REVIEW: Hard Candy Fierce Effects

by - October 24, 2014

I was really excited about new Hard Candy releases for fall, so as soon as I saw them on the shelf at Walmart, I had to pick up a few things to try. Obviously, I already reviewed the BROWS NOW! Brow Gel, which was definitely the new product I was most excited to buy, but this product definitely slipped into second place for reasons that I think are fairly obvious. The L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows are some of my absolute favorites at the drug store and I really wanted to know if Hard Candy could come up with an even more affordable dupe.

Keep reading for a closer to look and an answer to the dupe question.

From the Hard Candy website:
This high intensity eyeshadow which is not a powder, nor a cream acts like an intense, luminous color shield. Each shade is intensified with a second pigment for a multi-dimensional pearl blend. Intense staying power polymers attract color, while cushiony silk pigments caress eyelid for comfortable long wear.

First of all, one cool thing about what Hard Candy did with this product is to offer it in a two pack. They come in 5 different shade combinations, but I obviously had to go with the neutral pair since that's definitely the one that I'm going to get the most wear out of.  This combination is called Slow and Steady.

The packaging of these shadows is literally an exact dupe of the L'Oreal products. They are contained in a small, fairly flat plastic container with a stopper to hold the shadow flat and a black lid. On the opposite side from the lid, the plastic is clear so you can easily see the shade that you're working with. Honestly, I loved this packaging when L'Oreal did it and I love it now. The only real differences are the labelling. The circle on the clear side of the packaging is silver on the L'Oreal shadow and black on this one as is the label on this lid, while the labels on the L'Oreal lids are coloured to correspond with the shadow. Minor differences. I love this packaging, honestly. I think it's beautiful and it makes me want to find some way to display them on the wall near my vanity.

Now for the shadows themselves. With this duo, you get a deep chocolate brown shade with a really beautiful sheen as well as a shimmery champagne shade that leans just a little bit towards a rose gold. These shades are absolutely stunning, I have to say. Both of them are pigmented and smooth and quite impactful. As promised, they do work incredibly well paired together, but they also work very well on their own and are versatile in the kinds of looks that you can get from them. For me, versatility is definitely something I look for in single eyeshadows, since palettes can often be a lot more convenient.

Now for the dupe comparison. For this comparison, I grabbed L'Oreal's Hourglass Beige from my collection, since it was the closest dupe in shade that I had to either of these Hard Candy shadows. While I'm doing a comparison of the formula rather than the shade, I will say that these two look incredible similar, with the Hard Candy leaning slightly more towards rose gold while the L'Oreal is a very classic golden champagne shade.

TEXTURE: On the skin, these two products appear very similar, but I have to say that there are definite differences. The L'Oreal shadow is quite a bit creamier and more tightly packed into the packaging while the Hard Candy shadow is looser and a little bit more powdery, making it a little bit harder to work with and a little bit messy. One of the best things about the L'Oreal Infallible shadows is the incredibly smooth, creamy texture and I feel like the Hard Candy doesn't quite get there.

PERFORMANCE: Both of these shadows claim to be very long wearing, but L'Oreal comes out as the clear winner as far as wear time for me. I found that particularly the dark shade of the Hard Candy shadow faded after a few hours. Though it didn't disappear on the lid, I definitely saw a marked difference from when I applied it first thing in the morning to when I checked on it at lunchtime. I didn't necessarily mind the look it left behind, but I wouldn't chalk this up as a long wearing product. I definitely found the wear to be fairly average.

VERDICT: As far as being a dupe, I would say that these two products are actually fairly different. If not for the packaging being a near exact dupe, I feel like the Hard Candy doesn't quite reach the amazingness of the L'Oreal Infallible shadows. That said, I think that this is a really good product and pretty great for the price tag of 2 for $5. They are easy to work with and really nicely pigmented and I think a lot of people would be really happy with them. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I will pop out and buy a couple of more for my collection because they are quite solid in their own right.

Hard Candy Fierce Effects Eyeshadows are available exclusively at Walmart and are sold in a 2 pack of corresponding shades for around $5.

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