Budget Beauty: Hard Candy Take Me Out eyeliner and Kal-eye-descope shadow

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Move over beauty bargain faves, Hard Candy is the new drugstore diva brand!

Hard Candy collectionphotos: we heart this

Remember back in the day when Hard Candy was best known for its iconic nail polishes that had the cute little rings attached to them? Since Hard Candy made the move to mass-market (their products are now available online and at Walmart), the brand has rolled out some amazing, and seriously affordable cosmetics in addition to its nail polish collection.

Don’t fret – the polishes still come with the cute little rings, but today I’d like to share with you some makeup products that are packed with just as much color as their fun, fashion-forward polishes.

Hard Candy's Take Me Out Molten Metal Eyeliner Pencils

Take for instance, Hard Candy’s Take Me Out Molten Metal Eyeliner Pencils which simply could not be any more adorable. Shaped like a chopstick (get it? Take out?), these eyeliner pencils can actually double as a hair bun holder in a pinch. In fact, I’m using one to secure the bun in my hair as I write this, and it looks pretty darned cute.

Hard Candy's Take Me Out Molten Metal Eyeliner Pencils

These liners are truly metallic, boast a long-lasting, stay put formula and are available in 18 vivid hues. Plus, at $5 a pop, they are a true beauty bargain!

Hard Candy's Take Me Out Molten Metal Eyeliner Pencils swatchesMolten 24K, Molten Camo, Molten Sailor Blue, Molten Bullet

I tested Molten Sailor Blue, a beautiful silver-blue, that glides across my eyes effortlessly. There’s a built in smudge time of about 30 seconds and then the color is locked into place. In addition to the metallic finish, this liner has a touch of silver microglitter in it as well.

This hue, like the entire Take Me Out line, is definitely a “notice me” shade that looks stunning paired with the other product I received for review: Hard Candy’s Kal-eye-descope Baked Eyeshadow Duo in Make Believe.

Hard Candy's Kal-eye-descope Baked Eyeshadow Duo Make Believe swatchesMake Believe

Make Believe contains an icy silver-blue shimmer on one side – and a rich, but also icy, midnight blue shimmer on the other. This eyeshadow duo has a baked texture, which means you can easily use it dry for a subtle wash of color, or wet for a bolder pop of color.

Hard Candy's Kal-eye-descope Baked Eyeshadow Duo Absolutely Fabulous swatchesAbsolutely Fabulous

Hard Candy's Kal-eye-descope Baked Eyeshadow Duo Backstage Pass swatchesBackstage Pass

And speaking of color, the Kal-eye-descope Baked Eyeshadow Duos are available in over a dozen bold, color coordinated sets, for just $6 each. They are not for the color-shy – keep reading for a taste of the stunning range of shades!

Hard Candy's Kal-eye-descope Baked Eyeshadow Duo Bad Reputation swatchesBad Reputation

Hard Candy's Kal-eye-descope Baked Eyeshadow Duo Blind Date swatchesBlind Date

I like to dampen my eyeshadow brush and use these shades wet (aka “foiled”) for dramatic effect. I also find that wearing these shades foiled really increases the staying power as well. When applied wet, these shadows definitely take on a metallic quality and both shadows are packed with color and vibrancy.

Hard Candy's Kal-eye-descope Baked Eyeshadow Duo Love Bug swatchesLove Bug

Hard Candy's Kal-eye-descope Baked Eyeshadow Duo Pick Up Line swatchesPick Up Line

Extremely affordable
Intense, bold colors
Shadows are versatile and can be worn wet or dry
Take Me Out Eyeliners are smooth and apply with no tugging or pulling

Bold colors mean they’re not for everyone
Take Me Out liners don’t always fair well on the lower lash line, especially if you have oily skin
The eyeshadow duos are light on pigmentation when worn dry, so you must apply them wet for more vibrancy

After having used several products over the past year or so, I have been consistently impressed with the performance, selection and affordability of the “new” Hard Candy and these two products are definitely no exception. If you love color, and you don’t want to break the bank to get it, I think they’re definitely worth a look.

we heartsters – do you have any favorites from Hard Candy? Please stay tuned to see the wht review team’s thoughts on these products!

