I've become pickier and pickier about lipsticks, especially liquid lipsticks, thanks to market saturation. Thus far, most liquid lipstick formulas have not impressed me because they're too streaky, drying, or heavy. Then I noticed these new Hard Candy Velvet Mousse Matte Lip Colors at Wal-Mart for $6 each.
I'm not going to lie: the pretty metal tins were part of the draw. But I also thought that, at $6 each and given some of my previous successes with the Hard Candy line, they were really worth a shot. Unfortunately, the product isn't listed on the Hard Candy or Wal-Mart websites at the time of this writing, and there are no product claims listed on the tin, so I'm working a little blind here.
The Hard Candy Velvet Mousse Matte Lip Colors come in pretty metal tins. I'm of two minds on this packaging: on the one hand, it's pretty and you can absolutely remove the black plastic insert and re-use the tins (which is what I've done). On the other hand, you can't see the actual lip color, and it seems a tad wasteful. The actual tubes are thin and flat plastic, and they remind me a lot of the Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick packaging.
Your $6 nets you 0.23oz/6.5g of product. This is a great price when you compare it, per gram, to some other liquid lipsticks on the market:
Hard Candy Velvet Mousse Matte Lip Color -- $0.92 per gram
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick -- $8.48 per gram
Dior Addict Fluid Stick -- $6.86 per gram
Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip -- $1.88 per gram
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick -- $6.25 per gram
And again, you can re-use the tin to store lipsticks, bobby pins, etc., so while I'm not totally sure why they packaged it that way, reusable packaging is a bonus in my book.
Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.
I decided to pick two shades that I don't have liquid versions of in my collection at the moment: Cherry Blossom, a midtone rosy pink, and Sweet Pea, a soft baby pink. Here they are swatched up against the most similar shades in my collection. Cherry Blossom is a bit darker than Kismet On Point, and Sweet Pea is a little softer and less blue than Bite Beauty Velvet.
"Velvet mousse" is a great description of the formula. It's incredibly soft and easy to apply to the lips with the long doe foot applicator. It doesn't feel heavy, per se, but the product doesn't dry down as matte as some liquid lipsticks; if you press your lips together, you'll feel a bit of stickiness. They also smell very strongly of sweet vanilla cake batter, so if you're not in to that scent, you may want to take a pass. (It's not my personal favorite, but I can manage it.) I will note that I can't smell these after I've applied them.
Cherry Blossom on the left, Sweet Pea on the right.
The wear on these is decent. They are not entirely transfer-proof, so you will note the color on the edge of your coffee cup, and they can smear if you put a lot of pressure on them. I'd say they're transfer resistant, however; I got a good 5-6 hours of even, feather-free wear with both shades. Both played well with gloss and lip liner, and in fact, I'd say you might need some liner with a shade like Sweet Pea to keep it from looking too flat.
I think the lighter shades in the range, like Sweet Pea and Hibiscus, may be a bit more difficult to work with. I noticed that I had to be a bit more careful with Sweet Pea to prevent streaking or bald patches. Once I got an even layer applied to my lips, however, it looked fabulous. And to be absolutely fair, this is common with most shades that have a lot of white in their base: they're more likely to go streaky, slash, they require a little more fiddling.
These may not be the mattest or most apocalypse-proof liquid lipsticks out there, but they're also not drying, sit well on the lips, and have relatively smooth and even pigmentation. If you're looking for a budget liquid lipstick that won't parch your lips or flake off throughout the day, this could be the one for you.
RATING: 5 out of 5