What is Mary Kay About? – Half a Century of MLM.

Business name: Mary Kaymary kay reviewed by my internet quest

Website: www.marykay.com

Type of business: Cosmetic MLM

Price: $100+ plus monthlies.

Owner: Mary Kay Ash (Founder), David Holl (CEO)

My rating:  13 out of 100 (Pyramid SCAM)

Several years back when I met Mary Kay, I fell in love with their products as they really are visually appealing and they make the perfect gifts.

I buy their fragrances and make up from my mum, my sister and my girlfriend.

I never thought of doing a review until today when recently I’ve been hearing news of more and more people complaining about getting abused, tricked and forced into joining and spending their money even when they don’t want to.

My thoughts on that very moment was, “What is happening? Has they gone from product-focused to a recruiting scheme?”

Well buckle up guys, because this is going to be the most detailed Mary Kay review you’ll ever find out there.


Pros and Cons


  • Their cosmetic product range are actually very beautiful, I personally love their fragrances.
  • A+ ranking in BBB.
  • Their brand is known worldwide and has been around is the 1960’s.


  • Most of the members make losses rather than profits.
  • Tons of negative reviews by huge magazines like Forbes and Harper’s.
  • People are being fed false expectations.
  • The reality is that it is very hard to sell as prices are overly expensive.
  • Market is superbly saturated.
  • Terrible customer service.
  • There are websites dedicated to warning people about the dangers of Mary Kay.
  • Over $11.6K worth of loss reported by consumers (Very disturbing!).
  • Mary Kay members are using aggressive tactics to force people into joining their scheme even when they don’t want to.
  • You have to BUY the inventory yourself in order to sell.
  • Members focus on recruiting rather than selling products, pyramid scheme at its best.

Golly, that’s a lot of Cons! Better check out my #1 recommended program here instead!


What is Mary Kay? – Over 50 years in the Cosmetic industry.

Mary Kay Ash the founder

Mary Kay Ash, the Founder.

Mary Kay is a cosmetic Multi-level Marketing company named after the founder, Mary Kay Ash.

It was established in 1963 by Mary Kay when she experienced gender inequality in her workplace when her male colleague got promoted while she was evidently working much harder and was a more suitable candidate.

She started a store in Dallas with her son with only 9 sales person.

mary kay bella belaraToday, the business grew internationally with over 3.5 million members over 35 countries around the globe.

Their products are all cosmetic-related such as lipsticks, fragrances, skin care, make up and lotions.

There are so many products within those categories that I couldn’t list them all here so if you’d like to have a look, they have it all on their website here.

To join as part of their consultant, you need to spend $100+ for their Mary Kay Starter Kit Bag which will be mailed to you.


Mary Kay Ranks – The Levels of pyramid You Need to Know.

Mary Kay ladder

The compensation plan in Mary Kay is rather complicated, there are 2 ways on how you earn – One through product retail and another through recruitment.

For product retail, you’ll get 50% off each products sold whereas for the down line recruitment, it varies according to positions.

How much does it vary you ask?

Well let’s go through the levels of ranks in Mary Kay so that you’ll have a clearer picture on things as I explain later on.

The ranking alone is so complicated and tedious complete with terms and conditions if you look at their website here that I don’t think anyone would want to read but for the sake of this review, I went through it anyway and they are as follows…

Rank #1 – Independent Beauty Consultant

In order to reach this rank, you need to…

  • Spend on the $100 kit to join.
  • Spend at least $225 wholesale (Which is worth $450 in retail) PLUS tax on the retail stuff.
  • Order at least once per year to maintain your consultant rank.
  • Must be an “active” consultant in order to purchase products at wholesale price which is 50% off the retail.

Wondering on how you remain an active consultant?

Easy, spend $225 on wholesale within 3 months!

Rank #2 – Senior Beauty Consultant

To go up this rank, you need to recruit 1 to 2 active prospects.

You’ll also get a 4% commission off your team’s hard work.

Rank #3 – Star Team Builder (Red Jacket, formerly known as Star Recruiter)

To rank up, you need to recruit 3 to 4 more down lines.

You’ll get…

  • 4% team commission.
  • A $50 bonus when your 4th active recruit becomes a consultant and places a $600 wholesale order.

Rank #4 – Team Leader

You need to recruit 5 to 7 down lines.

Your benefits include…

  • 9% team commission but eligible to earn 13% if 5 active team members place orders of at least $225 wholesale and you personally order $600 wholesale
  • The $50 bonus is still available like before.

Rank #5 – Future Sales Director

You need to recruit at least 8 down lines.

And the benefits are…

  • 9% to 13% team commission as usual.
  • The $50 bonus is still available like before.

Rank #6 – Sales Director in Qualification (DIQ)

This one’s a kicker, here are the rules…

  • You must first be accepted into the program by the company for review.
  • You have up to 4 months to complete the qualification.
  • You need to recruit at least 10 more down lines.
  • You need to have 24 active members within your team altogether including yourself.
  • At least 10 of the 24 active members must have ordered a minimum of $600 cumulative wholesale during the qualification period.
  • You need to purchase a minimum of $1,800 wholesale products
  • Minimum of $4,000 wholesale orders per month
  • Minimum of $14,000 production must be ordered by unit members other than the DIQ

Benefits include…

  • 9% to 13% team commission
  • The $50 bonus is still available like before.

Rank #7 – Sales Director

To proceed to this tougher level, you need to…

  • Have at least $4,500 worth of wholesale orders per month.

Benefits include…

  • 4%, 9% or 13% team commission
  • $100 bonus for each new personal recruit who places a $600 wholesale order
  • 9% commission on unit orders if wholesale production is $0 to $4,499
  • 13% commission on unit orders if wholesale production is $4,500 or more
  • Unit volume bonus of $100 per $1,000 of wholesale production of $5,000 or more (Ex. Unit production of $6,200 would equal bonus of $600.)
  • $300 unit development bonus in any month that 3 or 4 new recruits each order $600 wholesale or more OR $500 unit development bonus in any month that 5 or more new recruits each order $600 wholesale or more
  • Wellness Award Bonus of $800 to $2,000 per year for unit wholesale production of $60,000 or more in a calendar year

Rank #8 – Senior Sales Director

To upgrade, you need to have 1 to 2 first-line offspring units.

The compensation is the same as Sales Director but with additional of…

  • 4% commission on offspring if your unit production is under $12,000 wholesale
  • 5% commission on offspring if your unit production is $12,000 wholesale or more

Rank #9 – Future Executive Senior

To rank up, you need to have 3 to 4 first-line offspring units.

The compensation is the same as Sales Director but with 3 offspring units, you’ll get…

  • 4% commission on offspring if your unit production is under $12,000 wholesale
  • 5% commission on offspring if your unit production is $12,000 wholesale or more

But with 4 offspring units, you’ll get…

  • 5% commission on offspring if your unit production is under $12,000 wholesale
  • 5% commission on offspring if your unit production is $12,000 wholesale or more

Rank #10 – Executive Senior Director

To upgrade, you need to have 5 to 7 first-line offspring units.

The compensation is still the same as Sales Director but with 5 or 6 offspring units, you’ll get…

  • 5% commission on offspring if your unit production is under $12,000 wholesale
  • 5% commission on offspring if your unit production is $12,000 wholesale or more

With 7 offspring units on the other hand, you’ll get…

  • 5% commission on offspring if your unit production is under $12,000 wholesale
  • 6% commission on offspring if your unit production is $12,000 wholesale or more

Rank #11 – Elite Executive Senior

To proceed further, you need to have at least 8 first-line offspring units.

