Is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme? Honest Review

mary kay review

Quick Facts

  • Mary Kay is a legitimate product-based MLM company with a long-standing history and global presence.
  • The compensation plan is based on personal product sales and downline product purchases.
  • Before joining Mary Kay, individuals should personally evaluate the product quality and their own skills and motivation for success in MLM.

Mary Kay is an American direct selling company offering cosmetics products. It was founded on September 13, 1963, in Dallas, US.

When this post is written, the company tends to be 57 years old.

The company headquarters is based in Addison, Texas, US. In 2020, the revenue of Mary Kay is around US$ 3 billion.

On, Mary Kay has mixed reviews. Most people rated it 3 out of 5 and a large number of positive reviews are given from Mary Kay Consultants.

In this post, we have shared details about Mary Kay with its products and MLM compensation plan.

Lastly, we answered the question, Is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme?

Mary Kay
FounderMary Kay Ash
When Started1963
Head OfficeDallas, Texas
Opportunity TypeMLM
ProductsCosmetics, Skincare
Joining Cost$130

What is Mary Kay?

Mary kay is an MLM company founded by Mary Kay Ash in 1963.

mary kay ash

Richard R. Rogers (Left) is the Executive Chairman whereas David Holl (Right) is the CEO of Mary Kay.

mary kay richard rogers and davis holl

After the death of Mary Kay Ash, Richard Rogers runs the company from the new headquarters in Dallas TX.

As per 2015 reports, this MLM company tends to have 5000 staff employees whereas 3.5 million worldwide salespeople.

There are mainly three manufacturing plants of Mary Kay:

  1. The primary one in Dallas, Texas
  2. Second in Hangzhou, China
  3. Third in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

Mary Kay global is present in 36 countries including China, Brazil and Germany.

Mary Kay also claims to perform charity works by donating money to specific foundations.

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Mary Kay Products

Mary Kay tends to sell products in six different categories: skincare, makeup, body and sun, fragrance, men’s and gifts.

mary kay products
Mary Kay Products

The company claims to sell skin care products to amplify skin ageing, makeup products to provide gloss for good, men’s products to up his beard game, and gifts to love.

The new products are constantly added to this list by the company people.

It was seen that Mary Kay in just one year was granted over 130 patents.

The company claims to provide cosmetics in almost every colour range and numerous choices.

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Joining Mary Kay

To become a part of Mary Kay, one needs to register and invest $130 first. After being a representative one earns 50% of any product sold if it is sold at retail price.

When one joins as a representative, an individual receives the following promotional material:

  • The custom colour book
  • Business announcement eCard
  • 40% savings on business kit
  • 50% discount on website products

Apart from these benefits, if one is not satisfied with joining Mary Kay, he can return the unused products and receive 90% money-back following the refund policy.

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Mary Kay Affiliate Ranks

There are mainly 10 ranks given to the Mary Kay Affiliates based on their performance.

Every rank affiliate receives the benefits of the lower rank along with the new benefits of the current rank.

Rank Details Benefit
Independent Beauty ConsultantJoining by investing $100. 50% earning on customer orders and reorders.
Senior Beauty Consultant1 to 2 personally sponsored active affiliates. Earn 4% from personal team commissions as well as from orders and reorders.
Star Team Builder3 to 4 active personal team members. $50 bonus on sponsoring 4th team member and 4% personal team commissions.
Team Leader5 to 7 active personal team members9% or 13% personal team commission and team building bonuses.
Future Independent Sales Director 8 or more personally sponsored membersSimilar to team leader but include recognition.
Independent Sales Director-in-QualificationWorking for 1, 2 or 3 months to meet requirements. Similar as before.
Independent Sales DirectorEarning leadership bonus, sales director unit volume at 10% for qualifying level.
Independent National Sales DirectorEarning a job retiring income and living comfortably. Get qualified to received monetary rewards such as car bonuses, company pools and more.
Independent Senior National Sales Director and Independent Executive National Sales DirectorPlan for retirement
Independent Elite Executive National Sales DirectorReach the top of network marketers and live life of luxury.

Sales Director Unit Volume earned in Independent Sales Director rank is 10% bonus of the monthly Wholesale Purchase Volume calculated as per the given chart.

Mary Kay Sales Director Bonus

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Mary Kay Compensation Plan

The Affiliates mainly earn two types of income: Recruiting Commission Earnings and Retail Sales Earnings.

Recruiting Commission Earnings

Affiliates earn 4%, 9% or 13% commission on wholesale purchases made by them or their team.

Retail Sales Earnings

50% Gross Profits is earned by the affiliates when they sell products further at full retail price.

Apart from the rank-based earning, the Mary Kay affiliates also get a few other benefits as stated in their compensation plan.

There are 6 more elements through which an affiliate can earn.

Earning OpportunityDetails
Classes and FacialAffiliates are added to different classes as per their sales. Here they only earn 50% retail sales profit as stated before.
ReordersWhen the existing customers reorder the products, affiliates earn 50% commissions on repurchase as well.
DovetailHere, if the affiliate is not able to hold a class, he can invite a class person and pay him 15% of the commission earned.
Personal Recruiting Earn 4% commission up to 3 active IBC’s or personally recruited affiliates. This commission is directly paid by the company to an affiliate.
VIP Car Program or Cadillac ProgramAffiliates receive rewards such as Cadillac career car, cash compensation or Cadillac key chain at the seminar on targeting $48,000 net adjusted unit wholesale production in on calendar quarter for 2 consecutive times.
Here the aim is to reach $96,000 net adjusted wholesale production within 2 consecutive quarters.
Directorship to Sales Director13% commission and monthly bonuses paid on the basis of the unit’s wholesale production. Few Directors qualify to receive a Unit Volume Bonus of $500.

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Is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme?

It was all about Mary Kay Products and Compensation Plan.

But now most people are stuck on a few questions,

  • Do Mary Kay is a Scam?
  • Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme?
  • Should I Join Mary Kay or Not?

Mary Kay is a product-based MLM company and Network Marketing is legal, hence it is not a scam.

The commission is majorly based on personal product sales and product purchases in the downline, so it does not fall in the category of the pyramid or ponzi schemes.

It is a 56-year-old company and turnover-wise one of the largest MLM companies in the USA with a global presence.

But before joining, one must check Mary Kay products on a personal level. If you feel product quality justifies the pricing and are able to promote it in large quantities, then Mary Kay can be a good choice.

Like most MLM companies, In Mary Kay as well, recruitment is vital for earning a decent income.

MLM has a bad reputation and a very low MLM success rate should be considered fairly. The joining decisions must be based on personal judgment and on skills required to become successful in MLM, not on anyone’s influence or motivation.

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