Essence Cosmetics was created by the European company Cosnova in 2002. By 2013 Essence was the best-selling brand in the decorative cosmetics segment in Europe and it’s still going strong. Essence Cosmetics is against animal cruelty and all about providing fun and quality products. The range covers makeup, face care, hand care, fragrance and tools/accessories, all at reasonable prices.
I focused on testing makeup and nail products – here’s what I received:
The bundle of goodies contained nail polishes, two types of nail stencils, two wet look lip glosses, a rainbow highlighter, three different eyeliners and a mascara! I tested everything on myself and a family member over a couple of weeks and my thoughts on each item are below:
Essence Nail polishes
All three polishes are from the Out of Space Stories range and each has a multifaceted colour. They were all easy to apply and coated the nail well after a couple of applications. They did not chip easily and the final result was shiny and two-tone:
Essence Nail Stencils
The first set of stencils are stickers to create cut out designs on the nail; the second set of stencils are stick on 3D designs which you paint over. I had used the first type of nail stencil before but I had never used 3D stencils so was excited to see how they would look! I tried a couple of each:
Starting with the 3D stencils, there were a few different designs to choose from so I randomly selected a couple to test. They were a little fiddly to place on the nail especially when placing on my own nails but once on they didn’t move. Painting over them was easy but if a nail polish needed more than a couple of layers the 3D sticker was less prominent and less noticeable. The end result was pretty but I think they would work best with a sheer colour and a nail polish that coated the nail well in one stroke. Otherwise, they would not stand out. When I removed them they came off reasonably well with minimal rubbing. They left no residue or damage to the natural nail.
The stick on cut out stencils were a little easier to place on the nail. There were stickers that went fully on the nail bed to be painted over and some that split the nail into sections. The top pictures show the end result after using the former type in a triangle sticker. I have to say they were not simple to remove! Once the nail colour was applied, trying to pry the sticker off without damaging the polish was tricky and it was not guaranteed that the shape of the sticker would be neat. You would need to make sure the sticker was firmly in place on all edges and that the nail polish was completely dry before attempting to remove the sticker.
With the dividing stickers, they were simpler to use but I still faced the same problem when removing them. If the nail polish was not totally dry the sticker would not leave a clean line after removal and if I applied a nail colour before using a sticker to then use a different colour, the sticker could remove the underlying polish on removal, illustrated in the last photo. However, when these issues were resolved, the end result was lovely!
Wet Look Lip Glosses
These lip glosses are gorgeous! They smell and taste fruity and glide onto the lips well without becoming too transparent. Also, they definitely provide the ‘wet’ look which in turn makes lips look plump and ‘juicy’! They stayed in place without reapplying for a few hours which was a surprise given their texture. Even after they started to fade they left a slight pigment to the lips, like a dye! They were also nondrying to the lips, which I loved as many lip glosses I have tried tend to dry out my lips within a short space of time. Here’s how they looked:
Essence Rainbow Highlighter
I am a massive highlighter fan and I especially love rainbow and unicorn highlighters! I was thrilled to receive this from Essence and immediately swatched the colours individually. You can see they are all lightly pigmented and very shimmery but the colours are quite pastel-like rather than intense. When I used the highlighter in one of my makeup looks, it provided a high shine but the colours merged into one rather than retaining their individual shades. It’s a beautiful highlighter and you don’t need much to provide a noticeable effect. If you want a clear rainbow to show I would suggest trying a different one:
I received a deep blue liner, a deep green liner and a black and highlighting liner in one. You can see from the swatches that they are very pigmented and they apply smoothly without pulling the skin. I used them mainly in the waterline and they did not irritate my eyes and showed through clearly. The highlighting liner was great for defining under the eyebrow and in the inner eye corner or for the waterline to make the eyes appear larger and brighter. I use these colours often so I know I will get a lot of use from them.
This mascara is lovely! It is a very fluid formula and the brush applicator is narrow and designed to coat and lengthen the lashes whilst also providing volume and curl. It is also waterproof. I used this mascara on my top and bottom lashes. Also, I used it when wearing false lashes and it was easy to use and defined my lashes really well. I did not notice a huge difference in the curl and volume of my lashes after use but I only applied 1-2 coats so had I applied more it may be that those effects would have been more noticeable. It did, however, stand up to rubbing and was clearly waterproof after getting caught in the rain! Here’s how my lashes looked before and after application:
So, that’s my review of Essence Cosmetics! I am really impressed with everything I received and will happily buy more from the brand! At the moment you can find it in the U.K. at Wilko stores and I am sure in time it will be available in other stores like Superdrug and Boots. You can see the full product range on the website here, although you can’t presently buy online. If you have never tried Essence products I definitely recommend visiting your local Wilko to see what’s on offer!
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