May 23, 2022

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Shopping Works Wonders

New in #119: New Essence Products for Spring/Summer 2022

Hydro Hero 24h Hydrating Tinted Cream

The hydro hero 24h HYDRATING TINTED CREAM combines foundation, moisturizer and sunscreen in one product. Thanks to the buildable, light to medium coverage, the BB Cream creates an even complexion with a fresh, natural finish. 24h­ – that’s how long the daily care provides moisture. It also protects the skin from UV rays with an SPF of 15. The weightless, oil-free texture is made of 88% natural ingredients, is enriched with hyaluronic acid and is free of alcohol, silicones or perfume. The product feels pleasant on the skin and won’t clog the pores.

I got a shade that is way too dark, so I can’t properly review this and I’ve only worn it once. You may have seen what a disaster it was trying this in a IG video I posted. it was my first time applying it and I had to remove the whole thing and start again because for a sheer product it is not easy to blend. 

Texture: It looks like a standard tinted moisturiser, however, I don’t know whether the problem was the shade or the texture itself, but this needs to be blended quickly. I gave it a try with a cushion foundation sponge that I use for most foundations because it taps the product on the skin seamlessly and it ended up horrifically patchy. So I removed it and used my big oval brush that blends much quicker. It was better, but there were still areas where the product looked unblended. It got stuck in some places, especially on the edges of the face (hair). I didn’t expect that from a tinted moisturiser, but like I said, it could have just been the problem with a much darker shade, as applying a colour that matches you is always a lot more forgiving. 

Finish & coverage: it’s a tinted moisturiser, so very low coverage. That was obvious even though the shade was too dark and that by itself made sure the coverage was higher than it would be if I had a shade that fit me. My circles were still visible as well all freckles. Finish is natural-dewy, but it’s not a greasy product. When I applied a highlighter over it, every pore was emphasised, meaning this doesn’t make the skin smoother.

Shade: I got the middle shade of the three 20 Sun Beige. In terms of depth it’s somewhere in between Revlon’s 200 and 300 shades – those are the only shades I have a lot of them to compare them too. But it is a tinted moisturiser, which are in general more forgiving. I checked shade 010 when this arrived in the drugstores and it’s also too dark for me.

Staying power: Since this so dark I got to see how it lasted better than if the shade fit me. Most of it wiped off within the first 5-6 hours, but some remained to the end of the day. My skin is dry, so products last longer and I have doubts this would last well on combination-oily skin. 

INGREDIENTS: AQUA (WATER), ETHYLHEXYL SALICYLATE, ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE, GLYCERIN, BIS-ETHYLHEXYLOXYPHENOL METHOXYPHENYL TRIAZINE, ISOPROPYL PALMITATE, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, PALMITIC ACID, STEARIC ACID, PROPANEDIOL, XYLITYLGLUCOSIDE, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE GLYCERIDES, ALARIA ESCULENTA EXTRACT, PANTHENOL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, SODIUM HYALURONATE, ANHYDROXYLITOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, CETYL ALCOHOL, DISODIUM CETEARYL SULFOSUCCINATE, XYLITOL, ISOSTEARYL SEBACATE, XANTHAN GUM, DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, CITRIC ACID, PHENOXYETHANOL, CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77492 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE).

Fix & Last Make-up Gripping Jelly Primer

The fix & LAST make-up gripping JELLY PRIMER is the perfect partner in crime for all beauty lovers who are looking for extra-long hold. Simply apply the transparent jelly texture, wait a few seconds until it is absorbed into the skin – and the gripping effect for perfect make-up hold is activated! The primer also provides moisture and can be worn with foundation or on its own. Either way, it creates a smooth, fresh finish.

