Is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme? (An In-Depth Look Into the Pioneer of Networking Companies)

Chances are high that the likely reason you are here is that someone from your circle introduced you to the Mary Kay products and its offered business opportunity. And now you want to know if joining this company is going to be worth your while, right?

At the back of your mind, you might have been mulling this million dollar question, “can you really earn a decent amount of money from Mary Kay team by virtue of marketing and selling their products?”.

Well, you are on the right track. Doing some research first and educating yourself about a “ seeming good venture" prior to embarking on it is one way to veer away from scam organizations.

Let me now tell you the real truth about networking companies, which includes Mary Kay Cosmetics. They may offer us a seemingly all-good, attractive, and prolific business opportunities. They may even make an assertion that they will help take us a step closer to our one ultimate goal -- reaching our financial wellness. 

Sorry to burst your bubble on this, but this is not likely to happen! You will easily understand what I meant here if you are fully aware how networking companies really work, or how these types of business entities are structured to rake in more profits -- but leaving behind the financial interest of their network members. 

My best recommendation for you in as far as making online money is concerned is to consider becoming a marketing affiliate, the Wealthy Affiliate way, as opposed to joining a networking company. Affiliate Marketing is way better than multilevel marketing opportunities because:

  • You will not recruit or refer people to the business.
  • You can start right away for free.
  • You can promote any product you want and are most passionate about.

As of today, when it comes to making good amounts of passive income from the Internet, affiliate marketing is second to none. 

Mary Kay Summary Review


Founder:  Mary Kay Ash

Price: $100 for your Beauty Consultant Starter Kit +  $225 product volume purchase, every quarter. 

Best For: Women and stay-at-home moms with flair for marketing and selling Mary Kay items and wanting to build their own business. 

Mary Kay product prices

Summary: While Mary Kay is a pioneer in the networking industry, members will have a hard-time reaching financial wellness using their business structure. First of all, the income potential is really low. Second, the beauty and wellness industry is a very saturated business niche, therefore, competition is very stiff. Unless you are a salesperson with hardcore skills in the sales department, you are unlikely to succeed. The mere fact that Mary Kay is not providing relevant training for their members, it is not surprising that many people eventually quit from this business opportunity. 

Rating:  60/100

Recommended: No


What Is Mary Kay?

Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme? Probably not because they have been involved in the multilevel marketing industry for so long. If they are, then the proper authorities would have gotten into picture and automatically shut their operations which didn’t happen, right? 

So, what is Mary Kay? Is Mary Kay an MLM?

Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme

Yes! Mary Kay is an MLM, a privately owned American multi-level marketing company. It was first founded by a mother and son tandem on September 13, 1963, by its visionary leader Mary Kay Ash.

This business organization caters to the ever growing needs and demands of the cosmetics and beauty industry. In 2015, the company was the sixth largest global network marketing company with a wholesale valuation of US$ 3.7 billion.

Mary Kay Cosmetics has been one of the strongest leaders in the industry for 50 years now and counting. Hence, it is referred to by many as the Grandmother of MLM companies. 

Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme

Mary Kay warmly welcomes private individuals who want to take part in their business opportunity. Once they become full-fledged product distributors, they are referred to as  “beauty consultants”.

According to the Mary Kay's official website, the company is currently dominating 35 markets in 5 continents. They have a strong  presence in Australia, Canada, Mexico, China, United Kingdom,  to name a few. 

 Mary Kay product prices
Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme?

Eye Makeup Remover

Mary Kay is offering us wide array of products, from makeup, skincare, fragrances, men’s grooming products, down to body and sun creams.

The company's all-time best sellers include TimeWise® Miracle Set line and the Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. 

How to Get Started with Mary Kay? 

Much like how you join other multilevel marketing companies,  choosing to become a member of this networking group necessitate you to shell out  $100 USD.  With this network membership fee, you are entitling yourself to receive the Mary Kay® Starter Kit‘. What is included in a Mary Kay Starter Kit? 

