Essence Cosmetics haul! First impressions & how does it compare toprofessional makeup

Hi lovelies and welcome back to my blog! Today I will show you my first ever Essence Cosmetics haul and first impressions. I will also share my opinions about the budget drugstore European makeup brand compared to high end professional makeup.


Essence is a cheap! makeup brand originated in Germany. It has taken the makeup world by storm and can be found everywhere in the world. In Australia it can be found in Priceline.
The prices are amazingly cheap (between $2-$8) and the quality is decent and sometimes extremely surprising (compared to the price). They often release cute limited edition makeup & beauty accessories and the best thing is – it’s so affordable!
In my haul I got a few products from the ‘Happy girls are pretty’ collection:
Eyeshadow palette in ‘Happiness is… seeing your smile’ (such a cute name right? ;))
Contouring set in ‘Happiness is… a way of life’ 
Multi colour blush in ‘You sweeten my day!’

Sheer lip balm in ‘Live, laugh, love and repeat’ 

As well as ‘It’s nude time!’ and ‘Come naturally’ lipsticks and ‘Make me brow’ eyebrow gel mascara.
First impressions
Packaging & design is simply adorable! Simple yet with element of surprise.
Depending on the product, some pigments were stronger than others. Some were more promising while others not so much.
Eyeshadow palette in ‘Happiness is… seeing your smile’

The colours are lovely! Pinks, neutrals & grey plum. All have some shimmer in them but some more than others. The pigment was stronger on the first 2 shadows from the left and the last one on the right. They were more matte textured while the other 2 had a more satin/frost finish. The other 2 shadows were not as pigmented and I needed to build them up more to make the colours pop.
The colours are good basic eyeshadow colours and great for every day wear.
I was quite surprised with the quality and pigmentation of some of the colours as it didn’t feel like ‘budget’ makeup. The only issue I have with this palette is that the eyeshadows felt ‘powdery’ and ‘loose’ while applied, compared to MAC eyeshadows for example, that feel more pressed and the pigment is stronger and more concentrated.

Top to bottom: Essence, MAC, Essence

Left to Right: MAC, MAC, Essence, MAC, Essence

To conclude, what you’re getting for the price you paid is a-ok. Prsonally, I prefer the high end professional makeup when it comes to this one. But overall it’s a good palette to have, great on the go for a subtle every day look. The cream-white eyeshadow is probably my favorite (first on the left). It lasted a few good hours on and was a great highlighter for under the brows + inner corner of the eye.
Contouring set in ‘Happiness is… a way of life’

Every girl must own a contour kit! And if you don’t have one, rush in and get one!
This contour duo would be good for beginners. It’s combined of a dark bronze to contour and sculpt the cheek bones, nose, jaw line and forehead. The highlighter is a light cream colour to highlight under the eyes, center and tip of the nose as well as forehead and above the lip. I love the cute font imprinted on each colour, it makes it that extra little special!
Both colours have little shimmer, but it isn’t seen once applied so they’re basically matte.
Again the results are very subtle, especially the highlighter which isn’t very pigmented. I used it on my face and had to build it up a lot in order to see anything, and it didn’t last very Iong either, probably a couple of hours.
To conclude, this is a very basic kit, normally there is a minimum of 3 colours in a professional contouring kit: contour, bronzer & highlighter. When it comes to contouring in this case you get what you pay for (not much for that matter). It is very cute though and as I said before good to start off with.

Comparing to Smashbox cosmetics contour kit below, you can tell the difference how the pigment is more pressed, concentrated and stronger than the Essence one. The highlighter is more vibrant in colour and the texture is smoother and more consistent. Smashbox is a winner for me.

