Well would you believe it, Essence have turned 15! I’m very partial to the achingly affordable and fun collections from the brand because at the end of the day, I think beauty should be accessible for every budget and they do a damn good job at that. They’re also especially good at catering for younger girls who are hungry for hauls but don’t have a lot of spare cash. I feature them a lot on the blog so I was thrilled when asked to collaborate with them on some reviews this year to celebrate their birthday. So here’s the first one!
So their latest release is called Live. Laugh. Celebrate! to mark 15 years of fun for Essence and it all centres around one simple release – a customisable palette. It’s a concept that’s going to work because everyone loves to tailor colours and products to suit themselves. I first thought this was exclusively an eyeshadow palette but then I realised you can also add in a shimmering blush, a highlighting powder, a fixing powder, a lip base and even a lip powder which was a bit more intriguing as I had no notion how a lip powder would work.
The palette itself is simple but cute and comes in a 4 or 8 pan size. Black plastic is what it is but the nice hundreds and thousands style top is a nice touch and it also acts as an alarm as you’ll hear anyone else trying to sneakily open it on you. Oh and it’s €1.90 lads for this size and only €2.50 for the larger size. With a total of 16 products (with the main focus on 10 eyeshadow shades) there’s just enough choice to be interesting but not overwhelming.
I tried three of the eyeshadows – the golden ‘The Sun is Shining’, the light purple ‘Celebrate Good Times’, and the silvery ‘Friends are Forever’. As you can spy above, all the little inserts come in cute glittery pouches which are very pretty but also very practical, especially considering each eyeshadow here is only €1.90. I wasn’t expecting anything life changing here and I felt a bit bad trialling these alongside a new MAC palette but I have to say, they were very decent quality and I was really pleasantly surprised. All three had a shimmering finish but felt super soft without the slightest trace of grittiness. There was also zero powdery fall out and great pigmentation from all three. On my dry lids, these lasted absolutely fine throughout the day and only faded a small bit. I was really impressed with all three of them and although the shimmering finish and colours may not suit everyone, if you like the swatches you’ll love these.
The lip powder is an unusual concept but makes sense in a palette like this as a similar formulation will be more hygienic than a wetter lipstick inclusion which inevitably always picks up dirt and bits of other products in traditional palettes like this. I did have to triple check this was for the lips before I used it though because it looks so identical to the eyeshadows. This is ‘Crush on You’ and is one of two lip powders you can choose from. You can apply this with a lip brush or just your fingers if you’re feeling lazy, which was the option I tended to opt for. This gives a soft, velvet matte finish on and was surprisingly pigmented and gave a nice dramatically dark wine lip. A lip brush would definitely help to get the best definition from this around the lip line but once it was on, it felt comfortable and relatively lightweight. It also had really impressive lasting time as it stains and hugs the lips really well, so I could eat, drink and smooch with zero trouble. When it faded, it didn’t do so evenly so I think a liner underneath this would get the best results and would also help define your lip line if you’re slapping this on with your fingers. It’s an unusual product but it did look very pretty on and had great lasting power, it just needs a tiny bit of effort to make it look perfectly even.
All in all, I have to say this little palette surpassed my expectations. I didn’t expect the eyeshadows and lip powder to be so well made and everything felt and wore like a more expensive product. The fact you can get this full palette for €9.50 with total control over what goes into it is pretty brilliant so if you fancy some lighter shimmering shades for summer, you can’t go wrong with these.
The Essence Live. Laugh. Celebrate! goes on sale from May until June as Limited Edition! It’s exclusive to Penneys nationwide! You can see more of the Essence birthday celebrations on their website here
So girls do you like the look of this palette?
*This is a paid collaboration with all my own thoughts and views