HACing is pretty new to a lot of us, and I noticed I was getting A LOT of similar questions. Made me want to round em up and make a little reference to troubleshoot any problems or questions you might have. So that’s exactly what I did.
(if you didn’t catch my HAC post click HERE)

What if I am REALLY fair skinned?
If you are very fair skinned and every time you try to HAC you feel orangy, I hear ya. HARD TO FIND the right thing!
I have searched and searched and the best thing I found was this:
Physicians Formula Bronzer & Blush, 2-in-1, Glow & Mood Boosting, Bronze/Natural

Instead of looking orange it will look like a shadow, which is the point.  I used this color on my gorgeous fair skinned friend Micklee:


For the highlight it can also be tricky to find a concealer fair enough. NYX totally hooked you up, though.
 HD Photogenic Concealer in Light 

Or  dark skinned?
MAC powder blush in Blunt for the contour

I would use Clinique Even Better Concealer in something like Honeycomb for highlighting.

It looks weird, what am I doing wrong?

Well first of all, are you using the right products?

Most bronzers either have shimmer or too much warmth to work well for the type of contouring I teach in my video.
I recommend Bahama Mama bronzer (for most skin tones) because it is the closest thing I have found for the job.
One product off the top of my head that I know is probably too warm would be (fittingly) Warmth from Bare Minerals.

Secondly, are you blending well?
You don’t want harsh lines or to see where the makeup starts and stops. BLEND BLEND BLEND!!

Third, are you using the blush?
I find my HAC can look harsh if I don’t use blush.  I showed you some good ones on my HAC post, but I thought I’d show you a new fav of mine as well..
Urban Decay Cream Tint in Quickie

It looks super bright, but goes on looking so soft and glowy. I LOVE it. (I’ll be using it in some makeup looks coming up so you can see it in action!)

Fourth, a little practice makes perfect!
If you try it once and don’t love it, don’t give up! It washes right off and you can try again later. It isn’t hard but it might be a lot different than how you are used to applying makeup. Don’t give up or think you are just not good at it or your face won’t work for it. You are and it will. I PROMISE!

I hope this helps clear up a lot of your questions, Oceans of love,

98 thoughts on “FAQ for HAC

  1. I love your tutorial on HACing but I’m having troubles with my nose. I’ve always hated my nose, felt like it was too big and round, but because of the shape it’s hard to contour. Do you have any suggestions? Can I send you a photo of my nose? haha :) This has been a life long struggle of mine!

    • Yes, I totally agree. You’ve been blessed with a nice nose, but some of us – not so much. Can you do a tutorial specifically for larger, ROUND noses. That would totally help me!

    • I agree — the nose is the hardest part for me! When I try to do the lines on either side it just looks like I have lines there even after I’ve blended. If I try to blend more they either totally go away or my whole nose is dark. Does that make sense?

      Also, I’m glad you said that Warmth from Bare Minerals is probably not a good choice because that’s what I’ve been using and I just feel like I look like I’m covered in dirt!! :)

    • i second this too! :) my nose is wide and quite large/round on the end and i never feel like it looks quite right when i do it… help!

    • Thank you so much for showing us all your fabulous techniques!!! I can not wait to try it out and all I can say is why didn’t I find your site sooner.

      Thanks for also letting us know the products you used… just an added bonus because now I will be buying more makeup…

      Keep up the great working sharing all your info and hope to one day nab one of your free giveaways..

      xoxo Gracie

  2. I didn’t go full out today with HAC but I did do a little shading around my jawline and I really liked how it looked!! so thanks for all your tips!!
    Also, I wanted to compliment your friend’s hair – she’s got a GREAT cut and style for her! She rocks the short hair!

  3. Can you please tell more about what you do on the lips? No matter what I do, the mink doesn’t look right. Do I put it on the outside of the lips? On the lips? I’m confused. I’ve tried tweeting you multiple times, to no avail. Pleeeeeease respond! Thanks!

