Everyone is on the search for the best makeup, the one that will make you look like a magical unicorn, irresistible to the world with the least effort possible.
Okay, let’s not be that dramatic, but there are a few things we look for in makeup, right?
Like, low maintenance, decent price, quick, easy, sits well on your skin, and covers imperfections.
So when I became more aware of Mascara makeup, I was really intrigued and wanted to give it a try to see if it would work for me.
This post is not sponsored by Maskcara beauty and the opinions are all mine, though it contains affiliate links, and which means that if you click and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks! Now on with the show…
Maskcara Beauty – The History
I began following the founder of Maskcara makeup, Cara Killpack, several years ago, before she even started her makeup line.
Back then, she was a beauty blogger, and I first encountered her online persona when she won an award from Allure Beauty in approximately 2014, for her HAC (pronounced ‘hack’) method.
HAC stands for “highlight and contour”, which is basically a way of applying makeup such that you create light and shadows on your face to respectively bring forward and recede the appropriate areas to make your face look more perfectly proportioned.
Today, Maskcara has taken the HAC concept to a new level, and offers a line of highlights, contours, bronzers, illuminators, blushes (which also serve as lip colors), eyeshadows, makeup tools, and even skincare.
Notice I didn’t have a separate designation of foundation.
That’s because Maskcara has what they call IIID (3D) Foundation, where the “highlight” and “contour” colors work together to make up your foundation.
For Maskcara purposes and here, “highlights” are general foundation that will go all over your face.
So, you’re applying the Maskcara termed “highlight” (aka, foundation) colors generally all over the face, often using a lighter color under the eyes, down the nose, anywhere you would use a concealer in the traditional highlighting and contouring makeup routine.
I feel like I should say, you may be confused by the term “highlights”, as those are typically referred to in the makeup world as shimmery colors used at the tops of cheeks and directly beneath the eyebrows.
Those are the “illuminators” in Maskcara terms.
The concept is generally that, instead of applying foundation all over your face and then going back and applying layers of concealer and contour over that, you have different colors of foundation and put those on in the applicable areas, saving you time and many steps.
Here is Maskcara’s method, which they supply to their customers, for applying their products.
Also, they have these beautiful magnetized pallets (they call them “compacts”), so you buy a small tin of the makeup item and snap it directly into your compact.
And they have really nice patterns on the compacts, classy and, honestly, just fun to open and close.
It does seem a pretty fabulous company, as it does really seem to uplift women in more so enhancing their natural beauty instead of completely remaking their face and wearing tons of layers of makeup.
It is a direct sales company, so the sellers/distributors are called Maskcara “Artists” and receive a commission on their sales.
My Maskcara Experience
So, I’ve been following Maskcara for a while now, watched her introduce her new company, and sat on the sidelines and watched from a distance as it grows.
I have followed numerous of her artists on Instagram, especially recently, and they do so many Instagram and Facebook lives showing you how to use the product, I finally decided it was time to jump in.
Does Maskcara Have Clean Ingredients?
Before I buy any skincare product, I look at the “clean-ness” of the ingredients.
Since Maskcara isn’t explicitly evaluated by EWG, you have to look up ingredients separately then make your own decision.
Per the EWG Skin Deep website, here is a list of the Sandy highlight ingredients and each of their safe ratings from EWG:
Liquid Paraffin- 1-3; Petrolatum- 4; Ozokerite Wax- 1; Beeswax- 1; Cetyl Esters- 1; Lanolin- 1; Zinc Stearate- 2; Phenoxyethanol- 4; Iron Oxides- 2; Titanium Dioxide- 1-3; Ultramarines- 1-4
Here are what the number ratings mean from the EWG site:
EWG Skin Deep scale
Generally, I shoot for products that have a 3 or less overall product rating from EWG, but it’s not a disqualifier.
There are some products in their database that have individual ingredients with a 4 rating and they will still give it an overall 3 rating.
So, having a few ingredients rated at 4 didn’t bother me too much.
Other “non-toxic” beauty companies use some of these ingredients as well.
By the way, the term “non-toxic” is not regulated in the US by the FDA or any other organization.
How to Buy Maskcara Makeup
In order to buy the products, you should contact a Maskcara Artist.
Though you can buy directly from the company, I believe in supporting women in business and helping them build.
I’d rather someone directly benefit from my purchase, as the Artists get commissions on their sales.
Plus, you have a contact within the company to help you should you have any problems or questions.
Some of the Artists will have direct websites where you can fill out a short questionnaire and submit a makeup-free photo, and others will have you direct/private message them on Instagram or Facebook.
As I said before, I’d been following several Artists, and I finally picked one that I felt was very energetic, smart, and sweet.
