An icon in both the beauty and network marketing industries, Mary Kay has been focused on empowering women since its inception in 1963—long before female empowerment was mainstream news.
Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
Top Executives: David Holl, CEO
Products: Skincare and cosmetics
Today, with millions of consultants worldwide, 1,500 corporate employees and sales in the billions, Mary Kay operates in the fullness of that empowerment legacy with eyes on the future, a growing product collection and constantly evolving beauty science. In the last year alone, Mary Kay has marked a huge anniversary, opened a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, unveiled groundbreaking new products and presented compelling scientific data.
Today At Mary Kay
For women around the world, the Mary Kay business opportunity represents the same possibilities that it did when Mary Kay Ash launched the company in 1963. “She founded her namesake company to provide women exciting opportunities and empowerment through entrepreneurship,” explains Chief Operating Officer Deborah Gibbins. “More than 55 years later, being a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant remains an amazing opportunity for women who want to build their future and create their own schedule.”
Aspiring consultants connect with existing Independent Beauty Consultants who guide them through the registration, on-boarding and training processes. Armed with a starter kit, access to training workshops and meetings and the support of their up-line consultant, new Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants have everything they need to pursue their business goals. While the opportunity may look very similar to what Ash had in mind, the products, technology and science behind it have evolved in ways she couldn’t have dreamed.
In 2016, the company launched the myCustomers℠+ app, a tool that serves a range of business needs on the go. “Our Independent Beauty Consultants are able to create sales tickets, manage inventory and service their customers from their mobile devices,” shares Gibbins. “This app helps attract more women to the Mary Kay family, improves the way they join our network, and enhances how our Independent Beauty Consultants manage their sales.”
The company also launched additional apps to support consultants, including a digital shareable interactive catalog, a real-time makeover app that allows customers to “try before you buy,” and a skin analysis solution that scans customers’ faces and then uses AI technology to provide personalized skin assessment and product recommendations.
“More than 55 years later, being a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant remains an amazing opportunity for women who want to build their futures and create their own schedules.” —Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operating Officer
The Science Of Beauty
Tech advances make running a business easier for today’s Mary Kay consultant, but without timely and tested products, that technology is simply code. Since its inception, Mary Kay has been one step ahead of the marketplace and has the research to prove it.
“Every year, Mary Kay conducts hundreds of thousands of scientific tests on products and ingredients to ensure our products meet our high standards of safety, quality and performance,” says Lucy Gildea, Chief Scientific Officer. “In fact, Mary Kay holds more than 1,500 patents for products, technologies, and packaging designs in its global portfolio.” The company’s latest research was presented recently at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Society for Investigative Dermatology and highlighted the impact of vitamin C on skin health and appearance.
“The new data was collected while analyzing the effects of a serum containing five botanical fruit extracts known to be rich in vitamin C,” Gildea explains. “Mary Kay researchers treated artificial skin tissue with this serum and utilized a genomic approach to understand how the serum affected the skin. This genomic evaluation confirmed the serum’s impact on four main classes of genes, which are important for skin firmness. Furthermore, the study showcased that the serum increased production of dermal matrix proteins—collagen and laminin— that support skin firmness.”
Mary Kay’s investment into the benefits and applications of vitamin C inspired the recent launch of TimeWise® Vitamin C Activating Squares™. “This product has revolutionized the way pure vitamin C is delivered to customers’ skin,” says Gibbins. “We were thrilled it was named the 2018 Product Innovation Winner from the Direct Selling Association this year.”
Mary Kay’s commitment to research now stands tall with the opening of the Richard R. Rogers (R3) Manufacturing Facility, which houses manufacturing, labs for research and development and collaborative work environments. “The facility, named in honor of our company co-founder and son of Mary Kay Ash, features state-of-the-art R&D laboratories and cutting-edge manufacturing technology, and functions as a Zero Waste to Landfill facility,” Gibbins shares. “It recently received its silver LEED certification and is also home to the one-millionth tree planted as part of our Pink Doing Green initiative.”
Mary Kay’s leadership team believes that research is the key to the company’s success for years to come.
“We will continue to develop high-quality, innovative products that deliver the skin care benefits our consumers crave, while simultaneously meeting our high efficacy and safety standards,” says Gildea. “We continue to look beyond the beauty industry for inspiration in product development and innovation. Our team is always exploring exciting opportunities to transform the future of skin care, and we are excited to share our findings as we move forward.”
Gibbins adds, “Beyond the science behind the beauty, we remain dedicated to making the world a more beautiful place by expanding and evolving The Mary Kay Foundation’s missions to eradicate cancers affecting women and end domestic violence through a series of meaningful global partnerships with leading research institutions and changemakers.”
“As Mary Kay looks to the future of both the beauty industry and business itself, its leaders draw inspiration from Ash herself. We continue to honor the culture instituted by our founder,” says Gibbins. “We believe in teamwork and respect while building working relationships through trust and honesty. We believe in making our employees feel valued and rewarded for their hard work. We enjoy celebrating their successes and milestones, both professionally and personally.”
A Pink Anniversary
Mary Kay marked its 55th anniversary last fall by partnering with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to unveil an exhibit that celebrates the brand’s signature color. Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color opened on September 7 at The Museum at FIT in New York City and showcased the color pink through 80 different ensembles, ranging from 17th century designs to modern day apparel.
“From our makeup palettes to our Cadillacs, pink is Mary Kay’s signature color—so the partnership was a natural fit for us,” says Gibbins. “The exhibition concluded with a scholarly discussion centered around our signature color moderated by Mary Kay Chief Marketing Officer Sheryl Adkins-Green.”