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How to Sell Mary Kay Cosmetics

Updated on June 23, 2017

Thinking About Selling Mary Kay Cosmetics?

The "Mary Kay Way," just could be a successful business model for the person that wants to be their own boss. It's a relatively low risk proposition for starting your own business. With a small investment, you can springboard into selling trusted, quality products and earning money through commissions.

If you aren't familiar with Mary Kay cosmetics and skin care, then count yourself among the few. Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc. was founded by Mary Kay Ash in the 1963, after writing a book to inspire women entrepreneurs. With only a $5,000 investment, the company has grown to a $2 billion enterprise. Today, there are more than 1.7 million Mary Kay consultants worldwide.

I will admit that, although I am not a Mary Kay consultant, I have wondered about whether it would be a good business opportunity for me. My mother-in-law sold Mary Kay for years, despite the fact that she did not wear make-up. Several of my friends have invested in the business as well. Of course, I have supported all of them along the way, whether by purchasing products, referring friends, or hosting Mary Kay parties at my home.

When economic circumstances are down, you can still count on women continuing to invest a little in themselves to make them feel healthier and prettier. Skin care product sales are up at least 9% in recent months. Studies show that a tube of lipstick can lift your spirits higher than a piece of chocolate (at least as evidenced by the studies conducted at my home!)

When you are engaged in direct marketing sales with a company like Mary Kay, you can set your own goals, including hours worked, projected sales and revenue, and even win some great awards along the way. All of this includes the healthy 50% commission awarded to you on each sale of Mary Kay products.

So, let's review what is involved with becoming a Mary Kay consultant. That way, we can both decide whether to take the plunge.

The Mary Kay Way (Creative Commons photo, courtesy of networker on Flickr)
The Mary Kay Way (Creative Commons photo, courtesy of networker on Flickr)
Makeup can help you look beautiful (photo courtesy of TheMeConsipiracy on
Makeup can help you look beautiful (photo courtesy of TheMeConsipiracy on

What does it take to become a Mary Kay Consultant?

Unlike many entrepreneurs looking to start a business, you don't need to prepare a business plan to become a Mary Kay consultant. Nor do you need to have a college degree. You don't have to enter into a franchise agreement. You just have to sign a straightforward Independent Beauty Consultant Agreement that sets forth your status as an independent contractor.

It helps to have a friend or trusted person who is already selling Mary Kay products. But even that is not necessary. If you go to, you'll find all the resources you need to get started as an Independent Beauty Consultant as soon as you wish.

The only investment you need to make is to purchase a "Starter Kit" which is approximately $100. If you have plans to work hard, build a customer base quickly, you may wish to purchase additional inventory so that you'll have products on hand for your customers (otherwise, they'll have to wait for the shipping). Again, there is relatively little risk if you purchase too much inventory, or change your mind about selling Mary Kay. The company will buy it back from you at 90% of the original cost.

As far as a time investment, this one is totally up to you! You can work as hard or as little as you want, depending on your financial goals. While Mary Kay Ash famously lived by the motto, "God first, family second, career third," she also arose each and every day at 5:00 a.m. to get a head start on her business activities before attending to her personal life demands. She also encouraged:

"Set your goals and hang on to them until they are a reality. You’ve got to believe it before you will ever see it. Whatever the mind can perceive and believe, you can achieve!”

Mary Kay online and your Independent Beauty Consultant with whom you'll be associated can provide a lot of necessary support. From free business cards to helpful tips and scripts for selling to customers, they want to see you succeed!

Remember that Mary Kay products are not available at any stores, or even at the company's website. You'll have to find an independent beauty consultant from whom to buy Mary Kay products.

How to Earn Money with Mary Kay

  • Sell Mary Kay products (50% commission)
  • Recruit additional Mary Kay Beauty Consultants. When you do so, you'll earn a percentage of each purchase made by the consultants they recruit. As each one recruits more and more, you will continue to make money on the commissison - a pyramid scheme its not, however!
  • Spread the word!  Get more people excited about Mary Kay products and the company itself gets more successful.

What Products are Available for Sale through Mary Kay?

If you are on board to sell Mary Kay products, you will be selling to both women and men. Of course, the products are more heavily marketed to women, but you can find a full range of skin care and hair products for both sexes. In addition, there are perfumes, colognes and body lotions formulated for men and women.

Women, in particular, can find a range of cosmetic products. Whether you like full-coverage, with foundation and powder, or are only looking for some eye makeup options, Mary Kay can match your skin and hair color with the best options to help you look your best.

Perhaps the best marketing angle if you are considering selling Mary Kay, is based on their skin care line. From eye cream to moisturizer, there are so many ways to help you look young. And (again, I'm not a consultant), I love them all! At 40, I have been using the Mary Kay eye cream for at least 6 months, which helps to minimize fine lines around my peepers.

