Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Making a Living Selling Mary Kay Products

If you wanted to just sell Mary Kay products and not recruit anyone, could you make a living doing so?

You might be able to make a living just selling Mary Kay products, but it’s going to be difficult.

Suppose you sold $1,000 per week, EVERY week. Now remember… there are very, very few women in Mary Kay who sell $1,000 per week. There are very, very few who even sell $500 of Mary Kay products each week. But let’s just assume that you can and do sell $1,000 per week, every week, with 2 weeks a year off.

How much would you make???? We’re going to assume that you sell at full retail price with very few discounts. I’m added in 5% for discounts, but more typically the discounts are around 20% or more.  (Don’t forget that buy one get one free sales mean zero profit for the consultant.)

This net profit includes all expenses on the LOW end. Experience has shown that most Mary Kay consultants offer more discounts on the products, and have higher expenses than shown here. So this calculation would represent that absolute best case scenario for a consultant.

Do you consider $14,500 a year a good living? That’s about $1,200 per month.

What is it per hour? In order to sell that much product, you’re going to need to hold at least 5 skin care classes a week. That would require at least 20 hours a week once you factor in all of the legwork involved to find people, get them to book classes, coach them to the classes, prepare for the classes, get there, set up, conduct the class, clean up, fill orders, follow up, etc.

It’s not a good living.


  1. Pinkiu

    I used to be a makeup artist for Dior and Chanel and could sell $500 – $700 in a typical 6-8 hour day in a high-traffic store such as Nordstroms or Macy’s (preCovid). I could sell $1000 if it were an event where we brought in a name makeup artist and we were in Saks or Neiman’s. I know how to sell.

    I think in my 7 years in MK, I had ONE $500 WEEK! Once….one time… I chose not to recruit. A typical week with working 10 hours might bring in $50 – 150 because no one wants to book and hold a MK class/party. I kid you not, I was lucky to sell $100 – 150 at a class with one person purchasing skin care, one person a mascara, and one person lipstick as pity purchases for the hostess. Her other 2 friends didn’t buy because they had to, “Ask their husbands…” And then I had to give away product to the hostess for hosting. And how many of us held a party where no one bought anything?

    And, this was all before Ulta and Sephora, which didn’t exist when I was a consultant. Nor was online shopping at the same level it is today. I pity the poor woman who gets roped into this today.

    The reason I stayed in for so long was I was willing to cheat the system. To make a very few dollars. I was ok with the occasional party and minor residual sales of my dwindling front-loaded stock. I had a circle of IBCs who were willing to trade. And, I returned product monthly of items I pretended were returns, but really old stock or product I knew I couldn’t sell by forging return slips. That’s what MK does to a person. It turns you into a cheat and a liar. One day, I woke up and thought, “I hate this job and I don’t want to be that person any more.” And so, I gave away product I didn’t want and threw away all of the paper. I have never regretted doing that.

  2. Shay

    you can’t sell for double price unless you are contabrkh moving things and / if they are high priced – this is why recruiting is a must.
    You need to be able to sell your stuff at least 4 times the amount – in a perfect world however it would be 10.
    now let’s talk about how much it costs MK to make the products and package. Make up is very cheap to make.

    1. Data Junkie

      Shay, you are hinting at the larger reality in all MLMs. Mary Kay Reps are not paying wholesale…they are paying high RETAIL! The retail margin is already taken by corporate and the up-line. This is baked into the high price, leaving no room for consultants to mark up the price, with little if any value left in the product even when sold at a discount.

      Mary Kay sees its consultants as customers, not as retailers or business owners. The profit is taken when the consultant purchases inventory, not when an outside customer makes a purchase. This is why the compensation plan includes no incentives to “sell”. All the incentives are to “buy” and to “recruit”.

      Mary Kay’s compensation plan is designed to make sure consultants purchase much more than they can use personally, at a price too high to create competitive demand outside the down-line. The only way left to sell is to recruit.

      Mary Kay does not care if anyone outside the downline ever buys or uses the product. Getting product into the hands of folks outside the down-line is simply not part of their business plan. The company makes their profit when a consultant makes a purchase. They simply don’t care what happens to the product (or the consultant) after that.

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