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How to choose the right Mary Kay foundation shade

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How do I know which Mary Kay foundation is right for me?

I was a Mary Kay consultant for several years, so I got very good at choosing others' foundation shades. Mary Kay foundations come in a shade name (ivory, beige, bronze) and a number. The number can be tricky. For example a Beige 300 is actually lighter than a Beige 304. I personally believe that Mary Kay foundations are the best there are, so don't be discouraged by the numbers, if you are confused, but want a nice foundation....read on!


  • Full coverage (FC) foundations are a creamy liquid and cover flaws and imperfections very well (better for drier skin.
  • Medium coverage (MC) foundations are a creamy liquid that also cover flaws and imperfections well, but the consistency is a little thinner. The MC foundations also control oil. (better for normal to oily skin)
  • Cream to Powder foundations are a cake foundation that goes on with a sponge. They cover flaws and imperfections very well and then dry to a nice powder finish.
  • Dual coverage foundations are basically a pressed powder that cover very lightly.


Determine if you are a Ivory, Beige, or Bronze. Of course, these are the shades of skin color. Ivorys begin with a "10" or a "20" ("10" being lighter). Beiges begin with a "30" or a "40" ("30" being lighter). Bronzes are all numbers that begin with "50" or above.

  • Determine what your undertone is. If you have PINK or RED undertones (if you are fair and burn easily, you have pink undertones. Also, if you are dark and ruddy, you have red undertones), you need to choose a MC or FC foundation with the last digit of 4 or 5. If you have yellow undertones or you tan easily, you need to choose foundations with the last digit of "0". Finally,if you have olive undertones, you should choose a MC or FC foundation ending in a "2".

Here's an example: You have normal to oily skin and like a creamy foundation. You are light skinned and have pink undertones. You should choose a MC Ivory 204.

I hope this helps!! If you are now in the market for some great foundations, check out my listings by clicking on my ebay page!!

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