Is Selling Mary Kay Worth It? (Consultant Review)

You might be asking yourself “is selling Mary Kay worth it” and can you make money with this MLM?  As a beauty consultant the possibility to work from home seems like it would be a great opportunity. Can this direct sales business opportunity provide the income needed and what are the pros and cons?

Before you become a consultant its good to know what your getting yourself into.

On the surface all MLM companies make it seem simple to sell their products just by purchasing a starter kit and recruiting others.

I will review what is Mary Kay and its opportunity selling cosmetics. As well as highlight the good and bad along with any complaints.

Let’s get started….


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What Is Mary Kay Inc | The Company

The company is based out of Texas and is one of the largest cosmetics companies with sales in the billions. It got its start back in 1963 and was founded by Mary Kay Ash.

Multi level marketing is the business model that is used and the beauty consultants sell products by hosting parties and recruiting others.

Its products are sold around the world in countries such as China, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Canada.

Some of its competitors are Avon, Motives and Nucerity.



The products come in 5 different categories, skincare, makeup, fragrance, body & sun as well as men’s products.

Cosmetics From Mary Kay

Most of the product line is geared towards women while the total products available to men is currently only 8 items.

There are 4 colognes and 4 different skin products.

Looking through the different forums online, the majority of women were talking about the price of the products being more than what other comparable competitors were selling for.

One good thing about the company is that they do not believe in using animals to test their products or ingredients.


How To Become A Mary Kay Consultant

If your ready for the challenge of direct sales, then getting started selling cosmetics can begin after the purchase of a starter kit.

The cost of the Mary Kay starter kit is $100.

Mary Kay Starter Kit

Included in the starter kit is a carry bag, assorted product samples, brochures, and a 50% discount for your website which comes to $30 for the year.

Consultants will also have to pay for the shipping and taxes.

So the minimum total start up cost will be about $140 to $160 after everything is added up.

The starter kit is very limited in cosmetic products, which means that a consultant will need to invest more money in getting inventory for samples and stock.


Ways and Ideas For Selling

Now your ready to start selling Mary Kay products and their are a few different ways to do it.

  1. One on one – this is when you find a interested customer and handle the sale from the start to finish. Letting all your friends, family and co-workers know is one way of generating one on one sales.
  2. Hosted parties – organize weekend gatherings at your home or friends homes to show off the different products and give advice.
  3. Online – you have a personal website that customers can use to upload their pictures and try different looks in a virtual setting. There is also an email list that customers can sign up for.

These are the main ways of selling cosmetics with Mary Kay, but as a consultant thinking outside the box is what will actually make you profitable.

So here are some additional ideas where a consultant could promote and sell cosmetics:

  • Advertise yourself – make sure you wear Mary Kay attire and carry bags, business cards, hats and what ever else will grab attention. Simple enough but most consultants don’t do it.
  • Visit salons – great place to find other women that have access to a lot of clients. they may also be interested in the opportunity and could sell Mary Kay products to their customers.
  • Blog – set up a blog that gives tips and information regarding cosmetics along with related topics.
  • Social Media – here you can network with others and build relationships. Over time others will like and share your page.

How Much Money Can You Make Selling Mary Kay

Beauty consultants make a 50% commission on all their personal sales.

So for example if you were to have a hosted party and sell $300 worth of cosmetics, then $150 in profit would be yours to keep.

This might look good on the surface but to put it into perspective, lets look at it a different way.

Lets say that as a Mary Kay consultant you wanted to earn $25,000 per year to replace your current job. In order to earn $25,000 you as a consultant would need to sell retail $50,000 in cosmetics!

That is a lot of cosmetics to sell!

Keep in mind that you will be an independent consultant and all the money that you make is going to be commissions.

So if you don’t sell anything you don’t earn anything.

Some people believe that they will get a consultant salary but nothing can be further from the truth.

The good news is that if you do become one of the top consultants the company will lease you a pink Cadillac.


Build A Team

Another avenue for making money selling Mary Kay is to recruit other people that are interested in the opportunity.

This is the way to make the most money with any type of multi level marketing company. Every time a person that you sponsored into your down line makes a sale, you as their sponsor would earn a commission.

Commissions can go up to 13% and there are also bonuses that can be achieved.


Do Mary Kay Consultants Make Money

Starting out having hosted parties is probably the best way for a new Mary Kay consultant to get their feet wet. If your new to sales then getting in front of a warm group of people can make it easier and less pressure.

Plus you get a feel for the products.

Once you have learned the process and products, then building a team would be the next step.

Sounds simple enough but this is always the reason most fail at making money with MLM.

Its easy to sign people up, but having them learn to sell and train other new consultants is difficult to do. Most consultants never learn how to make money with Mary Kay correctly resulting in their down line failing.


Should I Become A Mary Kay Consultant

Typically these types of opportunities appeal to stay at home mom’s looking to make a side income and some extra money.

