Tag Archives: Essence

January 2017 Empties

I am always trying new things so it is my goal this year to focus on some select items that have been in my beauty collection for a while and finish them up to move them out.

With that in mind, here are my current empties from the past few months.


E.L.F. Flawless Finish Foundation – Porcelain, E.L.F. Makeup Mist & Set

The Flawless Finish Foundation from E.L.F. is really a very good foundation.  I like the way it applies and it sits really naturally on the face. This lasts quite well for me throughout the workday.  The packaging is a lovely glass bottle with a pump.  My only complaint would be that this oxidises a bit on my skin so I add a little light mixing medium, or use a very fair powder to set this.  I would repurchase this again as I enjoy the formula.

The E.L.F. Makeup Mist & Set is a bit of a ‘meh’ product for me.  It is cooling and refreshing on the face and I enjoyed this more as a primer before makeup rather than a setting spray.  The spraying nozzle itself is a bit wet and doesn’t distribute the product that evenly so I ended up with droplets that were too large.  I didn’t find that this helped my makeup last any longer so I won’t be repurchasing this one.


Kosmea Australia: Moisturising Lotion SPF 30, Tula Naturals: Organic Ultra Nourishing Facial Serum

The Tula Naturals Organic Ultra Nourishing Facial Serum is a blend of 15 oils and extracts including Hemp, Reship and Macadamia oils.  It claims to contain 100% natural ingredients, is cruel-free and vegan.  I enjoyed this product.  The smell was very herbal and this was certainly very rich.  You only needed the smallest amount of this product otherwise it became too oily on the skin but I used to put it on at night before bed and found that it was super moisturising.  I would repurchase this again.


I enjoyed the Kosmea moisturising lotion SPF 30, mainly because I very much appreciate having a facial moisturiser that contains some SPF.  I was moisturising and didn’t irritate my skin but I won’t be repurchasing this product because of the smell.  I believe it is the zinc in the ingredients, but this smelt very strongly to me and I didn’t love the scent.


Essence I Heart Extreme Waterproof Volume Mascara (blue) and Crazy Volume Mascara (pink)

Finally, we have two mascaras from the ‘I Heart Extreme’ range from Essence.  Firstly, the waterproof volume mascara was quite good.  The brush was a bit too large and sparse for my taste but it worked well enough.  This had a tendency to be a bit wet when applied and get everywhere unless you were super careful.

The Crazy Volume version was even more annoying to work with as the brush had very small, plastic bristles and as such, became very easily overloaded with product.  I always had to clean up after application with a cue tip due to this transferring onto my eyelid of under-eye during application.  It certainly was volumizing though!  To be honest, neither of these wowed me so I won’t be repurchasing, but they were fine.

Have a wonderful day!!

Essence: Lash Princess – False Lash Effect Mascara

I purchased the Essence ‘Lash Princess – False Lash Effect Mascara’ after seeing it hyped up on youtube by a number of ladies.  I was looking for a new mascara and Essence is one of the few cruelty-free makeup brands that I can access in person in my small town.

I have mixed feelings about this product.  What this mascara has taught me is that I am actually more of a lengthening mascara lover rather than a volumizing mascara lover.   Overall, I think I am more in the natural lash basket rather than a super dramatic lash person – so keep that in mind when reading this review.

Before I get started, the packaging of this is super cute.  I enjoy the rubber embossing on the lid – very grippy  🙂  I like that the brush is relatively small as I am not about those big, bristle mascara brushes.  Saying that, I found that this brush comes from the tube quite heavy with product.  I have to clean it off considerably to avoid uber clumping.  This mascara sure does give a lot of volume though!  One coat gives plenty of drama.  I often ran a clean spoolie through my lashes after application to separate my lashes a bit but that is just personal preference.


One criticism for me is that the formula is very thick and slow to dry when applied and I found it extremely difficult to avoid it transferring on my lid and/or under eye during application.  I certainly enjoyed this mascara much more when it was a little older… but the catch is that I found the ‘golden era’ quite short.  I was just enjoying the formula when it was suddenly too dry and moving into the flakey zone.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though.  Mascara does need to be used and replaced quickly so it was a timely reminder to replace the product in a way.

Overall, this was a pretty good mascara.  It wouldn’t be MY first pick, but if you enjoy a dramatic mascara this may be work a try.  With a price tag around AU$5 you don’t have much to lose!