      • DEAL! I know, I should have added that in this post but I think I need a pic tutorial for this one, I’ll get it up this week promise. Clear the air on the Brown lip problems!!

  4. Hi! I’ve been following your HAC tutorial and there are definitely things I LOVE about it… but I’m struggling with one thing: I have ZERO cheekbones. Like none. nada. zip. It’s not that I’m a big girl – I just have a really round face. When I try to contour, I’m having a hard time even finding the cheekbone line to contour underneath (I’ve done the facial contortion thing that you do in the tutorial, but no dice) and I feel like I’ve just drawn two bronzer triangles on my face. Any advice you can give to us girls who are not blessed with the stunning cheekbones that you have?

    • I am in the same boat here and would love nothing more than to hac my way to some defined cheekbones. Also wondering if Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder DEEP is too warm? Thank you!!

      • YES! here again I think it would be pretty hard to explain without some images, so this post has pretty much inspired a full on PIC tutorial so plan on that this week!

  5. Hi!

    First of all; you look amazing and your tutorials are so great! However I also have problem with the lips the mink does not look so right on me. Maybe it’s because I am so light coloured. So I would absolutely love if you would make a tutorial on your friend in the picture or any other light coloured person. Cannot wait the the new tutorials :) Thank you!

      • I too am fair (and blonde) and had trouble with using the Mink, so I substituted Maybelline expert wear eyebrow pencil in light brown and it works great for me! It doesn’t have a blending tip so I use the one from the mink pencil.

  6. So I’ve been contouring for awhile….however I’m not positive about the color I’m using. I went to Sephora on the hunt for the perfect contouring bronzer and came home with Laguna by Nars. Do you think this color is too warm? I’m just not sure what I think about it and could really use your advice!

    • Laura, I like Laguna but for me it is a bit too warm ( I am really picky though) it TOTALLY depends on your skin tone, (obviously cause Nicole loves it) What you need to look for is if it looks like a tan or a shadow. Look at your face in the mirror with no makeup. You will still have shadows on your face that tell you where your nose is where your natural cheekbones are…etc. You want to recreate that color! Is that complicated? maybe I need to do a pic tutorial for this too…let me know!

  7. I stumbled across your blog recently from Pinterest and I thoroughly enjoy it. I am a hair stylist and have been for almost 19 years. I learned to do makeup in school and like doing it on myself but have only done it on a handful of clients all these years. I have never been extremely confident in it. I had never tried the contouring and started doing it after stumbling across your blog on myself. I am a little addicted now. I went out and bought concealer and bronzer almost immediately…and new blush that you recommended. I just ordered the bahamas mama bronzer on amazon because the one that I bought wasn’t doing much. Keep up the tutorials. They are awesome! Thank goodness for the internet! :) What would we do without it?!



  8. You are awesome! Keep doing what you are doing we all love it! I wish you all the success in the world bc you are the bomb at har you do!

  9. Hey there! Love your blog! I bought the Maybelline Dream Lumi concealer per your recommendation for highlighting, but I can’t even tell a difference between not having it on and having it on. Did I just not get the right shade? Are you supposed to got a shade lighter than you normally would? Would appreciate any help here, thanks!

  10. Thanks for taking the trims to teach me a few of your tips! Although I cant make my make up look like you did it here, you gave me a confidence in doing my own make up and made me feel pretty. Your awesome!

  11. For anyone looking for a great bronzer, try Benefit in Hoola. It’s matte, not warm, contains no shimmer & it’s color is like a shadow on your face when standing in the shade. I know that sounds weird, you just have to try it. BUT a little goes a long way with that one….use very lightly! Love your blog, Cara!! Your tutorials make me actually excited to put my makeup on again!! Thanks!!!

  12. My problem with HAC is that I have very oily skin. I’m afraid that if I do it, it will all just slide right off in an hour. No matter what kind of powder I use to set my makeup, I’m always shiny within an hour or two. Any suggestions?

