Drugstore Eye Makeup Empties

Essence – Dip Eyeliner in Black – Waterproof, Essence – I ❀ Stage Eyeshadow Base, Wet’n’wild Photofocus Eyeshadow Base, Catrice Rock Couture Extreme Volume Mascara in Black – Waterproof, Essence hi!lighting Eyeshadow Mousse in 04 hi! mauve, Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara

It always takes me ages to actually go through colour makeup. As you can gather from this blog, I am pretty good at using up my skincare well within its expiry window – but when it comes to makeup, it always takes me quite a while to finish up anything at all, especially when it comes to highlighters, eyeshadows, blushers and lipsticks.

I will also admit to using makeup past its expiry dates and past recommended time periods after opening products. :O I have not yet encountered any problems. That is not to say that I never will and I will update the blog should I ever get an infection, so that you can tell me ‘told you so’ in the comments. πŸ˜‰ That being said, I am very strict and careful about the way I store my makeup (= in a dark, cool place away from humidity) and about using clean makeup brushes and sponges which I wash thoroughly each use or every other use, so perhaps that has been my saving grace so far. But admittedly, I am somewhat conscious and afraid of using expired makeup.

For this reason, I will never be a makeup hoarder or collector. I only buy new makeup if I run out of something. I use pretty classic or neutral shades in my everyday makeup, so I never feel tempted to buy new makeup releases – I have stopped wearing makeup on the weekend completely – and I never feel like experimenting much or changing up looks. If I know that I already have a colour very similar to the one product I am craving, I just don’t buy it. End of story.
At the ripe old age of 30, I kind of know what I like and what suits me. I have tried lots of different things over the past 17+ years of trying or wearing makeup, and I know what works for me at this point and what doesn’t.

But let’s get onto the reviews!

Essence – Dip Eyeliner in Black Waterproof

Ingredients according to (cached) company website:

Size/Quantity: 4ml – and this goes a long way! One eyeliner lasts me about a year.

Price & Availability: I scored three of them for β‚©3,000 (less than US$3) each on sale at Lalavla, a chemist here in Korea. It has been removed from the shops that I have visited though and Essence no longer lists this on their website, so perhaps it has been officially discontinued.

Opinion: There are many upsides to this eyeliner. It is super black, it is superior value for money, it is very pigmented, lasts reasonably well on the eyes throughout the day (more on that in a bit), it did not irritate my eyes and it is great for when you pile on a lot of eye shadow because it is wet enough to layer on top of it without disturbing your eyeshadow work.

However, it has the tendency to flake off a bit after a long day. It is waterproof, however it does not stay well in areas that are a little prone to wrinkling/laugh lines, e.g. when winging it out into the outer corners of my eyes, it might flake off there. It is not a major issue, but I also wouldn’t say that this eyeliner is bullet proof.

I also found that the tip is much too blunt for my liking. I enjoy razor sharp lines and while this can be possible, it requires you to use a very light hand with this one. On occasion, I have messed up and ended up with super thick lines. I have included a few photos above to show you what the eyeliner looks like when it’s on.

Unless you have been drawing on your face with liquid eyeliners for quite a while, I would not recommend this eyeliner for beginners as I fear that liquid eyeliner novices may end up with that dreaded emo panda look.

That being said, I am sufficiently confident in my skills and I also don’t mind my makeup looking a bit off every now and again. It’s just makeup. For these reasons, I will happily use up all three eyeliners that I purchased because I got them for great prices, but I probably would not repurchase if they were available as I prefer eyeliner pens with very fine brush tips. I finished the first one, the second one is on its last legs, and I shall crack open the third one very soon.

Essence I ❀ Stage Eyeshadow Base


Size/Quantity: 4ml, which is a decent size and lasts quite a while

Price & Availability: β‚©4,000 on sale at Lalavla Korea.

Opinion: Oh, I actually don’t like this one at all. Being very fair, this eye shadow base shows up too dark on me. It also has strong yellow and orange undertones, while I am more neutral/cool toned, I think. If you have medium toned skin with yellow undertones, this might work on you much better than it did on me.

This dried down a little too wet for me and I would recommend that you add a neutral eyeshadow on top before going in with whatever colour eyeshadow you would like to work with, but be careful – this primer can cake up rather quickly.

Alternatively, you could do as I do and mix it with another eye primer, such as the wet’n’wild one on the right, as it helps diffuse the pigments and also make it more long-lasting. More on that one in a bit.

Wet’n’wild photofocus eyeshadow primer

Size/Quantity: 10ml, and a tiny bit goes a very long way.

Price & Availability: β‚©5,000 on sale at Lalavla Korea. I do not currently see it in stores though.

Opinion: Wet’n’wild seems to be huge overseas, whereas they don’t seem to have had a breakthrough here in Korea. Which is a shame, because there are no cheapo drugstore brands. What is considered very reasonably priced makeup in other countries usually comes with a premium tacked on here in Korea, e.g. Revlon and Bourjois are definitely priced like premium drugstore or apothecary brands abroad. Cheapie brands, please come to Korea!