The compensation is still the same as Sales Director but with an additional of…

  • 5% commission on offspring if your unit production is under $12,000 wholesale
  • 6% commission on offspring if your unit production is $12,000 wholesale or more

Rank #12 – National Sales Director Qualification

Another qualification? Jeez. Here goes the rules…

  • You need to have a personal unit with at least 24 unit members.
  • You have up to 4 months to complete the qualification.
  • Have a total of 20 offspring directors in any of the following first-line/senior/second-line configurations: 12/3/8, 11/3/9, 10/3/10 (ex. 12/3/8 = 12 first-line offspring with 3 of them seniors, and 8 second line offspring).
  • Each of the 20 qualifying units must have at least 24 unit members.
  • Out of the 20 qualifying units, at least 7 must be Premier Club or Cadillac units.

Rank #13 – National Sales Director

Getting ridiculously complicated, don’t you think?

To get appointment to the National Sales Director level is at the company’s discretion (via the NSD Debut Review Board) after qualifications above have been met.

There are many commission to this though, you’ll have…

  • 4%, 9% or 13% commission on personal team orders.
  • 13% sales director commission on personal unit orders.
  • 10% National Sales Director personal unit commission.
  • 9% commission on first-line units.
  • 4% commission on second-line units.
  • 2% commission on third-line units.
  • $5,000 offspring sales director bonus for each first line director debuting after the 20 units required for NSD qualification.
  • $1,000 wholesale production bonus on the anniversary of an offspring sales director who generates wholesale production of $60,000 or more within the last 12 months.
  • Quarterly leadership development bonus of $200 to $800 each first to third line unit.
  • 2% commission on wholesale of top 10 unaffiliated (fourth line and below) units.

Rank #14 – Senior National Sales Director

We’re almost there guys, here’s what this level needs and gives…

  • You need 1 to 2 offspring NSDs
  • Same compensation as NSD.
  • 9% commission on unit of first line who becomes a NSD.
  • 4% commission on unit of second line who becomes a NSD.
  • 2% commission on unit of third line who becomes NSD.

Rank #15 – Executive National Sales Director

Same compensation as the Senior NSD, butt you need at least 3 offspring to continue.

Finally! It took me the entire day just to read, understand, and re-write the entire ranking system for Mary Kay alone.

I don’t think anyone would read it but overall, there are 15 ranks altogether and all of them are very hard to achieve.

Tired of MLMs and Their Ridiculous Pyramid Ladders? Get Real Help Here!


Red Flags – Things to Seriously Watch Out For.

Red Flag #1 – Too Many Negative Reviews from Media.

What would you do if you were to join a company you are totally unsure of?

Check online for reviews on news on the subject of matter right? Take a look at this…

Forbes and Mary Kay

Bad rep from Forbes.

Forbes is a super huge business magazine and having them writing a bad review on Mary Kay is something we all should definitely ponder on.

They see that Mary Kay is becoming more of a pyramid scheme as members are targeting people’s empathy to make them spend which is a wrong way of doing business.

Believe it or not, Forbes actually isn’t the only one with bad reviews, as it also appeared in Harper’s – a well-known magazine covering thoughts on today’s society.

mary kay on harpers magazine

Even Harper’s is against it!

According to Harper’s, Mary Kay persuades women to join by preying on their innocence and wanting to have a better life by taking control of their financial situation.

Men are always seen as the breadwinner of the family but women can have-it-all too and make money to pay for their husband’s bills and through this belief, Mary Kay managed to make over $3 billion from its own sales force alone.

This shows only one thing – MLM companies make more money selling their products ‘internally’ to their members rather than external retail.

It is a disturbing fact indeed and it is for this very reason I left the MLM world 2 years ago and started my own Online Business which I am growing it up till today.

Here’s another negative review by a well-known media…

Mary kay on CBS Money Watch

CBS isn’t too fond of Mary Kay.

According to CBS Money Watch, a business where only a handful of member thrive while the rest all suffer with loss sounds a lot like a pyramid scheme.

mary kay jezebel

Even Jezebel is against it!

Jezebel also has a bad view on Mary Kay, with the fact that members are making too much of a loss since they have to buy inventory from Mary Kay themselves in order to sell them.

texas monthly mary kay

Texas Monthly made it their issue as well!

Texas Monthly went even more direct and mentioned that the only real way to make money in Mary Kay is by recruiting.

When you focus on recruiting, it sounds even more so like a cult and that is already a clear-cut pyramid scheme which is something we all need to be aware of.

Red Flag #2 – You are forced to attend parties

Wondering on how Mary Kay sales representatives find their prospects?

A lot of Multi-level marketers approach people through their own styles but since Mary Kay is a women cosmetics MLM, you as a member are being taught into hosting home make-up parties so that you can invite people into your home.

You are being forced into calling your close friends and families into attending so how does this fare for them? Here’s a clue…

marykay party complaint 1

Sounds familiar?

marykay party complaint 2

Another victim forced to attend parties.

marykay party complaint 3

Another complaint on the party tactics.

Not many people like being pushed into attending random home parties just so that they can be pushed into buying some products or join some program.

You might lose your friends if you do this and risk tainting your image as a considerate person because one technique that Multi-Level Marketers love to do is to use empathy and make people buy out of self-pity as they feel obliged to do so.

This is a very common technique women MLMs are often taught to do as Thirty-One Gifts also have its members doing the same parties in order to attract people.

Red Flag #3 – Market too heavily saturated

Huge MLM companies often face the problem of recruiting too many sales reps that they lost count of how many of them live within the same area.

Naturally, clever people would ask first to know how saturated the market is so that they will have a better chance to succeed in the area and believe it or not, here’s what Mary Kay answered…

market saturation complaint for mary kay

It’s actually not big of a secret to hide though, unless…

They are being completely secretive on their recruit count which honestly isn’t much of a big deal to be secretive about at all!

Companies would love to boast to their customers on how big they are and how many branches worldwide they currently have but Mary Kay is being the complete opposite and why do you think so?

That’s because they don’t want you to know how saturated their market is with their members and the reason for this is simple – They want you to join!

They don’t care how many members they have, they just want you to keep on recruiting because they earn more that way.

Mary Kay is a big name and have been around since 1964 and that time, Malaysia just got its independence (Completely unrelated) so aren’t you at least a little curious on how many people are they recruiting today?

half a million join Mary kay each year

half a million joins Mary kay each year

According to a study made by the Pink Truth, about half a million women join and leave Mary Kay each year.

This is a staggering amount and it shows that they have roughly around 40,000 recruits a month and if that doesn’t tell you how saturated a place can be with their members, I don’t know what will.

Don’t believe me and need more proof? Here’s another research to back me up…

sequence inc mary kay

Sequence Inc supporting the half a million fact.

Certified Fraud investigator and accountant Tracy Coennen did a research and published an article on Sequence Inc supporting the fact that too many women are being pulled into joining into something which appears to be a recruiting scheme.

Market saturation is a real thing happening with many big MLM companies whereby there are too many members within a certain area that there are very few fishes around for everyone.

I recently reviewed Thirty-One Gifts, a fashion MLM for women and they too are facing market saturation problems so if you ever decide on going for network marketing as your career (Which I would advise against), you need to first do some thorough research on how saturated their market is.

