Kitty Blackadder

A Scottish blog about making art, too much eyeshadow and becoming a grown up.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Jumping on the Essense Bandwagon

Like many of you I'm sure, I became aware that budget US drugstore cosmetic company Essence had launched in the UK, at Wilkinsons. Naturally I was intrigued, especially when it appeared one day in my local store. Firstly, I'm guessing I'm not the only one who was excited because that stand was an absolute state; it was messier than a Primark t-shirt table on a Saturday afternoon. So basically every tester had been destroyed, making me a little nervous about buying without swatching, but hey, it's all super cheap anyway..

It was also 3 for 2 and so I had like 12 things in my hand  at one point, figuring I'd try something from almost every range... but then a little voice in my head spoke some wisdom. I often have issues with super budget drugstore lines; for example MUA blushes give me a nasty allergic reaction that's painful, and I've had reactions to cheap mascaras from various places too - it's not them, it's me I'm sure; me and my super sensitive skin.

So in the end I decided just to pick up three things and see how I got on, and then I could place an order online and load up if I wished.

First thing that caught my eye because it was so freaking pretty - and I own nothing like it - was the Blush Up Powder Blush in 10 Heat Wave. It's a blusher (clearly..) that goes from a bright pink on one side, to a bright orange on the other, with all sorts of pretty blendingness in between. I'm pretty impressed with the pigmentation; the colour is definitely there, where I would say this product might struggle is that it's kinda chalky. It looks good but it just sort of sits on the skin, no matter how much I blend it I feel like I can't work it in. So I suspect, it will fade off the skin quite fast - but I've only been wearing it a couple of hours right now, so I can't be sure.

I also picked up a Metallic Effect Eyeshadow in 35 Party All Night. I like metallic shadow, I love the edginess it gives a look - I wear them quite a bit. This to me isn't really a metallic shadow. It looks uber pretty in the pan, but when you swatch it, it's almost like a loose glitter powder than a metallic shadow. Also, fallout and smudging a plenty. This definitely needs a primer!

Lastly, I grabbed a Long Lasting Lipstick in 04 On The Catwalk and this is what I'm most impressed with by far. Firstly, adorable packaging, secondly, it's crazy soft to apply. You know sometimes with cheap lipsticks they're so hard it's like plastic and you're almost drawing blood from your lips trying to get the damn thing to transfer some colour? Well, not this one. It's very creamy in formula and it applies very evenly too. On The Catwalk is a kind of wine red, I would say, it's also somewhat sheer - which suits me to a tee. I think the 'long lasting' claims may be exxagerated somewhat, but I find that to be the case with a lot of drugstore lipsticks. 

Swatches left to right: On the Catwalk Lipstick, Metallic Effect Eyeshadow in 35 Party All Night, Blush Up Powder Blush in 10 Heat Wave (the first is taken purely from the orange side, the middle is from swirling the brush between the two colours and the third is taken purely from the pink side)

Overall, I probably wouldn't buy another blush or shadow from Essence but I will absolutely be picking up some more lipsticks... assuming they ever get round to sorting the stand out with some new stock!


  1. That blusher is so pretty, it's looks ombre! What does it look like on?

    1. Hello! Thanks for reading and commenting :)
      Sorry it's taken me so long to reply, I kept planning to add some photos of the blush on so you could see, but it's been so hectic recently! The blush looks nice on the skin, really warming and healthy looking, unfortunately, as I said in my post, it just sort of 'sits there' so I find it rubs/fades/vanishes off my face really fast!



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