You all know I love a new Essence collection and this release is no exception. The Exit to Explore Trend Edition is limited and will be on stands from mid August to mid September. My first impression was that the rainforest theme seems a little summery for a release at a time where I think a lot of us have started thinking about autumn but there’s no denying it’s cute! I have already filmed a video featuring my first impressions which you can watch here.
If you would rather a more in-depth look, keep reading.
Essence Trend Editions usually feature one or two little extras that aren’t strictly makeup and Exit to Explore follows that trend. The first release of the collection are these Essence Exit to Explore Body & Cuticle Tattoos. They’re only available in one pattern, 01 Feel the Jungle Vibes.
They feature three sheets of temporary tattoos with a variety of rainforest themed pictures, some of which are holographic. There are your classic arm bands as well as smaller ones that I presume are designed for your cuticles but could also be worn as bindis. Being pretty covered in real tattoos, temporary ones don’t really appeal to me but I know they are popular for festivals and that. While not my thing, as far as temporary tattoos go, I think these particular ones are pretty cool. They retail for €3.80.
The other non-makeup release are the Essence Exit to Explore Hair Ties which are available in one colourway, 01 My Hair is a Jungle. These are two cute frangipani flowers on hair ties. They’re made of a really unique foam material which makes them stand up really prettily in the hair. I love a good hair flower and these are really nice. I just wish they were on clips instead of ties but I might have a go at changing that for myself. These cost €2.50 for the pair.
First for makeup are the Essence Exit to Explore Eyeshadows and can we take a moment for the packaging?! These are said to be soft powder eyeshadows with high colour dispersion and an iridescent holographic finish.
There are three shades in the release and I was delighted to be sent all three to try. I was especially intrigued to read about the holographic finish. I love that Essence are always trying out new textures and finishes.
The first shade is 01 You Can, Toucan which in the pan resembles a khaki or olive green.
Having a holographic finish, I knew that it would probably perform better over a base so I trialled it over several different ones to showcase it to the fullest.
Over no base, the pigmentation is average and shows up as a murky olive. Over NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk, it really shows its true potential as a stunning metallic. Over Essence’s 2-in-1 Eyeshadow & Liner in 01 Light Me Up which is a nude-cream colour, it shows up pretty similar to over white. Over my Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion, it looks incredible!
The next shade is 02 Queen of the Amazons which in the pan looks like a shimmery blue-based purple.
With no base, this colour was quite disappointing when swatched. It shows up as a muddy blue rather than the purple it looks in the pan. Once it is over a base, the colour is a lot stronger and the metallic sheen more apparent. Much like the khaki, over a black is where it really shines.
The final shade is 03 Apricot Cockatoo which is a light pearlescent peach.
This was the hardest to get to show up on the skin without a base. It took a lot of building on the arm and was almost invisible on the eye. I’m not crazy about it over the lighter bases but on top of the black, it transforms into an incredible jewel green.
If you are a stranger to holographic or duochrome shadows, you may be disappointed by these shadows if you just try to use them alone because they merely appear as badly pigmented, muddy colours. However over any kind of a base, they are absolutely stunning and I cannot wait to play around with them to create some unusual smokey looks.
Here I used all three shades without a base. 03 Apricot Cockatoo is all over the lid, 01 You Can, Toucan is in the crease and 02 Queen of the Amazons is underneath the eye. As you can see, they are usable but not outstanding. They retail for €2.50 each.
Also in the collection is the Essence Exit to Explore Blush which is avaiable in one shade 01 My Heart is Beating like a Jungle Drum. Again, the packaging was the first thing that drew me in. There’s a toucan on it for God’s sake!
I fell deeper in love when I opened it and realised it was an ombre blush. I have seen so many bigger brands like Mac releasing these lately but obviously Essence are bringing it to us at a much lower price point.
Keeping with the colour theme of the whole collection, this transitions from a warm apricot to a true dark pink. I attempted to swatch both shades separately on my arm and while there is a definite colour difference, the blush is quite powdery and so they didn’t show up too well.
