Payments and Ownership: I DON’T own or work for Mary Kay. If you have payment issues or need to get a refund – you’ll need to contact Mary Kay Inc directly. ALWAYS make sure that you understand the payment and billing arrangements BEFORE subscribing or buying anything. Opinion Disclaimer: the content in this review is ultimately a reflection of my own opinions and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, anyone, or anything.

Name:Mary Kay
Real owner:Mary Kay Inc
Type:MLM – cosmetics
Price:£99 (start up cost)
Money-back guarantee?90% repurchase agreement
Rating:2.3 / 5
Recommended?Yes – but MLM enthusiasts only
How to join?Apply via website

Have you been approached by someone asking you to become a Mary Kay consultant?

Then you’re in the right place.

Because in this Mary Kay review, I’ll be explaining what the Mary Kay business opportunity is and if it’s a scam or not.

Screenshot of the Mary Kay website.

Image source:

What is Mary Kay?

Mary Kay (‘Mary Kay Inc’) is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that offers cosmetics through the direct selling model.

Direct selling allows independent consultants to purchase stock at wholesale from Mary Kay and then sell it to retail customers for a profit.

The MLM element allows independent consultants to earn a percentage of the sales volume generated by people who they recruit into Mary Kay as independent consultants.

Mary Kay was founded by Mary Kay Ash in 1963.

What is the Mary Kay Business Opportunity?

The Mary Kay business opportunity allows you to become a Mary Kay independent consultant.

As an independent consultant, you’ll purchase stock directly from Mary Kay so that you can sell it on for a profit.

Typically, this is done face-to-face – either 1-to-1 or through group settings such as the classic ‘home party’.

Home parties are where you invite a group of friends over to demo the products and hopefully make sales.

However, the real way to make money with Mary Kay as an independent consultant is to recruit others into Mary Kay as part of your ‘downline’.

Downlines are fundamental to success with most MLM companies because by recruiting other people to act as independent consultants ‘under’ you – you stand to take a cut of the money generated by their sales efforts too.

And although downlines may take various forms (unilevel, binary, breakaway), the general rule of thumb is that the more extensive your downline – the more money you’ll stand to make.

I couldn’t find an exact breakdown of Mary Kay’s independent consultant business opportunity online – but in addition to profiting from your downline, it’s typical of MLM companies to offer bonuses and incentives for meeting certain sales/recruitment targets.

In terms of progression, everyone starts out with Mary Kay as an independent beauty consultant, but there is scope to progress to becoming an independent sales director, and then an independent national sales director.

How Much Does it Cost to Get Started?

On the UK version of the Mary Kay website – it says that it costs £99 to get started with the Mary Kay business opportunity.

This gives you a starter kit so that you can show samples to your prospects to generate orders.

And in addition to literature that will advise you with selling tips, you’ll also get your own personal Mary Kay website where you can direct traffic and secure sales.

This online element could well be the key to your success as a Mary Kay consultant (more on this soon).

What Are the Mary Kay Products?

There are too many products to list individually here, but the main categories are:

  • Skincare.
  • Makeup.
  • Body and sun.
  • Fragrances.
  • Men’s fragrance and skincare.
  • Gifts.

Screenshot of Mary Kay products.

Image source:

Is Mary Kay a Scam or Legit?

Technically speaking, the Mary Kay business opportunity to become an independent consultant is legit and NOT a scam.

Because there is evidence of some people actually making money as a consultant.

Statistically however – most people will fail to make any money with the Mary Kay business opportunity.

I’ll explain why in just a moment.

Mary Kay Reviews

Before I give you my opinions on Mary Kay, here are some of the Mary Kay independent consultant reviews that I found online.

I’ve summarised the main points in the next two sections.

But if you’d like to continue your research alone, here are the links to the main Mary Kay review resources:

  • Indeed – 4.4/5 stars (2,700 reviews).

Good Mary Kay Reviews

I had a look through the reviews listed above and the main points of praise include:

  • High quality products that work.
  • Flexible working schedule.
  • Good bonuses and incentives.