Have a great day  🙂

I have been looking for the “perfect” eyebrow pencil so when I saw this new pencil on my local Essence stand I figured it was worth a go.  This pencil was part of the Essence ‘Lights of the Orient’ collection but I am hoping that it might stick around in their permanent range!


  • It is a retractable pencil which is super convenient.
  • The colour is a good match for me for a natural brow look.
  • The formula is waxy and quite firm making it easier to control the amount of colour with application pressure.  (Not too soft and pigmented leading to an unintended, overly bold brow!)
  • The smudging sponge on the end can be removed to reveal a sharpener.

Essence lights of orient eyebrow shaper – oriental beauty


  • The tip of the pencil is a bit larger than I would like making it quite blunt and a little bit fiddly for really precise work unless you sharpen it every time before use.
  • There were only two shades available in this range.  A warm, medium brown shade called ‘sunkissed beauty’ and then the shade I purchased which is more or a taupe colour in ‘oriental beauty’.
  • It doesn’t come with a spoolie 😦  Rather, it comes with a ‘smudging sponge’ which is a bit weird and not my preference.



Overall, I really like this product.  The firm nature of the formula makes it easy to control and I appreciate the convenience of a mechanical pencil.  The thicker tip does make it hard to do individual hair strokes if that is what you need, but the smudging sponge included does suggest that this is designed to block in colour rather than draw on hairs.  Plus, this was super affordable and a good colour match for me.

If you see this eyebrow pencil it is certainly worth a try if you can find a colour match for the extremely limited range.

Have a wonderful day!

Things I Don’t Love – Essence: Mosaic Compact Powder

I purchased this Mosaic Compact Powder from Essence on an impulse one day at my local chemist.  I was waiting for a script and saw this on their stand.  They didn’t have a tester out but it seemed like a pretty, light bronzing powder (not too orange) and it was very affordable so I just grabbed it.  Now, I love Essence products typically, so I had high hopes but this Mosaic Compact Powder has one fatal flaw in my books:  Glitter.


Can you see those sparkles?  That is silver micro-glitter my friends.

The overall texture is quite soft but the glitter makes it grainy to the touch.  I did enjoy the tone of this powder – colour wise it could have worked well as a very natural bronzer for my pale skin.  I found the formula to be a bit dry and dusty so if you blend too much the pigment seemed to disappear – but not that glitter!  I just can’t deal with the silver micro-glitter.


Essence: Mosaic Compact Powder

As you can see from the images above the glitter isn’t that obvious when you first look at this product, but trust me, the first time I wore it the sparkles caught my eye all day.

To try and get some use out of this I did take it with me on a trip to Bali and used it as a body bronzer.  It worked ok for that in the context of a resort holiday, where wearing glitter near the sand while drinking cocktails, seems appropriate… but I don’t live the kind of life that requires ‘sparkly body bronzing’ on a daily basis.

I haven’t worn it since and that was over a year ago.

If a sparkly, affordable and fair bronzer sounds like your thing, you can purchase this Mosaic Powder Compact for AU$5.75 from Priceline, but I have to admit that I just don’t love this product.

Have an amazing day!

Festive Holiday Makeup

Festive Holiday Makeup.

Tis’ the season for parties and celebrations and even for those of us who may wear makeup infrequently, this is the time of year where you might just be tempted to drag out an old blush and slap on some foundation.  I went out to dinner with some girlfriends last night (the sisterhood!) and decided to get in the spirit with a green and red eye look.  If you are interested in the products I used to create my festive holiday makeup please read on!

Now before we begin, lets be clear: makeup artist…I am not.  But I do love playing with makeup.  This is in no way a tutorial, but hopefully it might inspire you to pull out some sparkles from your own collection for your next party look 🙂

So lets start at the very beginning – face primer.


Primers: Makeup Revolution Aqua Priming Base and Ultra Face Base Primer.

At the moment I am trying out the Aqua Priming Base from Makeup Revolution which I sprayed on my moisturised skin and then when dry I added a little of the Ultra Face Base Primer to my T-zone.  I need all the help I can get with makeup longevity in the hot, humid summer weather!

foundation and concealer

Foundation: Australis ‘Stay put! Longwear Foundation’; Concealer: E.L.F. under eye concealer and highlighter.

