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Mary Kay Review (2022): Should You Join This Makeup MLM?

By: Hope
By: Hope
Welcome to my Mary Kay review. My goal is to answer common questions like: how much it costs to get started, if it's a scam, if you can actually make money with it, & who the founders really are. The end goal is to help you understand if it's a good fit for you, and if there are better alternatives out there.
Mary Kay Review


This Mary Kay review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available online to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.

What I Liked

What I Didn't Like

Before we get into it... who am i?

Always good to put a name to a face, so firstly, my name is Hope!

Like you, I was stuck working 8-10 hour days building someone else’s dream.

I worked at one of those cool tech companies that has omelet stations for breakfast & craft beer on tap for after hours.

To a lot of people that’s a dream, but to me… something was missing.

All I really wanted, was to actually enjoy life – more vacations, less stress, buy myself nice things without worrying about the cost… but that was something my 9-5 couldn’t provide me.

That was until a few years ago when I discovered a way to make money online by actually helping real people. 

People in this case were local business owners across the US.

Me and My Puppy

The page above is an example of how I do it. That one-page site generates $1,500/mo and I haven’t even touched it since it was put up.

That’s an $18,000/year raise from just one page.

That’s why local lead generation is my #1 business recommendation for recurring, semi-passive income. If you want to learn about that business model, click here.

Important: I am not an affiliate

for Mary Kay

Why Does That Matter?

A lot of course reviewers have no experience with any of the business models or programs they review, and so they’re just making stuff up.

They do that because they want you to click through their link to buy from the person that the review is about!

They have no clue what it’s actually like to run the type of business Mary Kay is teaching you to do.
I have absolutely no relationship with Mary Kay, so you can rest easy knowing that I’m going to give you my honest opinion
This review is written based on my own experiences with MLMs.

All that being said, let’s jump into things.

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Mary Kay at some point. Most of you were not born when it first entered the cosmetics industry. Mary Kay Cosmetics is a well-known brand affiliated with the industry’s biggest names, such as L’Oreal and Sephora.

I’d like to help you decide whether or not this business opportunity is right for you in this Mary Kay MLM review.

MLMs like Mary Kay are a bit of a mixed bag. They CAN be a legitimate way to make money, but some have a reputation for literally ruining people’s lives – so it’s important to know what you’re getting since each one is unique.

Like most of my readers, you were probably introduced to this one via a friend or some influencer you trust online.

And it makes sense why so many people recommend them:

Making money outside of a 9-5 can be… life-changing, to say the least.

So in this article, I want to help you explore two things:

  1. If MLMs are actually a worthwhile business to pursue
  2. If Mary Kay is a worthwhile MLM

Before that, I want to clear the air on something.

There are A LOT of people out there who bash all MLMs in any form. However, I’m not one of those people.

Instead, I want to genuinely educate you about them so that you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.

If you’re unfamiliar with what MLMs actually do:

They’re businesses in which you pay money to a company for the ability to sell their products.

Sometimes the products are actually kind of decent (I still remember my mom throwing pampered-chef parties when I was younger).

Other times the products are really poorly made and come with a high price tag.

Typically, the only way to really make money is to get people (mostly friends & family) to sign up with you for a recurring subscription.

If the product is 100% legitimate & valuable, it’s entirely possible to get people to sign-up and continue paying you.

If the product is subpar, you’ll usually burn those bridges kinda quickly and end up with $0 coming in each month.

The biggest issue I’ve seen is that this puts significant stress on your personal relationships, as you’re reliant on selling to your “network.”

Think about it: if you KNEW that every time your friend Sally called, she’d be trying to sell you on one of her products… you’d eventually stop answering Sally’s calls.

Now, this doesn’t mean MLMs are outright bad… it means you need to know what type of MLM you’re getting yourself into before you sign up.

Again, some MLMs provide real value to people, but MOST don’t – so in this article, I’m going to explore the case with Mary Kay.

But before that, I want to ask you a question: what if there was a way to build actual recurring, semi-passive income?

Income that:

  • Doesn’t have inventory
  • Doesn’t make you sell to your friends & family
  • Doesn’t force you to recruit people onto your “team”

Something that you could make anywhere from $2,000 – $10,000 with consistently, month after month?

