Tuesday, 17 June 2014

REVIEW: Makeup Under $10 (Part #3) - Essence, BYS, Boe Beauty

It's the third and final instalment of my Makeup Under $10 blog series! Today we're looking at Essence Cosmetics, BYS and Boe Beauty to see if these bargain beauties were worth the bucks or are a complete steal for the cost!

Let's jump straight in...

Essence Cosmetics 

(available at Priceline and Target)

Soft Touch Mousse Make-Up in '02 Matt Beige' - $6.50

I've never used a mousse foundation before, just because to me, 'mousse' sounds like the cakeiest of all cakey foundation textures! Even when I swatched some of the product with my finger from the pot, it definitely felt thick and heavy (though, admittedly, very soft and velvety). 

But I was pleasantly surprised! The coverage is medium and blends super easily over my skin. It did tend to settle in some fine lines around my mouth as you can see below, so what I would recommend is using a silicone primer before this foundation to stop that happening.

But as you can see in the second image, my complexion looks very smooth and airbrushed. I have a bit of redness on my face naturally and this foundation covered it all up! P.S. I'm wearing no concealer, so that was pretty impressive.

Okay, my opinion on mousse foundations has definitely changed! My skin felt very soft after using this and I was very impressed with the coverage and how easy it was to blend. My only qualm is that there are only three shades available, and while I can wear this one with no problems, I would still prefer one that's not quite as yellow.

Lipliner in '12 Wish Me A Rose' - $1.80

So many aussie beauty bloggers rave about these lipliners and it's easy to see why; the price is ridiculous for the quality! The pencil is creamy, easy to apply and blend, and really stays put. As you can see below, this particular shade is also almost an exact dupe in colour and finish to my favourite Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in '205 Elusive'!

In the first picture below, you can see me using it as an outline, then to fill in my lips. The colour is a gorgeous light pink that is pretty much my lip colour but better! This pencil does tend to sit in the fine lines of the lips (middle picture below), but it's not drying, so it really isn't too noticeable.

Loving this! The Essence Lipliner really does deserve the hype that it gets. While I wouldn't wear it alone, I think it would be gorgeous as a base for my Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm to keep the colour strong all day. 

Sparkling Effect Eyeshadow in '02 Dance All Night' - $2.85

Who else here is a palette girl? I really only buy single eyeshadows if they really appeal to me, like this metallic silver green shade. I thought it would make a gorgeous inner corner highlight, but unfortunately it's not as pigmented as it looks in the pan.

Don't get me wrong, it's still a lovely, bright shiny shade, but when applied it's not as bold as I would have liked. Maybe an eyeshadow primer would have helped. Plus the texture is a little rough and grainy, which make me feel like there are actual pieces of glitter in there, albeit tiny ones! As a contact lenses wearer, that makes me nervous.

I'll definitely be reserving this as an inner corner highlight, but I won't likely use it frequently. It's nice, but it's also just nice. 

Lash Mania Reloaded False Lash Mascara - $4.95

Um, look at that wand. LOOK. AT. IT. It's huge! Which I assume its what helps lashes look bigger, also aided by the plastic bristles that comb them through. 

I find the formula of this mascara pretty wet, which meant that I kept smudging it on my upper and lower lash lines, which got annoying pretty quickly. As for its power to oomph-up my lashes, I didn't use an eyelash curler for the below images and this mascara does make them look a bit longer and more curled. 

For just under five dollars, it's not bad. But I'd still be more than happy to pay the extra to get a mascara that I liked more. 


(available at KMart and most two dollar shops)

Liquid Illuminator in 'Glimmer' - $8.00

Oh, good 'ol BYS. I used to buy their products when I was in primary school to play with! But it looks like they've come leaps and bounds in quality and packaging since then, because the tube for this illuminator looks just like the Smashbox primer tubes! 

I picked up 'Glimmer', which is a really pretty rosy gold shade that I thought would look nice applied to my cheeks and cheekbones. But the illuminator itself has a very light (think liquid rather than gel) texture, which made it a little difficult to blend.

 It's probably more of a stain - you can see in the below right picture that it applied a little patchy. Then again, I was wearing a mousse foundation - it may have applied smoother if I was wearing a liquid one.

I think it would be really nice mixed into my foundation to give my skin an overall dewy glow, rather than use it as a targeted illuminator because it's difficult to blend to a natural finish. That, or I'd use it as a blush.

