Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hard Candy Natural Eyes Palette

Did you miss the Sassy Eyes review and swatches?  Click here to see that post.


Note that all photos were taken indoors near a window in natural overcast light without flash.  All shadows are shown swatched over primer.

Among Hard Candy's newest items are three eye shadow palettes: Sassy Eyes,  Natural Eyes,  and Smoky Eyes.  I picked up the Sassy and Natural palettes.  Each of the palettes is in metal packaging with magnetic closure.  They all include six smaller pans of shadow, three larger pans of shadow,  a mini primer,  a mini Take Me Out eye liner (black), a dual ended sponge tip applicator,  and a booklet with shade names and how to achieve three different looks using the colors in the palette.  There is also a mirror inside.







Like the Sassy Eyes palette,  this first time I swatched these colors was not great.  They were better than the shades in the Sassy Eyes palette,  but they also seemed to have a little bit of a film over them that had to be worked through to really get to the colors.  This was not as much of a problem with this palette as it had been with the Sassy Eyes palette,  though. The colors in this palette seem overall to be more pigmented and silky than those in the Sassy Eyes palette.

The colors look different in this picture and the previous picture due to a bit more sunshine coming through the window when I took the previous picture.  For some reason my camera had trouble accurately picking up the colors in this one,  they are actually a bit between the two pictures. The following swatches picked up accurately,  just getting the in pan pictures gave me trouble.  



First row of palette,  left to right: Tease (matte vanilla cream, which is basically invisible on me lol),  Toying (matte soft brown),  and Minx (satin dark chocolate brown)



Second row of palette,  left to right: Bashful (shimmery champagne),  Girlie (shimmery almost metallic soft bronze),  and Philander (shimmery cocoa brown with gold microglitter)


Third row of palette,  left to right: Chatty (matte soft taupe),  Coy (shimmery bright copper), and Frisky (shimmery red-brown with gold micro glitter)

Overall I am really happy with this palette.  I love that there is a nice mix of finishes. Like Sassy Eyes I feel like this would be good for tw/eens and makeup minimalists alike. Those with tons of products already may not be as inclined to go for it as most of the colors are fairly basic.

The primer included is a mini of Hard Candy's basic primer and it works well.  It is among the best drugstore primers I have used.

The eye liner included is about what you would expect from drugstore liner.  It applies pretty smoothly and evenly,  and lasts well with minimal smudging or fading during the day. It is not a very intense black,  more of a charcoal.




Have you picked up any of these palettes?  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hard Candy Sassy Eyes Palette


Note: All photos were taken indoors near a window in natural overcast light without flash.  All shadows are shown swatched over primer.

Among the new products from Hard Candy recently are three eye shadow palettes: Sassy Eyes,  Natural Eyes,  and Smoky Eyes. I have picked up the Sassy and Natural palettes.

The palettes come in metal packaging with magnetic closure to keep them closed securely when not in use.  Each palette includes six smaller pans of shadow, three larger pans of shadow,  a dual ended sponge tip applicator,  mini eye primer,  mini Take Me Out eye liner (black),  and a booklet with instructions on how to get three different looks using the colors in the palette.  There is also a mirror on the inside.


The little well the booklet sits in is designed to hold it securely in place but I find that it is always slipping out despite this.  It is more of a problem with the Sassy Eyes palette than the Natural Eyes palette,  so I think the paper just got cut a little narrow on this one and it doesn't stay in place as well as it should.  The booklets also contain the shade names for each of the shadows.





I admit when I was trying to decide which of the three palettes to get,  the main reason I wanted the Sassy Eyes palette was for Sweetheart,  which bears a striking resemblance to Urban Decay SWF.



I ended up swatching these twice because the first time around the lighting was not ideal and the photos did not turn out very well.  It ended up being a good thing,  though,  because on my first swatches I was not impressed at all.  The colors were hard to even pick up on the brush and they were not very pigmented even over primer.  I was totally disappointed.  When I went back in to reswatch,  however,  things went better. The colors were easier to pick up and had better color payoff. I think there was a bit of a film over them (I have had that happen before with some shadows) and once that was worn away it was better. I am honestly still not wowed by this palette,  but at least the colors are usable.  I have seen swatches from other ladies where the colors look super intense but that just is not the experience I have had with them.  Maybe because I have such a fair complexion the lighter shades just are not as bold on my skin as those with darker skin,  but I am hesitant to believe that is all it is,  as even the darker shades in this palette do not appear as richly pigmented on me as in the swatches I have seen from others.