A gel type of primer that feels very refreshing on the skin right after application. The pump is hard to press, so you don’t know much you’ll get every time you use it. It’s a very fragranced product with a sort of a fake floral scent. In the first minutes after application the skin is tacky and then after a while it becomes this smooth-to-the-touch base. That also means it’s not the type of primer you can immediately start applying over, but you have to wait for it to set. I did a half-half face test to see if the foundation and makeup truly “grips” better. I used Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte + Poreless, since it’s not the most long-lasting foundation and I used this on my side of the face where I have larger pores and I think it maybe looked a bit better, meaning the foundation applied and looked smoother. I’m still not sure, so I’ll try using it more, but I often neglect primers simply because I automatically reach for foundation first and only remember mid application I could have used a primer. In terms of improving staying power, both sides faded equally and the primer side didn’t last any longer. It doesn’t change the finish of the foundation, so it neither makes it more matte nor more dewy. Primer is silicone free and has no alcohol. 

INGREDIENTS: AQUA (WATER), GLYCERIN, PVP, XYLITYLGLUCOSIDE, CARBOMER, ANHYDROXYLITOL, PPG-26-BUTETH-26, PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, XYLITOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, PHENOXYETHANOL, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), CI 16035 (RED 40), CI 42090 (BLUE 1).

Kissed by the light illuminating powder

02 Sun Kisses

The kissed by the light illuminating powder is a true beauty all-rounder. With its three shades, the powder unites highlighter, bronzer and blush in just one product. The different shades are arranged next to each other so that they can be mixed together easily. This way, you can give your complexion a unique all-over glow or set individual highlights above the cheekbones, under the eyebrows or above the Cupid’s bow of the lips.

There are two shades of this, one mixes blush-highlighter and bronzer, while this one just highlighter and two depths of bronzer. First try was such a disaster on my face and it’s the one I took pictures of and I didn’t bother taking them again, so sorry. When I tried it with a different base (Matte + Poreless) it went on better. It’s more a highlighter than a bronzer. While it has some bronzy-ish colour on my pale skin, it’s mostly just a warm/yellow toned highlighter shade with large shimmer. They say you can use colours individually, but not unless you have very small brushes, which which you can’t apply evenly on the cheeks and face. The shimmer emphasized every pore it touched on my face when I wore it over Hydro Hero tinted moisturiser and it just looks awful in combination with that product. In combination with Maybelline Fit Me that hides the pores a bit, it looked better considerably better, but still compared to Catrice’s Glow Lover highlighter, this can quickly look tragic because it’s not as fine and smooth compact powder, plus the shimmer particles are quite large. Staying power is nothing to write home about, which honestly I was happy about that first day I wore it. Like the Catrice highlighter, it’s another of Cosnova products loose for a pressed powder, but unlike Catrice it’s creamy to the touch. 

Benvenuti a Roma Eyeshadow Palette

The benvenuti a ROMA eyeshadow palette is inspired by the romantic mood of the city of Rome. The 12 highly-pigmented shades are presented in fresh, soft colours ranging from delicate nude shades to green, orange and brown nuances. Thanks to the different matte to metallic finishes, there are endless variation possibilities. At the same time, the texture convinces with a high colour pay-off. Looking for additional surprising details? Simply scan the QR code on the packaging!

I liked this when I first opened it because of that greeny-gold speckled shade in the top row and it looks like a nice neutral palette overall, but on my skin tone all the shades apart from mint and green are much warmer than in the pans. Quality though is much nicer from the start than Catrice’s Mint one I got recently. The shimmers are smoother and can be picked up with a brush without having to break through the top layer. Mattes are similarly nice than in Catrice’s palette, but easier to blend, still not as quick as Coloupop, but the final result has nice smooth transitions. There’s no fall down, but my complaint about this palette is that the colour could be more intense. You can get a nice look with these, but the shades are not as strongly pigmented on the eyes than you see in the pan. You can pick up a large amount of the darkest shade and it blend out into a light haze so quickly, so I’m constantly trying to build it up. That lovely green-gold looking shade unfortunately ends up a regular yellow gold on me and the rest of the shades are even warmer, especially the transition shade in the bottom row. Gold also swatches chunky, but it looks smoother on the eyelids. Staying power is okay-ish on my non-oily eyelids. By the end of the day shades were still on and not creased like Catrices, but they’ve faded more. 

