December 9, 2010

Hard Candy Pop Up Palette Review, Swatches, Photos

After some serious digging I finally located the Hard Candy Pop Up Palette. Who wouldn’t want it? The promise of cute little pots of Hard Candy Baked Eyeshadow in a pop up design palette a la Urban Decay Book of Shadows with a $15 sweet as honey price tag. It seemed like a great option to feature on Musings as a budget beauty gift or just because we are all bloody fine beauty junkies that need the latest, greatest fix eh?



Wait until you hear this!

Nine Hard Candy Baked Eyeshadows and applicators in a pop design palette.

Good? Seriously?

No good here.

Wow. Simply wow. I can’t even begin to understand why they are selling this.

I’ve been blogging a long time and I’ve been collecting makeup even longer and I don’t think I can honestly say that I’ve run into a product as bad as this.

First off the palette has the potential for cuteness but is so shabbily made that you can’t even wrap your head around any cute aspects without wincing at the fact that it doesn’t close, basically falls apart in your hands, has rips and tears right out of the package, and just overall is amazingly poorly made. It’s a hard cardboard design but is not sturdy at all! The flip top design opens up and should snap close with a magnet but it just flips back up and refuses to close.

To add insult to injury the drawer that houses the applicators and eyeshadows is plastic. You basically have nine shades of shadow, a well of some sort for mixing, and applicators that are stuck onto a piece of flimsy plastic. Nice. Really nice. Seriously?

You wanna talk bad formula for a minute? The shadows are ROCK hard. I got about three shades that actually swatched ok but the rest have ZERO pigmentation unless you wet them. Was that intentional? Did they want you to use them only wet? It does say wet or dry but these have the texture of a shadow that was basically thrown into water and proceeded to be left out to dry. Run a brush across them and you pick up NOTHING. That goes for a sponge tip applicator as well. I am literally shaking with fury that they dare sell make up this bad. Honestly?!

The applicators included are equally trashy and are falling apart with shedding, harsh, scratch bristles. Plus Eye Primer that feels like facial moisturizer.

The list and ranting can go on and on and on here.

Hard Candy has definitely set out a good map for budget beauty however this set was an utter and complete fail. They seriously need to consider recalling this or risk offending thousands of fans.

  • NO ONE!

  • Anyone who’s insulted by truly bad quality cosmetics!

I’ve always given Hard Candy my fair share of support. I think the brand has done well for itself and has set themselves up for success by becoming a beauty budget pick for those who are a bit tight in the realms of splurging on makeup however this set is a hazard. The products I’ve come across in past purchases weren’t made in China and this particular palette was, that deserves mentioning. Honestly, not only is the overall design and formula of the products awful but I’d simply be scared to use any of it near my eyes because lord knows what is in it. This is possibly the worst product I have ever reviewed on Musings.

This was very bad.

Avoid at all costs.

Don’t do it.


Have you tried the Hard Candy Pop Up Palette?

What was your purchase like?

Maybe I got a fluke, I sure as hell hope so!

I want my $15 dollars back plus interest and extra for emotional distress.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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    • the Muse

      amazingly bad marina. I’m still sitting here shocked that it was really THIS bad LOL

  • Phyrra

    OMG how awful!
    I’ve been loving the HC Welcome Matte and Moon Glow powders lately, but my first e/s experience was with their duo in Backstage, which was awful. It sounds like this was a million times worse!

    So glad to know that it’s not worth purchasing.

    • the Muse

      oh god dd it was just awful. I’ve had issues with their baked shadows myself but this is beyond that. These feel ROCK hard. You can’t even begin to squeeze color from them! I’m shocked!

  • Josie

    Wow i just saw this at Walmart on my lunch break and thankfully passed on buying it! Thanks for the review!! Hope you get to review some of the other holiday setts though!

    • the Muse

      ha andrea to say the least ;-D just talked to an Andrea at Dreamhost for my server, you wouldn’t be one and the same?! ;-D!

  • Soo

    I actually really like the packaging. it’s unfortunate that it’s not worth it 🙁

  • breyerchic04

    This would be ok results (working wet, and not closing) out of the $2 pallette I want from cvs. But Hard Candy can do better than that!

    The colors aren’t even that appealing.

  • Jane

    Please tell me you can take it back and get your money back seriously this looks seriously bad can’t believe that only 3 colors would swatch. Not a huge Hard Candy fan in the first place the number of products I have can be counted on one hand but this is really bad. Well another makeup product to adviod

      • Jane

        Thats good my cousion read your post and said she wasn’t surprised she took on look at it and decided to add a couple more bucks and buy the glamour to go pallet from too faced and loves that she carries it everywhere.

  • Kristen

    LOL @ “NO one will like it”

    I dont like HC shadows. I bought a bunch one time and they had no pigmentation, unless they were wet. So I took them back, because I dont want wet eyeshadows.

