There’s a new budget beauty brand that’s landed on our shores and it’s made quite a splash. Hailing from Germany, Essence is a dream come true for the beauty junkie with a kaleidoscope of products at very affordable prices. Opinion is strong from what I’ve picked up on and that is Essence does not compromise on quality.
I’ve only dipped my toes (or should that be fingers?) with their nail polish called Roller Coaster* from Essence’s Colour & Go range, a stunning sea green with a subtle shimmer that is opaque in one coat. It comes with a large flat brush that makes for such an easy-peasy and neat application in one stroke. The proof is I didn’t clean up after (as I usually do with most nail polishes) – what you see is how I managed to paint my nails.
(That’s my cat’s fluffy tum, not a rug by the way.)
There is a total of 43 shades in the collection, which I am highly intrigued to explore on the back of how impressed I am with Roller Coaster. I wouldn’t rely on Essence’s website however because it gives no indication of what the shades truly look like – or their other products in fact – but at £1.99 each, it’s going to be tricky to resist filling up your shopping basket.
Essence is available nationwide in Wilko stores with two stand-alone mini stores in Westfield London and Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre.
***WARNING! This post features make-up free pictures.***
The nation’s favourite pore strip brand Bioré is pleased to bring you two new delights which will unclog pores and deal with oily skin. Its secret weapon? Charcoal. Yes, charcoal! That stuff you burn in barbecues has the ability to absorb and draw out dirt and toxins which Bioré has helpfully packed it into the Self-Heating One Minute Mask* and Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser* just you can have squeaky clean skin.
The Deep Pore Cleanser* (£4.99/200ml) is a murky grey liquid but I can assure you it won’t stain your face. It creates a slight lather (not full-on foam) when applied to wet skin.
In the interest of a fair review I have used this a number of times after removing my make-up with a cleansing fluid. My skin felt refreshed and soft, not tight or dry nor did I experience any reactions or irritations immediately and later. I also noticed how squeaky clean it had left my skin from the cotton pads I used for applying a toner after. Truthfully I tend to avoid foaming products after daily use of previous foaming cleansers left my skin parched. I can’t be sure what the Deep Pore Cleanser would do to my skin with longterm use and this is my only doubt about this product.
Now the Self-Heating One Minute Mask* (£7.99) is a lot of fun in a sachet. There are four in a box which weigh next to nothing so these will be great for taking on holiday. I’m determined to cut the weight down in my travel beauty bag and seeing how convenient and great these babies are, I would throw these in without a doubt.
These masks are designed for a deep cleaning boost after cleansing in just 60 seconds. They contain natural charcoal, menthol and zeolite and you apply to the face with wet hands, gently working it in. (The best bit is yet to come…)
Not to be confused with mud masks, the Self-Heating One Minute Mask has a key formula, which heats up open pores and absorbs toxins whilst maintaining skin’s natural moisture balance. One of my all-time favourite bath products to indulge in is a self-heating scrub which is so relaxing and therapeutic. A mask which does the same for your face is unreal! My only whinge on this matter is that I wish the heat lasted more than a minute.
Any way! Where was I? Oh yes, so after massaging it into the skin and helping to push the dirt out, you leave it on for a minute before rinsing off to reveal a refreshed complexion. Isn’t charcoal clever? When you’re short of me-time and need your beauty sleep, these masks are superb.
Finally Bioré has reworked its famous nose strip with the newly titled Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips* (£7.99) to instantly yank out dirt and oil clogging your pores thanks to an improved formula combined with the invigorating ingredients of tea tree oil, menthol and witch hazel.
(I look like a small child. You don’t need to say it – I know you’re thinking it.)
The method still remains the same however – wet the nose thoroughly before smoothing the strip down and ensuring it’s in good contact with the skin, then wait 10-15 minutes until the strip is dry like papier-mâché before (my favourite bit), slowly peeling it off. Hnnnngh! That part feels GOOD. The satisfaction you get when you rip that nose strip off and examine in awe the filth it’s pulled out never gets boring after all these years. In fact these nose strips instantly transported me back to my younger years when I would spend my pocket money on Bioré’s blackhead removing nose strips. Other imitations were around but they were crap, only Bioré was the balls. And still is. The Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips is pretty incredible and gets rid of a lot. Seriously you can actually see the bits. The love for these are so strong with Leanne and I that we even wear ours in public…
Being reunited with the nose strips has reminded me it really has been too long when I would use these religiously and I don’t wish for history to repeat itself. It’s perfectly safe to strip once a week with these and a box will last you six weeks.
Pleasingly Bioré has created a highly affordable and functional set of products that no one should have any trouble accessing and plenty will need. All three are available from Boots and Superdrug stores nationwide and online.