My favorite make up days? When I randomly stumble into my local drugstore and find a nearly untouched limited edition display. That doesn’t happen very often, but this time it did, and boy am I happy it happened. Essence just released their new limited edition Lights of Orient collection. I hadn’t heard anything about this yet, and when I looked at the products I was pleasantly surprised. Therefore, I picked up a little bit of everything. I put it all to the test and am reviewing everything for you today.
Essence Lights of Orient Eyebrow Shaper 02 Oriental Beauty
Essence Lights of Orient Bronzer 01 Sunkissed Beauty
Essence Lights of Orient Highlighter Stick 01 Golden Gate to Orient
Essence Lights of Orient Matt Lipstick 03 The Sultan’s Daughter
Essence Lights of Orient Eyeshadow Palette 01 We <3 Arabian Nights
One of the reasons why I was impressed by this limited edition was not only the packaging, but also the completeness of the collection. There were lip products, some nail polish and eyeshadow palette, bronzers, a highlight and brushes. Apparently there’s also a blush, but I didn’t find that. Perhaps that wasn’t released over here? Not sure, but the items that I did manage to pick up also looked quite promising. I did not pick up any nail polish as I felt the shades were not that unique and I already own many polishes in those color families. Instead, I picked up a brow product, a bronzer, the highlight, one of the lipsticks and the eyeshadow palette.
Essence Lights of Orient Eyebrow Shaper 02 Oriental Beauty €2.39
In the collection you can find two brow pencils: a lighter and a darker shade. I picked up the darker shade as it looked to be much more cool toned than the lighter version. The pencil is one of those Anastasia type brow wizz thin nibbed twist up pencils. The texture of this is a bit waxy I noticed when I put it on my brows and therefore looks a tad shocking if it isn’t blended in.
Nothing – Applied – Blended
I think the pencil matches my brows quite nicely. Because of the waxy texture, I found it easy to overapply this product and I don’t feel this is very economic in its use. I feel you waste quite a bit of product and that the nib wears down quite easily. I used a spooly to brush through my brows and then applied a tinted brow gel on top to keep my brows in place. They lasted all day.
Essence Lights of Orient Bronzer 01 Sunkissed Beauty €3.39
Hello?! Can we just pause for a sec and look at that pretty pattern? Of course it will wear off over time, but I like the mosaic print. It goes well with the theme of the collection. What matters most of course is how well this product works. This again, comes in 2 different shades. I picked up the lightest one. The reason why this peaked my interest was because it looked a) light enough for my fairest than fair skin tone, b) it appears to be matte and c) it does not look orange at all. Try finding that at €3.39!
Darker shade – Lighter shade – Blended together
The product consists of two parts: a matte brown color and a more shimmery looking pale yellow center. Swatched this looks very promising! The shimmer in the middle part is not shimmery enough to be a highlight, but just enough to give a healthy glow. The shade, especially when mixed together looks great. One side note though: this powder is very soft. Which is good as it gives a good amount of color payoff, but it does mean that the powder sort of breaks and can produce quite a bit of kick off. So be gentle if you want that print to last!
Applied to the face, I think this bronzer gives me just the right amount of sunkissed look. I applied it all over my face, but concentrating on my hair line, cheeks, jaw and neck. I simply dusted it all over with a stipple brush for that over all warm toned summery look. It warms up my face nicely, without turning me into an oompa-loompa and I love how natural this looks.
Essence Lights of Orient Highlighter Stick 01 Golden Gate to Orient €3.99
When I saw this highlighter stick I was instantly intrigued. I don’t own many cream products for the face, so this would be good to try. In the tube this looks like a stunning beige champagne shimmer. I was afraid this could be too greasy or difficult to blend, so I was anxious to try this one. Like the other two products, this comes with a bit of a but: In the picture on the left in the collage just above this piece of text I have twisted up the stick all the way. So you do not get a ton of product in here. Just so you know.
Golden Gate to Orient
Alongside a swatch of Benefit Watts Up (Benefit is on the left)
On the swatch this reminded me of Benefit’s Watts up, so I decided to swatch it side by side. Golden Gate to Orient is far lighter and has a much cooler undertone. If you’re darker skinned than this will look too icy on you. But it definitely has that champagne shift which is why I think this is a very unique product. Especially for the drugstore.
