butter LONDON Polish Review

28 September 2011

I don't know how many people got to take advantage of this, but Ulta was having a sweet promotion for the month of September - every day, a new product was on sale, usually for 50% off. Sometimes, it was a free gift w/ purchase (either StriVectin or Dermalogica I think). One of the days they had butter LONDON polishes on sale, BOGOF. I've known about this brand for a while but never had an opportunity to try them out until Ulta started carrying them. Not even going to lie - the price totally throws me. These polishes are $14 and that's a lot of money to spend on a polish, especially one you've never even tried before. I don't even like paying the $8 for Essie or OPI. But BOGOF? That made each polish $7 each and, well, I can live w/ that.

This brand has some excellent looking glitter polishes but I didn't want any since I find glitter polishes to be so irritating to work w/. I ended up getting one from the permanent line, a royal blue cream called "Blagger" and one from the Fall/Winter '11 collection called "No More Waity, Katie". Not only is the name super cute, but this is one of the most interesting colors I own!

I've never reviewed a nail polish before, nor do I really get into nail polishes. I do own a lot, but it's one of those things I almost always go cheap on. Every other product I'll buy both high end and low end but nail polish? Haha, you'll never catch me buying Chanel polishes, that's for sure. I don't even buy MAC! It just seems like such a waste. I type and write a lot and all of the jobs I've had involved registers and washing dishes so manicures last about...oh, a day or two on me.

Anyway, these polishes lasted for about five days before I noticed my tips chipping. w/ the blue polish. The other one lasted for around a week. The consistency was completely different - the glitter polish was thin and liquid-like while the cream was thicker and almost difficult to work w/. They take about fifteen minutes to fully dry - five minutes in, they feel dry on the top but if you rub them or hit them on something, it's still possible to nick the polish or rub it clean off. Overall, I really do like the colors. The formula is pretty so-so; I don't like the drying time, but it goes on okay and lasts for a relatively average amount of time.

The whole thing behind butter LONDON is that they don't contain the "big three" - Formaldehyde, Toluene, or DBP. This is a little blurb from their website about the 3 Free Polishes:

We Believe in Rock and Roll. Great Britain. And Fashion.
By transforming catwalk trends to custom nail colour palettes, butter LONDON has developed a passionate following. butter LONDON is the cult phenomenon of the nail industry and is fast becoming famous for our high fashion, 3 Free (non-toxic) nail lacquers and revolutionary waterless nail services. butter LONDON products are formulated without the use of the harmful ingredients like Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens. butter LONDON was the first company to sell non-toxic nail lacquer in the United States."

And, from Esther's Nail Center, a brief explanation of what these chemicals are:

What are they

We call these three chemicals as the big 3 because those are the most mentioned when we talk about 'safer nail polish'.

DBP or 'dibutyl phthalate' is a plasticizer that makes nail polish flexible. Toluene is a colorless liquid used as a solvent. And Formaldehyde helps harden nails. It's also a cheap preservative used in shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and children's bubble bath.

How toxic

To know the toxicity level of these chemical, we visit Skin Deep, the most popular online safety guide for cosmetics and personal care products. Search results at Skin Deep database show that DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde have the same high hazard score of 10. The hazard score is on 0 - 10 scale, (10 corresponding to highest concern). Moreover, all these ingredients are linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity and allergies (visit this website for details)."

"Blagger" - "Striking cobalt blue."

This color looks gorgeous in the bottle...unfortunately, it dries much darker than it looks (I hate when this happens!) It's still a lovely color but I find this polish to be hard to work w/. It gets tacky really fast and if you're not careful, it can get streaky or kind of clump up on itself. It could be this particular bottle, TBH, and it's nothing a teeny bit of polish thinner probably couldn't fix. This is a permanent color and I wonder how long it's been out because the brush on the Fall/Winter '11 polish I have is wider and easier to work w/, whereas the brush on this bottle is long and thin. I wonder if they've redone the cut of their brush? This was, for the most part, opaque in one coat. But two coats definitely smoothed out any textural differences and I usually apply three coats regardless. All in all, I do like this color, I just wish it dried closer to the color in the bottle.

"No More Waity, Katie" - A soft, elegant greige shade with a splash of lilac glitter is the perfect marriage to combine fashion and fun.

I didn't plan on buying any glitter polishes but this one looks so fricking cool that I had to get it. This has a gray-purple base w/ lilac glitter and because the base is actually colored, it gives this particular glitter polish an interesting look, since it's not glitter overload in a clear base. The brush is great - wide but not wide to the point of being sloppy. This polish dried a tiny bit faster than the blue one also. It lasted longer before showing tip wear and since the glitter isn't overwhelming, it's not crazy hard to remove. I think my only issue w/ it is that the base is sheer. Three coats and it still looked a bit streaky and transparent in spots. Four coats made it opaque though.

I'm really interested in the silver polish and the glittery teal one and if I were to buy more of these, I'd pick up those two. Starting Oct. 2nd, these polishes are on sale at Ulta again, but they're B2GOF, which isn't as great...you're still paying like...$10 for a bottle of polish. Eh. They''re definitely nice, but so is Orly and OPI and I can get those a lot cheaper.


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