Essence 3D duo eyeshadows: Irresistible Caramel Cream, Irresistible Vanilla Latte and Irresistible Chocolates.

For the past half year or so I’ve began to go back to the “box” companies to investigate eyeshadows. I have so many adored indie eyeshadows from my favourites, but I began to favour pressed shadows in the mornings or to take with me on the train to get ready. Now, I can go and press my indie favourites, but honestly, I much prefer them in their loose formula. They apply beautifully that way, and I’d hate to ruin a whole jar due to a mishap whilst pressing. Also, it gets very costly trying to get all the materials one would use for pressing loose shadows (shipping bulky and heavy items to Australia can get expensive very quickly) so I’ve been looking to brands I can find at Priceline, Target or Big W (gah, I wish I was closer to K-mart!!!!).

I was already a huge fan of Essence for their nail polish and lip products, but I had never tried any of their eyeshadows until very recently. One month ago actually. On a recent trip to Target I picked up a bunch of shadows to play around and test. Among them were three of the 3D duo eyeshadows in the shades Irresistible Caramel Cream, Irresistible Vanilla Latte and Irresistible Chocolates. All very neutral colours. I’ve been *very* boring with eyeshadow for the past year. Either I wear none, or I go with neutrals (which I seem to be picking up in abundance, time to stop :P ). However the other colours in the 3D range didn’t really appeal to me. The blue was never going to get any use from me, the pink and silver duo, well I dislike how some silvers can make my skin give a tanned/orange appearance and I have issues with pink eyeshadow with my yellow skin tone, there was a purple which I felt the two colours were too similar to each other, the green felt a little blah to me and there was an salmon/brown duo, but I was hesitant about the salmon colour. Looks like the neutrals were always going to be the pick of the litter.

Today’s post is a swatch and review of the 3D duo eyeshadows.

Product / Packaging

As mentioned I purchased three duos in the following shades

  • Irresistible Caramel Cream – classic pale champagne with golden bronze
  • Irresistible Vanilla Latte - light brassy gold with pale white gold
  • Irresistible Chocolates -  rosey brown with cool dark brown

Essence claims that these eyeshadow duos can be used wet or dry and that the duos can be used to create dimensional 3D looks. I don’t use eyeshadows wet, so I haven’t tried these wet, only dry and over primer.

You get 2.8g of product for $4.95 AUD, and each duo has the same wave pattern on it, which reminds me a little of those MAC extra dimension products. Maybe that was the inspiration behind these 3D shadows. Regardless, Essence like to do a lot of talking about the presentation of these shadows, quote taken from the Essence website:

innovative and unique: the essence duo eyeshadow with a 3d look and a 3d effect is here! the 3mm-high relief design offers an ultimate 3d look and the ultra-light eyeshadow texture creates a cool finish with a 3d effect – from satin to metallic to shimmering – upon application.

To be honest, I don’t really care how the eyeshadow is presented. I don’t really think that by having a raised shadow instead of a traditional flat pressed shadow will make a difference in the application of the product, so I’m a little confused as to why they keep talking about it. As for a 3D effect I suppose in the pan it looks 3D, but once you put shadow to skin…it just performs like any other eyeshadow.

As seen above the product comes in a basic single eyeshadow packaging, made from hard plastic, nothing fancy. I prefer no fuss packaging, because I hate having to pay for the frills when all I want is the stuff on the inside.


These shadows need a primer or some sort of base to get them going. The only duo I thought had any good pigmentation when applied to bare skin was the Irresistible Chocolates. The other two duos did not fare well at all on bare skin as you can see in the swatches.

Texture wise the darker colours were the best, with the Irresistible Chocolates duo being the best overall. It felt very smooth and almost creamy. The lighter colours were quite dry, hard and didn’t seem to easily transfer to the lid well without packing quite a bit on. However the lighter colour in Irresistible Caramel Cream was the best of all the lighter colours, which I found didn’t require so much packing of colour. The Irresistible Vanilla Latte duo is my least favourite. I honestly cannot see myself using this duo on its own, the colours on the skin are too similar and I don’t think you could any real definition in the crease from the “darker” shade, which is still quite light.

The finishes in the duos I have are mostly satin/shimmer, with no obvious sparkle or glitter. Perhaps the most metallic looking shade of all was the darker shade in the Irresistible Vanilla Latte duo, which gives off quite a bit of shine, which you can see in the swatch. I particularly enjoy that the lighter colours aren’t super frosty, and that with a light touch could be used for a brow bone highlight.

When applying to the lid I didn’t experience any fallout, and they actually blended quite nicely and didn’t blend completely away. Not bad for a cheap eyeshadow duo!


The primer used for swatching was Wet n Wild Fergie Primer.

Here’s also a super basic look from the Irresistible Caramel Cream duo. This is over De Leon Cosmetics eye primer. This particular duo gives a pretty nice everyday look and it’s something I’d probably wear to uni on a regular basis, as both colours complement each other really well and it allows me to wear my statement lip colour of the day with no hassle.

Overall Impression

These shadows need to be used over a primer or base, which isn’t a big deal to me as I normally use a primer to stop my shadows creasing on me. Do I think these are worth $4.95, ehhh, probably the Irresistible Caramel Cream and Irresistible Chocolates duos are, I’m not so sure about Irresistible Vanilla Latte. I would definitely like to have seen the formula be a bit more creamy. Whilst they are smooth, the lighter colours are dry and feel a little powdery, which make it difficult to pick up colour with my brush. I’m not sure whether I’ll purchase any other of the duos in the 3D range as the colours don’t really appeal to me, with the exception of the grey/dark silver duo, however, I feel like I can’t quite predict what the formula would be for that duo, so I might not purchase. My experience with these shadows is a bit hit and miss. I don’t think these are terrible by any means, but if these had a more creamy texture, I’d definitely like them more.