REVIEW: Hard Candy Baked Illuminating Duo in Candle Lit

by - October 02, 2015

I saw a review of this product last night on Youtube and I have to say that I was really surprised at how the Youtuber felt about it because it was actually quite different to how I feel about it. You guys know that I have a special affection for Hard Candy. I don't love everything that they do and I definitely feel like there are some duds in their collection, but I've definitely found some real gems that I use pretty consistently. One of those is the limited edition Baked Highlighter and Bronzer hearts that they put out over the summer, so when I saw these new Baked Illuminating Duos on the shelf recently, I knew I had to grab one to try. I chose the lighter, less shimmery appearing of the two options and I've been using it pretty consistently since I picked it up. Interested in my thoughts on this product? Keep reading for more...

First off, let's talk about the packaging. Hard Candy has also released a brow kit in this same packaging. I have to say... Not the biggest fan of this packaging, myself. The two pans of product sit on either side of a small rectangular area that contains a brush and a small mirror. Getting it out of the way right away, this brush is already in the trash because it's pretty horrible. It has cheap, plasticky bristles and I find it to be pretty useless. As for the packaging overall, I can appreciate the uniqueness of it, but it's just going to be a pain for storing and I feel like they could have done something a little sleeker and still kept it interesting.

Obviously, what's important here is the products themselves. I have to say that when I first opened and swatched these products, I was apt to agree with the review I spoke about earlier. They felt really dry and almost chalky to the touch and just didn't give off enough product to show up on the skin. However, what I found was that once I got through the dry, top layer the product underneath was completely different. It's silky smooth to the touch and gives off a fair bit more pigmentation, even though it's still quite dry and thin. Trust me, though, there's a world of difference between that hard, sort-of-awful top layer and what lies beneath it. 

When swatched, these shades are incredibly similar. The slightly deeper shade doesn't actually show up much deeper on the skin, but instead shows up a little more peachy and with a slight iridescence to it. The lighter shade shows up just a hair more creamy than white and gives a soft glow.

The Bottom Line:
These are definitely NOT a bright, wet-look type highlight. Instead, I would say that these highlighters give a more all over glow to the skin and could be used more as a finishing powder than a traditional highlight. In that capacity, I actually kind of love them. There's not a huge difference in the two shades, but I do think the slightly deeper one will work on more skin tones to give a glow without looking ashy because it does have that pearly peach finish even though it's quite subtle. If you have very dry skin, I would avoid these because when I swatch them on the back of my hands, where the skin is quite dry, they do have a tendency to exaggerate the look of dryness there. 

I would recommend this for normal to oily skin types as a finishing powder, rather than a highlight, used in a similar fashion the the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders or the Guerlain Meteorites. This product gives a subtle glow to the skin that some people might find unneccessary, but I actually really enjoy the effect and will continue to keep using these. Also, don't forget to swatch your way through that horrible top layer so that you can get to the good stuff!

I hope this review gave a good picture of what you'll be getting if you pick up this product! Thanks for reading!

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