Of all the wonderful abundance of beauty products out in the drugstores these days, I must say that I’d be hard pressed to find a really lovely eyeshadow. While I’m no eyeshadow connoisseur, it does seem that such a product requires the perfect combination of pigment, smoothness and blendability to really stand on it’s own. Over the past few years, Essence cosmetics has become my little secret treat. Their low prices and frequently occurring limited edition collections have always kept me coming back.
Product: Mono eyeshadow
Colours: 15 total, non including limited edition
Price: $2.49 CAD
Availabilty: Select Shoppers Drugstore locations nationwide, Ulta (in USA)
Yes you read that right, at only $2.49CAD a piece this is the low calorie answer to your beauty sweet tooth. I’ve collected 4 shades thus far, out of a permanent total of 15 in the mono collection not including the limited edition releases.
Essence’s target market is quite the young crowd and everything from their pricing to packaging reflect fun and affordability while promoting experimentation. The clear plastic container of the single shadow compacts may seem utilitarian but are, in usage, very functional as I can clearly pick out the colour I want without having to open each lid individually.
The range of colours seem to be categorized into 3 main finishes, metallic, sparkling and shimmer effect. Your choices range from pearly pastels to a few surprising brights and handful of basic nudes. Pigmentation as whole is very satisfying with a few shades being excellent. Note that my photo (below) was taking in natural light so less of the metallic and shimmer particles came through, with flash photography however you can get quite a disco going here.
- DISCO DIVA | (metallic effect) | Exceptionally pigmented and creamy with just the right amount of cool toned shine, this lavender eyeshadow rivals some of my MAC favourites.
- GET READY! | (shimmer effect) | Dark cool toned brown with fine gold shimmer, can be borderline chalky and hard to blend. Not a favourite.
- PARTY ALL NIGHT | (metallic effect) | Metallic stardust effect on the lids with a champagne undertone, buttery and smooth.
- SHRIMP ME UP | (shimmer effect) | Unexpectedly lovely medium toned coral that leans towards satin rather than shimmer, creamy but can be a tad uneven to apply.
Unfortunately the major downfall of these shadows is their wear and long lasting ability. If you plan on wearing them for more than 2-3hrs then a primer is definitely needed to keep it from traveling to places you don’t want it to go and also make the colours a touch more vibrant. Personally, I love a cream shadow or paint pot underneath.
Not every colour is going to be a win in these Essence mono shadows but it’s definitely worth picking up a few if you want an inexpensive way to play with some fun colours or as a starter kit for a makeup beginner. All stands have testers and I do suggest you make use of them since consistency and smoothness vary between the colours. For the true eyeshadow connoisseurs, these likely won’t make the grade but for the casual wearer, it’s worth owning a few.
Ingredients: MICA, TALC, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, BIS-DIGLYCERYL POLYACYLADIPATE-2, ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE, MAGNESIUM STEARATE, DIISOSTEARYL DIMER DILINOLEATE, ISOPROPYL ISOSTEARATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, TIN OXIDE, PHENOXYETHANOL, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77266 (BLACK 2), CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE).