Friday, March 27, 2020

Maskcara HAC Kit - IIID Foundation Highlight and Contour REVIEW

A product review of the Maskcara IIID Foundation Highlight and Contour, a cream foundation that moves with your skin.  It's versatile and provides ample coverage. Keep reading to learn more.






ABOUT MASKCARA


“Everything we do and everything we create is based on what we believe in. That helping others look beautiful is nice but helping them believe they are beautiful is life-changing. Happiness is contagious. And with enough courage, creativity, and optimism, you actually can have your cake and eat it too.
Maskcara Beauty was founded by Cara Brook, beauty blogger/makeup artist, in 2013 on the idea that makeup should be used to enhance the true beauty in a woman’s face, rather than covering it up. Our premier one of a kind IIID foundation enhances skin tone, camouflages blemishes and dark circles, sculpts features and creates the “perfect lighting” on your face all in one quick application. 
You are not one dimensional, and your makeup shouldn’t be either. It should be intuitive and personalized. You are unique and your face is an amazing combination of glowing highlight and chiseled shadow. Putting a wash of one foundation color all over your face is diminishing those amazing angles and creating a “flat face” that just isn’t the natural you. Our IIID Foundation makes it easy to customize a palette tailored to your skin tones. 
Eliminating the need for layers upon layers of makeup, our 4 step process makes it a light but full coverage that blends together creating a glowing complexion in just minutes. Our refillable palette system eliminates any colors you don’t need, allows you to refill shade by shade, and organizes your routine all into one space. It also makes it easy to change up your look by swapping out colors at any time. 
Palettes come customized with your choice of foundation, blush, illuminator, powders, and/or eyeshadows. Say goodbye to the days of buying whole palettes full of shades you don’t want or need.”

MASKCARA IIID FOUNDATION PRODUCT CLAIMS


“A cream foundation moves with your skin, whereas powder or liquid foundations tend to set and break when your skin moves. It is versatile and works perfectly for young to mature skin! As opposed to other highlighting and contouring products, Maskcara IIID Foundation IS your foundation so there’s no need for multiple layers. It provides ample coverage, allowing you to cover what you want (like those frustrating blemishes) without hiding the things you love.  
All of our highlights are yellow based, which is amazing for blocking out redness without the hassle of color correcting. The yellow tones also make you glowy and dewy, giving you the perfectly studio-lit look all the time!  IIID Foundation comes in customizable palettes, making it easy to switch colors as your skin tone changes from season to season. All of the Maskcara IIID foundations are made with quality ingredients.”




INTRODUCTION

Now that everyone has read (or at least skimmed) the above information about Maskcara, we can jump into the rest of the post. Generally, Maskcara markets their complexion products in the form of HAC kits (highlight, contour, blush, and illuminator). For this product review, I will be focusing on just the IIID Foundation Highlight and Contour because of how they’re used together and ingredient similarity. 

I have the review broken into sections that go into detail about each major aspect considered when buying. This type of product is marketed as an easy, quick, and natural-looking product so I’m going to judge it as such. And as you can tell, my HAC kit got a lot of use.

IS IT A SHADE MATCH?

(For reference, I am a MAC NC20 or a fair complexion with warm undertones.) 

Highlight. Part of the appeal behind this product is that you can buy multiple shades to mix and create a custom match. A lot of the Highlight shades are more yellow-based for color-correcting purposes, but a shade extension has been done to include some cool and neutral-tones. I was color matched to shade White Peach and later bought shade Linen to mix with. Linen and White Peach are the second and third lightest in the shade selection.

For everyday wear, I like to keep it as close to my skin color as possible. White Peach is too yellow to wear by itself. On the other hand, Linen has a nice undertone (more neutral with a subtle yellow) but is too light. What I do is apply Linen in the center and White Peach on the outer portions then use a mix of the two to blend everything together. One of the best shade matches I’ve achieved.


IIID Foundation Highlight shades in White Peach (left) and Linen (right).


With 17 shades, the overall shade range is one of the best I've seen for direct sales in terms of how light and deep the colors go. Not as balanced when looking at under-tones, but they already tell you that.

Contour. Same as mentioned above except the selection of undertones is more balanced. I was matched to shade Olive, a warm-to-neutral shade, that falls slightly towards the lighter end but does appear darker in a lot of swatch photos. Said to suit light-to-dark tan and/or olive complexions. 


IIID Foundation Contour shade in Olive


After applying the Highlight, I lightly tap the Contour around the forehead, under the cheekbone and jaw, and in my crease. Then I take a foundation brush and tap over everything to soften it before applying powder and bronzer. For my complexion, it looks fine by itself. However, I would have preferred a lighter, warmer shade like Walnut or a bronzer. 

WHAT FORMULA DOES IT HAVE?

