I’ve been a long time follower of Maskcara’s blog and I’ve always wanted to try her makeup. She recently just came out with a bunch of new eyeshadows which I’m dying to try, but today I am talking about what she’s really known for, her HAC. Highlight and contour. I’ve been so intrigued by how she reimagined highlighting and contouring and I’ve been wanting to try these products forever. I waited long enough to bite the bullet that over the last couple years she has reformulated these to be better than ever, AND they have beautiful new packaging as well. I couldn’t be more excited to share my thoughts!
My first impression of these products when I opened the box was to gasp at how gorgeous they were. Having everything housed in little tins is so cute. They are just fun to look at and work with. I know that packaging has no bearing on the quality of what’s inside, but it totally makes a difference when it comes to making makeup fun and exciting. These are products you just want to get your little paws on once you see them.
And of course the goodies are inside- highlighter, blush, illuminator, contour, and setting powder. You’ll notice that there is no foundation shade to be matched to. The point of this system is that you don’t need to find a foundation that matches your skin tone exactly, then a highlighter that’s lighter than your skin tone, and a contour that’s darker than your skin tone. The way most of us wear traditional makeup causes us to pile layer after layer of different colored products on top of each other. With this system, you can direct the color exactly where it’s needed without needing a ton of product and running the risk of looking really cakey!
The products that matched me best that I ended up putting into my palette were Walnut, White Peach, Pink Grapefruit, and Pearl. With my package I also got the 30 Second HAC Brush and the IIID Perfector.
I’m going to comment on the beauty tools first then I’ll jump right into the makeup. The IIID Perfector is not something I had high hopes for. I photographed it above next to my Beauty Blender. Maskcara’s is light pink, and the Beauty Blender is darker pink. I didn’t think I was going to like it but I surprised myself by thinking it was a near dupe for the Beauty Blender. The IIID Perfector is a little denser, less spongey, and doesn’t hold as much water if you’re using it wet to bounce your makeup on. All in all though it’s the best “dupe” I’ve found and it’s several dollars cheaper.
The 30 Second HAC Brush is a double ended brush, which is kind of convenient, and kind of a bummer at the same time. I don’t love having two ends on a brush because then I can’t store it the way that I like to store my brushes. But this brush is pretty great and the bristles are exactly the type that can dig well into cream products with ease. Basically, if you’re planning to get the HAC system, plan on picking this brush up too. I own a ton of makeup brushes and I don’t think any would have worked with the HAC system better than the one Maskcara created. I’ve been using the stiff, conical end first for my highlight, then for my contour, and then flipping it over to the fluffier side to use it for the vanilla setting powder, and finally the blush. Illuminator I’ve been applying with my fingers. I’ve experimented using different ends for different things and this is what is working for me at the moment. Because you’re dipping into multiple products with each end, the one down side is that you’re going to want to wash the brush frequently- probably between every use. After applying everything with the brush, I will then go back in with the IIID Perfector and blend it all out.
The compact I have is the Boho pattern and comes empty for $15 or you can buy one filled with product for $45. These are super magnetic- if you place the pans and decide you want to change them out you’ll need a bobby pin or something to wedge in the corner to pull them back out. I think the compact itself is super adorable too. I had been playing with this for about two weeks every day and one of the corners did get a little frayed though, so don’t expect it to last forever. It’s definitely not in terrible shape but if you keep your makeup in a makeup bag with other makeup the compact may take a beating over time.
And finally- how did this work out for me? There was a huge learning curve for me in trying this system. I highly recommend watching a lot of tutorials on Maskcara’s site and on Youtube before getting in too deep. I found that for myself, my face had to be absolutely dry before starting. When I am using liquids and powders like I normally do, I can moisturize, wait a few minutes and start in with slightly damp skin if I want. I did not find that to be true with the HAC system. I had the best luck waiting around 20 minutes after skincare has been applied to put the makeup on. Days I didn’t have that kind of time, I applied a very small amount of facial oil (less than a pea size amount) in place of moisturizer and I was able to jump in pretty much right away.
The staying power on this stuff is excellent. It never gets cakey at all, and the coverage on me seemed to be medium to full. It looked very natural on my skin, although I did notice it got somewhat patchy late in the day as it was wearing off. Part of me was disappointed that I didn’t experience such a dramatic before/after as some of the pics on her site, but I’m used to wearing makeup so maybe that’s why I wasn’t shocked by my “after.” I feel like others that have used her product have achieved more of a dramatic looking contour as well and I didn’t see as much definition when using mine despite using a heavy hand. All in all though, this was a great system and worked just as well as my other makeup, it’s just very different to use! It even held up in a lot of humidity, which impressed me a lot!
I’m really impressed with this makeup, and I would definitely recommend it! It’s affordable, the packaging is cute, and it works really well. On days I have time to tinker, I’ve been reaching for this. When I’m in a rush, I’ll admit I’m still reaching for my regular, non-cream based makeup because it’s fast and what I know.