Mary Kay Complaints

From the same resources, I found that the following complaints kept coming up regarding Mary Kay:

  • Problems making returns and getting refunds.
  • Some of the products apparently caused burns to the skin.
  • Problems with organising home parties and making sales.
  • Poor customer service.
  • Frustration over the company removing products that customers like.
  • Let down by upline consultants not attending group selling sessions.
  • A lot of hard work required to make sales.

My Thoughts On Mary Kay

In light of the above reviews and the research that I’ve performed, here’s what I think you need to know before you jump in and become a Mary Kay independent consultant.

1: 99% of People Will LOSE Money

Whilst most MLM companies tend to state that ‘hard work’ is the key to success – nearly all will avoid stating the cold, hard facts.

Because as this report by the FTC reveals – 99% of people will actually LOSE money when they join an MLM company like Mary Kay.

The reason for the losses is down to the ‘pyramid’ structure of MLMs coupled with the typical requirement of upfront costs in order to qualify for the right to become a distributor.

More specifically, the formation of downlines means that those at the ‘top’ of the company make the most money at the expense of the ‘revolving recruits’ who will usually struggle to get their ‘business’ off the ground.

2: Selling Online Could Be Your Key to Success

One of the most common reasons why people fail with MLM opportunities is a lack of prospects.

Because typically, you’ll be encouraged to pitch to friends and family first.

But after that – you’ll usually be reduced to approaching strangers cold.

However, whilst Mary Kay will not allow you to flog the products on sites like eBay – they do provide you with a corporate website.

Now, if you’re using a platform like ClickFunnels – you can actually increase your conversion rate by running your online traffic through what are called sales funnels before sending them to your corporate website.

I use sales funnels in my affiliate business and they work very well.

But for Mary Kay – you’ll want to be using the three ‘lost MLM sales funnels’.

These funnels are revealed in the FREE Network Marketing Secrets book here.

3: There Are Ongoing Costs

Most MLMs require you to purchase a certain amount of stock to remain active as a distributor.

On the Canadian version of the Mary Kay site it says that:

‘To be eligible for commissions, Independent Beauty Consultants must be active themselves and have at least one active recruit during the relevant period. 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’.


4: 90% Repurchase Security

The silver lining to the whole Mary Kay business opportunity is that if you decide to bail out, Mary Kay has a 90% repurchase assurance.

In their own words:

‘If you decide that a Mary Kay business is not for you, you can take comfort in knowing that the Company will repurchase, at 90 percent of your original net cost, original and unused Section 1 products, provided such items were purchased by you from the Company within one year prior to return’.


5: The Opportunity Is Stable

Mary Kay is one of the most established MLM companies.

This means that whilst the opportunity to get in on the ground floor has long gone – you can rest assured that you’re getting involved with a stable opportunity.

This stability is reflected in the search volume trend in Google Trends for Mary Kay:

Screenshot of the Google Trend for Mary Kay.


  • Stable company.
  • Making money is technically possible.
  • 90% repurchase assurance.


  • 99% of people fail with MLM opportunities.
  • Ongoing costs.
  • Lack of leads unless you go online.

Conclusion: Online is the Key to Success

So, is the Mary Kay business opportunity a scam?

Well, as I said before I don’t think it is a scam exactly because you can technically make money as an independent consultant.

However, the odds are seriously stacked against you.

Because as the FTC report that I linked to earlier proves – 99% of people will lose money when they get involved with an MLM business opportunity.

So if you’re brand new to the MLM game – I would discourage you from getting involved.

Especially when there are other opportunities available that have a greater chance of success.

With that said – there are some folks who really love MLM.

And if that describes you – I strongly suggest that you move your MLM efforts online.

Because as former top MLM’er Russell Brunson revealed in Network Marketing Secrets – he was able to generate 1.5 million leads in just 6 weeks online.

Plus, the use of funnels allows you to scale your results.

To generate success with your MLM business online – you’ll need a ClickFunnels account.

I also suggest picking up a FREE copy of Network Marketing Secrets here so that you know which funnels to use.

What’s the Alternative to MLM?

Affiliate marketing is the business model that I recommend over MLM because it’s easier to get started and the success rate is way higher.

I know this from personal experience.

And if you click the button below, I’ll reveal how I made 5 figures online with affiliate marketing.