This Portable Palette is an Instant Complexion Overhaul

The four colors give you everything you need for a full face of super-photogenic makeup.
Publish date:
September 21, 2015
palettes, travel, contouring, illuminators, photography, foundation, highlighting, blush, Maskcara

I am a real type A personality. I love making lists and organizing things. So when I started making plans for getting to my cousin’s wedding being held a few weeks from now, I automatically started thinking about what I’m going to bring.

I am super-excited for the whole shindig, except for the fact that I will be plane, train, and automobile-ing my way from New Orleans across half the country to get there. I won’t have a ton of space, and I need to be able to haul what I pack with relative ease.

The problem is that I’m a stereotypical over-packer. I need to be covered for every possible outcome, I’m the type who would pack a heavy sweater on a trip to the sun just in case. To make up for space that will be taken up by three different dress choices, I’ve already got my makeup planned ahead to fit into the tiniest of spaces.

My makeup for the trip had to fulfill three requirements:

  • Be small and light
  • Photograph beautifully
  • Be quick to put on with as few tools as possible

Here's what it all boiled down to. Because I’m an oily lass, a primer is always a must. I also had mascara to amp up the lashes. And the piece de resistance is the Maskcara IIID foundation palette. This palette is serving as the bulk of my makeup needs for the trip.

Here’s the dealio: this palette is the brainchild of makeup artist and blogger Cara Brook. Highlight and contour is her thang so she created this palette to make things quicker and easier for those non-makeup-artists of us out there. It comes with four colors: a highlight, contour, blush, and illuminator. All in one little compact, you get everything you need for a full face of makeup.

To be honest, I’m not into going full Kardashian, and this palette is great because it's a simplified way of going all out. You just apply the highlight to the places you want to bring out, contour to what you want to shrink back, blush to the apples of the cheeks (and lips!) and the illuminator on the tops of the cheekbones and nose (or wherever you like).

The nitty gritty for the palette is that it is a super-pigmented cream product across the board. This is great for bringing on the glow, and I think it's a really big factor into it photographing so nicely.

But if you are oily-skinned, the wear time isn’t going to be phenomenal because of how creamy it is, so you may want to pack a powder and prepare to touch up. If you have dry skin with flaky patches, it is going to stick to the flakes. As a newbie to retinol skincare, I’m still in the gross face-peeling stage, so a quickie exfoliation with a washcloth is needed to get the flakes off and keep things nice and flat.

There are only three sets of colors, although you can mix and match blush and contour if you want. I have the lightest set, and there is also a medium and a dark. All the colors lean warm—the highlights especially—and if you have dark skin, the darkest set may be too light, but all around for an indie brand with a small product line, it covers the spectrum relatively well.

Let’s see how it met my packing requirements, shall we?

Small and light: Check. The palette is tiny, and it comes equipped with a full-size mirror for checkin’ out your face. Add in the mascara, primer, and two brushes, and it all fits within my smallest makeup bag with room to spare.

Photographs beautifully: Check. Right now my skin is just about as spotty as my backdrop for this article. Look! You can barely tell!

I took so many selfies while testing out this palette to see how it would photograph in different situations. It didn’t matter if I barely brushed it on or if I straight-up globbed the stuff all over my face and felt like a big foundation monster—it always looked really great in photos.

Quick with limited tools: Check… almost. I’m most comfortable using this palette with two brushes, one small concealer brush for applying the color (sometimes I’ll just use my fingers) and a buffing brush to work it into the skin, so tool-wise, it's all good. The Maskcara team put together this cute little video showing that using the IIID palette is quicker than using a slew of different products. Honestly, if I’m doing up my whole face with contour and blending things out nicely, it probably takes me just about the same amount of time.

I’m pretty pumped to have found a product that saves so much space for packing and can create a simple but gorgeous look for a wedding!

  • What is your most streamlined makeup routine?
  • How much makeup would you take on a weekend away?
  • Are you an over-packer?