Haulin' Essence for the Spring

Recovery from the rainy-day blues can only mean one thing: retail therapy. After being cooped up all weekend and spending most of it either in bed or on the couch (holy mother of tummy cramps, it was a rough time) and being rained in from venturing out too far I decided to take a small walk and explore the south side of my neighborhood. I decided to hop into Oviesse to see if any spring dresses were in stock (no such luck). Instead, I found myself perusing the small Essence stand in front of the cashier, overtaken by the abundance of coral. I tried so hard to pack light to fit everything in for my trip, which meant leaving a good chunk of my makeup collection at home in the States. I only brought one blush, one black pencil liner, and an assortment of winter lip colors thinking neutral pinks would last me all year (well, until July when I return back to the grand old country of America). Wrong. I've recently developed an obsessive desire to be Lily Melrose... Which has affected many of my shopping moods. I go into stores and look for simple cuts and interesting pieces to layer after going through pages of her fashion blog posts, and I want so badly to line my eyes with an edgy liquid wing. After seeing her London Fashion Week posts I am even more convinced that I need to get me some smock dresses and structured coats, a pair of black ankle boots, and a felt fedora or two. Also in my bed-ridden disparity I looked through February issues of ViVi, SCawaii, Fudge, and Voce and found all of the predicted spring trends, and one of my favorite spreads was Lena Fujii (my ultimate idol) sporting orange lips. Gah, I just want cute spring clothes and flawless makeup!! However, I'm on a budget (and have limited space in my travel bags since I have to eventually figure out how to haul 6 months worth of stuff halfway across the globe), so I can only compromise so much to achieve a Lena/Lily-inspired look.

The one thing I could justify was a sneaky little cosmetic cheat. I've never used Essence products before as they weren't widely available in the U.S. until recently, but I've seen them sold everywhere around Rome. They are also super affordable (most things under €3), and cheaper than any of the American brands I am used to buying since there are import fees, so I decided it'd be better to try this out than to shell out €11 ($15!!) for some random Revlon thing. Curiosity got the better of me and I convinced myself that this purchase would make me happy (and one step closer to a Lily-inspired spring look) and bought the Silky Touch Blush in Life's a Cherry, XXXL Shine Lipgloss in Bright Side of Life, and the classic felt-tip eyeliner pen in black.

THE SILKY TOUCH BLUSH is so insanely pigmented I will have to remember to use a light hand when I apply it on my face. Life's a Cherry is a gorgeous deep-coral color leaning more towards a reddy-orange shade that will be perfect for spring and summer (and my trip to Barcelona at the end of the month, I hope)! The texture upon swatching seemed smooth, though I have heard that these blushes can be chalky. I hope it transfers well onto the face with my Real Techniques Blush Brush which seems to make magic every time I use it. I have refrained from buying any shimmery light coral blush here because I know I have a ton at home, but I don't have anything like this color so I am excited to give it a try. It'll be nice to be able to finally change up my look, because as much as I love Benefit Rockateur, a girl wants to have some options in her life sometimes.

THE XXXL SHINE LIPGLOSS was an impulse buy triggered by a combination of my boredom with the pinks and mauves I've been stuck with and Zoella's coral lips in her recent videos. I feel like this spring I really want to try something new so I went for a shade more punchy and bright than I'd normally buy, thinking it'd sheer out as a gloss, and this has more glitter than I'd usually get in a lipgloss (I usually like 'em shiny and glitter-free kind of like I like my nail polish). The color payoff is way better than I was expecting, and the coral less scary than I had anticipated. I'm excited to slick some of this on and enjoy the summertime sunshine!

THE EYELINER PEN I picked out is the normal black felt-tip liner. I debated between the liquid tube with pull-out applicator brush, the dual-ended fine and marker-tip liner, and the Superfine formula, but decided that the original would be my safest bet. Upon first swatch it looks like it'll work just fine. The color is a nice black, the pen is easy to handle, and it took more than a little rubbing to get this to come off of my arm. Now it's time to experiment on how to get a nice line to transfer onto my eyelids, but hopefully this will resolve some of my makeup woes and change up my look for the new season.

Is there anything else you recommend I pick up from Essence? Are there any other brands exclusive to Europe/Italy that I should try while I'm here?

Bottom three images from LLYMLRS.COM, SCawaii, February 2014, and Voce, February 2014.


  1. The silky touch blush sure does sound gorgeously silky!

    Sharlotte | UK Beauty Blog

  2. That lip gloss looks so beautiful! Enjoy your trip!



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Maira Gall