Red Flag #4 – The Company Does NOT List their product ingredients in the website

As a huge globally-known company this should be a huge red flag that should strike curiosity in a lot of people, I only wonder why this hasn’t been an issue yet.

When a product involves a huge market, it’s important to be more transparent so that others can trust you easily because you may never know if some people are allergic to a certain ingredient within the product.

Surprisingly though, there are many complaints made by consumers all over the internet, here are a few…

mary kay product complaint

Michelle’s hands turning red from the lotion.

mary kay product complaint 2

Donna experienced blotches on her face.

Although make up and lipsticks aren’t things that enter our body, they can still cause adverse effects for people with sensitive skin and this is also something to watch out for.

Red Flag #5 – Lies fed by their members

Like any other MLM companies, they try to put up a good image to convince people that they are different.

Listen to this and tell me if you’ve heard of them before…

  • Mary Kay is not an MLM company, we are a dual marketing company.
  • Mary Kay products sell themselves – Not entirely true as there are a lot of complaints of low product quality plus the overpriced goods.
  • You only need to work a few hours a week – Also a lie since success only comes with hard work, even in MLM.

There are actually loads more complaints at Pink Truth and there are also hundreds of complaints on forums and websites which looks something like this…

mary kay false promises

part of the lies experienced by consumers.

Countless of people get lied to by Multi-Level Marketers in order to make them join and not just in Mary Kay too – Other MLMs do this as well.

In fact, all MLM companies brainwash their members to fake it till you make it in talks that they held regularly to “motivate” people into taking action.

Red Flag #6 – 27 Complaints Within BBB alone!

If you’ve never heard of the Better Business Bureau, it’s a website where consumers go to in order to check the legitimacy of a certain company before they make any prior decisions into spending their money.

About 79% of consumers refer to the BBB before spending so it’s a big deal for us little people because it makes us feel like there’s a watchdog among us.

Surprisingly though, Mary Kay receives an A+ rating from BBB but I found out that they also have 27 complaints altogether, 18 comes from product and service complaint alone!

27 Mary Kay complaints within BBB

The number of complaints lodged on Mary Kay at BBB.

This strikes me as odd because how can a company still get A+ with BBB when they have that many complaints when complaints alone is included as part of the elements which affect the BBB ranking?

With that many complaints alone for Mary kay, I guess there’s something fishy going on inside which is why we need to keep a watchful eye if you ever come across this company.

Red Flag #7 – 16 Complaints in Consumer Affairs

mary kay consumer affairs

Complaints on Consumer Affairs

16 complaints and none of them good!

Consumer Affairs is a website where consumers can share their reviews on products.

It’s very much like BBB but it’s more focused on the products rather than the whole company in overall and seeing 16 people making complaints is downright disturbing, don’t you think?

Problematic products, problematic company.

Red Flag #8 – There’s a whole website dedicated to hating them!

mary kay sucks website

Would you believe that there’s a whole MaryKayVictims.com website?

Did you know that there’s a whole website dedicated to steering people away from Mary kay?

The website posts blog posts regularly and victims of people being tricked into joining or buying their products also share their stories here

mary kay victims

Stories shared by consumers who were wronged.

Having people rally up and defending their integrity means that the people are already fed up to be spending that much of time and effort into warning others into getting tricked into their hype too.

When authorities are not taking action, the people take matters into their own hands and if you go to their website, you can read all sort of stories and confessions on how people are tricked out of their own credit card, right down to how members are bullying people so that they cannot leave.

The group is also very active in social media, just look at their Facebook page here

mary kay sucks FB page with lots of likes

Over a thousand people are against Mary Kay!

I don’t know about you but this is very disturbing news indeed.

I’ve reviewed many bad MLM companies which exploit people such as Empower Network, Organo Gold and Xerveo but none of them ever had people creating a whole entire website complete with active social media accounts just to warn others that they are entering the danger zone.

Out of all the red flags I’ve shared, I guess this one must have been the biggest one yet.

Red Flag #9 – 110 Complaints and $11.6k reported loss from Pissed Consumer

I swear I was finished with the red flags and wanted to wrap things up but just before I clicked on ‘publish’, I came across another disturbing fact about Mary Kay that everyone needs to know of.

Mary Kay on pissed consumer

Mary Kay on Pissed Consumer.

There’s apparently another website dedicated to helping victims of Mary Kay and its called Pissed Consumer.

I was shocked to see over 110 amounts of reported complaints here alone with full detail and you can head over to their site to see what people are talking about as well.

Not only that, the consumers even reported the amount of money they lost to Mary Kay and $11.6k is definitely a disturbing fact that we should all be concerned of.

Of all the MLM companies I’ve reviewed Mary Kay by far has the worst reputation and highest amount of complaints I’ve ever come across – Definitely something to watch out for.


There’s a Better Way.

MLM is dying and many people are struggling to get by.

Honest MLM companies change from being product-focused to becoming a recruiting scheme hence ignoring their values.

A lot of people today are getting skeptical to join and the market is being saturated with too many network marketers that it is hard to get a piece of the pie.

If you feel out of luck and that getting prospects is not as easy as how they advertised on the videos on motivational talks, you’re not the only one.

percentage of people failing in MLM and succeeding

percentage of people failing in MLM and succeeding

Did you know that less than 1% of people actually do well in MLM?

That means over 99% fail and this is because in a typical pyramid scheme, only the top up lines get to enjoy the benefits while the ones below are the ones paying.

Products are being overpriced so that members buy them internally rather than retailing them externally and this is a normal tactic in all MLM companies in order to push their members into recruiting more.

If you’re feeling like MLM is not for you, then it truly isn’t.

One thing for sure though, is that recruiting isn’t a good way for you to earn a living especially since you’ll end up spending more to maintain your rankings within an MLM company.

And not just for Mary Kay, all other MLM companies applies.

There is a much better way to taking control of your life and that is by starting your very own Online business and the best place for you learn that, is at Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate Home Page

WA is currently my top ranked program and it is an Online Business platform which has everything you need to succeed – Immersing lessons, keyword tool, domain registrar, high speed dedicated hosting, live video training, and a warm community of people just as enthusiastic as you are.

You know you’re on the right path when you can have the freedom to make a website out of any niche and passion whatsoever that you may have and monetize because it feels great doing something that you love and getting money from it.

Unlike in MLM, doing an Online Business is much more rewarding as you can earn for as long as your website remains on the first page of Google.

There’s no need to re-stock on products to retail, no hard sells, no need to pay for car fuel in order to move because you won’t need to move at all or meet other people for that matter- Everything is done online!

We live in an era where internet is enough to make a living or run your business and it’s essential to learn how to leverage this opportunity and at Wealthy Affiliate, you’ll learn just that.

Here’ a quick comparison between the two programs to help give you an overview…




Mary Kay used to be such a great company and I absolutely loved their products, especially those fragrances.

However as years pass by, so does their image as with so many reported cases of lies being fed by Mary Kay members in order to recruit, viral negative news published by various media as well as the fact that people are standing up to warn people to stay away from the company itself, Mary Kay is a definitely a SCAM and receives my rating of 13 out of 100.

Phew! That was over 4,500 words! Definitely the longest review I have ever written.

If you’re interested in finding out a proper way to start a business online, check out my top ranked program here.

How about you, have you have bad experiences with Mary Kay? Would love to hear about it down below!


Riaz Shah

124 comments to “What is Mary Kay About? – Half a Century of MLM.”
  1. That was an awesome review. MLM companies are really fading away and I personally detest anything called MLM. They have dealt with the funds of my family and Mary Kay is not an exception of such companies that has dealt with people’s funds. Every pyramid scheme collapses over time and can never stand the test of time. I have learnt to stay away from such schemes. 

