We all love a great advent calendar, but the question is are they really worth the money? Here are my thoughts on a few of the beauty products I opened in the 2019 Essence Advent Calendar.

The first thing I received in the calendar was the I Heart Extreme Volume Mascara. The packaging is really pretty, but that’s where the good comments stop for me. The mascara wand is way too big for my eyelashes and I think I have a pretty normal sized eye. This wand is unusually large and I feel it is bound to be too big for a lot of people.

With the wand being as big as what it is, I am unable to apply mascara to the root of my eyelashes and give it the volume that the mascara promises. I am also unable to put the mascara on my lower eyelashes making this mascara useful for only tinting my lashes with some black colour.

I also seem to get a different result every time I use it. The first time I used it I got absolutely no volume, but towards the end of December the results seemed to differ and I got a little bit more volume. It might be that I just got used to how the mascara works and how to apply it to achieve the best results with it, but mascara shouldn’t be complicated to use and each application should be the same from the moment you pull it out of the packaging to the moment you toss an empty bottle.

The second beauty product in the calendar was the Eyebrow Designer Pencil in 04 Blonde. When opened this box, my first worry was that the pencil would be the wrong shade for my eyebrows, but I was pleased to find that it was the blonde pencil. I had high hopes for the pencil but it is really hard and I struggled to get a good amount of product onto my skin to fill my eyebrows smoothly. When the colour eventually warmed up the colour distributed a lot better but it took some time for the pencil to warm up.

I know that there are tips and tricks to heating up the pencil (like a lighter etc) but I would prefer not the have to do that to an eyebrow pencil. I would prefer that the colour distribution is consistent from the time I first apply it to my eyebrows to the moment I have finished filling them in.

The Spread the Magic Highlighter was one of my favourite products in the calendar. The highlighter is a beautiful pink shade that goes really well with my peach and pink tones blushes, and it is a great everyday highlighter for me when I just don’t feel like putting too much make up on.

Although it has a great shine to to, I would have loved for it to have a bit more of a pop in terms of the shimmer it gives off when it catches the light. It is deceiving in the pan, and on your hand when you apply it with your finger, but as soon as you apply it with a brush, the shimmer disappears. To get the most of this highlighter, I apply it with my ring finger on my cheek bones and my nose.

Look created using the palette

The Eyeshadow Palette was the item that I was most excited for when opening the calendar. I had watched an unboxing where the YouTuber pulled this palette out and I knew instantly that I wanted it. These are colours that I always wear so I was super excited to test out the colours. One thing that I did notice, that upset me more than it should have, was the fact that the palette doesn’t have a mirror inside of it which doesn’t make this palette ideal for travelling. While it isn’t the end of the world, I kept looking at the inspirational quote hoping that it would eventually turn into a mirror.

Let’s talk about the colours. My initial thoughts for the palette are not very positive but I do think that the palette grew on my after using it for a little while. The colour payoff for the shades are slightly disappointing. If you pat the colour onto your eyelid there is an amazing pop of colour but as soon as you start blending it out, pretty much ALL of the colour disappears. The shades are buildable but the fact that there is little colour payoff means that it takes me longer to get the intense colour I desire.

I usually use a matt cream or taupe transition shade on my eyes before I start applying any eyeshadow just to help the shades blend flawlessly. This palette doesn’t have a shade like this for me to use. Now I know what you’re thinking, the first shade should work just fine, but this shades is actually a shimmery shade that the camera doesn’t pick up on.

Even saying all that I have about the palette, I think it is a great beginner palette. The shades blend out well (even after multiple applications) and the looks I have been able to create are beautiful.

I am biased when it comes to this product. By default, I will always reach for a liquid eyeliner (because I prefer the applications) or no eyeliner at all. I seem to struggle with finding a pencil eyeliner that I can apply with ease, and the Kajal Pencil in Teddy was unfortunately no different. The tip of the pencil was very hard and rather than distributing colour, the tip of the pencil left chunks of colour on my eyelid that I had to blend in with a brush.

The one benefit of this pencil is how quickly it settles after application. If you apply it and wish to blend it out slightly, I would act quickly if I were you. One the product settles, it doesn’t budge and stays on your skin for the whole day.

I love love love the Red Lipstick that I opened in the calendar. If ever there was a red colour that best described a red Christmas lip it’s this lipstick. It applies smoothly and dries with a matt finish.

The second lip product that I unboxed was the Soft Contouring Lipliner in Going Steady. This colour is beautiful and it matches one of my lipsticks perfectly. In fact, I have recently reviewed the lipstick it matches with. Check out my full review on the Essence This Is Me Lipstick.

I would have preferred that the lipstick and lipliner received in the calendar were the same shade so that they could be used together. The 2 shades of products I got in the calendar don’t match enough for them to be used together and I ended up going out to purchase a red lipliner to wear with the red lipstick.

The last thing in the calendar that I want to talk about is the ridiculous number of nail polishes that I opened. There were a total of 6 nail polishes in the calendar, and while these colours are absolutely stunning, I unfortunately I don’t wear nail polish (a me problem, I know).

What did you think of the advent calendar?

Tyla van Til

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