    • the Muse

      kristen I’ve had hit or miss with ‘;em in the past but this is really picking at the bottom of the barrel ;( whoa!

  • Aiia

    Ouch. This looks just… ugh. Though, I do have two of the mini sets (the nude eye one and the one with the blush), and they’re honestly pretty good. You have to use a sponge with the shadows to get any pigmentation, but maybe that’s just my fault for having been spoiled by vibrant Urban Decay eye colors, aha. Though, worth noticing, the eye primer has three different kinds of parabens in it!

    • the Muse

      I got one of the eye sets and actually liked it Aiia but this was AWFUL 🙁 jeepers thanks for telling me ;-D! good to know!

      • Aiia

        Any time Muse ^_^ Also, I was inspired by this post to inspect some other hard candy products… the face primer had no parabens, but I’m not sure about the Glow All the Way luminizer as all I have is the mini and I threw away the package ages ago! But also, all the products I have are made in the USA, except for the mini shadows, mini blush, and eye primer! Hmm. The mini blush is amazing though, I’m pretty sure the size is bigger than a MAC blush and I haven’t had any problems with pigmentation, though that may be due to my ghostly paleness 😛

        • the Muse

          hi aiia again sorry for the delayed reply. Thanks again for the deets. I tend to stick to a kabuku with the HC baked blushes, works best for me to pick up color with ;-D seems a hit or miss where products are made, that’s why I was kinda shocked this was made in china!

  • Promise

    The last thing I bought from HC, I returned,. I probably won’t buy their stuff again.

  • addicted_j.t.

    HAHAHA ,pop-up…. are you serious, the packaging alone looks like a joke and made me laugh. This product is like the token girl at the party that tried so hard to fit in that no one can stand her.

  • Hana

    Wow, that’s so sad. 🙁 I keep looking for their mini holiday nail polishes. And I ordered the set with three mini plumping glosses and a mirror and the set with three eyeshadows and blush/bronzer when I was ordering my mom’s printer, but I’m sure glad I passed up this palette.

    • the Muse

      Hana smart move! Try where the xmas stuff is and where the gift sets are, away from the makeup aisle and with the christmas decorations and such!

  • mon

    Wow I was waiting to hear a review but maybe I shouldn’t have read it because you have now dashed my dreams! Gone is the hope of stumbling to the “evil empire” and finding a box of eyeshadow gold! Thank you for the review however sad it may make me 😀

  • Emily

    I saw this at the store and I’m so glad I waited to buy it. Now I know to not get it. If you got it at Walmart (which I’m sure you did), as long as you have your receipt, you shouldn’t have any problem taking it back and getting your money. The only thing with Walmart is when you return something and want your money back they usually give you a Walmart gift card and not your cash back. At least that is how they do it with me. Good luck on the return!!

    • the Muse

      thanks emily def going back even with a credit I’ll be fine but def can’t keep this! It’s just awful 🙁

  • Kaoru

    Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you get this angry at a product. Thanks for the review, I will tell others to stay away from this abomination!

    • the Muse

      ha kaoru! I was pretty upset as hard candy has been doing so well lately. WHY!??????????????

  • leesie

    I’ve seen this a few times at work–yes, I work at Walmart. I need money, it’s a job, and I’ve met some great people there–and every time I see it, I do a double-take. It just looks so…cheap. In a very, very bad way. I’m honestly not surprised the quality isn’t good, but I can’t say I expected it to be THIS terrible.

    • the Muse

      leesie, no shame working at walmart hun! Money is money ;-D and a job is a job in this economy. Always take pride in what you do, no matter what it is ;-D I have nothing against folks that work at walmart, I’m just not a big fan of the store as I believe they put alot of smaller stores, mom and pop shops, out of business ;-D Just a brief explanation from my dubbing it the evil empire ;-D

      I was SHOCKED! I looked at it and I said mmm it kinda looks crummy b/c I thought the colors would be more vibrant and they looked more pastel in the packaging but at that point I wasn’t doubting the formula…when I tried it, OH boy…really bad. I was shocked as Hard Candy has been really doing well with releases!

  • Cali

    I almost got this the other day but ended up getting HC’s Bad Girl Next Door mini set. Sosososo glad I did. Thank goodness those adorable little mascaras swayed me.

  • Deb

    Thanks so much for this reveiw, I’ll avoid. Let’s us know if you have any issues with returns. Does Walmart usually let you return makeup that has been tried?

  • suzy

    I agree Muse! This is very bad! Bad shadows and bad packaging. I am very disappointed in HC.

