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?