Eyeshadow Palette in '01 Neutral Charm' - $7.75

GUYS! If there is one product that you decide to get from this entire post, PLEASE make it this one! When I saw it, I thought it would be gorgeous for autumn and winter eye makeup looks because of all of the warm burgundies, golds and greens. But I didn't have high hopes for it because all of the other BYS eyeshadows I've used over the years have been failures. 

BUT THIS. THIS! This is completely and utterly my favourite purchase from this entire blog series.  After swatching each of the colours, they have - dare I say it - the same texture as the Urban Decay eyeshadows! The photos below don't give the colours and pigmentation justice; each shade is so buttery to the touch, vibrant and easy to apply and blend. 

Please. Please get yourself one of these. You get a palette of 18 different metallic to shimmery shades for LESS THAN EIGHT DOLLARS and their colour payoff and texture rivals Urban Decay. I'm so excited to create some eye looks with this!

BOE Beauty 

(available at Big W)

Matte Lip Cream in '32 Blush Pink' - $2.00

Is it just me or does pretty much every beauty brand have a matte lip cream product? This one definitely reminds me of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, but unfortunately, it doesn't quite measure up. 

Matte lip colours really do need to be very opaque, because otherwise they will really highlight any dry patches on the lips. As you can see below, while the swatch is very pigmented and smooth, on the lips it doesn't apply as nicely as it looked like it would. The colour is great however, but really would need a lipliner (perhaps the Essence one above?) because it definitely can't hold its own.

I wouldn't recommend you go out to get these unless you wanted a really inexpensive alternative for the higher end lip cream products, but the Lime Crime Velvetines (around $22), the Australis Velourlips ($9.95 at Priceline) and the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams ($12.95 at Target) are all much better choices.

Liquid Eyeliner in '1 Black Noir' and '3 Metallic Purple' - both $2.00

The interesting thing with these two is that even though they look identical based on the packaging and are labelled as the same product, they are really quite different. The black liner comes with a firm felt tip applicator and the formula of the product is inky. Whereas the purple liner comes with a brush tip applicator and the product is paint-like and gluggy. 

As you can see in the swatches below as well, the black is much more pigmented than the purple.

The black liner was very impressive - the product is very vibrant and strong, and the firm felt tip made drawing a line and creating a cat eye every easy. I do worry however that the applicator will only last a few uses - you can already see the brush tip is beginning to fray slightly in the above photo. 

I was hoping that the purple liner was going to be a good dupe for the Lime Crime Eyeliner in Orchidaceous (Boe is the left swatch, Lime Crime is the right), but unfortunately, it really wasn't. The long brush tip makes applying the product very difficult, and the formula is quite watery and gluggy at the same time, which meant it applied very thinly.

The black was definitely a winner for me and I'll continue to use it, but I'll stick with my Lime Crime purple liner over the Boe one. 

And that's it for my Makeup Under $10 blog series! Did you enjoy these posts? Let me know in the comments below!

Want more bargain beauty reviews? Check out my previous posts!



  1. Definitely enjoyed these posts, thanks for putting the series together! They've helped with what products I should look out for and what products I should avoid. Essence is one of my favourite brands so it's good that you're liking a few of their products! Wow that BYS palette sure does sound amazing! I might just have to check it out, but I already have so many eye shadows!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  2. Good old BYS! I used to buy their products when I first discovered makeup. I would never have thought that the BYS eyeshadow was that good. It's amazing how pigmented it looks. Wow!

    1. I didn't think so either, I used to use them when I was younger too and never thought it was anything special. But they must have really stepped up their game, because that palette is incredible!! xx

  3. LOVE this series!!! Please do more :)

    1. Thank you so much Joanne! I will definitely consider continuing the series in the future with more affordable products that I find :) xx

  4. Great post! I love essence cosmetics (I have a whole post on how great they are) but have never tried the mousse foundation before. How did you apply it?
    Today's Beauty Obsession

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I looooooooooovvvveeee you blog! Please check out mine http://dionesemos.com/blog/ xxo

  7. I LOVE this series too and hope to see an update for 2017!! Thankyou for taking the risk for all of us on the cheap but (sometimes) really good makeup! I was impressed by the BYS Autumn Eye shadow palette and the Essence Wish Me a Rose lip liner. You give great reviews with great swatches and try-ons. I'd like to see more of these reviews and even a fashion post :) Rachel from New Zealand

    1. Thank you so much for all of your support Rachel, I'm so glad you enjoyed the series! That Essence lip liner is still one of my favourites 3 years on :) I may have to rehash this series with all the new products out now!


Thank you for all of your lovely comments, I love reading them <3 Make sure to leave a link to your blog so I can come say hi! Otherwise look out for a reply on the post :) Love xx

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