Back in March, Ulta had a special on butter LONDON nail lacquer–buy one, get one free. I had been wanting to try butter, but it usually retails for $15 a bottle, and that is an absurd amount to pay for a bottle of nail polish. So I took advantage of the sale and bought four colors: Henley Regatta, a green glitter polish; Rosie Lee, a red glitter polish; Goss, a pink-ish/gold-ish shimmery polish; and All Hail the Queen, a beige traditional polish.
First, let me say that “butter” is the dumbest possible name for a cosmetics company. I don’t care if you tack the word “London” onto the end of it. Why not call it “steak” or “corn flakes”? Any food item would be equally ridiculous.
And the pretension level of butter is off the charts. For starters, there’s the aforementioned $15 price tag for their nail polish. Then, there’s this quote from someone named Katie Jane Hughes, which greets you when you go to the butter website: “Nail polish is created in a lab. Nail lacquer is created on the runway.” What the F does that even mean? Nail polish and nail lacquer are the same thing. They’re both created in a lab. But calling one “nail lacquer” is a sure sign that you are a pretentious jackass. (Oh, and I just Googled Katie Jane Hughes. She’s a professional manicurist and “global colour ambassador” for butter. I rest my case.)
Then there’s the fact that the line is called butter LONDON, but they’re based in WASHINGTON STATE. In the UNITED STATES. Their FAQs page says “Girls and Blokes” are standing by to answer your questions. Just “ring” them up by telephone. Oh my god, I can’t stand this.
And don’t even get me started on the “whimsical” names butter comes up with for its polishes. For example, according to the website description, Goss is short for “gossip.” Give me a break. The punny names were cute when OPI started the trend a billion years ago, but everyone and their brother is now trying to come up with a clever name for their polish. I miss the days when the name of the color actually told you something about the color. Neither Goss nor Gossip conveys any useful information about what is inside the bottle or how it will look on your nails.
As for the polishes themselves–no, I will not call them lacquers–they were disappointing. I generally only got three days of wear before my first chip. The brush is firm, but the polish is thin and hard to control. My second coats were sloppy in all cases. The square cap lifts off to reveal a standard round brush handle. The polishes are only 3-free (no toluene, dibutyl phthalate, or formaldehyde), which, in these days of readily available 5-free polishes, causes them to lose points in my eyes. Below is a more in-depth description of each color.
This is a pretty, green/blue glitter polish. The glitter is very sparsely dispersed inside a clear lacquer, so I needed three coats to really feel like I had covered my nail and the green was visible. This one performed the worst as far as chips go. I painted my nails on a Thursday and they were chipped by Saturday. By Sunday they were a mess. Removal is stubborn, as with most glitter polishes, and took about seven minutes.
I got a TON of compliments when I wore this one to a wedding in April. It is essentially the same as Henley Regatta, only red. But it’s not, like, Christmas-y red. It’s kind of a bronze-y dark pink. Very nice. Again, I used three coats to get full coverage. I once again painted my nails on a Thursday but this time made it to Sunday before my first chip appeared. Removal time was again about seven minutes.
This polish doesn’t appear to have any shimmer in the bottle, but it has a bit when you get it on the nail. Maybe I’ve just been wearing too much glitter polish lately, but this one felt especially smooth and glossy once it dried. I only had to use two coats, but I keep my nails short. If you have long tips, you very well could need three coats to get full coverage and opacity. Removal was a breeze (again, maybe I’ve been wearing too much glitter polish) at just under two minutes.
This one was a huge disappointment, but I blame Ulta more than butter. I was very excited about the color, but when I put it on, it was very gloppy and streaky. I had ordered my polishes from the Ulta website, and I think they sent me something that had been sitting around for a long time. Rather than dealing with the hassle of trying to return it by mail, I went to the store in Silver Spring. The exchange process was easy, but the store has significantly fewer colors than the website. They didn’t have Goss, so I ended up buying a gold shimmer polish called The Full Monty. (NB: Good thing I didn’t buy these polishes directly from the butter website. They don’t accept returns or exchanges of anything that’s been opened. So don’t ever buy anything from their website.)
This is a great metallic gold polish, but again, I painted my nails on a Thursday and they were chipped by Sunday. I used two coats, and removal was equally easy as with All Hail the Queen. I wore it once on its own and once with a coat of Rosie Lee over each ring fingernail as an accent. Rosie Lee over gold is quite lovely.
Not even close to being worth the money. Their color selection is fantastic–the website lists 119–but I don’t want to have to paint my nails every three or four days to keep my manicure looking nice. If I’m paying $15 for a bottle of nail polish, you can bet your ass I expect it to last a week. And maybe even make me a sandwich.