Friday, 21 September 2007

Hard Candy Eyeshadow Quartet

RRP: $28/£19.50
no. of shades available: 13

--What does the promo say?--
"One sleek compact, four intense colours. With a base colour, crease colour, highlighter and liner in each, these shadow sets have such diversity, such range, you might just learn something new about your look. Hey, you might just learn something about the world."

The box the quartet arrives in has a very pretty pastel pattern on it (blue, green and pink circles containing white hearts, on a white background), with all of the product details on it in white. The compact itself is a silvery box, measuring approximately 6cm x 6cm, with the Hard Candy logo embossed on the flip-top lid, and is easy to open. The shades are neatly laid out and the quartet comes with two brushes: one typical sponge applicator, and one brush with stiff white synthetic bristles that are graduated in length for blending. It's all very nice to look at and it's always a bonus to have brushes included.

Use the double-ended sponge applicator to apply the colours as you see fit. I find that with these particular compacts, starting with the bottom colour and working your way up the compact works well, using the bottom colour as a base or a highlighter and the top colour as a liner. I prefer to use the applicator dry, as using it wet stains the brush more and makes it more difficult to clean, but both methods produce excellent effects. If you do use the sponge applicator dry, you can then use the white-bristled brush to blend. The brush, despite the hardness of the bristles, is very effective and not at all uncomfortable to use.

The shadows are all smooth and finely pigmented - even the glittery ones.

Hard Candy makes a point of saying that the colours work well together even if they do appear slightly unexpected combinations. They're right. Normally I'd have thought it would take a very brave person to use purple and green together, but in the shades provided in the Drama Queen compact, they work fantastically.

Despite the fine pigmentation of the shadows, they crease if you don't use an eyelid primer, and even then, if you've worn the shadows all day over an eyelid primer, they'll start to crease after 12 hours' wear. This is probably fine, though, given that the odds of wearing an eyeshadow from 9am until 11pm is pretty slim - it's more normal to only expect it to last the length of a normal working day, or the length of a night out. I can understand if after 14 hours its patience is starting to wear a little thin!

--Value for money--
I feel that the retail price is a little extortionate and that you're mostly paying for the brand name. However, this can be easily got around thanks to our good friend ebay and various other discount cosmetics sites, and in terms of the quality of the eyeshadow itself, its longevity probably suits most people's purposes, and the unusual colour combinations really make this quartet range stand out from the rest.

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