She also gave a lot of tips on how to do makeup for the older face, particularly on how to do eyeshadow on hooded eyes, which I have.
I filled out the form on her website, and she emailed me with colors that she was recommending for my particular skin tone and concerns. She also answered my questions really well.
When you go to their website (each artist has their own personal website, so I won’t provide a link here), you will see that their makeup line products are reasonably priced.
The majority of their basic products (foundation, bronzer, illuminator) in the larger tins are $14-16, and they claim that they will last for a few months.
All of the products are very pigmented, which means you will only need a little bit to get the coloring and coverage that you want.
This, in turn, means that your products last longer.
After a quick search, I couldn’t find how long Masckara officially projects that their products will last. However, it must have come from somewhere, as I have seen the following approximate lengths presented by multiple individual artists’ websites and Instagram accounts.
You can also get a “free” compact to put your tins into by ordering a certain number of products.
It varies by the size of the compact as to how many products you need to get it for free, but I ordered 5 tins so I got the basic Quad compact that fits 4 tins.
I figured I’d upgrade to a bigger compact if I like the product.
I bought 2 brushes, 2 highlights (foundation) (one lighter and one darker), 1 contour, 1 bronzer, and 1 illuminator, and got a free compact because I had bought at least 4 tins.
I spent $130 before tax, which really wasn’t a bad price, especially because foundations can be significantly more expensive per unit.
Also, I could tell based on how I used them, the bronzer, contour, and illuminator would have lasted me quite a while. I had a beauty blender sponge already, so I didn’t order one of theirs.
The packaging is a really nice presentation and makes you excited to try it all out!
Maskcara order package unboxed
Order package- tins in compact & brushes
What I Thought of the Makeup
My first time using the makeup was really nice. It went on pretty easily.
I don’t generally like to do too much highlighting under my eyes, as that area is already light enough and usually needs a tad bit of darkening to even it up.
I just look washed out.
Do I think that the foundation colors will last as long as they say?
I doubt it. I had made a pretty good dent in my tin in about 3 weeks, and I didn’t even use it every day.
It did cover fairly well, and while my dark spots didn’t completely disappear, it did cover them to greatly decrease them. (My biggest spot is on my left cheek.)
Please excuse my serious and weird face, I’m not the best at taking selfies but tried to get a good representation of how the makeup covered.
Front face in sunlight
I wasn’t a huge fan of the bronzer that my Artist recommended.
Frankly, it looked like I smeared mud on my face, which I think was a combination of it with the foundation colors. But I was using it as directed.
The contour color I was recommended was okay, but it took a good bit more of the product than the foundation and bronzer before it would show up on my skin.
The Signature Maskcara Brushes
Maskcara has a very unique set of brushes that are specifically designed for use with their products.
They have very similar tips to other brushes, but frankly, these brushes are beautiful in that they’re sturdy and gold & rose gold.
They are also all double-ended. Which is really convenient to not have several brushes; but that’s not all it’s cracked up to be…
A couple of things I didn’t realize about the brushes: being double ended is great in that you get two-in-one, however, they become a bit of a bear to store.
You can’t really stand them on one end, as that’s not terribly sanitary but also might press one end of the brush into an unwanted angle.
Also, they’re very long, so most makeup brush storage holders for travel won’t fit them without one of the ends being bent.
One hack my Artist imparted was that you can use the individual boxes that they come in to protect them during travel.
I thought that would’ve been the best idea, but that would only last so long and I knew I would need a long-term solution.
The brushes I got were the 30 second HAC brush and the B Squared Bronzer and Blush Brush (in the image above).
I only bought the B Squared brush because it came in a bundle with the bronzer I was buying and the combo was significantly cheaper.
Overall, if I were to buy more, I would next have bought the Detail HAC brush, as it would’ve really helped with the contour application, but I figured I would space out my purchases over a few months.
The basic brushes to get started were approximately $35 each, which I found a little pricey, but they are double ended, so you can consider the price two for one.
I did find some similar, highly rated makeup applicators (as below 👇) on Amazon if you can only afford the Masckara makeup itself but not applicators.
Conclusion – My Maskcara Experience
I will tell you now, I did, sadly, end up returning everything I bought. And there are a few reasons that led to this decision, but there was one primary reason that was out of my or anyone else’s control.
Maskcara has a 30 day money back guarantee if you are unhappy with the product. They also offer an exchange program where you get 60 days.
It’s always important to check something like this before you spend this much money.
My Color Match
Now, I know how to apply makeup, generally… it’s not rocket science, and I had watched enough Maskcara and non-Maskcara tutorials to get the gist of it.
Here was my problem with my order: the colors recommended were too yellow for my skin tone.
