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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Butter London Nail Polish Reviews

UPDATE:  Well I've had the pleasure of buying and receiving a lot more Butter London polishes since I wrote this post (And thankfully I've gotten better at photographing the polishes!) and the brand continues to grow and improve and has actually become one of my favorites! Check out these posts:

butter LONDON Royal Navy

butter LONDON Blowing Raspberries

butter LONDON Lillibet's Jubilee

butter LONDON Trout Pout, Yummy Mummy and Teddy Girl

butter LONDON Queen Vic

butter LONDON British Racing Green

Some thoughts on Butter London polish.  Overall, it's not a bad brand.  The 3-free, not tested on animals attributes are certainly a plus, as are some of the colors.  My problem with Butter London is the inconsistency of the formulas from one color to the other.  I've noticed bottle imperfections, too, but other than that possibly being an indicator of quality control in general, that doesn't really bother me.

For instance, the cremes generally have decent application while the glitters and other "special" polishes (like Chancer) have such horrible application that I doubt I will ever use them again.  Chancer was extremely gloppy and thick and hard to apply and just got worse with each coat, even when drying completely between coats.

Butter London Chancer

Butter London Chancer 

Not sure if you can tell how gloppy it is in the photos, but it was so bad, I didn't bother doing cleanup, OR the other hand.  In the first photo, I've compared Chancer to China Glaze Ruby Pumps.  They both have the same shimmer, but the Butter London base is a slightly darker red than the China Glaze.  The main difference is the formula and application.  No comparison.

Marrow, on the other hand, has a smooth application.  It is slightly thicker than most, almost making it a one-coater, but it applies well.  It's a deep, vampy purple (or even blurple) creme with a slight hint of silver micro-shimmer, that dried a bit darker than the bottle indicates.

Butter London Marrow

I decided to try the No More Waity Katie with it.  I've seen so many gorgeous photos of it used over Zoya Caitlin and figured it would go well over Marrow.  In theory, it does.  In reality, however, the formula is so gloppy and thick and uneven, it's not really worth it.

Butter London No More Waity Katie

It's really too bad that such a gorgeous color, which would have made a great layering polish or stand-alone polish, is just horrible in application.

To be fair to Butter London, I swatched a few more with NO application or formula problems.

Butter London All Hail the Queen

Butter London All Hail the Queen

All Hail the Queen has a fantastic application and it's really a lovely color.  Some call it a holo, but if it is, it's not a strong holo.  Though I haven't really worn it in full sun.  I'll have to test that out. To me, the shimmer makes it a very interesting, if not truly holographic, color.  This one is a keeper.

Butter London Queen Vic

Queen Vic, a creme, is a deep mulberry/cranberry/raspberry color. It's not what I would call a unique color and while the application isn't as bad as NMWK or Chancer, it is a little on the thick side and slightly difficult to work with.

Butter London Snog

This polish looks to be more of a fuchsia in the bottle but on the nail is a darker, more red-toned pink than fuchsia. I'll definitely need to get more full sun photos of this one as it's a hard color to capture for someone like me who is "photographically challenged."  The formula/application is great on this creme.

Butter London Toff

Toff is one of the new Autumn/Winter 2011 colors. I would describe this as a dark dusty mauve or a darker rose pink with very definite and noticable brown undertones. Color is great. The formula was acceptable, but not great.  There was some cuticle drag and it's a bit on the thick side - again, making it almost a one-coater but without the best application.

Butter London Pearly Queen

Butter London Pearly Queen

Pearly Queen had good application and formula. And the color was actually quite surprising.  I really didn't expect to like the color as much as I did. It's definitely a pearl, but the brush strokes, while definitely there, as with most pearls, weren't the worst I've seen. It's not your 80s pearl, for sure. The surprising part for me was that it was opaque in 2 coats.  I really expected it to be a sheer.  It has good shimmer and the color is a sandy pearl/white with a pale pink flash.  Without natural light, it's almost a pale cement color, but it comes alive in the sun where you can see the pink flash.


  1. Great review! I hope they improve on the inconsistencies since they seem to have great colors. Your nails look great with both vampy and brighter shades!

  2. Peach! Thanks so much for stopping by. Unfortunately, my nails will NEVER be as gorgeous as yours or look good in as many colors.

  3. I just went to my local store that sells BL and I saw No more waity katie, which was the one I wanted for the longest time and they finally had it in stock!I know maybe applying 3 layers may still not able to get the look...but what do you think if i use it over purple? Is the application be better that way?
    and Do you have Big SMoke?(Its really pretty in the bottle) what do you think of the application of this one=]?
    thanks in advance >//< sorry i hav sooo many questions!

  4. I think you definitely need to layer it over another color. The most popular layering combo I've seen with NMWK is over Zoya Caitlin. It's really pretty. I've layered it over BL Marrow here, but I think it pops more over Caitlin. Sorry I don't have Big Smoke. And I welcome ALL questions! I just may not have all the answers. =)

  5. OMG finally someone I can relate to where these polishes are concerned. I have a review going up on Friday but basically i've tried the Gobsmacked and Lubby Jubily colors. I have 4 other bottles to try. These glittery ones though peeled right off my nails when I applied them with base and top coat. I had to apply them to bare nails and then if I wanted to use a top coat I had to wait hours for them to dry and then apply.

    For $14 they need to play nicer with my base and top coats!

  6. Do London Butters play well with gel nails? Top coat? Horse Power? How do I put it on every day for seven days over my gel nails? I'm talking the Horse Power.

    1. I don't do gel nail at all so I don't know the answer but maybe someone will know if you ask on my page?

  7. Butter London must have changed the formula on Chancer. I got a free bottle of it at Christmas with an order. I hate red nail polish; I just don't wear it, so I chucked this into the basket of other polishes. Last weekend, while discarding colors, I saw this one, and was about to put it into the discard pile when I decided to try it over the Essie Licorice I was already wearing. Wow. It was amazing. First of all, the fomula wasn't thick and gloppy, if anything, it was a bit thin. Went on easily, dried fast. Two coats over the Licorice, a top coat, and OMG. The black underneath added so much depth, and the sparkle was wonderful. I got so many compliments on it. Glad I didn't toss this one.


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