Other women may find solace in the treatment for lips, as well as the famous Satin Hands set.

Whether you are looking for a bit of glamour, or just some extraordinary skin care, Mary Kay has you covered. This is especially important if you are looking to sell the products, because not every woman is looking for beauty options.

No matter your overall goal, Mary Kay is a safe investment for those that want to start their own business with little risk and the potential for a lot of reward.

If you are a consultant, or if you have worked with one recently, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.  Are you considering getting into business for yourself?  If MK sounds good (or not), I'd like to know.

The more comments, the more it helps all the people involved in the business!


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Well i have purchased products from Mary Kay in the past. The person i was ordering from moved away. Well just recently I found another person that was selling Mary Kay . To my disappointment now this person i placed an order with a month ago. Paid for my product and all. It's been a month ago. She said she haven't sent my order off and I still haven't gotten any feedback from her about my refund or my product. Is this usual?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I have found that in this day and age so many women want to support a brand that is founded by a Strong Woman that went after what she wanted and made a fantastic product, i usually send them or tell them about Mary Kay herself . then they are more open to hear about the products that i love. thanks for the great read!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My boyfriend and I broke up 3 weeks ago. he started acting strange, he was ignoring all of my calls and won’t speak to me at all, i wanted us to be back together forever and work through things as a couple. I just could not picture my life without him. i felt so rejected when i discovered that he was cheating on me. it made me go crazy because i took him as the love of my life, my best friend, my soul mate, after making some research i found DR EKA on the net that he can restore broken relationship and i gave it a try, after using his love spell, my boyfriend came back and since then I definitely believe ( is real, I must admit, the result was perfect, wonderful, this caster DR EKA is real. you can contact he via email ( for urgent help

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Both the web pages new consultants posted are no longer active, kid of discouraging for me. Just received my starter kit last week and have begun training and booking parties. If anyone has any REAL tips on how to stay in this business and make a decent profit after the first round of parties please e-mail me at

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I just signed up last week with MK and cannot even contain my excitement. I think this is exactly the kind of second job I have been looking for since my full-time job isn't super flexible. I know it's going to take a lot of hard work to pay off, but with the goals I can set for myself - I think I'll be able to keep myself positive and motivated. Thanks for having a POSITIVE website for MK, there is a lot of negativity out there and I've been trying to educate myself without seeing it as discouraging. I've noticed a lot of it is the people who ordered a ton of inventory right off the bat and couldn't sell it off or people who just didn't put the time in - both are completely understandable reasons for failing and becoming discouraged, so I'm glad I know some ways around these things already. My first day of training is tomorrow! :)

    • profile image

      Paige Serna 

      8 years ago

      I also just signed up with Mary Kay and am pumped to work hard and achieve the goals I have set. I love the products they offer and cant wait to tell everyone about them! I have researched marketing strategies and sales tips. I even started a blog about my journey with the company! You can join me on my journey at

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I just signed up with Mary Kay and I am fully aware of all the work I need to put in to get what I want out of my bussiness, I'm so excited its not even funny, I love working with people and happen to be pretty likeable so sales isn't hard for me, I'm just not pushy :)

      Now some people have no sales or people skills and get into it thinking it will be easy money, but its not, you need to be able to network and get your name out, and do as many parties as you can at first that's the best way to reach people. :) hope this helps someone and enjoy the journey ladies!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello there I'm writing here because I just became a MK consultant this week, my question here is should I spend money ordering product? My director and the cd's that have come with the start up kid mention that is a good idea, but I always though that your costumers will wait for their products, I know I did when I gone to parties, so why is it that now they are pushing it more. I just want to see what you people out there think about this. Now it those not mean I'm being negative, but I would like to be safe with my money.

    • profile image

      Nikole Webb 

      8 years ago

      I am an Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay and I am loving the positive nurturing as well as the entire culture. I do not have e to worry about meeting someone else's quota. I make my own agenda. The support is always positive and consistent.

    • profile image

      Lauren Carson 

      9 years ago

      I recently joined Mary Kay as an Independent Consultant. At first I was skeptical, however I have gotten nothing but positive feedback from people I have approached for makeovers! I was hooked after my first week where people were coming up to me asking about Satin Hands and the TimeWise line. For those interested October is a great time to join the business with the $75 promotion. It is usually $100.

    • Jupiter1385 profile image


      9 years ago from Illinois

      I am a Mary Kay Consultant and I love it. I make enough money to cover the bills but I don't push it that much. If I went out there and promoted the products, I know I could make a lot of money to replace my full time job. My director was laid off by her company a couple years ago and ended up pursuing MK full time. She makes more now than she did working a 9-5 job.

