It’s been awhile since I’ve talked or thought much about makeup. (That’s a real sign of how focused I’ve been on the new house!) But last weekend I had some time to watch a few of my favorite YouTubers, including a review of some Hard Candy baked bronzers by Bailey B. Her video led me to try a new product and I wanted to tell you about that. But before I review the product itself, maybe I’ll review Bailey B.
Bailey B. is a beauty blogger, and her website is Making Up the Midwest. I found her through her YouTube channel. What I love about Bailey’s videos is that they are info-packed; she has a very straightforward and informational style. You won’t hear about her personal drama, and her personality doesn’t jump off the screen – which is kind of nice, really. I want info, and she gives info. Just the facts, ma’am. Plus, she often reviews a high-end product against a low-priced dupe, and she does so while wearing the products on both sides of her face so you can compare the look for yourself. If you like makeup and want to “try before you buy,” watching Bailey’s videos is as close as you can get.
As I said, the review video I watched this weekend was about the So Baked bronzer product by Hard Candy. (Hard Candy is only sold at Walmart, and you may not find it in their smaller stores – I have only found it in the Super Walmart stores near me.) Bailey reviewed the $9 Hard Candy bronzer in Hula Hula against the Ambient Lighting powder from Hourglass in the color Radiant Light (retails for $58 for a palette of three shades). I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that she found the Hard Candy bronzer to be a great dupe for the Ambient Lighting powder, so when I was at Walmart this weekend I picked it up in a much lighter and less orange shade called Tropic. It’s a good powder for the money, but it made me realize something about this whole category of baked powder products: I hate ‘em.
I have tried a slew of baked powder products, including the Ambient Lighting powders mentioned above, some drugstore quality baked shadows (Maybelline, I think?), a Lorac shadow duo, and a handful of Laura Geller’s baked face powders including her Balance & Brighten, French Vanilla highlighter (which is legendary with other makeup junkies), and her Twenty Shades of Baked eye palette. With the exception of two baked products, I’ve tried and returned all of them. I want to LOVE this product category because the powders are absolutely gorgeous in the pan. The colors look rich and irresistible with a glowy look and no chunky shimmer. But when I try them on my face, they disappoint. I find most baked powder products to have a chalky texture, not much color saturation, and poor coverage. And I find this to be the case over and over again, no matter whether the product is high-end or drugstore, to the point where I now realize they just aren’t for me.
Based on my experience, If you’re dipping your toe into the baked powders pond, I recommend starting with a cheaper one to see if you like the texture and coverage of this product category. There doesn’t seem to be much difference between high end and low, so you might as well start low and see what you think.
Only two of the many baked products I’ve tried have become part of my collection and not been returned to the store. Those two are the Twenty Shades of Baked palette by Laura Geller and – believe it or not – this new Hard Candy bronzer from Walmart. It’s not bad (in fact it’s better than some of the high-end products I’ve tried), and for $9 I plan to keep it around. But in general, I have to admit – I hate baked.