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.



  1. I’ve loved Hard Candy ever since they came out with the blue nail polishes back in the 90s. And I was obsessed with their old glitter eyeliner and quad eyeshadows. Now I have 5 of their dual Kal-eye-descope eyeshadows, and use a Hard Candy blush every day. I just don’t like having to go to Wal-mart to get the stuff now:(

    1. I hear you on the Walmart angle. I wish they had a few different places to pick up Hard Candy items.

  2. These liners look nice, especially for metallics which aren’t an everyday make-up for me. With the lower price I don’t feel bad if I pick some up that may stay in the make-up bag without use until a good party night.

  3. The pencils looks nice! I like that the color goes on smoothly- some ‘cheaper’ brands’ pencils can be dry and pull..yuck!

    1. @glamazon56 I know exactly what you mean, and it was very nice to see that this wasn’t the case with these!

  4. Great post, @nouveaucheap – you make me want to go out and buy Take Me Out eyeliner right now. The colors are so pretty!

    I tested Hard Candy’s Baked Eyeshadow Duo in Bad Reputation, the gun metal/white combo. Huge surprise for such a reasonably priced product. @nouveaucheap – you say the color you tried was light on pigment, but Bad Rep was pigment rich even when I used it dry. It’s also easily blendable, and even after many uses, the dome of color still looks new. Bad Rep reminded me of my favorite baked Chanel shadows (which cost roughly seven times as much, and, except for the packaging, aren’t any nicer).

    Bonus points for durability. I dropped the compact on a hard tile floor, and was expecting pulverized powder when I picked it up. Instead, no damage at all! I couldn’t believe it. 5 stars for this nifty little bargain duo!

    1. AHHH! I always DREAD dropping convex products, they always shatter and make me want to stab something. Lucky for you, Melissa! :-)

    2. @turboterp: Wow, that’s so great to hear that your duo was high in pigmentation even without a wet brush. And how cool that you found a nice little dupe comparison in the process, AND it didn’t shatter when you dropped it. Color me impressed! You’re making me want to get that shade now. :)

  5. With the exception of a lip gloss I was sent for review, I’ve stuck with their face products. Their foundation, concealer, pressed mattifying powder, and blushes are some of my go-tos. For cheaper than Physician’s Formula (my holy grail as an adolescent), these products are AMAZING!
    By the way- does anyone know if their baked blushes and bronzers are depot-able? I broke the lid on my favorite blush and want to put it in a palette, but have no clue as how to get it out of the packaging. Google and Youtube searching was futile :(

    1. a girl named Sam: I wish I knew about the depotting issue. I honestly am such a klutz that I never try to depot anything, but if you ever figure out a way to do it, I’d love to know!

    2. No, the Hard Candy baked bronzers and blushes are not really depotable. I shattered my Hard Candy highlighter/blush and tried to depot it/repress it. These blushes and bronzers are baked onto a clay/ceramic base (like MAC’s baked products). The base is glued to the plastic case. Yes, you could possibly use rubbing alcohol to dissolve the glue enough to pry up the base, but then you run into the problem of the blush being too deep for any palette. I removed the clay piece, and repressed the blush directly into the plastic case. However, it is much harder than it was before, and a little difficult to pick up product on your makeup brush. All in all, I personally would say that you’d be better off just buying another one, or using it as a loose powder.

