I have a few polish posts coming out soon but I must make a confession before we continue. I, Clever Girl, am a polish neophyte. I don’t posses awesome mani skills. I am not a polish junkie. It doesn’t appeal to me as a hobby and I don’t have time to spend on polish changes every few days. I, however, love getting a pedi and I like seeing color on my tips once or twice a month. That being said, up until 3 years ago, I hated having a mani of any sort. Not the massaging and cleaning part but the nail shaping and painting part. I hadn’t worn polish in years. My nails would always feel trapped and suffocating. Formulas have improved drastically over the years leading me to be more tolerant of nail varnish. Tolerance has become acceptance. Acceptance looks like about 10 bottles of polish. Four of these bottles are top coats and bases. Compared to the average lifestyle or beauty blogger it’s a staggeringly low amount. When the lovely staff at Into The Gloss sent me Butter London Nail Lacquer in Ladybird to try I was dubious but excited. Butter London is a highly praised brand and I was worried my skills wouldn’t do the product justice. Then I realized there are many people who aren’t skilled or might have such sparse nail wardrobes like I do that might benefit from a very unbiased review.
Butter London Nail Lacquer in Ladybird is a “3 free” polish. I wasn’t sure exactly what that covered other than formaldehyde wasn’t in the polish but it also excludes toluene and dibutyl phthalate which are known carcinogens in polishes. The company claims that this is a high pigment polish and it lasts longer than the average manicure when used with their nail foundation and top coats. I bring this up because I used the base and top coats I have which aren’t by Butter London. The color is dubbed as a tomato red but it’s more apt to say it’s “Ladybird” red because it’s the exact color of a lady bug!
Taken in strong afternoon sun
The bottle itself is lovely. It’s a heavy glass bottle with a nice looking font on it. The cap has rounded square edges. Speaking of the cap, I didn’t know that the black part came off. I tried to get it off and it didn’t budge so I used it with the cap on for the first coat. Needless to say that made control really difficult. The cap then popped off as I started coat number two and made a gigantic mess.
The brush is a bit longer than the ones I’m used to working with. The brush handle itself is very short. I’m not sure this is the best design for a n00b like me. The bristles are very even!
The formula is very thin. It’s hard to get too much on your nail due to the brush shape but this also means that it if you have longer nails or a wide nail you need to work fast and keep dipping the brush or you will get the nail a bit gobby. The formula dried very quickly to a certain point but then it took forever to get past the “gummy” stage. There is no time for errors or error correction during the polish phase. I normally only like to invest time in two coats. Due to the thinness of this particular polish my normal two coat routine didn’t give me the opacity I prefer. I could still see the nail bed line through my polish. The result was very even other than two weird voids in the polish. For whatever reason the polish wouldn’t stick to those areas. Other than that the polish was shiny and lovely even if the application was botched somewhat from not being able to get the cap off right the first time.
You can see the small spot the polish refused to cover at the top of the pinky nail
Here is the real problem. I got one day of solid wear before I started having tip wear. By day three we were beyond the ability to “touch up” and the whole thing had to be scrapped. I expect to have a mani last for about 5 days. Tip wear and minor chips are acceptable. Perhaps my expectations are too high but I was disappointed.
Butter London Nail Lacquer in Ladybird is an under performer. I don’t know if this is because I didn’t have the Butter London top coat and foundation or if this polish is just a dud. After all the positive press I feel like I am missing something… perhaps some key to making it last longer. Based on my expectations and the other polishes in my paltry collection it just doesn’t measure up. The other polishes I own are by L’Oreal, NARS, and Chanel just to give you an idea of what I’m comparing them too. I’ve also been getting OPI shades for pedi’s for years. I don’t feel it can compare with any of the these brands. My overall rating for this product is a C+.
Have you tried Butter London Nail Lacquer in Ladybird or any of the other other Butter shades? We’d love to know your thoughts about them in the comments below!