Top row of palette,  left to right: Innocence (shimmery champagne),  Demure (shimmery soft lilac purple),  and Banter (shimmery taupe-mauve)


Middle row of palette,  left to right: Sweetheart (pale pink with silver micro glitter),  Witty (shimmery Sandy taupe), and Smarty Pants (satin greyed taupe)


Bottom row of palette,  left to right: Social Butterfly (shimmery nude),  Angel (shimmery pale gold),  and Ms. Attitude (satin charcoal with copper-gold micro glitter)

While the name of the palette implies fun,  bold,  sassy colors,  to me this is much more of a neutral palette.  Ms.  attitude is by far the most pigmented,  and would make a lovely powder liner or smoky eye look.  (Witty and Banter would play well with smoky eyes,  too.)

The primer included is a mini of Hard Candy's basic primer and it works well.  It is not as good as high end primers but it comes close and is among the best drugstore primers out there.



The eye liner is decent as well.  It is about what you would expect from a drugstore liner.  It is not an intense black,  more of a charcoal shade.  It applies pretty smoothly and evenly though and lasts well with minimal smudging or fading.

Overall,  I like the palette but do not love it.  It is not a must have.  I think the colors are pretty but basic,  and if you are only feeling one or two of them it would be easy enough to find single shadows in other brands. That said,  it may still be a nice palette for tw/eens just getting into makeup or makeup minimalists who really like all the colors included and who want a way to have some options without buying a bunch of different products.

I will share the Natural Eyes palette swatches soon.

Have you picked up any of these palettes?  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hard Candy Lash Ink Mascara

I know I posted about this mascara previously, but am unable to find that post now.



Which I suppose is ok. This had been my favorite drugstore mascara, however I had not used (aka purchased) any in well over a year as I was trying other mascaras out and using Just For Redheads more often than not. Recently, however, I needed new mascara. I figured I would go back to this because again, it was a favorite and I loved it.

Unfortunately for me, it has changed.

Where the old formula came with a standard wand and was truly a lightweight stain more than anything and left my lashes soft and natural to the touch, the newer formula (which may not be "new" anymore, as I said it had been quite a while) comes with a different style wand that I detest and the formula is thicker now and gel-like. It is heavy and leaves my lashes simultaneously stiff and tacky feeling to the touch. The new brush picks up WAY too much product and is difficult to wipe the excess from before applying. It stays wet quite a while so if you are not careful it will smudge and transfer while you wait for it to dry. Even once it is dry it retains a tackiness that just bugs the heck out of me. The new formula flakes off as well, something that was never an issue with the original formula.



I loved the old formula. Loved it. It was absolutely perfect. This new version? I hate it. I do not often go so far as to say I hate a beauty product but this is one where that is the best way to express just how much I dislike it. I would not recommend this one. On my next trip to the store I will be looking for something else. Another way you know I really do not like sonething - y'all know how I hate being wasteful and will use up a product even if I do not necessarily like it simply so it is not wasted. This, however, is going in the trash just as soon as I can get something to replace it.



Isn't it just awful when a product is awesome then it gets reformulated and it is then lousy?


Monday, March 16, 2015

Hard Candy Shimmer Eye Shadow Primer


Note: all photos were taken indoors near a window in natural overcast light without flash.

Eye shadow primer is an essential part of every makeup stash. Hard Candy has a couple new ones out, and I had to try the Shimmer primer! It is supposed to give all the usual primwr benefits, plus give your shadow some shimmer. (If you love smoky eye looks, you may want to check out the one that is supposed to give a smoky look. I considered getting it too, but I don't do smoky eyes often enough for it to be worth it for me.)


It reminds me of Too Faced Candlelight Shadow Insurance, except that the Too Faced has a warm, golden shimmer and this is a cool, pinky-champagne color with silver shimmer. It blends out so that all you see is the shimmer, and no hint of color. Here is what it looks like with a heavy hand to show the color a bit, and how shimmery it is:



So, how does it perform? The first thing to take note of, of course, is how well it really "makes your shadow shimmer".


On the top is a matte shadow (more details on this specific shadow in an upcoming post) over Hard Candy's basic primer, and below is the same shadow over the Shimmer primer. As you can see, when applied over the Shimmer primer the color is a touch softer, and it does have a subtle shimmer to it. It is not a really noticable effect, but it is definitly there. I think it would be good for those who maybe want a little "oomph" to their mattes but do not want a full on shimmer.

Also important qualities to look for in a primer are how well they help your shadows last through the day. So how does this one hold up?

Pretty darned well! It is comparable to Too Faced, though not *quite* equal to it. About half way through the day I did notice some minimal.creasing, but no fading. By the end of the day the creasing was of course more noticeable but not too bad, and.there was only minimal fading. I have used this primer several times now, and each day has been about the same.

This is absolutely an excellent drugstore primer. It is far superior to L'Oreal De-Crease (but then pretty much everything is better than that stuff!) and the hint of shimmer is nice and gives a subtle effect suitable for day and office.


Overall, I am very happy with this primer and would definitly recommend it.

Have you tried this or the other Hard Candy primers? What are your thoughts? Other drugstore primers that you love?