Warning: The following post is super duper long (making up for the fact that I haven’t posted anything in the past 3 weeks). So grab a cup of coffee/tea/wine, make yourself a little snack, put your feet up on the couch and lets get started!
I was debating whether I should write this post in English or not, since it’s partially about a beauty box which is available only in Israel and worldwide readers might not be interested. But I decided to write this post in English anyway since a) I might have Israeli readers who enjoy reading my posts in English and b) I am reviewing the products themselves (which can usually be found worldwide) and not just the box.
So in short, Beauty Box is an Israeli subscription box. Once you subscribe you get a box once a month with a few beauty products (usually 2-3 full size ones and 2-3 sample sizes), while you don’t know in advance the content of the box – each month is a surprise.
I’ve been subscribed to the box for the past 2 years, and the newest box (which I’m reviewing today) underwent a few changes – from now on the box is bigger in size and will include a minimum of 7 products and will include an Israeli magazine named At (http://atmag.co.il/). The subscription costs 99 NIS per month (and if you wish to purchase just one box it’ll cost 119 NIS) and the box always arrives with a delivery guy.
Here is what the new box (on the left) looks like compared to older boxes – it’s doubled in size!
Because of the new change the box contains (only this once) 15 full sized products – all by the brand Essence!
I decided to take advantage of the fact that the box is dedicated to this one brand and review for you not only the products in the box but all the products of the company that I own, I review that I’ve been planning on writing anyway.
Essence is originated in Germany and a is a brand that is known for its low prices. The prices are so low and the products are really good (well most of them are). The most expensive product is usually about $5, with the exception of special edition products that can be as “pricey” as $10. The company is cruelty free, which is always great to hear.
When I heard this month’s box will include only Essence products I was afraid I would be getting products I already own, but luckily I didn’t previously own most of them, and what I did own arrived in new shades. Yay for me.
What I got in the box (full review will be below):
# Four (yup. Four!) different nail polishes.
# A mono eyeshadow.
# An eyeshadow foursome little palette.
# Two lip glosses.
# An oil free mattifying foundation.
# An anti spot cover cream.
# An eyeliner.
# An eyeshadow brush.
# A nail file.
I am honestly happy with this month’s box, as a makeup addict there is nothing more fun than getting new makeup products. However there were a few things I’m not too keen on: four nail polishes is a bit much. Kind of feels as if they put them just to fill the box, instead of putting a different variation of products (like their ahhh-mazing gel eyeliner. More on that later). Also instead of two glosses it would have been nice to get a gloss and a lipstick. And lastly, putting a full size foundation in a box is great, but it’s a waste of a product in my eyes since you usually can’t know what shade the person receiving the box needs. I got a shade that is way too dark for me and I have nothing to do with it.
Having said that, I am really pleased with this box. In the past few months the box has been getting worse and I’ve been reading lots of negative reviews, so I’m glad to see that Beauty Box have been trying to step up their game and trying to improve. It’s fun getting new products to try each month so honestly I cannot complain!
If you are an Israeli resident and you wish to subscribe to the box you can check out their official website.
As I’ve already mentioned I have quite a few Essence products in my collection so I will be reviewing them as well as the items I got in the box (which will be starred).
Cover and Conceal
*Anti-spot Cover Cream – Just as it’s name implicates, this cream is meant to cover and treat pimples, spots and redness. I honestly didn’t get a chance to test this out yet but it looks and feels like a creamy concealer and smells like a medical cream. This product comes in a squeezy tube and contains 0.5 fl. oz (15 ml) of product. If you want me to update on the results let me know.
*All About Matt Foundation – An oil free foundation mattifying foundation which also comes in a tube. The foundation claims to be long lasting (12 hours) and it contains 1 fl. oz (30 ml) of product and comes in 3 different shades. As I’ve mentioned this shade is way too dark and Orange for me (30 Matt Sand) so I’m gonna have to pass it on.
Match 2 Cover – A duo of creamy concealers. These are perfect for covering dark circles under the eyes. The duo includes two concealers which are quite similar except that one is darker than the other. I use the darker shade to conceal my dark circles and the brighter shade to highlight the under eye area. Mixing both shades together also gives the same effect. This duo comes only in two different shades (mine is 10 Natural Beige) and it contains 0.08 oz (2.3 grams) of product.
