What is the Mary Kay Business Opportunity and is it Worth it?

what is the mary kay business-ladyIf you are reading this review, there is a likelihood that someone has approached you with the Marv Kay business opportunity and you just want to check out the facts. Or maybe you just joined and want to know whether you are treading on the right path.

Either way, I will try to be as objective as I can so as to enable you to make an informed choice.

When it comes to network marketing, you’ll agree, there isn’t a more potent ground for earning handsome commissions than in the cosmetology realm. After all, most women- and some men 🙂 will stop at nothing to earn the tag of ‘most beautiful’.

So, how do manufacturers bring the products close to potential clients? Well, there are many ways but perhaps the most common is by creating networks and rewarding their loyal distributors.

Even then, not all manufacturers of cosmetology products have legit affiliate networks. If you are aiming to become a distributor of beauty products so as to earn a commission, it’s important to undertake some thorough background check on the validity of the program on offer.

Overview of the Mary Kay business

what is the mary kay business mary-kay-ash
Mary Kay (1918-2001)

Mary Kay is a sales company mainly specializing in cosmetics products. The company was established back in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash, a people savvy marketer, and beauty enthusiast. She was 45 years old at the time which goes to show you that you are never too old to go into entrepreneurship.

While the company started with only 9 employees, Mary Kay Inc. is today amongst the largest multi-level marketing companies in cosmetology distribution. The company also sells a lot of other products besides their beauty and cosmetic range.

Product catalog

For ease of marketing, Mary Kay Cosmetics breaks down their beauty products into four classes; the make ups, fragrance, body and sun, and you guessed it, the skin care products.

How the company operates

Mary Kay employs a simple sales model; interested marketers sign agreements with the company to buy beauty products from Mary Kay cosmetics on a wholesale price basis. The marketers, often referred to as Mary Kay consultants, proceed to sell the beauty products to customers at a predetermined retail price.

The graduating membership scale

Once you opt to join Mary Kay Inc. as an independent consultant, you’ll be assigned a starter market level where you’ll be required to buy a minimum of $100, and a maximum of $4800, which you should then resell at double the cost price. At this level, you’ll be assigned a Pearl star and you will have to recruit 60 customers.

Independent consultants who successfully rise to the second level are assigned an Emerald star and are required to recruit an extra 45 customers and purchase items worth at least $3600 from the company.

The other levels are the Diamond Star where a consultant has to buy $3000, Ruby Star where a consultant only needs to buy and resell $2400 and, the pinnacle level, the Sapphire Star where a consultant only needs to buy and resell $1800 worth of products.

The compensation plan

Consultants who recruit more members into Mary Kay Cosmetics web are given a commission out of the sales that their recruits make.
There are 3 compensation levels:

  1. Direct sales

    Whenever a consultant makes sales, they earn 50% of the sales as a commission. Most of the consultants use meet-ups with customers to pitch their products.

  2. Commission based on team orders.

    Consultants are advised to recruit new members over time so as to earn commissions on sales made by their teams. Whenever a consultant recruits 4 members, they qualify for a 4 percent commission.

    Recruiting 7 new members earns a consultant the tag ‘Team Leader’ and they qualify to earn a commission of 9 percent on sales made by recruits. As a consultant, you can boost your commission to 13 percent by buying and distributing products worth $600.

    Apart from earning commission through recruiting members, Mary Kay consultants qualify for a 50 percent commission on the sales they make.

  3. Team building bonuses

    The bonuses are tied to your leadership level and range between $50 and $3,000.

No business is perfect. Not even Mary Kay. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons Mary Kay business opportunity.

what is the mary kay business products

The pros

  1. As opposed to formal employment where income is often fixed at a constant no matter how hard you work, Mary Kay consultants have no limit on what they can earn. The harder you work, the higher your earnings will be.
  2. It’s generally easier to sell beauty products in comparison to products like medications and machines as they have a feminine touch. There is heavy demand for high-quality beauty care products.
    Good marketers can simply earn without necessary peddling the physical products. They can simply recruit massive networks, sit back and enjoy the commissions as they roll in.
  3. The compensation structure is easy to grasp. This is what makes it attractive to sales people from all divides.
  4. There’s an option to return whatever a consultant had purchased in their first year if they feel they aren’t wired for the kind of marketing. They recoup 90 percent of their buying price.
  5. Mary Kay cosmetic has been in operation for a long time meaning it’s stable and their products have been tested in the market. Consultants can thus market the company’s products with as they have reference figures to show how successful the products have been elsewhere. The pink color used on the company’s products appeals to women making the sales process even easier.