    • You’re not the only one against it Kenechi, many more are harbouring their personal hatred against MLM companies for all their lies.

  2. hello Riaz, your review has giving me an insight about this so called Mary Kay. Mary Kay is one of the best beauty product I knew since when I was young. But I never knew they are also into a business of exploiting their customers and member. What a sad new. I would love to share this news with my friends to know how sad I am. I say no to MLM again, affiliates marketing has been helpful to me. Thanks for the review 

  3. Another scam revealed people can learn alot from your site and if i ever wanted to start another way to make Money I’d be sure to visit your site and see if you have a review on it and i hope people see this one on Mary Kay before they sign up to a scam 

  4. Imagine a business model whose focus is always trying to recruit new people to maintain the KPI, and milestone to attain the commision instead of promoting and selling the products, this is flawed and a dead end business. Thanks for revealing this sad truth. Thanks for recommending affiliate marketing, it’s indeed a nice online marketing strategy.

  5. Mary Kay is very popular in my country. It’s so popular that all make up brands are called Mary Kay. 

    I didn’t for one know there were other make  up brands until a few years ago, when I sold make up right out of high school. 

    I sold make up for a certain lady that belonged to several MLM make up brands and she was always complaining about the Mary Kay brand. How it is too expensive and difficult to sell since similar brands are springing up with the same quality or even better. 

  6. Red flags all over the place. For one, I always advise others against MLM. For another, the market would be way too overly saturated, as this has been around for a while. While it might not be a scam, it’s definitely something I would stay away from. Forced parties, having to buy into the product in order to sell etc. There are so many more better options out there than this. 

    • Well said Todd, there are just so many red flags all over the place that it’s hard for anyone to thrive in this company.

  7. Thank you for the information and there was a lot of it. I often wondered about Mary Kay and Avon. They seem the same to me but I could be wrong. Do you know anything about Avon? I’ve used Mary Kay in my younger years. The quality of the products have changed since then. Not a big fan now. Good overall topic. 

    • I’ve heard about Avon, Scole. And like Mary Kay, it also have the retail side and the infamous mlm back end which a lot of people are struggling for.

  8. thanks for exposing this sad truth. It doesent make sense to me that someone with a good product would have to resort to such tactics such as abuse and bullying. The high prices for the products and over saturation of the market resulting in difficult sales if any.

    There are way to many levels in this pyramid but then again there usually are. I will be staying clear of this pyramid scheme thanks to your advice.

  9. Hey Riaz. Thanks for the very detailed review and exposé on Mary Kay. To me, MLM itself is a flawed business model as the focus is always trying to recruit new people to maintain the KPI and milestone to attain the commission instead of promoting and selling the products. In the end the members themselves have to stock up on the products just for this purpose. I doesn’t help that these products are marked up like crazy to pay out the commissions. You’re right in pointing out that affiliate marketing is still the more sustainable way to earn a good income online. 

  10. Hi Riaz – Your review of Mary Kay has so much great information and gave me a better understanding of how their business model works.  I thought it was very interesting to learn that MLM companies have changed from being product-focused to becoming more of a recruiting scheme.  But, that makes sense.  I think that it’s just overlooked.

    And I loved the comparison to Wealthy Affiliate, that is very telling.

    Great job,


  11. Thanks for sharing this review on Mary Kay , My wife was a sales rep for Mary Kay and ended up buying more products for herself than she sold , after a year she packed it in . I like the look of your # 1 recommendation Wealthy Affiliate . I have seen it on the net before but always past it by . I honestly think its time to get some real affiliate marketing training , just wondering is the Training really free at wealthy affiliate? 

    • Sorry to hear that your wife fell victim Rick, glad to hear she’s finally out of the loophole. WA is free for the starter members and there’s no time limit to it so you can use it to get a feel as long as you want before deciding on going premium or not.

  12. Hi Riaz
    I was interested to read your post today on Mary Kay. I have tried MLM in the past with forever living products. This thing to do is not buy two much stock so you are not left with it , some schemes want you to buy yourself and us this is OK if you need the product but, as a male it would be hard to justify the purchase of a lot of makeup. This being said thank you for the review and I will check out your other recommendations.

    • Angelblade,

      Actually its not okay to buy those products just so that we can sell them to get a commission. That’s salesmanship and if you sell stuff for companies, you get paid off commissions too but you don’t need to buy the stocks in order to sell to the companies, do you? You are selling stuff for the company and making them more money, so its only right for them to lift that burden off the members.

  13. I worked for Mary Kay many years ago, in fact I have my review on my site. Mary Kay might be good for some who are willing to get in debt first. I ended up having to go bankrupt so naturally I’m going to tell you it was a total scam. The say God first, Family second and Work last – NO it’s not like that at all! It’s definitely Work first and work your ass off you will if you want to get somewhere and even then there’s no guarantee of success!

    • Hey Sharon,

      Wow that’s definitely the opposite of what they have been telling us, there is no such thing as easy money as they say and using religion as an attraction is not really ethical. Having a feedback from an ex member such as yourself is really meaningful as you’ve gone through all of those first hand, thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us here. I hope many people can see that its not a good investment if you’re planning to earn through their system.

  14. Hi, wow this is such an extensive review. The thing that hit me the most however was this fact you included: Half a million people join and leave every year. That is absolutely ASTONISHING!!!!!! Talk about over saturation. I have read a lot about even legal MLMs being little more than legalised Pyramid schemes, (of the ones that are not shut down and somehow manage to run these scams for decades!). A large percentage of the time, I am inclined to agree with that.

    • Hey Netp,

      Half a million is a very astonishing number isn’t it? Not even a country has that many people, it takes several countries combined to get that huge number, and most of the members do leave because they got attracted to the hype so much that they couldn’t grasp the reality of the industry. Thanks for dropping by, hope you have a good friday!

  15. No one I know uses Mary Kay products and it’s great that you wrote this article about the company. But, it’s pretty bad the company is very famous and is scamming its costumers. It’s pretty sad and is the business losing profit or are they still in the running? If anyone I ever meet uses these products I will refer this article to them,

    • I would appreciate that Moussa, thank you. And nope, the company isn’t losing money though, they’re gaining more from the growing database but with the market getting superbly saturated these day, I won’t be surprised if the number of people joining drops. Thanks for dropping by, hope you have a great weekend ahead!

  16. How can one justify his or her interest of Mary Kay when you have here so much information and proofs about its being a bad choice? I bet, no one can’t get away without thinking twice. You are so good in figuring out about the possible negative outcomes in joining the company. Very good.

    I’ve been in MLMs like this before, and I can say you’re right. Something is going wrong nowadays with MLM, as most people are now obsessed with growing their membership and putting the actual business (of merchandising the products to outside customers) just on the side.

    I just hope the governments will tighten their regulations of opportunities being presented to the public.

    • Most network marketers see the huge profit behind the recruiting part Gomer, which is why they focus on that more than the quality of the product itself which in my opinion will be the undoing of the company. Hope you have a great Thursday!

  17. Hi Riaz, I read your review with great interest. There seem to be so many negative things about Mary Kay, yet their products themselves are decent? If I was a woman I would have tried myself, and if I like their products I would have tried the MLM scheme too. But the level of pyramid is so ridiculous!

