Saturday, April 2, 2016

testing....essence sample haul.

It is no secret. I love makeup an awful lot. It is something that brings me a joy unlike anything else. Which is why I was so thrilled to have a handful of Essence samples to try out. (My husband works for a drugstore. Every so often they are sent testers that do not fit into the displays. He was nice enough to bring me home a few so I could test, swatch, and play around.) To some people? The photo above might look like a bunch of products. To me? That photo represents so much more. Each one promises sparks of creativity and flutters of anticipation. Ahhh....what a beautiful feeling!

Lately I have been making the most of these sample items. Each one has been worked into recent makeup looks in some way or another. The items include: three lip products, two concealer products, four powders, and three bronze and blush wheels. Here is a breakdown of each item. What it is, if it worked, and whether I would purchase a full sized version. Let's start with the lip products....

What Is It? There were three lip products to try out. The first was a red lipstick in Dare To Wear, the second a rose coloured nude in Barely There!, and the last a shimmery neutral in Honey Bee.

How Did It Work? I am pretty picky about lip products. I want something easy to wear and comfortable. Which is why these lipsticks really exceeded my expectations. Dare To Wear is nicely pigmented and creamy. This particular shade of red is also super flattering. Barely There! is my favourite of the bunch. It is the perfect rosey nude shade. You know, the one everyone is obsessed with at the moment. It reminds me of a Kylie Jenner type of lipstick. Trendy yet always in style. Then there is Honey Bee. This is a sheer glittery kind of lip product. On its own? Not super remarkable. However this can be layered over top of another lip product to give it a fun and flirty finish.

Would I Purchase? When it comes down to it? There is only one lipstick that I would shell out my hard earned money for. Barely There! While I really enjoy that gorgeous red isn't something that is far apart from items I already own. As for the glittery shade? It doesn't do enough on its own to really make it worth my while.

What Is It? Next up are a couple of concealer shades. They are the Match2Cover! in shades 10 and 20. These are cream products. 

How Did It Work? I am always looking for a good concealer. Especially one that can conquer under eye circles. (I never seem to get enough sleep! Sigh.) These concealer shades were only okay for me. I've actually tried these in the past and had the same reaction. While I love the creamy consistency (it is very smooth and silky which makes it very easy to apply) there is a lack of coverage. This is great if you are looking for something super light and natural. If you actually need to conceal any problem areas of blemishes? This will not do much. 

Would I Purchase? Short answer? No. The texture is lovely but the coverage is sadly lacking. 

What Is It? The next set of products is loaded with powders. The first two are pressed mattifying powders. The second two are Sun Club Bronzing Powders in shades 01 and 02. 

How Did It Work? Let's start with the mattifying powders. That white powder is actually fabulous. I had a full sized version of that a few years back and it really delivers. It gets rid of any oily spots without drying out the skin. Great price and great product. The second powder is effective and easy to use. No issues with it whatsoever. Now for the bronzing powders. These shades work really well for my pale skin. They are pretty standard in terms of quality (decent pigmentation and a nice texture). However if you have a deeper skin tone you will want to look beyond shades 01 and 02. 

Would I Purchase? This is a hit and miss. The white mattifying powder is a serious yes. The others? Likely not. This is not due to their quality. I simply have an awful lot of items like that in my existing makeup collection. These would be a nice affordable option for anyone who did not, though! They get a solid thumbs up from me.

What Is It? Last up? These three bronzing and highlight wheels. One has light bronzey shades, another with slightly deeper bronzed shades, and the last features a pink blush along with bronze shades and highlight colours. 

How Does It Work? These can be swirled together to create a nice flush of colour on the face. They can also be used separately (though this would be difficult with these smaller sample sizes). The concept is nice and the texture is very soft and smooth. Unfortunately, these are lacking in colour pay off. You have to use an awful lot of product to get a polished look. And these do not work as all over face bronzers or contours because they are quite glittery. Use them as a natural blush for best results. 

Would I Purchase? These I would probably skip. I really do love the concept but for me? Pigmentation is everything. The texture is superb but that doesn't mean much when the colours fail to show up on the skin.

Phew! So there you have it. An overview of some Essence products. This is a super affordable makeup brand that I happen to love. Their blushes and eyeshadow sets? Stellar. It was a lot of fun to try some different products from their line. Some of them were hits. Others were misses. But gosh, it was fun to test them out. 

xo Shannon


  1. Great haul, I love the red lipstick, the shade is perfect!

    The Flower Duet

  2. The lipstick shades are so beautiful

  3. Beautifully detailed review, Shannon. It's always hit or miss with essence. Don't bother with their foundations, Shannon, just not worth the money but I really do love their nail polishes, they are great, really great. Mostly one coat only and you're done. Enjoy the weekend, doll.

  4. Great haul dear! Love the products! I use very often Essence products so i have to say that i'm really amazed with their lipsticks :)

  5. so cool that you get to try makeup stuff for free :) I tried some essence products and I love that they're so affordable <3

  6. Thanks for the comment <3
    The products seem to be amazing :D

  7. Red lipstick looks very nice. And last one product is very interesting.

  8. I like the essence produtc. Great review.

  9. love the look of those highlighter wheels, I really must give Essence a go! xx

  10. I want all that make-up haha! Looks nice.


  11. Thanks for this review(s), Shannon! I tend to gravitate to Essence when I go to Shoppers coz of the amazing prices, but yeah...I do find that the products are hit-or-miss.