All About Matt Fixing Compact Powder – a pressed clear powder which mattifies the look after applying. I really like this powder and usually use it to set my under eye concealer. This powder contains 0.28 oz (8 grams) of product.
Mattifying Compact Powder – Yet another pressed powder which pretty much does the same as the other powder – mattifies the face. This powder comes in four different shades (I have the shade 11 Pastel Beige) and it is a bit powderier than the All about Matt powder, which isn’t the best for me since it emphasizes my dry skin. This powder contains 0.42 oz (12 grams) of product.
I own three blushes from the Silky Touch Blush line. These are great blushes, they aren’t extremely pigmented which is a good thing in my eyes, it allows the color to be build up instead of just being a blob of color. These blushes are relatively long wearing (about 6 hours from my experience). There are six shades to choose from in this line and each blush contains 0.17 oz (5 grams) of product.
10 Adorable – A light pink shade, my favorite of the three. It is a neutral pink so it can go with any look. Because it is such a bright shade it takes a bit longer to build up the color.
80 Autumn Peach – A light coral pink shade. It is a great day to day shade and it has a beautiful sheen to it.
*60 Life’s a Cherry – I got this blush in my Beauty Box and it’s probably a shade I wouldn’t purchase myself. It is a deep coral pink shade which is a little too deep for my white skin. I still haven’t tested it out but the swatch is definitely dark, so if I do decide to try it out I will have to use a light hand with it.
Out of all the Essence products I own I believe that there are three that everyone just has to have in their collection, because they are just the best. The first of these products are their lip liners – they are creamy, easy to apply, long wearing and just great (and of course – cheap!) . You cannot go wrong with these. These are pencils that you need to sharpen, each pencil contains 0.035 oz (1 gram) of product. I have four shades:
11 In the Nude – A perfect nude shade.
12 Wish Me A Rose – A bright pink (which reminds me of a strawberry milkshake. Weird I know).
07 Cute Pink – Another pink shade, a bit darker and more medium toned than the previous one.
15 Honey Berry – A medium toned purple which is on the pinker side of the scale.
Glosses and Lipsticks
I’m not really a gloss kind of girl, but I got two lipglosses in the Beauty Box:
*XXXL Longlasting Lipgloss – As someone who isn’t too fond of glosses, this one is pretty good. It’s shade is a pretty light pink (03 Very Berry) and although the color doesn’t really show (at least on my lips) it gives a really nice shine, it feels nice and is not sticky. The gloss has a great smell and the applicator is easy to use and allows an even application on the lips. This gloss comes in four different shades and contains 0.15 fl. oz (4.5 ml) of product.
*Glossy Lipbalm – A liquid lip balm that comes in a squeezy tube which is meant to have a mango scent (mine is in the shade Mango Icecream 05). I’m really not a fan of these types of glosses, I kinda grew out of the whole fruity lip balm phase when I was 12. When I first tried to squeeze the product out all I got was oil that separated from the gloss itself and it took quite a few squeezes for the actual product to come out. TBH seeing how oily this product is kinda grossed me out so this is going nowhere near my lips. It might suit others though if you like these types of glossy balms. The balms come in five different shades (each shade has a different scent) and each balm contains 0.27 fl. oz (8 ml) of product.
Liquid lipstick – I bought this while I was in Rome, excited that Essence came out with their very own liquid lipstick (which kinda looks like the Bourjois velvet lipsticks). How I was wrong o think that the effect would be the same. This “liquid lipstick” is in fact a very pigmented gloss. It is not long lasting and does not resemble a lipstick in any way. Don’t get me wrong, as a gloss it’s not bad at all, it’s pigmented and feels nice but in no way is this a liquid lipstick. In the company’s defense, on their website it says that it is meant to be a gloss with the pigmentation of a lipstick, so they know it’s not an actual liquid lipstick. But if so – why the misleading name?! This GLOSS comes in six different shades (mine is 01 Colour Party) and contains 0.13 fl. oz (4 ml) of product.
