July 30, 2020

Hard Candy Smoothing Primer Balm Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.
4 stars out of 5

Hard Candy Smoothing Primer Balm ($7.94) is a new solid balm primer much like Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer and E.L.F. Poreless Putty Primer. This launched back in February but that was a busy month for me and soon after COVID hit so I never did grab any of the newest Hard Candy launches for Spring 2020 until recently. I could have ordered it online but Walmart and Target are probably two of thee worst places to shop online due to way they ship products (everything always arrives broken!).

Anyway, I decided to give this a whirl and see how it compared to other solid primers that have been launching lately. As you know, I purchased the Tatcha one when it originally launched and it failed to impress me. I have dry skin but Tatcha’s formula made me feel really slick and rather gross! I did like the E.L.F. one and I’d compare it to Hard Candy’s version as far as formula goes but I think I may be liking the Hard Candy version a bit more.

Let’s check it out below!

For reference, Hard Candy Smoothing Primer Balm is $7.94 and 0.78 oz where as E.L.F. Poreless Putty Primer is 0.72 oz which means you’re getting a little more for your buck with Hard Candy and you’re saving a few pennies too. Tatcha’s version is obviously way more expensive at $52 and smaller at 0.70 oz. So again, you’re saving quite a bit of cash if you go the E.L.F. or Hard Candy Way.

One of the more important factors though would be ingredients and how they compare to Tatcha’s version. I listed below the ingredients for all three products. One of the two biggest two ingredients missing from both Hard Candy and E.L.F. that’s a big selling point for Tatcha is the Hydrolyzed Silk and Silk Powder. Hard Candy’s probably the most basic of the three as it lacks ingredients like Squalane which makes an appearance in both E.L.F. and Tatcha’s formula. That being said there are many of the same ingredients in E.L.F. and Hard Candy’s version like Dimethicone, Water and Glycerin as well as a host of other cones. One thing both Hard Candy and E.L.F. lack is fragrance which is great for sensitive users that don’t appreciate the fact that Tatcha contains fragrance in all their products.

Hard Candy Smoothing Primer Balm Ingredients:
Dimethicone, Water, Glycerin, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Polyethylene, Butylene Glycol, Tribehenin, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polysilicone-11, Phenoxyethanol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Silica, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Isostearic Acid, Iron Oxides (CI 77491)

Tatcha’s Ingredients:
Cyclopentasiloxane, Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Saccharomyces/Camellia Sinensis Leaf/Cladosiphon Okamuranus/Rice Ferment Filtrate*, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Propanediol, Dimethicone, Ceresin, Titanium Dioxide, Squalane, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Sericin, Hydrolyzed Silk, Silk Powder, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit Extract, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Yeast Extract, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Zinc Stearate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Disodium Edta, Silica, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Parfum/Fragrance, Isopropyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Mica (Ci 77019), Tin Oxide (Ci 77861), Iron Oxide (Ci 77491). *Hadasei-3.

E.L.F.’s Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Ceresin, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Propylene Glycol, Lauryl PEG-10 Tris(trimethylsiloxy)silylethyl Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract , Squalane, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Talc, Butylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol MAY CONTAIN: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)

The textures are all the same on the three products with a solid, creamy balm that’s pink in color that sets transparently. Unlike Tatcha’s formula I don’t get the weird slippery feel from Hard Candy. It feels like it applies very easily but without any slick, silicone feel. It’s lightly creamy and easy to apply. It absorbs a lot easier compared to Tatcha’s formula but doesn’t quite have the soft, silky finish of E.L.F.’s version which I’m fine as it feels weightless. I don’t have visible pores aside from smaller ones on my nose and this did an excellent job blurring their appearance and just giving my entire face a very smooth, airbrushed finish for makeup to adhere too. I didn’t have issues with pilling and my foundation and other makeup applied perfectly on top of this. This created a very nice, smooth layer and canvas for my makeup to adhere to.

I’m not entirely sure why but I liked this a bit more than E.L.F.’s version. Maybe because once I applied it I didn’t really feel it on my skin. It wasn’t silky, it wasn’t mattifying, it just created this smooth surface on my skin without feeling like I even put it on. When I wear Tatcha’s version I always feel greasy and even oily a few hours after but with both Hard Candy and E.L.F’s formula I don’t feel that. I feel like it does extend my foundation wear by a little bit as my foundation remains fresher longer since it isn’t laying on my skin directly but on top of the layer that this balm creates over my skin!

I’m quite happy with this purchase and think I’ll be using it a lot this Summer. One thing that disappointed me every so slightly was the fact it didn’t come with a spatula. I have tons of them hanging around as I buy them in bulk but it would be nice if it was included with the balm!

But none the less, Hard Candy Smoothing Primer Balm is an excellent pick to prime and smooth skin for makeup or hey, wear it alone for a more natural, smooth, and flawless look!

Hard Candy Smoothing Primer Balm is a new solid priming balm that’s 0.78 oz in size and priced at $7.94. This is a solid balm that transforms into a creamier texture which can be applied on skin to blur the appearance of pores and imperfections to create a smooth, even surface for makeup to adhere to. I don’t have larger pores but I have smaller ones on my nose that this easily tackled and created a smooth, flawless look. It also smooths skin and gives it a very flawless, airbrushed appearance. The texture is easy to work with and absorbs easily feeling virtually weightless on skin. It’s fragrance-free but does contain a host of silcones. It did extend the wear of my foundation and makeup while keeping my skin looking perfect throughout the day!

Dimethicone, Water, Glycerin, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Polyethylene, Butylene Glycol, Tribehenin, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polysilicone-11, Phenoxyethanol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Silica, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Isostearic Acid, Iron Oxides (CI 77491)

Pros

  • Fragrance free.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Extends foundation wear.
  • Easy to apply.
  • Weightless.


Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a spatula to remove product from the pot.

Who

Hard Candy Smoothing Primer Balm is an ideal pick for anyone with pores, finer lines, or a less than smooth skin surface that wants to blur the appearance of imperfections and create a smoother canvas for makeup!