Canada beauties find their essence! The essence cosmetics launch at Hotel Ocho!

I love a good beauty launch-and had the opportunity to attend the Essence launch recently at Hotel Ocho, a stylish boutique hotel in downtown Toronto

Let’s take a peek at my ensemble. I wanted to do something not too complicated but fun, fresh.  I recently picked up this Dorothy Perkins Dress so I did some ‘modern retro’ hair with it:

pretty cool, eh?

and a side shot

And finally the whole SHE-bang:

Not too bad….I love the dress and will probably go back for me (although I need to get this one altered.  It’s too big!!!)

From Essence:

“essence features fun & fashionable items for face & nails.  The Frankfurt, Germany based brand is powered by privately-held cosmetic empire cosnova beauty, launced by Christina Oster-Daum in 2001.  Known for high-quality, on trend products at affordable prices, essence cosmetics ranges from $1.49 to $4.99 CAD.  The line consists of: trendy lipsticks, eye shadows, mascaras, concealers, powders, nail polishes, and pencils will be available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix, in over 900 stores across the country.”


“In addition to its standard product range, essence will release six new and unique limited editions in Canada per year. “

Cue the angels and heavenly music-essence is making a POINT of releasing limited edition items in CANADA!!!

Some photos for you-and hopefully more to come once the photographers post their pictures.  That’s one thing I truly need to work on-taking more PEOPLE pictures:

The displays were scattered about the space-these are the displays that will be going into the stores so it was nice to be able to shop the actual display!  The only (-) negative was that there weren’t many testers.  At a makeup line launch, there SHOULD be testers (take note PR-when I asked for testers, I was told I could take 1-2 products from the display home with me and only those products I could test. Tsk Tsk.  Beauty Bloggers are always going to want to swatch product).

crowd shot aka my 'secret' photo of Alicia's (funnyfacebeauty) new hair do-it looks great!

Moving on, there was a wonderful selection of appetizers & nibbles as well as creative, fruity cocktails:

cake pops with the essence logo-how sweet!!!

mini caramel apples

even the popcorn was super chic.....

And then just look who I found….her most used sentence throughout the night:

“Let’s go look at the makeup….oh wait there’s *insert food item here*”

@eeenricaaa getting her mini slider on!

There was also a great selection of colorful nailpolishes:

There was also a nail polish station where you could get your nails done by the talented and lovely Melissa (Tips Nail Bar).   I know she probably didn’t want this photo taken but I’m not known for being a great listener so I took it anyway:

There were SOOOOO many perfect photo opportunities-but I left the majority of that in the hands of the capable photographers who were there (Kathryn and some dude with long hair and cool glasses.  Wish I had gotten his name-he was the right combination of sexy artist and confident….in an artsy sort of way).   But when I saw the swing set up in the corner of the room, there was only ONE person I could think of that belonged on it-so I put her there and snapped this gem:

Joyce from @01b0o on the swing-isn't that perfect?

A gift from Essence

gift bag from essence

blush in secret it girl

eyshadow quad in wood you mind?

I love extreme mascara in black-and Yes, I do love it!

XXXL shine lipgloss in nude candy

"get the look" cards-how clever is this? Tells you how to apply and how much everything costs! <3

I also did a quick video on my ‘first impressions’:

What I liked no LOVE:

-price point is amazing

-quality is superb for price!

-packaging, product, and names of products are fantastic

-Colors are highly pigmented-long lasting!

-product packaging on red products actually says “contains carmine” on the label just in case you are allergic! AWESOME.

-wide range to suit every style!

Essence has something for everyone-there are products available that I would deem more for the younger set, but there were also many products that I would wear (to include baked eyeshadows, false lashes, and several different mascaras!).

And that my friends, is just beautiful!

Check out essence at Shoppers Drug Mart and online!

Special thanks to essence  (Howard Schwartz from cosnova), Cathy from Shoppers Drug Mart, and Faulhaber PR-who captured the ‘essence” of the event with their special touch!

Bloggers whom I consider pals at the event:









Olivia (don’t know you well but would like to)




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  • Lacey

    OMG! Great blog post!!! I so need to find some of these products! I am so excited to see if these products are here in my area yet.