In Essences regular line of lipsticks (Longlasting Lipstick) there are 15 shades to choose from, and I own three from this line. They come in a black packaging with a ring in the center (where the cap and the tube meet) in a color that indicates the shade of the lipstick. On the bullet itself the company logo (the letter e) is embedded and each lipstick contains 0.13 oz (3.8 grams) of product. These lipsticks are pretty great, they feel and smell nice, apply smoothly and really look good. They wear for an average of about 4 hours but for their price it is worth it to re-apply. I have no doubt I will be purchasing more shades from the range. The shades I own:
15 Oh So Matt – A perfect nude shade (which goes well with the nude lip liner I mentioned above) which looks nice even on whiter people like myself. This is the only shade of the three which is completely matte.
13 Love Me – A bright coral pink shade. A perfect day to day shade, especially in the summer.
12 Blush My Lips – A deep fuchsia shade, my favorite of the three. This one lasts a bit longer on the lip than the others, for about 5 hours.
I ♥ Stage Eyeshadow Base – The second must have product in my eyes (as well as the lip liners) is the perfect and amazing eyeshadow base. This one is so perfect that I already own a backup. I’ve tried several eyeshadow primers, both high and low end, and this just might be my favorite. It comes in a little see through bottle with a really great applicator (just like the ones that most liquid lipsticks have) and the product itself is just superb. A little bit goes a long way with this stuff and it dries relatively fast. The shadows I apply over top it last me for hours. Its only disadvantage is that this primer comes only in one shade, which can be problematic for girls with really fair skin. I find that for me it’s great because even though I am fairly white I have really dark circles and the shade neutralizes them. The primer contains 0.13 fl. oz (4 ml) of product.
3D Eyeshadow – These eyeshadows are so pretty. There are 9 shades to choose from, and each one is divided into two, each side is a different shade. The shadow has a different texture – it is not flat like most shadows, but bumpy and wavy (hence the 3D name). I purchased the shade 08 Irresistible Vanilla Latte, and I am pretty sure I bought a defected shadow, since one half is completely flat and no pigment comes out of it. This shade is a champagne gold one – the defected flat side is a light white champagne gold and the good 3D side is a darker champagne gold (you’ll only see this shade in the swatches below). The half that isn’t defected is beautiful. It has quite a lot of fallout and isn’t the best shadow on it’s own, but once you wet it it is stunning. I think I’ll try and buy myself a new 3D shadow to see how it is meant to work. Each of these 3D shadows contains 0.1 oz (2.8 grams) of product.
*Mono Eyeshadow – This shadow came within the Beauty Box and it is yet another stunning champagne shade (77 Sandy Says Hello), just the kind of shadows I like. It is a stunning metallic shade, a soft and pigmented shadow which blends out easily and lasts (with primer) for around 12 hours (see the image at the end of the post). I haven’t tried it yet but I think this shade would be stunning as a highlight shade as well. There are 13 shades in this mono line of shadows and each shadow contains 0.08 oz (2.5 grams) of product.
*Quattro Eyeshadow – A foursome of shadows, while in this line there are 5 different sets. I got the most neutral set, in the shade 05 To Die For. This this has a white satin shade, a nude matte shade, a satin bronze and a deep cold matte brown. These shadows are smooth and are easy to apply, and they last pretty well on the lids (see the image at the end of the post). But my biggest issue with these is that the darker shades aren’t pigmented on the eyelids as they are in a swatch. As much as I tried to build up the color the shades just blended away and would not remain their true color. Each of these foursome sets contains 0.17 oz (5 grams) of shadow.
*The Lash Curler – Although Essence are known for their mascaras, funnily enough I never purchased myself one. This one also came in the Beauty Box. The Lash Curler is not a bad mascara, but it ain’t great. It’s supposed to curl and volumize the lashes but all it actually does is separate them nicely. This mascaras “specialty” is that the wand rotates manually. I honestly don’t see the point, since this is something I can do with any other mascara, just twist the wand. This wand is built in two parts; a red ring which is attached to the wand and a clear part which you are meant to hold and rotate the ring on, while holding close to the lashes. Again, the idea is nice but I can really do this with any other wand, without the complication of holding this wand in such a specific way. The bristles on the wand are the kind that I like (I prefer the fiber kind than the silicone brushes) and as I mentioned it separates the lashes nicely, but that’s about it. This mascara contains 0.34 fl. oz (10 ml) of product.
