New In: Essence Shading Powder

When I saw the Essence Shading Powder in store – I just had to get it. You won’t find that many drugstore options in terms of contour palettes. I was really happy when I spotted the Maybelline Master Sculpt Contour in summer last year as it turned out to be one of my favorite contouring products up to date. You can imagine how excited I was to see another (even more affordable) drugstore brand to come up with the similar product!

Essence Shading Powder aka Essence Contour Powder ($3.99). Contour up! This NEW duo powder set accentuates features with a shimmering highlighter and sculpts with a matte bronzer.

It is a new product to the Essence face line and is currently available worldwide. The Essence Shading Powder released for Europe is also known as the Essence Contour Powder in USA and Canada. I personally find the ‘contour’ name more appropriate for the palette as it does contain a bronzer and a highlighter that are a basics of any contour you might do on your face.

Essence Shading Powder in 02 Medium Review
Essence Shading Powder in 02 Medium

The contour powder comes in a plastic transparent compact that houses powder only and has no mirror. The bronzer takes up to the two thirds of the pan leaving the highlighter with one third of the free space. The amount of product you get is 11 g or 0.38 oz that is as much as you get with any of the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish highlighter or powder. It also comes in two shades – 01/Light and 02/Medium – I own the 02.

Essence Shading Powder in 02 Medium Review
Essence Shading Powder in 02 Medium

The bronzer is advertised as matte but I cannot totally agree with it as it has the teeny tiny shimmer in it that changes the finish from matte to satin once on the skin, although it is not shimmery or luminous at all. The shade is a warm-toned light brown with the minimal amount of grey in it that makes it less of a contour and more of a bronzer, especially on my cool-toned skin. The highlighter at the same time is a cool-toned light champagne pink with very subtle sheen on the skin. The highlighter is too subtle to my liking as I can barely see it on my skin.

Essence Shading Powder in 02 Medium (swatches) Review
Essence Shading Powder in 02 Medium (swatches)

All in all, I have very mixed feelings about this product. It is a ‘contour’ palette that comes at a very affordable price but it neither has a good contour shade nor has it a nice highlighter. The bronzer is okay as a bronzer and I personally wouldn’t use it as a contour. At the same time the highlighter is of no use for me but might be a good option for those looking for a subtle highlight. The fact that the pan is disproportionally divided into uneven sectors makes it really hard to get a specific shade without grabbing a bit of another one. I mean, with a large and fluffy domed-shaped bronzer brush or a large fan brush that I prefer using for my bronzer/highlighter. If you use smaller brushes – this won’t be a problem for you. As for the second palette (01/Light) – it swatched too light in the store – and I am NW20, so you can imagine how light it really is.

Unfortunately, this contour palette is not my cup of tea. I prefer my Maybelline Master Sculpt Contour way more. Let me know what you think about the Essence Contour/Shading Powder if you’ve tried it! Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments down below!

Thank you very much for your attention.

Have an amazing day!

Hugs and kisses,



4 thoughts on “New In: Essence Shading Powder

  1. Catrice has a contour palette that looks amazing! Essence and Catrice are sister companies. It sold out immediately here and it hasn’t come back in stock. I foolishly did not purchase it when I saw it, I thought it would be a regular stock item in the new line. It had perfect cooler toned contour shades and pretty highlighters in it. It exists, so be on the look out for that one. So sorry that this one did not work out for you. Personally, I like Catrice’s products much better than Essence’s even though they are sister companies. Somehow I feel that they are a tad better quality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Catrice usually does perform better than Essence but there is a price difference as well. Even though these two are sister companies I don’t think that they have similar products – color and texture wise. I have a much better experience wth Catrice but I have found a handful of gems in Essence as well. So, you never know 😀


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