REVIEW: New Complexion Products from Essence

by - May 04, 2018

I feel like the number of new foundation releases in the drugstore recently has been sort of epic - so I've had to really think about what I'm going to try out. That being said, as soon as I saw these two new complexion releases from essence - the Fresh & Fit Awake Makeup and the Camoflage Full Coverage Concealer - there was no chance that I wasn't going to be trying them out. I'm always curious about trying products from the more affordable drugstore brands like essence, particularly products like foundation that are starting to run fairly spendy even in the drugstore.

So, how did they measure up? Keep reading for more!

I feel like in 2018, it really shouldn't  be ignored that the shade selection in these products is definitely not inclusive. Finding shades that suit my skin in this line has been easy, but that will definitely not be true for anyone deeper than a light-medium to medium skin tone. In the concealer, it will be difficult for anyone that's deeper than me, since there are only two shades and the lighter one is too light for my skin. I feel like I could go into a rant, but I just want to leave it at... Hey, essence, do better. And with that, I want to spend the rest of the review talking about the actual formula and performance.

essence Fresh & Fit Awake Make Up
enriched with a vitamin complex and cranberry water, the foundation “wakes up” the skin and gives it a healthy look. the delicate light reflecting pigments ensure a smooth complexion with a fresh touch.

I have to say that the packaging on this foundation is a massive step up from the essence Pure Nude Foundation. With a really solid glass bottle and sleek black pump, this packaging definitely feels more expensive than the actual price point and I think leaves no excuse for other brands that are packaging in plastic and not including a pump in the drugstore. A couple of times, the pump was a little bit finicky, but for the most part this pumps smoothly and gives an even amount of product per pump.

This foundation is, I would say, fairly medium in coverage, though if you applied it more sparingly it would sheer out to a nice light coverage. Because of the texture, I really don't think you'll be able to build this to full. The finish is natural and a little bit dewy and I find that a light dusting of setting powder holds it in place fairly well, though I do get a little bit shiny later in the day when I wear this. 

In general, I quite like this and I feel like it would be a phenomenal choice for someone with dry skin because it does give that really healthy look. For me, I think it suffered a little bit from the fact that I was alternating testing this and a certain other foundation that I recently reviewed and am pretty much in love with. Still, it's a solid foundation and if you're looking for something to give a more luminous look at a really great price point, I think this is a good choice. All in all, for me, I'd say this is a good foundation, but I'm not screaming from the rooftops about it.

essence Camoflage Full Coverage Concealer
long-lasting and highly pigmented, the liquid-creamy texture reliably covers-up dark circles under the eyes and other skin irregularities. for a natural, wide-awake look. 

I'm a complete and total junkie for concealer, so as soon as I saw this on the shelf  I had to buy it. I also really kind of loved the packaging. The combination of that bold orange on the cap and the charcoal grey branding felt really modern to me and definitely did its job of getting my attention. This is a traditional doe foot applicator with a slight dip at the tip to hold more product. A doe foot will always be my favorite way to apply concealer under my eyes and the little well in the tip gives me the right amount of product to dot under both eyes with one dip, so I'm really happy with this design.

I have to admit that I wasn't really expecting this to be truly full coverage, but was ultimately hoping that it had solid coverage in a lighter weight texture, and I have to say it really lived up to that. I actually suspect that I could have gotten better coverage if the shade I had picked up wasn't a little bit too light for me and I actually do intend to pick up the other shade and see how that works for me at some point. I actually do find this does have really good coverage on my undereyes and I've really noticed in the past week or so because I've been really tired and it's been showing up under my eyes more than anywhere. My favorite thing about this concealer though is that I haven't really had any creasing or crepeiness under the eyes when I've been wearing it, which makes me feel like it sits right in that sweet spot where it's not too dry or too creamy. Overall, I do really like this concealer, but I don't feel like it quite reaches it's full coverage promises. Still, it's likely one that I'll keep buying, especially if the darker shade gives me better coverage.

Overall, I would say that I'm happy with the performance of both of these products. I don't think the foundation is going to be dethroning any of my drugstore favorites at this point, but I think it's got great packaging and a solid formula that a lot of people will like and I know I'll continue reaching for it during these warmer months when I want a more luminous complexion. The concealer is really solid and, I think, a great drugstore option if you fit into the very narrow skintone range that it services. Like I said above, I think the shade selection from essence really needs work, particularly in the North American market, and I hope that they do better in the future to be more inclusive for a wide range of skin tones.

Here in Canada, I've only seen these products in the larger displays in my local Superstore, so I'm not sure if they're going to be carried in Shoppers Drug Mart, but if you're interested I would definitely keep any eye out.

Thanks for reading!

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