Is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme? (2022 Review)

Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme? Is it a scam or legit MLM? Can you sell their products and make money? This and more are answered right here in my Mary Kay review so keep reading…

Mary Kay Cosmetics is one of those companies that have a hot and cold reputation in both the online and offline world.

Some say it’s a scam. Others scream their program is 100% legit and working.

Who can you trust? Well, for starters, you could read my unbiased review!

But before we get into this review, and answer those questions, let me introduce myself…

Hi, I’m Ivan and I’m an online marketer who went from losing my time waiting tables to running a thriving online affiliate marketing business.

In the meantime, I have actually tried and reviewed 600+ courses, scams, and even pyramid schemes to find the very best way to generate income online.

Keep reading my Mary Kay review where I’m going to show you what this company is about. Also, I show you how it works, and I share my opinion about whether Mary Kay is a pyramid scheme or a legit MLM.

Mary Kay Pyramid Scheme Review


Mary Kay Review – Overview

Quick Summary: Mary Kay is a makeup and skincare company that’s been around for over 60 years. Needles to say, the company sells legitimate products and is known for their quality all over the world.

Since you’re here, you’re wondering if Mary Kay is a scam pyramid scheme? Or legit business opportunity.

To be honest, Mary Kay is not a scam. It is a legitimate opportunity. You can join the Mary Kay MLM program, purchase your starter kit and start reselling their products and/or recruiting other people into your team.

Because of this, many people say that Mary Kay is a pyramid scheme. Keep reading my review to find out the truth!

Alternative: If you’re a newbie who is looking to earn passive income online, there are other, more beginner-friendly, and cost-effective alternatives. My top-rated affiliate marketing course has helped me to go from earning $0 to $100’s per day!




What Is Mary Kay?

Mary Kay is a company that makes skincare and cosmetic items. The business was founded in 1963 with a preliminary investment of $5,000. It started as a small beauty parlour in Dallas that just has 9 products and 9 staff members.

Currently, they’ve expanded to be among the biggest and most reputable online marketing cosmetics companies with greater than a million consultants and sales participants around the globe.

And in this review, I’ll be focusing on the burning question; Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme or a legit business? Before I share the verdict, let’s go over a review of Mary Key cosmetics history…

Who Owns Mary Kay?

Mary Kay Ash is an American businesswoman that founded Mary Kay Cosmetics. At the time of her death, she was worth $98 million. As of now, her firm generates an annual income of $1.2 billion in sales in 30 countries.

Mary Kay Ash

She is likewise thought about as the mommy of all Multi-level marketing as she was among the first people to utilize the business design to grow her company.

She passed away in 2001, yet her tradition keeps going. Richard R. Rogers is now the executive chairman of Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Is Mary Kay an MLM?

Yes, Mary Kay is a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company that manufactures and sells cosmetics and skin treatment items.

Mary Kay has been in business for many years and their appeal experts are taken into consideration to be pioneers in the beauty market, which gives them a great edge over various other online marketing companies.

Mary Kay Makeup MLM

As mentioned previously, Mary Kay Inc. is an American independently multilevel marketing company. That said, Mary Kay is in advance that it is a brand name that sells cosmetics as well as beauty items via a network marketing structure.

Does this mean that Mary Kay is a pyramid scheme type of MLM? Well, this is a rather complicated question…Keep reading my Mary Kay review to find out!

Is MLM Like Mary Kay’s Legit Way To Make Money?

The beauty professionals of Mary Kay sell and distribute the products straight to those within their areas or online. These specialists are not staff members. Instead, they independently promote MK’s products to earn commissions.

According to Straight Marketing News, Mary Kay was the sixth largest network company in the world, with a wholesale quantity of a tremendous $3.25 USD billion in 2018. That’s a substantial amount of income in the very competitive beauty industry.

Perhaps that qualifies them to be considered a cosmetics titan. When Mary Kay Ash started the company, she probably never ever assumed she would sell those skin lotions like crazy!

The business design has actually been the item of criticism lately. Numerous media outlets have examined multilevel marketing firms and their get-rich-quick plans. They deemed it frustrating and rather akin to the pyramid system framework.

