Essence Lipstick Mega Review: Matt Matt Matt, Longlasting and Sheer & Shine Lipsticks

essence matt matt matt lipstick review

You know what makes finding a great new makeup item even better? When it's dirt cheap! This is why I'm dancing with glee after discovering these (new to me) Essence lipsticks.

Essence is a German drugstore cosmetics brand that's still kinda under the radar in Canada. You can get them primarily at Shoppers Drug Mart, online, and recently via Ulta.

Essence is known for its extremely affordable, fun, and beginner-friendly makeup. I've tried a few Essence items before, but my favourite Essence products by far are their lipsticks.

Recently, Essence was kind enough to send over 5 different lipsticks for me to try, from the Matt Matt Matt, Longlasting and Sheer & Shine lines.

Matt Matt Matt lipsticks
Price: $4.49
Claims: A creamy texture that dries down to a matte finish that won't ever dry out your lips
Pros:
  • One-swipe, true-to-tube color
  • Lasts for hours
  • Creamy and non-drying
Cons: None
Final Verdict: Buy

My favourite of the lipsticks that I tried are the 3 shades I received of the Matt Matt Matt line. Can you guess that these are matte finish lipsticks? Designed to apply like a cream, but wear like a matte, the Matt Matt Matts live up to all theclaims.

There are 8 different shades in the line ranging from a petal pink to a vibrant fuchsia, to a deep plum. I received the shades:
  • 03 Wow Effect, a medium rose
  • 04 Pink Up Your Life, a vibrant fuschia
  • 06 Kiss Me If You Can, a bright scarlet
I was floored by how well these applied to both my lips and skin. The swatches here are ONE SWIPE and there is zero streaking or uneveness in the color. 

The pointed tip of the bullet makes these a cinch to apply and I was able to get a decently sharp lip line without needing any liner. 

I actually almost like these more than my Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipsticks, which believe me is almost sacrilegious to say! Unlike the Amuse Bouches' I didn't find these to feel so thick and creamy that they tugged on my lips while applying and they both offer the same level of color payoff. 

The Matt Matt Matt lipsticks just glide across my lips, leaving only pigment behind. They didn't settle or feather over time and the color didn't fade much either, although it will wear off if you have a messy, or greasy, meal. 

Out of the 3 shades, I found myself drawn to Wow Effect the most as it's such a beautiful rose shade for spring and as you know, I'm all about those MLBB shades. Pink Up Your Life is also a pretty and flirtatious shade that's right up my alley. The only shade I found myself feeling ambivalent about was  Kiss Me If You Can as I already have similar reds and this particular red was a bit too warm on me.

essence matt matt matt lipstick swatches

Longlasting Lipstick
Price: $3.49
Claims: A long-lasting cream lipstick available in both cream and matte finishes.
Pros: 
  • Pigmented
  • Creamy and non-drying
Cons: Good on their own, but I prefer the Matt Matt Matts
Final Verdict: Buy

I'm not sure why Essence bothered to have 2 different long-wear matte collections, but hey, here they are! The Longlasting line has 13 shades in it, ranging from pale peach, to lavender, corals and purple. I received the shade Mystic Violet, which is a beautiful eggplant color.

I'm not a big purple lipstick person, although I love it on others. The dark lipstick look is one that feels more wintry and I'm not really feeling it with the spring weather. It's a lovely shade though and it applies cleanly and smoothly. 

Really, there's not much difference I found between this one and the Matt Matt Matt line. Most of the comments I have about Mystic Violet are the same as the Matt Matt Matt. The only slight difference is that Mystic Violet does take a teeny bit more work to build up, but I'm talking 2 swipes instead of 1. If you're all about optimizing every part of your life, maybe that's a deal breaker, but I'm not that fussed about it.

essence matt matt matt lipstick

Sheer & Shine 
Price: $3.49
Claims: A sheer glittery lipstick that can be worn solo or on top of lipstick for a sparkly dose of fun
Pros:
  • Doesn't feel super chunky
  • Sheer so you can pair it easily with other shades
Cons: More subtle than I'd expect
Final Verdict: Ditch

Last, but not least are the new Sheer & Shine lipsticks. Designed to be a glittery, sheer topper, you can wear these for a light wash of color to tint your other lipsticks and add sparkle, or solo. 

The Sheer & Shine lipsticks come in 10 shades, from a pink nude to a red, purples and brown. Is there anything more 90's than a BROWN GLITTER lipstick? 

The shade I tried was Dark Deception, which is a very sheer, light purple. I was expecting these to be quite gritty and disco ball, but they're way more subtle than they look, which was actually disappointing! On the tube you can see the individual silver glitters, but on my lips and in swatches, the effect is almost non-existent. 

Compared to the others, this one did feel grittier, but by no means was it irritating or strange to wear. I kinda hate metallic and frosted lipsticks, so I wasn't a fan of this at all, but I'd give it a try if you've never tried that look before and want something fun, yet office-appropriate. 


Overall, my experiences with the Essence lipsticks were a big success. Prices of drugstore makeup has slowly been creeping up the last few years, so it's awesome to see a brand that truly targets the drugstore market. There's plenty of shades to choose from any in any of these lines, but my final recommendation is try the Matt Matt Matt ones as they're a really lovely gateway drug into wearing matte lipsticks. 


What are some of your favourite Essence products that I should try next?


* Correction: Essence originated in Germany, not the US



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