    They make it so complicated in order to encourage the sales reps to step up? But they don’t know how many of them live in the same area, that must be a failure in the management, it’s a shame.

    And it’s another shame they don’t display the ingredients…not that I know the actual ingredients of the face cream I use, but still they should list them as a product supplier.

    I personally don’t disapprove multi-level marketing myself, I think it’s one of the greatest way to earn income online…as long as you are comfortably motivated. But it doesn’t sound like Mary Kay is one that anyone should go for. Thanks for the great review, it was good to know.


    • Hey there Ray,

      I’m glad you found my review interesting, their products are decent but of course it comes with the risk of not knowing the quality not to mention the expensive price for those items. They can definitely focus on improving those products more if MLM is not a major part of it. Appreciate the feedback man, thanks for dropping by!

  18. I really can’t believe 13/100, that is like some really sad rating.I think these companies should go ahead and try to do something better with their products.It just looks like they haven’t put much of their thoughts in the making of it or even while planning it.
    Even better, we should rather ask them to use their own products and make money online!
    Such scams are the reasons why people think that making money off the internet is impossible!

    • MLM companies are very egoistic about their brands Shrey, so its a bit difficult and risky to sell your stuff online. Plus I wouldn’t advise it as people are spamming their stuff like crazy. Imagine hundreds of salesmen selling the same overhyped products. Appreciate the feedback, thanks for dropping by!

  19. Wow this by far the most in depth review of Mary Kay cosmetics I have seen so far. I really don’t like idea of MLM’s and this article really sums it up. I never really got why you need to buy the products first and not just promote them and have people buy from them. I guess that’s the affiliate model which the place you recommend follows, Wealthy Affiliate.

    I’ve actually heard really good things about them and the cost of entry is minimal. I’ve heard people have made real money without breaking the bank. Have you had much success there?

    Thanks for the review, I’ll make sure to avoid this pyramid scheme.

    • As a matter of fact, I do Dylan.

      If a program really wants you to succeed, then you can clearly see how it helps you make money through progress without sucking our money dry. I mean, the owners themselves are obviously millionaires, why would they charge hundreds a month from each and everyone of the members? That is of course, unless they never meant to help those people but instead, to help themselves.

  20. Holy Moly!

    This is quite the review. Kudos to you, this must have taken so much time and research!

    I think it was worth it though, this is probably the only review anyone will ever need on this company to decide whether or not they want to join.

    I have heard of these guys before, but I’ve never looked very far into it. They are known everywhere though and I’m honestly a little surprised that they’re such a scam.

    Excellent review. Very valuable!

    • Hey there Steph,

      Thanks so much for the kind words, I do hope people will come to read my review before making any decisions. I’m a little surprised too as they seem so legit and friendly, with many of the members looking a though they are earning a lot. Thanks for sharing your feedback, really appreciate it. Hope you have a great Wednesday!

  21. This looks like a lot of hard work to get nowhere. I tried selling beauty products when I was younger and it is extremely difficult, as there are always cheaper versions of the same products in all the local supermarkets.

    I think I spent more on petrol driving around than on what I made. Even if you recruit people into the business, you still battle and you need to work to help your downline.

    I can think of easier ways to earn a living online and I am sure you have also found this to be true?

    • Definitely Michel,

      I was in MLM too and it was painful trying to clear out your stock and that’s because MLM often charge way more so that we’ll opt for joining through network marketing instead. Which probably works better since we both ended up trying lol. Appreciate the feedback, cheers!

  22. MLM schemes are appalling – only the top people really make money and in order to make money yourself you must recruit but more importantly your recruits have to recruit. There are only so many people in the world. With this company as well they also test on animals even though they say that they do not. This is because they sell to the Chinese market and therefore any products for sale to China have to be tested on animals. So unethical to make it therefore seem as though they are cruelty free (making money in Chins is more important to them than animal welfare)

    • Hey there Evie,

      You’re totally right on that one, almost all huge multimillionaire companies go for China to save cost as production is cheap and the market there is huge too. Not many people can have a conscience when there’s money involved, especially lots of it and MLM companies are no exception. Thanks for dropping by, hope you have a great day!

  23. Nothing but bad press on this one streatching back for several years now – not surprising due to the fact it is MLM based overall. From what I hear The large competition, lack of stability and constant hicups with team building are not letting most people earn enough to stay on top of things – most lose their money in no time whatsoever

    • True that Chris, Network Marketing is not for everyone and if one really does find interest in it, a good stable company is always a better choice. Mary Kay is definitely a huge company but due to the saturation of markets, it isn’t a good MLM company to delve into as long-term wise they have so many problems coming up.

  24. Nice review Riaz. Quite frankly, in almost every MLM business, probably more than 95% of members ends up losing money. The only winners are usually the owners and the few uplines.
    I was once attracted to selling supplements from a health supplements MLM company, Usana. Believe me, I have bottles of supplements in stock in order to keep my membership active. It was a nightmare.

    • Not probably, definitely. The ones on top are always making money than you ever could. Usana eh? I will definitely have to look into that as well and do a review. Appreciate the feedback, hope you have a great weekend ahead

  25. Hey Riaz,

    Thanks for sharing another MLM scam! A very clear and detailed review on Mary Kay.
    I see you mention about the ranking you can be in, there are a total of 15 levels! Wow that’s a lot, to reach level 15 i must assume you have to spent a bomb for it.
    I was once lured into these types of schemes, but fortunately i was quickly able to realise that it was a scam so right after signing up, i ditch the program.


    • Great to hear that Samuel, not many people realise that they are being scammed in the beginning. Most people only notice that halfway when they are inside the program. 15 levels is definitely going to take a whole load of your time and especially money so its definitely something to think hard on.

  26. Yeah so the first time is was learning about MLM “opportunities” there was something so appealing about them, i don’t know if it was people seeking them, perceived easiness of the model, or whatever, but I know that so many people have taken loses from these kinds of companies and it makes me sick to my stomach when I think about the time, effort, and money that’s been wasted as a result of MLM companies in which 98% of the people take losses. I can’t stand it.

    • Glad we’re on the same boat JP, I couldn’t stand the fact that these companies exist. I regretted joining and involving myself in them as I have lost a lot of time and money but then I took up the initiative of using my MLM knowledge to help people avoid these companies by seeing their true nature at best. Appreciate the comment man, thanks for dropping by.

  27. Wow, what a review Riaz! One of the best and most in depth reviews I have ever read. Brilliantly put together and this should give everybody exactly the information that they need before getting involved with this MLM pyramid scheme.

    You would think after having such a good reputation years ago and having good products would be enough for these guys to market their products in a more ethical way. I have been invited to similar MLM events and asked to attend parties by so called friends, only to find this kind of thing. Its really sad that MLM pyramid scams like this actually break up families and friends as a result of their high pressure selling and multi level recruiting drives.

    Thanks for sharing this with us, amazing stuff!

    • Hello there Andrew,

      Wow thanks so much, it actually took me over a week to compile all these data after researching. There are so many points to cover that at one point I got too lazy to write lol. But I didn’t want more innocent people to get tricked so I continued writing.

      They are so established that they don’t care about whether its ethical or not as they can certainly get a way with it with the country’s top lawyers and still get high profit. One of the biggest MLM companies in the world, they are actually under the top 100 list. Glad you liked my review, appreciate the feedback man. Hope you have a great weekend!

  28. Damn man you really write in depth reviews. I have heard of mary kay make up and always thought it was the olsen twins, I guess I was wrong. I’m always weary when I see a MLM. Those places are always a scam and hard to make money. Maybe 1 out of every 100 people do really well while the other struggle to see anything.

