April Head to Head: Mac vs Essence


Welcome to the first post of my new monthly ‘head to head’ series, where I pit an old favourite against a product I’ve recently discovered and rather liked. Over the course of a month, I’ll be testing them against each other to see which of the two I like better and reporting back at the end of the month with my verdict.

This month, and first up, it’s setting sprays.

Setting spray is the final step in my makeup routine, and possibly the most important. At least for me – if my makeup isn’t fixed in place, it tends to rub off or, if my skin is being very dry, it flakes off. So not a good look, and the reason why setting spray is Important.

I’ve been a Fix+ devotee for a while. It used to be all about Urban Decay All-Nighter for me, but Fix+ has proven to be better for my skin as I’ve aged. It’s my daily go-to, and I feel ready for the day when I’ve sprayed it on my face. Fix+ does everything I need it to, so why would I even consider trying another setting spray?

Well, the thing is, having dry skin can mean that sometimes my skin looks rather dull, even with a full face of makeup on it. I had been considering searching out the Catrice Dewy setting spray (which I’ve heard good things about) to see if that would help when lo and behold, the little Essence one landed in my lap from a Glossybox.

It said ‘illuminating’ on the bottle.

Illuminating is a good word when you’ve got dry, dull and mature skin.

So I gave it a quick spray, and I liked it. It does make my skin nice and glowy. It has a slight purple sheen if you spray it on something black (by accident, I didn’t voluntarily spray it on my laptop) but that’s not obvious on the face. I’ve been using it mostly for evenings out, just to see, and so far, so good, it does the job for two or three hours.

I have read some reviews of this where people said the sprayer on the bottle is a bit pants. Mine doesn’t seem to be that bad – it doesn’t blob the spray onto my face, it does actually mist it. It isn’t the best mister in the world, I’ll give it that, but my particular bottle doesn’t seem to be as bad as everyone online is saying. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

I’ve not given it a proper, rigorous test yet – as in, it’s not had to do a day at work yet. I have been defaulting to my Fix+ for long days, and that’s pretty indestructible, so it will be interesting to see how the Essence one copes with eight hours at work. Especially as it’s getting warmer in the UK now, and my office is a little oven, so I’m fully expecting my makeup to be sliding off my face during these warmer days.

I’ll be alternating the sprays – one day I will use the MAC, one day I will use the Essence, and so on for the whole month.

I will also be using the exact same primer and foundation for the test – my Figs & Rouge primer and my L’Oreal True Match foundation. It makes sense to keep the same base to test the sprays on. Sort of a control, if we want to get scientific about this.

And at the end of the month, I’ll be making a decision which one I like better. Or if I like them both, and want to use them for different occasions. We shall see, so let battle commence!

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