Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme? Misconceptions Clarified!

Welcome to Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme?

Are you ready to get an in-depth view of one of the largest direct-selling companies in the world? Better brace yourself for an awesome ride as if you are in their iconic pink Cadillac!

You heard that right! If you're into empowering women and all that, you might commend Mary Kay for their motto; “Enriching Women's Lives”. Let's go through the facts about Mary Kay and see for yourself whether the misconceptions are real or not!

I introduce you to Mary Kay!

Before we get started I would like to commend you on taking the time to do your due diligence so you don't get taken by all of the scams and rip-offs that are found everywhere on the internet.

That's how you find the legit way to make money online!

I would like you to know that I'm not in any way paid by or associated with Mary Kay. This is an honest review to provide you, the consumer the information necessary so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not Mary Kay is for you!

 Mary kay Review Summary

mary kay logo

Product Name: Mary Kay

Founder:  Mary Kay Ash

Product Type:  Multi-level Marketing Company

Price:  $100 start-up fee, over $200 product fee every 3 months

Best For: People who are interested in cosmetics and would love to be a beauty consultant. also, those who have the perseverance of recruiting people to join the team.


Mary Kay is one of the oldest multilevel marketing companies built with quite a reputation with 35 global markets. Even so, this multilevel marketing company admits that only half of their active consultants earn more than a hundred dollars annually. Not quite a good deal. Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme? IT's not, that's for sure.

This company ensures product quality and are all trusted to be effective. Like most ML's it's just difficult for some people to grow in that industry. The risk is yours to take, or not.

Rating: 40/100

Recommended: No

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A pink Cadillac? A black BMW?

Or a Chevrolet maybe? A Toyota perhaps?

I'd always love a Cadillac but never in pink. Good thing there are other options. You might be wondering why I started with cars..this is not a car review though!

If you haven't heard about it, Mary Kay is giving those out! Not for free of course, There's a quota of sales volume you have to hit, Either way, it sounds like a great deal.

Would this be enough reason for you to join Mary Kay? Find out if it's worth it or not!

What Is Mary Kay?

There's no age requirement for starting a business. I believe there's no such thing as being late at investing in one.

Mary Kay Ash is the proponent of one of the largest direct-selling companies in the world; Mary Kay. She started a line called Beauty by Mary Kay at 45 years old way back in 1963. The Direct Selling Foundation had given her the Living Legend Award.

Also, Baylor University had called her the “Greatest Female Entrepreneur in American History”.

She started it with the help of her son, Richard Rogers.  This company started from her life savings worth $5000, and who knew that by 2018 it was the 6th largest networking company in the world according to Direct Selling News!

Cory Haasnoot


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Its headquarters is based in Addison, Texas, and another on in Hangzhou, China. There was also a third plant opened n Switzerland. Unfortunately, it ran from 1997 and closed in 2003.

Be an Independent Beauty Consultant!

Success in a bag!

Mary Kay is all about “Enriching Women's Lives”. They also focus on maintaining that youthful glow and slowing down the effects of aging.

mary kay starter kit

You can easily become an Independent Beauty Consultant (IBC) for $100!

Of course, no one pays a sign-up fee for nothing. Inclusions are:

  • products and make up samples
  • planner
  • brochures and catalogs

Are you ready to become a Boss BabeYou have to check out this unboxing video! Check out what your $100 is worth!

An Awesome Opportunity!

Can becoming a consultant guarantee success? Is Mary Kay truly an awesome opportunity?

It's easy to become a part of Mary Kay, there's no need for studying to pass an exam, undergo screening and such. Unlike Primerica, there's a need of hitting the books to study and make sure you pass an exam to get your license. That's the only time you'll be qualified to sell their products.

At Mary Kay, these are the only things you need to do:

Steps to become an IBC
  • go directly to their website.
  • from there you can automatically be connected to an IBC once you choose to sign up.
  • sign and submit independent consultant agreement
  • then, get your starter kit!

Mary Kay truly provides high-quality and professional-looking sales tools for anyone who avails their starter kit. Once you've received your kit, you are now ready to take orders from customers!

Every product you purchase directly from Mary Kay as an IBC entitles you to a 50% off retail value.

This only means that once you've successfully sold a product it is equivalent to a 50% commission. Not so bad!

How Does Mary Kay Work?

Freedom, Flexibility, and Fun

Signing up at Mary Kay is as easy as creating an account on social networking sites. The only difference is that you have to pay, and that's for your starter kit anyway.