  13. thank you so much! i have been wanting to try HACing but didn’t know what to use because i am so fair. i can’t wait to get these products and try it out. <3

  14. I have used your HAC advice with great success! The difference really is amazing. Since I came across your blog a couple of months ago, I have completely overhauled my make-up routine (which was in dire need of help!). Thank you for all the easy-to-understand instructions and product ideas/suggestions. You’re awesome!

  15. I have tried this a few times. But i keep running into my face always looking cakey and like I’m wearing way too much makeup. Do you have any tips for preventing the cakeyness?

    • I’m with Ashley on this…I LOVE all your makeup tutorials, but I look cakey no matter what I do for almost all of them. Even when I follow you step by step with the same colors (adjusted for my coloring when needed) and blend, blend, blend, I just look like I have on way too much makeup :/ Any tips?

        • Im using a Jane Iredale BB cream cut with a gel moisturizer (the BB cream is really thick) Then I use a bronzer (don’t know the brand off the top of my head), i use Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Fresh Pink as the blush, and maybelline highlighter pen, and then finish with ELF HD powder.

  16. I just discovered your blog by pinning a picture of your twirl curl! And I am so glad I pinned!!! 😀 I absolutely love your blog already, and all the tips and tricks you have to offer, especially with growing out my hair! My hair is so frizzy and damaged, kinda long (a little past my bra strap), stringy and wavy/curly. It’s going to be so hard not to do my hair with hot tools but I’m willing to try your tips if it means getting gorgeous, long, healthy hair! Thank you so much Cara for your tips! I am so excited to try a TON of them lol

    Much love!
    Valeria <3

  17. I love you for this. Thank you. I found your HAC tutorial a couple days before my company Christmas party. I gave it my best shot with the products and tools I had on hand. Not too bad for my first attepmt. I did feel like my face was way darker than the rest of me. I’m excited for the white girl tips. LOL

    Thanks again,

  18. OOPS commented originally on the wrong post….

    I Love Micklee’s complexion. I am having a hard time with foundation as the winter months in Philadelphia barrel through. I currently use Makeup Forever HD shade 125 which works in the summer but it looks too harsh as my skin mellows out. I am a yellowy complexion with pink undertones however my face is ALWAYS many shades lighter than my body (LOTS of sunscreen use.) so I tend to bronzer which lately is just looking odd (MAC Bronzer.)

    I have tried a sample of NARS tinted moisturizer which has better coverage than most tinted’s and the fair color lends well to my tones however, I would LOVE some of your suggestions for foundation.

    I def. need something with a bit of coverage as my cheeks tend to be a bit rosy. I just went out last night and purchased A LOT of products I have seen on your site. Especially those associated with the HAC tutorial (highlight concealer by maybelline, sephora fuchia blush etc.) I have found the concealer is helping to brighten my complexion but still feel I need a dewier brighter foundation that allows my “canvas” to take a back seat to the HAC, blush and eyes. I have a wedding saturday that I am doing sexy vs curls and heavy eye makeup for and I just need a better foundation.

    I love how simple you make everything. I am a huge makeup lover and enjoy seeing new techniques. You are simply stunning and seem to be as equally sweet I wish you tons of success in your ventures! Your blog is wonderful!

    Thanks for any input and happy holidays!

    • I need help with foundation too. Seems the ones I’ve tried either don’t cover well or look too cakey. I’m fair just like your friend in the photo and have rosey cheeks. Any suggesstions to fondation that will give me better coverage?


  19. Question, in your “Make up starter kit” you had suggested the Rimmel. Is the Bahama Mama the way to go as there is a huge price difference? Thanks. Love your blog.

  20. hey cara,
    i’m using HAC every day since i checked out your great video.
    i’ve got a lot of compliments for that.
    it was quite simple to do for me from the first time on.
    THANK U SO MUCH !!!!!

    greetings from cologne, conny

  21. I love all of the tips on HAC, so great, thank you. I also found a really great blush/bronzer duo for HAC, my skin is really light so I have a hard time finding the right colors that look natural at the same time. But the colors that you used on your friend above look so great, I think I will have to try that one! The one I currently use is cheap (I am a student!) But if anyone is interested, you can find a really great duo for light skin (the one that I use) here:


    The color is St. Lucia–just thought everyone might be interested!

