Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme? Find Out The Truth About This Company In My Review!

Hey what’s up?

Chances are you here because someone told you how amazing this company was, or you just happened to stumble upon it by accident.

So now you want to know is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme or a legit way to help you make money online.

And you might have already come across several videos and articles of people talking about how awesome this company is — because in truth they have been around for a very long time.

Luckily though I am not affiliated with Mary Kay whatsoever, so I’ll be giving you my honest and unbiased opinion about this company without all the hype.

Sound good?

If so let’s jump right into and see what this is all about!

Quick Summary Of Mary Kay 

Name: Mary Kay 

Website: Marykay.com

Price: $100 for their starter kit plus $75 / month 

Rating: 3 out of 5

What Is Mary Kay?

Mary Kay is an MLM (multi-level-marketing ) company within the beauty niche — meaning they sell products to help women feel and look beautiful.

Now this company was founded way back in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash ( which is very remarkable because most MLM businesses last on average 5 – 7 years ).

And when she started this company, her slogan was “built by a women, for women” — and they only sold 1 foundation and 4 skincare products.

Fast forward to today, this company now operates in 40 different countries around the world and has hundreds upon hundreds of products for sale on their website.

Also they say their mission is to enrich the lives of women and their families all around the world by not only giving them high quality products — but also allow them to build a full time business selling them.

Now there’s no doubt that this company is successful, otherwise they would not have been around for nearly 60 years — but don’t leave and sign up just yet thinking you’ll make a lot of money with them.

Because as you keep reading, I have some rather shocking news that could very well change your mind completely about this company.

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What Does Mary Kay Sell?

One of the things I really love about this company is that they have nearly 600 products for sale on their website. And all of these products are separated into 6 different categories which are as followed:

  • Skincare ( 92 items )

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme - Skincare

Here you’ll find creams, lotions, and other things that will reduce wrinkles, fight acne, exfoliate, moisturize and more.

  • Makeup = ( 289 items )

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme - Makeup

This is separated into even smaller categories which will pertain to women’s cheeks, eyes, face, and lips.

This is also the biggest category by far within their company — meaning you’ll find all kinds of eye shadows, foundations, concealers, lipsticks, mascara, and other beauty supplies for women to use. 

  • Body and sun = ( 33 items ) 

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme - Body and sun

Here you’ll basically find different types of sunscreen lotions for you to use.

  • Fragrance = ( 14 items )

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme - Fragrance

As the name suggests, you’ll find a small selection of perfumes made for women. 

  • Men’s = ( 13 items )

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme - Men's

Surprisingly enough, Mary Kay also has few items for men they offer — which basically consist of either cologne or aftershave.  

  • Gifts  = ( 136 items )

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme - Gifts

I thought this section was a pretty neat idea. It’s basically where they have put a variety of random items together and packaged them up real neat for you to give someone as a gift. 

Now all in all with me being a guy I really couldn’t tell you how great these products are — but from the reviews I’ve read several people seem to love them.

Also if you want, you can watch this video where this girl talks about her favorite items Mary Kay sells and why she think they’re so effective. 

 

Mary Kay Compensation Plan 

The thing I hate most about MLM companies is their compensation plans. They are long, confusing, and use so many numbers that you feel like you’re back in Calculus. 

And Mary Kay here is no different.

With them having a 42 page plan, you can easily spend hours looking over it to try and understand what it means.

Now to keep you from doing that though, I will quickly outline how it works so you can get the gist of how you make money with this company. 

Affiliate Ranks

Within Mary Kay, there are 14 ranks you can obtain which are as followed:

  1. Independent Beauty Consultant
  2. Independent Senior Beauty Consultant
  3. Star Team Builder
  4. Team Leader
  5. Elite Team Leader
  6. Independent Sales Director
  7. Independent Senior Sales Director
  8. Independent Future Executive Senior Sales Director
  9. Independent Executive Senior Sales Director
  10. Independent Elite Executive Senior Sales Director
  11. Independent National Sales Director
  12. Independent Senior National Sales Director
  13. Independent Executive National Sales Director
  14. Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director

Now to actually get higher ranked within this company is much harder than you might imagine. In fact it’s so difficult that hardly anyone ever makes it to rank 2!

Retail Commissions

The great thing about this company is that you can earn 50% commissions on every product you sell directly to a person. 

So if you sell $1,000 worth of products a month, you’ll end up making $500 — which is EXTREMELY good for any MLM company. 

Residual Commissions

Mary Kay uses a unilevel structure within their plan.

This means as you start recruiting people and build a team, you can earn a certain percent off of all the sales they make.

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme - Unilevel compensation structure

Now how much you earn is going to be based on what rank you are — and the higher ranked you are the more money you can earn.