      MK is a great company to get involved with and there is little risk. I agree it does take a lot of time and effort to make it big but as a small part time job, it's been paying off well for me. Once my husband and I decide to have kids, MK might be a great stay at home job for me.

      Yes, men can be consultants for MK...I know some who are.

    • clavelwhite profile image


      9 years ago

      If you want a business of any sort, whether it's MK or some other business, you have to work for it. Work for what you want. You cannot expect for everything to be handed to you in a golden plate, that's not how it works. So, whether you want a home-based business, or you work in corporate, think about how these people got to where they are now. By working hard and working on their dreams. So if you think business life or life itself it's easy, you're dreaming. So, for those who want to work on their business, take one step at a time. I support you and keep your head up and ALWAYS THINK POSITIVE!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      well i have just startedwith selling mary kay although i have used it for years i do however find it very difficult to find ladies to buy the product why is that???

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great question Marko - I see no reason why a man cannot join Mary Kay. There are men's products available (skin care, hair care, cologne, etc.) Plus, I'll bet you can get additional women clients that are interested in having a man tell them what looks good on them!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi there,

      Can any one tell me if man can join mar kay?


    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      11 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi JohniRedd, I believe that there are definitely people out there who are PERFECT for a job like Mary Kay. I've known a few, and they all do very well. Mary Kay herself was an endearing, smart woman entrepreneur. I love her story. Thanks for stopping by....

    • JohniRedd profile image


      11 years ago

      I have a girlfriend who is a big MK girl. She is always booked solid and does very well. This was a great hub and what woman doesn't love Mary Kay herself just for being the most fabulous Lady Entrepreneur. Shouts- Go Mary Go Mary!

    • spooon profile image


      11 years ago from Texas

      "Spread the word! Get more people excited about Mary Kay products and the company itself gets more successful."

      I would think to a point more focus needs to be spent on HOW new consultants proper training. Sure there are the basics like names lists and 3 foot rule but in the end most if not all will fail at this. Why?

      Not repeatable.

      As Steph said, too many come into the business with dreams that just aren't realistic. If people were really serious about joining MK they should do serious research on HOW to promote their business without chasing people down asking them if they want to try a sample or hold home parties for friends. This all leads to quick burnout. Most of them then just consume the product to stay in the business which makes their sponsor happy.

      Would be much better if MK would teach proper marketing like ezine writing, youtube marketing, social marketing, ppc, blogging.....

      So I agree with John, new consultants need to be mentored correctly and given a clear shot to succeed vs just selling the dream.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      11 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      John, you are absolutely right. I give big kudos to the MK website which actually cautions people that it DOES take a lot of work to make it big. But, as always in life, there are some people who don't read the small print, or who have grandiose dreams. The money does not just walk into your wallet. You have to chase it, woo it, and work hard at being a salesperson. Cheers - and thanks for the realistic comment - Steph

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      11 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Robie, I was inspired in part to write this hub because a woman at my gym drives a pink cadillac! Yes, they are still out there! (oh, and if there is a Mary Kay sales rep stereotype, she would fit it). Cute, put together and always impeccably made up, even to work out. :-)

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Marshall 

      11 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Jimmy - I am a great customer, LOL! (plus, a friend of mine just got into the Mary Kay business and I've been watching her closely).

    • John Chancellor profile image

      John Chancellor 

      11 years ago from Tennessee

      I think many women who become Mary Kay consultants end up disappointed. This is common with most opportunities. They get intoxicated with the money they could earn and overlook the amount of work needed to realize their dream. As a result far too many buy their inventory and then never make a success of it.

      Like any business, it is a business. It requires work. It also takes a fairly long time to become successful. There is a lot more comeptition today than just a few years ago. And buying habits are changing.

      I think women get lured by the low barriers to entry - low cash requirements and no special knowledge. But that does not make it a good business. In the end you are selling products. And you have to do your own lead generation, sales and service.

      For the right woman, it can be a great opportunity. But a person really needs to be honest about how much time, energy and money it will take to make is successful. Far more fail than are successful.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      11 years ago from Central New Jersey

      Some women make a ton of money selling Mary Kay Cosmetics. I remember the original Mary Kay used to ride around in a pink Cadillac. Back when Mary Kay started opptys for women to make money were few and far between-- she was a real pioneer. Great hub!

    • Jimmy Fuentes profile image

      Jimmy Fuentes 

      11 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga

      Hi Steph, Great hub. Wow, for someone not directly affiliated with MK, you have an incredible amount of knowledge. Mary Kay is a fantastic company and they have been around for years. I don't see the pink cadillacs around too much anymore but I think that is because they allow the distributors to get whatever type of car they want now.I am not involved in the business, but I know a few ladies that are and they are very happy with the products and the business. They have a lot of fun and really enjoy it.

      Cheers !


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