That said, it is safe to say that Mary Kay is legit MLM. However, there are many accusations all over the net that are coming from people who say that it’s a scam pyramid scheme.

Related Review: Is Amway a Scam or Legit MLM?

Is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme?

Mary Kay is not a Pyramid scheme. It’s a reputable cosmetics firm with a background in providing top quality appeal products to its clients.

Although hiring salespeople is critical to other Multi-Level Advertising firms, Mary Kay experts can still earn money without recruiting others.

What Is a Pyramid Scheme?

The FTC explains a pyramid scheme as a company where the main technique of generating income is by recruiting and registering others in joining the program and billing them costs for participation– not by offering items to the public.

Mary Kay Pyramid Scheme

What is a Pink Pyramid Scheme?

A pink pyramid scheme is mostly a method of manipulating the salesforce. Under this service design, the business’s sales team is motivated to purchase the products and after that offer them to their consumers.

For most of the beauty specialists of Mary Kay, the financial returns are typically very little, which is actually far away from the substantial earnings that the company claims that women can earn by marketing their items.

That’s why many individuals commonly ask if Mary Kay is a pyramid scheme? Or even is Mary Kay a scam?

Is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme in Disguise?

A lot of people call Mary Kay a product-based pyramid scheme in disguise.

By that, it means lots of people at the bottom of the pyramid acquire amazing amounts of items to ensure that those on top of the pyramid can get fat compensation checks.

However, once again, the quick response to the question “Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme?” is no. Theoretically, Mary Kay is not a pyramid scheme. But maybe, in practice, some say it looks like a pyramid system.

And there are a lot of people out there who share this opinion…

As you can hear from these videos, lots of ladies claim that Mary Kay is a scam… So is it really? Or could it be that they are just angry customers or failed representatives?

I personally believe that they have a point.

But that doesn’t mean that I support their claim that Mary Kay is a scam. In fact, here is my own opinion…

Is Mary Kay a Scam?

Mary Kay isn’t a scam in my review. The firm is legit and pays its members as they claim.

Ok, but why are there reviews of the company being a fraud? Well, that involves the disappointment they get when they realize that they’re losing money instead of earning because they need to buy their very own products if they do not reach the sales quota.

Therefore, they get angry at the company (instead of at themselves), and they call it a scam.

That sure cleared things up, right?

That said, Mary Kay is not a scam. The rest of this review is going to expose how their compensation program works, how much money on average their representatives make, and help you to find out whether it is for you or not…

Alternative: On the other hand, if you’re looking for the best business model to earn passive income online as a beginner, there are other, more suitable, and cost-effective alternatives.

My top-rated course has helped me to go from earning $0 to $100’s per day!




What are Mary Kay Products?

Now that I have cleared up the air a bit, let’s get busy with a different part of my Mary Kay review. That is, let’s talk about the company’s products and how you can sell them to make money…

Mary Kay’s product range includes make-up, naturally, skincare products, body & sun creams, fragrances, and even “men’s cosmetics”. The product line consists of a moisturizer, a cleanser, sunblock, as well as an evening option.

Mary Kay Products

Are Mary Kay Products Safe?

I discussed previously in my Mary Kay review that product development was among the important points.

The company have Ph.D.-level biochemists, toxicologists, microbiologists, and pharmacologists on the payroll. Obviously, they have some smart folks working behind the scenes to ensure that product choices are based on audio clinical research.

Here is their official video…

As an example, Mary Kay’s skincare products are reviewed by a team of independent board-certified skin doctors. Consumer scientists are likewise employed to conduct vital online product testing.

In an MLM industry that is swarming with inferior (rubbish) companies, I can easily claim that this company seems to put some genuine idea, initiative, and pride into what they have to offer.

How To Become Mary Kay MLM Consultant?

I’m aware that many people who are reading my Mary Kay review are interested in selling their products. If you are passionate about skincare and makeup and think you can reach a large fanbase, you could start with Mary Kay MLM.