For example, an Independent Senior Beauty Consultant can earn 4% from their team, and the only requirement is to have 1 or 2 members.

However to be an Independent Elite Executive Senior Sales Director, you have to recruit at least 8 other Independent Sales Directors which will then allow you to earn 9% from your team.

Bonuses

Now there are also a ton of bonuses this company will offer you depending on what rank you are and based on how many sales you and your team make within a certain time frame. 

And since there are simply too many for me to cover here, you can read their entire compensation plan here to see exactly how it works and how much you can potentially earn.

How Much Does It Cost?

To join Mary Kay, you simply need to buy their starter kit which costs $100.

However once you become a member, you’ll need to buy  $225 worth of their products within a 3 month time frame ( or $75 a month ) to remain active. 

So basically if you joined this company for a whole year, you would spend $1,000 to be a member. 

What I Like About It

  • This company has been around for a very long time

Statistics have proven that on average an MLM company lasts about 5 – 7 years. So the mere fact that Mary Kay has been around for about 60 years is amazing!

This also proves that they not only know how to run a business but you can have a peace of mind that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon if you decide to join them. 

  • Thousands of people like their products

As I was looking at what people had to say about this company on Consumer Affairs website, I ran across several reviews of people talking about how much they loved Mary Kay’s products. 

This lady here says she’s been using them for over 40 years and at 78 years old now she hardly has any wrinkles.

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme - Lady says she does not get wrinkles thanks to their products

And this lady says that makeup usually makes her skin break out, but after she started using Mary Kay’s products she had no problem.

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme - Their products don't make this girl's skin break out in a rash

So again if you decide to join this company, it seems you’ll have hundreds of high quality products you can offer your future customers.

  • They have a lot of products

Another thing that’s great about this company is as I just mentioned they literally have hundreds of products that you can either buy or sell.

Now the average MLM business (such as VIC Cosmetics, Everra ) usually only has a handful of items for you to sell — which makes it extremely difficult for you to make good money with.

So it’s good to see that become a member of Mary Kay, your customers are more than likely going to find something they will like.  

  • They offer a satisfaction guarantee

Mary Kay offers what they call a satisfaction guarantee which basically says if you are not happy with your product for any reason you can return it and get your money back.

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme - Satisfaction Guarantee

In fact they said they did a recent survey which stated that…

  • 9 out of 10 consumers were satisfied with their purchase
  • People on average are more satisfied with their products versus another company
  • And that 90% of their customers say their products are high quality

And I wouldn’t really argue here, because as I showed you a second ago there are hundreds of reviews online of people talking about how much they like Mary Kay’s products. 

What I Don’t Like About It

  • They are in a very crowded and competitive market

Mary Kay is in one of the biggest industries in the world which is cosmetics / beauty supplies for women.

You can go just about everywhere like Walmart or Dillard to buy makeup and on top of that their hundreds if not thousands of other MLM companies like Younique which also sell makeup and beauty products.

So if you decide to join Mary Kay, you’re going to give people a very strong reason as to why they should try Mary Kay out versus going to another company.

  • You have to throw parties to market this company

The way Mary Kay tells you to market their company is by throwing what they call parties.

This is basically where you lay out your makeup and other items at your house then invite people you know ( like your family, friends, and neighbors ) to come over and test them out.

Now this may be fun at first and you probably will make some money — however this is a terrible way to market a company for 2 main reasons.

First of all you only know so many people, and secondly it actually costs a good deal of money and time setting your house up to do this.

 So while you may make some money, your overall profit might not be that much after everything is said and done.

And if you don’t believe me, you can watch this video of how a Mary Kay party operates.

 

  • The chances of earning a good income with this company is low

Then last but most certainly not least, even though I’ve talked pretty highly of Mary Kay within my review — the hard truth is that the chances of you making a lot of money with this is very slim.

Because according to their income disclosure and in their own words, they say…

A typical participant in the Mary Kay Independent Sales Force does not earn any commissions or bonuses.

And they confirm this by showing that 99% of everyone who joins this company either make no money or make on average $200 a year.

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme - Income disclosure

And when you calculate that you have to spend $1,000 a year to be a member of this company — you actually end up losing money rather than gaining. 

Is Mary Kay A Scam?

So is Mary Kay a scam? Absolutely not.

This company has been around for decades which in itself should verify that this is a legit business — but on top of that they sell high quality products that women seem to instantly fall in love with.

So in my opinion if you were to buy something from Mary Kay I’d say go for it — but if you are looking to join them in order to start an online business and make money I’d recommend you don’t. 

