Lighthearted Beauty and Lifestyle... Honestly.



Essence is a popular brand across Europe and America, but hasn’t quite made it in the UK just yet. Despite being readily available in Wilko, not many people seem to have heard of it, or if they have, they assume it’s Wilko’s own brand and therefore probably not very good. I decided that Essence needed a chance to prove itself.

Obviously I can’t test the entire range, and we do have a smaller range to choose from in the UK anyway, but hopefully this can give some insight into what is worth buying from Essence and what’s not!


essence makeup review

There’s three types of foundation to choose from (a mousse, a glowy finish one, a 16hr wear foundation and a high coverage one), but I picked up the The 2 in 1 Foundation. It comes in just three shades, which is pretty abysmal, even for cheap makeup standards (this retails for £3.80). The shade 10 Ivory Beige actually isn’t too bad for my skin tone, but it is definitely yellow-toned, whereas I’m fairly neutral-to-pink.I found the coverage to be light when I used a sponge, but when I went on top with a brush with a second layer, it went medium-full coverage. I don’t think it lives up to its ‘concealer and foundation in one’ claim, as I definitely still needed some concealer to help the dark circles and blemishes. The finish was natural rather than matte or dewy, but it was a little difficult to blend out in places.

Speaking of concealer, I chose the Camouflage concealer in the shade 05. Luckily this was paler than the foundation and pink-toned! The Essence concealer is actually one of my favourite concealers; so much so that I have a back-up in my makeup storage drawers somewhere. It brightens up under my eyes and has great coverage.

For eye primer, I have the I Love Colour Intensifying Eye Base, which again is pink-toned. It does need setting with a skintone shade or powder before you blend on top of it but once you do that, it grips the eyeshadow really well and doesn’t crease all day. The eyeshadow looks more vibrant and intense!


essence makeup review

The Mosiac blushes are pretty to look at and also really pigmented, so you definitely need a light hand when using them. I recommend using them with a fluffier brush rather than a dense one, as they aren’t the easiest to blend out!

I was really intrigued to try out the Luminous Matte bronzer – how can something be luminous and matte? Well, I don’t think they can because the finish is definitely more matte than anything, but it isn’t as dull-looking as a standard bronzer. It’s difficult to explain! It’s a little too warm for my complexion but I can make it work when I’m wearing a full-glam look and if I use a light hand. It blends out nicely and looks pretty on the skin!

This highlight stick is new to the Essence range (in the UK, anyway), and is called the 3D Dewylook stick. Rather than being the usual cream highlighter (ie shimmer on a stick), it has a dewy finish and no shimmer. It’s basically a wet look in a stick! I do recommend saving it for when you’re not wearing foundation, as it does disrupt the foundation underneath it and makes it go patchy, but the stick works as describe and does make you look like you’ve been at the gym.


essence makeup review

The Metal Shock cream eyeshadows are a popular product with people wanting to find a dupe for the Stila Shimmer/Glitter & Glow eyeshadows! I have two shades – Supernova (the green) and Stars and Stores (rose gold). The green is definitely more muted and less shiny, but the Stars and Stories shade is almost metallic-looking and so shimmery! It’s very pigmented, whereas Supernova is a little patchy. However, both shades last really well and don’t transfer or crease throughout the day.

Another dupe, the Make Me Brow is an attempt at a Gimme Brow dupe. It has the same small spoolie and tinted gel as well as the little fibres in to make your brows look more voluminous. I actually enjoy using this a lot; not quite as nice as Benefit’s option but quite close and about 80% cheaper. I would like a slightly smaller spoolie and it would be perfect.

essence makeup review

There are so many mascaras in Essence’s line-up, but I chose the most popular – the Lash Princess False Lash Effect. I’ve never found a mascara that actually makes my thin lashes look like false lashes, but this mascara does provide quite a lot of volume and length. It layers up nicely with two coats, but by the third it looks a little heavy and clumpy. It’s a great budget mascara!


essence makeup review

I have two different types of lipsticks – one from the shine range (in the shade 12) and one from the ultra last range (in the shade 07). I prefer the ultra last formula, which is a satin finish. It’s pigmented with one swipe and lasts really well, even when you eat and drink. The shine formula is hydrating and looks glossy despite being a lipstick but it is more sheer and doesn’t last as long as it’s a more creamy formula.

Finally, setting spray. I chose the Glow to Go setting spray as I enjoy a dewy finish. I have to warn you against this spray, though. I shook this bottle until my arm fat started melting away, yet when I sprayed it on my face, I was left with a lovely freckled effect of pink iridescent blobs. Not exactly what I was expecting. The spray itself is quite harsh, and reminds me slightly of being sprayed with a hose. Not great. I’m going to decant the spray into a different bottle and see if that makes a difference.

So that’s my review on Essence cosmetics! If you’d like to see my first impressions of the products, check out the video below.


  • The products looked really good, but I can see what you meant with the 2 in 1 foundation, it really looked more yellow on you and that setting spray did seem pretty bad. I would’ve been pissed after doing all that and then looking like I just got sprayed with shimmering pink bubble gum. The only Essence product I’ve ever tried & still use is the mascara in the black and purple packaging which I think is called the Essence Lash Princess Sculpted Volume Mascara, it’s so so at the most. Awesome post and great video!!

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