Sensitive but WOW Volume Mascara

The sensitive BUT WOW VOLUME mascara is suitable for sensitive eyes and even for contact lens wearers – this has been ophthalmologically tested and confirmed. It provides the lashes with natural volume and additionally nourishes them thanks to calendula and chamomile blossom water. Another plus: the texture is easy to remove without eye make-up remover – warm water is all you need.

For an Essence mascara this is a thin formula when it’s freshly opened, but it has thickened in the few days I’ve had it, so it may become a typical Essence mascara quickly. For now it’s not super volumising. On the first day it defined ok, but with every passing day it’s just becoming less good at that, creating more of a spidery look when I try to fix it.It doesn’t fan out the lashes well, nor doesn’t keep it my lashes curled or provide any lift at application. Basically the thicker it get, the less I like it, but maybe it’s just a stage in between becoming better – don’t expect an update though, I have no use for a regular formula. Essence says it can be removed just with warm water, so it’s a tubbing mascara, but I was left with a black smudge around the eyes, so I still needed a cleansing foam to get it all off. I’ve experienced some fall down with this mascara, but late in the day.

The Dip Eyeliner

Brown Waterproof

The ultimate must-have for smokey eyes, eye art and natural looks: thanks to its fine, firm tip, the dip eyeliner creates ultra-precise eyeliner looks and perfectly curved lines. The colour intense texture is long-lasting and waterproof – for unique looks all day long!

I already have this in black (or had, I don’t know where it is because I always use Catrice Liquid Eyeliner or Essence’s pen eyeliner). My eyeliners are all on their last legs, so I was happy to see something fresh. I remember hating the applicator on the black one, but maybe they improved it because it feels less stiff, though it’s still harder than Catrice’s. The formula certainly feels more pigmented and there’s no sheer patches at this one like I had happening at the black one. I can do a nice line with it in one go. The colour is a very deep brown, almost difficult to differentiate from black and finish is matte. Staying power is the thing I’m not that happy with. It lasts most of the day, but by the end there are wiped off parts, while Catrice’s lasts all day. 

Brow like a Boss Ink Brow Gel

02 Brown

The brow like a boss ink brow gel easily and accurately provides the brows with fullness, density and a natural finish thanks to the angled brush – for up to 72h. This long-lasting effect has been tested by an independent institute. The lightweight texture feels comfortable to wear, is smudgeproof and waterproof. For cool wow-brows all day long!

First try was a total disaster, but I learned from my mistake. There’s way too much product on the applicator, so using it without wiping the excess of on a tissue results in very strong, dark brows full of product. When wiped the brush, it got better. It’s a type of almost gel that leaves the brows feeling crispy and you can feel this on all the time because it’s like a glue when it sets. Even when most of the product is wiped off, it fills the brows quickly. I have shade brown, which is warm and leans to reddish, so not my colour at all, not that I use brow stuff. I won’t wear this for 72h, but it may just last that long, since it feels like glue.

Hydra Matte Lipstick

401 Mauve-ment

The hydra MATTE lipstick is long-lasting, provides plenty of moisture thanks to squalane and hyaluronic acid, and nourishes with shea butter, sunflower oil and a vitamin complex, so that no additional lip care is needed. The texture creates a creamy matte finish, feels pleasant on the lips and impresses with its high colour pay-off that lasts and lasts and lasts. For an even more colour-intensive effect, simply outline the lips with the matching essence soft & precise LIP PENCIL before applying the lipstick.

When I saw this on the stand, I didn’t even pick it up because I was sure it’s one of Essence’s crazy looking lip balm. All the lipsticks are in the same bright warm pink packaging, which confused me, since it’s not that common to have such a colour the tube for a matte classic lipstick. Formula is quite dry and thick. It reminds me of old school matte lipstick formulas,. The last such lipstick I tried was from Beyu, while a great majority of modern matte formulas are lighter and glide on the lips much easier. So I don’t see this as a formula suitable for dry lips, as even I need a touch of lip balm under it. It’s got great pigmentation and it lasts well on the lips, especially for an Essence lipstick. It’s just not as comfortable as their other formulas. 401 Mauve-ment looks different on me than I expected from what I see in the packaging. It’s a cool almost lavender toned light-medium pink.