Highlight. IIID Foundation is cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, but not vegan. It is medium to full coverage with a dewy finish. You don’t receive a ton of product, but the pans generally last 3 to 12 months depending on the product and amount used because you need very little. A few taps in the pan will cover your whole face. 

My one gripe is that I wish it did a better job of concealing pores on my cheeks, but overall, I love how it looks. It’s natural-looking, looks good in most light situations, and looks good from up-close as well.

Contour. Same as mentioned above but with a matte finish.


What the IIID Foundation looks like applied with a light powder. 


IS IT EASY TO APPLY?

Highlight. The product comes off the brush with a couple taps in the pan, so it’s easy to pick up the product. Many Maskcara artists say to tap to apply, but I personally swipe the product on, do outward strokes to blend out the foundation, and then tap to reinforce or marry shades together. 

There are very few makeup tools that this foundation is compatible with. A flat-top foundation brush with dense bristles works the best with this product. Flat foundation brushes are fine for swiping foundation on but can’t blend. Beauty blenders are okay for complexion-perfecting but will lift the product off the skin if used to apply. With the right tools, the product is easy to gather and apply. Use the wrong tools and you’ll be spending more time and money.

Contour. Not sure if it’s just me or standard, but the product is quite stiff to where nothing comes off the brush if I just dip into the pan. I have to press down and run my brush across it. Not necessarily a bad thing. Generally, you want your contour product to be stiff, so it doesn’t move on your face. For a contour, it still has good blendability on its own and with other products once on the face.

Highlight + Contour. They’re easy to apply, but I don’t think it makes my makeup application any faster. It takes about the same amount of time to do my makeup despite using fewer products because I’m spending more time blending like the perfectionist that I am.

IS IT LONG-WEARING?

The longevity can vary based on multiple factors, but mainly prep/set steps and skin type. Because it is a cream-based foundation, it’s going to be most compatible with dry or non-oily skin types. If you have oily skin or need to use a lot of powder, then I would advise against buying this.

I tried a few different prep/set techniques to see how they impact the longevity of the IIID Foundation and the results were the same each time.  After about four hours, I looked very oily and it felt thick and heavy due to the sebum mixing with the foundation. Both setting spray and powder were used before and after applying foundation (per my usual routine), and even that doesn’t make a difference. 

Setting with too much powder foundation or setting powder can cause the foundation to crack, but a light powder won’t be enough to keep most of the oil from coming through. Doing touch-ups throughout the day also doesn’t do much for the appearance or longevity of the foundation, it just looks cakey and I find myself touching up more. I only wear it for blog photos and if I was going somewhere for less than four hours.

On a good note, the foundation doesn't appear to oxidize. If it did, it's not a noticeable change.

HOW DOES MY SKIN REACT TO IT?

I have played with this product for a while and found that my skin doesn't seem to react to this foundation. Skin also looks better with long-term use. And before anyone gets it twisted, I am NOT claiming it has any properties that fight skin problems but it’s not as likely to create or contribute to existing skin issues. A couple possible reasons as to why would be fewer ingredients and the makeup is lighter with fewer products being utilized. Would recommend for those with sensitive skin. 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

The IIID Foundation Highlight and Contour cost $14.00 USD per pan containing 5-grams or 0.18-ounces of product. Foundation amounts generally don’t exceed 1-ounce (about 28-grams), so when you do the math, you’re paying about $78.40 USD per ounce. 

Since there aren’t many popular equivalents used in a kit, my price breakdown will be comparing other cream foundations, so take it with a grain of salt. Compared to an MLM equivalent, the Limelife by Alcone Perfect Foundation ($36.00 USD for .42-ounces or $85.71 USD per ounce), the pricing is typical of direct sales - generally costing more with some exceptions. However, when compared to a mass-market equivalent, the MAC Cosmetics Full Coverage Foundation ($36.00 USD per ounce), it costs almost two times more than what is considered low-to-average pricing for a mid-end foundation. 

You can build a basic Maskcara HAC kit for less than $60.00 USD and get a free compact to keep your shades in. I personally find the pan pricing to be fair based on the fact that you can get multiple shades/products for less and when used correctly, the IIID Foundation can last as long as other foundations.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Highlight. It requires some work to get a good shade match, but I love the coverage I get and how natural looking the finish is. One of my favorite foundations solely based on appearance, but my least favorite based on longevity. I would recommend to people with mature, non-oily, or sensitive skin types. Not recommended to those with an oily skin type.

Contour. I don't have a strong opinion about this product. Every time I put it on, I found myself applying other products afterward due to the shade choice. I use it because I have it and it gets the job done, but next time, I’ll try Walnut, Bella, or the Cayman Bronzer instead. Nothing against the product, but I prefer bronzing over contouring.



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