I recently took a break from reviewing products on the blog following surgery and a long-ish recovery period, but now that I am back on my feet again, I decided to grab a few products to review, including the very popular Essence My Must Haves range. The products in this range have been popping up on my social media feeds for the last few weeks and I won’t lie, I was itching to get my hands on them!
It was beauty sale time at Dis-Chem, so I got quite a few products at a great price. Let’s get into this!
Here’s my shopping list:
Ulta Beauty Salon Formula Nail Lacquer in “Lav-ish” and “Wanderlust” (On Sale R9.99 each)
This is the first time that I have seen Ulta beauty products on sale in South Africa (am I hideously uninformed or is this a new thing?) Let me say that neither of these shades are long lasting, even with a base and top coat. Despite that, I absolutely adore the shade “Wanderlust”. It is a dark shimmery purple-grey colour that is just fantastic. One coat is enough for an opaque cover and it is surprisingly easy to clean (for a dark colour, that is). The shade “Lav-ish” is a very light glittery lavender colour that looked pretty in the bottle but I am not a fan of it on my nails. One coat is not enough for full coverage even though I used a white base coat. It might be a good colour for other skin shades but with my pale skin it just did not pop. The finish for both shades is pretty glitzy and very high shine.
Essence Balmy Kiss Moisurizing Lip Care in 03 “Can’t Live Without” (R27.95)
I recently posted about this balm on my Instagram feed and after using it for a few days I still like the product, however I would caution against using this balm on dry lips. I know this sounds counterintuitive for a lip balm, but I often find that coloured lip products or those with loads of fragrance burn my lips and dry them out even more instead of moisturising them. I love the subtle colour of this balm and it feels more like a balm than other coloured balms (like the Labello Care and Colour range)
Palladio Herbal Glam Intense Gel Eyeliner in “Black” (R99.95)
You may have noticed that I already have a “go-to” eyeliner (Smudge Felt tip liner from Clicks) that I really hold in high regard so the Palladio Gel Liner has quite the shoes to fill. Keeping in mind that this is a gel liner, not a felt tip liner like the Smudge liner, it just does not measure up. I will keep practicing to use this product so I know it is not my own inexperience that keeps me from giving it a higher rating. My main grievance is that the gel liner is not nearly as pigmented as the felt tip liner and it does not sit so close to the skin as other liners. This may again have more to do with the application than the product itself, so I will reserve my final judgement on this product. A benefit of the product is that there is a lot of it in the container, I can see this lasting for multiple years. I think it might also be good for fantasy looks and stage makeup because there is so much of it and it glides on easily so it can cover a large area.
Essence My Must Haves 8 Palette (R44.95)
This palette is designed really well and the single products slot in perfectly and sit nicely in the palette. I like that the palette allows you to easily swap around the singles so you can take a few with you when you travel and easily switch them out as needed. The only downside to this is the fact that this palette is quite big. I know there are some palettes on the market that are larger, but often I find that these palettes house more product. The palette has a lot of open space which makes it a bit clunky to lug around if you are looking at the palette size to product size ratio.
Essence My Must Haves Eye shadow (R34.95 each)
I bought 4 eye shadow colours from this range including: 05 “Cotton Candy”, 07 “Mauvie-time!”, 18 “Black as a berry” and 19 “Steel the show”. “Cotton Candy” is a very light, shimmery shadow that I have started using as a highlighter all over my face and eyes. “Steel the show” is a gun-metal grey colour that works beautifully as a blending shade when doing a smoky eye. My two favourite shades are “Black as a berry” (a very deep purple with a cool undertone) and “Mauvie-time” (a medium purple shade with a grey undertone). The shades I tried were really blend-able, soft and long-lasting. They were not too soft or chalky, but “Cotton Candy” is much more sparkly than it seems when you look at it in the packaging. It would advise that you take a moment to test the shades on your skin before you purchase so you get exactly what you expect when building the palette. After all, you want this to be customised exactly to your liking.
Essence My Must Haves Satin blush in 02 “Strawberry Smoothie” (R34.95)
I have to say, this is the one product in this range that I am not a fan of. It is a very cheerful pink shade, but it is way too shimmery to use as a blush (personal preference) and it is not pigmented enough to use as an eye shadow. You can probably build this colour if you want to, but it just doesn’t do anything amazing on my skin. Also, I find that my blush brushes are way too big for this size pan so I won’t easily purchase the blushes in this range again. It might be nice to travel with, but I don’t have a brush that works with the size of the pan and covers enough surface area on my cheeks, so I am not sold.
Essence 2 in 1 eyeshadow & liner in 06 “She’s got the Mauve” (R54.95)
This product, I love! The colour is beautiful and highly pigmented, glides on easily and stays on all day. It also blends easily and works with powder eye shadows so you can create so many looks with this product. The only tip I have would be to set the product with a powder otherwise you will have vaguely tacky feeling eyelids all day.
Cala Studio Master Blending Brush and Angled Eye Shadow Brush (R39.95 each)
I like these brushes so much, I am contemplating buying a few more just to keep as spares! They are synthetic but soft and flexible. They don’t warp easily when you chuck them into your makeup bag and they hold powders like a dream. I also like the fact that they have a slightly chunkier handle than many brushes I own which makes them feel more stable in my hand.
Have you tried any of these products yet? Let me know what you think of them and which products you would like to see on my next review!