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The New Essence Eyeshadow Palettes are the Best at the Drugstore

posted in: Makeup
October 27, 2021

For a while there, it seemed like all the new drugstore eyeshadow palettes looked… relatively the same. I’ve been so bored with recent releases, but I instantly snapped to attention when six new essence eyeshadow palettes dropped at the drugstore. Believe me, you’ll want to collect them all!

The new palettes are all relatively monochromatic with a clear color story, and named after iconic pop songs with a twist on the name. Call Me Maybe has turned into Coral Me Maybe, Born This Way to Bronzed This Way and so forth.

essence Eyeshadow Palettes laying in two rows on a marble surface: I Like to Mauve It, Taupe It Up, Ice Ice Baby, Coral Me Maybe, Bronzed This Way, Dancing Green | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

Each palette has six shades, balanced well with exactly three mattes and three shimmers. Aside from the shade finishes, the colors themselves are perfectly curated. Even though they’re what I consider mini palettes, there is enough contrast between the colors to create distinctly different looks.

The formula is cruelty free and vegan, fragrance-free, and is so easy to work with. Being only $3.99, they’re seriously a steal while adding something unique to your collection.

Let’s get into the eyeshadow palette swatches and looks!

I Like to Mauve It, Mauve It!

Swatches of essence I Like to Mauve It, Mauve It eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

Closeup of purple eyeshadow look created with essence I Like to Mauve it, Mauve It eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a cool-toned mauve theme in an eyeshadow palette! This palette has a mix of mauves and purples and a useful matte gray that create cohesive looks no matter how you mix them. I do wish they included a dark matte for more dimension, but it still offers versatility. Buy it at Ulta Beauty.

Ice Ice Baby

Swatches of essence Ice Ice Baby eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

Closeup of blue eyeshadow look created with essence Ice Ice Baby eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

This is not your mother’s blue eyeshadow! The brand did a great job carefully selecting the shades for this palette so that you could create blue themed looks without looking dated. The blues are muted and matte, paired with shimmery silvers and grays to accent— incredibly wearable, even for every day! Buy it at Ulta Beauty.

Dancing Green

Swatches of essence Dancing Green eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

Closeup of green eyeshadow look created with essence Dancing Green eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

I was blown. away. with this palette. I’ve tried so many green shadows that blend out looking more blue gray or yellow gray, always losing the intensity and tone. Not these, though!! The greens in this palette apply exactly how you see them in the pan, and retain their shade as you blend them. Again, this is not a green palette to be intimidated by. Paired with the included neutrals, the greens are very wearable and earthy. Buy it at Ulta Beauty.

Bronzed This Way

Swatches of essence Bronzed This Way eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

Closeup of bronze eyeshadow look created with essence Bronzed This Way eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

While this collection of colors isn’t unique per se, the travel-friendly compact and pigmented formula make this warm neutrals palette a must-have. This one is great for literally any occasion— create dramatic smoky eyes or wash one color all over the lid for a simple pop of bronze. Buy it at Ulta Beauty.

Coral Me Maybe

Swatches of essence Coral Me Maybe eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

Closeup of coral eyeshadow look created with essence Coral Me Maybe eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

If you love peachy neutrals, this is the palette for you. Coral Me Maybe features a good range of corals with a pop of gold and a deep matte brown. I’ve created very soft, romantic looks with this palette, along with more everyday glam eyes like I did above. Buy it at Ulta Beauty.

Taupe It Up

Swatches of essence Taupe It Up eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

Closeup of gray eyeshadow look created with essence Taupe It Up eyeshadow palette | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

A truly unique shade range at the drugstore, this palette focuses on taupes and grays. This one had to grow on me. At first, I didn’t feel like there was enough range within the six shades and that they all leaned pretty light on my skin tone. However, thinking outside the box, I was able to create some really sultry looks that I ended up loving. Buy it at Ulta Beauty.

essence eyeshadow palettes laying closed on a marble surface | essence Eyeshadow Palettes Swatches & Review | Slashed Beauty

Soft, pigmented, and buildable is how I’d describe these eyeshadows. The mattes are intense and blend softly without losing pigmentation, and the shimmers are buttery and high-impact. I do find the shimmers to apply more opaque with the fingers, or a wet brush.


The only downside I’ve found is that you get a noticeable amount of fallout from these shadows, especially the darker shades. I’ve gotten in the habit of applying a layer of loose setting powder under my eyes that catches any runaway shadow, making it easy to brush away. It’s not a dealbreaker, and is rather common for soft formulas… a trade off for the blendability.

I truly think these are currently some of the best drugstore eyeshadow palettes right now, from the formula to the well curated shade themes. I’ve recently been favoring mini-palettes that give me variety without a ton of shades I never use. For $3.99, these can add a lot of new looks to your collection. I hope they release even more— perhaps a gold/yellow or teal theme? One of my YouTube subscribers suggested a “Berry Superstitious” palette… genius!

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– Miranda

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