Here’s how to get started…

To get things underway as a Mary Kay beauty expert, you’ll require to have to buy one of the two starter packages…

Mary Kay QuickStart Business Kit

Mary Kay Starter Business Kit

Both packages come with retail-sized items to reveal to friends at events, samplers that are designated for your would-be clients, as well as service products and brochures with sales ideas.

According to one review, Mary Kay experts can earn up to 50% gross profit on products when they offer them to clients. This is what they call an earned price cut privilege.

How To Make Money With Mary Kay MLM?

There are 2 ways that you can make some money from Mary Kay:

  • Offer products to make commissions
  • Employee people and also gain team rewards

Note that you can earn incentives from the sales of your teams and not just by straightforward hiring them. It’s a wise move for companies like Mary Kay because this conserves them the headache of being identified as a pyramid plan.

Related Review: Is Melaleuca a Scam?

How Much Can You Make With Mary Kay MLM?

At first, the company states in the fine print that in order to obtain the large 50% gross profit, you need to place a $400 retail order every quarter to receive an active status as well get gotten approved for it.

Like all the other networking companies in the cosmetic industry, Mary Kay suppliers press their cosmetics and skincare items via an event strategy or pop-up shops or online solutions making use of private VIP groups on Facebook or via a social media advertisement.

How Much Do Mary Kay Consultants Make On Average?

There are different types of Mary Kay consultants, and each expert is in charge of her advertising as well as sales numbers.

Details for each consultant are private info. However, I have managed to dig out some numbers for this review. Noted annual revenues for these titles are shown below…

Mary Kay Income Report

These earnings are self-reported on public websites and may not be a real reflection of the averages.

As you build a more powerful team under your hired experts, you become a “sales expert” or “sales director” and thus, make a yearly typical revenue that ranges from $39,000 to $50,000.

Keep in mind that these numbers are, once again, just an estimate…

Can You Make Good Money With Mary Kay?

There are some women that generate income with Mary Kay, while others never ever even break even.

In other words, the concept of how Mary Kay works do make it appear as though you can earn money, but around 99% of ladies never ever really generate income with this.

Worried Woman

There is a little less than 1% of ladies that turn this right into a really financially rewarding profession in which they may make an executive revenue. There are also those few picked that gain a moderate revenue of around $20,000 per year.

The reality is that the majority of women spend their money stocking up on inventory that they will certainly never market.

The truth of the matter is that when an individual is hired to offer Mary Kay, they are informed to act like somebody in retail. But, as a Mary Kay salesman, you are not a seller as you do not have sales, and foot traffic like a store.

Because of these situations mentioned above, it can be hard to establish a customer base. Even if you are willing to work hard, you are most likely to find that several other women have had the very same frame of mind, but were unable to make a profit.

Maybe the best way to market these products is online because you can reach a large customer base from your home.

Related Review: IM Mastery Academy

Does Mary Kay MLM Still Give Pink Cadillacs?

It’s possible to get a Mary Kay pink Cadillac. Beauty Consultants who attain the condition of Mary Kay Independent Sales Director can still get a Cadillac or a motivational trip as a reward for their hard work.

According to their website, “since December 31, 2019, 62% of the 485 Independent Sales Directors and also Independent National Sales Supervisors joined the Job Vehicle Program and 42% attended a motivation trip.”

Mary Kay Pink Cadillac

What I Like About Mary Kay MLM

Here is what I like about Mary Kay in my review…

  • The business has been around for more than 60 years
  • Mary Kay provides high quality and professional-looking sales tools
  • The company offers juicy financial rewards and incentives
  • Positive product reviews from May Kay users

Related Review: Is Herbalife a Pyramid Scheme?

