Essence Cosmetics is one of those under the radar brands that you might have seen in Priceline but walked past because it just seems so unremarkable… Until you start using their products! To be honest, I didn’t think much of the brand as I didn’t think it would be good quality, plus the packaging wasn’t the best, but I’ve since changed my mind.
A friend recently gave me a couple of Essence products: the gel eyeliner in Midnight in Paris, Berlin Rocks and London Baby. She also gave me Soft and Natural Long Lasting foundation in 02.
At a glance the eyeliners looked pretty ordinary, but inside the shade and intensity of the colours surprised me. They are really creamy and pigmented, and go on smoothly without tugging at the skin around the eyes. All three are long wearing and pretty water resistant – I put some on my hand, let it dry and washed/scrubbed a couple of times but the line was pretty much still intact, just slightly faded.
Midnight in Paris is a straight up jet black without any shimmer, it reminds me of MAC’s Blacktrack, except the staying power is significantly better. MAC goes on smoother but has a thinner formula. Wet n Wild Mega Eyes Creme Liner in Black is similar, but with a much reduced staying power (it also smudges a little). Midnight in Paris is pretty much the best out of the three and along with Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink, are the best gel liners I’ve ever used.
Berlin Rocks is an eggplant purple with slight shimmer. It doesn’t really remind me of any other dupes on the market although it’s not an unusual colour, so I’m sure there are similar shades out there. The L’Oreal HIP studio secrets cream liner in Eggplant is similar but more of a darker plum whereas Berlin Rocks is more purple-y. The HIP liner is more wearable but Berlin Rocks would be a nice pop on the lower lashline.
London Baby is a shimmery cocoa colour with some glitter bits in it (not noticeable). It’s a very pretty, natural everyday shade (I’m wearing it today!) and probably my favourite out of the three colours. Again, I don’t have anything like this in my collection and would probably take this while travelling (in terms of gel liner).
Overall, it’s great staying power (as much as Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner) but not as long lasting as some liquid liners – L’Oreal Lineur Intense and Maybelline Master Liner come to mind. Essence gel liners last around 9-10 hours (yes, I counted today!) before smearing a little on the top lid.
The colours are fun and I love that some have shimmer in them, and of course you can’t beat them on price ($5.95!).
Soft and Natural Long Lasting Foundation is also another winner – it goes on creamy and opaque and is fairly thick, so a little goes a long way. Did I also mention it’s only $6.50 at Priceline? Some of the things I like about it – it looks fresh and is extremely long lasting. I also like that even though the formulation is better for dry skin, it doesn’t make oily skin oilier. I only powdered my nose 4-5 times during the 11 hour work day, which is pretty standard for me. It also doesn’t oxidise.
Cons? The colour’s a little light for me and the packaging’s not that great. I’m not really complaining about packaging though because it’s cheap. It also doesn’t feel lightweight on the face – it’s not heavy though, which is good enough for me.
Overall I am liking the brand and look forward to trying their other products, especially their current Disney collaboration with their Snow White & Seven Dwarves nail polishes!! The range comes with tiny nail stickers – so cute!
Image taken from the Essence facebook page.