As much as I adore a MAC lipstick and love my Clinique skincare bits, nothing is quite as satisfying & delightful as finding a drugstore brand that offers effective, inexpensive beauty products. Essence is one such brand. It is relatively new to the UK. I bought my recent haul from the Wilko website but BeautyCrowd have also just starting stocking the brand. Check out my haul post for individual prices. Here’s what my lovely little haul looked like in one glorious box of loveliness:
This post focuses on the face & eye products from the haul. Let’s dive in and get started with the All About Matt Fixing Compact Powder and Oil Control Paper.
Keeping my skin matte is an ongoing battle. My nose does some very icky things. I like the fact that this powder comes in compact form (I already have loose oil controlling powders from NYX and GOSH). Obviously it doesn’t have a mirror but for £3 that’s fair enough. I apply with a large kabuki brush or if I take it out with me (usually to medical appointments, cos this is my life we’re talking about 😄) I can use it for touch ups with my mini kabuki brush from Bare Minerals. I was actually surprised at how well it applied. It does a soft focus kind of thing and works well with mineral powder foundation. If you’re someone who uses their high end products for occasions/evenings and cheaper brands for casual days/work, this powder could easily be week day staple for you.
The blotting papers (£2 for 50) do exactly what blotting papers are supposed to; they soak up excess oil without totally ruining your makeup. I like the way they’re packaged – the inner container holding the papers slides out to the right. Pushing it back in afterward keeps the papers clean & hidden from whatever else may be lurking in your handbag 😊. (BTW I’ve been wondering why people spend so much money on, for example, Chanel oil blotting sheets? Do they have some magical property to justify getting into double digit spending for sheets of papery stuff that are used to mop up face gunk?? If you have any thoughts on this let me know).
The Big Bright Eyes Pencil is not the type of product I’d usually buy. However my ongoing Botox treatments for my condition have caused my eyelids to become puffy and my brows to change shape a bit. So, my unending quest to look remotely normal when I venture out in public now has a targeted eyebrow element to it. I’ve had to start paying more attention to how I use makeup in the brows and eyes area. I now tend to softly highlight under filled in brows and also in corner of eyes etc as needed. This highlighting with the pencil and/or the eyeshadow aims to make my brows look finished and soften the puffy hooded look that my eyes currently have going on.
The pencil formula was much creamier in texture than I expected. This is a good thing as it blends nicely. It’s a versatile product; it can be used under the eye, in the corners, above or below brows; wherever you like really. A little goes a long way with it so I’d advise applying small amounts and blending as you can always apply a little more if necessary.
The I 💚 Nude eyeshadow is a quality product with a teeny tiny £2.50 price tag. I went for the lightest shade (Vanilla) which is perfect for my skin tone and purpose. I use it underneath the arches of filled in brows and it blends in beautifully. My aim is to complete the look of the brows without the eyeshadow itself being noticeable and this product does exactly that for my NW15 skin. It also helps to brighten my eyes which so often look tired from the chronic pain fun that is such a factor in my daily life.
A word on the little set of applicators: I found that a large palette of eyeshadows and some long handled brushes/applicators were taking up a lot of space in my makeup bag. This seemed silly as I only used one of the shadows (the palest) for the above mentioned under brow highlighting; the other eyeshadows & most of the brushes are not currently being used at all. So I included the single eyeshadow & mini applicators (£1.30 for pack) in my haul and have been able to evict the space hoggers from my everyday makeup bag. I kept one blending brush and now the single shadow & mini applicators are used regularly. The applicators themselves are very cute and as good quality as any sponge applicators I’ve used before. They’re a handy little purchase if you’re down sizing your bulging makeup bag in preparation for travel, a hospital stay or an overnight visit.
Have you tried Essence products? Do you know of any new-to-UK drugstore brands that are gorgeous?
Wishing you good luck & happy days,
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