F is for Frugal Fun: Essence Cosmetics at Pocket-Change Prices (Under $5)

With a max price tag of $4.99, Essence cosmetics hits Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix in March 2012.
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With a max price tag of $4.99, Essence cosmetics hits Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix in March 2012.
Essence Colour & Go Quick Drying Nail Polish

Great. Like it was hard to spend money on impulse buys before. Like anyone needs another source of little quick-buy treats to make up for the ass paycheck, long hours, grumpy co-workers (looking at you, Staff) and lack of daylight hours.

Well, need or not, you'll be tempted by the display of playful, bright and cheerful Essence cosmetics hitting your local Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix in about five minutes. The nail polishes! The lipgloss! The lipstick! The cream eyeshadow! The 486 types of mascara! (A slight exaggeration in number, but there are lots.)

Essence Colour & Go Quick Dry Nail Polish

Founded in 2001, Essence is part of a German company called Cosnova Beauty. The brand is available in more than 55 countries, including the US; 160 of its made-mostly-in-Europe lineup will be available in more than 900 Shoppers/Pharmaprix locations. And yes, the prices -- from $1.49 for an adorable little bottle of Colour & Go quick-drying nail polish (in wicked shades -- and the polish is good, too) to $4.99 for volumizing mascara (others are $4.49) or large-pan bronzer.

Essence shadow blush powder

Mono Eyeshadow, $2.49 each; Forget It! 3in1 Concealer (with the pale green, pink and beige),$2.99; blush, $2.99.

Essence eye shadow quad

Eyeshadow Quattro, $3.99.

Essence cream shadow

Essence Stay All Day Long Lasting (cream) Eyeshadow, $3.99. Makeup pro Anna Nenoiu was impressed with this one at the launch -- it blends beautifully with the high-pigment powder shadows.

Essence cream liner

Essence Gel Liner $3.99.

Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencils

Essence Long-Lasting Eye Pencils, $2.49 each.

Essence makeup brushes

Brushes, from $1.99 to $3.99 each.

Essence lashes

Essence Fancy Lashes, $3.49 each.

Essence lipsticks

Lipsticks, $2.99 each.

Essence XXXL Shine Gloss

XXXL Shine lipgloss, $2.49 each.

Essence Tint It Colour Changing Lipgloss

Tint-It Colour Changing Lipgloss (you know, that stuff that "adjusts" to your chemistry?), $2.99 each.

Essence Stay With Me Longlasting Lipgloss

Stay With Me Longlasting Lipgloss, $2.99 each.

Essence Mini Lipgloss Set

Mini Lipgloss Set (pretty and sheer, and way too cute in a little flip-open box), $3.99 each set.

What do you think?