  6. Those liners are CRAZY. Molten Camo and Molten 24K are just plain pretty and calling my name. Totally worth a late night run to Wal-Mart. (If I have to go at all, I won’t go before 10pm. Walking into that place full of bad little screaming kids is like instant sterilization…)

    1. @lyssachelle: Hahaha! I know what you mean about the kids–it can get crazy hectic in that place, for sure. :)

  7. Great swatches – Love Bug looks gorgeous and subtle. I may have to brave Walmart for that one!

  8. These products (along with other “new” Hard Candy products I’ve tried over the past year, including their Glamoflauge heavy-duty concealer, which I love) get five stars from me. It’s difficult sometimes to find high-impact shades in this price range, in fashion-forward colors, and that’s exactly what you get from these.

    Oh, I also want to add that I’ve tried the baked shadows with eyeshadow primer, and primer really takes the intensity up a notch too, in case you don’t like using a wet brush to apply your shadows.

  9. I tried Molten Bullet eyeliner and the Blind Date eyeshadow duo. First up is Molten Bullet. I loved this smooth and creamy eyeliner as much as any I have tried for its purpose. In that I mean that I use the metalic as an accent (like the water line above my lower lashes). This is a bit more unexpected than a white or nude eyeliner there and it really is smooth and tug-free. I’ll echo the sentiment that it’s not a long-lasting liner but, as I mentioned, it does great as an accent liner. Three stars.
    My Blind Date wasn’t so great (not the first time I’ve said THAT in my life). It was fine as a highlighter. Both colors (white and pale pink) were so light I really couldn’t see using them as anything but highlighter). I also have a love/hate relationshiip with these colors not being separated by any partition, instead, molded as one. On the one hand it’s useful for blending ( I did try a pinky-white highlighter), but on the other it’s a little “hey, you got your chocolate in my peanut butter.” But the shadow is rather large so the issue itself isn’t a huge one. I usually like my highlighters more on the warm side. I’m lucky in that I can wear cool or warm tones, but I do prefer warms. The lack of pigment also underwhelmed me. I do like some of those other colors though, and for the price this seems like a pretty good deal. 2 stars.
    Both products round out at 2 1/2 stars so I’ll round up…

  10. I love Hard Candy! Thanks for the review.
    My favorite things are their eye shadows and blushes~

  11. I got to give Hard Candy’s Eyeliner Pencil in Molten Metal Sailor Blue a run for its money. At first I was not impressed as it needed to almost to be primed to get going. After it was warmed a bit I found it to be quite smooth going on and loved the long pencil for easy application. I’m impressed for the price! I had no idea I’d like blue eyeliner on my upper lid either. I’m usually a brown/black liner kind of girl when it comes to liners. But I actually liked it on even against my blue eyes. Fun is the look I got! I wouldn’t wear this under my lower lashes, but that’s just me. It is a beautiful silver-blue, which shines above whatever eye shadows worn. One negative was that I thought the color should definitely stay on longer than it did. It seemed to wear off rather easily. Over all I give it a four star rating! ****

  12. Great review! I really want to try Molten Camo. I have heard a lot of buzz about Hard Candy lately. I have a friend who swears many of their products are equivalent to many department store counterparts.

  13. I received a Hard Candy Plumping Serum Volumizing Gloss in “Pink Lady” and the Take Me Out eyeliner in “Bullet.” The Hard Candy line at Walmart is fun and inexpensive, and they have some great bright colors!

    PLUMPING SERUM VOLUMIZING GLOSS: “Pink Lady” is a sheer gloss with tons of pink microglitter. The tube is cute and sturdy, but there isn’t as much gloss as in a standard lipgloss tube (more packaging, but less product). It’s nearly an exact dupe of MAC Dazzleglass in “Like Venus.” So if you’ve been wanting to try out a Dazzleglass, but didn’t want to spend the money, try one of these instead. This gloss has a faint artificial vanilla/bubblegum scent, but it’s not bothersome. IThe doe foot applicator is a tiny bit pointy/pokey, and doesn’t pick up much gloss. It also doesn’t volumize or plump my lips at all, although there is a very slight tingle. I also wish there were just a bit more pigment. I’d give this product 3 of 5 stars. It’s a good product, but not one of my favorites, and I feel there are comparable products out there.