Electric Glow Colour Changing Lipstick

The ELECTRIC GLOW colour changing lipstick nourishes the lips while giving them a natural, radiant finish with a delicate rosé shimmer. The texture with glitter particles reacts to the individual pH value of the lip skin and changes colour as a result. Perfect for a unique look on the go!

How many pH reacting products can Cosnova make? In their last update they added a mint green balm that changes to a rosy colour based on you pH and I got three shades of Lip Glows from Catrice. Plus there is another such product bellow this one. It’s getting boring. This is a crazy looking balm that just looks like a clear lip balm when applied and within the first 10 seconds it turns into a pink shade. It’s not excellent at hydrating like Catrice’s Watermelon lip glow, it’s but ok. This one smells like watermelons too. The holographic shimmer doesn’t show up well because it’s too sparse. I managed to get one flake on my lips, which was barely visible. I used this as a blush and it’s surprisingly nice.

Cranberry Lip Oil

01 Smooth Protector

Thanks to the weightless, gel-like texture, the CRANBERRY LIP OIL glides effortlessly over the lips and gives them a glossy finish without leaving behind a sticky feeling. The lip oil provides moisture and is enriched with cranberry oil and vitamin E – for soft, nourished lips. The formula reacts to the natural, individual pH value of the lips and intensifies the colour. This way, the lips are subtly emphasized.

So another pH reacting product. There’s another similar lip oil called Ginger Lip Oil that tingles – that’s what Essence and Catrice apparently do now, a ton of PH reacting and tingly lip products. Not to sound bored, I actually do love the formula of this. It feels balmy and comfortable when I press my lips together. Its reminds me of an even smoother feeling of Catrice’s Dewy-full lip butters. They should made a regular non-tingly or non-pH version. Like the Electric Glow balm this one starts changing very quickly, within 10 seconds. The gloss level is nice at this product, better than at Catrice’s I got in this latest update. Once the gloss wears off, (which isn’t that quick, but it’s still a gloss, so not super long lasting), you’re left with an even rosy (or on me magenta-ish) stain. This smells like vanilla. 

Hydro Hero Under Eye Stick

A boost of moisture for the eye area! The formula of the HYDRO HERO under eye stick is enriched with panthenol, niacinamide and aloe vera for an intensely hydrating, nourishing effect. Thanks to the practical stick format, the transparent texture is easy to apply, both as an addition to your skincare routine in the morning or before going to bed, as well as for a skincare kick on the go.

I’m conflicted about this product. On one hand I like the ingredients (glycerine, niacinamide, aloe vera + panthenol for a hydrating, brightening and repairing/soothing combination. Though they surprisingly didn’t add caffeine or vitamin C), but the texture and format isn’t just not pleasant to use. It’s too big , so not easy to use when you get close to the nose, it’s quite hard so it drags a bit (and you should be careful around the eyes as a rule), plus it leaves an occasional flake because this is quite a thick formula (flake can be easy melted with fingers and blended in). It luckily doesn’t pill or make the concealer on top apply any worse, but I also don’t see a difference without. A version with a metal roller would be nicer in my opinion, but this can be used on other parts of the face or even body.   

INGREDIENTS: PROPYLENE GLYCOL, AQUA (WATER), GLYCERIN, SODIUM STEARATE, NIACINAMIDE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE, PANTHENOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, PHENOXYETHANOL, POTASSIUM SORBATE, SODIUM BENZOATE, CI 42090 (BLUE 1).

Daily Drop of Energy Ampoule Face Serum

The daily Drop of ENERGY AMPOULE FACE SERUM can easily be integrated into your daily skincare and beauty routine. Simply apply a few drops of serum on the face, neck and décolleté before your moisturizer or foundation. The practical, reusable packaging makes it easy to achieve a perfect dosage. The texture contains 2% vitamin C for a smooth & radiant complexion and has an invigorating fresh citrus scent. The ultimate energy kick in the morning for a perfect start to the day!

