Category Archives: Essence

Tinted Brow Gel Review & Comparison: Glossier Boy Brow vs. Essence Make Me Brow vs. Benefit Gimme Brow

Tinted Brow Gel Comparison

I’ve been meaning to put together a post comparing Glossier Boy Brow, Essence Make Me Brow, and Benefit Gimme Brow for a while now, and with the news of a Benefit Gimme Brow recall, now seems like a good time to make it happen.

First, my brows: I have relatively full brows, so I am generally looking to fill in the tails a touch, groom, and add polish. I don’t need to create a brow anywhere that I don’t already have brow hairs or fill in any truly sparse areas. Most days I use a pencil in the tails then go through the whole brow with a tinted gel.  All three of these products work well as that tinted gel – for that reason, I consider them to be functional dupes, though there are some noticeable differences in formula and color options.

I purchased all products featured in this post. All referral and affiliate links are individually marked; unmarked links are not affiliate.
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My Favorite “MLBB,” Neutral, & Natural Lipsticks & Glosses

Purchased – Affiliate Links

MLBB lipstick

Good morning! Today I have quick reviews & swatches of five of my favorite mlbb (my lips but better) / neutral / natural lipsticks & glosses. These aren’t what I’d call nude lipsticks – I think of those as paler than my natural lip tone – but rather rosy, natural colors. I tend to wear this type of lip color to work, and all five of these are frequently used.

MLBB lipstick

MAC Out For Passion // Tarina Tarantino Queen Alice // Revlon Pink Truffle // Maybelline Intoxicating Spice // Essence Choose Me!

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Essence Stay Matt Lip Cream Review & Swatches

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Essence Stay Matt

Good morning (or whatever time it is for you)! Today I have some quick lip swatches of Essence’s Stay Matt[e] Lip Creams ($2.99 at Ulta) – I have all three of the shades that are available in the US. I’m short on time today, so instead of a wordy review, I just have a few bullet points:

  • Silky Red & Smooth Berry have beautiful, opaque pigmentation
  • Velvet Rose is a bit patchy
  • All three are initially satiny and dry down to a velvety matte finish
  • I find them neither drying nor hydrating
  • They have a very strong, very sweet carmelized sugar scent that I hate.
Essence Stay Matt swatch - Velvet Rose

Velvet Rose

Essence Stay Matt swatch - Smooth Berry

Smooth Berry

Essence Stay Matt - Silky Red

Silky Red

And here’s a full face photo with Smooth Berry, which is my (surprising!) favorite.

Essence Stay Matt swatch - Smooth Berry

Lip: Essence Smooth Berry

*I purchased the product(s) featured in this post. This post contains one or more affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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Essence Beauty Beats (Justin Bieber) Collection Blush & Highlighter Review, Swatches

Purchased – No Affiliate Links

Essence Beauty Beats collection

Essence releases a ton of collections is some countries, but just a few in the the US. They recently released a Justin Bieber themed collection called Beauty Beats. I am not a Bieber fan (Baby is catchy, I guess? I can’t name any of his other songs), but I am an Essence fan, so I bought three items – the blush, highlighter, and one of the glosses. Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced the gloss in my recent move, so I don’t have swatches of it today. It’s pretty much clear with sparkles, though – not the most exciting thing to swatch, though it looks great (and green!) in the tube. I do have this picture from my Instagram which includes the gloss.

The blush is named Groupie at Heart, and is a gorgeous watermelon pink. It is imprinted with the word boyfriend – I have absolutely no idea why – and it blends easily, but does kick up some powder.  It has a really lovely almost-satin finish – it’s basically matte, but not a flat matte. I would highly recommend this if you can find it – and at around $3, it’s a total steal.

Essence Beauty Beats 2-2

Essence Groupie At Heart

Essence Beauty Beats Groupie At Heart blush swatch

Essence Groupie At Heart: unblended // blended

The highlighter is named Swaaag and imprinted with the word swag. Again, no idea why.  I was very excited about it because it looks gorgeous in the pan, but I was disappointed to find out that it has large flecks of glitter in it. If it didn’t have the glitter, it would be great – the texture is nice and I like the soft shimmer – but as is, I don’t find it useable as a highlighter for me.

Essence Beauty Beats 2

Essence Swaag

Essence Beauty Beats Swaaag highlighter swatch

Essence Swaaag in natural light: unblended // blended

Essence Beauty Beats Swaaag highlighter swatch-2

Essence Swaaag with blur to show sparkle: unblended // blended

In my region of the US., Essence is only available at Ulta. I am jealous of those of you who have access to more of Essence’s collections!

Essence 3D Eyeshadows – Swatches & Quick Review

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Essence 3D Eyeshadow

A little while ago, I spotted a new product in Ulta’s Essence display – the 3D Eyeshadow, which has a raised (one might even say 3D) section and a flat section.  I was intrigued, so I bought two shades. Ulta online shows six shades, and that’s what I saw in-store, so I think that’s what they carry – however, this blog post (which is in German) shows nine shades, so it looks like Ulta doesn’t have the full range – not surprising! They sell for $3.49 each.

I bought the shades Irresistible Purr-ple and Irresistible Caramel Cream. All the shade names start with “Irresistible.”

Essence 3D Eyeshadow Irresistible Purr-ple

Irresistible Purr-ple

Essence 3D Eyeshadow Irresistible Caramel Cream

Irresistible Caramel Cream

Here is each shade swatched without primer, as I normally swatch. The colors are pretty, but the pigmentation is not great; it’s a bit uneven, a bit sheer, and there’s some fallout (especially from the purple shade on the far left). The darker shade from Caramel Cream performs best – it’s the smoothest and the most pigmented. Without primer, I’d say that Purr-ple’s performance is poor, and Caramel Cream’s performance is mediocre.

Essence 3D Eyeshadow Swatches

Irresistible Purr-ple // Irresistible Caramel Cream

So, I also swatched them over primer (NYX HD).  For these, I swatched each shade individually, but also layered the two colors from each duo – the lighter shade over the darker shade.

Essence 3D Eyeshadow Irresistable Purr-ple Swatches

Irresistable Purr-ple – over primer

Over primer, the darker shade from Purr-ple is still somewhat difficult; a bit fallout prone and somewhat patchy. The lighter shade performs fairly well, and overall, I’d say the duo is adequate. But, there are better purple duos out there, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you happen to fall in love with the colors.

Essence 3D Eyeshadow Caramel Cream Swatches

Irresistible Caramel Cream – over primer

Over primer, Caramel Cream performs beautifully – both shades are lovely alone, and I especially love them together. I would recommend this one for sure, especially for the price!

As an aside, I know posting has been less frequent than usual this week; I’m out of town, and although I prepared plenty of photos in advance, I just haven’t had time to write up the posts to go with them! Regular (every day) posting should resume on Monday or Tuesday.

*I purchased the product(s) featured in this post.   This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.