Essence – Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com A beauty blog blooming with fresh makeup reviews, swatches and beauty tips from your friendly neighborhood beauty addict Thu, 30 Jun 2016 21:30:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 7 of My Favorite Affordable European Makeup Products http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/cosmetics/best-affordable-european-makeup-products/ http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/cosmetics/best-affordable-european-makeup-products/#comments Wed, 29 Jun 2016 22:00:09 +0000 http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/?p=200738 Europe definitely has a lot to offer the international traveler. I mean, so many different countries and cultures concentrated in a relatively small area… But visiting a dozen countries in a month can get extremely expensive, so what’s a beauty lover to do? Pass on the makeup shopping?? Of course not! On the good ol’ […]


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Best Affordable European Makeup

Some of my favorite (affordable) European makeup

Europe definitely has a lot to offer the international traveler. I mean, so many different countries and cultures concentrated in a relatively small area…

But visiting a dozen countries in a month can get extremely expensive, so what’s a beauty lover to do? Pass on the makeup shopping??

Of course not!

On the good ol’ continent, you can find lots of top quality products that cost less than a latte.

Here are my top recommendations!

Best Affordable European Makeup

These are my favorite affordable European (but non-Italian) makeup products; for recommendations on Italian makeup, check out my series, “Best in Beauty From the Boot”

1. Catrice Defining Blush in 040 Think Pink (€3.99)

Matrice Defining Blush 040 Think Pink

If someone made me try the Catrice Defining Blush in 040 Think Pink after having depotted it, I’d for sure think it was a high-end blush.

I swear, I’d bet my entire makeup collection on it! It’s that good.

Creamy and not in the least bit powdery, nicely pigmented but easy to blend, and long-lasting, too.

Oh, and here’s the best part: it’s only €3.99!

2. Catrice Camouflage Cream in 010 Ivory & 020 Light Beige (€3.49)

Catrice Camouflage Cream

If you’re blessed with oily skin and occasional hormonal spots like this mama, then you’ll know that liquid concealers just don’t last.

To cover up those angry red zits and the marks they usually leave behind, I think it’s much better to use a dry-texture concealer.

In my opinion, the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage ($35) is the best in this category, but Catrice’s Camouflage Cream comes in a close second, and it’s just a fraction of the price.

Should you ever spot a Catrice stand during your European adventures, make sure you put your paws on this fantastic concealer.

3. Essence Long-Lasting Eye Pencils in 01 Black Fever & 02 Hot Chocolate ($2.49/€1.99)

Essence Long-Lasting Eye Pencil 01 Black Fever 02 Hot Chocolate

Ok, I know that you can get Essence at Ulta these days, but wouldn’t it be cooler to pick up something from this affordable German brand after admiring the majestic Cologne Cathedral or visiting the breathtaking Neuschwanstein Castle?

My first recommendation would be the Long-Lasting Eye Pencils in 01 Black Fever and 02 Hot Chocolate, because I mean, who doesn’t need black or brown eyeliner?

These glide on super easily and last amazingly well both on the waterlines and lashlines.

4. Essence Sun Club Matte Bronzing Powder in 01 Natural – Blondes/Lighter Skin ($4.99/€4.99)

Essence Sun Club Matte Bronzing Powder 01 Natural Blondes

Essence Sun Club Matte Bronzing Powder in 01 Natural is one of those bronzers that’s impossible to go overboard with, and that’s my favorite kind.

No patchiness, no Oompa-Loompa-ness. Just a healthy-looking complexion.

Plus, if you like coconut-scented products, you’ll find yourself opening the compact just to give it a sniff more often than you’d like to admit…

5. Essence The Gel Nail Polish Top Coat ($3.99/€3.19)

Essence The Gel Nail Polish Top Coat

I wonder if Cosnova (the German company that makes Essence and Catrice) keeps the exact formula of the Essence The Gel Nail Polish Top Coat in a vault like Coca-Cola does with their secret recipe…

This stuff is magical!

I’m sure there’s a secret ingredient that makes their nail polish shine brighter than a Swarovski store and last longer than finals week.

6. Max Factor Crème Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve (£8.99)

Max Factor Crème Puff Blush 10 Nude Mauve

Despite what the name suggests, the Max Factor Crème Puff Blushes are actually powder blushes (although, the non-powdery kind), and are said to be dupes for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes ($38).

My favorite thing about Nude Mauve is that it gives me a nice definition and very subtle luminosity without interfering with the color scheme of the rest of my makeup.