What I Don’t Like About Mary Kay

Since this is a fair and unbiased Mary Kay review, I have listed a few cons below too…

  • You probably won’t make any serious money unless you recruit new Mary Kay distributors
  • Their products are expensive and the program includes hidden monthly expenses
  • Only 1 in 200 members earn over $30k a year, which is not encouraging
  • Lower chances for success because of the saturated market

Mary Kay User Reviews

At the end of my Mary Kay review, I want to share a few more user reviews as well. Below are some of the testimonials that I found online…

  • “There is so much room for advancement with all the help and support to get there. You work whenever you want to or as little as you want to. Your income is whatever you make of it. Yes, the product you are selling is a bit expensive for both you and the people you are selling to. Yes, you do have to stockpile your products just so you get paid right away and do not have to backorder what your client is wanting to buy. There are great perks for you and your client whenever they have a beauty “party.” Even better perks for yourself if you take this self-employment opportunity as your full-time job and sell sell sell. They do have special opportunities for transportation, schooling, budgeting, advancement and so on.”
  • “When you get hired you think the salary is good until you realize the workload required. The salary was unsatisfactory for the work. There were good supervisors there but mostly the supervision was micromanaging. If you are a squared away officer, you will still get micromanaged.”
  • “I was told by a supervisor that if no one was willing to stay for my shift, then I would be required to work my shift. That’s not reasonable to me. It’s very militant there, especially on the second shift. Lots of responsibilities are delegated to officers for fire system inspections and other responsibilities. It seems intimidating at first but the knowledge was a benefit to learn. The company was great but the department has issues that need to be resolved.”

Together with those written reviews found online, I found this video from a former Mary Kay MLM member too…

Do I Recommend Joining Mary Kay MLM?

There’s no doubt regarding Mary Kay’s track record. They are one of the most significant multinational cosmetics businesses in the world and they do provide nice items compared to various other network marketing companies.

But what do I think of the business opportunity? I’m not so excited about it… The only manner in which you can make good cash inside MLMs is if you hire as many people as you can.

That means annoying your friends, and family members about buying your products or even joining your team. Alternatively, you can boost your efforts by utilizing the power of the internet.

But all in all, that’s easier to say than do…

Therefore, although Mary Kay MLM is legit, I don’t recommend it because you can potentially lose a lot of money. But if you really believe that you can do this, then go for it and never quit!

Related Review: Infinitus MLM

Mary Kay Review – Conclusion

A lot of people call Mary Kay a product-based pyramid scheme. But as I have established in my review, that’s not true.

Multi-level Marketing or networking is basically an advertising approach that works by selling products directly to the clients. And by law, MLM is not a scam or a pyramid scheme.

Moreover, the difference between a pyramid plan and a legit network marketing program is that there is no actual item that is offered in a pyramid scheme.

So not all Multi-level marketing companies are pyramid schemes. As is true with any venture, your financial gain depends upon your capability to market items or offer solutions.

So, once again, Mary Kay is not a pyramid scheme.

Thanks for reading my Mary Kay review. Do you have questions? What is your review? Feel free to reach out below!

In case this MLM is not for you…here is a BETTER option!

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Is There a Better Way To Make Money Online?

I know how hard it is to trust websites these days. There are too many scams out there, especially in the make-money-online world. I know, because I reviewed over 600+ sites so far!

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If you need any help or you have a question, feel free to contact me.

And feel free to share this Mary Kay pyramid scheme review to help others as well!

All the best, Ivan. Founder, and CEO

Related Review: Is Amway a Scam

20 thoughts on “Is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme? (2022 Review)”

  1. Ivan, this review on whether or not Mary Kay is a pyramid scheme is on point. Although it is not a scam, per se, the MLM model would give a person that impression. I cannot argue that their product lines are common place and has a positive reputation; however, I know very few people that have found real success. The further down the stream, the farther you are from success. In my opinion, earning sufficient income can be a hard journey.

  2. Mary Kay is definitely a legitimate business but the business only thrives on how many people are recruited, as MLM companies do. They claim their products are of high quality and I don’t dispute that. In order to justify that, prices are high.

    The business model is not for everyone. Perhaps as you suggested, people should try affiliate marketing where they can full charge of their own business.

    Thanks for the review, I never knew Mary Kay is a massive business.

  3. I agree that you may surely earn some real money if you are willing to put in more effort. Despite what some may say, the Mary Kay pyramid scheme is against the law. And I agree with you, it is a legitimate opportunity. The only ways to profit from Mary Kay are through selling their products and recruiting new members.

