Mary Kay is widely considered to be an iconic name in the beauty industry, right up there with the likes of Sephora and L’Oreal. Here’s a closer look at the brand, Mary Kay’s top-selling products, and whether Mary Kay is right for you.
Mary Kay’s beauty-centric product line is manufactured in two state-of-the-art facilities. Dallas, Texas (the location of the company’s international headquarters) and Hangzhou, China.
And in case you didn’t know, it’s all about product quality with Mary Kay. Which is why they spend millions of dollars each year in product testing, research, performance, and safety.
The company churns out over 200 premium products in six major categories:
Mary Kay has been around for more than 50 years and is a multi-billion-dollar business i.e. doesn‘t look like the company is going bust any time soon.
Independent Business Consultants can earn up to 50 percent commission on the products they sell.
Mary Kay provides high-quality sales tools for their IBCs including a top-notch website and extensive marketing materials.
There are some juicy rewards waiting for top distributors including financial bonuses, luxury trips, fine jewelry and cutting-edge tech gadgets.
Top IBCs can qualify for the iconic “Career Car” which includes company-leased pink Cadillacs, black BMWs, Chevrolet‘s, and Toyota‘s.
As is the case with all MLMs, you won‘t make any serious money unless you recruit new Mary Kay distributors to your team.
Many former IBCs have complained about the initial ordering process and “front-loading” of products when you first become a distributor.
Due to front-loading and frequent product updates, there are many complaints of having large amounts of “inventory” leftover they can’t sell.
High pressure to meet monthly production numbers e.g. IBCs are required to make a $225 minimum order every three months to remain active.
Mary Kay admits in an earnings report that out of their active IBCs, only about half earned commissions more than $100 annually.
What is Mary Kay?
Mary Kay was founded in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash with an initial investment of $5,000. She launched the company in a small Dallas store with just nine products– five skin care items and four makeup products.
What set her strategy apart is that she also launched with nine independent beauty consultants to help spread the Mary Kay gospel.
Her brand grew in popularity via word-of-mouth recommendations, and according to the company, in just one year Mary Kay grew to have 857 independent beauty consultants. In just three years, the company passed the $1 million sales mark.
Mary Kay is one of the pioneers of direct sales cosmetics, or what we now call peer to peer sales, which is also the sales model for Rodan + Fields and Beautycounter.
Kay encouraged her sales consultants to introduce Mary Kay products at home parties and implemented sales incentives.
At that time, peer-to-peer sales appealed to women who need flexible work hours and could work largely from home.
Mary Kay Ash wrote about her unique business strategy and life lessons in many books, including Mary Kay: The Success Story of America’s Most Dynamic Businesswoman (1981), Mary Kay on People Management (1984) and Mary Kay: You Can Have It All (1995).
There’s also a Mary Kay Museum located in the lobby of the Mary Kay headquarters in Addison, Texas.
Today Mary Kay has an estimated three million independent beauty consultants in more than 35 markets worldwide, and annual wholesales sales are estimated at $3.25 billion.
The company hosts Mary Kay seminars and conferences around the world for its sales consultants, and the Mary Kay Intouch website is a resource and educational tool for their beauty consultants.
What Does Mary Kay Sell?
Mary Kay has expanded exponentially since it launched with nine products, and now includes a wide range of skincare, makeup, and perfume. (And for people that want to know if Mary Kay is a cruelty-free brand, the company says that it is).
Here’s a closer look at some Mary Kay products:
The Mary Kay Skincare line is wide-ranging and includes cleansers, face wash, moisturizers, eye creams, serums and toner.
The TimeWise line tackles the signs of aging with products such as TimeWise Microdermabrasion Refine, an exfoliator, as well as TimeWise Age Minimize 3D 4-in-1 Cleanser.
The Mary Kay Oil-Free Moisturizing Gel is designed for sensitive skin, while Clear Proof Pore-Purifying Serum helps prevent blemishes.
The TimeWise Night Solution serum delivers a dose of antioxidants and skin-soothing peptides.
Many of the products come in starter kits such as the TimeWise Ultimate Miracle Set 3D. This contains a cleanser, day cream, night cream, eye cream, microdermabrasion paste and a pore minimizer.
Mary Kay’s cosmetics include foundations in many different forms (mineral powder and liquid foundation, as well as multi-tasking CC creams. The NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss offers a high gloss finish.
Also, Mary Kay Lip Tints provide a sheer wash of color.
There are multiple Mary Kay mascaras and brow products as well, including the Lash Love Lengthening Mascara, and a Lash and Brow Building Serum.
Makeup palettes are also available.
Body & Sun
The Mary Kay Sun Care line offers a line of sun protection creams as well as a self-tanner. There’s also a wide range of hand and body creams, including Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion for Feet & Legs and Fragrance-Free Satin Hands Nourishing Shea Cream.
Men are also included in the Mary Kay range, but the iconic pink packaging has been swapped for charcoal grey.
Also, there’s a small selection of products aimed at men, including the MKMen Skin Care Regimen, a starter kit that contains all the key men’s products.
Alternatives to Mary Kay
Juice Beauty might not be the right choice for everyone, in terms of the price point or how it reacts with your skin. If you’re looking for a well-rounded skincare line, there are a few other brands to consider.
Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare. The brand wants to help its customers achieve their best-looking skin, rather than covering it up with makeup.
The comprehensive line of products focuses on everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin.
Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum
Formulyst’s Blemish Clearing
If you like the simplicity of a skincare kit, consider Advanced Dermatology. This no-nonsense brand offers a pared-down approach to skincare.
The packaging is simple and streamlined, and the products bring skincare back to the basics.
The kit contains just six essential items including a daily cleanser; serum; anti-wrinkle firming treatment; night cream; day cream and eye cream. In other words, everything you need to achieve your best possible looking skin.
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