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The £4 Eyeshadow Palette

For the longest time, eyeshadow was the one makeup product I could happily take or leave as I just didn't really wear any. Having quite hooded, oily lids meant that I always saw eyeshadow as an extra chore to try and do and it would never look right or stay "perfect" for more than a couple of hours. Having such hooded lids meant that when I *did* try to take my time with a detailed eye look, I'd spend what felt like hours trying to perfect it to only realise upon opening my eye that you couldn't actually see anything I had done unless my eyes were closed... Fast forward to now though and I pretty much love eyeshadow. It's still a step of my makeup routine that I will regularly skip if I'm just getting ready for work or having a lazy day etc. but I've recently found so many great formula shadows in the drugstore and high end brands that experimenting with them has become the norm.

Becoming a bit more knowledgeable about makeup in my ripe old age has also meant that I've learnt plenty of tips and tricks to help with hooded eyes that means my laborious eye makeup blending doesn't go unnoticed and can actually be seen and won't smudge into my crease. In the last few years eyeshadow palettes have had a revamp and stormed onto the beauty scene as they are becoming increasingly wearable, better to blend, and a lot less chalky than those "100 Eyeshadows in a variety of bright blue/pinks/greens shades" palettes that used to be all that was available. We've always had the quads and the small shadow palettes there but there's just something about them evolution of them now that has me hooked.

So because of my new found love for shadows, I have picked up a few cheaper palettes in my quest to test. Although higher end shadows always seem to have the best formula and pigmentation, the cheaper brands are great for someone like me who just like to try different products and isn't that gifted when it comes to eyeshadow looks. So with that being said, I happened to pick up a palette on my latest rummage through the brand Essence's counter and I couldn't be more in love with it. I've raved about the extremely affordable Essence brand before on NB and I had high hopes for this palette and it's contents.

Essence Eyeshadow Palette

First off, let's discuss what it includes. The palette has 8 shimmer shadows in a variety of "bronze" shades. They range from a light, inner corner highlight shade to a much darker, warm chocolate brown that you could use for a spin on the classic smokey eye. The range of these palettes also comes in shades of "nude", "greys", and "roses" but I saw the word "bronze" and knew this would be the palette for me. All of the shadows have a warm tone to them which is the kind of shades I prefer to wear and I thought I'd get the most use out of this palette because although the shades in the "nude" palette were also beautiful, they had more darker/intense colours that I knew I just wouldn't get the use out of. One downside to this product straight off the bat would be that it doesn't have a matte shadow in sight. I personally don't mind because I'm one of those sassy Sallys who tends to wear shimmers all over the shade because the discoball look is what I aim to achieve, but it's worth mentioning in case you need your mattes in a palette to be won over. That aside, this palette is amazing. The packaging isn't anything that will wow you but I guess it's sleek, minimal and compact which should never be sniffed at but due to the low price point, it does feel a little flimsy and like it has the potential to break.

Now let's talk price because I couldn't believe how cheap it was. Bearing in mind you get 8 shadows in this thing, it only cost £4.oo. Yep, your eyes are not deceiving you, I definitely said £4.oo. That is so ridiculously cheap for 8 sizeable shadows that I thought "even if they're not that great, I haven't wasted a whole lot of money on them" but that wasn't even a scenario I had to consider because the shadows are beautiful. As you can hopefully see from the swatches, each shade is very pigmented, shimmering but not too chunky when it comes to the glitter, and they are really soft to work with. Because they are so cheap, the are a little powdery when you dab your brush in there so you do get a little bit of product floating around the packaging but due to the sleek design, it's nothing to worry about. Their powderyness (wow that's 100% not a word) also can cause a little bit of fall out upon application so if you're someone who usually does your eye makeup last, you might want to make an exception when applying these shadows or simply apply a little at a time. I find a really small amount on the brush can go a long way so I like to take my time with building up my eye look when using these.

Essence All About Bronze Swatches
First four shades = top row of the palette, next four shades = bottom row of the palette

They do build really well, they are really soft on the lid meaning you don't have to drag or pull the skin to move the product around and the longevity of them are pretty good. I would say they last around 4 hours before the shimmer starts to dull down but the colour still remains so as long as you're not too concerned about losing some of the glitter/shimmer on the lid, these guys are great. It's also worth mentioning that these shadows are great to work with both dry and wet. On the picture of the swatches, I applied each one dry and just *look* at the pigmentation! Each one was swiped only once on my arm and you can clearly see opaque colour and shimmer. They don't go patchy (which is a particular bonus for the darker shades) and if you wet them, it only intensifies the colour/shimmer pay-off and doesn't disrupt the easy application of the shadows.

If you're someone who is just starting out with makeup or someone who is new to wearing and experimenting with eyeshadows, I couldn't recommend this palette enough. I've noticed I'm reaching for it more and more on a daily basis and I really love the colours and pay off the shadows give. Although you don't get your matte options in there, I would recommend this palette over the likes of the Urban Decay Naked Palette any day due to the ridiculously low price point, the amount of shadows you get for your buck, and just the fantastic quality of them. The palette is a handy size for travelling to but you still get sizeable (a bit bigger than a penny each) shadows in there so you get quite a lot included. I think I've raved about this product enough now but I can honestly say I will be picking up the "nudes" and "roses" palettes next time I'm passing an Essence counter because I am hooked!

- A.
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