A stream of income that you can build as high (or low) as you feel like building it?

If that sounds interesting, you might want to think about becoming a Digital Landlord.

If you wanna see what Mary Kay looks like on the inside, keep reading.

Mary Kay Company Overview:

Mary Kay Ash Founder of Mary Kay

The late Mary Kay Ash founded the company in Texas in 1963. It’s a cosmetics company that originated in the United States that sells its products using the MLM business model.

Richard Rogers is the current Executive Chairman. Mary Kay’s son and co-founder.

David Holl is the President and CEO.

The independent distributors, often known as beauty consultants, are hired by Mary Kay to sell and distribute products to people in their network.

The company runs on five continents and has more than 35 markets across the world. Canada, the UK, Mexico, China, and Australia are just a few examples.

Mary Kay Products

Mary Kay Products

Mary Kay sells makeup, skincare products, body and sun creams, fragrances, and “men’s grooming.”

Their most popular products are the Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover and the TimeWise® Miracle Set®. It comes with a moisturizer, a cleanser, sunscreen, and night cream.

Is Mary Kay An MLM?

Is Mary Kay An MLM

Yes, Mary Kay is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that promotes cosmetics and skincare products. Mary Kay has been in business for a long time. Its beauty consultants are considered industry pioneers, giving them an advantage over other MLM organizations.

According to reviews, Mary Kay is not into affiliate marketing and does not provide services for an affiliate program.

Again, Mary Kay Inc. is a privately held multi-level marketing company based in the United States.

Mary Kay was clear from the start that it’s a network marketing company that sells cosmetics and beauty products.

Mary Kay beauty consultants market and distribute the company’s products directly to their local communities.

These beauty consultants are not paid because they are not employees. Therefore, the company’s business model has recently been criticized.

Several media sources have looked into multi-level marketing companies and their get-rich-quick schemes. However, they thought it was inconvenient and similar to a pyramid scam.

Direct Selling News report that Mary Kay was the world’s sixth-largest network firm in 2018, with a $3.25 billion wholesale volume.

That’s a lot of money in the very competitive beauty industry, and it’s obviously a million-dollar operation. That makes them a cosmetics giant.

Mary Kay Ash probably had no idea how well her skin creams would sell when she started the company.

Pink Pyramid Scheme Rumors

Despite Mary Kay’s enormous success, rumors spread about the company being a pink pyramid scheme.

Is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme or not? And is it true that this company, (that Mary Kay Ash founded with a $5,000 startup investment,) is more concerned with bringing women into what is known as a pink pyramid scheme than with empowering them, providing services, or presenting business opportunities?

How can a company that has been there for nearly half a century suddenly become suspicious? Let’s continue to find out.

What Is A Pink Pyramid Scheme?

What Is A Pink Pyramid Scheme

A pink pyramid scheme is mainly used to take advantage of salespeople.

The company’s sales team is encouraged to buy the products and then sell them to their customers under this business model.

Many Mary Kay consultants earn very little money, which is the opposite of the large sums of money the company promises women may make by selling their products.

That’s why some people wonder, is Mary Kay a pyramid scheme or a scam?

Pink Pyramid Scheme Report Of Virginia Sole-Smith

Virginia Sole-Smith shared her experience with Mary Kay in this report.

“Pink Pyramid Scheme – How Mary Kay Cosmetics Preys on Desperate Housewives” is the headline of her report.

Smith detailed how she came across Mary Kay products and got involved in the business in the report.

She described how members were urged to sell the products.

She also mentioned that this is not a business for the faint-hearted.

Some say, despite Mary Kay’s claims that it makes $3 billion a year in sales, its salespeople are in debt because they have boxes of facial creams, lipsticks, and other things that haven’t been sold yet.

A few of them make money, but the vast majority do not.

The sales director appears to get a larger portion of the pie, while the sales force gets whatever is left, or worse, doesn’t make any money selling Mary Kay products at all.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot like a pyramid scheme to me.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), recruiting salespeople to sell a product is perfectly legal, but collecting money only from participation fees is not.

The FTC has charged some multi-level marketing companies with using pyramid schemes, but the fine amount is not disclosed.

That’s a claim Mary Kay denies and says it’s just a simple business model where a person buys wholesale products from a company and then sells them to her customers at a retail price.