Eye Pencil Liners
Long Lasting Eye Pencil
The first type of pencils I’ll be mentioning is the company’s retractable pencils. These are great and long lasting, they apply and smudge easily and come in a variety of different shades (11 to be exact!) and each pencil contains 0.1 oz (2.8 grams) of product. I own 4 of these pencils:
*02 Cool Down – A cool medium toned metallic blue.
19 Hot Scorch – A metallic bronze shade which I love using under my lower lashes.
22 Ms. MoneyPenny – A metallic champagne gold, perfect for highlighting the inner corner of the eyes.
18 Berry Merry – A deep eggplant shade. I have nothing like it in my entire collection.
The second type of pencils I own are the kajal ones. These pencils need to be sharpened and are extremely creamy and easy to apply (they resemble to formula of the lip liners I mentioned above). These aren’t as long wearing as any of the other pencil liners but they are still pretty darn good. The range includes eight different shades and each pencils contains 0.035 oz (1 gram) of product. I own two shades:
08 Teddy – A deep metallic bronzey brown.
21 Feel the Eclipse – A deep matte navy blue.
Come To Town
02 Naughty or Nice – Every few months Essence releases a limited edition collection which includes products that are exclusive to this collection. The Come To Town collection was the Christmas collection that was released last December and unfortunately I don’t think any of the products are available in stores anymore. This specific shade is one of the more special ones I own, it is a beautiful burgundy plum shade with lots of little glitters. This is a pencil that needs to be sharpened and like all the other pencils is very soft and easy to apply. It contains 0.042 oz (1.21 grams) of product. (In the swatch it just looks brown, but I swear it’s so much prettier IRL!)
Gel Eye Pencil Waterproof
This is the third Essence product that I believe is a must have. This is THE must have. Seriously. They are probably my favorite Essence product ever. I purchased my first gel pencil the first time I ever came across an Essence stand. I just grabbed a few of the company’s products to try them out and this was one of them. Ever since – I am completely in LOVE! They are among the best gel liners I’ve tried, if not the best. They are retractable, so so so soft and creamy and easy to apply. And most importantly – extremely long wearing, Once you apply them to the skin they dry down and do not come off until you remove them with makeup remover. (In the water line they last a little less. While I am writing this post I am wearing one of the shades in my waterline and only now, after about 8 hours of wear, is it starting to wear off). They are highly pigmented and just so perfect. Honestly, go buy them. Now. All of them. Leave your things and JUST GO BUY THEM. Each gel liner contains 0.02 oz (0.57 grams) of product and I own five of the six shades:
01 Black Blaze – A perfect matte black.
02 Around Midnight – A deep dark blue with purple undertones and blue shimmers.
04 Blue Lagoon – A stunning metallic teal shade.
05 Gunmetal – A deep dark cool toned gray with silver shimmers.
06 Cocoa Bean – My favorite shade of the bunch which I use almost on a daily basis. It is a deep chocolate brown matte shade.
Essence has a large range of polishes to choose from, in different finishes; shiny, matte, sparkly, textured and almost any special edition collection has it’s own shades.
Colour & Go
This is the permanent line of polishes. Each polish comes in a clear bottle (through it you can see the polish itself) with a colored cap which indicates the color of the polish. The brush is wide and really easy to use and the polish itself is quick drying, so these polishes can be used when you’re in a rush. They are surprisingly long wearing – they usually start to chip after around 5 days of wear. Some of the shades need two coats in order to get a full opaque finish. Each polish contains 0.27 fl. oz (8 ml) of product, and the line has 26 different shades. I own four of them:
*109 Off to Miami – A bright coral pink with a shiny finish.
*114 Fame Fatal – A cold classic cool toned red with a shiny finish.
