The first time I ever stepped into Sephora (an historic and momentous day back in 1999), one of the first brands to catch my eye was Hard Candy. It was a teenage girl's dream: bright colours, cute packaging, and glitter everywhere. Looking past the girly aura, Hard Candy actually made some high-quality products. I owned a few of their eyeshadow quads, which were well-pigmented, perfectly coordinated palettes in shimmery silver sleeves (anyone remember them?).
A few years ago I was disappointed to hear that Sephora would no longer be carrying the brand... and was more recently excited to see that it had a new, more affordable incarnation. The line is now carried at Wal-Mart and most of the items go for $10 or less. They still sport the same glitzy and -dare I say- often over the top packaging but, like their original products, offer high-quality products, especially for the price. Plus, they have kept their anti-animal testing policy, touting the slogan "We <3 our animal friends. We don't test our products on them" on all of their products.
I recently bought two new Hard Candy products (both under $10) and thought I'd review them here:
The first is Hard Candy's So Baked Bronzer in shade Hula Hula. It's a sheer, but buildable bronze shade with subtle and natural shimmer. It gives my skin a gorgeous bronzy glow, with no hint of orange or fake-bake. It might be a bit too light for those with medium to dark skin tones, but it's perfect on my MAC NC20 skin.
|Hard Candy So Baked Hula Hula Bronzer|
And to make things even prettier, it has subtle gold veining throughout, for an extra touch of warmth. I will definitely be sporting this bronzer throughout the summer months. How refreshing to find a subtle, natural bronzer for less than $9!
|Close-up: Bronze with gold veining|
The second item I purchased was Hard Candy's Visibly Wet Shockingly Glossy Lip Pencil (a mouthful!) in the shade Inferno. The vibrant orange-fuchsia colour caught my eye right away, as did it's resemblance to NARS Velvet Gloss lip pencils, which I've reviewed here: http://vibrantbeautyblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/product-review-nars-velvet-gloss-lip.html?showComment=1300244630751#c8351848682692573170
Like the NARS, Hard Candy's Shockingly Glossy lip pencil offers rich colour and a truly shiny finish. As a one-up on NARS, Hard Candy's offers much more longer-lasting colour. While the NARS fades rather quickly, I think the Hard Candy would last for hours if left untouched. A huge downside, however, is that the texture of the Shockingly Glossy pencil is a lot thicker, making it fairly uncomfortable on lips. Plus, it contains pretty visible shimmer, bordering on glitter, so this level of boldness may not be for everyone.
|Visibly Wet Shockingly Glossy Lip Pencil in Inferno|
Here is a picture of Inferno on my lips:
|HC Inferno on lips|
Overall, while the texture of Hard Candy's Visibly Wet Shockingly Glossy pencils isn't the greatest, these still pack an excellent colour punch for the $7 price tag. And the packaging is cute and convenient!
Although I don't prefer to spend my money at Wal-Mart often, checking out Hard Candy's frugal goodies gives me one good reason to visit the superstore once in a while. I'll keep you all posted if I find any other girly treats from the line!
Thanks for reading :)