Is Mary Kay a Scam

Are you interested in cosmetics, makeup or anything related to this niche? If so, maybe you’ve heard about Mary Kay. This company sells many products for women and men, such as skincare, makeup, body & sun, fragrance, etc. Mary Kay is a company reaching $2.9 billion nowadays, so Mary Kay has its place in the market. 

In this review, I want to present to you briefly the company and help you understand better what you can find inside. Is Mary Kay a Scam? Some people might say it is a scam, and others will say it’s legit, but who’s right? With all the information I found on this company, we’ll be able to find the answer to this question. 

So, without any further due, let’s dive in! If you have any questions, comments, experiences or opinions you would like to share, do not hesitate to leave them in the comments below. πŸ™‚

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General Information

Name: Mary Kay
Founder: Mary Kay Ash
Price: $85 for the package
Rating: 4.1/5

About Mary Kay Ash – The Founder

Mary Kay was founded in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash (Captain obvious is here). This impressive woman wanted to make a difference for women since, in the 60s, women didn’t have the same rights as they have today. Businesswomen were not existing (at least there were not many of them), so she decided she wanted to be one. She wanted to create more opportunities for women so that they could be in control of their own future. I think it is absolutely extraordinary from her.

“People sometimes feel insignificant and doubt they can make a difference in the world. Well, believe me, one person can.” – Mary Kay Ash

So without going too much in the details (you can find all the information about her story on Mary Kay’s website), I’ll illustrate the highlights of her life. 

Mary Kay Ash launched her business more than 50 years ago, but she never stopped being a source of inspiration to millions. She owns many essential values, and these are still in the company she built. Her mission or empowering women has never as strong as today.

I think this woman is absolutely exceptional. She fought hard so that women could take their places in the work world; it certainly wasn’t easy. For me, finding a company with such an admirable model as a founder can only be positive. How can you imagine a minute this company being a scam just by reading on this role model that Mary Kay Ash is? I don’t want to conclude immediately, but definitely, it can make a difference.

I didn’t have any difficulties in finding information about her (directly on Mary Kay’s website), and honestly, there are no reasons to hide this information. I mean, this kind of person you want to know them, you want to show the world how trustable and honest they are. I have to admit I’m a little impressed by what I found. Not because I thought it was “bullshit” but more because you hear all kinds of things about these companies (MLM companies), and you can hardly believe there are good intentions behind it. So, I think Mary Kay has an awesome founder, and it feels great for the rest of the review, let’s check that out.

Mary Kay’s Business Model

Is Mary Kay a Scam

So, how does this company work in making money, that’s an excellent question, and that’s what I will look with you. For your information, Mary Kay works like an MLM business model, which means that there is a compensation plan for when you recruit new members. However, this is not the first way this company uses to make money. Like any company on the market, the primary goal is to offer products or services to a customer base. Mary Kay works the same way; it provides products in the cosmetic niche.

Be a Customer

As I said, since Mary Kay sells products like any other company, you can be a typical customer like with any other company too. That means that you don’t have any obligation with Mary Kay, you are only there to buy products to consume them. Mary Kay’s products are varied and are divided into six categories:

  • Skin Care
  • Makeup
  • Body & Sun
  • Fragrance
  • Men’s
  • Gifts
Is Mary Kay a Scam

Whatever you feel like, you can buy from these categories. The prices are competitive to other cosmetics companies. Although I cannot tell you if they are high-quality products since I didn’t try them. Good news though, I have a friend who’s using Mary Kay’s products for many years now, and she likes them a lot. Maybe it can help a bit.

Become a Beauty Consultant

Since it’s an MLM company, there is a possibility to start your own business with Mary Kay. This business opportunity means that you become a Beauty Consultant (as they call them), and you can sell Mary Kay’s products to make a profit. As a comparison, Mary Kay’s business model looks a lot like the one from Herbalife; you buy to a lower cost, then sell your own products to the retail price. 

Although you can make money by selling Mary Kay’s products, you can also make money through their compensation plan. Like I explained in my article What Is An MLM Business Model, compensation plans are designed for MLM companies when you recruit new members. They offer a commission or a bonus depending on how many recruits you have under your sponsorship. Mary Kay has this option too. The problem, though, is that I couldn’t find any information about their compensation plan. Let’s check out what I found.

First, to become a Beauty Consultant, you need to buy a package that contains various Mary Kay’s products, and it costs $85. What is interesting is that it is not expensive to start your own business in the cosmetics niche. 

Second, to become a Beauty Consultant, you don’t have the choice to subscribe through another Beauty Consultant (that’s how MLM business model works), so if you know one, you can enter Mary Kay through his/her sponsorship, or if you don’t know any Beauty Consultant, the company will find one for you.

So, being a Beauty Consultant can be a great advantage for the ones who love Mary Kay’s products. You can pay the products to a lower cost (then, you are free to keep them for you or re-sell them to make a profit), and if you recruit new members, you have a commission. Depending on how many recruits you have, your commission will vary (the more you have recruit members, the higher is your commission). To be eligible for a commission, you must have at least one active recruit member. The “negative” point is to be an active member: “Members of the Independent Sales Force are considered active in a particular month (and for the two months after) when they place at least $450 retail orders ($225 in discounted wholesale orders) for cosmetics intended for resale during the month.” In other words, you need to order for $450 of cosmetic products every three months to stay active. You can find more information here.

Just for your information, I also found this document that explains a little more about what the compensation plan involves. The only problem I got with this document is that I don’t know who wrote it and when it was written. If you check it, be aware that the information might not be exact since there is missing information about the author and the moment it was written. 

