I've been using Hard Candy makeup since I was in grade school, and back in the day, I lived for those nail polishes with the plastic rings attached. I sort of fell out of touch with the brand in college and post-college, but as they've put out more products in recent years, I find myself picking them up more often.
I love that Hard Candy cosmetics are more affordable than ever, and that they make unconventional colors that are difficult to find elsewhere. And while some of the items are a miss in terms of quality, they do make quite a few products that could replace a more splurgy option.
Today I'm creating an entire face with Hard Candy products and reviewing them as I go along.
This primer is lightweight and thin in consistency. It’s sort of hard to control the amount that comes out, so you need to be careful when squeezing the tube. There’s not much of a scent to it, but if I had to give a descriptor I’d say buttery and creamy.
The product absorbs into the skin surprisingly quickly, leaving your skin smooth and hydrated and without any sort of weird film or slippery texture that some primers create. I actually used this as both a moisturizer and a primer in one.
I had no idea what to expect with this foundation, and I am actually pretty damn impressed. It’s super-high-quality coverage, especially for $7. I think this may be an intentional dupe of Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, and I instantly put two and two together after applying the Hard Candy version. It’s thin and silky in consistency and then transforms into a powdery, matte finish. If you're looking for an inexpensive foundation that dries matte, this is a really good option.
Hard Candy’s Heavy Duty Concealer comes with a pencil in addition to the primary liquid concealer. The latter comes in a squeeze tube and the consistency is thick. It does a nice job of covering under eye circles, but it does crease some. You need to set it with a powder to prevent continued creasing through the day. Overall, I like it and the price is right.
I am very much a cream-blush gal, so I was a little nervous to play with Hard Candy’s new blush gels. This product might have just converted me, though. It's slightly thick, definitely pigmented, easy to control, and provides a natural, glowy flush that I have a difficult time achieving with powder blushes. I highly recommend this.
So Baked bronzer is surprisingly pigmented and silky. So if you're on the prowl for an inexpensive bronzer that delivers, try this one. I’d even go so far as to say it’s just as good, or better, than super-splurgy bronzers. The first time I used it I actually picked up way too much color because I assumed I’d need it, but it’s legit.
A look isn’t complete without a little highlighter. This one is a double-ended chubby pencil cream highlighter that's shimmery, but not glittery. It feels creamy and blends nicely. Again, I think this is worth the money.
As I suspected, this isn’t the highest-quality eyeshadow out there. In fact, it takes quite a bit of energy to build up pigmentation, even for the darker colors.The silver and the pinkish-bronze duo on the bottom are the two easiest to work with.
For this look, I'm wearing the peach champagne shimmer (top left) across my lid and the dark purple (second from top on right) on the outer corners.
Again, this isn’t the highest-quality product. It doesn’t feel like a gel, but more like a dry pencil. Does it apply color? Yeah, but it takes a real concerted effort. I do like that it’s mechanical (curse pencils you have to sharpen) and that it comes with a blending sponge on the other side.
This is my first foray into lash stains, but my first thoughts are, Not bad. The formulation is much thinner than traditional mascara, so it is somewhat tricky to apply.
My eyelashes might have been slightly darker than normal even after washing with a cleanser, but I still feel the need to apply mascara every day even though this says it lasts four days. I can see this lasting longer if you’re not washing off a full face of makeup every day and just using micellar water or a cleansing towel on your face.
Hard Candy's Fierce Effects lipstick line is something to get excited about. It has 18 colors, including numerous unconventional shades, and the formulation is really good. They just released several new shades, including Sly-Lac, above, and eight others. I've tried five of them here.
Fierce Effects Lipstick Swatches
Some are better than others (for example, the yellow is pretty hard to build up color and isn't very flattering), but I somehow fell in love with unconventional colors I'd never wear, including Twisted Metal, a black with iridescent shimmer, and Thunder, a dark blue/purple.
So all in all, there's a lot of gold here. While I wouldn't recommend absolutely everything, I would recommend the foundation, the blush gel, the highlighter and the lipsticks.
- Do you have anything by Hard Candy?
- Do you remember their nail polishes back in the '90s?
- Do you ever wear just one makeup brand for your entire look?