Yes! Essence has a new foundation and so you know I have to try it. And not only because it is an Essence foundation, but also because this is a new hydrating foundation by the very affordable drugstore brand. Essence is one of those brands that I love to try but often their foundations aren’t the best for me: their shade range is usually limiting, the textures are often too matte, and it therefor just isn’t for me. Their last Insta Perfect foundation was far too matte for instance. So the only Essence foundation I ever liked was their Fresh & Fit. Will the new Pretty Natural foundation be able to beat that?
Review: Essence Pretty Natural Hydrating Foundation 020 Neutral Alabaster
Let’s start with some very good news: the Essence Pretty Natural foundation comes in a whooping 31 shades!! Yes, Essence, Yes! Finally they have created a full shade range that goes from pale to deep and anything in between. They are even doing undertones now, if the shade names are anything to go by. So good job Essence. One drawback though: it may be difficult to find all 31 shades. Due to limited space in stores, Essence only stocks 10 shades in stores. You will have to go online to a place like Boozyshop (now the official stockist of Catrice & Essence in the Netherlands) or Kosmetik4Less to find the full range of shades. This foundation retails for €4.99 which is very affordable as far as foundation goes.
What does the Pretty Natural foundation have to offer?
According to Essence, the Pretty Natural foundation is a hydrating foundation that features Hyaluron and Aloe Vera. However, we all saw with the Catrice True Skin foundation that claims like this don’t necessarily have to mean much. Other promises this product makes are that it has a 24-hour long wearing formula and moisturization that lasts all day. It should feel weightless and give a natural coverage on the skin. The formula is also full vegan.
How is the foundation packaged?
In older reviews I always focused on how product was packaged, but nowadays I hardly ever do unless the product has something more special going for it packaging wise. The Essence Pretty Natural foundation has that. This is the first Essence foundation to come in a box. Other than that, this comes in a squeezy tube that comes sealed with a little sticker when you first buy it. I love that about this foundation. Nothing irks me more than a product that I buy in store only to come home to find it’s already been used. With this, you can easily tell whether the product has been opened before.
What does this foundation swatch like?
Enough talk about the claims and packaging, let’s talk swatches! Because we need to know what this foundation looks like if we want to know how good it is. Swatched out you can see this has a creamy texture that blends out easily. I do find that this foundation can be a bit difficult to blend in with the skin: if you’re not careful you can easily see brush and sponge marks and it has a tendency to pull into the lines around my nose and sort of pool together which then makes it harder to blend out. Overall, the texture of this is very nice on. It has a demi glow finish that indeed looks very natural on the skin.
What does this foundation look like on the skin?
With 31 shades to choose from, I for once, did not have to choose the lightest shade in a range of Essence foundations. I think 020 Neutral Alabaster is a spot on shade for me. The coverage is lightweight which means your skin peeks through as you can see in the pictures above. On the left you can see my face before foundation, on the right is my face after foundation. If you would like to see what this foundation looks like when I apply it, please watch the video in which I try out all of the new Essence Fall/Winter 2020 products.
While you can see less redness in my face, you will still have to go in with a concealer to fully cover any areas that aren’t covered by the foundation. This foundation just evens out my skin tone and looks great on. Overall it is pretty long lasting: I wore this to a workout in the gym and it didn’t smudge everywhere or transfer. I’ve also worn this under a mask and while it does transfer a little bit throughout the course of the day, it still wears down evenly. I think this foundation is a great natural option at the drugstore that is great for everyday wear.
My final thoughts
The Essence Pretty Natural foundation is one that really surprised me. Essence base products have been so hit n miss for me! I usually have more luck with Catrice products, but this time it is the other way around and the Essence products actually work better for me. The Pretty Natural foundation gives me exactly what I want it to give me: lightweight coverage that is easy to apply, wears well throughout the day and isn’t too full on glam. I don’t mind it if some ‘imperfections’ shine through. This is a foundation that ticks almost all of the boxes of what I look for in a foundation at less than 5 euros.
Would I recommend the Essence Pretty Natural foundation?
For the price point I think the Essence Pretty Natural foundation is one of the best ones I’ve tried. I will most certainly go back to this from time to time as it is so easy to wear. The packaging being plastic this is also the kind of foundation you can just chuck in a bag and I think this is the kind of foundation that you could even apply with your fingers for a super quick and easy and you’re out the door kind of look. The shade range is great, but it may take some effort to find a shade that is right for you. If you are looking for a super affordable, lightweight foundation than I think this Essence one may be right for you.