Budget brands can be hit or miss at times but when you buy essence you are pretty much guaranteed to get high quality, affordable products that are bang on trend.

This years Spring/Summer launches are no different. essence sent me some of the range to try out and review for you all. My honest, super critical and not very easily pleased opinions are below!

I have rounded up my favourite picks (and one or too duds) from the latest additions with hope of giving you some inexpensive yet lust-worthy products to get you and your makeup bag ready for the hotter (well let’s hope!!) month’s ahead!

The star from this years range has to be the rainbow prismatic glow highlighter (€4.40). Are you as baffled as I was? It actually swatches beige and not multi coloured!!

Not only will this leave your makeup bag full of fun, it will actually give your skin a beautiful, radiant glow that, for the price point isn’t half bad at all. For a more intense glow try spritzing your face with a makeup setting spray before application (top swatch above). You can thank me later!

Don’t you just hate when you buy a palette only to discover that you will only use half the shades in it?! essence have us sorted with  their “My Must Haves” palettes! These come in a 4 colour and an 8 colour empty palette (€1.90/€2.50) which can be filled with a choice of twenty shadows, five blushes, three lip powders aswell as a highlight and contour powder, all of which are €1.90 each.

I was sent four eyeshadows and although they aren’t the most amazing quality shadows I have ever tried they most definitely are a nice less expensive alternative and I am using them most days for a quick, everyday makeup look! The shades from bottom to top above are 05 cotton candy, 08 peach-party!, 06 raspberry frosting and 18 black as a berry. These are not magnetic palettes for those wondering. The shadows click into place.

I love the BLUSHplay sculpting blush palettes (€4.95). They come with three different , fairly decent size powders. The lightest shade is to highlight, the darkest to sculpt and the medium shade is for adding a pop of colour or for defining.

This is designed to allow you to contour and sculpt the face using blushes however my preffered way to use these is to mix the dark and medium shade together and use it as blush and the lightest shade is a pretty fab every day highlight. I did receive the ligthest palette (10 play it peachy) but I do think the darker version wouldsuit best on my skin tone. This palette is perfect for paler skins.

To brighten up your pout in the warmer seasons there is nothing like a bold statement lip and essence shine shine shine wet look lipgloss (€2.50) in the bolder shades are the perfect choice. These are so soft on the lips while still having a pretty intense pigment! I am not daring enough to wear these myself but for those of you that are can you really go wrong for that price tag! For now, I will be stuck here in my little nude lippie rut while you all look super on trend with your new vibrant lips!!

I am a big fan of essence foundations and the latest instant matt makeup (€4.95) seems to be no different. I have to admit that the shade I received was way too light so I mixed it with a darker foundation that I wasn’t a fan of and I am now loving them both together. I cannot say exclusively that this foundation worked on me but I can tell you that I am now getting use from a foundation I was contemplating throwing away because I hated it that much!! Score!!

This is available in three shades. I do wish essence would expand their shade range. It is said to be a medium to high coverage foundation that lasts up to 18 hours on the skin. It definitely gives a decent coverage, leaves a matte but radiant finish to the skin and is so comfortable and lightweight. I am very impressed I’m sure you can tell!!

The volume stylist 18h lash extension mascara (€3.80) was the biggest surprise for me. It is down right brilliant!! It gives me lots of extra length and volume while still looking natural. Easy to layer, separate the lashes and doesn’t flake! Everything I want in a mascara and for such a small price our bank balance is happy too!

The sculpting eye pencils (€2.90) are a double ended eye kohl. The darker side is for lining the eyes while the lighter is designed to highlight the inner coners and for use in the waterline to open up the eyes. These are a tad bit too hard for my liking so I avoid using them inside the eye but they do a good job of lining the upper lash line. Not my favourite from the bunch. These come in three shades a black, brown and grape.

For our last product essence has taken inspo from the Asian cushion trend and brought us a highly pigmented, very cute and super easy to use liquid liner! To use the cushion liner (€3.80) all you need to do is dip your favourite liner brush into the cushion and the perfect amount of product will be dispensed onto the brush. I found this so tricky to get the hang of but I am a pro now and I genuinely love and use this product daily. You want it don’t you?

Well, what do you think? I wasn’t wrong right?! And there are lots more that I didn’t even get to talk about including some great new nail polishes (€2.50) , face and eye palettes (€4.95) , concealers (€3.10) and even a matte bronzer (€3.80).

essence is available in selected pharmacies and in Penneys throughout the country.

Which ones are your favourites and will any of these be gracing your makeup collection in the months ahead. I would love to know below!

Thanks for stopping by and thank you to essence for sending me the lot to try, I’m in makeup heaven!

Anita XX