    Thanks again Cara for all the great tips!

  22. Thank you so much for this post Cara! I was really confused on what product to use for contouring as I’m quite fair. I will go hunt down MAC now (>‿◠)✌

  23. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing techniques and your amazing tips overall!!! I’m so happy I came across your site.. love all the tips you provide, can’t wait to try HAC and buy a few new products.

    How often do you replace foundation? Hoping one day to snag one of your free giveaways too!!!

    Thanks again for sharing & you’ll keep having a dedicated follower here :-)

    Xoxo Gracie

  24. ive been hac for a while and ran into your blog which i LOVE! but i always put on foundation first and i was wondering if you did the same or you dont use foundation at all….bc i need the coverage :)

  25. I’m very fair and was having trouble finding a good contour color. Ended up stealing this eyeshadow from my mom and it works great! It’s Loréal Wear Infinité 812 Smooth Latte. It’s a matte shadow that never really did anything for our eyes, but works great for contouring. Especially down the sides of my nose!

  26. Thank you for the light skin recommendations Cara! I ordered the NYX concealer and can’t wait to try it. I have had a time trying to find one that’s light enough and not too pink or yellow. I hope this one works for my apparently strange skin color! :) Thanks again for the great tutorial!

  27. Thank you so much for the HAC tutorial, very few guru’s can explain it so we understand why we are doing what we’re doing! I have had no luck finding a bronzes that didn’t make me look orange or shimmery and I have not sought out the Balm Bahama Mama yet but today as passed through Sephora and tested their bronzes duo and it seems to be everything and more. In case anyone was interested in checking it out it was $19 and it is sephora brand in Honey heat, or number 01. It has a more illuminated glowy half and the darker bronzes is a nice matte color that’ seems to be perfect for contouring most skin shades.

  28. Thank you for the fair skin HACing post, Cara!!! Picked up the Physicians Formula bronzer and NYX concealor; can’t wait to try HACing with these products! =D

  29. I use bare minerals make up. Is it possible to HAC with what that? Have you tried it? I feel like it would hard to do the concealer & highlighting part.


    • I have the same question. I would love to start HAC but I have so much bareminerals makeup. Can I use bareminerals with other makeup products and it still turn out ok?

  30. So I’ve been HAQ’ing for a couple weeks now and using some of your other tips and tricks. I’ve always wore makeup but now I feel like I’m actually doing it right. I went out with my boyfriend and our friends last night and he walks up to me and says, “I like when you try to look good, it makes me feel attracted to you!” uhhh thanks? He’s not very good at expressing himself haha I felt like the prettiest girl there :) Thank you!

  31. I am so excited that this tutorial was posted for fair skinned complexions! My problems is my skin is translucent white – my legs have been known to blind others during shorts season. I have a horrid time finding a foundation/products that work for me. Also… I have been blessed (at the age of thirty-friggin-six) with acne like a 15 yer old boy, so I can only use oil free products. MY SKIN RULES. Any recommendations on products?

  32. Love this addition to your HAC. Your friend is gorgeous. What products did you use on her eyes? Such a soft, smokey look, I love it!

  33. Can you get the bahama mama bronzer at most drugstores? or where exactly do you get that. Also I Have really small lips is there a way to make them bigger without going overboard with lip liner??

  34. Hey Cara,
    Found your blog through a couple Pinterest posts and I tried the HAC method you use and I love it!! I’ve received several compliments already about how much healthier I look and how much nicer my makeup is. Keep up the fantastic posts!!! I too am fair, not quite as fair as your model, but nicknamed Snow White my whole life. I have been doing some research and I found that Too Faced’s Milk Chocolate/Chocolate bronzer seems also to be another alternative. I don’t have one yet but I have it on order…do you know anything about this one?

