Illamasqua ESP Lipstick
Illamasqua ESP Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “vivid violet.” It’s a rich, violet purple with pink undertones and a matte finish. Nothing that I could think of seemed to come very close–this is very purple; not pink, not fuchsia, and then not ultra dark/vampy. OCC Belladonna was the closest, but it’s lighter. MAC Potent Fig and MAC Fervent are much darker, less violet. MAC Violetta and MAC Heroine are both much pinker. Illamasqua Kontrol is purpler, grayer, and quite a bit darker. See swatch comparisons here.
Though it’s a more unique color, and anyone who’s been on the hunt for a brightened purple will be tempted by ESP, the texture is very, very unforgiving. It’s incredibly dry, which made application problematic, wear uncomfortable, and the color looked dry and patchy applied. I would highly recommend laying down a smidgen of balm first–just enough to make everything smooth over better–and applying the color with a lip brush.It’s very easy to break the bullet because of how much pressure you exert just to swipe the lipstick across the lips (it tugs, drags, and pulls). It will come as no surprise but this is uncomfortable to wear, because it feels like it is clinging to the lips and is somewhat drying (but not as drying as it looks). The upside, I guess, is because it is clingy, whatever you do apply will last quite awhile (six hours for me).