Remember when I got sent that wallop of Catrice goodies the other day? Well Essence items arrived too (they’re sister brands, but you already knew that, right) and I’d like to show of the best of that bunch. Usually it’s Catrice items that impress me the most as Essence, despite being prettily packaged, is of a lesser quality bit hoooo boy, have the tables turned. (Also, did I just say ‘hoooo boy’?! Can we get a cringe burger over here, please?
Oh! God, that’s soooo much worse! WHY AM I STILL TYPING? Can we just get the hook over here and drag her away or maybe just get stuck in starting with the new ‘All About…’ eye shadow palettes (R76,95). There are 6 available (Bronze, Nudes, Roses, Greys and Vintage) and each serves up eight different shades that range from matte to metallic.
As far as quality goes, it’s surprisingly good, even better than Catrice’s (yep, I said it! Come get me shadow freaks), in that each shade is buttery soft, glides on in a stoke and the pigmentation levels are good so you only need to swipe once for it to show up.
Another plus is that the shades themselves are a definitely a bit more varied than Catrice’s but still not as different from each other as I’d like. (A while back Catrice created a rose palette or something like that where, aside from two dark shades, all the other lighter shades might as well have been the same colour. Utterly bleh.)
In short, Essence’s new All About palettes are hardly going to make you stop craving Urban Decay but, when it comes to optimum bang for your buck, they’re the shizzles nizzle.
Moving on, let’s talk nails! I was seriously surprised by Essence’s Studio Nails Triple Care base and top coat (R34,95). It does what it says on the tin and at a snip of the price of other polishes.
Of all the nail colours I was given, I’ve most enjoyed wearing this blue-grey shade called Rock My World. At just R24,95 it’s a blerrie steal, not to mention a real one coat wonder (but two will always look best). As for the ‘it’s “gel” but no lamp is required’ claim, we all know that’s a bunch of kak so let’s not even go there and just appreciate the fact that you can get a good quality polish that actually lasts (provided you use a top coat like the aforementioned) for five rand less than a KFC Colonel burger, okay? Oh! And in case you’re wondering where my ‘on nails shot’ is, know its living out it’s days in the deleted image grave yard in the sky ‘cos I’m the moron who’s yet to learn that I really shouldn’t be operating a smart phone post-wine festival. Apologies!
Now see that ultra-fine glitter-infused white shade on the left? While it’s not exactly a dupe for Essie’s Private Weekend you should know it’s still a lustable, super trendy white that makes me think of donut frosting and garner’s a lot of compliments. Again, the ‘on fingers’ shot is frolicking in heaven with Rock My World.
Then there’s Essence’s No Make-Up Look polish. I’d love to show you what this looks like on my finger tips but they’re currently stained to hell (a long story involving a weekend away with Essie’s Twin Sweater Set and no base coat) but it’s honestly the prettiest, most flattering powder-finish nude I’ve seen in ages. If you’re a baby’s breath pink kind of person, trust me, you’re going to want it.
As far as lips go, Essence has whipped out a sheer, fruity-smelling liquid lipstick (R47,95) that’s packaged a lot like Dior’s Addict Fluid Stick but not nearly as pigmented as well as another of their adorable clutch-size mini lipgloss sets (R57,95) but the real star here is their Mini Sheer lip balm (R38,95).
A retractable pen, the sweet-smelling and tasting balm glides on like a boss but has decent staying power, especially since it leaves a li’l stain in its wake – enough that you could use it on your cheeks too!
Naturally it’s the kind of product where you’ll want to know how it compares to Clinique’s Chubby Stick and in this case I don’t think I’d be able to tell the difference between the two if it weren’t for the fact that Essence’s is scented, which I really don’t mind. I really wish it came in more than four shades as I’d happily buy them.
Last but not least, I’ve saved the best for last! We all know I’m obsessed with Catrice’s Camouflage Cream concealer (R52.95). I snap it up in bulk and keep a pot in every handbag I own so, when Essence’s version (R47,95) came along, I immediately wondered if it would be the same formula but it turns out their ingredients list aren’t the same.
When I use it, however, I can tell that Catrice’s concealer is possible a teensy bit more opaque than Essence’s but they’re both fantastic if you’re looking for medium to high coverage to hide under eye circles and the odd spot like a boss. I can totally see this li’l duo becoming a real best seller for the brand. The only downer here is that it’s currently only available in one shade duo (10 Natural Beige) but here’s hoping its expectant popularity spurs on the creation of more colours.