    I like the place you recommended too, Wealthy Affiliate. That place seems really legit which is hard to find online.

    Thanks for the review, more people need to be aware of these scams.

    • Hey there Dylan,

      Great to see you again here man, how you’ve been? Appreciate the kind words, I love writing my reviews as detailed as possible as I don’t want my readers to end up looking for other other information on other sites.

      You’re right right, than only 1 out of 100 do succeed in MLM and those guys are usually the ones on top of the pyramid. Glad you liked WA too, its a good place and you’ll do well there. Thanks for dropping by, hope you have a lovely Thursday!

  29. Wow! this was incredibly detailed in the best way. I have actually been to one of the mary kay parties and all I remember about it was the upline lady was seriously hounding us about joining and also really rude about us not buying enough product (we were only broke college girs) and apparently not worth her time. I felt really bad for the new seller…poor girl.

    • Hey Shelby,

      Believe it or not, that’s the reality of how MLM works. They are forced to push people into joining by their uplines so much so that it has become a thing that everyone there does. They will never leave you alone because inside, we are taught that everyone is a customer and that when they say No, they are only delaying the inevitable.

      Cult thinking, I know. And I never saw that coming which is why I left the industry and started Online Business instead. Thanks for the feedback, cheers!

  30. It’s funny, my wife just hosted a Mary Kay show here at our house. I guess the lady that does the shows actually likes doing it. But to each his own I guess. They did some sort of hand scrub and lotion on me and my hands did feel very soft afterwards. I guess the product is good, but the high-pressure tactics to get others to recruit isn’t a very good business model.

    • Totally Jason, products are okay but the system behind it is what’s not. The consultants are the ones suffering the most because they are taught that in order to do business, they need to learn how to survive without salary and rely sole on sales.

      In the end, they don;t last very long and turnover rate is quite high. Thanks for sharing your feedback with us, I really appreciate that. Hope you have a great Wednesday.

  31. Wow This is a awesome review! I never new there was this much to makeup! This was a eyeopener for my! Thank you for the review,I will share on facebook!

    Thank you
    Riaz Shah

    • Believe it or not Lamont, you’re not the only. So glad you found my review helpful, I appreciate the Facebook share. Do let me know if you need any more info, I’ll be sure to help. Thanks for the kind words, I hope you have a lovely Tuesday!

  32. Hi Riaz,

    Very interesting and candid review based on lots of evidence. I have heard a lot about Mary Kay although I have never bought their products and neither did I know how their business structure.

    As someone who has been in MLM and still am, there are clearly some things you flagged up that are worrying and tend to give everyone else a bad name. But as in many businesses, there are bad apples that create problems and especially if the company is not customer focused or fleeces the less fortunate to endow the most success (which come down to the business structure and leadership).

    I feel sad that many MLM companies are going down that way. I must say that pyramid schemes are illegal and no legitimate companies can survive the scrutiny of the law if it operates as a pyramid. Perhaps that’s the reason a number of MLM companies have disappeared in recent years.

    Great review.

    • Hey Chuka,

      A lot of people buy their products without knowing that its actually a pyramid scheme and that most of the consultants there are barely getting by. MLM hurts people and there are more cases of failure than success. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone who stays inside an MLM company more than a year or two as they all tend to leave.

  33. Again Riaz, bravo.

    What a magnificent review and unveiling you have here again. You can be the “MLM buster” of the year for these exposing-MLM-scams your doing. LOL!

    Anyway, I haven’t heard of this Mary Kay MLM for I’m not from the united states. But I can really say that it has gained quite a reputation of being an annoyance to lots of people. They even made a website and a Facebook account which sole purpose is to take down Mary Kay.

    This MLM company surely made unfathomable damage to these certain people.

    Keep it coming Riaz. 😀

    • Hello again Norstad,

      MLM buster of the year sounds like a title I need to live up to, thanks! But I wouldn’t have noticed them in the first place if it weren’t for the consumers who complained. Detecting the company’s scheme is easier when there are hundreds if not thousands of people lodging reports against them don’t you think?

      Thanks again for the kind feedback, I really appreciate that. Believe it or not, its words like those which motivates me to work harder. Hope you enjoy your weekend!

  34. i love your approach to your website,first you explain what they are then after bring out the pros and cons to prove to the people your not here to scam your here to help,even detecting on how to find a scam and where to go to not have it as a scam and make money..it draws people to your website more great work

    • Thanks Khima,

      As a consumer myself I get frustrated when I read reviews online which are short and biased. I couldn’t find proper info so I was tempted to Google for more reviews and in the end, read multiple ones before making a decision.

      It was very tedious so I figured that I’d create my own reviews to make it easier for other consumers and judging from your comment, I’d say I’m doing good progress eh. Thanks for the feedback, hope you have a great weekend!

  35. Riaz,
    What an in-depth article on the Mary Kay franchise. Everyone knows about Mary Kay – it’s a very popular company and has been around forever. Many people don’t dispute their makeup is good quality. But it sounds like they struggle with their business model. Pyramid schemes are surely losing traction with consumers across the world.
    You mentioned BBB’s suspicious A+ rating – I’ve heard that you can buy into a good rating – but don’t quote me – it’s sort of like the Yelp thing where they lost some credibility because of that.
    Thank you for your review and your recommendations.

    • Hey there Maria,

      I’ve had my doubts about BBB for a while now, I’ve been suspecting that money might be involved since they are well known. Because a lot of legitimate companies drop in grade when they have 2 or 3 complaints but Mary Kay managed to maintain A+ when they have 67 complaints and this doesn’t make sense at all.

      Pyramid schemes are meant for one thing only – money. and with that in mind, their value drop as they focus more on recruiting. Appreciate your feedback, thanks!

  36. 1. Wow, I’ve long been a fan of Mary Kay products which I usually buy from my colleague. She only does this part time but I never knew this information about this company. I feel terrible for their employees who have been victimized by losses! I myself have major doubts about the MLM industry – thanks so much for all the useful information and detailed research you’ve provided. I completely agree that online business is the way to go.

    • You’re not the only one surprised Julie, many of us are including me. Their employees are not doing very well but they would have if the MK system weren’t MLM. Appreciate your comment, enjoy your weekend!

  37. Hey man awesome review. I know a ton of people who have gotten into this program and what i’m wondering is how long it’s going to last. It’s just kinda sad to see people wasting there time with stuff like this when the success rate is so low. And its’ not long lasting either. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks JP, its definitely going to last a lot more but not the members that’s for sure. People come and go, turnover rate is very high as we don’t see success in the long run which is why MLM is a risky thing to venture on. APpreciate the feedback man, cheers.

  38. My first thought after reading your review is that you need to do a LOT of recruiting in order to succeed in this business!! My mom was a consultant for Mary Kay when I was a kid and I remember her dragging us along with her to sales calls. She really tried and didn’t make a lot of money with it.

    I didn’t know that there were so many negative reviews of Mary Kay now! That’s pretty sad. I agree that the market is very heavily saturated with consultants.

    Great review on Mary Kay, I learned a lot!

    • Hey Jess,

      It’s really sad to see what MLM does to people. You work so hard to get money just so that you can spend it all on your expenses which leaves you with very little money for yourself. Not many people see profit at the end of the day, it kills people and I hope people can see the reality of this kind of business in the long run with this review.