Is it possible to learn marketing with Mary Kay?

Yes and no. What Mary Kay offers its guides and catalogues on how to use their products and how to show them correctly to your customers. So, it’s not direct “marketing” coaching, but in a way, you can learn how to approach your customers.

So, many possibilities are available with Mary Kay. Either if you only want to consume their products or become a seller, you have the choice. When you love Mary Kay’s products, it can be an exciting opportunity. 

Be aware that it is an MLM company, so yes, if you want to make money through the compensation plan, you’ll have to build a team of recruit members and probably “harass” some people to join you. Having to convince many people is one of the reasons MLM companies don’t have a good reputation. However, you still can make money by selling your own Mary Kay’s products, and I’m sure it can become a great business.

Pros And Cons

Is Mary Kay a Scam

Now that I’ve checked with you what you can find inside Mary Kay let’s point out the pros and cons.


  1. This company has an admirable founder with more than 50 years of experience in the business world;
  2. Competitive products;
  3. Not expensive to become a Beauty Consultant;
  4. As a Beauty Consultant, you can make your own schedule;
  5. The focus is mainly on the products, not on recruitment.


  1. MLM business model (not recommend);
  2. This kind of marketing can be hard for beginners;
  3. Not much training on how to do marketing (sell and recruit new members);
  4. To be an active member, you must place an order of $450 for cosmetics intended for resale every three months.

Is Mary Kay a Scam?

Is Mary Kay a Scam

It’s time to answer THE question: Is Mary Kay a Scam?

In my opinion and with everything we have checked in this review, my answer is no; it is not a scam. Let’s recap:

It’s easy to see that Mary Kay Ash had good intentions when she started her business back in 1963. She wanted a better world for women, and she wanted to make a difference. Indeed, she did. I know that sometimes these kinds of “images” can be false, but I don’t feel like this one is one of them. The information about her is clear, not hidden and easy to find on their website. It helps to build trust with your customers and future partners (Beauty Consultants).

Mary Kay’s business model is flexible, and I think it is something amazing for its customers and members. Giving this flexibility is not something provided by every company. You can be a regular customer or become a Beauty Consultant and buy products at a less high price to either sell them to the retail price or keep them for yourself. That’s pretty cool. 

One thing I don’t particularly like is the fact that you must place an order of $450 every three months to stay active. It is not clear how this part works precisely, so I cannot give you more information. One thing, I find it weird a bit.

Overall, if you like cosmetics and you want to start a business in this niche, then Mary Kay can be a solution for you. The products already have an excellent reputation (on what I see and read). The brand exists for many years now, so you don’t have to start from scratch. 

Again, the only warning I have for you is the fact that it is a company under an MLM business model, so it can be harder to build trust with your future Beauty Consultants since MLM reputation is not as good as we could think. 

Do You Want To Make Money? I Have a Solution For You!

Is Mary Kay a Scam

I find this solution exciting and promising, so I figured I could share it with you (if you’re interested in making money!)

It’s not an MLM company; this means you don’t have the stress to recruit new people in your team to make money. This company, called Wealthy Affiliate, works with affiliate marketing. Is affiliate marketing the same thing as MLM companies? No, let me explain to you quickly. 

Affiliate marketing happens when you become a salesman for a business. For example, you promote an Amazon product, and for each sale, you earn a commission. It’s the same principle as if one of your friends was asking you to sell his table (it could be anything, a table is, for example) for him. In exchange, he would give you 5% of the price you sell it. So basically, you don’t own the products, you only promote them to make more sales.

The most significant advantage of working as an affiliate marketer is that you don’t deal with the inventory, the shipping stuff and the after-sale.

So at Wealthy Affiliate, you have access to training to teach you how to become an affiliate marketer. Also, you get access to many experts who can assist you upgrade your skills and become better at it. Many other features are offered, I invite you to take a look at my long review about Wealthy Affiliate or my short presentation.

Starting the training is FREE and do not need any credit card information. You subscribe, and you start, as simple as that. 

In case you have any questions or comments, you can contact me at yerdua (at) school-of-financial-freedom (dot) com. If you are ready to make money, this is definitely a unique opportunity for you!

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  1. I lived in Dallas, TX for 4 years, and I remember the old Mary Kay building, which I think was the Renaissance Hotel when I lived there. My aunt used to sell Mark Kay cosmetics in the 1980s, and I think that she made pretty good money. It wasn’t her only source of income, so she kind of did it as a hobby. Informative website. Learn something new every day.


    1. Hi Ian, doing something as a hobby is probably the best way to be fully committed and get the most it! I’m glad to read your aunt had a great time with Mary Kay, it’s a confirmation this company has made through time!
      Thank you for sharing.

  2. This was really informative and I am so glad you took the time to research this specifically. I signed up to be a Mary Kay consultant when I was around 18 years old. I was unable to meet the sales quota to keep my status and failed. As you said, it is very hard to do. I strongly commend those who are able to succeed selling Mary Kay and I have seen it work as a successful full-time career with my own eyes! It just wasn’t for me!

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Kay, thank you for sharing with us your story with Mary kay. I’m glad to read that even if it didn’t work out for you, it doesn’t mean this type of business cannot work for anyone. Many people will call a company a scam immediately if it doesn’t work for them, but the truth is, it’s maybe not for them. Plus, it is a really specific niche so if you don’t like cosmetics, let’s say you should not even try it!
      I’m happy you liked my review πŸ™‚

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