Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Confession: I didn't start wearing nail polish until 2008. It's weird to think that this is a fairly recent development because these days I feel weird when I don't have it on. For special occasions, I also like to colour-coordinate my manis and pedis with my dress. Before I left for Saltspring Island last week, I gave myself a DIY manicure using butter LONDON nail polish in 'Big Smoke', a beautiful shimmery deep blue shade that would go well with the navy coral-trimmed dress I planned to wear. I'd picked up the polish at local boutique Ishara several months ago. It lasted well in a pedi, but I knew the real test for butter LONDON would be how well it stayed on my fingernails.
The pros: butter LONDON has become a huge hit among Vancouver fashionistas looking for their next great nail polish purchase and it's easy to see why. Its "3 free" formula contains no formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP--"colour, not carcinogens" as the bottle says. The line also scores major brownie points for its range of wearable colours (classic beiges and taupes, bright fun jelly shades, and darker hues that are oh-so-perfect for fall) and adorable Anglophile motifs. According to the company website, my shade is called 'Big Smoke' because it's an affectionate nickname for sometimes-smoggy London. Other names alluding to British slang and pop culture are equally charming.
The formula is thinner than that of OPI, Essie, or American Apparel polishes and the brush is smaller than OPI's pro-wide brush, resulting in a smoother, more precise application. Faster drying times mean fewer bubbles and scratches and less likelihood of scratching or denting your nails as the polish sets. My nails looked professionally done at the end!
The cons: As evidenced by the photo above (snapped five days after the DIY mani), it's not exactly chip-proof. To be fair, I usually have better luck maintaining a chip-free pedi than a mani, but I was still disappointed with how 'Big Smoke' chipped at a rate comparable to OPI, Essie, and AA polishes. It's an especially big letdown when you consider that at $15-20 a bottle, butter LONDON polishes cost much more than their counterparts.
My verdict: If you really love a butter LONDON shade that you can't seem to find anywhere else, go for it, but there are affordable 3 free alternatives out there.
Has anyone else tried butter LONDON polish? What are your fave shades? What did you think of the formula?