REVIEW: Essence Bonjour Montreal Eyeshadow Palette

by - August 25, 2020


I don't get super excited about eyeshadow palette releases the way I used to - probably because my collection is pretty much complete - but as soon as I saw the essence Bonjour Montreal Eyeshadow Palette online, I was hoping it would end up in stores locally. I mean, really if any palette in essence's line should be available in Canadian stores, it should be this one, right? So as soon as I saw it on the shelf at my local Shoppers Drug Mart recently, I grabbed it and couldn't wait to get it on my eyes.

Keep reading for more!

Bonjour, Montreal! Inspired by the metropolitan city where nature meets fashion, the Essence Bonjour Montréal Eyeshadow Palette is the perfect combination of a European style and natural elements. 9 earthy shades can be used to create gorgeous eye looks. Vegan. Paraben Free. No Animal Testing.

In the past, essence eyeshadows have been a little bit hit and miss for me, but I've heard a lot of good things about these 9 pan palettes based on cities, so I had high hopes. I definitely think that their formula has improved from what it was a few years ago and they're definitely leaning into palettes in a way that they didn't used to, which is great for such an affordable price point. 

In my opinion, neutral palettes are never going to go out of fashion because there are always going to be a lot of people who like to keep their eye looks very earth toned and neutral, and I think this palette really lives in that space. All of the shades have a muted feel to them, as though the saturating has been turned down a little bit, though that definitely doesn't mean that they don't have pigmentation that performs. Even the more "pop of colour" shades in this palette, the cranberry and green shades, have a softness to them while still having a nice golden sheen.

When it comes to the curation of this palette, I think it was generally well done. There are three matte shades and six shimmers in this palette, with the shimmers sort of varying in the intensity of the reflect. Overall, all of the shades are really wearable, though I do think that the lack of intensity could make them a little bit harder to wear for deeper skin tones. On my fair skin, I can easily create enough depth for a smokier look, but I think it will show up more and more subtly as skin tone gets deeper. 

I really, really love the formula of the matte shades in this palette. They're all creamy and smooth, easy to apply and with a good balance of pigmentation and blendability. The cream shade (bottom row, first shade) is a really, really great match for my skin tone and has just a hint of a buttery tone to it that could give a great highlight on skin tones deeper than mine that shouldn't look too ashy. The two deeper matte shades are quite similar with one being more chocolatey and warm while the other has a much more grey tone, and those undertones really do distinguish how they look on the eyes and the looks that you can get from them.

Like I said, the shimmers do definitely vary in intensity, but the one that really stands out as being different from the others is the sort of cinnamon brown shade(top row, second shade), which is almost more of a satin and as such can easily be used as a crease shade without adding too much shine to that area. The rest of the shimmers are all much brighter, in varying degrees, with the copper gold (top row, third shade) and the bronze (bottom row, second shade) packing the most reflect. The green and cranberry shades do both have a fairly strong gold sheen, but I find that if I apply them with a fluffier brush they can show up a little more satin while if I apply them wet they really get a strong reflect. 

The first look that I did with this palette is pretty firmly in my usual wheelhouse. Admittedly, I don't change up the style of my eye makeup all that much because I've learned what works for my eye shape and it's definitely this classic sort of style. Because there isn't a midtone matte in this palette, I went with the cinnamon satin shade through my crease using a fluffy brush and though it definitely has some sheen it worked quite well as a crease shade. Next, I went in with the warmer brown matte and worked that into the crease and outer corner to add some depth. For the lid, I applied the bronze shimmer to the center of the lid and then blended into the inner corner using the brighter copper gold shade and I think the gradient worked really smoothly.  

Green in palettes gets me every time, but I initially really wasn't sure how I was going to use this one because of the depth and just my personal tastes. I decided to just give it a go as a crease and outer corner shade and I think it worked pretty well. I started with this through the crease, really focusing it towards the outer corner, and then I used a little bit of the warmer brown matte mixed with the cream to blend out the edges. Next, I went in with the more grey toned brown matte to add some depth and make the green appear even more neutral in tone. For the lid, I went with the coppery gold and went back and forth with the green to really blend it for a smooth fade. I actually really like how this one turned out, which is kind of surprising since I really didn't know how it was going to work out in the beginning. 

I feel like a simple contoured eye look is a bit of a staple for me - especially in the summer when my makeup routine always gets a lot simpler. It just gets the job done, adds definition to the eyes, and gives a more put together and awake look without too much work or fuss needed. For this, I started by applying the matte cream shade to the brow bone and just above the crease for some highlight and a base for blending. Next, I grabbed a round blending brush and worked the warmer of the two matte brown shades into my crease and outer corner. Finally, using a flat brush I applied some of the champagne shimmer shade to the lid and blended it into the crease shade. Super simple, super quick, and great for work. 

Overall, I do think think that this is a really solid drugstore palette. The quality and performance of the shadows is good - every time I've used it so far my eye looks have come together really easily and been super wearable. I don't necessarily think that this is a must have palette or anything mindblowing as far as shade selection is concerned, but I don't think it was meant to be. Honestly, I think this is just a really solid fall palette that will get everyday eye looks for neutral lovers done without much fuss. I will personally definitely continue reaching for it this fall. 

The essence Bonjour Montreal Eyeshadow Palette is available now at Shoppers Drug Mart and Ulta and retails for $12.99CAD ($9.99US).

Thanks for reading!

You May Also Like