      And judging from your comment, I’d say I have made some progress. Thanks for sharing your experiences Jess, really appreciate that and I hope you’re having a great day there.

  39. Not often do you see a pyramid scheme hiding behind a major company. I think this is one of the reasons why people fall for such a thing and fork over thousands.

    The ranks are just too complicated. It sounds like you basically have to pay money to rank. How do you even make money from this?

    I’m definitely not a fan of the forced parties. Lol.

    • Good question Alec,

      You do have to spend a considerable amount of money if you wish to rank better, especially with those monthlies and stocks replenishes WHICH you will be using your own money with. You can earn money with it but all in all, you lost more on expenses and that’s how the company profits.

  40. Hey, Riaz!! I see too many red flags in Mary Kay’s business model to even consider going for it. My wife has, on occasion, looked for some alternatives money-earning enterprises. Since she’s not a particularly financially savvy person, she was almost persuaded to join MK – good thing I was able to talk her out of it! I wish she had read this review, as I could have saved a good couple of hours of discussion. Thanks for the good service to your readers!

    • Hey Daniel,

      So glad you managed to talk her off, it would have taken a heavy toll on her if she were to join. Not many members earn and those that do make more losses than the amount they earn – definitely not a good way to boost finances. You can still show her this review she she were to ask in the future though, hope you have a lovely day!

  41. Another pyramid scam. If a website has too many negative reviews that is a big no no for me. I tend to stay away from it, since people have expressed their opinions.

    There are a lot of people out there looking for legitimate ways of making money, people who are willing to work hard for it,and I am glad you are making them aware of these type of sites which only want to take advantage of them.

    • Hey there Juan,

      Agreed! There is definitely a good reason why so many people are giving bad reviews on a certain company, its a sign that you should stay away from it and plus, all those bad reviews will lower that particular company’s conversion rates. It’s a wonder why people are still sticking with a company even when they know that they gain nothing from it.

  42. Yeah I remember when mary kay used to be a great company. I knew a lot of people who were involved in the business. I was part of MLM with a company called Vemma which recently shut down due to a lot of negativity surrounding the business. It’s so hard to find a trusting MLM company, haha. I’ll go with the safer bet and just pick wealthy affiliate. I commented on another one of your posts saying that I know people who are inovolved with it and it’s an amazing community of people.

    • Hello again Michael,

      Yeah I got your previous comment, thanks for that! Vemma is definitely having issues and are being chased down by the FTC. They are bound to be terminated and one of the owners Anthony Powell started another company called Zyndio as he knows the ship is sinking. Something to watch out for.

  43. Hi Riaz,
    Thank you for a very comprehensive review of Mary Kay. I know of many friends and family who are in this business. It does seem, from their experience, that the market is saturated (among other reasons) and it is becoming very difficult to sell their products. Do you think that Mary Kay will eventually go out of business?

    • Hey Rodney,

      Unless they change the system and improve their products, Mary Kay might go out of business anytime soon but they are one of the super huge companies in the world so they’ll definitely try their best to stay in the game. So I don’t think that they’re going anywhere for the time being. Great question man, thanks for dropping by!

  44. Gosh I hate companies like this that prey on people that do not know any better.

    I like the whole idea of MLM in theory but I find that a lot of companies out there use it wrong and just tend to focus on squeezing every penny from their customers without returning any value.

    And to see that there is a website fully focused on being against Mary Kay is really saying something. They sure did piss somebody off badly haha.

    Good job on showing this product for what it really is Riaz!!

    • Thanks Chris,

      They don’t just piss somebody, they piss a whole lot of people all over the world. Like you, I too like the MLM system and was a Multi-Level Marketer myself but because of the corruption and greed the community have, I couldn’t go on with their unethical tactics. Appreciate your feedback man, cheers.

  45. Hi Riaz, thank you for this text. Surprising that this too is a scam, namely in view of the fact that this lady has been out there for ages. Is it possible that this was the same type of business all these decades or she changed the whole business structure. From how you describe it in the beginning of the text, this looks like a real business. Your text is thoroughly written and long so cannot capture all details. Are you sure this is a scam. How could it survive for half a century without being truly exposed? It is in fact disappointing if this is as you describe it. Thank you.

    • Hey Jovo,

      People have been trying to bring down Mary Kay for ages now but they’re hesitant and strong which is how they survived. With half a million members every year, they have more money than they can ever lose. A lot of people have been affected terribly, they have lost money, abused and tricked into joining. Report are everywhere, just search in Google and you’ll have more reports than you could ever read.

  46. Hi there Riaz,

    Long time ago, my cousin was a Mary Kay distributor. I was too young to understand MLM at that point of time and just like you, I too was mesmerized by the products.

    20 years later, Mary Kay has lost much of her shine in our local make-up market since other newer and more chic brands begun to appear.

    Women in general now prefers cosmetic that doesn’t have all these complexities behind it (the 15 rankings in your review makes me go nuts, who has the time for that?!?!) and better yet, someone to show them how to use make-up properly.

    You should check out Michelle Phan. She’s a make-up entrepreneur who shoot to fame by just doing video blogging on YouTube. It goes to show you don’t need to be in MLM to be successful with cosmetics.

    • Hey there Cathy,,

      I love Michelle Phan, very inspiring girl I’ve always wanted to meet her. I love her youtube videos and she’s a role model not just to anyone who wants to excel in the cosmetic industry, but to other entrepreneurs as well as she started with nothing and made it far.

      Awesome to know we’re not the same boat, there are better ways to succeed in business and starting our own venture is always the best choice. Appreciate your feedback, hope to see you again here soon!

  47. This business model always really brasses me off. You’re right that it is very unrealistic and you can’t really make money from it. I think people get involved because they love the products, but the company really doesn’t seem to focus on the products that much. Mary Kay does have some pretty popular products and I know many people that do buy them. But, I still don’t think that makes the company a great option. After all, you can get those same products is so many different places now.

    • You’re right on that one Vince,

      Mary Kay products can actually be bought at cheaper rates from Amazon and eBay, its way cheaper than the rates sold directly by the members who only want to rake in profits. They focus more on recruitment rather than selling because clearly all their pricing tactics are all jumbled up and not standardized for proper retail.

  48. Thanks for the review. I think you do a really good job of pointing out how even the most well known home-based business opportunities are now without their problems. When you spell out each of the steps in the pyramid scheme, it clearly illustrates how complicated the business model is and how nearly impossible it is for anyone to really succeed.

    • Thanks Jared, it’s not impossible to succeed in MLM but the chances are very slim as many people are getting really skeptical to join today what with those expensive prices and pushy tactics. Appreciate the feedback man, cheers!

  49. I’ve been considering joining a scheme such as the one you have reviewed in this page, and has really opened my eyes to what it is really like.

    I’ve been an unfortunate one who has been “scammed” before, so I know what it’s like.

    However, checking out what you said is NO.1 I agree with, Wealthy Affiliate knows what they are doing inside and out and won’t scam you at all.

    I’m going to check it out 🙂

    Thanks, Dan.

  50. Nice work! I wow this is one the most detailed product reviews I’ve seen. Good job! I did not realize Mary Kay been around since the 60s. When I was in college one of my friends was in Mary Kay, she was required to purchase certain amount of products in order to keep her statues and in order to receive commission on her sales. She never did make any money on it. They had meetings once a month that she was required to attend. If I recall correctly she eventually gave it up. With the makeup market dominated with heavy hitters like LoReal, Avon, and Nivea, Mary Kay market share is very little. No wonder so many members have negative outlook on Mary Kay! As mentioned in your article $11.6k losses wow!

