Friday, October 10, 2008

Butter London Nail Polish

My relationship with my bottle of Butter London nail polish didn't start on the best note.

Actually, I take it back: When I first spotted the bottles and the unusual colors with the quirky British names, I had to use every ounce of self control to keep myself from ordering a dozen of them (seriously, how can one resist something called HRH?). I settled for Teddy Boy, that promised to be a vintage dirty rose. It is definitely accurate , though a bit on the dark side (I'm not complaining).

My issue is with the design of the bottle/cap and the brush.

The rectangular box bottle looks modern and sophisticated, but it's not so easy to open (maybe I'm too used to Chanel caps that don't require much work because underneath the outer cap there's a roundish one, that turns normally), and I ended up with polish on my fingers and on the bottle. Then there's the very short and too thin brush, that is a bit hard to control and doesn't carry much product, so I have to re-dip more than I like to cover each nail (an invitation to messy application).

Despite that, the polish goes on easily enough and doesn't streak even if you need three dips for one nail. It's very pigmented and completely opaque, so one coat can be enough, though it takes two if you want to get the exact color you see in the bottle.

The durability isn't the best ever. Without a top coat I saw chipping after the second day (I didn't do anything more damaging than typing and the mildest housework), though a certain level of shine maintained after three days. With top coat (I use Essie), the polish survived nearly five days.

The best part, other than the color (which I love) is that Butter London is free of the worst 3 toxic chemicals found in most traditional nail polishes and it doesn't stink to high heaven.

All the pictures were taken without top coat in several degrees of natural/artificial light.

Butter London nail polish ($12) is available from
All images: mine. Models: Gracie and Giselle
Bonus pictures of Giselle, just because.


  1. Your lovely cat in 4th picture faces like she is unhappy because you like the nail polish more than her. :-)

  2. In addition to perfume, I have a *mild* obsession with nail polish. I haven't tried Butter, but my current favorite brands are Rescue Beauty and Priti (in Hardy Water Lily). Rescue Beauty has beautiful colors and the reds are exceptional and long lasting. Both brands are free of the 3 most toxic chemicals you mentioned.

  3. Not easy to open, not easy to hold, and the two that bought I applied awfully.

  4. I have never tried Butter, but I'm not terribly handy with nail polish tubes so I don't know how this would work out with the chunky cap and brush. I mean, I have enough streaking issues with OPI nail polish. At any rate, the color of your polish looks great, especially with a cute kitty in the picture (everything looks better with a kitty in the picture).

  5. Lavinia, if I remember correctly, Giselle was mostly objecting to the idea of posing with something that doesn't smell of catnip ;)

  6. Mavorneen, I haven't tried Priti (yet), but I agree about Rescue. I need to review some.

  7. Marina, opening these bottles annoyed me to no end (getting polish on my knuckles didn't help, either). Its only saving grace was that at least this color ended up looking fine, despite struggling with the brush. But the longevity issue might be a deal-breaker for me. There are enough better polishes on the market that don't require frequent touch-ups. Too bad, because the colors are lovely.

  8. Amanda, you can definitely skip this one. Some OPIs can streak, but I'm very happy with their new releases, including the one I tried from the OPI for Sephora line (review soon).

    And, I agree. A kitten makes everything look pretty :)

  9. I love Butter London nail polishes. I've never had a problem with the lid. I actually do better painting with their products than with others. Or maybe I just try harder because the colors are gorgeous and so fun.

    I work in a warehouse with mostly men so the nail polish is my one little girly splurge. I wore Mariner (a navy/teal sort of color) with Henley Regatta (teal sparkles) over it one day and even the guys took notice. It was fun. Being in the warehouse environment leads to lots of chipping, but I found that if I use their basecoat and topcoat my polish lasts for days!

    P.S. I'm new to this blog and that cat is too cute

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