Bronzer – contour – highlight
large picture: all of the above incl. blush
In order to show you the effect of the bronzer and the highlight, I thought I’d show you the process. The first picture is just bronzer. I then used that same bronzer to lightly contour my face. Where it makes for a good bronzer, I think it is far too warm toned to use as a contour. It works, but it makes for a slightly muddy look in my opinion.
The highlight adds a good amount of shine to the face. Where I was afraid this would be difficult to apply it was not in fact. I just lightly smoothed the stick over my skin and blended it in with my fingers. It didn’t move my foundation around, it blended in easily and dried down nicely without leaving a tacky feeling.
Essence Lights of Orient Matt Lipstick 03 The Sultan’s Daughter €2.59
I already own so many shades of lipstick, so I couldn’t justify buying all three. The other two shades are different shades of red and by now, I have plenty of red lipstick, so a shade has to be very unique for me to pick up a red lipstick. That’s why I opted for the most nude shade of the three. The Sultan’s Daughter appealed to be most as it appeared to be a dusty rose shade with a hint of purple: my favorite type of nude lipstick!
Side note: the packaging for this lipstick feels a bit flimsy. The cap barely clicks on, the whole thing feels quite light weight and I find that this lipstick can twist up while the cap is on. So be careful when you are one of those people that casually chucks lipsticks into bags. I don’t think it would survive such an ordeal as you’d end up with a bunch of lipstick crushed into the lid.
As far as Essence lipstick goes, this has to be the best formula of them I’ve ever tried. It is a matt lipstick, but still feels very creamy on the lips. The color goes on opaque and on me this is a perfect my lips but better type of shade. I find it also goes very well with the rest of this make up look. The lasting power is alright: because of the creamy texture you do need to reapply this after a meal but it can survive a glass of water.
Essence Lights of Orient Eyeshadow Palette 01 We <3 Arabian Nights €4.59
Last but not least, time for THE product that caught my eye in the display: the eyeshadow palette. I mean can we just pause for another minute and take in that beautiful palette? From the gold mirrored filigree detail to the gold and black combo, I think Essence have outdone themselves on that front.
The shadows themselves are also quite stunning looking. The overall shade range is very plummy/ cranberry toned. Not something I necessarily associate with the orient, but still pretty shades nonetheless. Of course, these are not the most unique of shades either, but put together it seems to be a selection of colors that goes well together.
Of the 6 shades in this palette, I think 5 perform very well in the swatch. Only the dark matte brown on the far right seems a bit meh. However, when I applied this to my lid, I found it very easy to build up into a darker shade. So it is still workable, but requires a bit more effort.
All the other shades are shimmery colors and each one is as stunning as the next. There are a few mauve/ plum/ cranberry tones that are right up my street and the gold and highlight shades round off the palette very well. My favorite shades have to be the plummy brown and cranberry shades.
The quality of these shadows is really really good. The color pay off is not only great, they blend well, stay put all day when applied over a primer and are easy to apply. They don’t just fade away when you start blending them out and I find they can easily be build up in intensity. I was absolutely in love with my eye make up when I wore the look below.
For the eye look I used all 6 shades. I used the cranberry shade in the crease. I then applied the gold in my inner corner. Then I used the light pinky mauve on the center of my lid. I darkened up my outer V and crease with the plummy brown. The beige shimmer is my brown bone and inner corner highlight. The dark matte brown is on my lower lash line, but also applied as a soft liner on my upper lash line. I smoked out the bottom lash line with the plummy brown shade and applied some more gold to blend the inner corner highlight with the rest of the lower lash line. To blend out the crease and create a more diffused look on the cranberry shade, I used the pinky mauve to gently blend the crease into the brow bone highlight.
I am absolutely in love with the Essence Lights of Orient limited edition collection. What stunning shades! How complimentary are the products! Yes, I feel that Essence has come out with a winner make up collection for summer. If I had to recommend any product, I would say all of them, but if you’re on a budget or can’t find some of them, then I suggest you try to get your hands on the eyeshadow palette and the bronzer.
What item from the Essence Lights of Orient collection are you looking forward to try?
Psst… I may or may not have picked up another one of these eyeshadow palettes and do a give away with it (and a few other goodies) on Saturday. So if you can’t get your hands on these, you can always check back on Saturday. 😉