Fun Facts:

In 1963, Mary Kay Ash joined forces with her 20-year-old son Richard and created Beauty by Mary Kay, a company dedicated to making life more beautiful for women.

To help women develop their potential, the first Leadership Conference was created in 1974, providing Independent Sales Directors the education, inspiration, and motivation they needed to achieve their dreams.

In 1989, Mary Kay became one of the first companies to enact a comprehensive corporate recycling program, which it followed with banning product testing on animals.

At Mary Kay's state-of-the-art facilities in Dallas and China, the majority of the company's developing, testing, manufacturing, and packaging of products takes place.

Mary Kay today has more than 1.8 million independent Beauty Consultants worldwide and wholesale sales of $2.6 billion.

Company News/Recent Launches:

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October 2009, Mary Kay built the nation's first outdoor nature classrooms at women's shelters across the United States as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative, Pink Changing Lives.

Inspired by fall's Modern Romance trend, Mary Kay's new limited-edition Loose Eye Shadow comes in three shades: Cashmere, Pink Organza, Liliac Lace.

Two new lip glosses, Fancy Nancy and Bronze Bliss, join Mary Kay's NouriShine Lip Gloss collection.

Mary Kay Concealer was awarded the 2009 Spring Makeup O-ward by O Magazine, while Essence Magazine conferred both the TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser and TimeWise Age-Fighting Moisturizer 2008 Reader's Choice Beauty Awards.

From May 1 through Dec. 15, 2009, $1 of each sale of Mary Kay's Beauty That Counts Creme Lipsticks in Pink Passion and Gingerbread will be donated to the Beauty That Counts campaign.

TIA's Take:

In addition to being a champion for social responsibility, Mary Kay is a recognized leader in the area of ingredient safety and firmly stands behind the quality of its entire product line. The company does not use lead or lead-based ingredients in its lipsticks or any other cosmetics. However, product ingredients are nowhere to be found online, which always makes us suspicious. After doing some digging, we found multiple parabens in just about every Mary Kay product. Propylene glycol is present in over 64 makeup and skincare products. Other common chemical offenders include DMDM Hydantoin, BHT, diazolidinyl urea, triethanolamine, and artificial fragrance. Product literature makes numerous claims about clinical trial results, without revealing a single ingredient that would be the cause (although the Age-Fighting Mositurizer mentions that "it contains an antioxidant to help guard against free radicals"). Nothing about the brand seems innovative or advanced. It is hard to believe that Mary Kay's anti-aging products are effective without seeing any real evidence why. By not providing full disclosure of its formulas, Mary Kay does not permit consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.