If you haven’t heard of the brand Essence, it is a very affordable brand which seems quite popular in the U.S. but is only available in Wilko stores in the UK. Everything I have bought to try out was £3 or under and I checked the reviews first on Wilko’s website and a few of the products I have bought were based on their 5 star reviews online!
Instant Matt Setting Spray – £3.00
This setting spray has quite a strong chemically scent when you first spray it but the scent goes straight away. It has a really nice mist which covers your whole face, unlike a lot of setting sprays that I have tried before. It is advertised as a non-sticky, lightweight, oil-free formula, which I agree with. It makes your face feel matte as soon as it dries and I think it kept my make up in place for longer without my skin getting oily. You get 50ml of product and you don’t have to use a lot, so it is great value for money. This is a great product from Essence and I would definitely repurchase it.
All About Matt! Fixing Compact Powder – £3.00
I use translucent powder like this to set my under-eye concealer – I use a damp beauty blender to semi-bake under my eyes. This powder is not my favourite setting powder but it does the job. It is not very finely-milled and it is a bit powdery, instead of silky. The packaging is nice and sturdy and it did stop my under eye concealer from creasing or smudging my mascara. I don’t think I would want to use this as an all over setting powder as I’d be worried it would leave white dots or would make my face look chalky. You get 8g of product in this compact. I will use this occasionally as a change from my usual setting powders but I don’t think I would purchase this again.
Camouflage Full Coverage Concealer – 05 Ivory – £2.50
First off, this is a great colour for us pale princesses. I swatched the next shade down in store (20 Nude) as I couldn’t see a lighter one and it didn’t look like a bad shade match, but then I spotted one shade lighter and this was an even better shade! The formula is quite thick for a liquid concealer but it blends out nicely and it doesn’t look cakey on the skin. It isn’t the fullest coverage of concealer that I’ve ever tried but it has good coverage. It didn’t crease under my eyes once set with a powder and you can also build it up to get better coverage. This is a definite win for me for only £2.50! It comes with a doe-foot applicator and you get 5ml of product in the tube.
Matt Matt Matt Long-Lasting Lip Gloss – 02 Beauty-Approved – £2.30
So this is a matte liquid lipstick (not sure why it is called a lip gloss as it isn’t and there are currently 5 shades to choose from. You get 5ml of product in the tube and it comes with a doe-foot applicator. The formula is creamy and it reminds me a lot of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams as it feels like a mousse formula. The scent is very sweet – it almost smells like salted caramel, which I personally like but if you are sensitive to scents you probably won’t like this product. It doesn’t last all day, just as the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams don’t, but it is good for short amounts of wear.
I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara – £2.80
Usually, I have expensive taste when it comes to mascaras, as I’m sure most of you will agree! Cheap mascaras are usually rubbish – they normally just colour your eyelashes and don’t do anything else! However, this one surprised me. It has a rubber bristle wand which is quite long and spikey. With one coat of this mascara, I noticed a lot of volume, without clumping or making my lashes look spikey. I don’t think it did much to lengthen or curl my lashes, but it doesn’t claim to either. It was a slightly wet formula, which did transfer when I blinked (just after applying it) but most mascaras are like this when you first open them. I have to say, I was shocked by this mascara for only £2.80! You get 12ml of product in the tube.
Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara – 02 Browny Brows – £2.50
I’ve heard good things about this product – lots of people compared it to the Benefit brow products, but I can’t say it compared for me. The brush is very small, which is good because it is precise, however, I like using brow gels in this form when I want to darken my brows (I have blonde eyebrows and dark hair!) in a rush, and the brush on this means it takes quite a long time to do and it doesn’t pick up my product so I had to keep redipping it. I believe this is the darkest shade you can get but it isn’t very dark – it’s quite an ashy, medium brown. I think I will stick to my Rimmel brow gel in future! You get 3.8ml of product in this.
Growth Boosting Drops – £2.00
This interested me because I’ve never seen a product like this before. This product comes in a glass bottle with a pipette; you get 8ml of product. It claims to improve natural nail growth for perfect cared for and healthier nails. Obviously I can’t tell whether it dramatically boosts my nail growth without using it for a while, but on first impressions, it doesn’t smell very strongly of anything, the pipette is very useful and allows you to squeeze a small amount of the product onto each nail and then massage it in. It dries relatively quickly and doesn’t leave your nails feeling greasy or sticky. It is a sort of liquidy gel formula that massages into a liquid. It’s a nice product to use but as I said, I will need to try this over a longer period of time to see the lasting effects.
Long Lasting Eye Pencil – Black Fever – £1.50
This is a great eye liner for only £1.50! It is a twisty eyeliner so you don’t need to sharpen it and it is very black and very creamy. I use it in my waterline and it glides on very easily and stays put most of the day. I’ve been using this every day for a while now and it hasn’t ever snapped off like lots of the twisty eyeliners do. This is a definite must have product from Essence! I’ve included a swatch of it to show how black it is.
So overall, there’s definitely some hidden gems in the brand Essence but for some of it, you get what you pay for. I will definitely repurchase the eyeliner, the concealer and the Growth Boosting Drops. I’ve also tried their blushers before and lip liners and they are great quality.