Also, you'll have a glimpse of what Mary Kay has to offer you even before you can decide whether you want to be a part of their team or not. One of the opportunities you can have at Mary Kay is the promise of “freedom, flexibility, and fun”.

Freedom, because you don't have office hours you need to stick with. Flexibility since you can do it at your own pace, no pressures. Lastly, it could be fun for most people since it's all about networking and you get to meet people who're more likely to encourage you, or you do the same.

Being a part of a multilevel marketing company, it doesn't require you to do it full-time. It could just be your extra way of income. It's totally up to you how you want to take part in this as a career.

There were some people I knew who had to stop going to college, not because they couldn't pay for it. It's because they are part of a networking company and it seemed to work for them, so they chose to do it full-time.

Retail Sales

Direct selling is one of the ways you can earn at  Mary Kay. As I've mentioned, once you become a consultant you are entitled with up to 50% worth of commission for every product you sell. This sounds like you're going to earn a lot at Mary Kay.

We will see about that!

Mary Kay's starter kit includes catalogs and a few products you can start selling. What're your professional-looking catalogs for if you're not going to use it? That's how you make people choose over the 300 on-trend beauty products Mary Kay has to offer.

As a beauty consultant you have to live and embody the business' focal point. Mary Kay is created specifically for women and mostly emphasizing on encouraging them and making them feel good about themselves.

Premium Products

What you'll be selling mainly focuses on maintaining that youthful glow and help slow down the aging effects on the skin. It's a guarantee that every product they have had been researched extensively, tested, and made to give you the best quality with amazing results.


  • Facial Skin Care
  • Color Cosmetics
  • Body Care
  • Nail Care
  • Sun Protection
  • Fragrance

The most in-demand products they have are the full skincare line. Are you up to try their 21-day skincare challenge to see how effective the results are?

The beauty industry sure knows how to market and gives the people what they want and how they like it. One thing's for sure, this kind of industry is never losing customers.

Best Sellers

Are you ready to get that radiant and youthful-looking skin with these Mary Kay best-sellers?

  • oil-free eye make-up remover
  • ultimate mascara
  • timewise age-fighting moisturizer

Best Sellers at Mary Kay

Mary Kay has all the Ph.D. level biochemists, toxicologists, microbiologists, and pharmacologists they need to make sure that every product they sell is of the best quality.

They also have board-certified dermatologists. No wonder Mary Kay stayed this long in this industry,

Another thing, they don't promote testing products on animals! Every testing is done on actual people. Kudos to that!

Career Paths

Becoming an Independent Beauty Consultant doesn't stay at that. Of course, this is a networking company that works in multilevel you need to reach. the higher the level, the greater the potential income you get.

Here's a brief explanation of how tiers at Mary Kay works!

mary kay career path

Also, you can check out this  Advance Brochure for detailed information regarding the career opportunity and incentives at Mary Kay!


It's important to consider how you'll serve your products to a table of your target market. You just don't get started with a business without letting people know you have something great to offer them. Right?

For Mary Kay and most multilevel marketing companies out there this is the 2 typical ways of letting the world know you're a part of such industry,

Word of Mouth

I've always heard about Mary Kay and all I knew about it before was it sells cosmetic products just that. I never had the idea that it functions as a networking company. Anyway, it has been running for decades and I think almost everyone knows about Mary Kay.

There are lots of consultants out there and to be honest, I always wonder how these IBC's still keep their customers. If almost everyone is a consultant themselves, where else do they get customers?

Sharing  the “Awesome Opportunity”

Imagine this, if I am a Beauty consultant of Mary Kay and offer to sell you some products, I would not stay at that. Of course, I'd be asking you to join me in my yacht and cruise over the sea of opportunities at Mary Kay. More likely, entice you with maybe having your own Cadillac someday.

Mary Kay promises that being a part of their company is an awesome opportunity. It would be selfish of me to keep that to myself right? So I'd be offering my entire family along with my circle of friends, recruit them, then make you and them do the same. If all of us are consultants already, how can we keep customers? We can't buy each other's products, that would be a total joke.

So here”s another way to find your target market.

Social Media

Everyone is on social networking sites! Even my friend's grandmothers are adding me on Facebook. Not a joke.

Moving on, I think advertising always works on social media. People are always on their phones and I hate to admit it but I'm one of the few who (not always) but usually gets enticed by advertisements for certain products… Sometimes I hate it how advertisements on social media had that intriguing power to pull me and make a purchase.

