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Essence Pretty Natural Hydrating Foundation Review / Swatches

This year has been pretty revolutionary in terms of brands being more accountable for their lack of diversity in their shade ranges, and the Essence Pretty Natural Hydrating Foundation was launched with a huge shade range as Essence’s response to the ‘Pull Up or Shut Up’ campaign.



Essence Pretty Natural Hydrating Foundation

Until now, Essence has had a pitiful shade range for every base product they’ve ever launched. Their Stay All Day Concealer used to have three shades – yes, really.

So it’s definitely time Essence did improve their shade ranges, and whilst the diverse shade range is currently only available with the Essence Pretty Natural Hydrating Foundation, it’s still a much-needed start, and hopefully other brands will follow suit.


I’ve only ever been able to try one of the Essence base products in the past, due to their lack of pale shades, and it was the Essence Camouflage Full Coverage Concealer, which I raved about here on my blog.

So when I saw that the Essence Pretty Natural Hydrating Foundation had 36 shades, I was excited to give it a try, especially as it describes itself as being a hydrating foundation which is exactly what I need.


From beauty addicts for beauty addicts! This foundation is the ultimate insider tip for a smooth, natural and well-groomed complexion – because it was developed together with essence consumers and especially tailored to their wishes.

The feathery-light, long-lasting formula with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera provides moisture for 24 hours and creates a beautiful, naturally matt finish for just as long – for perfection all day long. Thanks to its medium coverage, it makes redness disappear, ensures an even skin tone and blends pleasantly softly with the skin.

The Essence Pretty Natural Hydrating Foundation is just £4.99, and contains 30ml of product within a plastic squeezy tube. The packaging is very simple and plain, but it’s practical, and keeps the price down. It’s hard to find foundations under £6, never mind £5.


I bought the Essence Pretty Natural Hydrating Foundation in the lightest shade which is 010 Cool Porcelaine, and it’s a nice pale shade, but it leans quite warm on me, which surprised me considering it’s called Cool Porcelaine.

I’ve found the foundation to have a light to medium coverage, and it doesn’t offer as much coverage as I’d like. It’s good for no-makeup kind of makeup days, where you just want your skin to look unified and not bare, but it performs more like a tinted moisturiser than a foundation.

It feels very comfortable on the skin, and it does feel hydrating, but I think that’s why it behaves like a tinted moisturiser rather than a standard foundation. Even though the coverage isn’t impressive, it’s still a really nice base, and it looks nice on the skin, which I really like.