So, this is a bit of an obsession for me… a true red creme. In this swatch I have, pinky to index finger Essence Fateful ($2.55/5ml), Butter London Pillarbox Red ($19.99/11ml), Kink Flamenco and Illamasqua Throb which retails for (~$20/15ml or whatever the exchange rate is on 13.50 pounds).
Throb is one thick coat, whilst the others are all two coats. The middle two (Butter & Kink) lean to truer red, whilst the end two are both bluer reds. Kink is definitely the worst performing with a visible nail line until 4 coats. At two coats Butter London has very slightly visible nail line where Essence has none. I think that Essence had the best formula, followed by Illamasqua and then Butter London and Kink is definitely the worse. From experience the Illamasqua polishes are very long wearing, followed by Essence.
I think the winner here is Essence on cost and pigmentation, with Illamasqua as a close second with a great formula. The Butter London is nice as a truer red but does not live up to the price point.