Saturday, September 18, 2010

Product Review: Hard Candy Glitter Mascara

The Word of the Shay this time around is MASCARA. That’s right, my first real “girlie” post here. I promised there would be makeup talk and reviews, and this qualifies as both! Enjoy!

Mascara, is a staple in most makeup routines for ladies (and gents). Typically shades of black and brown, but more and more makeup companies are venturing into fun colorful shades, such as purple,  blue, etc. A few of these lines have actually kicked it up yet another notch and produced glitter mascaras in striking shades as well, and this review will talk about my experience with one such product.

During my most recent trip to Wal-Mart, I was pleased to find that they are finally carrying the Hard Candy Wal-Mart Exclusive line. I say finally, because it’s been available in the US for quite a few months, but has only now hit the shelves in Canada.

I was eager to give them a try, but proceeded with caution as I hadn’t heard much about Hard Candy.  Deciding to limit my purchase to only two things from the line, I carefully chose what I thought were the two prettiest things. One of which being something I had never tried before, a glitter mascara, specifically Hard Candy Lash Tinsel Glitter Mascara in the shade voodoo.

I paid $5.98 CAN (plus applicable taxes) for my tube, it looked stunning, a massive amount of sparkly glitter, in my favorite color, purple (Note: The purple shade does lean toward the blue side, but is not quite as blue as it photographs). I was very excited to get it home to try it out.

hardcandylashtinsel1  hardcandylashtinsel2

 The packaging of this product, like most of the Hard Candy line, is very pretty, a clear tube to show off the glitter and color inside, their cute logo along with some girlie lettering and some scrolling flourish to add appeal. I also like that the exact name of the product is written clearly upon the tube, as well as the amount of product (you get 16.2g/0.60 oz) and the shade name and number are easily located on the bottom of the tube.

Unfortunately, once I got past the pretty packaging and opened the tube, things started to go downhill. For the details on that journey, keep reading and take a look at the photos below, starting with the wand and swatches, followed with various results I achieved on my lashes, I’ll explain exactly what method I tried with the application and how/why it didn’t work.


 Once  opened you can see the brush is very long but very slender,  being only slightly wider than the wand itself, with small spiral pattern fiber bristles. In general, I prefer a medium sized brush head for my mascaras but I can certainly work with large or small, this brush however is very stiff, virtually no flexibility and is one of the main problems with this mascara. The main issue being that instead of depositing glitter onto your lashes with each stroke, it seems to wipe away the glitter with each pass. Counter productive!


On skin swatches of the product from the wand to give you an idea of the color and amount of glitter suspended in the clear base. Top photo without flash, bottom with flash.


My bare lashes, without any product, as a point of reference. As you can see I have very light blonde eyelashes naturally. Be kind, no makeup here!

Before getting to the photos with the product applied,  I would like to inform you that this was my second attempt at all of these methods, to say that I was disappointed with my first attempt would be an understatement. I tried every way I could possibly conceive to make it work, and do what it’s suppose to do (apply glitter to your lashes), but nothing seemed to work to any degree of success.

That being said, my second trial with the Lash Tinsel, was slightly more rewarding, (I think I learned a little from my first experience), but still what I would consider an absolute failure.  This time of course, I took plenty of photos along the way to share with you.


Above are pictured, my eyelashes after one coat of Lash Tinsel, definitely not spectacular results, very little glitter actually adhered, even though this coat was done fully and evenly.  I definitely would not be able to wear this alone. Even with just one coat it was a little messy, you can see a few spots of glitter under the eye.


Not content to give up that easily, I continued on to see if adding multiple layers would help build the glitter.  Two coats later and these were the results. Sure there’s a little more glitter but as I mentioned above, the wand seemed intent on stripping away glitter as you wiggled and pulled it through the lashes, so even getting this amount to remain was difficult.


Determined to somehow get more glitter to stay put, I decided to let the previous coats dry (this is a VERY wet mascara, so that took a few minutes) before applying any more product, hoping the drier layers would give the glitter particles something to grip to, rather than sliding off the lashes and staying on the brush. This worked a little, but in addition to that I gave up on the traditional method of pulling the spoolie through the lashes (as it continued to strip the glitter) and instead opted to simply press the wand against the lashes using mostly the tip to deposit the glitter. The result, more glitter? Yes. More mess? YES! Big time. I think the picture speaks for itself. Even though more glitter stuck around, it clumped my lashes together in a very unflattering way, and after 3 different strategies I gave up, concluding that this mascara will never be something I can wear on it’s own.

There was one hope left, layering the Lash Tinsel over another mascara, to hopefully add a little sparkle to an  otherwise plain black mascara. Here’s how that went. . .


Above I’m wearing only L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black, which is my favorite go to mascara currently. I removed the glitter mascara with a makeup wipe (though you can still see some glitter particles remaining on my eyelid and below), and applied one full coat of black mascara to my lashes.


Here I layered one coat of the Lash Tinsel over the black mascara. The results were underwhelming, and barely noticeable, even this close. The most noticeable effect was in the top photo captured using the flash, you can see some glitter visible on the bottom lashes.


And lastly , to see if I could get more glitter payoff, I tried another layer of the glitter mascara, but with unfortunate results. Similarly to the layering I experienced without the black as a base, there was a massive amount of clumping. Overall I was left with a terrible spidery appearance.  Another failure.


So in conclusion, despite trying my hardest to find some way to make this product work, nothing achieved positive results. The best use, would probably be one light coat overtop of a regular (black) mascara, it did give a hint of shimmer, even if the effect was far from breathtaking and very subtle in natural light. If you already own this product, that’s how I would suggest getting some kind of use out of it. However, it’s definitely not worth purchasing.

Hard Candy Lash Tinsel Glitter Mascara is probably one of the biggest fails (in terms of makeup/beauty products) that I have ever tried. You expect one thing of a glitter mascara, to place glitter on your lashes, and it simply doesn’t do that. At least not to any acceptable, wearable level. It was hugely disappointing as my first foray into the Hard Candy line and I highly doubt I’ll be purchasing anything else from them. 

To wrap things up, here’s a quick recap of the pros and cons of this product.


Attractive packaging

Clearly labeled

Lovely color



Ineffective wand/brush

Glitter does not adhere well to lashes

Very wet and messy

Not successfully buildable alone

Clumps and sticks lashes together if layered aka Spidery lash effect



Do yourself a favor and if you see this, keep on walking!

I hope this has been helpful and has saved someone precious time and money!

Till next time!

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry 2 inform you, but that isn't the purple.. that is the blue. The purple is very plummy.. #424 starstruck... I roll it up my lashes, over my black base... Best of luck :)