Review: Mary Kay Cream-to-Powder Foundation

I’ve never paid much attention to the US-based cosmetics and skin care brand Mary Kay. First of all, it’s not available in malls and Watsons outlets, which automatically merits them minus points in my book as I like to see, touch and smell makeup first before I buy it. They’re only available through authorized resellers (same concept as Avon Ladies). Second, I thought their products were too expensive for a relatively unknown brand here in the Philippines.

So, Mary Kay was shoved at the back of my mine until one day when I saw their Cream-to-Powder Foundation in my mom’s bag. I found it weird because my mom doesn’t use makeup (except lipstick). Me being my usually makeup-curious self, I tried her foundation and surprise surprise…I found it good! You know how I love my Ellana Mineral Foundation so me finding traditional makeup good is definitely something. Her shade was Ivory 1 so I immediately ordered from her friend, a Mary Kay reseller, something which I thought was my shade, Ivory 2. The item arrived within the week. I’ve been using it for more than a week now so I’m ready to share with you guys some impressions, and of course, pictures!



  • Feels like nothing on my face. They weren’t kidding when they said “cream-to-powder”. As soon as you blend the product on your face, it’ll feel like you just put on mineral foundation (no sticky feeling of cream makeup and no heavy caked-on feel of powder foundation).
  • Doesn’t melt off at the end of the day. I ditched Ellana for this because I’m having trouble lately making it stay on—I’ve gotten oilier, which sucks.
  • It comes with a sponge applicator with an angled side. I love the applicator because it’s soft and not too thin. The angled edge is helpful for those hard-to-reach corners under your eyes and on the side of your nose.
  • The finish is quite natural. It’s not too matte, which I like. The finish just has a slight hint of glow.
  • Good, buildable coverage. You can apply a light layer just to even out your skintone or add more to conceal SOME imperfections. I don’t even user undereye concealer anymore; I just pat this on and I’m good. I still conceal spots though.
  • Easier and faster to apply than mineral foundation. I like the convenience I achieve with this, especially when I’m rushing for work in the morning.
  • Oh, and cheap! It’s only P590/10 grams including the sponge (sponges are sold two in a pack at P125).


  • The shades are irritatingly limited. There’s ONLY three for this particular type of foundation: Ivory 1, Ivory 2, and Beige 1. All of these have neutral/beige undertones. Predictably, I got a wrong shade. Ivory 2 is too light for me, even though (as you can see clearly in the pictures above) it looks dark in the pan. It’s also beige and I have yellow undertones so yes, I look…off in it.
  • You have to buy a separate compact at P695. What you’re getting for P590 is only the refill. Personally, I don’t mind, but I can see people who are specific about packaging having beef with this. If you want their sleek black compact along with the foundation, you have to cough up P1285 in all.
  • Slightly perfumed. Once again, I don’t mind, but some women dislike perfume in their foundation.
  • I got a few pimples within days of using it but they’re gone now. I guess that’s just my skin getting used to traditional makeup with all those parabens and other irritants MMU doesn’t have.


Overall, my only real complaint with this Mary Kay foundation is the fact that the shades are saddeningly limited. However since I really like all other aspects of this product, I suck it up and just apply a thin layer then dust on finishing powder. It helps that I’m acidic so the foundation adjusts to something closer to my shade near the middle of the day.

Will I buy this again? Hmm, I don’t think so. Although I guess it wouldn’t hurt if I try their Beige 1 shade, it might be closer to my skintone. What do you think?

It’s your turn to share! What’s your current foundation? Why do you love/ hate it?