Hair & Beauty

Review: Essence Mystery Gift Boxes

Let me preface this blog post but saying that I loved lucky packets as a child.

Unfortunately it was a luxury, so I didn’t actually get to buy that many, but I loved the idea not knowing what you might get; a cheap, thrilling gamble.

sephora mystery lip kit

Fast forward to many years later when I stumbled across this Sephora mystery lip kit. Like the lucky packets of my youth it consisted of a foil packet with goodies inside and I couldn’t wait to buy it. They also had a cheek and eyeliner one, but as I was on a spending spree in dollars, decided to just stick to one.

The bag stated that it contained one Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, one Bite Beauty Multi-stick, and one of three mystery lip items. I excitedly opened it up and saw that I had gotten the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment, which was one of the best outcomes as I absolutely adore NARS and a good red lipstick.

Each item was perfect and I use them regularly, and it reiterated how much I enjoy being surprised with items I normally wouldn’t buy, and given the opportunity to try them.

So when I saw the Essence Mystery Gift Boxes on Takealot, I knew I had to try them. I decided to try out two of them – the Essence Mystery Box Matt Matt Matt Lipstick and the Essence Mystery Gift Box – 5 Piece. The reviews looked good but it was still a gamble – what if they were all rejects and I hated all the items?

Luckily, I didn’t have to worry at all. When it came to cost, the Essence Mystery Box Matt Matt Matt Lipstick was R99 and contained mystery shades from the Matt Matt Matt range. Excellent value, as one lipstick retails for R50, so you don’t have too worry to much if you don’t like most of the shades. I loved the options in the box – my box contained two pinkish/nude shades that I would wear everyday, one gorgeous red and two darker brown and purple shades. To be completely honest, I was hesitant about the darker shades and weren’t sure about what they’d look on, but after trying the darkest brown (you can see it at the bottom of the post) it changed my mind; it was a great colour that applied well. I’ve made no secret of my love of matte lipsticks, and for the price, I was happy with all.

Essence Mystery Box - 5 items

The Essence Mystery Gift Box – 5 Piece was R115 and contained 5 mystery colour products (again, excellent value for money). I had read the reviews and had an idea of what they sent through, but I was still pleasantly surprised by the contents. There was a nice variety in the box and it contained: over the moon eye & face palette; rock ‘n’ doll volume mascara; gold extreme lasting eyeliner, stay all day translucent fixing powder and a out of space stories nail polish.

I didn’t own any of these products, and hadn’t bought anything from this range previously, so I didn’t have to worry about doubling up on products, which was great. The only item I was sceptical about was the powder, as I’d tried one of theirs before that I didn’t think worked very well, but at this point I think it’s just because I don’t know how to apply fixing powder correctly, so I’m willing to give this one a try.

Of the box, my favourite is the nail polish – while it looks gold in the photos, it’s actually a gorgeous shade that has a pink base with gold/green duochrome effect. It applies so easily as well, especially if you’re as inexperienced at painting your nails as I am! I really enjoyed the mascara as well, and the gold eyeliner is a very light and subtle gold. That being said, you can barely see it on the photo below, but it did serve as a good base, and made any colour from the palette I put over it really pop. The eye and face palette look beautiful as you open it, but like the eyeliner, is very subtle on. I would likely use the eye-shadows in conjunction with another palette and not necessarily on their own just because of how light they are. They are also extremely shimmery (the yellow one especially contains large flakes of glitter) so prepare yourself for a LOT of fallout, unless you enjoy looking like some sort of unicorn space cadet. The blush and highlighter are both very illuminating and pretty- I would use both as highlighters only.

makeup look

I tried to do a quick look when I did the initial unboxing on my Instagram story (go to @jaimecette and check out my “beauty” highlights!) using only the items in my boxes. I actually love the lipstick here, although you can see what I mean about the palette being very subtle – you couldn’t really see the eyeliner and I ended up with a face full of glitter – but I’m hoping to do a proper look soon and put it up in a vlog.

Would you take a gamble on a box like this? Let me know in the comments, and remember to follow me on all my socials!

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