    • Hey Farshid,

      That’s the reality of MLM and everyone who’s involved in it. There are many people who bought too many products from Mary Kay and they have loads of them in their cupboard because they couldn’t sell it back.

      It’s sad to see how these people start full of hope but leaving broke and with a dented wallet. I hope they do their research before investing so that they won;t fall prey to false promises again. Appreciate your feedback farshid, hope you have a lovely day

  51. I am so glad you wrote this. I have always thought Mary Kay was a form of brainwashing. I know a woman you sells Mary Kay and she defends it with almost religious fanaticism. I am quite sure their product are lovely but their tactics do leave a lot to be desired. I did not know it was pyramid selling and i don’t know if that happens in Australia as pyramid selling is illegal here. Great review and I am sure it will enlighten many.

    • Hey Margaret,

      I guess all MLM companies do some sort of brainwashing with their weekly ‘open mind’ sessions to make their people over-protective of what the company do despite the reality that they are not making any money from it.

      Pyramid schemes are illegal everywhere in the world and Mary Kay is already been associated with it countless times, I’m not sure how they got away with it and with half a million members coming and going every year, they won;t be going anywhere for the time being. Thanks for dropping by, hope you have a great day.

  52. Nice review Riaz. I guess I have mixed feelings about this one. I have quite a few friends who do Mary Kay. Some are successful and some aren’t. MLM is about the system, not the product, even though having a good product helps. Unfortunately it is about recruiting, that’s where the residual income comes from. You either like it or you don’t.

    • You’re right on that one Andres,

      If you join just to become a salesman, you’re better off working in sales for other companies where they pay you to sell instead of you paying the company itself to sell, am I right? That leaves you with recruiting as the best choice for MLM which is the part everyone hates because it makes you look like a cultist.

  53. Sounds way too complicated, pricy, and time-consuming to be anything interesting for me.

    It’s a shame that they couldn’t provide an affiliate program or something simple, but I guess honesty doesn’t sell as much as having people buy your products in order to promote them.

    I’m glad you took the time to expose this program. Hopefully, with time, people will become aware of the countless MLM scams

  54. Hi Riaz

    Love the detailed write up! I know this company only too well. I did try it out while my children were young. They entice you into the program with free gifts and extra makeup you really don’t need.

    The mlm plan was great except there was no way of reaching the stats required to get the high income! You couldn’t promote the makeup properly because you were governed by too many rules. I’m glad those days are over!

    Kind Regards


    • Hey there Michelle,

      Good to see you again! The reason they govern so many rules is due to the market saturation where they don’t want to make it obvious that they have too many people. They are greedy and so they try so hard to hide that fact, including banning the use of certain types of marketing to avoid looking spammy.

      Thanks for sharing your feedback, I’m glad you’re left before its too late. Best of luck in your online venture!

  55. Hey Riaz. This is a stellar review. Market saturation is one of the most important things to consider when looking at MLM. I was approached by a Mary Kay consultant some time ago and had no interest whatsoever in selling makeup. Years later, I did join an MLM, but a certified organic one, focusing on the health and wellness niche. I’ve since combined it with WA, and actually totally love the way they work together.

    • That’s awesome Rebecca, its a great combination if a business is online-friendly as that makes everything easier and WA is there to boost any businesses online. Best of luck in your venture, thanks for feedback!

  56. I don’t recall ever using Mary Kay products despite its popularity. Being around for 50 years is a pretty long time. Its sad when the business model is negatively outweighing the quality of their products and damaging their brand. its no wonder they have so many haters and complaints just keep piling up.

    • Hey Raquel,

      Outweighing their product quality just for the sake of money is what every MLM company is doing. They focus on recruiting so much that their product service drop. Thanks for sharing your feedback, hope you have a great Tuesday!

  57. Hey Riaz,

    Great review of the Mary Kay system/pyramid scheme.

    I’ve been involved with a few similar programs and it’s so damn hard to get going and meet all the requirements just to stay active and make any money.

    With that being said there’s a lady in my town that has one of the pink mary kay Cadillac from her business.

    She said she’s been doing it from the very beginning though. Proof that the early members get richer why new members struggle to make ends meet.

    Great review


    • Hey Brok,

      You’e definitely right on that one, early members make the most money as market is still fresh, it’s not saturated and people have not heard of it yet. You have to work many years in order to get that pink Cadillac, it’s not something that everyone can do. Appreciate your feedback man, cheers!

  58. I’m 33 years old, and I remember when I was in elementary school, my mother tried to be an independent Mary Kay Rep. She had a closet full of products, all of which she ultimately ended up using herself. I think sadly, that scenario plays out all too often, over and over again. I don’t know what it takes to reach the ranks of a successful Mary Kay salesperson, but I would definitely recommend against it.

    • It’s sad but that’s the truth of MLM Christian, we end up restocking but not it turns out selling is not as easy as it looks. In the end the only way to make money is to sell to your down lines instead, or use them yourself which is not a good business model. Glad we’re on the same page, appreciate your feedback. Hope you have a great Tuesday!

  59. Yikes! Definitely dodged a bullet with Mary Kay! I myself have considered joining with them, as I have many friends and family who are apart of that business! Thanks for giving a review of them, it has been extremely helpful and now I can be more careful in the future!

  60. Hey Riaz , this is impressive , an MLM company operating since the ’60s.

    As with all MLMs it is an obligation to buy the products in order to be able to sell.I don’t have a problem with that.Besides it is a trading business.

    But I am surprised to find on your cons section that the company is getting negative reviews on places like Forbes.

    It seems they have adopted a pretty inconvenient scheme of levels that is hard to understand.

    Another drawback is the high saturated cosmetics industry where the competition is enormous.People have to keep that in mind before doing business.

    I really can not understand why they avoid to present their company an an MLM organisation.They should be proud of what they are , this hide & seek tactic is not adding trust.

    With only a few hours per day work I am not predicting so great results.In fact , in MLMs you need to work really hard and I am sure you will need at least 5 MLM companies to work with in order to create a sustainable income stream.

    Anyway , I love their fragnances , as you do.Thanks for this detailed review.

    • Hey Tasos,

      Totally agree with you on that one, they are a huge company already and they should be as transparent as possible because if they don’t, others will do their own investigations instead which will cause a much terrible uproar for them.

      They try to hide the fact that they are focusing on recruitment by saying that they are product-eccentric but when word came out through huge media like Forbes, that’s when their odds are stacked against them. Thanks for teh feedback Tasos, detailed as always. Hope you have a lovely day!

  61. Hi Riaz,

    I am looking for a way to increase my income and I stumbled across may Kay.
    Having some bad experiences before with MLM companies I thought I’d check out for some honest reviews before joining Mary kay.

    I know their product ranges and I have to admit they do have a great brand but that’s not enough to know if it’s a good company to work with and if prices are so expensive I can only figure out how difficult it would be to sell those products.

    I was not aware of all the negative reviews and complaints.
    Are you serious about the $11.6K worth of loss reported by consumers?
    That’s even more than disturbing!

    Your review has been an eye-opener for me.
    I won’t take the risk of losing money instead of making money.

    Thank you so much for this review! It will help out a lot of people 🙂


    • Totally serious about the $11.6k loss Angelique, it’s on the website and you can totally check it out yourself. I won’t be surprised if it starts to increase anytime in the future. Thanks for dropping by, cheers!

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