  35. For the nose tutorial, do you mind showing us how to reduce the outer part of the nose. My side nostrils get really big when I smile! Thanks Cara!

  36. Hi Cara, just found your site. I, like so many others, would love more blond girl tutorials. What product / color have u used here for filling out the eye brows? I definitely need some help with the brows. Recommendations for blondes (but not too fair skinned, have a bit of an Aussie tan)? Thanks.

  37. Found your blog on Pinterest & luv it!! Awesome tutorial ‘re: HAC. My question is whether or not a Primer should be used prior to HACing? Thanx so much for sharing with all of us<3

  38. hi Cara i found your blog via pinterest and i am soo glad i did!! i have been watching all your tutorials for the past few days and i think you have created a even bigger monster lol as i was already a makeup addict haha love the HAC tutorial and am having lots of fun playing and trying diffent styles every day.. i am a cosmetologist and recently opened my own salon and im offering makeup services in my salon so this is gonna be so much fun to do on my clients thanks so much and keep them coming :)

  39. Love you & your blog! Could you do a full face tutorial for us girls with super fair skin ala Zooey Deschanel? :-) Your friend is tanner then I could ever dream of being!

  40. Love your posts and I’ve been HACing ever since reading it. It’s pretty simple for me but I have oily skin so within a couple of hours I’m all shine :/ I do use an oil free foundation (cover girl clean) and the CG loose preofessional powder to set it. I picked up the Almay wake up concealer to try for the HAC, Physicians Formula Pearl Bronzer (need a non shimmer one though), and some blush I had from Victorias Secret. Do you have any recommendations for an oil free concealer or anything that would help keep me less shiny? I don’t always use the foundation and powder when I HAC, only for special occasions.

  41. Cara, I just adore you! I found your original HAC post a little while ago but have yet to try it. I’m fair skinned and went through all your comments on your original post but didn’t find THIS post til a few weeks later! I’m so happy to see the answers to my questions, I’m gonna go out and buy the appropriate make up. But I noticed a lot of newer questions on the original post, about the same stuff answered here. Any chance you can put a link to this in the original post or something so all the new pinterest people can find it? :)

  42. Wow!!! Thank you for sharing your expertise!!! Can you also tell us what products you used on your friend’s eyes and lips? I am also interested in how this might work out for someone that has even lighter skin than Micklee? I am fair with reddish hair and freckles–that’s a challenge!! 😉 Thank you!!!

  43. Thank you so much for the HAC tutorial- since watching that a month ago I’ve been HAC-ing every day…I end up wearing less makeup, it lasts longer, and I LOVE how it looks! I realized I was just putting bronzer/blush wherever I “thought” looked good- so wrong! Also- HAC makes me look so much better in photos- worked really well for NYE! I’ve showed so many of my friends your video- LOVE IT! Thank you Cara :)

  44. I’ve been using bare mineral faux tan to hac everywhere except my nose and it doesn’t look orange to me. Am I just in denial? I have super fair skin and wear the lightest shade possible in my Clinique foundation. Also if you have a really small nose should I contour or just leave it?

  45. Im a little confused. As a complete makup newbie, i have almost never worn makeup on my face. In the video did you start witha completly clean face? Or do you have foundation on or anything? Do you have any suggestions for foundation for fair skin? Thanks!

    • I was wondering the same thing too! I know you complete your eye makeup before HACing but I wasn’t sure about the foundation. Thanks for the awesome tutorial! I have heard of HACing and am a makeup lover but haven’t ever seen it done on someone. You make it look really easy and I am excited to give it a try.

  46. Could you do a video of HAC on your beautiful friend? Would she let you? I’m very glad to see her lighter skin tone with this technique. Very cute.

  47. I always see advice on making the nose look slimmer (by highkighting the bridge) but what about noses that are too slender, or long? Hope you can address this :) LOVE your blog!!!!