  1. While it may not be easy to recruit new members, it’s proved equally hard to keep the networks going as most recruits quit within the first year.The $100 starter kit that a new entrant is required to purchase may be prohibitive for an interested distributor coming from less endowed financial backgrounds.
    Training new recruits require cash that start-up consultants may not have at their disposal.
  2. A consultant can only qualify to get a Pink Cadillac car for their marketing endeavors if they recruit 12 active down line consultants and cumulatively have $18,000 in team sales volume.
  3. Forcing independent consultants who fail to hit the $4,000 milestone in monthly to pay for the lease of the pink Cadillac with their commissions is downright humiliating if you ask me.
  4. While the business is primarily focussed on women’s beauty range of products, there is a tiny portion that target men’s products. This means that a huge segment of the market is left out.

Training and support 

The company offers a consultant locator through a consumer or a new recruit can inquire on the products, the affiliate program and anything regarding Mary Kay Inc.

There are also numerous training workshops and meetings that are held for members and that way new recruits learn how to market the Mary Kay brand.

My honest verdict

Is Mary Kay a scam. Not at all. I mean the company has been around since 1963. The fact is, Mary Kay Cosmetics offer the opportunity for marketers to earn money from commissions and bonuses. But this comes through toil and exquisite marketing skills that, to be honest, not many people possess.

Let’s take a brief look at the business model.

The fact is, Mary Kay is just one amongst the thousands of Multi level marketing (network marketing) companies out there.

As it is with all cases with MLMs, the products usually tend to take a back seat and recruiting becomes the center of focus for your business.

If you are good at approaching people out of the blue and presenting them with an opportunity like this, this could work well for you. Most people are not.

The fact is many people fail in this business because it is by no means easy as they are led to believe. In fact,  less than 1% of all the people who join MLMs succeed.

Well, if you are among the 1%, how about you check how I make money online without having to recruit.

I don’t mean to discourage you but the very nature of MLMs is also shrouded in a lot of misconceptions and controversy.

I will leave you with Dave Ramsay’s take on it.

Many thanks for reading my review. Have you ever been part of Mary Kay? I would love to hear from you.  If you have a question or a comment, please leave it below.

My name is Leonard


Hi folks. Thanks for dropping by. I am a graphic designer and also build websites for local businesses. I am also a member of Wealthy Affiliate. WA is a community-based training platform that truly delivers. It offers a variety of tools, training, and support, and best of all, it’s FREE to get started with. Check it out and see if it’s a good fit for you.

8 thoughts on “What is the Mary Kay Business Opportunity and is it Worth it?”

  1. Hello Leonard,

    I loved reading your review on Mary Kay. My wife sold Mary Kay products for a few years and did okay with it. It was a lot of work for her and sales weren’t always good. After a while she got tired of Mary Kay and got into Affiliate Marketing with me.

    I taught her everything she knows. I learned everything I know from Wealthy Affiliate which she joined as well. Now we both work from home together and enjoy every minute of it.

    Anyways, great article on Mary Kay and telling people what it’s really like selling their products. Some people do very well selling Mary Kay products. It’s not for everyone.


    • Hi Jack and thanks for dropping by. Selling MLM is certainly not for everyone. I do know a few people who are quite successful at it but I cant tell you how the do it. Affiliate marketing on the other hand is a lot less stress in comparison. Any one can succeed if they are determined. 

  2. Ah, another multi level marketing, it is such a sad way to make money online. I have seen such things happen more in cosmetics line and for some reason, people actually get into it without realizing.
    I thought the Mary Kay business was a little different but I guess it is not, Thanks for the review, it does give a better insight of things.

    • Hi Shrey and thanks for dropping by. They are all over the place, aint they? Its really all about recruiting. Period. That’s where the rubber meets the road. No recruiting no money.

  3. I have not been approached about the Mary Kay Business but I did have a friend who was in this for a while. This company has been around for sometime so I can trust them somewhat. I still don’t like that they are mlm but I guess that is why they have been around for awhile.I didn’t even know that they had a small portion of men products. Can you tell me some of the products that are for men?

    • Hi Kendrick. I cant tell you more about their products because, am not an agent and I dont use them. Mine was just a general review of the company. If you want more info just go to their website or contact a distributor.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  4. I am a beauty consultant with Marykay cosmetics. I have been with the company since 2003, I have enjoyed the flexibility and the financial reward. I do agree with everyone that it is not for everybody. Just like any other thing in life. However, I strongly encourage anyone that is thinking about generating extra income to consider it, have fun, and see if it is for you and if it is not for you, you move on to something else. But you never know unless you try 🙂


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