Part of the ongoing Foxalicious Fundamentals: Foundation series!
I don’t understand why the people who make $40 tinted moisturizers can’t do as well as this one, which costs $8 at Wal-Mart. (And if you are anti-Wally, you are out of luck, because they have the exclusive in-store distribution rights to Hard Candy products, at least for now. You can get some things via Amazon or eBay, though.)
It’s too early to say whether this is my Holy Grail of tinted moisturizers (I suspect not, because the choir of angels singing its praises is just slightly off-key), but it is better than all the other ones I’ve tried. The only contender is my Sue Devitt TM, which outshines this in terms of both coverage and finish but which isn’t moisturizing enough. I’m still saving that one for the hot swampy days of July. Still, let us not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Of all of this year’s tested products to date, this is the best tinted moisturizer overall.
Hard Candy is an uneven line, with some really excellent products (especially for a drugstore line) and then some odd misses. You will have to get over the fact that some of the products look like they are designed for eleven-year-old girls who are just moving out of the “Hello Kitty” phase. However, the Sheer Envy tinted moisturizer is generally a hit for grownups as well as eleven-year-olds (and if you are wearing foundation at age eleven, STOP IT NOW). It has good coverage, a reasonably nice finish, and SPF 15 that doesn’t break me out (hence the choir of angels). It only comes in six shades, though, and I’m not sure how forgiving they are. This one, which is “light” (#2 of the six), was the only one that was pink enough for me to wear, so if you have more yellow tones in your skin than I do, you will probably do well. If you are pinker than I am, it might be difficult; this turns pretty neutral on me but might look sallow on anyone pinker than me.
I’ve tried this both alone and over primer, and I do find that its finish is better over primer. I also set it with HD silica powder; without setting powder it dries to a finish that is a little too shiny for me. The final finish is smooth but not as velvety or dewy as my cream foundation. It lasts all day without peeling or flaking, which sets it ahead of some of the other products I’ve tried, and it’s easy to remove. Here’s an odd thing: it does tend to cling more to my eyebrows than other foundations — that is, when I’m applying it to the forehead, if I get it on my brows I really notice it (particularly on the colorless hairs around the dark brow hairs), whereas if the same thing has been happening with other products, I haven’t picked up on it. That was a little weird, because it was hard to get the product *off* of my brow hairs without also removing it from the neighboring skin.
Right now this is definitely the leader in the tinted-moisturizer-for-summer category. I still wouldn’t wear it as foundation for a chi-chi-frou-frou event, but for most casual summer living it will do just fine.
Hard Candy Sheer Envy Tinted Moisturizer: $8 at Wal-Mart
Price/Value Ratio (drugstore: poor/fair/good/excellent): Excellent! How often do I get to say that?! Not very.
Purchase again? Hello Kitty says Yes.
(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Let us know in the comments!)