Most people do marketing on Facebook because that's where most people are! Even a few had set-up Instagram accounts as business pages and sells products right there. That's wise, you don't need to pay a web hosting to get your site up running and indexed.

The Journey As an IBC

Anyway, I have a friend who works as an Independent Beauty Consultant at Mary Kay in the Philippines. She has a full-time office work and sells Mary Kay products for extra income. She told me that it was quite an investment to make but it's the only flexible way she can earn some money.

Truth be told, it's never going to be easy to sell directly to people. You can't just come up to someone and force them to buy a product. So here's one of her ways to attract customers.

She promotes Mary Kay Products on Facebook by adding people to a group she created on Messenger. That's where the magic happens. Even though she may have had a few loyal customers to keep her business as a consultant running somehow… the income she gets is not that sufficient.


  • not all loyal customers constantly buy the products
  • potential targets may show interests but only a few tries to purchase
  • not every customer is interested in becoming a part of her team as a beauty consultant.

Selling the products is hard enough, how much more is convincing her target market to be consultants as well. I'm not saying that anyone who wants to become an IBC is not likely to succeed. Having a business is a risk to take, and downsides are inevitable.

It's all a matter of decision and perseverance to have the results we're aiming for.

What I Like About Mary Kay

Mary Kay once said, “We treat the people like royalty. If you honor and serve the people who work for you, they will honor and serve you.”

That makes a lot of sense. Besides the unending encouragement, they offer women, there are lots of things to like about this company.


Earning depends on two ways, retail sales and recruiting. Sure, the 50% commission on every product sale is quite a deal already. Besides reaching every successive level with an equivalent amount of bonuses, Mary Kay has more to offer than that.

Who wouldn't love a cruise to the Bahamas? They just added that to their list of incentives this year! Besides the luxury trips they also offer awesome prizes like fine jewelry and tech gadgets. Plus the “career car program” with choices from the iconic Cadillac, BMW, Toyota, and even a Ford Mustang! Sweet!

a quote from mary kay ash

Charitable Foundation

Mary Kay's husband died of cancer in 1980. That lead her to start her foundation in 1996 that's committed to helping women eliminate cancer!

Also, with all intentions to end domestic violence against women, she expanded her foundation by the year 2000.

It's admirable how giant companies like this are taking time to invest in matters like these that are bound to make a difference for the better.

Take a peek how everything goes at Mary Kay Foundation!

Is MK an Awesome Opportunity or Nah?

Understanding how a company works is necessary before actually investing in it. There are tons of different ways to find out if it works for you or if it's going to be beneficial as it claims to be. I am here to help you out. This review is entirely dedicated to letting you understand what Mary Kay is all about. Are you ready for the honest truths I am about to tell you?


Even if Mary Kay promotes encouragement and positiveness,  who would've thought that too much of it isn't a good thing anymore?

What I'm talking about are the complaints many people are claiming about this emphasis on positivity. Negative talk is deemed unacceptable at Mary Kay causing problems when it comes to consultants addressing complaints. They are usually ignored or dismissed given feedback of “poisoning the business with negativity”. Sounds weird, if you ask me.

I suppose this kind of thinking or practice doesn't apply to all authorities and branches of Mary Kay. It just so happens that some are implementing “positivity” in such a different manner.

If you're interested to learn more about usual complaints at Mary Kay, check them all out at Pink Truth.


To keep your active status as a consultant, you need to pay $225 worth of products every 3 months.

What if you don't get to sell all of it? I wouldn't want a basement full of products I was forced to buy just to stay active on my business. That's a lot of money I'll be wasting if that's the case.

It's an option you're entitled to as a consultant. Successfully selling a product or two is already a hard task for me, how much more with that worth of inventory.

Constant upgrading of products

Mary Kay has invested a lot in their product's research and development. It is amazing how committed this company is in developing a better offer to their customers.

Then why is this is a downside for me?

Let's say Timewise age-fighting formula works wonders for me in their current formula, then the next time I purchase it, it's different. Instead of having the same results as the previous one, I might not get the same outcomes I used to be happy with.

Another thing is, since Mary Kay practices front loading and constantly updates its products, people would always want the newest version. Right? They would be ecstatic about trying the upgraded ones. so what happens to the old products you still have in your inventory?

Even if the older ones may have been the only products working for me, then what if the new ones work for others? I can't keep using the products I'm supposed to sell. Right? I might soon file for bankruptcy in case that ever happens.