The funny thing is, when applied to the face, the pigmentation is very strong. Here I swirled my brush all around the pan to pick up both colours which resulted in this very pretty coral shade. While it kicks up a lot of dust in the pan, this shows up strongly so err on the side of caution when applying it. It is very pretty though and a steal at €4.40.
On to what is nearly always my favourite section – the lips! This collection sees the release of the Essence Exit to Explore Refreshing Lipsticks. They come in two shades – both of which I was sent to review.
They are twist up crayon-style lipsticks. The ‘refreshing’ title comes from the fact that they have a minty scent and are said to have a cooling feeling. In reality, they have a tingling minty feeling which I know people either love or hate. I don’t mind it and it disappears a moment or two after application. The first shade is 01 Pink Parrot.
This is a medium pink with good pigmentation that builds up to a pretty strong colour. I find these lipsticks easy to apply and fairly easy to get a crisp line with which surprised me as the crayon style doesn’t usually allow for this.
I used to live for a good pink lipstick but since I dyed my hair red, I don’t think they work so well on me any more. The colour is pretty though and while it is a strong pink, it is still wearable and not too crazy for those who fear a bold lip.
The other shade available is 02 Apricot Cockatoo. This is one that I would never in a million years pick off a stand as I usually avoid peachy or orange shades as they do nothing for me. However, this one was a pleasant surprise.
The pigmentation wasn’t as strong with this one, possibly because the colour is lighter but this is still a very wearable peach.
This is one of those pretty every day shades that you are bound to get a heap of wear out of. This was definitely a surprising find and one I think I will reach for often. These lipsticks feel very moisturising and comfortable on the lips and while their wear time isn’t incredible because of this, I don’t mind as they’re definitely handy for popping in your bag. They cost €3.10 each.
The final product is the Essence Exit to Explore Lip Glow which only comes in one shade, 01 Lily’s Kiss. I have seen several brands do these clear glosses that adapt to a pink shade when on the lips but as usual, Essence’s offering will probably be the best value.
This looks like a regular clear lip gloss with a straight applicator and a very strong sweet scent. If you’re familiar with Essence lip glosses, you probably know the candy smell well but if you are scent sensitive, this may not be one for you.
I don’t really know how these things work. Is it based on the heat of your lips? Or the pH balance? Your mood? (haha) Whatever way it works, it transforms into a sheer pink on my lips.
I’m not usually a gloss girl but I love the consistency of this. It feels smooth and moisturising without being too oily or in any way sticky or tacky. I also think the colour is pretty and wearable for everyone. As I don’t usually like lip gloss, I didn’t think I would like this but I think this is one of those products I will get a lot of use out of. A bargain at €2.90.
Also in the collection are four nail polishes which I didn’t receive but look amazing. There is one with an oil slick effect, a shiny apricot, a metallic purple with a foil finish and a pink with holographic shimmer. Essence’s nail polishes are favourites of mine because they are always on trend with their finishes and unique formulas so I definitely think these will be worth a look. They retail for €2.50 each.
The other item I wasn’t sent is the Like a Jungle Dream Eau de Toilette which is said to be a fruity-floral fragrance with exotic coconut and flowery notes. The packaging of Essence fragrances never draw me in as they always look like they are aimed at teens, in my opinion. However last summer, I received a body splash from them that had a similar sounding tropical coconut sent and it was amazing! I always had people commenting on it and several asked whether it was one of the Victoria’s Secret ones so this may be worth checking out in store! It could be worth splashing out the €3.50 on.
Overall, I love the theme of this collection and think the packaging is to die for. There were no disappointing products at all so I definitely think this is worth a look next time you’re passing a stand. My top picks have to be the eyeshadows (when used correctly!) and the lipsticks which I think are handbag staples. The collection is on stands August 15th.
Did anything catch your eye?
What do you think of the collection?
Disclaimer: The collection was sent to me as a PR sample. I am under no obligation to mention them on my blog and it does not affect my opinion of the products in any way.No affiliate links were used.