects surrounding the Mary Kay business.

One thing that is sure, is that Mary Kay has been in business for over 50 years now. It is a well known company that appears to be a legitimate business opportunity.

The Mary Kay business provides great trainings, a huge range of products and an extensive online support network. Women as well as men can be independent beauty consultants within the company, which sounds great!

Mary Kay also offers high commission rate and… a pink car for best sales people! (but you must afford if you fail in commissions… right?)

What are the cons of Mary Kay?

However, and this is where the bad starts,… the Mary Kay company seems to have everything you would call a pyramid scheme. Numbers of testimonials from former sales reps show it is a pyramid scheme, saying all the company’s revenue comes from consultants purchases. Some would say it is clearly not a work-from-home opportunity.

The bad goes on, as the company did have some issues with animal rights activists groups, regarding the testing of its products on animals. Mary Kay was officially removed from PETA’s list of businesses that are not testing cosmetics on animals.

For animal lovers this could definitely be a strong argument not to join the company…

Even more, knowing products seem quite expensive compared to their quality, as well as the fact you need to put a $200 order to start, and then continue to place the same amount of order every three months. So for people who have a limited income, this may be a bad idea…

To Conclude

It is clear now there are both positive and negative points to consider before joining Mary Kay.

The company does have a true success story, and it is still growing. Products to sell are numerous, trainings are provided, you can count on an extensive online support…

But the costs are high, products are quite expensive and somehow tested on animals in China.

You can make a business opportunity out there, you can make money selling Mary Kay. If you recruit others to become Mary Kay consultants, then you can earn commissions on any sales they make, but all will depend on how many people you can recruit. This will promise you hard times!

So, to answer the very first questions: No, Mary Kay is definitely not a scam. It is a real and legit business. But, it is for sure a pyramid scheme. This is something you should be aware of as you can face some difficulties to earn money quickly.

To be honest, I do have a business opportunity to recommend. It is called Affiliate Marketing.

You don’t have to recruit people at all to make money, and you have the freedom to promote any product you want without being restricted to only promote the products from the same MLM company.

Affiliate Marketing is a way to avoid scams and find the legitimate way to make money online.

Check this out!

If you are seeking for a successful business to build, where you are able to promote anything you want without testing products nor recruit people, including a great earning potential, I’d rather recommend you Affiliate marketing. 

Reasons are in fact quite simple:

  • You’re free to promote the products or services you want
  • No obligation at all to test any product
  • Affiliate Marketing is totally free
  • You earn real money

How we make money online?

If you are interested in creating a real business online, discover the easiest way to make money online with Affiliate Marketing.

wealthy affiliate result


Is Mary Kay a scam? latest 2019 information

Is Mary Kay a scam? The truth revealedHi all and welcome on our 2019 review on Mary Kay! Let me guess! you’ve always dreamed of trying nice makeup, sk

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