Essence is a brand that many seem to love—one for its quality and the second for its meager prices. In case you haven’t heard-Essence cosmetics is a drugstore brand that has continued to remain true to its drugstore prices. I had no interest to try Essence cosmetics. Nor was I interested in doing an Essence cosmetics review until recently.
While we’re in a current state of inflation and many drugstore beauty items have increased by at least 10%. Essence Cosmetics remains below the inflation mark making it extremely affordable. It has taken me forever to try this brand! But alas, I’ve tried several products and I’m ready to share my Essence Cosmetics review!
Essence Cosmetics Brand Review!
As stated I was never tempted to try Essence cosmetics. Partly because I hardly shop at Ulta and I can’t remember the last time I shopped online from Ulta! However, I was near Ulta recently and I decided to stop in and shop for some Essence makeup! One product that intrigued me the most (no it wasn’t their lash princess mascara that everyone raves about). It was instead their 16-hour cover and last powder foundation. Of course, I had to try this out and see how well it compares to the Elf Camo powder foundation.
Is Essence Cruelty-Free?
Not only are they incredibly affordable but Essence cosmetics has been cruelty-free before the legal ban in the EU! They do not conduct any animal testing themselves nor do they commission any third parties to conduct animal testing.
Essence Makeup Brand Origin
Initially, I assumed that Essence cosmetics was black-owned. However, after researching Essence Cosmetics I’ve found they’re a European brand owned under the umbrella of Cosnova Beauty. And founded by Christina Oster-Daum.
Why is Essence makeup so cheap?
When browsing through Essence cosmetics you’ll immediately notice the low-low prices. In fact, their “pricier” item is an eyeshadow palette. And when a brand seems so “cheap” one questions its quality. However, founder Christina Oster-Daum believes in high-quality products and great prices. And she’s been on a mission to prove just that!
Full Face of Essence Cosmetics Review
Essence Hello, Good Stuff Primer Serum
Ok, let us start with the Essence Hello, Good Stuff Primer Serum (not to be confused with the Glow Serum Primer). The primer serum is infused with skin-boosting ingredients such as blueberry extract, hyaluronic acid, and squalane. The claim of this primer serum is to boost hydration and make skin look visibly plump. And can be used morning and night as part of your skincare routine.
Let me preface this by saying I don’t always wear primers under my makeup. Though, I applied this after my sunscreen had settled in. Upon first impression, it has a very thin and runny consistency. The smell of blueberry reminded me of a delicious blueberry tart. The blue hue dissipates immediately as soon as you rub it into your skin.
It’s a lovely feeling on the skin. Immediately, I noticed a glow. A little goes a very long way! If you have oily skin steer clear of this product. As the day went on I noticed my natural oils coming through more than usual. Now because my skin is incredibly dry and dehydrated (and because I have hard water + cooler weather is upon us), I don’t mind when my skin tends to feel a bit oily. If you have dry skin you will love this product! Overall, this has been a great addition to my skincare and makeup routine!
Essence 16-hour Cover & Last Powder Foundation
As you may know, I wasn’t in love with powder foundation. Until I tried this one, I started liking it. The claims of the Essence 16h cover & last powder foundation are that it is lightweight and has high coverage, provides a matte finish, is waterproof, provides oil & shine control, and lasts up to 16 hours! Essence 16h cover & last powder foundation comes in 14 shades on Essence’s website and fewer shades are available on Ulta’s.
I applied this with my BK Beauty 101 brush and noticed light-medium coverage. This foundation is very lightweight and to my surprise truly doesn’t cake up!
I’ve used this now multiple times with and without the primer underneath and there’s no caking up! It lasts well throughout the day (I wore this once for 12.5hrs) and it didn’t feel heavy nor did it wear off thought-out the day. It lasted great, so yes it lives up to the lightweight and long-lasting claims.
With the included powder puff I used it to set the under eyes. Perhaps, my favorite way to use this foundation is under the eyes! It smooths beautifully and doesn’t look cakey under the eyes. Another way I tested the foundation was by setting my liquid foundation with it. And yes, it performed beautifully as well. However, I wouldn’t agree with it being truly mattifying and providing oil and shine control. As stated when used with the primer serum there was definitely shine happening in my t-zone and oils coming through.
Overall, this foundation is great and has been in rotation. Perfect for all skin types whether you use it as a foundation or to set your foundation!
Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder
The Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder is super easy to use! You can go heavy with the bronzer and it will still look beautiful and natural.
There’s a light coconut scent but it doesn’t last on the skin. If you’re ultra-sensitive to fragrances I wouldn’t recommend this product. However, if the fragrance isn’t an issue this bronzer will be a great addition to your collection.
This bronzer has moved up to quickly become one of my favorites! I love using it on its own or over cream bronzer. It lasts all day and does have a very subtle glow. My only gripe is, if you are darker than my skin tone, this may not work for you. More on this is below! The bronzer comes in 3 shades on Essence’s website and 2 on Ulta’s.
Essence The Blush
The blush is a soft and beautiful formula that has a satin finish to it. It creates a naturally flushed look. Though, be sure to pick up enough product as this can go on sheer if not enough product is on your brush.
The blush comes in 5 shades on Essence’s website and 4 on Ulta’s.
Essence Stay 8h Waterproof Lipliner
Whenever a lip product claims to be waterproof and last for a long period of time, I scoff. However, I found myself impressed with the formula! It’s a creamy texture that goes on so smoothly.
To put its claims to the test, I only wore this lipliner with no other product on top. I ate breakfast and lunch and to be honest, I was impressed that it did not budge! In the photos above, that was after a 5-hour check-in. I couldn’t believe I still had product on and how beautiful and smooth my lips looked!
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara
This product alone is perhaps what Essence cosmetics is best known for! The Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara (with green writing) is said to provide a voluminous “false lash” effect. Upon first impression, the formula is very wet! Which, for my long thick lashes I wasn’t too happy about that.
Because my lashes are thick and long, I got so much smudge and product on my lids and brow bone on the application alone.
As I continued to wear the mascara throughout my wear test day, I loved how it didn’t flake. Which, to be honest, considering how it went on I was expecting it to flake. The mascara performed average in terms of volume and lengthening. With all the hype it received, my expectations were high. Nonetheless, I felt disappointed. I do like the mascara as I said it does not flake. I’ve worn it multiple times since my initial wear test and I appreciate it for normal everyday wear.
Final Thoughts on my Essence Cosmetics Review!
Is Essence Cosmetics a good brand?
Overall: Overall Essence as a brand seems committed to producing quality products that deliver high results. They’ve remained one of the few drugstore brands that have not increased their prices in the slightest. Essence receives such praise, due to their affordability and many high-performing products. They offer an array of products that in my opinion make Essence a pretty great brand!
Shade Range: One of the first things I noticed was their lack of shade range in the foundation and bronzer. As I said when reviewing the bronzer, they’re three shades but only two are available on Ulta’s website. For my skin tone, the bronzer worked great, but if you’re darker? This may not show up on your skin tone. So in short, they can do better with extending their shade range. And I hope they work on it soon! Note: not all retailers carry every shade available on Essence’s official website.
Who sells Essence makeup?
Essence makeup is widely available in drugstores. Though, if I’m being honest I couldn’t find Essence at one of my local Targets, so it depends on location. Typically, however, you can find Essence at your local drugstore. Either online or in-store. Shop Essence at these retailers: Target, Walmart, CVS, Ulta, Amazon, and through Essence’s official website. Of course, depending on where you are you can find Essence elsewhere!
Have you tried anything from Essence? Where do shop Essence cosmetics in your area? What other products should I try from the brand? I’d love to hear your thoughts!