Best Affordable European Makeup Swatches

L-R: Essence Long-Lasting Eye Pencils in 02 Hot Chocolate and 01 Black Fever, Essence Sun Club Matte Bronzing Powder in 01 Natural, Catrice Camouflage Cream in 010 Ivory and 020 Light Beige, Catrice Defining Blush in 040 Think Pink, Max Factor Crème Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve

7. Zoeva Cocoa Blend Eyeshadow Palette (€21.80)

Zoeva Cocoa Blend Eyeshadow Palette

Zoeva Cocoa Blend Eyeshadow Palette Look

On my eyes I’m wearing Bitter Start, Substitute For Love, Pure Ganache, and Subtle Blend from the Zoeva Cocoa Blend Eyeshadow Palette

Aaaand… I saved the best for last. This palette is UH-MAZE-BALLS!

Compared to the products I’ve mentioned so far, the Zoeva Cocoa Blend Eyeshadow Palette might almost seem pricey, but €21.80 for 10 top quality eyeshadows is still pretty good in my opinion.

From the buttery texture, to the high pigmentation and blendability, there’s nothing I don’t love about these shadows.

The color selection is perfect for my taste (lots of warm goodness!), and there’s a good balance between shimmers and mattes (6-4).

If you want to have your mind blown by how well the Cocoa Blend shadows swatch, click on this Portkey (#harrypottergeek) to go straight to my blog! 😉

Best Affordable European Makeup

All the makeup I’ve used today is European, and here’s a breakdown of what I’m wearing:

Anyone coming to Europe this summer?


Carolina Braina


Hey, ladies (and gents), it’s Carolina here, reporting live from Bologna, Italy, to bring you the latest and greatest in beauty from the good ol’ continent! For an extra dose of that timeless Italian glam with a touch of humor and self-irony (because, you know, laughter is the best makeup), come say hi at carolinapage.eu and Instagram.

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A Bad-@ss Blush Saves the Essence How to Make Your Face Glow Makeup Box for Me http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/cosmetics/essence-makeup-box-review/ http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/cosmetics/essence-makeup-box-review/#comments Fri, 17 Jun 2016 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/?p=200233 What up, people! Let’s talk about some affordable makeup today. I’ve been low-key obsessed with Essence for the past little while. I mean, this is only like my third post about them in the last couple months. I’ve already reviewed the Essence All About Bronze Eye Shadow Palette and the Liquid and Sheer & Shine […]


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Essence Makeup Boxes in How To Make Your Face Glow and How To Make Bright Eyes

Essence Makeup Boxes in How To Make Your Face Glow ($9.99) and How To Make Bright Eyes ($9.99)

What up, people! Let’s talk about some affordable makeup today. I’ve been low-key obsessed with Essence for the past little while. I mean, this is only like my third post about them in the last couple months.

I’ve already reviewed the Essence All About Bronze Eye Shadow Palette and the Liquid and Sheer & Shine Lipsticks, and SPOILER ALERT! I love them both.

Next up, a couple of the Essence Makeup Boxes — How To Make Your Face Glow, and How To Make Bright Eyes ($9.99 each at Target). I have lots to say about these, so let’s get started, shall we?

My favorite of the two, by far, is the How To Make Your Face Glow Makeup Box. It’s got a blush, bronzer, and highlighter, and it also comes with cute little instruction cards to teach you where to place the products. That’s always nice for beginners!

I am OBSESSED with the blush, and I would totally spend the $9.99 just to get it by itself.

You know how when a blush is just the most perfect color for you in the world and it makes your face look so bright and awake? I feel like this one does that for me!

Essence How To Make Your Face Glow Makeup Box

The Essence How To Make Your Face Glow Makeup Box ($9.99)

Can you see that blush? Mmm.. so dang good!

Can you see that blush? Mmm… So dang good!

To be honest, the highlighter and bronzer in the box are kind of chunky and glittery. I think the highlighter is decent, but in harsh light, all you see is the glitter. 🙁 And the bronzer can look pretty if you dust it over the top of another bronzer…but I’m not sure that’s worth the time.

But, like I said, the blush is great enough to make up for the “eh”-ness of the other powders.

how to make your face glow swatch essence

From left to right: Hello Rosy, Glow It Up!, and Sun Kissed 

The other Essence makeup box I’ve recently tried is called How To Make Bright Eyes, and it’s also $9.99 at Target.

First, I love the idea of this palette. I think bright eyes are so flattering, and they’re extra fun this time of year.

Essence How To Make Bright Eyes Makeup Box

Essence How To Make Bright Eyes Makeup Box ($9.99)

Essence How To Make Bright Eyes Makeup Box

An eye mostly using the Essence How To Make Bright Eyes palette

As you can probably see in the picture of my eyeball, the shadows really don’t deliver. From the pic, it almost looks like I didn’t use any shadow at all, which makes me so sad, because the other Essence shadows I’ve tried have been amazing!

