Product review: Hard Candy All Lid Up Creme Eye Shadow

Another product from my birthday haul! I have wanted a budgeproof teal shadow for some time now and thought I would check off two objectives by also trying out a new product: a creme shadow from Hard Candy. Read on for a full review and swatches.

The product: Hard Candy All Lid Up Creme Shadow, $5; shown here in Tidal Wave. Available at Walmart stores.

The claim: From their website: “Vibrant, long wearing crème eye shadow lights up and enhances eyes. Our groundbreaking hybrid formula has a soft cushion texture that allows it to be worn as eye shadow or eyeliner. This crease proof, stay put formula is blended luminous, multi-colored pearls that provides glamorous evening looks. Available in 10 gorgeous, vivid shades!”

Ingredients:  Isodocane, mica, polyethylene, tribehenin, isohexadecane, polysilicone-11, isobutylmethacrylate/bis-hydroxypropyl, dimethicone acrylate, copolymer, dimethicone, silica (in gold and green shades), C13-15 alkane, phenoxyethanol. May contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides, manganese violet, ferric ferrocyanide, carmine, ferric ammonium ferrocyanide.

Ingredient notes: Hard Candy products are not tested on animals and this appears to be vegan. These products are made in the USA. This is chock full of strange chemical names, but most seem to have a fairly low toxicity.

I tried it: The packaging is a basic small plastic jar with a screw-on lid–nothing fancy. This shadow is incredibly dry, which I did not expect. I had to use a cotton swab to dig it out of the pot and apply it on the lid, and then used my fingers to blend it out. In my opinion a brush just won’t do the job. You’ll also want to use a cotton swab to shape and blend the edges of the color very quickly before it sets, because once it does, it’s budge-proof. I think the drier texture–while a total pain in the butt during application–helps it last longer with out creasing or slipping on my oily lids.

Here is the look I put together using this shadow for my main allover lid color. I used my mini Hard Candy Meteor-Eyes baked shadow in Bad Reputation on the inner corner, around the outer corner of the eye and up across the crease to soften the edges of the teal shadow, and then along the lower lash line. I used a pop of peachy shadow under my arch. I lined the upper lash line with the Milani Ultra Fine Liquid Eye Liner in Black Vinyl and lined the lower lash line with my Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Zero. I’m wearing Hard Candy Flat to Fab black mascara in these pics, and if it’s starting to look a bit droopy–that’s because I was wearing it all night!

This shadow is pretty vibrant. It works best if you apply a thin coat and then possibly a second to build up the color, or top it with a matching powder shadow (though I don’t own any powder teals). Despite gripping your lids all day, it does remove fairly easily with waterproof eye makeup remover, and does not stain the skin. Because it’s so budgeproof, it works great as a liner.

My final thoughts: This shadow is just kind of “meh” to me. I guess I like the overall end result, and it’s hard to find cheap, vibrant vegan shadows, but I just wish the texture wasn’t so dry and difficult to apply. I think I would possibly consider purchasing more shades in the future, but I’m not rushing out for more at the moment–I’ll be looking at some other brand options first.

22 comments / Add your comment below

  1. would water/contact solution/etc. help with the application? this week I’ve been trying to be more daring with my makeup, so i rocked some blue shadow on monday!

    1. That’s a good idea! I have seen others mention that contact lens solution or something similar can “revive” dried out cream eye products. I’m not sure on this one though because mine doesn’t really feel dried out. It’s still really spreadable, just kind of hard. It makes no sense! :) It’s inexpensive enough it might be worth trying. Or maybe mix a bit on your hand with some contact solution and then apply it so you don’t ruin the whole pot.

  2. I think I know what you mean about the drier texture, I used an essence shadow like this recently, it looked like it would be super creamy but it was dry-yet-silky. It was kind of a weird texture but it did work well. I don’t use a lot of blues personally but I love how vivid this color is

  3. It looks absolutely lovely on you! I had heard this was really dry, and a bit of a bugger to apply. But if it is inexpensive and it stays… Its worth the work. Thanks for the review.

    1. Aw, thanks :) I’m kind of curious about what other vegans think of it! I’ve seen very large and established vegan beauty blogs refer to products like this as “100% vegan”, but if there’s a chance it contains carmine I would think that’s more like “99% vegan”. I guess it’s better than nothing but it just makes me scratch my head–how can they not know what’s in their own product?

  4. Hmm bummer about application, but I do have to say it look beautiful on you! Such a vibrant shade! :D

    ~ Yun

  5. I LOVE this color! I’ve debated on getting these since they came out but have just never grabbed any. What about trying to use it wet?

  6. Love the look you created! I bought the same exact thing a couple months ago and I agree that it is really hard to apply. It went on kind of patchy because it was so dry. It’s a weird texture. It’s almost like a dried out gel-formula. I really love the color and it does wear quite nicely, but it IS a pain to apply. I agree with you on the “meh” rating! :)

  7. This color really makes your eyes pop! Yeah it’s pretty dry. Mine dried out already. I tossed it out. When it comes to cream shadows, I’ve had better luck with high end but I don’t know which ones are vegan though.

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