I needed a bit more of a peach/orange/pink in my foundation
It is probably difficult to tell because it doesn’t capture well via computers, but over the bridge of my nose and into my temple is the yellowness that I disliked.
As with any transaction, as I said in this post, you have to be your own advocate and should research ahead of time items such as return policies in case it doesn’t work out. I don’t know about you, but when I spend over $100 or so, I make sure I know what I’m getting into.
And here is where I have edited the rest of this section. I had a long writeup on the individual interactions with the Artist. It was… confusing, in many ways, but this isn’t about her, but your experience will probably be fine. #ymmv
At the end, the Artist asked me to provide an application video, which I did not because while we were trying to hash out the color matching issues, I was over here discovering that when I used the product, I was having a completely different issue…
My Skin Reaction
The primary reason that I ended up returning the Maskcara was that, as much as I tried to deny it, my face would begin to feel hot and itchy every time I used it.
I’m not sure which ingredient was irritating my skin, and my skin never broke out or turned red with heat, but it felt like it did, and it itched nonetheless.
I was hoping for a while that I was wrong or that it was a new botanical perfume I’d been using, but the last time I used solely the makeup as a test, my face began to itch again.
This all made me sad because I would have definitely hung in with it and found the right shades that suited me better by myself if I had to, but alas, it was not meant to be.
I’m not sure it was a full-blown allergy. I do have mildly sensitive skin which is compatible with most products, but this was enough to be uncomfortable while wearing it.
What I Am Using Now
I had not planned on going over other options, but due to some comments and social media message requests for alternatives, I went ahead and added this section.
I can NEVER find foundations that I like in a texture, coverage and shade that I like.
I’ve really only found one foundation that I’ve ever really liked (until recently), and it is the Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix.
It comes in a stick, which is okay. The price is definitely right!
But, I wanted to try something a little different.
I have recently been watching a few Youtube videos on really great foundations.
One I saw recommended byfamous Youtube makeup artist Tati Westbrook is the L’Oreal Infallible 24Hr Fresh Wear.
She said that she had gotten so many comments as to how great it was and how it was sold out everywhere, so she tried it and posted a video putting it on and then at the end of the day.
And she was quite impressed, and in her end-of-the day segment of the video, you could tell it stayed really well.
I have recently been using it and I wholeheartedly agree, it is pretty fabulous.
And the price is great, too.
I use the color 490 Golden Amber for the summer, and will probably use a lighter color in the winter.
If you tend to be very pale, definitely go down to one of the lighter shades, as I tend to be darker than my friends who generally call themselves pale.
TIP: Put your foundation on and blend with a damp beauty blender sponge.
It goes on so well, and is great for aging skin!
Using the beauty blender hides my large pores, imperfections, and age lines SOOOO much better. Can’t stress this enough!
Quick, On the Go Makeup
I also bought the stick version of the Infallible foundation for days I just want to run out quickly but want a bit of quick coverage.
I ca draw it on, rub it into my skin, and go!
I’ve also seen multiple times from multiple Youtuber stars with mature skin recommending the It Cosmetics CC Cream as the winner for a decent coverage, and is good for a quick routine on the go.
This is going to be my next purchase to try.
The secret to really amp up regular mascara for volume and length is to layer two different mascaras.
(And when they say waterproof, they mean it! Though it also comes in regular (non-waterproof) formula for most days.)
I have also been dying to try this mascara because I’ve heard it looks like you have on false lashes but am going to wait until the next credit card cycle because I have to be judicious in my spending.
Leave me a comment below if you want me to update with pics on how these look and whether I liked them!
Would I Recommend Maskcara Makeup?
Probably. Especially if you don’t have sensitive skin.
Look, no product experience is 100% perfect for 100% of the population.
If you’re really excited to try it, like I was, I would say go for it.
You can always return it if it’s unsatisfactory.
Regardless of my personal experience with the (suspected allergic) skin reaction and other issues I experienced, these are no fault of the company, nor are they a reflection on individual artists and the product itself.
In addition, the company is uplifting to women and their natural beauty, and I know lots of people in my artist’s Facebook group are delighted and satisfied with their purchases.
I liked the way the makeup applied and sat on my skin more or less but didn’t wear it for long periods of time, so I really can’t comment as to whether it stayed extraordinarily well.
The price was good for foundation, but the initial overall investment for foundation, contour, blush, bronzer and a brush or two is probably $100-$150.
But that’s to be expected with a direct sales product.
The question is how long the products, particularly the foundation, would last with regular use.
Even at that, the price isn’t terrible to replace.
The products being relatively clean was fine. The aesthetics of the products and compacts was really nice.
Let me know what you think. Have you tried Maskcara? Did you like it? What other brands of clean makeup have you tried and like? What should I try next? Let me know in the comments below, I would LOVE to hear from you!
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