Sunday, February 19, 2012

Giving Essence a Whirl

I found myself at Target the other day and no surprise which section I gravitated toward. You guessed it. The cosmetics area. In particular, I headed to the Essence stand. This budget European brand is stocked exclusively in Australia by Target. I'm a fan of their Kajal pencil in Teddy which I've been using on my lower lashline for quick and fuss-free definition. I previously hadn't really explored the rest of the range, but this time I decided to have a closer look. Essence are known for their themed capsule collections, mostly recently the Bondi Beach Sun Club and Vampire's Love Limited Edition Range. I recall the last time I visited Target, the Sun Club range was stocked in full. I contemplated getting the bronze gel eyeliner, but decided against it (as I thought the Savvy by DB Brilliant Bronze Luxury Liner that I already had was similar). Really regret that decision now, as everything but a lone, tampered eyeshadow palette was left from the Sun Club range. They restocked some products from Vampire's Love collection, but nothing especially caught my eye.

I picked up 3 single eyeshadows (Blue Mission, Taupe of the Pops and Mystic Lemon), another Kajal pencil in All I Want (I would've bought a back up of Teddy, but there was only one left and it looked like it'd been used and sharpened), and a gel eyeliner in London Baby.

 l-r: Mystic Lemon, Taupe of the Pops, Blue Mission, All I Want, London Baby

With flash

Taupe of the Pops is a "shimmer effect" shadow, Blue Mission is a matte and Mystic Lemon is dubbed a holographic eyeshadow, but I don't see it. The packaging isn't exactly high end, but it does the job. I wouldn't normally wear or buy a colour like Blue Mission, but it was such a gorgeous cornflower blue/periwinkle when swatched that I couldn't resist (the $3.25 price tag also helped). You'll probably have to prime the eye well and lay out a white base to really get the colour to pop, as it is a little chalky and tends to lose its vibrancy patted/blended onto the lid. I was intrigued by the "holographic" label of Mystic Lemon and wanted to try it out at home since there weren't any testers for that shade. You really need to pack it on to see any effect, but it does give a pretty, yellowish light gold sheen, more suited as a highlight than eyeshadow. Taupe of the Pops is the most wearable of the bunch, a cool-toned, mushroomy, slightly greyish pewter that isn't overly shimmery.

I thought I'd use the Kajal pencil in the waterline, but it's too much of a "dead" colour to give any natural brightening effect. The colour is a cool-toned biege, akin to a dark concealer shade. Not very flattering. I'll be on the hunt for a warmer, light peach or yellow instead.

The star of the show is definitely the gel eyeliner. It has an unexpected mousse-like texture and consistency. It's very soft and almost airy. The colour London Baby is a dark brown/charcoal with just a hint of silvery shimmer, a little less intense and something different to your usual black. This stuff lasts. I swatched a fine line onto my hand for the above photos and tried to take everything off with makeup remover. The shadows and pencil eyeliner melted away instantly, but the gel eyeliner wouldn't budge. My wrist currently looks like I marked myself with a black Sharpie. At $5.95, for my money, it's the best gel eyeliner on the market for the price.


  1. i always see this brand on ulta but never bother to look at it,they're very affordable too, thanks for the swatches, i want to buy them now haha

    now following you!
    stop by sometimes

  2. I'm waiting for Essence to release a flesh-toned kajal pencil- it would save me so much money. Stila's Kajal pencil in Topaz (kind of like MAC's Chromographic pencils) has been on my wishlist for some time, but I can't justify shelling out that much for a pencil which would probably be gone in a flash. x


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