One of the more exciting launches this Spring/ Summer 2022 season from Essence? Their new Hydra Matte lipsticks. In general, I am a bit skeptical when it comes to Essence lipsticks. The formula isn’t my favorite and in recent releases the color selection has been questionable to say the least. On top of that the scent of Essence lipsticks can be quite offputting, so in the end I have always ended up declutter every single lipstick I owned. But these new Hydra Mattes? They have surprised me quite a bit so let’s have a closer look.
Review: Essence Hydra Matte lipstick
The price point of these is certainly good: at just €2.59 a pop, these lipsticks are super affordable. There are 8 shades in total and the packaging is fun and bright with a full on plastic neon pink tube with a shade sticker on the bottom. So even if you have a few of these, you can still tell these apart quite easily. The shades in the collection can be split up into two sets of four lipstick each: a nude capsule and a bright/ red capsule.
What do these lipsticks have to offer?
The Essence Hydra Matte lipsticks do exactly as the name might suggest. These are well-pigmented lipsticks that have a matte finish but still feel comfortable on the lips. They keep a bit of a slippy feel on the lips, never dry out the lips and just look really gorgeous on. In terms of lasting power these last a full workday. You will need to touch these up if you plan on going out in the evening, but these lipsticks will last throughout lunch and several cups of coffee throughout the day.
What are the nude shades in the Hydra Matte line?
So this collection can be split up into two capsules: a nude capsule and a red capsule. The nude capsule features four shades with different undertones. There is a mauve nude in 401 and a brown toned nude in 402. 403 is a peach shade and 404 is a dusty rose. In short, in terms of nude shades there is a shade for everyone here and I think if you pick one of these that is most flattering on your undertone you will be good to go.
What are the red shades in the line like?
The second capsule, the red capsule, isn’t just a bunch of reds, but there are also some brighter pinks involved. However, the names here can be misleading. For instance, I wouldn’t categorize 405 as a berry as it is too pink for that but I would describe it as a rich, ripe raspberry. The 406 shade is a blue toned red, so more of a classic red moment, rather than a cherry red. 407 and 408 are also misnamed. I find 407 much more of a pink than 408 as it is much brighter and it is these two shades that are the stand outs in this line of lipsticks. Let’s find out why.
What do these lipsticks swatch like?
So these are the swatches for these shades. You can see that the shades are all saturated, creamy and nothing pulls too light or weird in undertone. The only shade here that a really is a miss for me is 402 as it looks too dirty and orange on my lips. All the other shades I can pull off for sure, but not all of them are that unique. Especially within the bright range, you can see that all the shades are very close and therefore it is definitely not a necessity to own all of these. You can make do with picking your favorite nude and your favorite bright and you will have a lovely, affordable lipstick that will see you through the day.
Essence Hydra Matte lipstick 401 Mauve-ment
My favorite nude? This pretty mauve shade. It is just my perfect nude with a bit of pink, a bit of purple and still light enough for it to go with everything. I have actually been wearing this a lot.
Essence Hydra Matte lipstick 402 Honey-stly
I already mention 402 being my least favorite shade here. And I think you can see why. This lipstick shade is just way off and a true clash with my undertone as well as my natural lip color. The result is a weird red rim around my mouth and not something I will be wearing again.
Essence Hydra Matte lipstick 403 Peach It!
A surprise for me was 403. I usually don’t love peach lipstick on me, but this one really isn’t that offensive. As far as a peach tone goes, this is a good neutral that will appeal to many people.
Essence Hydra Matte lipstick 404 Virtu-Rose
404 is a pretty shade too but it is pulling into that territory of pink that I don’t love. I prefer pinks to be more dusty for it to be perfect. This is just too much of an in between: not quite bright, not quite neutral.
Essence Hydra Matte lipstick 405 Berry Special
I mentioned Berry Special not being that berry and I think you can see what I mean. This is too bright to be a berry and it is in fact quite red in its undertone.
Essence Hydra Matte lipstick 406 Cherrific
406 is a great bright, blue toned red that is a bit more neon leaning than most classic reds. But if you were still in the market for a bright, blue toned red, this would be a great budgetproof option.
Essence Hydra Matte lipstick 407 Coral Competence
But by far some of my favorites here are 407 and 408. Look at how bright and fun this is? My camera can barely do it justice as it is so bright that the white base barely translates. This is such a fun neon bright pink.
Essence Hydra Matte lipstick 408 Pink Positive
My other favorite is 408. Another great bright, but it is just a little bit deeper than 407. This is perhaps a bit more wearable and if you were still looking for a good, bright fuchsia, than this would be your pick.
My final thoughts
These Hydra Matte lipsticks from Essence really surprised me. The shade selection isn’t revolutionary, but there are a few shades here that are looking really good on. The formula is pleasant and longwearing too so it seems like these are a major win. And if you don’t mind scents than these are great, but for me there is really only one downside to these lipsticks: these lipstick smell like chemical watermelon. Like artificial flavoring in sour watermelon flavored candy. And that to me is unpleasant enough that I just know I won’t pull for these over other lipsticks I already own.
Would I recommend the Essence Hydra Matte lipsticks?
Yes I would if you are into your affordable lipsticks and don’t mind the scent of these. These are a solid drugstore lipsticks in some great, wearable color as well as some fun pops for those people that feel brave and want something a bit more special that won’t break the bank. I think I will keep some of these around for a bit just to get some more wear out of them, but given the scent of these I know I won’t use them all that often.