Top to bottom: Essence, Essence, Smashbox, Smashbox

Multi colour blush in ‘You sweeten my day!’
This is seriously super adorable! So cute & girly, I cannot resist makeup with love hearts on! Especially when it’s pink! 😉
This blush is a mixture of rosey pink & pale pink but there’s a peachy tinge to it as well. You can wear either colour on its own or mix them up. Again, there’s a tiny bit of shimmer but it’s matte once applied.
Top to bottom: heart, border, mixed
Top to bottom: heart, border, mixed
The pigment was not very strong in this (how disappointing!). I applied it on my cheeks and barely saw anything! So again, very subtle, good if you’re going for a natural look but you will need to build it up. Like the others, it felt like loose powder when applied, almost talc- like, and not a strong pressed pigment & colour like this MAC blush below.

Left to right: MAC, Essence, Essence

To conclude, it does look super cute but in fact it is quite disappointing, as you need to apply a lot of product to be able to see anything.
I got Sheer lip balm in ‘Live, laugh, love and repeat’ from this collection which is a warm rose-pink. It is sheer pink and very glossy once applied.
This feels like a lip balm in texture but it isn’t moisturizing nor drying the lips. It did give a pink tint to my lips and kept them super shiny and glossy like a lipgloss.
Personally this isn’t my favorite type of lipstick. I prefer creamier, more opaque lipsticks but it doesn’t hurt to own something like this for a subtle every day look.
‘It’s Nude Time!’ lipstick
It’s a warm creamy nude with yellow undertones. Semi opaque with a shiny finish. The lipstick is actually nice but beware, it shows all the imperfections on your lips! It is very creamy and applies smoothly. Even though it doesn’t have full coverage, it’s still good for every day look plus it can be great mixed together with other lipsticks.
‘Come naturally’ lipstick
This has to be my favorite!
Described by Essence as ‘nude’ this is more of a grey-pink-mauve-nude mixture to me. I absolutely love this colour! It is great for my every day makeup look. It’s creamy, semi opaque with a shiny finish.
This colour is a nuetral colour I think every woman must have! Would probably suit all skin tones and for what I paid for it it’s an absolute steal! It also lasted a few hours on me. Love!
All 3 lipsticks
‘Come naturally’ is my favorite! Which one is yours?

Comparing the lipsticks I got from Essence ($4.10) to MAC ($36), you can see the difference in texture and opacity. The MAC lipsticks are more pigmented, creamier and more vibrant in colour (It depends on the lipstick really). But at $4.10 it is definitely worth it!

Top to bottom: MAC, Essence, MAC

Last but not least is ‘Make me brow’ eyebrow gel mascara
Oh did I leave the best for last! I never used one of these before but let me tell you: WOW! I cannot believe I ever did my eyebrow makeup without it! It’s the holy grail of brows! Seriously, unbelievable. At the beginning I thought it would put too much colour & texture in my brows like eyelash mascara, and make them look scary. But no it didn’t! it made my eyebrows look fuller, more defined, with just a hint of colour, and of course kept the hair in place all day! I tried Benefit ‘Gimme brows’ ($39) before and was very impressed with what it did to my brows. This is an EXACT dupe for a fraction of the price! ($5.10) A-mazing.
The brush is much smaller compared to eyelash mascara brush, and the colour pigment isn’t as strong. It’s just enough to cover all the gaps and comb the hair nicely and neatly into place. I can use this alone and have great natural fuller looking brows! However, I do have a scar on my left eyebrow, and some people might find the need to use something else as well as this for perfectly defined looking brows.
It’s a winner for me!

My Essence total look using: eyeshadow palette, contouring set, blush, eyebrow gel mascara and sheer lip balm

In conclusion, some products were better than others (as always right?).
The biggest miss for me was the blush while my favs have to be ‘Come naturally’ lipstick and the ‘Make me brow’ eyebrow gel mascara.
Overall Essence Cosmetics surprised me for the best with some of their products I tried. I love to see such a cute concept in the makeup industry with great prices to match. I did notice they keep releasing cute new collections constantly and I would keep an eye for them to maybe find something else I like. Compared with professional makeup, I’d still go for professional makeup any day (sorry Essence!), but the brow gel mascara got me, I’m sold for life!
Hope you liked my post lovelies
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