Career Car Program

You might be assuming I hate Mary Kay for putting this category under the list of what I do not like about this company…I assure you that I have nothing against Mary Kay.  It just so happens that I am not quite favored by this program.

Why not?

Here's the catch, before arriving at the point of claiming one of their iconic pink Cadillac or any luxury car they offer as incentives…

mary kay career car program

You need to hit $75,000-$100,00 total sales volume in 6 months. It's going to be a miracle for me if ever I hit that quota. Unless I'm supplying to celebrities and their friends or something. And it's not just that…

The monthly car payments are covered by Mary Kay only if you keep hitting that high volume of sales requirements. So what if you can't meet that much anymore?

You'll have the burden of paying for the car and there's quite a huge chance you'll lose it.

Don't worry we're getting closer to answer the question, “Is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme?”

So, is Mary Kay an awesome opportunity as it claims to be?

Networking companies work in different ways for different people. It could be for you, but I think it's not for me.  The basis of whether this could be a great option will be up to you. You will be the proponent of how you're success will turn out to be.

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme?

Allegations and legal issues, any business can encounter such problems. But have you heard about people calling Mary Kay a cult? That's quite a horrible accusation.

Anyway, our goal here is to answer the question; is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme?

It's not. Are you finally relieved?

Mary Kay had quite an astounding reputation, a business that stuck around for decades has products that work with great quality, and a charitable foundation as well. Even so, the income potential is very low unless you have kept a lot of people as your active recruits. The only way you can have a stable earning is by continuous recruitment.

The Pros and Cons

There's a necessity in looking into a company that we are about to invest our money in. There are tons of ways to know how one can be beneficial to us or how it can help us succeed in the long run. Taking into consideration all the pros and cons is a must!

  • One of the largest and oldest networking companies
  • up to 50% on retail commissions
  • Perks are fabulous from luxury trips to luxury cars
  • products are extensively developed and testing is done on people not animals
  • frontloading is necessary
  • products are constantly updated or renewed
  • low-income potential

We shall keep in mind that there's no perfect company, We just need to find the right one that suits our needs and can provide the income we are aiming for. Every business is a risk, it's up to you whether you will take it and where you're willing to do it.

Would I Recommend Mary Kay?

I find it incredible how this company offers even a Ford Mustang as an incentive. Crazy and tempting, but you know me. Not even a luxury car could make me join a networking company.

You might be thinking I'm insane to pass that up. Still, no thanks. Mary Kay is another MLM and you should know me by now, that even how legit it could be, I'm still going to choose affiliate marketing over it.

As I will always say, I'm into a long-term passive income where I don't have to face people and force them to join my team. If you're still adamant about being a part of Mary Kay, that's your choice. But if you think you've changed your mind… You can check out Wealthy Affiliate!

Mary Kay











  • One of the largest and oldest networking companies
  • up to 50% on retail commissions
  • Perks are definitely fabulous from luxury trips to luxury cars
  • products are extensively developed and testing are done on people not animals


  • frontloading is necessary
  • products are constantly updated or renewed
  • low income potential

4 thoughts on “Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme? Misconceptions Clarified!”

  1. I understand perfectly why you’re wouldn’t bloke multilevel marketing and I myself frown against the whole scheme. My aunt was into this and miraculously, she got a car herself but eventually, t occurred to her that she couldn’t take it anymore so she quit. The fact is that MLM schemes are there to make people work for them and even though Mary Kay might not be a pyramid scheme, I wouldn’t advise anyone to join just like you have said. I see white a number of people giving good remarks about the platform though so it all boils down to what you want. Overall, you have put up a good review. Awesome!

    • With Mary Kay,you need to be a great salesperson and the ability to bring many people into the opportunity in order to make money from it. Those people also need to stay with the organization and they need to be good salespeople themselves.

      In my opinion affiliate marketing is a better option. A person has more control with affiliate marketing and doesn’t have to rely on other people to make money.

  2. Wow! The only thing I know about Mary Kay is just that I have seen a couple of their products in my wife’s make up kit box. However, seeing that the list of benefits and opportunities extends this much concerning them is actually astounding. Though I could see through this review that they have some very bad cons, however, if anyone can make an excellent degree of success in this their business opportunities provided here, I think my wife can and I will be willing to support her. She loves all the Mary Kay products and I think she will do a great job in selling them out. Also, the 50% commission is great too. Nice review.

    • Mary Kay can be a moneymaker especially if you’re passionate about beauty and cosmetics. I know a few women that sell Mary Kay and they do pretty well at it. So if your wife loves the products I would say go for it.


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