MaskCara IIID Foundation Review + Half & Half

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I love the blog, MaskCara. I read every post like a hungry kitten, wanting to soak up her knowledge (I'm probably more of a badger, but kitten sounds better). Perhaps it's her gorgeous mane, her sweet every-girl disposition or her laid back style, but I really want to be her friend.

So like everyone else who reads her blog, I stayed up late on Thanksgiving eve to buy her IIID Foundation Pack at midnight. This foundation is a new way to do your makeup. IIID Foundation is all about highlighting and contouring. It's Cara's baby and I am so excited to support her! The Pack includes her super special foundation for HAC'ing (highlight and contouring), a cheek color and a illuminating color. You have a choice of fair, medium or deep for the foundation and a choice of Princess Peach (a pinky peach) or Jem (a hot pink). I picked Princess Peach and waited for my package to arrive.

A few weeks later, it arrived and I was psyched! Here's what it looks like.

The foundation is obviously not traditional. It contains two shades, one for highlighting and one for contouring. I picked the light shade, as I'm usually the lightest color foundation available (depending on the brand). The idea is that you use the light shade where you want to brighten your face and the darker shade where you want to create some depth, like the hollow of your cheekbone. Easy, right? If that's not easy enough, Cara was thoughtful and made loads of videos and posts about contouring for your own specific face shape. She covered this so well, I'm sure Loxy could apply it for me.

I've been using this foundation on and off for some time. It's pretty great, but after several weeks of trying, I've come to the conclusion it's not for me. Here's why:


1. The contour doesn't show up on me and the yellow highlighter is a touch too yellow for my skin tone. I love that it covers some redness, but hate to lose my Lady Mary complexion to a yellow tinged hue. The contour doesn't seem to cover or show up at all. On me, it equates to using Perfekt Gel and calling it a foundation, which works for some people. It's that exact consistency on me. It's definitely thicker in the pan but on my face, it just isn't showing up.

2. It doesn't lay nicely on my face. Cara suggests using an dual ended brush from It Cosmetics. She's right, that brush is amazing. In fact, all of their brushes are! When I use this brush, no matter what primer I use, I am still streaky. Christine from 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic suggested using a dry beauty blender. And that helps, but it's still not the skin finish I'm used to.

3. It smudges and smears without ever really "settling". I really just can't get it to look right without a huge amount of work. Just when I think it's closer to looking pretty good, my hair will fall in my face and smear it. The IIID Foundation is helped by using a setting powder. It looks pretty nice and stays for about six hours if set with Purely Cosmetic's Diamond Finishing Powder. Without a powder it only lasts a few hours.


4. The cream blush doesn't show up on me. My face eats blush, so it's not Cara's fault. But it disappears into my skin immediately. It doesn't matter how much I layer, my skin eats it. Plus, I end up rubbing away the foundation while applying the color. So I'm left with a bit of my own redness showing through. Maybe it's my face or my application. I can't make it work.


5. The Illuminator  does not seem to show up on me either. It also seems to smear away the foundation when I apply it. If I apply the Illuminator over a powder, it looks chunky, as I would expect.


However, on some of my other blogging amigas, this was a home run. Perhaps I'm being too picky? Check out my foundation half and half and see for yourself!

At the end of the day, I think the concept is amazing and I'd support Cara in all of her endeavors, because I adore her. While this didn't quite work for me as well as I had hoped, there are scads of honest reviews of people who aren't as fair as I and who are in love with her IIID Foundation. If you are a candidate for the medium shade and do not have dry skin, this may be exactly what you are looking for.

If you've tried it (or posted a review!) please leave a link or your thoughts in the comments. I'd love to know how it worked for you!

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  1. I also ordered it the same day in medium and have used it the same ways you have and have the same problems. The contour doesn't show up, it never sets and shows every dry patch. It feels waxy to me. I also love her and the concept. I think it just needs to be tweaked. The contour needs more pigment.

    1. I'm so bummed to hear others are having issues. You might be right. It's on the waxy side, maybe? It looks so amazing when Cara does it!

  2. I have it in medium and love it! Mine isn't waxy but I'm in sunny Florida so I don't know if the weather plays a part. I LIKE that the contour is lighter because it's the most natural contour I've ever found. It's not the slightest bit orange which I love!!! I don't find it works as well on my nose as my cheeks and under the jawline though. I got the blush in the magenta color and it's stunning! I use it on cheeks and lips and it's really gorgeous! The illuminator is as good as any illuminator I have but it's probably the one item I wouldn't repurchase. The foundation is not a product, in my opinion, that can be worn without a setting powder. I don't wear any foundation without a setting powder though so it's not a problem. It's the first foundation I've hit pan on or even gotten close to finishing in the last few years. In the picture it looks great on you though! I think the medium would have been a better shade though. I'm pretty fair like you and it fits me.

  3. The medium suits me color-wise, but I've had the same problems you described. It takes a lot of effort to get the contour to show up, and the highlighter shade feels kind of thick and never really sets. I also felt like the cream blush and illuminator smear the foundation. The illuminator disappears under finishing powder. I adore Cara, too, but I was disappointed overall with the IIID foundation.

  4. I had the exact same experience. Especially with that blush and highlighter! It totally sad :(

  5. I just had to return my Maskcara HAC pack. The contour in the Light just isn't dark enough, even if you want to look natural. It does not cover blemishes at all, and any concealer and powder you put afterwards just slides off, and leaves your blemishes exposed. Worst of all, it pools in each pore, exaggerating them, and any pore Minimizer or powder you put afterwards, which usually work, cannot help at all.

  6. I had mixed feelings towards it first, but after some practice I found that it can look awesome. I did a review of the medium shade. Here's the link:


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