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Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Makeup | 3 comments

UK Launch of Essence Make-Up

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UK Launch of Essence MakeUp

Essence make-up has been around overseas since 2002 but has only recently been launched in the UK. Unfortunately I was unable to make it to their launch party but I was kindly sent a selection of Essence make-up to try. My first impressions of Essence is good, the products and packaging remind me a bit of Rimmel London and I feel they are aimed at girls aged 12-18 although they would suit anyone looking for make-up on a budget.

I will be reviewing 3 Essence make-up products today, and I have another couple of items (including a glitter nail varnish) that I will be reviewing over the coming weeks.

Essence Pureskin Anti-Spot Moisturizing Make-Up

The first product that I tried was Essence Pureskin Anti-Spot Moisturizing Make-Up*, a light foundation designed to help fight spots and blackheads which contains Clearderm Complex that fights spots and also zinc and bisabolol which help speed up the healing process.

The product is fairly light, a bit like a cross between a foundation and a tinted moisturiser and it gives a lovely light even coverage – I have been applying it with my Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush. I have been using the palest shade 01 Beige although I did find it a little bit orange for my pale skin but it looks ok when I have a tan!

Essence Pureskin Anti-Spot Moisturizing Make-Up Swatch

It’s very fragranced too so best to avoid this product if you prefer your make-up unfragranced. It’s supposed to be matt effect, although I don’t particularly think it is very matt, but it’s not shiny either – it’s somewhere in between.

I think this would make a great first foundation product for a young girl and it reminds me of the very first foundation that I bought from Rimmel (it wasn’t even called Rimmel London back then!) when I was a teenager. It’s cheap and cheerful and fantastic value for money at just £3.50 for 30ml, available from Wilkinsons.

Essence Metal Glam Eyeshadow in Sparkle All Night

The second Essence product I tried was this single Metal Glam Eyeshadow* in shade 04 ‘Sparkle All Night’. In the palette it looks like a really glittery mid-silver colour but once I had swatched it I was a bit disappointed to find that it applies to skin as a dark gunmetal grey with a slight shimmer, so it looks a bit misleading in the palette. You can see from the swatch image below that there’s a hint of iridescent sparkle.

Essence Metal Glam Eyeshadow in Sparkle All Night Swatch

This was where my disappointment ended though, because it’s actually a really nice shade of eyeshadow. It does need quite a bit of blending to get the coverage even, but it’s perfect for a grungy smokey eye look – I have been applying this Essence Metal Glam Eyeshadow in Sparkle All Night over the whole of my eyelid and into the socket, then finishing off with a shimmery highlighting shade on my brow bone. A smudge of black eyeliner under the outer corner of the eye and 2 good coats of mascara finish off the look…

Essence Metal Glam Eyeshadow in Sparkle All Night Eye

I will definitely be wearing this eyeshadow often, and I think it will be perfect for Winter when eyeshadow looks great smokey and dark. There’s 16 other shades to choose from in the Metal Glam Eyeshadow range, and they’re great value too at just £2.50 each, available from Wilkinsons.

Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder for Blondes

The final product is Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder for Blondes*, and I think this has to be my favourite out of the three Essence make-up products. It’s a very natural matt pressed powder bronzer, pale and perfect for those with blonde hair. I love using bronzer but I often find that they can look very shimmery or dark against my pale skin, this one looks very subtle and again I think it would be perfect for a girl buying her first bronzer who doesn’t want something too over the top.

The packaging of this one reminds me a bit of Rimmel London and it’s great value too.

Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder for Blondes

I’m a sucker for pressed powder products that have an image or shape pressed into them, and this one has the image of 2 girls embossed into the top of the bronzer. The only downside to this product is its size, it’s quite large and might be too big to just throw into a handbag or purse when you’re going out.

Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder for Blondes Swatch

Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder gives a lovely velvety matt finish and it would be perfect for contouring too as it’s very subtle, just apply with a really soft brush and blend really well towards the hairline so you’re not left with a tide mark. You can see how natural the colour is from the swatch image above. A great bronzer and again great value at just £3.50, available from Wilkinsons.

Overall my first experience of Essence make-up has been really positive – my favourite item is the Sun Club bronzer, and I love the Metal Glam Eyeshadow too. What’s more, Essence products are not tested on animals so you can use them with a clear conscience. I’m not sure the products look as glam as those of rival budget beauty brand MUA, they have more of a practical everyday look about them, but they’re great value.

There are loads of products available including coloured mascaras, nail art stickers and a huge range of nail polish colours. Essence make-up is available from Wilkinsons stores nationwide and online at WilkinsonPlus – take advantage of the online 3 for 2 that’s on at the moment!

Keep an eye on Beauty Best Friend over the coming weeks for more Essence products.

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*PR samples


  1. It’s great to hear that Essence is finally coming to the UK! I’ve been using their eyeshadows forever and I definitely got my favourites. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing! I definitely need to pick that bronzer up!

  2. Yay so glad to see Essence go over to the UK. I haven’t tried tons of their products but the gel liner (midnight in Paris) and some of their single shadows are truly great products especially at the low price point. 🙂


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