Friday, 15 July 2011

Essence Stay All Day Concealer - Review and Swatches

Who doesn't need concealers? Definitely not me! Having been "blessed" with hereditary raccoon dark circles under my eyes I am always on the lookout for something that will cover them. I actually have a Holy Grail concealer and it's not this one...but the thing is, my HG concealer, while working wonders to even out skin tone and make blemishes, little scars and the likes simply disappear, doesn't work wonders for my under eye circles. It's very very VERY good but they're still visible. Although at this point I honesly don't think I'll ever find a concealer which completely covers my beautifully black under eye circles. I am tempted to try Benefit's Boi-ing...should I indulge? Anyway, I will be reviewing my HG concealer soon!

Back to the real review, Essence "Stay all day" concealer.

The facts

It promises 16 hours of perfect coverage. That is a very ambitious claim. In fact, an almost impossible one. I still haven't found a concealer which lasts 16 hours and this one is no exception. It's good but i'd say it lasts about 8 hours tops. Then again, it's about 3€ which is an incredible bargain considering the quality and quantity of the product.

This is what Essence claims: Put an end to tired eyes! The new long-lasting concealer with light-reflecting pigments is a true magician that makes dark circles under your eyes, redness and dark shadows disappear to give you a fresh, radiant look! Thanks to the creamy, soft texture, it is easy to apply evenly – giving you a smooth complexion that lasts for up to 16 hours.

This concealer comes housed in a plastic lipgloss-looking tube with a doe foot applicator. The packaging is very essential but I like it because it means I don't have to worry about it getting battered. Regarding the Urban Decay Primer Potion fans know, the doe foot applicator always brings woe! It's impossible to get all of the product so eventually the tube has to be cut open. However, since the product only costs about 3€, it's not so big of a deal (obviously not the case with UDPP).

Essence stay all day

Essence stay all day applicator

One thing that can be annoying for darker girls is lack of shade selection. There are unfortunately only two shades available: "10-natural beige" and "20-soft beige". They are both - surprise surprise - beige!! I specify this because on the essence website "soft beige" looks quite pink. It's not and you'll see this in a moment since it's the colour I chose! Note: I have olive skin and the "soft beige" colour works very well on me (when I'm not tanned). I chose this shade because the yellow undertones help counteract the purple in undereye circles (purple and yellow are opposite on the colour wheel). The "natural beige" shade is lighter.

The texture is quite creamy but still not too thick. Because of this it comes off quite sheer. This is not a heavy duty, full coverage concealer. This is a light, creamy liquid which brightens up your eye area while giving sheer coverage. I love the fact that it feels as if I'm not wearing anything and it works quite well when I've gotten enough sleep. Granted, my dark circles are still there but they've become my signature look (if you can't kill them join them!) and I don't like extremely heavy coverage since it tends to cake. There is no scent or fragrance which is a plus for me; I don't love scented makeup although I put up with it in certain cases (e.g Benefit Coralista)

Essence stay all day

Fast forward to exam periods...very little sleep...lots and lots of never-ending law textbooks..result? BLACK circles. Not dark. Black. This concealer doesn't do it for me during those terrible times. So I either skip concealer outright (thinking maybe the professors will take the black circles as proof of hard studying....) or resort to layering concealers (usually my HG concealer as base and this one on the top) which gives a decent result. Not terribly bright or awake looking but not"I-haven't-slept-in-a-week-look"  either. You get 7 ml of product for 3€ (considering that about 30% is wasted if you don't cut the tube open, I'd say it's more like 5ml for 3€). It's still quite a bargain and it won't hurt your wallet if you decide to try it and then end up hating it.

Here's a little experiment I did: I had a little redness on my hand due to a previous swatch of Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain in Frenzy so I tried to cover it with the essence concealer. Here are the results!essence stay all day swatch

redness essence stay all day concealer

redness - essence stay all day

As you can see it covers a bit of the redness but not all of it. So this is not a good concealer for anyone who suffers from skin redness or rosacea.

In conclusion...

  • The price
  • Light texture
  • Small packaging
  • Doesn't cake
  • No scent/fragrance
  • Buildable coverage
  • Practical applicator

  • Very limited shade choice (only two)
  • Impossible to get all the product out using the doe foot applicator

Final verdict

This is becoming my go to concealer for the undereye area because of the practical applicator and small packaging which is perfect to carry in your bag or even your pocket. It's not Holy Grail material but it's a good find and one I feel you should try out for yourself.

Product: 12/15
Value: 7/7
Ease of use: 4/4
Packaging: 3/4

Overall: 26/30 (A-)

Disclaimer: I bought this with my own money and this is my honest opinion.

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