Back to the primer. If you have VERY OILY eyelids, this is the primer for you. Mine are not super oily, and so I find this to be painfully drying. To its credit, I will have to say that the primer makes any eye makeup that goes on top bullet and budge proof. But I also find my eyes raw and sore at the end of the day if I use this on its own. I would recommend mixing this with foundation, concealer or an eye primer that you have have found too wet in the past so as to mitigate its extremely drying effects.

Catrice Rock Couture Extreme Volume Mascara in Black – Waterproof

Isododecane, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Aqua (Water), Nylon-12, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, VP / Hexadecene Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bisabolol, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Farnesol, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides).

Size/Quantity: 12ml

Price & Availability: around β‚©8,000 when on sale at Lalavla Korea.

Opinion: Don’t you just love the design of this mascara tube? Pretty sure Catrice took inspiration from Kat von D, but this time, it does not bother me as much as when Too Cool for School made barely any effort to hide the fact that they copied Charlotte Tilbury – read my slightly miffed post here. At least, Catrice did not just slap the whole design on and called it a day – rather, they used it in a different way and on a different product, too.

The wand of this mascara, as you can see in the stock photo above, features short, dense, stiff rubbery bristles. I got this mascara because it reminded me of my all-time favourite mascara, which is CoverGirl’s Lashblast mascara.

And you know what? This mascara is actually pretty good. Not too dry, not too wet. Very black and volumising. I can definitely see myself picking this one up again, especially considering the fact that volumising mascaras are kind of a rare find in Korea, where most Korean women seem to prefer tiny wands for a natural look, or at least that is the impression that I have got.

There are two caveats however. One, this smears and flakes off a little bit, despite the fact that I always place a little bit of eyeshadow on my lower lid to prevent exactly that from happening. Two, the bristles are very hard and stiff. If you are ever unfortunate enough to touch your waterline with the wand, you will know what I mean. Getting this anywhere except the lashes is bound to hurt tremendously.

Essence hi!lighting Eyeshadow Mousse in 04 hi! mauve


Size/Quantity: 5ml

Price & Availability: on sale at Lalavla for β‚©3,000.

Opinion: I was really intrigued by the claim that said that the formula of this liquid eyeshadow was cooling. And you know what? It really is very cooling and soothing to put on. A very novel, perhaps gimmicky, feature, but if you have experienced those hot and humid summers that we get here in Korea, you will understand why a cooling product would be of interest to me.

The second claim of the product – that of it being longlasting – I cannot quite agree with. I found that this creased relatively quickly and settled into the natural folds of the eyelid unless it was used in conjunction with another primer or unless I patted lots of powder eyeshadow on top. In the pictures above, I mixed this with the aforementioned wet’n’wild eye primer and it worked much better that way in my opinion, because when used in this manner, it actually stayed put.

Unfortunately though, this also means that it does not really show up in photos once mixed in. I nonetheless enjoyed using it for its cooling effect and subtle lid colour. I also felt that the colour was a lot less streaky and much more flattering than that of its sister from the same line, which I reviewed here.

Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara

 Isododecane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate Acid, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Ceresin, Beeswax, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dextrin (Palmitic Acid/Ethylhexanoic Acid), Microcrystalline Wax, Propylene Carbonate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Canina Fruit Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, Squalane, Royal Jelly Extract, PTFE, Distearic Acid Al, Glyceryl Isostearate, Talc, Iron Oxide

Size/Quantity: 6ml – kind of on the smaller end. I usually expect a mascara to come with at least 8 ml or more of product. Then again, I guess that this means that you use this up more quickly and are therefore less likely to cause an infection.

Price & Availability: β‚©10,000 on sale at Lalavla Korea.

Opinion: So either I got a dud or I’m just being a bit daft. When looking up this mascara, it seems that this has only been getting rave reviews. Everyone and their mother is loving it, and I don’t know why. This was also the top mascara when I researched volumising mascaras on popular cosmetics app, ν™”ν•΄. It uses aggregate reviews to help you find top rated products (kind of like Expedia, Hotels.com and their ilk), but you can also toggle the ranking and look for the cheapest or the most reviewed item, etc. If anything, download this app now as it really helps finding amazing skincare and makeup items.

But let’s start with some positives first. This removes easily with two-phase eye makeup removers. It is really black and reaches all of your lashes easily. This apparently is a fibre mascara that is supposed to lengthen your lashes.

I didn’t get any of that. I also found that this did not hold a curl well at all, regardless of whether I used several coats or just one coat of mascara. To me, this just provides a natural look more than anything. In addition, it flaked, clumped and smeared a bit on me. The Catrice mascara mentioned previously was a much better volumising mascara in my opinion, too. This, I feel, is best suited to a makeup look that is defined yet natural.

Final Thoughts

All of today’s products had some cons in my opinion. The only one that stood out in some sense to me was the Catrice mascara.

You may have also noticed that everything I bought, I got on sale. I am an extremely thrifty shopper and I am loath to pay full price for cosmetics, hency this is why I always make a list of things I want to buy and wait patiently for them to go on sale. Either Lalavla or Olive Young usually has a sale on or is about to have a sale, so I don’t have to wait for long, normally.

Researching cosmetics on aforementioned ν™”ν•΄ is also really fun and I recommend you check this aggregate rating website as it genuinely helps to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s