So, I think rather than going for this particular palette, I’d recommend one of the “All About” palettes I reviewed in this other post here instead. That one is so amazing, and it’s such a great price!

Basically, the How To Make Bright Eyes shadows end up being really chalky with poor pigmentation, and the colors look almost the same on my eyes. Even the darkest one, which looks like it should be a taupe, turns into a glittery, chalky mess on my eyes. In this look I used a matte brown from another palette (which ends up being all you can see), then the shimmery shades all over the lid, and they just slipped right off my eye.

From left to right: Team Bright, Eyes Bright Open, and Light Up!

From left to right: Team Bright, Eyes Bright Open, and Light Up!

From left to right: The Irresistible, Natural Beauty, and Vanilla Eyes

From left to right: The Irresistible, Natural Beauty, and Vanilla Eyes

Even though I don’t think either of these two makeup boxes from Essence are revolutionary, I think Essence makes some great stuff! You wouldn’t want someone to judge you as a person just because you have a piece of broccoli in your teeth, right? Well, these are just a piece of broccoli in Essence’s teeth.

Have you ever tried anything from Essence before? What did you think?


Jen Clark


Hi, beautiful! I’m Jen from Jen Leigh Beauty. Now, rather than just talking to myself about makeup, I write it down in a blog. Besides being madly in love with anything I can smear on my face (and sharing pics on Instagram), I’m more in love with my hunky husband, my sweet 2-year-old, and my fluffy fur baby. Thank goodness they put up with the madness, because I love chatting about my favorite things with people who understand the addiction.

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One Wash Wonders: 4 Eyeshadows You’ll Love if You’re Lazy or Busy http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/makeup-tipshow-to/eyeshadows-youll-love-youre-lazy-busy/ http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/makeup-tipshow-to/eyeshadows-youll-love-youre-lazy-busy/#comments Wed, 30 Mar 2016 05:00:54 +0000 http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/?p=194956 Can we all please take a moment to thank the Beauty Gods profusely for creating One Wash Wonders? Those magical neutrals that look amazing on their own, don’t require any makeup skills, and cut down the time you spend on your eyes to a handful of seconds are definitely the types of shadows I’m most […]


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KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow 06 Golden Brown

KIKO Long-Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 06 Golden Brown on my eyes and MAC Velvetease Lip Pencil in Lover’s Lane on my lips

One Wash Wonder Eyeshadows

My favorite One Wash Wonders. Clockwise, from top left corner: Burberry Eye Colour Wet & Dry Glow Shadow in 002 Nude, Essence I Love Nude Eyeshadow in 04 Sweet Like Chocolate, Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Leather 24hr in Creamy Beige, KIKO Long-Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 06 Golden Brown

Can we all please take a moment to thank the Beauty Gods profusely for creating One Wash Wonders?

Those magical neutrals that look amazing on their own, don’t require any makeup skills, and cut down the time you spend on your eyes to a handful of seconds are definitely the types of shadows I’m most grateful for.

In case you need a little inspiration for your first (or tenth) OWW purchase, here are my all-time favorites!

One Wash Wonder Eyeshadows

L-R: Essence Sweet Like Chocolate, Burberry Nude dry, Byrberry Nude wet, Maybelline Creamy Beige, KIKO Golden Brown

The Budget Buy: Essence I Love Nude Eyeshadow in 04 Sweet Like Chocolate (€3.19/$3.56)

Essence I Love Nude Eyeshadow 04 Sweet Like Chocolate

Essence I Love Nude Eyeshadow 04 Sweet Like Chocolate

Wearing Essence I Love Nude Eyeshadow in 04 Sweet Like Chocolate last summer…



Essence Sweet Like Chocolate gives lids the prettiest warm luminosity. I really like to use it in the summer to enhance my slightly darker complexion, so if you have a medium skin tone, chances are you’ll love this.

I’d recommend it to: the eyeshadow newbie. Because it doesn’t require mad makeup skills, and it’s cheap as chips, so you can decide if it’s a product category you want to explore further without breaking the bank.

The Terrific Treat: Burberry Eye Colour Wet & Dry Glow Shadow in 002 Nude ($29)

Burberry Eye Colour Wet & Dry Glow Shadow 002 Nude

Ahhh, that tartan pattern…

Burberry Eye Colour Wet & Dry Glow Shadow 002 Nude

Here I’ve paired Burberry Glow Shadow in 002 Nude with two matte shadows from the Tartelette palette, but I can assure you that it’s just as beautiful on its own!