    In my opinion, some people report the business as being conned after realizing they are wasting their time and spending more money than they are making by purchasing the business’s products. It has to do with their frustration at having to purchase their own merchandise if they fall short of the sales quota.

  4. Mary Kay was one of the first beauty items I encountered as a teenager when I started interested in makeup. It is a real business. I do not consider them a scam because they provide high-quality items to their customers. The issue with the pyramid is that they have a sales target and give so many incentives. Mary Kay is a multi-level marketing organization, and I do not encourage joining any MLM company. If you want to generate passive money, you should become an affiliate marketer. Thank you for this review. keep it up.

  5. I think the verdict has been in about MLM companies for decades. A very small percentage of their associates make decent money. As you stated, these are the members who were able to build a large network of distributors and are able to replace losses due to attrition. This is common in most MLM companies. 

    However, I feel the ladies who join Mary Kay and other similar companies like Avon, do experience other intangible benefits. This gives them an opportunity to meet other ladies to market their products. Friendships can be developed with regular customers. Even though they do not make much income, this aspect could meet the social need of some women. 

    Sadly, in most companies like this, in order to qualify for commissions, a minimum sales quota must be met. If the sales are not met, a distributor could feel the pressure to buy the products themselves. In this situation, they will probably make a significant loss over time. 

    MLM  businesses can only succeed if a distributor can do three things. Firstly, be able to sell products at retail and keep the difference between retail and wholesale as a profit. Secondly, recruit a team of salespeople to their network. Thirdly, successfully train these individuals to duplicate what they do. 

    Very few can do this and eventually either quit. Or just make sales to a small group of regular customers in their social circle. 

    I agree with you that there are more effective ways to make money instead of joining MLM programs like Mary Kay.



  6. A friend of mine invited me to join Mary Kay. She told me that since I am buying the products, hence joining them will be beneficial. And so my first thought is, sounds MLM. I trust my friend, so I believe it’s not a scam. However, I want to check some reviews still. Not to know if it’s legit but to understand if it is for me. And my answer is, I’ll pass for now – I see myself ending up not doing as required, selling and recruiting. I prefer offering solutions. Thank you for this, Ivan. 

  7. In my opinion Mary Kay is a sort of pink pyramid scheme, but I don”t considered them a scam as they offer quality products for the consumers. The problem with the pink pyramid is they have a quota for sales offering so many incentives. Normally, associates want to grab a high incentive, they used their personal money to pay bulk  products which are impossible to sell. This is a psychological strategy of the higher level managers to force associates making sales.I am not against this strategy, I understand that this is a management style for business to success, but at least a reachable quota will be fine.

  8. There are so many different ways to make money advertised on-line that you never truly know if they’re legit or not. On top of that, how good are they? I think that you’ve saved me a lot of time and research. Thank you very much for sharing, I’m sure I’m going to find the right business for me on here.


  9. Mary Kay is a well-known company and I personally know at least 2 people working for Mary Kay. 

    I also know people that would call this company a pyramid scheme, but I wanted to find out about Mary Kay on my own. 

    While doing research I have found this article and I am glad you confirmed my theory, that Mary Kay is not a pyramid scheme. 

    It is a well-established MLM business model, and truth is that the company structure resembles a triangle (or someone sees it as a pyramid), but in fact, they do offer products. 

    In fact, Well-known products – so anyone who loves these products is welcome to join the company and probably can make some money on the side. 

    It is definitely not for me, but as I said women and ladies might enjoy this kind of work.

  10. Mary Kay is one of the oldest, and first beauty products that I ever came across as a teenager when I became interested in makeup. It is very much a legitimate company, and I cannot comment on the quality of their products these days, but I am not a fan of the multilevel marketing business model that they follow. 

    MLMs rely on their team members to recruit more to the team, and the only way you can realistically make money with them, is to recruit, recruit and recruit and build your downline. Mary Kay is a MLM company and I cannot recommend joining any MLM company. You are better off becoming an affiliate marketer if you want to earn passive income.  


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