She gets to keep the profit. It’s a person’s decision on how much product she wants to purchase from the company and sell to the customers.

It should also be noted that Mary Kay does not use affiliate marketing.

This leads us to the next question…

Is Mary Kay A Makeup Pyramid Scheme?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, a pyramid scheme is a business in which the primary source of income is recruiting and enrolling others in the program and charging them fees for doing so, rather than selling products to the public.

In short, Mary Kay is NOT a pyramid scheme.

Mary Kay isn’t a pyramid scheme in the traditional sense. However, others believe it seems like a pyramid scheme in practice.

How Do You Join Mary Kay?

Be A Beauty Consultant

The ‘Mary Kay® Starter Kit,’ which costs $100, will get you started as a Mary Kay beauty consultant.

It includes retail-sized products to present to guests at parties, samplers for potential clients, and business supplies and brochures with sales recommendations.

There are two ways for Mary Kay distributors to earn money. One comes from direct client sales, and the other comes from a commission based on sales made through their downlines.

According to one review, when Mary Kay consultants sell products to customers at full retail price, they can earn up to 50% gross profit.

This is referred to as an “earned discount privilege.”

How Much Commission Do Mary Kay Consultants Make?

As previously stated, Mary Kay pays a hefty 50 percent commission on all products.

This gross revenue percentage excludes the consultant’s marketing and business administration costs.

The average beauty consultant eligible for commissions or bonuses can make up to $5,569 in sales per year.

That’s a pretty good result for Mary Kay’s consultants.

If you read the fine print, these figures do not include business or other associated expenses.

How Much Do You Need To Sell To Get A Mary Kay Car?

Mary Kay Car

Yup. You can possibly get a Mary Kay car.

Beauty Consultants who advance to the rank of Mary Kay Independent Sales Director or above might earn the use of a Mary Kay career car or incentive trips.

“As of December 2019, 62% of the 485 independent sales directors and national sales directors took part in the Career Car Program, and 42% went on an incentive trip.,” according to their website.

You’ve surely heard of the legendary Mary Kay Pink Cadillac when it comes to cars, right? A dazzling pink car will entice any woman.

According to a review, this is standard practice for MLM companies like Mary Kay.

They rely on a steady stream of new customers purchasing inventory packages to drive more sales and profit from the bottom to the top of the multi-level marketing structure.

It’s almost like a trick to get people to join the company.

This is why I’m still being asked repeatedly with the following question.

Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme?

Again – no. Mary Kay is not part of a pyramid scheme. It’s a reputable cosmetics company with a track record of offering customers high-quality beauty products. While most multi-level marketing companies rely on recruiting salespeople to succeed, Mary Kay consultants can still make money without them.

Why Is Mary Kay Not Dual Marketing?

Mary Kay wants to distance itself from the MLM industry. So they chose the term “dual-level marketing” to describe their business model.

This is a term made by Mary Kay.

What is dual-level marketing, and how does it work?

The concept is there are two sales of a product (the company to the consultant and from the consultant to the client), which somehow classifies it as “dual-level.”

It’s just a multi-level marketing plan when you get down to it closely.

Why Is Mary Kay So Expensive?

It’s probably because its products are of average quality and, in most people’s perspective, overpriced. Also, women have plenty of options both online and in stores.

No need to find a Mary Kay consultant who will most likely want to recruit you into her downline.

Is Mary Kay A Global Brand?

Yeseir products are available in more than 35 countries worldwide, from the US to China, Mexico, and Russia.

Is Mary Kay A Scam?

Is Mary Kay A Scam

So, time for the $1,000,000 question: is Mary Kay a scam?

No, not technically. They aren’t going to run off with your money and not give you what you paid for. It’s 100% possible to make money with this program.

That being said, it’s not nearly as simple as they want you to think it is.

There’s A LOT of work to be done upfront, and no guarantee that you’ll be successful. The commissions are also fairly small.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing hard work now so that I can reap the benefits later.

But if you’re going to work really hard for 3 months, and your reward is a $100 check… it’s not really a great opportunity.

If I’m gonna do that, I want the rewards to be HIGH and virtually guaranteed.