Jumping straight to the opposite end of the price spectrum, we find this gorgeous gem from Burberry Beauty. The packaging is swoon-inducing, and the texture is smoother than silk, but the coolest thing about this one is that you can wet it to get a higher color payoff and a more metallic finish, so it’s really like having two eyeshadows in one. If you’re interested, here’s a full review on my blog.

I’d recommend it to: the new mom. Because after many sleepless nights and makeup-free days, you deserve a special treat more than anybody else!

The Drugstore Dream: Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Leather 24hr in Creamy Beige ($6.99)

Maybelline Color Tattoo Creamy Beige

Maybelline Color Tattoo Creamy Beige

Wearing Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige on my eyes and Maybelline SuperStay 14HR Lipstick in Fuchsia Forever on my lips last summer…

When I’m uninspired makeup-wise, nine times out of 10 I end up throwing Creamy Beige on my lids and a bright lipstick on my lips. What I like the most about it is that, if I apply a very thin layer (which I recommend, in order to prevent any creasing), it looks like the perfect My Lids But Better shade. It’s a great option to frame the eyes without adding any color or shimmer.

I’d recommend it to: the lipstick lover. I know from experience that Creamy Beige pairs nicely with any lipstick shade.

The Speedy Stick: KIKO Long-Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 06 Golden Brown ($12)

KIKO Long-Lasting Stick Eyeshadow 06 Golden Brown

KIKO Long-Lasting Stick Eyeshadow 06 Golden Brown

When I blend out KIKO Long-Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 06 Golden Brown, it looks like I’ve used a matte shadow in the crease. Love it!

To me KIKO Golden Brown is the one wash wonder par excellence. I usually apply it all over the mobile lid and along my lower lashline straight from the stick and, after blending out the edges, it looks like I’ve used two different shadows. It takes me 30 seconds, tops, to do both eyes. Lazy makeup at its finest!

I recommend it to: the girl who’s always running (late). I dare you to find an eyeshadow that does a better job, faster!

Are you an OWW fan? Let me know what your favorites are… There’s always room for a new one in my makeup bag! 😉


Carolina Braina


Hey, ladies (and gents), it’s Carolina here, reporting live from Bologna, Italy, to bring you the latest and greatest in beauty from the good ol’ continent! For an extra dose of that timeless Italian glam with a touch of humor and self-irony (because, you know, laughter is the best makeup), come say hi at carolinapage.eu and Instagram.

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An Easy, Beautiful Golden Bronze Eye Makeup Look Using the $5.49 Essence All About Bronze Eyeshadow Palette http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/cosmetics/essence-eyeshadow-palette/ http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/cosmetics/essence-eyeshadow-palette/#comments Mon, 21 Mar 2016 11:00:44 +0000 http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/?p=194899 Is the weather starting to warm up where you live? I’m looking out the window at a gloomy night that is chucking it down with SNOW. Waahh! I just went on (what I thought was) a spring walk the other day, and now I have to bring out my winter coat again! If any of you […]


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spring bronze eye makeup look

Is the weather starting to warm up where you live? I’m looking out the window at a gloomy night that is chucking it down with SNOW. Waahh! I just went on (what I thought was) a spring walk the other day, and now I have to bring out my winter coat again! If any of you are familiar with Utah weather, you know that, unfortunately, this isn’t that weird.

I’ll probably have to scrape off my car in the morning, but I’m choosing to be more optimistic with my makeup choices. I’m channeling sunshine with this springtime golden/bronze eyeshadow look.

This look is so flattering on every single eye color, and it’s so easy to do. AND the palette I’m using is only $5.49! It’s the Essence All About Bronze Eyeshadow Palette.

You guys, every single one of you needs to go out and buy one of these palettes. If bronze-y shades aren’t your thing, they’ve got a bunch of different options. Nudes, Roses, Greys, and more! They blend out like a dream and are so pigmented. Love, love, LOVE.

IMG_6493

IMG_6505

I started out with a matte transition shade in the crease to help the gold blend better with my skin. That’s the thing about this palette — the one con. There are no matte shades.

But, no worries. If you have one, just use a different shade from your stash. I actually used my contour powder today as my transition shade.

IMG_6499_edited-1

I’m using the three “starred” shades in this look!



Using a shader eyeshadow brush, pat the gold shade all over your lid, and for a more intense look, spray your brush with a little bit of setting spray before picking up the shadow, which is what I did. It gives almost a foiled look.

Next, take the blending brush that you used for your contour shade, and lightly blend the two colors together.

IMG_6285

Now, using a small, rounded blending brush, use the darkest brown shade, and blend it into the outer corner. Add as little or as much as you’d like, depending on how smoky you want your eyes to be.

