The small, but curated Essence Fall/ Winter update contains some product in the new Crystal Power line. When I bought the products not all of them were available just yet, but of the ones I got, I was of course most curious for the eyeshadow palette. When I tried it in my first impression’s video I wasn’t super enthusiastic as it didn’t seem like a palette that was up my street. Now that I have tried it more: did I change my mind about it?
Essence Crystal Power Eyeshadow Palette // Review, Swatch & 2 Makeup Looks
Let’s just talk price point for a minute. Because this is Essence we know this will be affordable. It retails for €5.99 which is not bad, but is definitely more than most Essence products. It seems to have replaced one of my favorite Essence releases: the Be You Tiful eyeshadow palette. That was one euro more expensive, but I do have to say it was also better quality. Where that pleasantly surprised me, this was just a bit of a let down. Let me explain why.
First of all there is the packaging. There isn’t too much that is bad about that to be honest. The packaging is pretty standard and straight forward. There is a mirror in the lid, the packaging itself is a cardboard that make the palette easy to use and the pansizes are decent. I feel these pans are a bit smaller than in other palettes Essence has done, but it still contains as much product as the Be You Tiful. So that is a plus point.
The Eyeshadow Palette
But there is so much wrong with this palette. First of all, there is only one matte which is a reddish warm toned brown. Secondly, there are a few cool toned shades that do not seem to go with that one matte that you get. Three, the shimmers in here are quite sparkly and do not have a lot of back pigment either making them hard to work with. More about that in a minute. Fourthly, the shades that work well are the kind of shades that you will probably have a million times over in your collection. Finally, for a nine pan palette, there are a few shades that are interchangeable and not distinct enough once on the lid.
Before we get to the downsides of these swatches, let’s start with what is good. The matte, while it is a bit warm for most of the shades in the palette, is a gorgeous matte. It is by far the best shade in the palette. It is saturated with pigment, but still is easy to blend and sheer out making it a lot more wearable than you might expect. Of the shimmers, the only one I truly like are the peach Love Yourself and burgundy I’ve Got the Power.
As for the rest? The formula is thin and flaky. They feel dry and are just a bunch of shimmers that all look the same. The base pigment may be different in each one, but that base pigment barely translates to the eye and blends away too easily. What you’re left with is a bunch of sparkle that doesn’t differ in tone or color making each shade look very similar once applied. These will definitely need a glitter glue to really stick down.
I decided to do two makeup looks with this palette for the review. The first look is the look I created in my first impression video. The best part about this look is the silver sparkle which is not a shade from this palette. The matte as you can see works well enough and I used all my favorite shades. I used a super dense smudger brush for applying the green on the lower lash line and it worked, but it did start to wear off quite easily. In fact, that is another downside to this palette: the shades do not stay put very well, even if you use a primer.
For the second look I was again stuck with that same matte for the crease. I could have used a shimmer of course, but since these fluff away so easily, I knew it wouldn’t give me the depth and definition I like. The blue on the lower lash line again was achieved by really packing on the shade with a dense smudger brush. On the lid it wouldn’t really stick. The same goes for the light shades on the lid that I went with in the end. I found they didn’t go on very well, I definitely needed my finger and foiling them and then still the effect is still quite lackluster.
My Final Thoughts
I am a bit sad for the Essence Crystal Power eyeshadow palette. It had so much potential, but I feel this palette misses some essential shades and just has many misses. The many shimmers are just underwhelming in pigmentation and overall performance. These shadows flake off throughout the day, can only be used if they are really packed on strongly and the shades just don’t really go together very well. This is just a bit of a weird one and I don’t think I will reach for this again any time soon.