Sunday, March 30, 2014

Essence Love Letters Collection: Review and Swatches

Disclaimer: Products featured are provided for review.
Valentine's Day may be long gone but Essence's Love Letters Trend Edition has only recently arrived in Canada! The collection features pastel themed shadows, lip crayons, polishes, and everything else you need to get ready for a romantic date. To see my reviews and swatches on a few of the items, click......

Love Letters Eyeshadow Palette ("Ever Thine, Ever Mine, Ever Ours"):
The palette has a clear rectangular plastic design, it's quiet sturdy and very compact. The shadows comes with a duo-sided sponge tipped eye shadow applicator.

This eyeshadow palette comes with six colors, all with a light pearl shimmer finish:
1. Pastel orange shimmer- this shade was fairly pigmented but the application was powdery; the shadow did not adhere well to bare skin so a good primer is needed
2. Champagne shimmer- this shadow, like the first, is good in terms of pigmentation but the formulation is powdery and doesn't have a smooth buttery feel one would expect from a shimmery shadow
3. Pastel pink shimmer- the formulation of this one is slightly better than the first two but it still needs a primer to show up well and stay in place
4. Pale blue shimmer- formulation similar to first four colors
5. Shimmery taupe- this light cool brown has a smoother formulation and a stronger pigmentation, it could probably be worn without a primer
6. Shimmery dark gray- one of the most pigmented colors of the palette, the formulation is slightly superior compared to the shimmery taupe

The color selection of the palette is very lovely but the execution of the formulation needs work. The affordable prices of Essence products always make up for their formulation shortcomings but given how some of the other drugstore brands are readily coming up with quality eyeshadows at an affordable price, I would rather pay a few dollars more to enjoy a palette with better pigmentation and smoother application.
Swatches of the shadows on bare arm, click on image to enlarge.

Love Letters Powder Papers (01 Paper Romance):
These credit card sized blotting papers come packaged inside a folded up paper deck. These blotting papers are different from ordinary oil absorbing papers in that they are powdered. So not only do these absorb excess oil, it also leaves behind some powder on the skin to further keep the skin shine free. The powder component of the paper contains talc, kaolin clay and salicylic acid.
Overall I really like these because I have a very oily T zone, so anything that keeps me shine-free for longer is a big plus in my book.

Love Letters Highlighter Powder (01 Love Poem):
This is a very pale cool pink highlighter with golden micro-shimmer particles. The powder is fairly pigmented and smooth but the shimmer may only show up well for those with very pale skin tones. The compact is made of clear plastic; there is a nice little quote about love etched into the powder.
Highlighter powder swatched on bare skin.

Two coats, no top coat.
Love Letters Nail Polish in "01 Rosy in Love":
A pale pink with neutral undertones, Rosy in Love actually had a surprisingly great formulation. I usually have a lot of trouble with light pinks like these but this one was a simple two coater. The polish is reasonably self-leveling and the drying time was good too.
Two coats, no top coat.
Love Letters Diary (Paper Romance):
Last but not least, the Love Letters Diary is a cute non-cosmetic item from the collection. It's a simple notebook with lined pages, perfect for writing your lovey-dovey thoughts.
So there you have it, a few items from Essence's Love Letters collection. I recommend, out of the four items I reviewed today, the blotting paper and the nail polish. The eyeshadows lack a good formulation and the highlighter powder is quite pale but would be suitable for those with very light skin.

Essence products are available at select Shoppers Drug Marts.

Have you or will you pick up anything from the collection? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

P.S. Sarah from Workday Ramblings also reviewed a few items from the collection, check out her swatches here!