Essence Big City Eyeshadow Palettes – Review & Swatches

*Reklame/Gifted Products*
I showed a preview of some eyeshadow palettes on my Instagram Story a while back and I finally have a review ready. These are from Essence Cosmetics, a famous, German drugstore makeup brand. These are some of their newer launches, which are four different eyeshadow palettes that are each inspired by different cities across the world. We have New York, Paris, Rio & Sydney.


Depending on where you live, you can either find the palettes in a store near you or check them out on Kosmetik4less. The cost of each palette is approximately 7$/6,95 €/60 DKK and they contain 13.5 g/0.47 oz. worth of product.

I adore the idea of making palettes inspired by different cities. The palette is made of some cardboard material with a magnetic close. Each palette has its own theme and a beautiful cover on the front and another bonus point to Essence for adding a mirror. To test out these shadows I used Essence I Love Effects Eyeshadow Base and a few eyeshadow brushes from their brand as well.



I love the color combination in this Sydney palette. I found the mattes to work really well, as they showed up nicely on the eyes and were very easy to blend. The metallic shades are insane, and I was pleasantly surprised with their performance. They looked like foiled eyeshadow and were intense. The two shades in the bottom row to the right, were crazy good which I was very impressed with. I would like to have seen a brown toned and a white as their matte shades, as they would’ve worked as base shades or transition shades.




It totally makes sense to add rosy, romantic pastel shades to a Paris palette, which is exactly what they did. This is the palette that matches my everyday needs the best, as I’m able to create subtle everyday looks. I very much liked the mattes in here, but I don’t’ get why there are two shades in here that are pretty much identical? (The two first shades in the top row)




Oh the Rio palette, I was immediately drawn to it when I first opened it up. Very warm toned shades with some bright shimmer shades. There are three matte shades, three shimmer and three metallic like shadows. I don’t know how a drugstore brand like Essence, managed to create such amazing metallic shadows. They were very obvious on the lids and looked popping.




This is the palette that I was the least interested in. To be honest at first glance this palette seemed boring to me and is the complete opposite than what I usually go for. It contains a blend of cool toned mattes and shimmer shades that has a holographic shift. The prismatic finish of the shades actually took me back and I enjoyed them quite a lot. They gave a really cool effect when applied over the lid and can easily be worn alone. The mattes weren’t’ bad either, they felt soft and were buildable, but I was missing a bit more pigment with the light grey shade. I don’t feel like the matte shades really worked as transition colors either. The holographic shades shine in this palette.


All in all, these were really nice palettes. I love the idea behind each palette and the quality of the shadows. The matte shadows were soft and were so easy to blend, they were so effortless to use. They were on the powdery side, so make sure to dust off the excess before blending. The metallic shades were incredible and were so pigmented and buttery, while the regular shimmer shadows were nice too but could use a little more oomfh. I used setting spray to lightly wet the brush, while using the shimmer shades which did help boost them up.  You’ll definitely get your money’s worth with these palettes.

Disclaimer: These products were PR gifted to me. All thoughts & opinions are my own. Links in this post are not affiliate links.

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