  Mary Kay product prices

The Mary Kay Starter kit comes with the following:

  • Sample products that can be used for demo purposes to your potential customers.
  • Retail-sized products for showcasing with your friends at special events like family reunions, birthday celebrations, and parties.
  • Business Literature and supplies. This also comes with easy-to-learn tips in making a successful career in Mary Kay sales. 

For educational purposes, the following video will explain how you can buy a Mary Kay product through their system. 

If you will join the Mary Kay network, you will have your very own

  • Mary Kay Personal website,
  • Mary Kay® Virtual Makeover App,
  • Social media tools to help you promote MK products
  • and your own digital personal assistant

As soon as you become a full-fledged member of the Mary Kay network of beauty consultants, you can take orders from your prospective customers right away. You are entitled to receive a 50% discounted retail value on all your MK product purchases. 

The following video will show you also what usually comes with a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant Starter Kit. 

As a Mary Kay beauty consultant, you need to keep your profile active. To do this, it is imperative that you maintain a wholesale purchase volume of $225 worth of products every every 3 months. 

If your consultant profile is tagged by the system as active, it will nullify your eligibility from any upcoming commissions and bonuses.

The Ugly Truths About Mary Kay Revealed!

Is Mary Kay an MLM?

Does Mary Kay test their products on animals first.?

Animal Testing Stance

If you have pets at home, either a dog or a cat, how would you feel upon learning that some of the cosmetics or anti-aging products you have been having all these years were initially tested on animals first? Chances are, dog and cats, aside from mice are being utilized as well for this purpose. Very appalling, right?  

If you are not aware yet, Mary Kay is among the companies that remain listed in Companies That Test on Animals.

While the company deliberately included a clause in their Being a Responsible Company statement, that they are not supporting animal testing procedures for their product offerings , I beg to disagree on this claim they have.  

Their claim is not completely true. As a matter of fact, they are actually contradicting themselves in this aspect. Why so? 

As I stated earlier, Mary Kay is operating in many different parts of the world and they have a presence in China, too.  In China, they have law there which requires foreign products to be tested first on animals. This will help authorities ensure the safety levels of the foreign products being sold to them were at par with their implemented standards. Only after clearing this stage that they can be granted entry to their market. 

Therefore, it contradicts their statement about not supporting animal testing. Otherwise, they would not have put up a satellite office in China in the first place. China is a country known for its notoriety on animals. 

Is Mary Kay an MLM?

Low Income Potential

Did you know that Mary Kay refuses to provide the public with their income disclosure statement?

The IDS document is most important to individuals wanting to join Mary Kay. It will give them a rough idea as to how much they could possibly earn from this company as a product distributor (beauty consultant).

With respect to a report made by Direct Selling News, Mary Kay garnered a close to $3.25 Billion revenue for the year 2017. They were able to achieve this business' milestone with the help of their 3.5 million salespeople. With Mary Kay product prices soaring high, the profitability of this company is very high. 

As for Amway, in that very same year, their revenue soared to $4 Billion. With  a whopping amount like that, how much do you think did their beauty consultants earned? 

Brace yourselves first... 

Despite great earnings for that year, Mary Kay beauty consultants earned a dismal amount of $929 in profits and this is for the year 2017!

If you will do the Math, then you will hit it right. Beauty consultants or distributors earned only less than $100 for the monthly retail profit. A very low income potential indeed!

Would still want to join a networking company like this? 

Stockpiling Issues for Mary Kay Consultants

Unlike other networking companies that are involved in the beauty and wellness niche, Mary Kay is requiring their network of beauty consultants to purchase a large volume of wholesale inventory products which they will eventually market and sell.

This works to the disadvantage of every product distributor of Mary Kay since they need to store their huge amount of  merchandise until they are sold. Technically, this is what we refer to as stockpiling.

Is Mary Kay a Scam?

