Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Essence 50% Off Mini Haul

Priceline had a 50% off cosmetics sale last Thursday and Friday, and though I tell myself that I should eliminate all impulse cheap makeup purchases and focus on quality vs. quantity, I couldn't resist buying a few things, mainly from Essence. The limited edition stuff always hooks me in because it's just so affordable and a part of me always hopes the products will exceed my expectations. In the sale, I ended up buying a back up of my favourite NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Abu Dhabi, an Essence top/base coat, two Essence Soft Contouring lip pencils in Sucker For Grey and Going Steady, Essence Illuminating Face Cream Gel and Essence Bronzing Brick Powder.

Essence Illuminating Face Cream Gel in 01 I Don't Care Cause I'm Flawless

The Essence Illuminating Face Cream Gel fascinated me because it comes in a weighty glass bottle and it's made in Italy. Fancy. It retails for $7.15, so at 50% came to $3.60. Pretty unbeatable for a 20ml bottle. There were no testers so I was taking a gamble, but I figured the stakes weren't exactly high, so why not. It claims to have an "awaking effect" and a lightweight creamy and gel-like formula. You're meant to apply a small amount on the fingers and distribute evenly onto the face.

The pump bottle doesn't have the most sensitive dispenser so you're basically stuck with a full pea-sized amount each time. It has the consistency of a non-sticky, comfortable-feeling moisturiser (think MAC Strobe Cream), perhaps a touch more fluid and easier to spread. Blended out, it's surprisingly subtle. I was expecting more of an overt shimmerbomb. To be honest, I couldn't really detect any noticeable difference to my complexion when I applied this before my foundation. As a potential primer, I felt it degraded the performance/wear time of my base as it was like adding another layer of moisturiser. If the glowy effect is there, it's not as pronounced as something like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone or even Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Radiance. However under bright lights, you can detect the silvery shimmer particles on your skin. I like this for the novelty factor given its affordability and it could also serve as an understated liquid highlight, but I already have better products that do what it purports to.

Top to bottom: Sucker For Grey, Going Steady

Top to bottom: Colourpop Lumiere, Essence Sucker For Grey, Essence Going Steady, NYX Ruffle Trim

Essence Sucker For Grey

I noticed these new Essence lip liners and had to pick up two, given they were ONE DOLLA at 50% off. The colours also really appealed to me and seemed very current/on trend. I've never tried Essence lip liners, but I've always heard good things about them. They're a bit of a harder texture and not as creamy or easy to blend as other brands, but I guess that contributes to longer staying power on the lips. The good thing with lip liners is you can get lots of precision in the shape of your lips, but also control the opacity. I usually don't colour in my lips completely with the lip liner, but prefer to draw a few strokes then blend with my finger to get a fresher, stained appearance.

I absolutely love Sucker For Grey, a medium pinky-mauve that reminded me a lot of my favourite Colourpop lip liner in Lumiere. I compared the two and Lumiere is lighter and more pink (also a much nicer, creamier texture). Going Steady is your typical brick red/medium-to-dark rosy nude that seems super popular right now. I'm not the hugest fan of these colours, but they are fairly universally flattering. On the lips, Going Steady is reminiscent of NYX Lip Lingerie in Ruffle Trim, though when swatched together, Ruffle Trim is lighter and more nude (however does oxidise on the lips like most liquid lipsticks so is darker in real life than when swatched).

Essence Bronzing Brick Powder in 01 Feel the Fun & Catch the Sun

Bronzing Brick Powder on cheeks, Sucker For Grey on lips

Finally, we have the Bronzing Brick Powder. These to my eye are an obvious rip off of Bobbi Brown Brightening Brick. I always wanted to get the pink shade but at $75, hale no. Obviously the Essence dupe likely can't compare in terms of quality, but as there was no tester, I wanted to give it a shot. There was also a Brick Blush Powder, but it was sold out at the time I bought the bronzing powder. I actually went back to buy it post-sale because it's much more similar to the pink Bobbi Brown Brightening Brick I wanted.

I've been using my Zoeva Luxe Sheer Cheek brush and swirling it around in the pan to get a mix of all the colours, then applying this as I would a bronzing powder to my cheeks/cheekbones in an upward sweeping motion. The colour isn't completely brown and there is a peachiness/pink to it so it can used as a blush/bronzer hybrid, like NARS Madly. There's also an interesting light grey tone to it that makes it unique. It's not dark enough to produce a really pronounced contour, and you do have to build up the pigmentation depending on your personal preference. It's not glittery (which I wouldn't have minded as I'm going through a glitter phase), but more just shimmery. However, the shimmer can have a tendency to sit on top of the skin, especially when applied in conjunction with the Illuminating Face Cream Gel. The overall effect can get a little powdery, though nothing a spritz of MAC Fix+ or Smashbox Primer Water etc. can't fix. Wear time is average, bordering on poor, but I guess you can't expect the world of something that cost $3.43.
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