    TAKE ME OUT EYELINER: “Bullet” is the metallic silver shade. I love that it’s TRULY METALLIC looking, but you do have to build up a bit of product to get it to REALLY show up. Also, there isn’t much product for the size–it takes up more room than regular liners, but doesn’t have extra product. I personally found the length of wear to be just so-so. I’d also give this product 3 of 5 stars. Again, it’s a good product, but it’s not one of my favorites, and there are comparable products out there.

    Prior to this review, I had purchased several Hard Candy items for myself. I’ve purchased several of the Kal-eye-descope eyeshadow

    I also own three of the nail polishes, two of the other plumping glosses, two blushes, one bronzer, a concealer, a cream eyeliner/shadow duo, mascara primer and liquid eyeliner. I stop by the Hard Candy section every time at Walmart, because they’re inexpensive but fun products! I’ve gotten a few of my friends hooked on it as well. :) This line is especially good for Halloween, because of the wild colors, and inexpensive price.

    I’ve reviewed the liquid liner and one of the baked shadows on my blog, and have swatches as well:


  14. Going to have to check out Hard Candy soon. Haven’t bought anything from them in years, but these baked shadows look really nice.

  15. I’ll have to check out Hard Candy next time I’m at Walmart. I’ve seen the display, but I might have to pick up some of the nail polishes. I’m quite finicky with eyeliners as I don’t like anything with metallic, sparkly or glitter bits (they irritate my eyes ENORMOUSLY); I need them to be creme only!

    The only thing that has ever irritated me about baked eyeshadows/blusher duos/quads are the uneven lines! It just bugs me to death! (Yes, I AM that woman who straightens the pictures in the waiting room.)

  16. I received Absolutely Fabulous to test, and let me tell you- it’s pretty darn fabulous!
    The color is super pigmented even when used dry. Best of all the colors don’t get muddy or lose their overall brightness when blended together. The pink maintains its color and brightness better than the purple, but when used alone (or with very light colors) the purple stays very true to the color you see in the pan. There is an ever so slight shimmer, but nothing too crazy. I think this is important because a lot of pink eyeshadows are chock full of glitter or shimmer and that makes it harder for older pink lovers to pull off without looking a little silly.
    My only complaint is the affect using a wet brush had on my shadow. I used a wet angled brush to try using the colors as an eyeliner. It worked wonderfully, but where the wet brush went on the color it got one of those funny hardened spots. (You know what I mean- a weird crust that just refuses to be used anymore.) It’s probably just a fluke, as I’ve not heard anyone else complain about this problem.
    Overall- cheap, user friendly, pigmented fun! I give Hard Candy Kal-eye-descope shadows four stars!

  17. I received the liner in 24K and eyeshadow duo in Blind Date.

    The molten liner in 24K is outstanding. It glides on like butter and it wears pretty well for as long as my lower lash line can handle any other liner. The gold is really fierce but also a great choice if you want to do something less bold and fun at the same time. The chopstick shape is so cute. At $5 each, these are definitely a hit and I am curious about that Molten Camo color!

    Blind Date eyeshadow duo is a super sheer baby pink and white combo that I normally wouldn’t reach for. However, I found that *both* colors would make excellent eye brighteners. Yup, even the pink shade! It’s really sheer and pretty and just a touch is needed. The white shade doesn’t shimmer like the pink one does – it glistens! Pretty micro glitters in this shade make the two very different but quite similar because of the lack of pigmentation.

    Overall I’m pretty impressed with this line. It’s wallet friendly and they make an effort with cute packaging and a large range of color combinations. I’m glad I got to try these because I don’t live near a Walmart. I’m going to give these babies a 4 :)

  18. I have Molten Camp and I really like it! It definitely is long lasting. I’m eying Molton 24K – those metallic colors are really pretty.

  19. Resilient Heart says:

    HC is online from walmart.com, shipping is free over $45! :)

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