Next I applied the Australis Stay Put! Longwear Foundation in ‘Nude’ using my Real Techniques sponge and then I added a little of the E.L.F. under eye concealer in ‘light’ in a (vain) attempt to hide my dark undereye circles.


Bronzer: Makeup Revolution – The One Blush Stick in Malibu.

The last of my cream base products is also new to my collection from Makeup Revolution and it is The One Blush Stick in ‘Malibu.’  This is not a matte bronzer but I am enjoying the, quite natural, bronze glow that it gives my skin.  It looks super orange in the tube but, surprisingly, I am enjoying it on the face to warm up my complexion.

Setting Powders

Setting Powders: Australis – fresh & flawless pressed powder; E.L.F. – HD undereye setting powder.

To help mattify my face and set everything in place I used the E.L.F. HD Undereye Setting Powder in ‘light’ followed by a dusting of the Australis Fresh & Flawless pressed powder in ‘Natural,’ over my face.

Coloured Face Products

Coloured Face Products: Makeup Revolution – Radiant Lights and Powder blush.


Radiant Lights: Exahale and Blush: Love.

Because I intended to do something quite dramatic on the eyes I kept the coloured face products quite subtle.  I did some soft highlighting on the tops of the cheeks with Exhale from the Makeup Revolution ‘Radiant Lights’ range.  I then added a touch of nude blush with the colour Love.

E.L.F. brow kit in medium and clear brow mascara

Eyebrows: E.L.F. brow kit in medium and clear brow mascara.

Next up I used the E.L.F. brow kit in medium to lightly fill in my brows and then set them with the clear brow mascara.


Eyeshadow: ColourPop Super Shock Shadows, Essence Matte Effect shadow in ‘Blockbuster’ and the E.L.F. eyeshadow primer.

So – onto the exciting stuff: eyeshadow!  I started with the E.L.F. eyeshadow primer and then put the Essence matte effect eyeshadow in Blockbuster onto the brow bone.


ColourPop shadows: Bill (matte) and Party Time (matte)


Swatches: Bill and Party Time.

I used the ColourPop matte Super Shock Shadow called Bill as a transition shade all through the crease and blended it out towards the brow bone.  I then put Party Time more precisely into the crease and outer V of the eyelid to darken things up and smoke it out.


ColourPop Shadows: Drift, Partridge & Mirage (all pearlized finish).


Swatches: Drift, Partridge & Mirage.

Next I put Partridge, a gorgeous brown/green duo chrome, across the inner and middle sections of the eyelid with Drift on the outer third of the lid.  I also blended a mix of these two colours on the lower lash line.  Finally, I placed Mirage in the inner corner to brighten things up before lining my water line with the Essence eye pencil Berry Merry.  (I forgot to take a picture of Berry Merry but you can see it in a previous review here).


Lashes: E.L.F. mascara primer and mineral infused mascara.

To finish off the eyes I used my E.L.F mascara primer and their mineral infused mascara.

eyelid shot

I was pretty happy with the finished eye look.

So, to wrap up this festive holiday makeup a red matte lip seemed like the only logical option.


Lips: Essence lipliner and Colourpop Matte Lippie Stix.


Swatches: lippie stix – Dazed (top) and lipliner – Red Blush.

I selected the Essence lipliner in Red Blush topped with the matte ColourPop lippie stix in Dazed.  Apologies for the lipliner swatch… it isn’t normally so thick but I stupidly left it on my table and softened it in the sun!


Finishing Spray: Makeup Revolution Oil Control Fixing Spray.

And because my makeup will melt off in the heat given half a chance, I complete the look with the Makeup Revolution Oil Control Fixing Spray.  If you live in a humid climate this is a great product!

So – there you have it.  A red and green festive holiday makeup look using all budget-friendly and cruelty-free makeup.

head shot

Not a very flattering picture in the harsh natural light, but you get the idea!

Have a wonderful festive season beautiful people!


Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencils

Essence: Long Lasting Eye Pencil

This is going to be a quick review of the Essence Long Lasting Eye pencils.  These are not a new product by any means, but they are my favourite eye liners at the moment so I thought that was as good of a reason as any to review them now.

