Category Archives: Essence

Essence Cherry Blossom Girl Blush – Swatch of the Day

Giveaway Prize
Essence Cherry Blossom Girl Blush, Lashes

Essence Cherry Blossom Girl Blush, Lashes


I really love the brand Essence – it surprised me when I just checked and realized I’ve only reviewed a few products from the brand! I have about 20 Essence nail polishes (so easy when they’re so inexpensive), and several makeup items yet-unreviewed.  But, one thing that I don’t like about Essence is how hard it is for me to obtain their products! Ulta has some items, and gets some limited edition products, but only a tiny fraction of what other countries get.  And, this is all a long-winded way of tell you all how very excited I was to win Liz the Beauty Reductionista‘s giveaway of two limited edition Essence items from the Cherry Blossom Girl collection! I haven’t tried the paper lashes yet – what does one wear them to? – but I have swatches of the blush for you! Continue reading

Essence Stay With Me Long Lasting Lipgloss – Swatch of the Day

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Essence Stay With Me Long Lasting Lipgloss

Kiss Kiss Kiss // Candy Bar // Me & My Ice Cream // Pretty Witty

Essence’s $3 Stay With Me Long-Lasting Lipgloss has one of my favorite formulas – truly long lasting (for lip gloss) and not sticky at all.  It comes in several great colors, most of which do not have any shimmer – none of the four I have do, which is my preference for lip products.

Essence Stay With Me Long Lasting Lipgloss Swatches

Kiss Kiss Kiss // Candy Bar // Me & My Ice Cream // Pretty Witty

Essence Kiss Kiss Kiss Lipgloss Swatch

Kiss Kiss Kiss

Kiss Kiss Kiss is a sheer red.

Essence Candy Bar Lipgloss Swatch

Candy Bar

Candy Bar is a sheer coral; it looks very similar to Kiss Kiss Kiss on my lips, but would probably appear different on someone with less pigmented lips.

Essence Me & My Ice Cream Stay With Me Long Lasting Lipgloss Swatch

Me & My Ice Cream

Me & My Ice Cream is a pale pink-beige that tones down the natural color of my lips.

Essence Pretty Witty Stay With Me Long Lasting Lipgloss Swatch

Pretty Witty

Pretty Witty is a bright and very pigmented pink that leans purple.

I absolutely recommend these – great price, great product! Where I live, Essence products are only available at Ulta, but (per the Essence website) they are also available at HEB and Fred Meyer if you have locations near you.

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

Essence Twilight Nail Polish Review & Swatches

Essence Twilight Breaking Dawn Nail Polish Collection: 01 Jacob's Proection, 02 Alice Had a Vison, 03 A Piece of Foreve, 04 Edward's Love

Essence Twilight Breaking Dawn Nail Polish Collection:
01 Jacob’s Proection, 02 Alice Had a Vison, 03 A Piece of Foreve, 04 Edward’s Love

I went to Ulta yesterday, and spotted a full display of the Essence Twilight Breaking Dawn collection (which is unfortunately not available online).  Although I’m not a Twilight person – I haven’t read the books or watched the movies – I am a big Essence fan, so I was excited to see new products!

Here’s the promo pic.  I was tempted by almost everything in the collection, but ended up with just the four nail polishes – though I might go back for the blush and shimmer powder.

First, let me talk about the brushes. THEY ARE TERRIBLE. It’s hard to tell from the following picture, but they are just really bad. They’re oddly shaped, and the polish pools on the top part of the brush in a difficult-to-use way. The polish looks lovely though, doesn’t it? It’s the second one – Alice Had a Vision.

On to the swatch pictures.  The first polish, Jacob’s Protection, took two coats to be opaque. The formula was fine, nothing great or terrible.  It needs thinning, but I swatched it as-is for the photo. It’s hard for me to tell exactly what color it is – it’s either black with dense blue flakes, or deep blue with dense blue flakes.

Essence Jacob's Protection

Essence Jacob’s Protection

The second polish, Alice Had a Vision, is absolutely gorgeous.  It is a slightly sheer purple base with tons of purple flecks and some green flecks.  It took 2-3 coats to be opaque, and the formula was slightly better than the first polish.

Essence Alice Had a Vision

Essence Alice Had a Vision

Third, we have A Piece of Forever – a metallic gold. This is two coats. The formula on this one was really nice – smooth and fluid.  It was quite opaque in one coat, and I bet it would work quite well for stamping or other nail art.  However, as you can see, it the brush strokes are very visible – so if that bothers you, it’s not a great polish for you, unless you’re willing to sponge on the top layer.

Essence A Piece of Forever

Essence A Piece of Forever

And here’s the final polish – Edward’s Love.  It’s black, and absolutely packed with silver glass flecks.  It has a pretty good formula, and was opaque in two coats.  It gives a similar effect to Illamasqua Creator or L’oreal The Queen’s Ambition, but those both have glitter, while these are flakies / glass flecks.  I have included a second, close up photo so you can see the texture of this polish.

Essence Edward's Love

Essence Edward’s Love

Essence Edward's Love

Edward’s Love – close up

And just because it’s so pretty, here’s an extra photo of Alice Had a Vision:

Will you be looking out for any of these polishes?

A $1.50 Dupe for Urban Decay Grindhouse

Dupes: Essence dual pencil sharpener and Urban Decay grindhouse

Dupes: Essence dual pencil sharpener and Urban Decay grindhouse

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.

Essence Creamy Nude and Red Carpet Review, Swatches, Photos

Essence Cosmetics is one of my favorite budget makeup brands. I love their 99 cent nail polish, and I’ve been wanting to try their lipstick for a while. Unfortunately, the lipstick isn’t sealed in-store, so (despite the presence of testers!), people seem to swatch the lipsticks.   So, I recently ordered from and got two Essence lipsticks – Creamy Nude and Red Carpet.  Essence makes several lipsticks, but most of the line has shimmer. These are the two creme shades, which is why I picked them.

The packaging is very basic and feels slightly cheap. As you can see, the lipsticks are housed in colored plastic containers.  They are sturdy enough to be perfectly functional, and the lipsticks do retract fully.  For less than $3, I am happy with functional packaging, and I don’t need it to be stylish.

I really like the texture of these lipsticks. They’re creamy, smooth, and moisturizing, but not greasy at all.  Sometimes, budget lipsticks have a waxy feel – but these don’t at all.  They have a faint fruity scent, which I am neutral about – I don’t mind it, but it doesn’t add anything to the experience for me.

Essence Creamy Nude
Essence Red Carpet

Creamy Nude is a nice shade – it’s a flattering nude on me, but it doesn’t replace my favorite nude lip combination.  Red Carpet, however, is amazing – it’s incredibly flattering on me.  Here’s a full face photo so you can see just how great the color is! Note that the name is a little bit deceptive; it’s not a true red on me. Instead, it’s sort of a pink-red color.  But, many red lipsticks have a tendency to lean pink on me – if that’s not true for you, this lipstick may be more red on you.

In the area where I live, Essence is exclusively available  Ulta stores and

Have you tried any products from Essence?

This post contains affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure policy.


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