    Thank you for sharing this awesomeness 🙂

    • meredith

      @Lacey why of course! And thank YOU for the comment! Let me know if you can’t find this in the area-I was kind of wondering where the 900 stores would be! Isn’t the price point amazing?

  • Cherry

    Look stunning as usual. Those displays are really catchy! Can’t believe how crowded it was in there.

    • meredith

      @Cherry-I know it looks crowded but there was plenty of room to move, and enough product throughout the space! The displays are great but did you see the prices? Nothing over $5.00CAD!! Impressive!

  • Ande

    Truly a great event. You my dear looked stunning! The hair was fabulous! Great post. 🙂

    • meredith

      @Ande I know, it was a great event!! So glad to see you and waiting with anticipation for an announcement you said you would be making soon?

  • ElaineA

    I loooved that dress on you M! Did you do your hair by yourself? Oh and you should have shown a shot of your “Taylor Swift” hair after 😛

    Great review of the event! 🙂

    • meredith

      @Elaine thank you! Going to get it altered this week-it’s too big!! Of course I did NOT do my hair myself. I am going to have to go in and edit this post. I go to a salon in TD centre to get it done!

  • Shelby

    SO exciting!!! BEen waiting for a few years for essence to come to canada YIPEEEEE The minute I see this in my shoppers I’m going to go essence crazy

    • meredith

      @Shelby it is SUPER exciting that essence has arrived! I am so glad they will be doing Limited Edition launches for Canada as well.

  • Shelby

    I’ve had the lipsticks, nail stampers and nail polishes on my list for FOREVER

    • meredith

      @Shelby that is awesome! I will try the nail polish out for my summer pedicures!

  • Laura

    Great piece Meredith and you looked beautiful! Sounds like it was another wonderful event. I am shocked to read that the PR company that put on this event were being so controlling about take-home testers. How could you fully promote a product if you can’t try it? And women don’t want to try make-up at an event, you already have your make-up don, why would you?

    You’ve introduced me and a lot of the other girls in the office to some amazing new finds. You are free marketing for these companies. So much so, that you’ve heard me in passing pining over my favourite L’Oreal bronzer that was discontinued a few years ago (which I’ve not been able to find a close replacement) and you picked me up an almost exact replacement from the Essence event. Who does that? Only you M! You are the best. Thanks to you taking an “extra” cosmetic from that event counter, Essence has now gained a faithful new customer.

    • meredith

      @Laura I am fortunate to attend events like these-and besides getting to try items out myself, I like to extend that courtesy to the people around me and my readers. essence has a lot to offer-huge range of products. There really is something for everyone and the price point is right on the money (ha. weak play on words). I knew when I saw that bronzer that it was an almost exact match so I just had to grab it (regardless of repercussions). Thanks for your comment-glad you like essence!

  • Lauren

    How have I not heard of this brand before??? It seems like a decent quality line at a great price. And it’s great for them to have some limited editions only available in Canada…let everyone else covet something we have for once!!!

    • meredith

      @Lauren wellllll they are a brand out of Europe (Germany to be exact) and they have just launched. I highly HIGHLY recommend you check them out-they have a lot to offer, and a very wide range of products. Let me know if you want to try something from my “goody bag” I haven’t technically used everything (yet). Just swatched.

  • Caramel beautys | Pmakit
    March 6, 2012 - 2:55 am
  • Alicia

    Great post and photos. I have now seen two pics of myself from the event and both are of the back of my head lol. xx

  • Michelle

    Please, please, please tell me you saw a limited edition collection display called “Circus Circus”? PLEASE!

    • meredith

      @Michelle I am almost positive I did….but I am going to go back through and check some other photos from other bloggers

      • Michelle

        Oh wow, I hope you did! 🙂 Thanks so much for replying!

  • Heather

    I saw them for the first time in stores today at the Shoppers Drug Mart on Rideau Street in Ottawa. I spent 24$ with tax and took home six items. The display was cute and clean (but still new). So far very impressed with the quality and the amazing price.