IMG_6289

Brighten up the inner corner and under your brows with the lightest shade.

IMG_6293

Using the dark brown shade in the outer corner, load the color on a pencil brush, and blend it on your lower lash line.

IMG_6295

For the finishing touches, I added black winged liner, a brown pencil liner along the waterline, and mascara, of course.

Those steps are completely optional, but I just wanted to look a little extra sultry today (if you’re interested, here’s a post I did on how to get flawless winged liner in four steps).

IMG_6300

And there ya have it, boys and girls, the easiest, most beautiful golden bronze eye, and it’s perfect for springtime. 🙂

IMG_6310


Jen Clark


Hi, beautiful! I’m Jen from Jen Leigh Beauty. Now, rather than just talking to myself about makeup, I write it down in a blog. Besides being madly in love with anything I can smear on my face (and sharing pics on Instagram), I’m more in love with my hunky husband, my sweet 2-year-old, and my fluffy fur baby. Thank goodness they put up with the madness, because I love chatting about my favorite things with people who understand the addiction.

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New for Spring! Essence Lip Swatches http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/product-reviews/new-spring-essence-lip-swatches/ http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/product-reviews/new-spring-essence-lip-swatches/#comments Thu, 03 Mar 2016 23:00:16 +0000 http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/?p=193847 Ever since that fateful day I picked up one of their lip liners, Essence has continued to keep me pleasantly surprised with the quality of their makeup. In the world of extremely affordable makeup, the brand keeps working their way up to the tippy top. They recently released a couple of new lip products for […]


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Essence Spring 2016 Lip Swatches

Ever since that fateful day I picked up one of their lip liners, Essence has continued to keep me pleasantly surprised with the quality of their makeup. In the world of extremely affordable makeup, the brand keeps working their way up to the tippy top.

They recently released a couple of new lip products for spring 2016 — their Shine & Sheer Lipsticks, and the Essence Liquid Lipsticks — and I love me a good lipstick! I also love me some makeup that I don’t have to sell my soul for, so this is a match made in affordability heaven.

Let’s start with my favorite of the two, the Liquid Lipsticks. There are six available shades, and one thing to understand before going out and buying every one is that they might not be what you expect when you think of “liquid lipstick.” My experience with liquid lipsticks is more along the lines of Kat Von D and Colourpop, where they go on super liquid-y and opaque and dry down matte.

These are more of a really pigmented gloss, but they still sit nicely on the lips and last a decent amount of time. I really am a huge fan of these for a plump and shiny lip.

Ready for the best part? They. Are. Only. $3.49.

Wut.

Essence Spring 2016 Almost Real 03

“Almost Real” 03

Essence Spring 2016 Colour Party 01

“Colour Party” 01

Essence Spring 2016 Peach Party 05

“Peach Party” 05

Essence Spring 2016 Beauty Secret 02

“Beauty Secret” 02



Essence Spring 2016 Show Off! 04

“Show Off!” 04

Essence Spring 2016 Make A Statement 06

“Make A Statement” 06

And then for the Sheer & Shine Lipsticks, those are a whopping $2.99 each! Wut.

They really impressed me, too. They give a super flattering wash of color and feel like a really moisturizing balm. You’ll will want to chuck whichever one you’re wearing in your bag to reapply it throughout the day, because they are so sheer and balmy that they don’t last an extraordinary amount of time.

There are also a few that have some really fine glitter, and they look really good, but you can feel a little bit of that gritty feeling when you rub your lips together. Just a fair warning if that sort of thing bothers you. I have five of the available nine shades.

Essence Spring 2016 Cute Nude 02

“Cute Nude” 02

Essence Spring 2016 Candy Love 12

“Candy Love” 12

Essence Spring 2016 Like A Princess 13

“Like A Princess” 13

Essence Spring 2016 Sparkling Miracle 07

“Sparkling Miracle” 07

Essence Spring 2016 I Feel Pretty 09

“I Feel Pretty” 09

Basically, Essence is KILLING IT with their Spring 2016 releases. Also impressive are their eyeshadow palettes. You may want to keep an eye out for some looks using those. Hint hint, wink wink!


Jen Clark


Hi, beautiful! I’m Jen from Jen Leigh Beauty. Now, rather than just talking to myself about makeup, I write it down in a blog. Besides being madly in love with anything I can smear on my face (and sharing pics on Instagram), I’m more in love with my hunky husband, my sweet 2-year-old, and my fluffy fur baby. Thank goodness they put up with the madness, because I love chatting about my favorite things with people who understand the addiction.

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