Or those that plan to quit there job and go full time with a business that they can run from home.

These types of opportunities take a great amount of effort as well as time to get started. Making any money selling cosmetics will also not happen over night.

Here is what you need to do in order to be a successful beauty consultant:

  1. A couple hours per day – this would be a minimum and it would be used to brainstorm and plan different ways to market the business.
  2. Small budget – as the saying goes, you can’t make money without money. The starter kit is limited and more samples will need to be purchased and inventory kept on hand.  Other little expenses will also need to be accounted for.
  3. Will do attitude – many people pay into an opportunity hoping they will be successful without doing the work that it really takes to make it. The business isn’t going to find you, so you will need to go out and get it if you want to be one of the Mary Kay success stories.

These simple steps will put you ahead of a large majority of others that just sign up as consultants and then wait for things to materialize on their own.

Don’t Become A Consultant For Personal Use Only

One of the questions that comes up often is “can I become a Mary Kay consultant for personal use only”?

Sure you could but there are a few problems with this.

  1. You need to buy a minimum amount of products ( $100’s ) to get started and get your discount.
  2. You will have to order things that you don’t need or use waisting money.
  3. You will need to unload extra products at a discount to get rid of them and get your money back.

So as you can see if your going to take advantage of this business opportunity its best to not treat it as a hobby.


Complaints From Consultants

There are more than enough Mary Kay consultant complaints to address, so lets take a look at a few of them here.

  1. Product pricing – the cost of cosmetics seems to be an issue that many consultants have to deal with. Retail customers consider the products expensive and the quality not matching the price.
  2. Inventory – unfortunately if a customer places an order for 1 or 2 products, a consultant may need to order a larger quantity to make it economical to ship. Therefore sitting on inventory that may take a while to sell or maybe not sell at all.
  3. Aggressive consultants – many new consultants have the unfortunate experience of getting recruited by a another consultant that is only interested in boosting their sales numbers. They pressure new consultants into buying more inventory than needed as well as spending all their time trying to sell the cosmetics.

Looking at these complaints, the company could try and establish better pricing for their beauty consultants but they would also have to address the quality issues.

After doing a lot of MLM reviews, one thing that is common with this type of business model is the high prices. Some of that can be attributed to the commissions needing to be paid out on the different levels.

Consultants complaining about the Mary Kay business need to keep things in perspective and do their homework before jumping into this business opportunity.


Mary Kay Pros and Cons

Now that you have an idea of what the company is about and the business opportunity they offer, lets recap some of the pros and cons.

Pros (the good stuff)

  • Established company
  • Low start up cost
  • Large selection of cosmetics
  • Good profit margin

Cons (the not so good stuff)

  • High priced cosmetics
  • Quality
  • Unrealistic income
  • Stuck with inventory

No business opportunity is perfect, so when doing a review of the Mary Kay cosmetics business you need to choose the factors that will make it work for you.

Also look at what the negatives are and can you overcome them to be successful.


Is Mary Kay A Pyramid Scheme

Some claim that the company is just a big pyramid scheme and that it is in the business of just recruiting women.

In order to really know if this opportunity is a pyramid scheme, we need to know what a pyramid scheme is. The FTC gives a description that helps clear up any questions.

So looking at how the company operates there is nothing to show that it is a pyramid scheme, They aren’t recruiting new members to pay for the members that came before them.


Final Thoughts

What is Mary Kay Cosmetics about has been reviewed here and you may be wondering if this opportunity is the right fit for you. Building a business selling cosmetics isn’t quite as glamorous as their website shows. All the successful consultants making the money, live and breath Mary Kay.

A consultant would need to sell quite a bit of products to make even a part time income. Most people that are involved with multi level marketing never make any money. Typically less than 3% of consultants in any mlm company make money.

That doesn’t mean that you should stop looking for something better.

There are many other alternatives including affiliate marketing, that allow you to sell products without the cost of holding inventory, dealing with customers or recruiting people.

I did a comparison mlm vs affiliate marketing where I go over the differences.

With that being said I found an alternative for Mary Kay without all the headaches.

See how I work from home in my pajamas with my #1 pick here.


Feel Free To Leave A Comment Below

2 thoughts on “Is Selling Mary Kay Worth It? (Consultant Review)”

  1. Hello
    If I wanted to work as an affiliate marketer, for instance, with Walmart or Amazon, what are some job duties that this marketing would involve? Right now I sell cosmetics for a well known company and I am struggling to make money. I am curious as to what opportunities are out there for me to be successful.
    Thank you

    • As an affiliate you would need to choose methods that get traffic to your offers.

      For example start a blog that relates to the products that your marketing.

      Other ways would be to use paid marketing, or create Youtube videos to get traffic.

      Another great aspect about affiliate marketing is that you could also promote other products related to cosmetics as well.


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