A few days ago I noticed that Hard Candy had released a few 10-pan eyeshadow palettes (called their “Top Ten Eyeshadow Collection”) as a part of their Fall 2012 makeup releases. Apparently these palettes have been out since October, but I’ve only just now noticed them on the shelves. Although I’m a bit on a budget right now, these only cost $6 USD each (with 0.04 oz of product in each eyeshadow pan), so I decided to pick one up.
I’m surprised I haven’t heard more buzz about these palettes. It seems like they more or less were quietly stocked onto the shelves, and have been patiently waiting to be noticed. There are a few color options: a neutral palette, a green palette, a purple palette, a pink palette, and a smokey palette.
The neutral palette (called “Naturally Gorgeous”) is what caught my eye, because it almost appears to be Hard Candy’s attempt to offer a drugstore version of UD’s extremely popular “Naked” palette. (To be honest, I don’t own the “Naked” palette myself, but I’ve seen so many swatches and posts about it that it was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the “Naturally Gorgeous” palette.)
Thankfully Aly of Wonderland Beauty allowed me to use one of her photos to see if there were any comparisons to be made.
Hard Candy’s “Naturally Gorgeous” Palette
Urban Decay’s “Naked” Palette
Photo courtesy Aly of Wonderland Beauty
Right away I could see three noticeable differences. First, the Hard Candy palette is all shimmers — there are no matte shades offered. Second, the Hard Candy palette seems to majorly lean toward warm shades, whereas the UD palette offers a mix of both warm and cool shades. (While some of the Hard Candy shadows look cool toned, they actually are warm once applied. You’ll see this in the swatches.) Third would be the number of shadows: the “Naturally Gorgeous” palette contains ten eyeshadows, and the “Naked” palette has twelve.
There is a fourth difference, though — the price. The Hard Candy palette is $6 USD and the UD palette is $50 USD.
But what about the shadows themselves? Well, they are powdery and have some of the worst fallout I’ve seen in pressed shadows. They also are not the most finely-milled shadows you’ll use in your lifetime, so the bits of fallout are going to be larger and more visible to the eye. If you were to use these shadows, I would definitely recommend doing your eyes first, then doing your foundation & powder.
Thankfully most of the shadows in this palette have decent pigmentation to go along with a decent color range. The first two colors in the palette have the weakest pigmentation, but they are also the lightest of the shadows. The deeper colors, as well as the two ‘golden’ shades (the bronze-gold and the antique-gold) have some of the best pigmentation.
- None of the shadows have names
- All shadows swatched over Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- Shadows buffed, not patted, over the TFSI
- Clean lines achieved by using basic scotch tape
- Photos taken in natural daylight
I honestly wasn’t expecting much from a $6 drugstore palette, but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes… there is fallout, a few of the shades are more similar than I’d prefer, and they aren’t the most finely-milled shadows. I do wish that one or two of the similar shades could be switched out for a some darker shades (like a black) but that’s not a huge issue.
I didn’t struggle with application as pigmentation was decent (although I would definitely recommend using it over an eyeshadow primer) and there is enough variety in the shadows that you can create quite a few pretty looks. The pans contain almost as much eyeshadow as UD’s eyeshadows in the Naked palette (.04 oz versus .05 oz). Plus, this is a cruelty-free brand which has sadly become difficult to find in drugstore brands these days. If you’re on a budget and looking for some pretty neutrals, this palette is a good & affordable option.
Have you seen this palette in stores? Do you think you’ll pick it up, or will you pass on it?