I'm not going to lie: Even though I know there are some major hidden gems at the drugstore, I'm usually inclined to splurge on high-end makeup when investing in bolder, standout shades. I've had many a bad experience in which lower-priced products lacked the pigmentation and longevity of their high-end competition, but this essence Melted Chrome Eyeshadow review has certainly changed my mind. I've found the ultimate single shadows — not just good by drugstore standards, but great all around — and they cost just $5 apiece.
If you don't know, essence cosmetics is primarily known for their collection of mascara, of which they have 17 varieties, all under $5. While I've heard their lash-lifting praises sung a million times over, I'd never bothered to explore the rest of their eye-based range, until I was sent four shades of their Melted Chrome Eyeshadow ($5 each, essencemakeup.com) to try out for myself. When it comes to single pan shadows, I've usually stocked up on matte, brownish neutrals only, to use as multi-purpose products for contouring my crease, cheeks, nose, et cetera. My immediate thought upon seeing these bold shades was that they wouldn't likely be worth the space a stack of single shadows takes up; then I got to swatching, and my opinion completely changed.
Upon first touch, I was surprised at how soft and slippery the shadows felt. I had only felt similar formulas from high-end pressed pigments, and I could tell right away I was about to be impressed. On the essence site, the shadows are described as having "a unique bouncy, creamy texture glides smoothly onto the lids with extreme color payoff," and it turns out this is almost an understatement.
These are super quick, one-swipe swatches. Can you say "wow"?
Hellooooooo, pigment! From top to bottom, the shades I swatched were icy silver-blue "Lead Me," cool-toned pink "Zinc About You," fiery "Copper Me," and bronzy champagne "Ironic." In addition to these, there's also deep purply "Platinum Nights" and pure silver "Steal The Look."
The swatches stayed on my hand for hours until I finally decided to remove them with a makeup wipe, with which they came off in one easy swipe. I knew I had to get these babies on my eyes, and when I finally did, I was delighted with the payoff. With a formula so soft, I always apply using my finger, so that nothing gets over-blended or crumbly, and after rubbing my pointer across the product, I carefully backed the shade "Zinc About You" all over my lid. I threw on some lashes and that was all it took to create a perfect (in my humble opinion) metallic eye look.
These shades are such a reflective chrome formula, they hit the light in a way that just looks so...expensive. These are some luxe shadows, people!
Here's another shot of the shade "Lead Me," built up almost to the brow bone. Major Frozen vibes, am I right?
I have tons of metallic, chrome-like shadows by high-end brands, from Marc Jacobs to Tarte to Make Up For Ever, and these $5 singles from Essence not only compare, but are honestly better than quite a few of the luxury options in my collection. Considering the bold eye shadow trend is only getting bigger for 2019, it's safe to say I'll be adding the other two shades to my collection ASAP, and hyping up this drugstore shadow secret to any beauty-lover who will listen.