Maskcara IIID Foundation Review: Is HAC Better Than Traditional?

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Maskcara HAC Foundation

I'm sure we all know who Cara from Maskcara is. (Yes, she's all over Pinterest. Yes, she won Allure's Best Beauty Blogger last year. And yes, she's insanely nice and I love her blog, it's one of the few that I read on a daily basis.)

Last year she released a few makeup products of her own, the IIID Foundation, a highlighter and cream blush. I ordered my products basically the moment she opened her on-line store, and then tested the products for weeks. I seriously loved the blush and the highlighter (they're still in occasional rotation), but I tried a bunch of different tricks and just couldn't get the foundation to work for me. (Here's my original Maskcara IIID Foundation review.)

Cara just released a new version of IIID with different shades, a new customizable palette, and very new formulations for the blush and highlighter especially. I once again ordered right after Cara opened her store, and I was very, very excited for the foundation to arrive!

The product comes in a palette, it has a magnetic inside and holds 4 product pans. There are a lot of different options, but I picked the most basic of the products probably: a highlight foundation, a contouring foundation, highlighter and cream blush. It was a pre-order, so it did take a few weeks for my products to arrive. The blush didn't arrive when Cara expected it to arrive, so she sent the other products ahead of time. In it's place she sent me a little explanation card with a coupon code for a future order as an apology for having to wait for my blush. I think she did the right thing, I really was so excited about the foundation that I wanted it ASAP!

Maskcara Foundation Swatch

Here are the colors that I picked:
• Linen Highlight Foundation, best for fair to medium complexions. This one is pretty much an exact match for my skin. I think many people are a little darker than their highlight foundation, but it still works great! It is a light to medium coverage.
• Walnut Contour Foundation, best for fair to medium skintone without a lot of redness. I have redness that comes and goes (thanks rosacea!) but I decided the lightness was more important than my degree of redness.
• Illuminator in Pearl
• Also I ordered the Pink Grapefruit blush

Maskcara Foundation Brush

I also ordered Cara's new brush to apply it all with. There are 2 sides, one quite a bit bigger than the other. The brush is really soft, I've had no fall out from the bristles and the sizes are perfect for application of the foundation. My only problem with it is that because it has 2 sides, it's hard to store. I like to put my brushes in vases standing straight up, and I can't do that with a double sided brush. So, it's just hanging out on my vanity now. But, if you're ordering the foundation, do yourself a favor and buy the brush too. It is definitely worth it!

how to use Maskcara IIID Foundation

So, using the IIID Foundation is definitely different than regular foundation. There is a handy chart that comes with the product, and Cara created a really easy to follow How to HAC video (in addition to the millions of videos and posts about it on her site). I use the big end of the brush and with the Walnut, I go around the outer edges of my face, a little under my cheekbones and down the sides of my nose. Then I use the small end of the brush to apply the Linen to the big triangle under my eyes, right above my eyebrows and in between them, around my nose, down the center of my nose and on my chin.

Once I have the product in the areas that I want it, I'll grab another brush (usually the big end of my It Cosmetics Heavenly Complexion Brush) and I use that brush to gently buff the product and blend. The Walnut is pretty subtle because I don't apply a lot, but the Linen is a light to medium coverage and it pretty much matches my skin tone perfectly! Once I've buffed, I also grab my BeautyBlender sponge and pounce it over any areas that need additional blending, but that's it.

Finally, I apply the highlighter. I just use a fingertip and tap it over my cheekbones, my inner eye and on the center of my nose. I'm still undecided if I like it or my RMS Beauty Living Luminizer better, but I do really like it!

I've used this foundation all week, and so far I have not had to use any concealer with it (interesting because I've gotten almost no sleep thanks to a 4 month old that is going through a growth spurt and she wants to nurse every 2 hours all night long), and I use just a little powder in my t-zone.

I've tried IIID with a few primers. It doesn't play well with heavy silicone primers like Becca's Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector, because those seem to really grab onto the foundation too much and make it hard to blend (I think this is because the IIID really is pretty lightweight). IIID does much better with lighter, more lotion-y primers. I used it today (I'm writing this on Thursday) with the new COVER FX Illuminating Primer and they were really, really amazing together! The Illuminating Primer woke up my skin and didn't look shimmery, but reflected light. The IIID over it was easy to blend. So far (at 4:30 pm) it still looks freshly applied!

You can see my first day results below (please ignore my brows, I was about a week overdue for a shaping. The situation has since been fixed). I'm calling IIID a big success, the reformulation was perfect! I'll update with info on the blush when mine comes.

A photo posted by Christine (@15minbeauty) on

I Bought It


  1. Upon seeing this...I think I will go for HAC than the traditional one. It has great pigmentation and shade. This is something worth checking out!

  2. Awesome review! And you look insanely gorgeous. I'd never guess the babes was keeping you up at all.

  3. I was wondering how her new product compared to the old. If this is the lightest shade though I think it will be too dark for me. Your skin looks radiant.

  4. Do you need to use a lot of concealer with this? I have a lot of post-acne hyperpigmentation, and I'm wondering if this would do a good job of hiding it. I'm sure my regular concealer would look too orange on top of the IIID foundation, so I'd like to avoid using it if possible.

  5. @MiniPants I usually use a very pigmented concealer under my eyes, and I am wearing NONE in that picture! I do sometimes use a little under this foundation if I'm particularly dark circled, but that's it. You might want to try a little color correction over your hyperpigmentation, it's usually blue/purple like under eye circles and responds well to putting a peachy correction over it.

  6. Other than the redness from your rosacea, you have nearly identical coloring as me, and I ordered the exact same set as you. I am currently using the last of the original IIID in light, I also had the original in medium. This is very flexible makeup, shadewise, and I think you might consider trying the sunlit or wheat to counteract your rosacea. Cara has a makeover on a very fair, but very red-toned women using wheat and stone, and it looks great!

  7. That's really helpful Ginny! I've actually already been plotting another palette with other blushes (just got mine, I haven't even opened it yet!) and I was planning on using Sunlit in the palette. Thanks!


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