A few weeks ago, Nouveau Cheap posted that Essence pencil sharpener was a dupe for the famous Urban Decay Grindhouse. UD Grindhouse is a great pencil sharpener that can sharpen even the softest pencil, but it sells for $10 – which I consider pretty steep. I was browsing at Ulta earlier today, and when I saw the Essence sharpeners, I remember Nouveau Cheap’s post and decided to pick one up to compare for myself – since her post didn’t have pictures, and since I can always use an extra good-quality pencil sharpener.
Aside from the branding, they are identical – it’s quite clear that that the same factory makes both. When you take the lid off of each sharpener, not only do they look the same, but the blades are engraved with both “Made in Germany” and the same symbol – it’s sort of an E with a crown on it.
They’re constructed identically as well; a square box, with a removable top and bottom, and two sizes of sharpener. The bottom also says Made in Germany and has the same symbol – it’s much easy to see on the UD sharpener, but if you look closely you can see it on the Essence sharpener as well.
Of course, the same factory could make two sharpeners that were of different qualities, so I tested out the Essence sharpener to make sure that it worked well!
First, I tested out the smaller side. I sharpened my Prestige Total Intensity pencil, which is the softest pencil eyeliner I own. It’s also a hot day here – making it softer and more difficult to sharpen well. The Essence sharpener did a great job, and I got a nice point.
Then, I sharpened the only jumbo pencil that needed sharpening – NYX Milk. It’s also not the easiest to sharpen, given the texture of the wood, but again, it sharpened quite smoothly and easily.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the Essence pencil sharpener! There is no need to spend $10 on the Urban Decay Grindhouse sharpener when you can get the same sharpener (and in a variety of colors, too!) for just $1.99.