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Budget Brand: Essence

We all should know by now, I love me some budget beauty bits and pieces. Knowing you haven't spent a small fortune on something you want to test out is the best feeling and recently I've trialed a few things from the brand Essence that I absolutely love.

Essence is a brand which I believe can only be found in the store Wilkinsons in the UK, but I think it is more readily available in France and the USA. I had heard someone raving about the highlighters from this brand so I let curiosity get the better of me and well, I ended up buying a couple of other bits too.

If you caught my post about autumnal lips, you will have seen my raving about this lip pencil already. The liner is very creamy and soft to use and is very comfortable to wear on the lips. Sure the price reflects the fact that you need to keep an eye on it potentially bleeding and its staying power isn't the best if you plan on snogging it all off, but its very pigmented and easy to wear and that's all I really want from a liner that only cost a couple of quid. Their lipsticks are also pretty brilliant. I picked up two nudey shades: 07 - Natural Beauty and 06 - Barely There! - the first a pinky nude and the other a brown nude. They're both lovely to use and I find they quite moisturising, so they're great to use when you're having a long day. These shades aren't too opaque or too sheer - they sit somewhere in the middle - but they do give your lips a slight shine that makes them look healthy and plump and that's what I think is so great about them.

But now let's talk about the reason I bought into this brand in the first place - the highlighters. I couldn't decide which to buy so I picked up both 20 - Bright up your life (a pink shade) and 10 - look on the bright side (a pearl shade) as they were only £2.80 each - what an effing steal! They come in reasonably sized pans and are your typical creamy cream highlighter consistency (description is my forte). Both colours give a gorgeous highlight to the cheeks and aren't glittery in the slightest but do provide a good shimmer and glow. I usually use powder highlights, but I'm more than happy to use these as they're not sticky or tacky on the skin and look more natural than my powders if I'm going for a minimal, natural look. If you're someone who likes to rock a dewy complexion or is confident enough to rock a bare foundation-free face but still wants some highlight going on, these would be perfect for you. My only gripe with them is that if you apply them over foundation, you need to watch how you go - they will remove your foundation if you apply them with your fingertips, so they're best applied with a brush and stippled on to minimise foundation rub-off. But again, for £2.80... I'd be silly to grumble. Buy Essence products here (if you're within the EU), and here if you're in the USA!

Have you tried out the Essence brand? If so, what do you think of their products?

- A.
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