  48. Any suggestions on how to use the hac concept without the fine lines under my eyes showing their ugly faces? I love the highlighting, ut it really accentuates the lines

  49. I love your blog! You got me hooked on HAC’ing!!! I’m very fair with freckles but with green eyes and dark brown hair so odd coloring. Anyway, I tried the Physician’s Formula for contouring and it was too orange-y for me so after some searching around, I found that some people were using NYX powder blush in Taupe so I tried it out. It’s perfect! The price is right too-I paid around $7 for it. I loved it so much, I ran out and got a second one in case they discontinue it (my favorites always get discontinued!). If the Physician’s Formula isn’t working for some of you pale gals, try the NYX.

  50. I’m a little late to the party. I just found this post on Pinterest, but I used NYX matte bronzer in light and it works very well for me. I do know that some people think it’s too orangey, but it’s usually due to not blending enough. I also really like taupe that Candice above me mentioned.

  51. I love your blog & videos! You inspire me to try something new and different all the time! I love HACing and use it all the time! My question is can you clarify the beauty routine for me? Hopefully I don’t sound too beginnerish (as I’m 33) but what comes first the foundation or the HACing? My routine: moisturizer, bare minerals foundation, contour, blush, eye brows, eye makeup. I still haven’t actually mastered highlighting lol. But I also end up with residue from my mascara or eyeliner and or eyeshadow on my under eye area!!! HELP, lol, what am I doing wrong.

  52. What color brow powder did you use on her and what color do you use on your brows? Also I cant use the physicians formula because it breaks me out. Can you recommend a drugstore powder like the regular face powders that I could use as a contour color for my fair skin? Im trying tomfimd ome that has grey undertones and creates the shadow and not orange at all and since bronzers usually are I was thinking a regular face powder in the right color would work better plus theres no shimmer in them. Love your blog and tips!

  53. [email protected] says:

    also wanted to add that I know you use True Match powder foundations for contour sometimes but, my skin is so oily that I don’t want to use any foundation type products. I can’t tell you how many bronzers Iv’e tried that turn out orangey.

  54. Another amazing contour color for fair skinned ladies (at least one that I love) is the Tarte Park Avenue Princess Matte Waterproof bronzer. Gives me the perfect countour shade on my deathly pale skin!

  55. OMG. Cara. This Physician’s Formula product has changed my life! I have been following your blog daily for months now, but I only just found this post last week. I am fairer than fair (i.e. most makeup lines’ lightest foundation shade is too dark for me) and for contouring I always had to use almost no product at all, be SUPER careful, and blend forever. Now it is so easy!! Thank you so much for your amazing recommendation!!

  56. I know this post is older, but I love Micklee’s make-up! Can you share what products you used on her–especially the lips and blush.

  57. Cara, I was wondering if you can update me on the products you are currently using for a fair skinned HAC or if you have any alternatives. I have tried to locate the 2 products you mention but I can’t find them; not sure if it’s because they are discontinued or if I just can’t get them in Canada. I can find both Physicians Formula and NYX but not the specific products you mention. I love your site! You are such a breath of fresh in a world of unrealistic, overly made up “experts”. You are a down to earth, authentic person! Keep up the good work and best of luck with your pregnancy. I have a 5 month old and Gin-Gins were my saviour for morning sickness -especially the apple pie flavour!

  58. I have two issues with HAC. When I highlight, it makes me look wrinkly with lots of fine lines. I’ve been using physicians formula twin concealer in light/yellow. I’m only 31and usually am mistaken for a teenager, so wrinkly looking skin is not normal for me. Secondly, I have lots of freckles, so my skin is fair, but brownish where my freckles are densest. I don’t want to cover up my freckles completely. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  59. That is NOT fair skin. Come to Scandinavia, Baltic countries or Russia, and we will show you what fair skin is :-) But I like the article.

  60. I agree…I’m paler than that girl…and I really are in troubles when the summer comes, I can’t expose myself to the sun and I don’t know how apply my makeup properly for a sunkissed look…I’m Italian but my skin is medium-fair.

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