Sep 22, 2013


A few days ago, I was in my beloved second home, Priceline, and as I was walking through the cosmetics aisle, I laid eyes on a 50% off Essence sale. Naturally, I had to buy a 'few' items. So essentially, a couple of their products were half price and I took advantage of that to purchase enough products to create a full face look.

  • The first item was a foundation called Soft & Natural Make Up Long Lasting. This was one of the items that was on sale so originally, it's $5.45 but I got it for $2.87 - bargain! 

The colour range wasn't spectacular, there were only 3 shades to select from. I purchased mine in 02 Sand Beige, the lightest of the 3. I came to realise this was a little bit too light for my skin but the second shade was definitely too dark.

After trying it on, the coverage that this foundation gave was quite good - light to medium. And with this product, it's good to keep in mind that a little goes a long way. However, after wearing it on my skin for about 20 minutes, it started to oxidise quite a bit and by the end of the day, my face had become way too pink orange. (This was about 5 hours later).

On the skin, the product feels a little dried and powdery once it had set and it didn't buff in too well. I did apply it with my fingers and maybe it would have been better with a brush. This is one of those foundations that don't need to be set with a powder because of the finish it gives.
  • The next purchase was the Stay Natural ConcealerThis reminded me a lot of the Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Illuminating Concealer or the YSL Touche Eclat. The concealer cost me $3.50 and that was full price. 

There were 4 colours to choose from and I chose 03 Soft Nude. I didn't purchase 02 to match my foundation because when I swatched it, it was way too pink toned and too light.

It is packaged just like the Maybelline version or the YSL one - a wind up end with a brush to apply it. I find that when I wind it up I can never be sure when the product will come out on the brush side and I've had incidents where there was way too much.

The consistency wasn't thin but not too thick and it blends out easily (using fingers). I found that this did not crease under my eyes like other thick concealers.

I've definitely enjoyed this concealer a lot and would more likely than not repurchase it.
  • To set all of this makeup I brought the Mattifying Compact Powder. This cost $5.35 at full price.

To start off, there were 4 shades to choose from and I purchased 04 Perfect Beige because I thought since my foundation was going to be a tad light, I'd get a darker shade of setting powder - and it worked perfectly.

The powder did not provide much extra coverage, however, it did darken my foundation which was exactly what I wanted. I applied this using my Sigma Large Powder F30 and swirled it all over my face. It wasn't too powdery on the skin nor did it look too cake-y. The lasting power of this product isn't very good, however.
  • For brows, I got the Eyebrow Stylist Set instead of a pencil because I wanted a softer look. The price was $4.25.

The little duo contained two shades - a light matte cooler toned brown and a dark matte warmer toned brown. There were also 3 eyebrow stencils within the pack.

The packaging was quite terrible, honestly. I thought it would be a compact type of case but it was more like a capped tube - like a travel toothbrush holder. This makes the powder very hard to access because of how flimsy the powder holder is (a piece of plastic).

When applied, my brows looked really powdered and like there's two lines sitting on my face - it looks unnatural. The product itself is chalky and when a brush is dipped into it, it has so much fall out. When the product is touched in the pan, it feels soft but not so when applied.

  • To set that, I purchased the Lash and Brow Gel Mascara. The price was $3.50.

This was a clear gel that is used on the brow hairs to set them in place and control any hair out of place. The formula is very wet when applied and it doesn't set as crisp as I would like it to. It does it job at keeping the brows shaped but it's quite mediocre - nothing too great or special.
  • For eyeshadow I chose to get a quad palette, Quattro Eyeshadow in the shade To Die For. For a quad, this only cost $5.35.

This is a neutral palette containing a white highlight with pink gold reflects, a nude pink with a shimmery gold reflect, a brown with slight gold shimmers and a dark matte brown. I was very excited to use this but after swatching it at home, I was very disappointed. The pigmentation was light and it was very sheer.

After applying it to my eyes (using the most obvious sequence of application - nude pink on the lid, brown in the crease, dark brown in the outer corner and white highlight) I found that the pigmentation was just right for the look created. It was a very wearable for everyday - there was just enough shimmer and the matte colour tied it together.
  • The Get Big! Lashes Volume Boost Mascara was my choice of mascara out of the range because I thought it was going to be discounted (I ended up getting it for full price, $4.10).

The mascara is in a quite big round tube. The wand was made of brush bristles (not plastic) and was a standard wand shape (slightly larger at the centre). The mascara was a wet formula that wasn't waterproof or any special.

I found that the best method for applying this mascara was to touch the wand to your lashes and then roll it back towards your lash line instead of dragging the wand outwards. This is because when the wand was dragged away from the eye, the sparse bristles made the lashes clump. However this may not be the case for other people because my lashes are quite thin and sparse.

The mascara overall is quite ordinary and didn't give my lashes anything - no volume, no length. When applied over the top of another mascara (Covergirl ClumpCrusher), it did do a better job at separating.
  • The final product is a Lipstick in the colour 64 Flirty Pink. This product was 50% off, reduced to $1.75.

The packaging for the Essence Lipsticks are a little cheap looking. The colour I brought is a very glossy pink berry with subtle silver glitters. It doesn't have a scent swatched on my hand but on my lips it smells like cough syrup.

The pigmentation of the lipstick isn't that good but after a few layers of it, it works out fine. However, when applied, it feels a little heavy.

The product overall is nothing to rave about or even to share. It does it's job but it wouldn't be one you'd think of re-using.

{ The bottom line is that Essence Cosmetics is an inexpensive drugstore brand whose products are fairly hit and miss. From what I've tried there are products I would consider re-purchasing and also other products that I'm willing to try out because they're just so affordable. Essence, in my opinion is a great brand to start with if you're new to make up. }

Essence Cosmetics can be purchased from Priceline and Target in Australia.

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