When it comes to limited edition Essence collections, I am HOOKED. I am always anxiously checking to see which ones will come to Canada (we miss out on SO many!) and whenever they do I instantly want to pick up all the items. Luckily for the latest, Essence Dark Romance Collection*, I was sent most of the products available and so I can share them all with you today and you can see which ones you need to pick up!
One of the products Essence is best-loved for is their nail polish, and the Essence Dark Romance Collection includes 3 shades, each with a different finish. There’s a shimmer, a matte, and a textured polish and I have swatched them all on my slowly healing nails. Moving is rough.
The first polish shade in the Essence Dark Romance Collection is Essence Dark Night Starlight, a shimmery purple that needs two coats for opacity and has a blueish tint to it. It’s got some small pink flakes that I wish were more obvious, but it is a lovely purple, just not my favourite of the three shades like I thought it would be.
The second polish in the Essence Dark Romance Collection definitely epitomizes it for me, and it’s Essence Red Romance, a vampy matte burgundy that needs two coats. There’s something perfectly Halloween about this polish, although I’m not sure how much I’ll wear it personally. I also find the finish to be more “rubber” rather than totally matte. The fact that it’s called “The Matt” makes me laugh a little…maybe the next collection will contain “The Jason” or “The Jeremy”… (just me?)
The third polish shade is actually labelled number four because we’re missing a dusty grey-blue in Canada and it’s Essence Gothic Gold, my favourite polish from the three. I really loved the sparkly red texture in the Essence Beach Cruisers collection, and with this shade from Essence Dark Romance, they’ve definitely shown they know how to do a good texture polish. Even better, this white-gold shade is quite opaque in two coats, and it’s cool-toned enough that I think even those who don’t usually like gold, might like this shade.
Essence Dark Romance Collection also includes a few makeup products, and I have three of them to share, starting with the Essence Glitter Eye Pencil in Foggy Love. This is a sparkly grey, and honestly, it is terrible. I can easily recommend every other product in this post– but I would absolutely skip this. The tip bends terribly when you try to apply it, it’s not opaque or creamy and there’s hardly any sparkle, and I have tried good eyeliners from Essence before so I’m not sure what happened here but it does not work for me at all.
I had much better luck with the eye shadow in the Essence Dark Romance Collection– although I’m really sad we didn’t get the second quad, which also looks gorgeous. The one available is called Essence A Romance To Remember and includes a matte taupe, a shimmery grey, a dark shimmery forest green, and a dark purple shimmery purple. They all apply pretty well, although there is some fall out, and they aren’t super long-lasting so a primer is probably a good idea.
I applied the eye liner to my bottom lash line and topped it off with some of the purple shadow. On my lid, I used the matte shade all over, and some of the grey and grey in the crease. I also did a line of the purple shadow near my lashes. The mascara I used is also from Essence, and it’s the I Heart Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara*, which has a massive wand and does give lots of volume. I figured if I was going with dark shadows, might as well go all out!
As soon as I saw the Essence Dark Romance Collection my eyes went immediately to the blush. In the last two Limited Edition Collections, the blush has been my favourite product, and that’s also the case here (if I had to choose). I read a comparison of the Essence Dark Romance Velvet Mousse Blush in Painted Love to canned tomatoes somewhere, and I feel like that’s pretty accurate! However on the cheeks it blends in for a sheer wash of super wearable colour. Unfortunately, it’s not incredibly long lasting (at least not in the heat) but I do love the product anyway.
The final product in the Essence Dark Romance Collection was an unexpected hit for me and that’s the Essence Cream Highlighter in Light Up! which is a very nice, subtle, pink-toned highlight that I blended in to my browbone, cupid’s bow, and cheeks. It helps add that slight glow without being glittery or over the top. It’s very creamy and easy to apply with your fingertips.
And… that’s my final look featuring the Essence Dark Romance Collection! Even though I didn’t try out the matching lipstick, I found the perfect shade to go from the permanent collection which is the Essence Longlasting Lipstick in Adorable Matt!*, a bright, matte cherry red that definitely adds to the vampire chic look of this collection. It’s very long lasting and comfortable to wear and I will have a review of the three shades I own up eventually (you can check out a second one in this other FOTD).
Admittedly, the final look I put together for the Essence Dark Romance Collection was a little ghostly for me, but I do love a lot of the individual products. Personally, my must-haves are the Essence Gothic Gold nail polish, Essence Dark Romance Velvet Mousse Blush in Painted Love and Essence Cream Highlighter in Light Up! The other polishes and eyeshadow quad are also good products if they are shades you are looking for! If you’re interested in reading other thoughts on this collection, check out the posts from Sarah (polish and makeup) and Chantal (polish ).
What do you think of the Essence Dark Romance Collection?