Kitty Blackadder

A Scottish blog about anxiety, minimalism and eyeshadow.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

My Top Picks: Essence

I thought this might be a nice series to start. I'm fortunate to have tried a lot of product from a number of (mostly) drugstore brands now, and, frankly, it can be a bit of a minefield out there. There are some serious gems to be found, but you sometimes have to do a bit of digging to get to them..

I was originally going to make this a 'Top 5' series or something as it's somehow catchier and, y'know, more complete, but let's face it - it's unlikely I'd be able to always land on 5 and I'd hate to add things in for the sake of it, or worse, trim things out because they're 'extra'.

So, starting off the series with a brand you don't hear so much about: Essence. Essence is only sold, as far as I know, in Wilkinsons in the UK (if you don't have a store nearby, which by the way, I now don't - why would there not be one in Glasgow city centre?!?! Well, anyway, they do have a website you can order Essence from.) Essence is a super budget line; think MUA or Makeup Revolution kind of prices.

A more mainstream drugstore mascara from the likes of Revlon, Maybelline or Bourjois will run you around £8 - £10 which, for a product that only lasts a few months, can actually add up to a fair bit over time. But what about those days where you're going to work, or just running a few errands and you want to look good, but not necessarily amazing? Well, this is that mascara - it costs about 25% of what I'd usually pay for a mascara and it really is absolutely fine, it's good in fact - it just might not be great. It does add volume - and quite a bit too, it doesn't flake, clump, transfer or droop over the course of the day. No, it doesn't give me WOW lashes, but I'd rather take the cash saving and save those pennies to buy something more 'special' than a slightly better mascara for every day wear. Also, Essence does a number of mascaras, so I'll definitely be trying out another from their line after I work my way through my current stash.

Gah, I love this shadow. It's super soft and pigmented and it is the nicest, almost champagne-ish metallic finish. It's so easy to apply and work with and it adds such a nice pop to a more matte eye look - plus, it's such a versatile colour, you can work it into a lot of looks. I would say it is prone to some fallout and I would certainly advise using a base underneath (I always do anyway) to help it stick a little better.

3. Essence Long Lasting Lipstick in 04 £2.30

While I wouldn't say this lipstick has any particular 'long lasting' super powers, for a less than £2.50 lipstick, this does seriously well. The formula is really nice; smooth and soft to apply and the cream finish is even and certainly a looks a lot more expensive than £2! The color range isn't huge for these lipsticks - but there do look to be a few other gems I'd like to get my hands on.

4. Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil in 22 Miss Moneypenny (£1.50)

Saving the best for last here, this is a shimmery, nude pencil kinda similar in the water line to the much beloved Rimmel Scandaleyes Nude Liner, but with a bit of a metallic shimmer - I'm sure that's a bit iffy sounding, but trust me, it's nice! This is a fraction of the price of the Rimmel equivlent, it's a propeller pencil (so it never needs sharpened) and it lasts just as well in the water line for me!

 5. Essence Blush Up in 10 £3.50

This is like a dual shade blush which is pretty freaking handy, not least because each shade is lovely on it's own and they look great blended together, so really, this is like three blushes in one for £3.50. This isn't the softest blush in the world, but the pigmentation is great and it blends out pretty well all the same. For me, the combination here of tangerine and a warm, rose pink, is more of a Summer look but there's no reason why this wouldn't be great all year round, depending on your coloring and preferences.


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