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Swatch time: Essence Vibrant Shock Lip Paint in 05 Nightstalker

Dear Roses and Lilies,

Not so long ago, Essence launched some new liquid lipsticks: some metallic, some matte - and really vibrant. I am not a fan of metallic lipsticks, so I went with the Vibrant Shock Lip Paint. Looking at pictures online just after the lip paints became available, I immediately got drawn in by the blue hue, that did not lean green nor purple, so 05 Nightstalker was immediately in my shopping cart. Then I waited 24 hours for the order to arrive, all the while thinking about what a superb addition this hue would be to my ever growing collection.

Doesn't it look spectacular! I immediately put it on and my first impressions were: first, the applicator is easy to use. The consistency of the lip paint is runny, almost like that of a lip gloss. The scent is sweet but not overpowering (reminds me of gummy bears). As I work on the first layer, I immediately notice it is streaky, which should not be the case with matte lippies. So I apply a second layer and that makes it all so much better! However, I encounter another little setback - the consistency is so runny that I end up coloring outside the lines here and there... A bit frustrated, I whip out a blue eyeliner (also from Essence), wipe the lip paint off and carefully line the contours of my lips. It is not something I do often, but when in need...

Now I only have to wait for the lipstick to dry down to a matte finish. And I wait... and wait... and wait... boy, this reminds me of another liquid lippie that takes forever to dry down, except that one is not streaky and does not require a pencil to keep it in check. While waiting, I notice a tingling feeling at first. Then, my lips start to feel like I've been swatching ten lipsticks in a row - irritated and dry. What the heck? So I did not wait for the lipstick to dry down, just went to take it off. But taking it off this second time proved to be somewhat of a challenge. The lipstick stains, and the stain is blue-green alright, so I would recommend oil for removing it completely. And a bit more patience than you're used to having.

I find the color stunning, so I gave it a few more tries. Each time was pretty much the same: first layer was streaky and rather green, with two layers it looked metallic, not matte. Tingling sensation on my lips, then straight up irritation and dryness. Today, I thought, would be the last time. What I also did on a separate occasion was to fill in my lips with the aforementioned eye pencil, then add the lipstick on top. Sadly, that does not help with the uncomfortable sensation. Only out of curiosity it is that today I am waiting and counting the minutes till the lip paint finally dries down. After waiting for 30 minutes, the result is neither soft matte nor full on matte. It does look more blue than green, though.

And the feeling of irritated lips has subsided. Due to the runny consistency of the lip paint, I expected the wear to be more comfortable. I expected it to feel light on the lips, but it is not the case. I feel like I piled on 3 layers of a traditional creamy lipstick.

I also looked up the ingredients online, to see if there is anything in these lip paints that is likely to irritate your lips, and I have not found anything obvious, except lots of fragrance. So maybe this is just me being hyper sensitive. But I am going to put this to the test, and apply one of the lip paints on my friends and fam, to see if anyone else gets the irritated lips feeling (in the meantime, feel free to share in the comments below if you get this sensation as well).

To wrap it all up, there are the following pros about Essence 05 Nightstalker Vibrant Shock Lip Pain:
- the color is vibrant
- the smell reminds me of gummy bears, or berries
- it is very affordable

And the reasons I will not use this lip paint again:
- tingling, irritating, drying sensation on the lips
- streaky application
- does not dry down matte at all (not even satin)
- transfers and stains


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