Late last year after Christmas my local Superstore was clearing out some Essence holiday sets that included these Essence eyeshadow palettes in them for super cheap – I can’t remember the exact price but I believe it was around $5. Given that the palettes retail for a little more than that on their own, I decided to pick a couple of them up. At the time I had recently watched a Jamie Page video about them who said that they were actually quite impressive but of course I wanted to form my own opinion. 🙂
Essence is a drugstore brand that originates from Europe. Their website actually has a quick little write up about how they started which was interesting to read! The founder Christina wanted to start a cosmetics brand that was fun and offered quality products for reasonable prices.
95% of their products are manufactured in Europe and they are cruelty-free – as an animal lover I applaud them for both of these things. They also seem dedicated to giving back – donating products to worthy charities such as Dress for Success and Operation Prom. You can read more about Essence on their here.
There are five versions of these eyeshadow palettes – All About Nudes, All About Mattes, All About Toffee, All About Bronze and All About Roses. I’m currently coveting the Tofffee and Nudes – although I’m not sure I’ve seen this version in-store? It looks gorgeous – all smokey gray and purples.
Here’s the description of these palettes, according to the Essence website: “All about…beautiful eyes! NEW gorgeous eyeshadow palettes with eight complementing, buildable colours, and multiple finishes: satin, matte and metallic effects.
Priced at $5.99 for 8 pans of shadow totalling 0.33 oz these palettes are very wallet friendly!
This palette is made a clear acrylic plastic. I know some aren’t a fan of this type of packaging but I like it. I don’t find it looks or feels cheap in the least – as a matter of fact, I find it feels quite sturdy and secure. Some may see no mirror being included but I never care about that – I actually hate using the mirrors included with palettes as I will inevitably stick my finger or dig my nail into the product at some point.
On the back of each palette are instructions on how to create a look with it in the event that you are need of inspiration.
These shadows have no noticeable scent.
Swatches & Formulas
ALL ABOUT BRONZE (Finish, Shade)
Row 1, Left: Glitter, Champagne
Row 1, Center Left: Glitter, Rose Gold
Row 1, Center Right: Glitter Taupe
Row 1, Right: Glitter, Medium Brown
Row 2, Left: Shimmer, Vanilla
Row 2, Center Left: Shimmer, Gold
Row 2, Center Right: Shimmer, Bronze
Row 2, Right: Shimmer, Chocolate Brown
ALL ABOUT ROSES (Finish, Shade)
Row 1, Left: Shimmer, White
Row 1, Center Left: Glitter, Lilac
Row 1, Center Right: Shimmer, Taupe
Row 1, Center Left: Shimmer, Deep Brown/Plum
Row 2, Left: Matte, Soft Pink
Row 2, Left Center: Shimmer, Soft Pink
Row 2, Right Center: Matte, Mauve
Row 2, Right: Matte, Medium Brown
There are some qualities that both of these palettes share. First up, these are very soft shadows – which means they may require more blending than you may be used to. Personally I’ll take soft shadows over dry ones any day but it’s all personal preference.
Secondly, both are of good pigmentation, which surprised me. I haven’t had much luck with drugstore palettes or eye shadows so this a nice change. They aren’t the most pigmented shadows by any means – but they can easily built up which I actually prefer. I like having options with my shadows – if I want a more natural look I just do a single application; for a more intense look I build them.
Lastly, the longevity of these shadows are really where they shine. Again, I was pessimistic about how long they’d last on my eyes – especially given my cronically oily eyelids. Surprise surprise – they lasted just as long (8-20 hours) as any of my favourite higher-end palettes (Lorac, Buxom, Urban Decay). Note that I did apply these over my favourite eyeshadow base (Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance) because I literally have to wear this under any eyeshadow unless I want an oily, creasy mess an hour after application.
Now on the nuances of each palette…
ALL ABOUT BRONZE
Out of the two, the Bronze palette is my least favourite. There are no mattes in this palette – all of the shadows are either glittery or shimmery, and the glittery shadows pack a lot of fallout. In addition, I find the top and bottom rows to be very similar in shade one applied to the eye.
I think this palette could have benefit greatly by having a few matte palettes thrown in. In my opinion it would have made it more versatile and wearable.
ALL ABOUT ROSES
I honestly think this palette is a little drugstore gem if you like purple shadows. It has the mix of mattes, shimmers and glitters that allows you to create a complete look. I think purple is a universally flattering shade and what’s really nice is that you can create something quite dramatic or natural with this.
Essence is available in-store in Canada at Shopper’s Drug Mart and the Real Canadian Superstore, in the US at Ulta and online at www.escencemakeup.com
At $6 CAD for either of these palettes I don’t feel like there’s really much to complain about – I’ve spent 10 times the price for palettes that don’t even perform half as well. However, I also don’t believe in buying things just because they are economical. Based on my experience, I would say that the Roses palette is definitely worth a try.
In the spirit of decluttering, I decided to pass both of these palettes on to my Mom. While I enjoyed the Roses palette I’ve had it in my possession for close to 6 months now and haven’t reached for it very often. Not because it’s not good, but because I’m focusing on using 3 other eyeshadow palettes as part of my Project Pan for 2017. I definitely plan on trying the other palettes within this collection at some point, and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another Roses palette later down the line.
Have you tried any of the Essence All About Eyeshadow palettes?