Because again as you saw with their income disclosure, you literally have a 1% chance of succeeding with them — which basically means 10 out of every 1,000 people that join this company succeeds. 

Is Keyword A Pyramid Scheme?

Mary Kay is also not a Pyramid Scheme.

This is because you can make a generous 50% commission on every product you sell directly to people.

And if this were a Pyramid Scheme then you and all of Mary Kay’s members would only be able to make money by recruiting people.

So while you may hear people say that this company is a Pyramid Scheme I can assure you that by definition it is not.

And to further explain why this is, you can watch this short 2 minute video here. 

 

My Final Thoughts

Mary Kay is without a doubt one the most well known MLM companies around the world, which sells high quality products that women absolutely love.

The problem though is 99% of everyone who joins this company ends up failing to build a successful business to make a lot of money.

And this is due to the fact that you have to recruit and build large teams — then teach all your members how to do this exact same thing.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t know that many people and having people come over to my house each weekend so I can sell makeup sounds like a terrible way to make money let alone build a business.  

This is why I prefer affiliate marketing to generate an income online.

There’s no recruiting whatsoever, you can sell whatever products you want, and you don’t have to spend a dime on advertising.

You simply create helpful content that points people towards products they’re already looking for  — then you get paid a commission each time they buy something.  

So if this sounds like something you might be interested in, check out my #1 recommended training online.

It gives you step by step training, 24/7 support, all the tools you’ll need to be successful, and best of all it’s 100% free to join. 

Check Out My #1 Recommended Product Here

I hope you enjoyed my review about Mary Kay and now can decide if this is or is not an opportunity you want to pursue. 

And if you have any questions about them or making money online in general, leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Mary Kay

$100 for their starter kit plus $75 / month
3

Overall Rating

3.0/5

Pros

  • This company has been around for a very long time
  • Thousands of people like their products
  • They offer a satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • They are in a very crowded and competitive market
  • You have to throw parties to market this company
  • The chances of earning a good income with this company is low
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8 thoughts on “Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme? Find Out The Truth About This Company In My Review!”

  1. It’s not the first time I’m learning about Mary Kay and I have an aunt who was once in the business but she never really told me much about it. 

    Today when I think back to her business, I don’t think we can really call it a pyramid scheme because she sold a lot of products and never tried to get people to join the business which is what pyramids are. I think my aunt stopped because she wasn’t able to make enough.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your personal experience with this company Jackie.

      I’m sorry to hear your aunt wasn’t that successful, but sadly most people in Mary Kay will end up like your Aunt in which the only money they ever make is by selling their products to their friends and family.

      This is one of the main reasons I will never join an MLM company, and why I don’t recommend it toward people wanting to make money.

      Reply
  2. Hello Michael, 

    The idea of going into business is to make money for oneself, and recruiting other people is not a great way to do it because it’s not easy for most people to do.

    So even though I think Mary Kay is a really cool business with nice products, the MLM aspect of it turns me off. 

    Reply
    • I agree with you Lawson that having to recruit people to make a good income is not only hard but a terrible strategy to build a longterm and successful business. 

      This is why I love affiliate marketing — because you can promote anything you want ( Including Mary Kay here ) and you can make a lot of money without ever having to talk to anyone, recruit anyone, or spend money on advertising.

      So in short, I think it is hands down the best way to make money online because it’s easy, inexpensive to do, and very lucrative 

      Reply
  3. Thanks for sharing this article about Mary Kay.

    It’s true that they have very nice products that are good for cosmetic stuff, and I’ve seen a lot of ladies mention their products. However making money from Mary Kay is something I really don’t think I would so well at because it requires you to recruit a lot of people into a team. 

    Reply
    • You are absolutely correct that even though an MLM company may have products people love and lots of them ( like Mary Kay here ) — the chances of you making a good income are quite low.

      Because as I said within my review unless you know how to recruit hundreds of people into your team each and every month you simply won’t succeed period.

      Reply
  4. What a great review of Mary Kay. The problem is MLM, or networking companies, are designed to give the most growth when someone builds a team, as you have suggested as well. 

    So, you can make money by selling products by yourself, but it won’t be enough, especially when you have to be sure to sell or purchase $1000 per year.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Marsha.

      And I think you are correct that if you love using Mary Kay’s products and want to earn a little bit of a side income selling them to your friends and family then joining this opportunity might work out well for you.

      However if you are trying to build a full time business in where you are earning 4 figures or more a month — then you’ll need to know how to …

      – Attract hundreds of people into your team a month

      – Teach your current team members how to become successful 

      – Be willing to manage your team and motivate them when they are feeling down

      – And more

      Which obviously is extremely hard to do, and is why only 1% of people succeed within the MLM business industry.  

      Reply

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