I own every shade that that is available in Australia (I think??).  Of the eight shades there are two mattes (Black Fever and Hot Chocolate), four metallic shades (Hot Scorch, Berry Merry, Cool Down and C’est La Vie!) and then two shades that contain some silver micro glitter (I have a Green and Tu-Tu Touquoise).


Swatches – left to right: Black Fever, Hot Chocolate, Hot Scorch, Berry Merry, I have a Green, Cool Down, Tu-Tu Touquoise and C’est La Vie!

I use these in the water line with great success and I do not find that they bleed into the corner of my eyes like other liners have done in my past.  I love the colour selection offered.  Originally I held off on purchasing the blue-toned colours, but now that I own them I find I use them on the lower lash line regularly and they make my blue eyes pop.

You can smudge these liners out when you initially apply them, but you need to move quite quickly as once they set they don’t budge – which I love!  As you can see from the swatches these are very smooth and pigmented and they go on to the eye without tugging or pulling the skin.

Essence long lasting eye pencils - mechanical liners.

Essence long lasting eye pencils – mechanical liners.

I very much enjoy the fact that these are mechanical liners.  Sharpening liners is one of my pet hates so it is so nice to just twist up the product without needing to worry.

Now, to round this off, we should comment on whether these liners live up to their ‘long lasting’ claims.

Yes.  They are long lasting 🙂

I find these last extremely well even in our Australian heat which has the capacity to melt pretty much anything off my face.

So, that is it.  These retail for about AU$3 which is a fantastic price point.  The long lasting eye pencils from Essence are fantastic, budget-friendly, cruelty-free liners.  I use these above any other liners in my collection.

If you know of other colours in this collection I would love to know about them – please comment below.

I hope you have a fantastic day!

P.s.  If you aren’t following along with my blog already you can do so via email or Facebook.  It is always exciting to see people subscribing 🙂

Five great cruelty-free products under AU$5!

Makeup is expensive at the best of times but makeup is REALLY expensive in Australia.  I don’t really understand why that is, but I am presuming it has something to do with the way our government taxes cosmetic products.  Whatever the explanation it is a serious bummer.  My point is that there aren’t that many really good makeup products that we can access from Australia that are good quality, cruelty-free and less than AU$5 but I am determined to find all the good ones that I can and share them with you.

So here are five great products that are under AU$5!!

5 under $5 – Product Number 1:

Makeup Revolution 'amazing' lipstick

Makeup Revolution ‘amazing’ lipstick

Amazing Lipstick swatches: 'The One' (top), 'Treat' (bottom)

Amazing Lipstick swatches: ‘The One’ (top), ‘Treat’ (bottom)

First up on the list are the Makeup Revolution ‘amazing’ lipsticks.  These retail for about AU$2 (depending on the exchange rate).  These are great, easy-wear lipsticks.  They are moisturising and creamy and the pigmentation is quite good.  These don’t have a long-wearing formula but they are perfect to throw on as you walk out the door to the shops and if you are happy to reapply within an hour or two they are just fine.  If you want them to last longer a lipliner really helps.  I have two lipsticks from this range and love both these colours.  My only tip is to make sure you exfoliate your lips to get a really smooth application.  These two shades are glossy but NOT frosted which I prefer.

5 under $5 – Product Number 2:

E.L.F. eyebrow kit

E.L.F. eyebrow kit

E.L.F. eyebrow kit - medium brown

E.L.F. eyebrow kit – medium brown

My second excellent budget product is the E.L.F. eyebrow kit.  I have reviewed this product here before as one of my holy-grail brow products and I continue to use this a number of times a week.  It is just so easy and gives a nature look and at about AU$4 from iHerb.com these are a steal.

5 under $5 – Product Number 3:

Essence Lipliners

Essence Lipliners

Next up on the list are the Essence Lipliners.  I can’t say enough good things about these little bargains.  I have a review and swatches of the range here but these really are great quality and super value for money at just AU$2!

5 under $5 – Product Number 4: 

Makeup Revolution Powder Blushes

Makeup Revolution Powder Blushes

My next bargain buy are the Makeup Revolution powder blushes.  I have reviewed these in more detail here, but these guys are a GREAT buy at just AU$2.  I love these shades and they last so well on the skin and blend really nicely upon application.  Such a deal!

