Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review: Hard Candy Smooth Talker Blush vs Benefit Sugarbomb

Today I am comparing Hard Candy's Smooth Talker to Benefit's Sugarbomb. There has been a lot of hype about the Hardy Candy Fox in a Box blushes because they look so similar. When I picked up Smooth Talker (on left) I definitely thought it looked like Sugarbomb, no question about it. Both blushes have very similar colours in the mosaic pan, the HC has squares and the Benefit as triangles. I was excited to test it out today and see if they really are dupes.

The packaging is very similar, both products come in cardboard square boxes. On the benefit one the top part comes right off whereas the Benefit is attached (much like the new packaging on Benefit's Bella Bamba blush), I prefer the HC packaging. The HC blush is much lighter in weight, it's important to note that it also has less than half the product, the HC comes with 5.7g (0.20oz) whereas the Benefit comes with 12.0g (0.42oz). The HC retails for about $6 US and the Benefit is $28US on Sephora's website. In Canada, I paid $35 for the Benefit last year at Shoppers Drug Mart and I think $8 for the HC.

Both come with a brush, which I find useless in both cases, the Benefit is much nicer, but mine is untouched, the HC is cute, but I would never use it, it does come attached to the back of the lid though, so it doesn't bother me at all.

Here I have swatched each individual square/triangle on the blushes. The HC is at the top and the Benefit at the bottom. I have matched up the similar colours here. I was surprised to see that the Benefit actually required more work to get swatches, I had to really dig at it and destroy my blush to get any sort of colour payoff, Sugarbomb is really more of a highlighter than blush. The colours show up more true to life in the HC I think, the orange shows up orange, the purple shows up more purple and so on. The dark pink is more pigmented in the Sugarbomb though. The Benefit is more shimmery as well, I had shimmers all over my hand after taking these swatches, the HC is more of a satin finish I would say.

All swirled together here, you see the Sugarbomb is much more pink (because the pink squares are more pigmented) whereas the HC is more peachy. I prefer the colour of the HC to be completely honest with you. I think if you haven't picked up Sugarbomb and want it, don't bother, get the HC Smooth Talker instead! In terms of consistency, I find the Benefit is smoother, but the HC isn't overly powdery.

The only other difference is that Sugarbomb is scented, and the HC just smells like makeup, but you only notice it while you are applying it and I wouldn't pay $20 more just to have a blush smell better personally. I will definitely be picking up more HC blushes, I really want Skinny Dipping (orange two sided one) but haven't been able to find it yet.

Have you picked up Hard Candy's Smooth Talker? What do you think of my comparison?


Pammy (PammyBlogsBeauty) said... Best Blogger Tips

Great review!!! I would love to try both of these blushes!!! :)

Mei Mei said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you... thank you so much!!!! I'm going to pick this up now... wow I can't believe how similar they look next to each other in the boxes! THanks for this review doll!!!!!

Livia said... Best Blogger Tips

Woah.. those two are eerily (and suspiciously) similar in their boxes!!

Aphrosie said... Best Blogger Tips

Would love to get my hands on the HC one. Must try find it somewhere. :)

Tiffany said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow. It definitely looks like Hard Candy just went ahead and basically copied all 4 colors from Benefit's Sugarbomb, doesn't it? Based on the overall swatch, I think I prefer Sugarbomb, personally. I always swatch it when I'm at Sephora, though, and I always think it's just blah. Maybe it's one of those things that doesn't look amazing until you actually put it on your face.

Tracy@Beauty Reflections said... Best Blogger Tips

I HATED SugarBomb. Also hate Coralista. I like my blushes pigmented.
This looks great!!!I will pick it up if I see it!

Debbie said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for the review! please do more of HC's box blushes. I've been trying to hunt them down here in NY but its hard cause the wally nearby has a limited selection of hc products. Will be trying another wally this weekend, hope I can get my hands on this.

Justine (Productrater) said... Best Blogger Tips

@Debbie - I have the hardest time finding these products, walmart is very poor at restocking! I wish hard candy would send them more or they were told to fill them up once they run out! either way, I am running around with head cut off trying to get these!

Liz (Beauty Reductionista) said... Best Blogger Tips

This is really helpful. I've been reading a lot about the HC blushes lately and hoping my local Walmart will have them.

As for Sugarbomb being more subtle, I think Benefit does it on purpose to keep the boxed blushes "universal" as they market it. I was disappointed that Coralista was so subtle and not as coral as I wanted it to be. But it was free (500 pt perk @ Sephora) so I can't complain.

Great post!

Lisa said... Best Blogger Tips

I always wanted to buy sugarbomb but debated because of the hefty price, so its nice to see a drugstore alternative that is pretty much the same. Thanks for the review as always. I love how you go above and beyond when blogging. Other blogs would just haul their stuff but you are always comparing products which I love! One of the reasons you are my favourite blogger!

Justine (Productrater) said... Best Blogger Tips

@Liz - I got coralista as a 500 pt too! but ya, not as pigmented as I would like, for that price anyway.

@Lisa - Thanks! that comment made my day, I try as be as detailed as possible. :)

Miss ♥ Nikka said... Best Blogger Tips

Great review. Great comparison, I didn't get Benefit's Sugarbomb because it is sheer. But I am still on the hunt for the HC box blushes, last time they weren't in my local Walmart. I might check it out tonight. I love that it's more peachy. My type of blush. <3

Tracy D said... Best Blogger Tips

Arrgghh..you're killing me Justine. I still don't have any of these in my grubby little hands. I'm off to a new WalMart tomorrow to give that a try, wish me luck! Great review :)

Halifax said... Best Blogger Tips

Hard Candy has same prices in the US and Canada, I think. The boxes are CAD6 :) I don't have Sugabomb but Smooth Talker is great enough. I prefer peach anyway

Justine (Productrater) said... Best Blogger Tips

@Halifax - makes me wonder why benefit is Soooo much more in Canada.

Bailey said... Best Blogger Tips

Great comparison! Now I totally regret not getting when I had it right there in front of me. I guess I'll be going back.

PoorCollegeStudent said... Best Blogger Tips

I just got sooth talker and I haven't decided if I like it yet. At least I know it is comparable in quality to the benefit now!

siwing said... Best Blogger Tips

i always stalk the Hard Candy section at walmart and can never find these !!! arghhh..

thanks for the swatches and comparison.

i will be skipping benefit sugarbomb and will be getting this instead! (of course, thats if i can find it!)

Mrs.Makeup said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for the honest review, I love Benefit blushes because they smell nice. However, your right it's not worth paying $22.00 more.

MUA Lindsay said... Best Blogger Tips

Great review, as always, Justine! I've never tried any of the HC stuff, but I recently got Sugarbomb and LOVE it. I also picked up Bella Bamba and HATE the packaging! I went to close it and the back of the top folded in and nicked my new blush. :-( PLUS, Bella Bamba doesn't have as much product as the others, though the same price.

Debbie said... Best Blogger Tips


yea, you'd think they restock it more often since its a walmart exclusive/only brand~

I have another question since I don't own any hc box blushes yet, does the pan look easy to de-pot? I would much rather take them out and place them into a free-fill palette for ease of transport.

Justine (Productrater) said... Best Blogger Tips

@Debbie - If you don't mind wrecking the box, I think you could depot it pretty easily, I've only ever depotted mac products so I am not sure.

tiffyama said... Best Blogger Tips

Great review! I've read a lot of good things about HC blushes. If ever I'm in the mood to go to my local WalMart, I'll definitely try this one out. $6 compared to $28, I think I'm already sold. :]

onedarlingchick said... Best Blogger Tips

Very thorough review! Love the comparison pics!