I love any brand that teams up with bloggers to work on products – call me biased! – but Essence are back with another small Trend Edition called Bloggers’ Beauty Secrets. There are four palettes with four co-ordinating nail polishes in the line, each designed by a European blogger or vlogger. I will be completely honest with you here and say I never heard of any of the bloggers but I find it hard enough to keep up with the plethora of new Irish bloggers that pop up every day! I received the Essence Touch Up To Go! One-For-All Palette to review which was designed by YouTuber Diana from dfashion who has half a million subscribers.
The palette itself is made of cardboard but it feels sturdy enough so I wouldn’t worry about popping it in to my makeup bag. There is no clasp or closure on it though so you may be taking your life (or your belongings) in your hands if you decide to just throw it loose into your handbag. It is thin making it perfect for travel as it doesn’t take up too much room. This palette, in particular, was designed for travel or – as the name suggests – for touching up on the go. It contains two blushes, three eyeshadows, a clear balm, a double-ended brush and a slightly small mirror.
Being one hundred percent honest with you, when I received this in the post I took one look at it and was incredibly underwhelmed. You know I am a huge fan of Essence and have loved so many of their products but when I first glanced at this, I wondered what on earth I was going to write. I pretty much hated it.
For a start if I were to create a palette for touch ups, the very first thing I would include would be a face powder. It is the one part of my makeup that I definitely touch up throughout the day no matter what. I would also include a lip colour because that is the second thing I am mostly like to top up. Now the enclosed press release I received with the palette informs me that the clear balm can be combined with a blush to create a lip colour which did not sound appealing to me but I tried it out later in the post for the sake of arguement. My third choice for a touch up palette would probably be an eyeliner. Before I had ever touched this palette, I had written it off as not for me.
Swatched on the arm, you can see that the pigmentation is alright. These are definitely not going to replace your existing favourite products but they will do the job if you are touching up on the go. They do all perform better in action on the face than they did in the swatches which is quite common with a lot of products so don’t let this photograph put you off.
For my first look I decided to create a pretty average neutral eye. When I saw the enclosed colours, this was the first thing that sprung to mind to create as I think it would be for most. I placed Shine On Eyeshadow on the lid and inner corner and popped Coffee To Go Eyeshadow on the outer corner, in the crease and underneath the eye. Shine On is absolutely beautiful and has a gorgeous shimmer. I found Coffee To Go needed a bit of work to get the pigmentation to show up and then it was very difficult to blend – in case you can’t tell from the woeful job I did. I didn’t bother with the enclosed brush because it was pretty terrible so this was actually done using a Mac 217 (the Holy Grail) and still no blend.
For my second look I decided to utilise the purple shade and to go pretty dramatic with it. I imagined this as a sort of desk-to-disco palette and tried to create an evening look. I popped On The Mauve Eyeshadow all over the lid and under the eye. I attempted to darken the crease and the outer corner under the eye with Coffee To Go Eyeshadow and I popped a little of the Shine On Eyeshadow in the inner corner. No matter how much I built and layered Coffee To Go, I could not get it darker or more intense than this. If this was a very dark brown or a black shadow, this would be a great colour for intensifying a day time look making it night time appropriate but this just didn’t do that.
For my final look, I got a little creative and used the Peach Blush in the crease. I actually found this to be absolutely stunning. The shade makes a gorgeous warm transition colour and it blends out superbly. I then added Coffee To Go all over the lid and underneath the eye. I finished with a dab of the One For All Balm in the centre. I didn’t know if that would be a good idea but sort of envisaged that this could turn into a glossy eye look. The balm isn’t glossy enough and it didn’t crease or affect the eyeshadow at all – which is obviously a plus. It ended up just adding a little highlight. This actually became my favourite look of the three.
Here is the Peach Blush on the cheek. It is well pigmented and is quite a bright colour so I would advise that you tap off the excess. While it applied moderately strong to the cheek, it was quite easy to blend out and a very workable colour in general.
The Party Blush is a bright pink and also has good pigmentation. It wasn’t showing up too well in photographs (I have that problem with every blush in the world) so I applied some extra just to get the colour across. If it looks a little strong in this photo, it is simply because I was trying to show you it – it does blend out lovely!
In this picture, I also decided to apply the Shine On Eyeshadow to the cheekbones and I was so incredibly impressed. It makes the most beautiful highlight and doesn’t look too glittery or artificial. I could not get over how gorgeous it was!
I also applied the Party Blush to my lips and added the One For All Balm on top as advised. I really didn’t like the final result. It looked homemade, to be honest and it was messy to do. I will give them kudos for having a little plastic cover over the One For All Balm so it doesn’t get full of powder though.
After my experimentation with the palette, my opinion definitely changed. It was definitely usable – particularly if you thought outside the box using the blush as eyeshadow and the eyeshadow as a highlighter.
If you like and wear the colours in this palette, this could be good for you if you are looking for a cheap and cheerful little palette. If you are looking for something to take you from a day to night look or for serious touch ups on the go, I don’t really think this fits the bill – but that’s just me!
The palette retails for €6.29 and there is a semi-matte nude nail polish called 01 Be Happy + Smile for €2.30 that was also created by Diana. In the range there is also a Vintage Rose Eye Palette full of pinks and warm browns, a Shapes and Shadows Eye Contouring Palette made up of neutral shadows and brow products and a The Glow Must Go On Bronzing and Highlighting Palette with eyeshadows and cheek products. To be completely honest, I think I would have been really impressed with the Vintage Rose or Shapes and Shadows palettes and I will be keeping an eye out for them in stores. I just think the Touch Up To Go Palette wasn’t my cup of tea but could be perfect for someone else.
The products are available from June until July 2016.
Which palette most appeals to you?
What did you think of the Touch Up To Go Palette?
What would you put in your ultimate touch-up palette?
Disclaimer: The Essence Touch Up To Go Palette was sent to me as a PR sample. I am under no obligation to mention it on my blog and it does not affect my opinion of the product in any way.
No affiliate links were used.