5 under $5 – Product Number 5:

Freedom Makeup London Mono eyeshadows

Freedom Makeup London Mono eyeshadows

Lastly we have the Freedom Makeup London Mono Eyeshadows.  Oh my goodness.  These little guys are good and more than worth the AU$2 you will spend on them.  I love all the colours that I own from this range and have another handful of these in my wish list on the Freedom website.  If you want to see some swatches I have previously reviewed these eyeshadows here.

A final word on international shipping…

Now, to be fair, if you order from Makeup Revolution or Freedom Makeup from Australia you are going to pay shipping which obviously adds to the cost of the products.  The good news is that the shipping cost is fixed for both websites so it doesn’t matter how much you order you will pay the same.  For both stores the international shipping from the UK to Australia costs about AU$16.  So I suppose the bad news is that if you go onto either of these online stores and only want to buy one AU$2 blush you are going to pay through the roof to get that shipped to you!  I feel like this situation acts as a real enabler to me as I want to make the shipping ‘worth it’ and thus order more than I probably need.  But seriously, if you can get on and off the Freedom or Makeup Revolutions online stores without ordering a tone of things, well then, the force is strong with you!

Have you tried any of these awesome budget-friendly, cruelty-free products?  If you have other products under $5 to recommend then PLEASE share in the comments below 🙂

Have a great day!

Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder – Blondes

This will be a quick one.  I am not sure if the Sun Club range is one which is still readily available through Essence but I just had to dedicate a quick word to their Matt Bronzing Powder in ‘Blondes.’

Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder - Blondes

Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder – Blondes

First, and for me, foremost, this bronzer smells like Pina colada.


I love the scent of this.  Which is lucky because otherwise the aesthetic of this product is not really my style – what is with the dancing girls embossed in the product.  Sigh.  But I digress.  This smells of PINA COLADA!

Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder - Blondes swatch

Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder – Blondes swatch

This powder is silky and blends really nicely.  It is aimed at lighter skin complexions and it very warm toned but it actually works well for me with my yellow skin undertones just to warm up my face.  I use this as an everyday bronzer all over the face and it is nice.  The swatch above is quite heavy and it does look quite orange here but I don’t find that it transfers quite that way to the face for me.

I would recommend this bronzer for fair skinned girls with yellow skin undertones… or to anyone that is all about that Pina Colada life!

Have a great day!

Essence Lipliners

I know I am late to the party with this review.  Essence pencil lipliners seem to be a cult favourite on the internet but I only purchased them for myself in recent months.  I purchased 6 colours for AU$2 each (loose change!) and I have been pleasantly surprised and impressed by the quality.  Despite the hype it just seemed to me that these were too budget-friendly to be as good as everyone says.

I was wrong.

If you haven’t tried these you need them in your life.

Essence lipliners - from bottom to top: Wish me a Rose, In the Nude, Red Blush, Cute Pink, Satin Mauve, Soft Berry.

Essence lipliners – from bottom to top: Wish me a Rose, In the Nude, Red Blush, Cute Pink, Satin Mauve, Soft Berry.

The texture of these is extremely soft and they draw on smoothly without tugging at the lips.  I find these last really well and I have used them under lipstick as well as on their own or worn with a gloss.  The colours are pretty universal and I have found they work well with basically every colour of lipstick that I own.  I have seen reviews that the Soft Berry lipliner is a good example of the Pantone colour of the year – Marsala.  It is certainly a beautiful colour.  The only additional colour that I think the range would benefit from would be a coral colour but that is just being picky.

Essence lipliners - from left to right: Soft Berry, Satin Mauve, Cute Pink, Red Blush, In the Nude, Wish me a Rose.

Essence lipliners – from left to right: Soft Berry, Satin Mauve, Cute Pink, Red Blush, In the Nude, Wish me a Rose.

If you are not familiar with Essence they are a cruelty-free German brand who do not sell in China.  As you know – this gives them a big tick from me!  For the vegans among us Essence recommends you check the ingredient list for each item before purchase to confirm vegan status as they do use beeswax and lanolin in some products.

The take-away message here for me is that these Essence lipliners really are great.  At AU$2 they are an amazing cruelty-free and VERY budget friendly option but I would say that these would still be a top choice for me regardless of the price point.  In Australia you can find Essence products in some chemists as well as in Target and Priceline.

Have a fantastic day!