Hard Candy’s Baked Illuminating Duo Just Glows

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the links in this post.

Hard Candy Baked Illuminating Duo packaging

[maxbutton id=”2″]

Whenever I see the name Hard Candy, I instantly become nostalgic for their nail polish, with the funky plastic rings, and their iconic, brightly colored eye shadows. Back in high school and college, owning anything from Hard Candy meant you were super edgy and funky. After all you could only find Hard Candy at select department stores and cool boutiques. The brand absolutely started my love for colorful makeup and nail polish, and not always needing to wear the status quo.

Up until about a year or so ago, I still had a couple of Hard Candy shadows in my collection. Sadly, they had passed their expiration date and had to go into the recycle pile. Since I hadn’t seen Hard Candy displays anywhere in awhile, I thought the brand might have faded over the decades, but I’m so glad they are still around, even if only at Walmart.

Hard Candy Duo Broken Mirror

When I received the Baked Illuminating Duo in Twinkle Star (1061), $8, I couldn’t wait to try it out. I love me a good highlighter, and one with two illuminating powders to choose from is always a bonus. The Baked Illuminating Duos, available in two options (Twinkle Star and Candle Lit), are designed with camera filtering technology to be universally flattering on any complexion in any type of lighting. In addition to providing the usual brightening effect of most highlighters, these duos also contain focus pearls, which work to blur imperfections. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know about my admiration for dual action products.

The packaging of Twinkle Star definitely has that fun Hard Candy look from days past. One thing I didn’t like was the way it was packaged to be displayed in-store. By leaving the top of packaging hanging open, it might make seeing the highlighters easier, but it also means it’s easy for the mirror to break in transport, which is what happened to my duo.

Hard Candy Duo Packaging_2

As for the products themselves, the duo features two opalescent pearl powders; the top being a light, peachy beige, and the bottom being a darker, coppery, rose gold. Both contain quite a bit of glitter. When I first swatched each powder, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the glitter. It is very pretty and definitely reflects light, but after a certain age, wearing glitter on your face feels like you are trying too hard. I don’t mind it so much on my eyes, but on my cheeks?

Hard Candy Twinkle Star Upper Highlight

Hard Candy Twinkle Star Lower Highlight

After swirling it onto my face, I will say that the glitter isn’t as noticeable as it was on my arm or hand. However, I do wish there was a bit less glitter and bit more illuminating powder. This is more of a personal choice. I know there are other, higher end, very popular highlighters who also have glitter in their formulation, which everyone, but me, seem to love. I should also mention that although the powder feels a bit chunky to the touch, it goes on smooth, blends very well, and feels extremely light on the skin.

That being said, I really do like the staying power of Twinkle Star; how the hints of glitter capture the light, and the fact that it is cruelty-free. The mirror and swirling brush are a nice bonus for on-the-go use. Though the packaging is a little bulky to stick in your purse or makeup bag, it does work for travel, especially since it comes with two different highlights in one palette.

Overall: At $8, the Hardy Candy Baked Illuminating Duo in Twinkle Star is an amazing deal. The duo gives you two great illuminating options to use alone or together. The colors work on every skin tone and provide a nice soft glow. However, if you’re not a fan of glitter in your highlighters, these duos probably won’t work for you. This will be fabulous for New Year’s Eve!

Have you tried Twinkle Star? What are your favorite Hard Candy products from today or yesterday?

From our partners


  1. These are perfect for the party season and at such a reasonable price too 🙂 Merry Christmas x

  2. Wow I figured those would be much more expensive then they are! I just saw the Hard Candy brand in our drug store but didn’t know if it was any good or not. Now I know it’s safe to try!

  3. I love how reasonably priced they are. They sure are nice shades, too!

  4. Allison @neversaydiebeauty says

    Such lovely shades! And being at Walmart isn’t such a bad thing. It gives them tons of exposure and puts them in reach of many more women

  5. These are great shades to try. I don’t want a whole bunch of make up, but when I do I like reading other peoples reviews on them to make sure I’m getting something that’s quality.

  6. I am starting a new job and I need to update my look. I need some new makeup.

  7. These look like some fun new shades! I need to get out of my comfort zone a bit and try out something with glitter once in a while. 🙂

  8. I have never heard of Hard Candy, is it an American brand? I like the look of the highlighter it is so pretty.

  9. Not growing up in the US I’d never heard of Hard Candy, in fact the first thing I thought of was Madonna’s song lol!

  10. Definitely keeping an eye out for this duo!

  11. I love how this helps camouflage imperfections. We all need that!

  12. That duo looks great! I have trouble finding Hard Candy stuff in stores around here.

  13. That is an amazing price for two highlighters. It would make a great teen present.

  14. I don’t really use highlighters. There are lovely though, but I wish they took care of the product more rather than just allowing it to be exposed like that.

  15. swankyrecipes says

    I love using baked makeup as it goes on just great. I’ve used hard candy in the past and will need to try the baked makeup!

  16. bummer about the mirror 🙁

  17. Both those powders look really pretty. Bummer about the mirror, though. Since the lids have a transparent panel, why bother to leave them outside the seal?

  18. Thanks for the review! It’s helpful since I agree with you in less glitter more illuminating powder!

  19. Deb Clem-Buckert says

    I’m not a glitter girl so I’m not sure I’d like these. My teen on the other hand would die for them.

  20. Norah Salazar says

    I have a skin illuminator for the body from Hard Candy and love it!

  21. I’ve never heard of this brand before. The powders look really nice, but it stinks about the mirror. Hate when that happens!

  22. These are gorgeous! I haven’t tried many things from Hard Candy but their products always look so glittery and fun! I’ll probably pass on this since I’m not the biggest of fan of glitter-except on NYE!

  23. Hannah Adkins says

    I adore hard candys products. These look super festive. Love all the sparkle!

  24. I’ve never heard of the brand before, but I love the idea of duo features powders apart from the glitter effect.

  25. Very pretty! I loved the nail polish growing up too! I like that it works with any complexion.

  26. CourtneyLynne Storms says

    Oooooo I just love Hard Candy!!! I live in a small town so finding bold makeup can be tough, but we do have hard candy!

  27. These look like great products! I love the idea of a little more shimmer! <3

  28. Can’t wait to try these out. I love highlighters for a pretty look. Nice photos!

  29. I’ve always been nervous to try highlighters. I think I need to watch a few more youtube videos. The colors are gorgeous! I need to get into it..I’m a beauty junkie!