  • Gianna

    OMG, I was so excited to try this after seeing it, but now? No thanks! I had such high hopes for these holiday sets but then I found out that some of the LE polishes stain, even with a base coat, so I wonder if *all* the holiday products were possibly not made to the same standards as the core collection? At any rate, you just totally saved me 15 bucks and for that I’m so grateful! Sorry you had to experience that though! 🙁

    • the Muse

      my pleasure gianna and very sorry about the polishes 🙁 I don’t think they were at all at all! I did get another set I reviewed recently, the bad girl one, which wasn’t half bad, but this was just terrible 🙁

  • cheyenne

    is it me or is one eyeshadow missing? there’s an empty space. & hard candy USED to be good! what the hell happened D:

  • layla88

    Oh how distasteful! Is Hard Candy trying to live up to the literal meaning of it’s name n start selling ‘hard’ as hell eyeshadows?…ok that was lame but still lol U should definitely return it and get ur money back!

  • sara

    OK muse— I’m a big dork and I want this. It has nothing to do with make up. I have the bird tattoos and collect things that have them. I can’t find this damn kit anywhere LOL 🙁 i know I’ve disappointed you.

    • the Muse

      *shakes head* sara, sara, sara….I am very disappointed.

      LOL ;-D but I relate. I totally understand about your obsession ;-D

  • Lenna

    I was excited to try this before because I liked some of their little Xmas sets…but wow…those pop up things look….stupid. And if only 3 will swatch….no good at all.

  • Kerry

    So sad this sucks! I got that eyeshadow primer with an eyeshadow from HC, and it truly does suck. Urg…

  • SJG

    When your product goes from Sephora to Walmart that’s never ever a good sign. If I was Dineh M (who I realize sold it ages ago but still) I’d be pooping bricks.

    Don’t get me started on the fact that Ocean Pacific clothing is now there too….same principle.

  • Jessica

    Thank You Muse! I’ve been begging all my friends to track this down for me (I HATE how only certain Walmarts carry certain things in the line) and one of them told me “I’ve seen it but I can guarantee you don’t want it!”
    Now I’m glad I didn’t indulge. Hmm more money to buy other things.

  • Suzy

    Haha no I didn’t even try it because all the colors look so light and blah! Such a let down!!!

  • Milena

    The product seems really bad, I agree with you on that.
    But why would you be afraid to use it in your eyes? Just because it was made in China??? :O

    • the Muse

      hi milena I use products that are made in China all the time. Some readers request that I mention if an item was or wasn’t made in China which I did. I personally didn’t want to use it near my eyes because the formula and quality was just awful. Some makeup users avoid items made in china since ingredients can’t be verified.

  • chichi

    I bought the $5 set when i saw at walmart and i was very disappointed!!! i wish i waited for your review.

  • Vanessa

    huh… I used to buy Hard Candy a decade ago, when it was only sold at places like Nordstroms and was comparable in price to Urban Decay, etc. What the hell happened? It’s sold at Walmart now?

  • Donna

    I bought this when it first came out, and it made me sad. the birds and heart flopped off the springs as soon as I opened it, and I don’t really care for those brushes [if you wanna call it that] at all. I think, in my pallet at least, only the white and the burnt red/brown shadow was worth anything. I ended up just popping out all the shadows and putting them in a container for each one and stuffing the ‘case’ into my closet. kinda upsetting as I love all of their other products :/

    • the Muse

      donna same experience here, it pretty much fell apart as soon as I removed it from the package, pretty sad 🙁

  • September Lena

    Emotional distress, lmao. I love the way you write!

    I’ve found those baked shadows (not that brand in particular, baked shadows in general) to be a bit hit and miss…and since I don’t have time in the mornings to faff around with water and mixing medium and the like, if it doesn’t swatch well dry I’m not buying it.
    I’m pretty surprised by Hard Candy though, they’d been getting good reviews from what I’ve seen…crap product. And that primer is grim. Ew.

    • the Muse

      ha thanks September ;-D I’ve given a fair few of those good reviews out myself but this, this was AWFUL. Honestly I find it takes a special person to love baked eyeshadow for sure, it’s always depends on the formula and def a hit or miss but these were big TIME miss girl. Just really bad that had nothing to do with the baked formula 🙁

  • RuthGirl

    You are SO funny, girl! 😀 Thank you for this review – you saved me a lot of “GRRRR!” factor cuz I just about purchased this the other day but then put it back for some reason – now I most CERTAINLY will not!

    I kind of have a feeling (and a hope) that this palette is not indicative of HC’s normal quality – that instead it is a cheaply made, poorly designed, horrible decision by someone at HC in an attempt to grab some of the consumer $$ that inevitably gets spent on all kinds of makeup “sets” at this time of year (no matter HOW nasty they are, unfortunately!).

    I certainly hope HC will get enough bad publicity from this to learn their lesson and NOT do this again! This is reminding me of that palette Stila released in such a tiny quantity several weeks ago – that a lot of girls said they had picked up at Costco – and that the quality was TERRIBLE!

  • theRothstanator

    I have been hunting for this one. Luckily, I have not been able to find it anywhere. Thanks for making me feel a thousand times better about not finding this.