Stockpiling is a serious issue among members of networking companies, especially for those who don't have any available space. In that case, you will need to rent a storage unit instead. Besides all these, they may not be able to sell it right away. 

Renting a storage unit is an additional expense, but you don't have much of a choice with Mary Kay company. Remember this, inventory products that remain lodged in your storage unit and under your care is not to be considered an asset. They are actually liabilities and is not a good sign for any business. 

What I Do Like About Mary Kay?

Car Incentive for Beauty Consultants

How would it feel like to receive a car incentive from a networking company? Sounds great, right? But in Mary Kay, at stake here is not just the usual car you know. They raised it a notch higher.

Hard-working product distributors or beauty consultants in Mary Kay will receive a Mary Kay Pink Cadillac. Any consultant who reached $100,000 sales volume in a year is entitled to receive this car incentive, Mary Kay Pink Cadillac.

Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme

An alternative from the Mary Kay Pink Cadillac is the Chevy® Cruze®.

Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme

Mary Kay is an International Brand

Having been in the industry for such a long time, it would be unnatural for this company not to have a global footing.

By saying that Mary Kay is an international brand, that only goes to show that their label is extremely popular.

Globally, their products are very much in demand.

If you are a Mary Kay business consultant, you won’t have a hard time selling their merchandise (provided of course that you have the right prospects to offer them). It is because the brand itself will sell it on its own.

Is Mary Kay a Scam?

It is highly inappropriate for us to qualify Mary Kay the company as a scam nor a pyramid scheme. Simply because they have a very good product range to offer the market, and any lady would be highly interested to become part of their team as a beauty consultant.

Regardless of how good this company is or how attractive their remuneration packages are, we can’t deny the fact that the Mary Kay opportunity is practically not suited for everyone, right?  

To become a highly effective Mary Kay beauty consultant, you need to be extremely well-versed in selling their products.

Unfortunately, Mary Kay will not be able to be of help to you on this aspect simply because they don’t offer any product training course to their distributors. 

In addition to this, Mary Kay is also putting some level of control on how you can advertise their product offerings. This will work to your disadvantage in such a way that it puts a limit to what you can do to optimize your sales output. 

With this, I am a staunch believer that Mary Kay is not the best opportunity to take in as far as having an online income is concerned. This brings me to the most exciting part of this review, my best recommendation for making money online. 

How I Make Money Online?

While I am not holding anything against networking companies since I myself used to work in a networking company before, I honestly feel that this business model is not the best option to take in as far as reaching your financial goals is concerned.

While a handful of these MLM companies are indeed generous in rewarding their members for their selfless effort in making a sale, the vast majority are not properly compensating their members. Thus, their members don't have much of a choice but to look for other, better opportunities instead. 

Without batting a eyelash, I am encouraging you to try marketing affiliate instead!

Why affiliate marketing?

It is way better than multilevel marketing opportunities because:

  • You will not recruit or refer people to the business
  • You can start right away for free
  • You can promote any product you want, something you are passionate in. 

Most importantly, this is the platform that enabled me to become financially independent. I am currently earning a 4 figure passive income every month, and you too can follow my steps. If you want to obtain your financial freedom, decide now start the life you deserve.

This program helped me and others Make A living Online and some of it even quit their Full Time Job. You will learn how to build a Thriving Online Business step by step so stop making excuses and Join Me Now

Mary Kay is a popular brand with a wide range of beauty care products? Did you, your mom or sister ever had a chance to try on any of their product offerings? Are they really that good? Based on your experience, would you recommend anyone to join this networking firm on the merits of their products alone?  Please share what your thoughts are on their business opportunity and product offerings. Go to the comments section below and jot down anything. 

Sharing is Caring
Edmon Gonzales

Edmon has worked as an SEO content and creative writing for the last 3 years. He has extensive experience in writing content for SEO purposes and started work as a freelance since 2011. He currently joined as a writer in How To Make Genuine Money blog and is dedicated to digging into the world of MMO niche with Maxx.