I’m not sure Essence has any other vitamin C product (I think they don’t), but this an easy “entry into vitamin C” product. It’s got only 2% of ascorbly glucoside, one of the stable and more slow-acting versions of vitamin C, so it’d be nice to see a higher percentage. I don’t know why they put this in a 15 ml ampoule because it’s so mild. I find this has a nice texture for a toner, so it’d be great if the made a 200 ml version. It’s about 4-5 € for 15 ml, so it’s still cheap for a vitamin C product, you just need two to get the equivalent of a standard size serum. You dispense the product by pressing the top soft rubber, though some drips out on its won. It’s nice because I like such products I can layer and my skin apparently likes it enough (or at least it didn’t freak out), but I wish they made this same texture with a higher percentage of vitamin C. It has an orange syrupy scent, specifically like Curaçao liqueur. 

INGREDIENTS: AQUA (WATER), PENTYLENE GLYCOL, ASCORBYL GLUCOSIDE, GLYCERIN, POLYGLYCERYL-4 CAPRATE, POLYGLYCERYL-6 CAPRYLATE, SODIUM HYALURONATE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE POWDER, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, XANTHAN GUM, ALLANTOIN, XYLITOL, SODIUM PHYTATE, ALCOHOL, SODIUM CITRATE, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, CITRIC ACID, BENZYL ALCOHOL, BENZOIC ACID, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE).

Hello, Good Stuff! Happy Bliss Face Spray

With its refreshing citrus fragrance, the HELLO, GOOD STUFF! HAPPY BLISS FACE SPRAY ensures a good mood and happy vibes. But the spray doesn’t just have a great scent, it also nourishes and hydrates the skin with 96% natural ingredients and citrus water. Perfect for a boost of happiness and freshness on the go or as part of your skincare routine. By the way: there is a QR code on the packaging – scan it for additional surprising information!

A face spray that has a thicker texture, so when I spray it it’s a combination of very fine mist with some larger droplets. It’s got a citrus scent, but it’s not as uplifting as some grapefruit scents I’ve smelled. To me this is just not that special to say much about it. It’s a citrus toner in a spray that you can apply under and over makeup, but it doesn’t make any big difference. 

INGREDIENTS: AQUA (WATER), GLYCERIN, CITRUS PARADISI (GRAPEFRUIT) FRUIT WATER, CITRUS GRANDIS (GRAPEFUIT) PEEL OIL, ENANTIA CHLORANTHA BARK EXTRACT, CINNAMOMUM CASSIA BARK EXTRACT, CITRUS SINENSIS (ORANGE) FRUIT EXTRACT, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, SODIUM LAURYL SULFOACETATE, SODIUM OLEOYL SARCOSINATE, SODIUM CHLORIDE, SODIUM OLEATE, DEHYDROXANTHAN GUM, CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS (ORANGE) PEEL OIL, OLEANOLIC ACID, SODIUM SULFATE, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM BENZOATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, BENZYL ALCOHOL, LIMONENE, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), LINALOOL, CI 14700 (RED 4), CI 15510 (ORANGE 4).

Nails in Style

Sheer Whites 

The popular artificial nails come in different shapes and colours. They can be applied easily in seconds – for a perfect look just like in a nail salon. Set consists of 12 artificial nails and ten adhesive pads.

A set of fake nails. After the last disaster of trying to wear these for pictures, these are staying in the box. Their sizes are much too wide for my nails. I reviewed those then, so I’ll just copy the same thing here: “Fake nails that already have glue on them. These are in general too big for me, the one for the little fingers fit on my index and ring finger, the ones for index finger are already too large for my middle fingers, so wearing these I look ridiculous, like a child played with mom’s fake nails, but I have very slim fingers and assume they fit average size nails. Glue doesn’t seem very strong because I was able to get these off with little effort and it didn’t remove my nail polish under it, but they were only on my nail for a minute. These need shaping because the tips are a mess.”