Mary Kay Lies: Products Aren’t Changed Often

How often does Mary Kay change products? Not often, according to the company! They say that core products are updated every 3 to 5 years, and they tell consultants 3 to 6 months ahead of time. From Mary Kay’s online FAQ  :

Mary Kay Inc. is always looking at new products in order to keep up with current trends and be competitive in the marketplace. In a marketplace driven by innovation, it is critical to stay competitive by introducing new products. Targeted products, that treat special concerns and work along with our core skin care line, are introduced to the product lineup to meet needs that are expressed by consumers. Limited-edition color items are introduced periodically to reflect the trends of the season. Our core product lines are updated once every 3 to 5 years to take advantage of the latest innovations in skin care. And although we don’t do it often, we occasionally update our packaging to ensure that we continue to stay on trend and keep our presentation current and fresh. Remember that we’re in the fast-changing cosmetics business. Much like the automobile, fashion and consumer electronics industries, in the cosmetics industry, newness is what attracts customers to the brand.

The bottom line is that innovation is essential to remaining competitive in our market. While change may be uncomfortable at times, it demonstrates the willingness of both our Company and the independent sales force to deliver products that excite and address the needs and desires of their customers.

With respect to inventory, our goal is to communicate to the independent sales force any changes to regular-line products at least three to six months in advance. This allows for adjustment of their inventory levels and helps them make informed decisions in the meantime in regard to their product orders and needs. In addition, whenever significant changes are made, we share tips to help them manage their inventory in the months leading up to the changes.


The truth is that the changes come fast and furious in Mary Kay. There is no doubt that some of the product and packaging changes are simply done to boost sales to consultants who carry inventory.

Don’t believe me? Check out these articles about the rapid and constant product line changes in Mary Kay. They’re old, but still relevant because nothing has changed in this regard. My favorites are this one about how much Mary Kay stood to make from changing to black packaging, and this one which just takes one product – – lip gloss – – and tracks the many changes through the years.



  1. Funny how Cover Girl still sells the same foundations in the same formulas, with the same color codes and in the same packaging… and has been doing so for over 30 years. Yet it still “flies off the shelf “ at the stores.

    I want some excitement in my life, true. But I don’t need the excitement of finding out the hard way that the new line of foundations is nothing like what I bought last time. I’ll switch brands in a hot second if that happens to the products I use.

    • Cover girl has actually upgraded their formulas but they do it without the customer knowing or caring. It will look and feel the same.

  2. I’d be furious if I was still in MK. The Look book for Spring only shows the $70 sheet masks as a tiny picture in the back of the book. How on earth do they expect people to sell them? I’m betting there’s lots of inventory shelves full of them…and will continue to be so if they’re not better marketed.

    • The MK starter kit “special offer ” (ends today, 3/31) includes a free Vitamin C Activating Squares and a free Timewise C Serum. The offer was supposed to end 2/28. Guess they didn’t have a lot of takers.

  3. The final paragraph in their FAQ is ridiculous: “With respect to inventory, our goal is to communicate to the independent sales force any changes to regular-line products at least three to six months in advance.”.
    Our “goal”? It is not exactly difficult to make an announcement when they decide to change packaging. Why is it a GOAL and not POLICY? Because they will find a way to screw over the IBCs.

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