I’d rather put in that same 3 months of work (in my spare time) & build a handful of Digital Rental Properties that each produces $500-$2,000 checks every single month afterward (AKA recurring income).

And the cool part is that you can do it in a lot less time than 3-months (I personally did it in my first 2 weeks of being a Digital Landlord).

Unlike with MLMs, you can do it from anywhere in the world, so it’s a genuine “laptop-lifestyle” business.

All you need is an internet connection.

Some of my friends are Digital Landlords that run their 6-figure businesses from:

  • Camping trips at national parks
  • Beachfront in Hawaii
  • On the road in a camper van (with a pet pig!)

They focus on living an enjoyable life first, and focus on income second. All thanks to this program

They can take weeks or months off, and money keeps rolling in.

Living happily is the top priority.

If the thought of living perpetually at your dream vacation spot interests you, being a Digital Landlord might be for you!

What Is My Top Recommendation For Making Money Online In 2022?

I’ve personally tried all of the major online business models:

  • I’ve sold fidget spinners through Amazon FBA
  • I’ve drop-shipped a toilet bowl putting green on Shopify
  • I’ve sold women’s health supplements via Clickbank affiliate marketing

And I made money with all of them, so trust me when I say: there is no “perfect” business model.

I’ve also been on the other side of old friends trying to sell me their fancy new MLM products.

That being said, my #1 recommendation for making real money online is, hands-down: being a Digital Landlord.

Whether you’re a complete newbie or you’ve been around the block before but have never had that “big win” to propel you forward, becoming a Digital Landlord is for you.


Time: If you’ve got a spare hour or two each day, you can do this. If you want to drop everything and go all-in, you can do this. More time obviously means faster results, but even putting in a few hours per day is enough to see real success.

And because of that flexibility, you don’t need to trade your time for money. Once the income starts, it’s recurring.

That means you can take a month off, travel the country, pursue a passion project, chill on the beach, or charter a boat across the world.

But you can only do that once you’ve created an income stream that doesn’t require YOU to be there all day, every day.

Ownership & Control: With MLMs, you don’t really “own” anything – everything belongs to the MLM.

If you read the contracts, they can kick you out or change your commission at any time (it’s happened in a few high-profile MLM cases recently).

Why pour your soul into a business that could be taken away from you at the drop of a dime?

When you’re a Digital Landlord, you literally own all of the assets, which means you have ultimate control.

Big Margins: With MLMs, you’re often going to have really slim margins. That means you need to have a VERY large network to make serious money. This usually entails spending A LOT of money on ads and other methods for recruiting members.

Being a Digital Landlord, your profit margin is nearly 100%. Watch here to learn how.

Just a reminder: these Digital Rental Properties are worth (at a minimum) $500/mo in semi-passive income. And each time you create another one, your income increases, and the effort put into creating the next property decreases.

Best-case scenario, you have properties bringing in over $3,000+/mo on auto-pilot.

It’s Effectively Copy-Paste: Here’s my favorite part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up, you can literally copy-paste another version of it and find another willing “renter” in a few days. DOUBLING your income doesn’t get much easier than that…

If you wanted to double your income with an MLM, you would need to sell twice as much inventory. And I can guarantee you that’s a lot harder than a few clicks & a phone call.

You’re Helping REAL People: My biggest gripe with MLMs is that you’re likely going to ruin your personal relationships.

The MLM may have convinced you that you’re actually helping people, but it’s often not really true.

But when you’re a Digital Landlord, you’re helping solve REAL problems that people are ASKING for help with:

Small local businesses around the world need one thing: customers. Without them, their business would fall apart. If you can provide those customers, they’re going to be really happy – and they’re going to pay you for it.

You’re helping a struggling mother or father put food on the table for their families, put their kids through college, or simply live life a little bit more comfortably.

Having this type of impact on the world is what will help you sleep soundly at night.

So, the rest is up to you. You could keep looking at other MLM programs like Mary Kay, which might make you money 12 months from now.

You could keep researching and researching for the next few months (or few years), never making a concrete decision.

OR, you can look deep inside, think about those dreams, hopes, & desires, and make the decision to ACTUALLY make it happen, just like it has for thousands of other students before you.

Making a fortune while actually helping real people that need it.

If this sounds like you, click here to see how it all works.

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