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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review: Hard Candy Natural Eyes Neutral Eyeshadow Palette

When all of the new 2015 Hard Candy products first started popping at Walmart a few weeks ago, I was on a mission to find this particular palette. I finally managed to find it at Walmart, and it was the last one in the display (I've noticed that this palette in particular is often out of stock in the Hard Candy display).

For those new to this one, there are actually three different palettes in this range (available both in-store at Walmart and on the Walmart website). The Natural Eyes Palette is the one that seems to be the most talked about since, appearance-wise, it's quite similar to the Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection Palette ($36, 0.39 oz.). So let's take a look!

 Hard Candy Natural Eyes Neutral Eyeshadow Palette 
(retail: $8, 0.39 oz.)*

*Please note that the weight above is in reference to the total weight of the eyeshadows in this palette. This palette also includes a mini eyeliner (0.017 oz.) and a mini eyeshadow primer (0.17 oz).

This palette is housed inside a reusable tin (you can easily pop out the inner casings if you so choose). 

Back of palette:

Made in China
(click image to enlarge)

As you can see, the design of this palette is very similar to the Too Faced Natural Eye palette and in case you missed it above, you get the exact same amount of eyeshadow in both palettes (0.39 oz). 

For perspective:

Hard Candy Natural Eyes Palette vs. Wet n Wild Coloricon 8-Pan Palette

I grabbed one of my old WnW 8-pans and put it next to the Hard Candy palette just to give you some size perspective. 

Accompanying guide:

Plastic cover
(taped down on both ends)

Mini Eyes the Limit Eye Shadow Primer
(0.17 oz)

Double-ended sponge tip applicator
Mini Take Me Out Eyeliner in Soy
(0.017 oz)

In the guide (pictured above), Hard Candy breaks down these shadows into three rows: "Day," "Drama" and "Evening." In the Too Faced Neutral Eye palette, the three rows are broken down into "Day," "Classic" and "Fashion."

But to me, each row can be best summed up like this:

NOTE: All of the shadows below were swatched over Milani Eyeshadow Primer. I did not swatch them over the accompanying Hard Candy primer, because that primer has a rather dry consistency. Using the Hard Candy primer with these shadows caused certain shades to look quite patchy, when it fact they were not patchy to begin with. So I opted to use the Milani primer instead for these swatches.

Tease, Toying, Minx
(top row)

The top row contains three matte shades: cream, medium brown and dark brown. All three shades are what I would consider neutral in color, and they all have a smooth consistency (not super silky or creamy, but they are smooth and not at all chunky or grainy). None of these are shadows are dry or stiff, but they are a bit powdery when you're picking up color with your brush (just like most mattes).  All of these shadows apply smoothly to the eye and are nicely pigmented over primer. 

Bashful, Girlie, Philander

The middle row contains all shimmers: light champagne beige, light peach and dark brown. The dark brown shade, Philander (I hate the word, but I digress!), has a gold sheen to it and it also contains iridescent glitter. All three of these shades have a smooth consistency and none of them are dry or stiff. I wouldn't call them "creamy," but they are not dry or powdery. Pigmentation is quite good over primer.

Chatty, Coy, Frisky

The bottom row of this palette contains one matte, one shimmer and one shade that's more of a satin-matte (and it also contains glitter). I would say that this row contains the sheerest shades in the palette, but they do become more vibrant over primer. Chatty is so similar to my natural skintone that it barely shows up on my eyes at all. The gold and reddish-brown shades require a bit of building, but I can definitely see them on my eyes over primer, and they do not become muddy after blending.

I do not own the Too Faced Neutral Eye palette, however I have seen a zillion swatches online (you can view some swatches HERE). Based on that, I think that several of the shades in this palette are similar to the Too Faced palette, but not exact dupes. I did a quick Google search and found this shade by shade comparison of the two palettes, which pretty much confirms my feelings. I think that if you're not too concerned with having EXACT dupes, and you just want to create looks that are similar to what you can get from the Too Faced palette, the Hard Candy palette might be a nice option for you.

For me personally, the best thing about this palette is the top row (the neutral mattes). All three of those shades work so well together, and they have very nice pigmentation over primer (not over the Hard Candy primer though, as I explained above). They last all day on my eyes when worn over primer, and they're perfect for a quick, workday look. The second and third rows of this palette are nice as well, but I feel like I have so many similar shimmers already in my stash that I just don't see myself reaching for these in particular. They're nice, just not "gotta have 'em" nice, if that makes sense.

FINAL VERDICT: I think that if you already own the Too Faced Neutral Eye palette, you can skip this one. But if you do not own the Too Faced palette, and you are looking for shades that can provide a similar feel, this could be a nice, affordable option considering that the Too Faced palette retails for $36 and the Hard Candy palette retails for $8 (both palettes contain 0.39 oz worth of shadow). Since I already have so many similar shimmers in my stash, none of the shimmers in this palette stand out to me as unique or noteworthy. But those three shades in the top row (the mattes) work so well together that I find myself reaching for this palette quite often during the work week (just for those three shades). Overall, I think this would be a great palette for beginners or those who are in need of more neutrals and earthtones. But if you're already a neutral/earthtone fanatic, you probably have very similar shades already lurking in your own stash. 

Do you own any of the new 2015 Hard Candy palettes? If so, I would love to hear how they're working for you!

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.


  1. What a pretty palette from Hard Candy for $8! It does look like the TF palette. I own the TF Matte Eye, but the shimmer shades look somewhat like some shades in my Lorac Unzipped Gold palette. The Walmart near me never has a huge selection of Hard Candy, unfortunately, and their stuff really gets ruined by shoppers. But for $8, this might be worth a trip to Walmart to see if they have it! Thanks for the review, pix & swatches!

  2. I bought the Smokey Eye palette, and the primer is absolutely the worst! I wore it all day, and the shadows were creased to hell. I need to try the shadows again over a decent primer.

  3. Would you say that Coy was a dupe for UD's Half Baked? That's one of my go-to shadows, and I hit pan in my Naked palette quite a while ago. Whittling away at the one in Naked 2 now. I'd love to find a good dupe for that.

    1. In case you were unaware, you can buy the shades in the naked palettes just as singles :) hope that helped so you don't keep buying the entire palette over and over hahaha

  4. Great review G! I completely agree with you, I own this palette and love using the mattes. I'm looking forward to trying some of the looks in the guide it came with. I don't own the Two Faced palette and don't need to, this palette is a great alternative imo if you don't want to pay $36 for practically the same thing. JamBeauty89 on You Tube has a great comparison video I highly recommend. Thanks again for your thorough reviews!

  5. Its funny that when HC first came out years and years ago, they started with very expensive nail polish. They were innovative. Now, they've really cheapened the line, I havent had good luck with anything in the line.

  6. I don't own the Too Faced palette and thought this was definitely worth a try. I haven't touched the primer or liner at all. I really love how they laid out the shadows and they are perfect complements to each other as a lid and definer shade. I enjoy the matte shades in the palette, and they show up and blend better than the matte shades in my IT cosmetics Naturally Pretty Celebration palette.

  7. I've been looking all over for this!
    I hate being inside wal mart, and I feel like I've been there all week lol

    I was hoping this post would make me change my mind, but I only want it more!

  8. I got two of three the Natural and the Sassy I don't own the TF pallet. I love these pallet and the packaging helps me a lot. I love tins. I have had fun playing with them and so happy I got them both. I am just building my collection. So these were good additions. I don't own any of the nakeds either. Too expensive for me. But this price I can do. Thanks for the info. Love seeing this every morning to find out what's going in for the day.


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