132 Break Through – A beautiful warm toned purple with red undertones, also has a glossy finish.
176 Headphones On – This shade looks really dark in the bottle but it just looks so since it is very full of texture and shimmery. The polish is filled with gray, silver and even green glitters.
Effect Nail Polish
*18 That’s My Pop Cake – This is a “confetti” type of polish, which isn’t an opaque shade but is a mixture of tiny stripes and circles (ehmm, confetti). This specific shaded contains red, pink and silver pieces. This line has three shades of polishes while each polish has a different texture. Each polish contains 0.33 fl. oz (10 ml) of product.
Nail Art Special Effect Topper
*22 Black Dress and White Tie – This is another confetti type of polish so I don’t really get why it isn’t part of the previous collection I mentioned. The difference here is that the confetti parts are much larger and consist of only black and white circled shapes (that’s why there is a sticker on the cap that says 101 dalmatians) and tiny silver glitters. This polish can also be used as a top coat so there is no need to apply any other layer over top it. This special effects line contains one other polish while each polish contains 0.27 fl. oz (8 ml) of product.
Like an Unforgettable Kiss
These polishes are part of a special edition collection (which is currently finishing it’s run on the shelves) which includes four pastel polish shades. I purchased two of these shades and they are so pretty! Seriously debating whether I should go and buy the other two shades…also these polishes have a nice big brush which makes the polish apply quickly and evenly and they are pretty long wearing. These polishes also contain 0.27 fl. oz (8 ml) of product each. The shades I own:
02 Always On My Mint – A bright mint green with a shiny finish.
03 You Let my Heart Skip A Beat – A beautiful baby purple shade. Also has a shiny finish.
Like any other successful cosmetics brand, Essence also has a bunch of accessories that go along with their beauty products, such as makeup brushes, sharpeners, makeup removal wipes and so much more. I own the following:
*Smokey Eye Brush – This is a cute makeup brush, that has a black handle and purple bristles (my favorite color!). The brush feels nice and the bristles are dense and soft, they are grouped together like a pencil brush except that the brush is a bit bigger. This brush is great for smoking out the eye look, especially in smaller areas such as underneath the lower lashes or in the outer V of the eye. So far I’m happy with this brush even though I haven’t used it much.
Duo Sharpener – A double ended sharpener which is suitable both for regular eye and lip pencils, as well as jumbo pencils (such as the famous NYX jumbo eye pencils). They come in five different shades and as you can see mine is purple.
*Studio Nails Banana File – a nail file which is a bit rounded (hence the banana name) and has two sides – one is for shortening your nails (the black side) and the other for shaping them (the pink side). This is a pretty standard file, which is always good to have.
And that’s about it! Here’s a look I created using only Essence products (well, except for my primer, foundation, bronzer and brow pencil – all products which I didn’t own by the company); For my face I used the Match 2 Cover concealer, the All About Matt Fixing Compact Powder and the Autumn Peach blush. For my eyes I used the perfect I ♥ Stage eye primer, the To Die For quattro eyeshadows on my eyes as well as the Sandy Says Hello shadow (which is the main shade on my lid). In my waterline I used the amazing gel liner in Cocoa Bean and below my lower lash line I used the liner in Hot Scorch, and of course I used the Lash Curler mascara. Lastly, on my lips I used the Wish Me A Rose lip liner with the lipstick Oh So Matt over top it. What do you guys think?
As I mentioned in the beginning I own quite a few Essence products and they are for the most part pretty great. Essence is an awesome company that proves that you don’t have to pay big buck to get great quality. There are many more products that I have yet to try and that I want to get my hands on (such as the brow gel and the liquid eyeliner) so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more Essence posts on my blog in the future.
If you’re in Israel you can find Essence in most Super-Pharm stores, or also online at RockGlam which sells also products that are from previous limited edition collections. If you live somewhere else around the world you can check the official website which lists the stores nearest to you. Also, there are two Polish websites which to my knowledge ship worldwide so you can check that out as well: LadyMakeup and MintiShop.
What Essence products have you tried? Which do you recommended and which do you hate? As usual, let me know in the comments!
Until next time,