Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Swatches and Reviews: Butter London - Hen Party

Butter London - Hen Party
This past holiday season, I made my first foray into Butter London nail polishes....and fell in love. Having tried them, I can now see where their almost cult following comes from. I've since started a small collection of Butter London polishes - helped in part by the 50% off sale on "Last Orders" just before the New Year.

One of my first purchases was for one of the limited edition Boxing Day Fash Packs put out in December 2013.  The two Fash Packs (not to be confused with the Butter London lacquer by the same name) featured five mini-sized bottles of classic Butter London colors. The pink ombre Fash Pack included the colors Teddy Girl, Fruit Machine, Fairy Lights, Primrose Hill Picnic, and Queen Vic. The neutral one included Hen Party, Yummy Mummy, Champers, Lady Muck and Dodgy Barnett. Being that I'm not much of a pink person, and that neutrals are very much "on trend" for the beginning of 2014, I went with the neutral pack.

So, let's take a look at the first color: Hen Party!

Brand: Butter London
Name: Hen Party
Product Description: "A sheer, opal nail lacquer that is neutral and stunning alone, but is also utterly on-trend as an edgy overcoat on top of any existing lacquer shade." (credit: product page)
Vintage: Spring 2011
Collection: N/A
Limited Edition: No
Size: 11ml/.4 fl oz; 6ml/.2 fl oz ("Fash Pack" version)
Dupes: unknown

In product photos, Hen Party doesn't really sell itself very well. Displaying as a yellowy nude tone in the bottle, I was probably the least excited for this color of all those in the pack. Upon seeing the bottle when it arrived, the iridescence DOES show itself  a bit as a pale lavender shine from certain angles, but still doesn't really jump out at you. However, imagine my surprise when I tried the polish on my nails and a beautiful, sheer opal color emerged. I've seen the color compared to an opalescent version of Essie's Ballet Slippers, but I unfortunately don't own it to compare.

The formula is very thin and sheer.The color is perhaps one shade paler than my already pale complexion, and is thin enough that and even with 3 coats, my nail lines are still  fairly visible. So, the point of this particular polish is not for full, opaque, coverage. Instead, it's intended to be worn for its sheerness. I can see it really standing up well in a variation on a classic french manicure, and it's definitely a nice twist on a "safe" color. It would probably make a nice office or interview polish if you're in a situation where wild colors are out of the picture.

The one good thing about the polish being so translucent, and thus the formula being thinner is that the polish goes on smoothly and thinly. In fact, it went on smooth enough that I didn't even have to clean up my nail lines at all - even using my non-dominant hand. Even with 3 coats, there's absolutely no streaking or brush strokes visible. With each coat, the subtle color shift builds in depth.

Where this polish really shines is as a topper. Because the color is so sheer, it would do well on any pale pink or neutral. Layering it over a creamy off-white might really bring out the opal shine. Hmmm... now I'm even curious how the lavender pearlescence would fare over a pale blue. The photo to the left shows Hen Party over other colors (though the pictures don't really show the slight lavender iridescence). From top to bottom: Hen Party layered over: Butter London - Yummy Mummy, Sinful Colors - Snow Me White, Butter London - Cream Tea, OPI - Don't Pretzel My Buttons

It might not work for everyone, and definitely will leave you disappointed if you're looking for something full-coverage, but it's definitely a polish that is truly unique. I have yet to come across anything like it.

For the uninitiated, all of Butter London's color names originate in British slang and/or cultural references. Hen party, in this case, is the British English term for what we Americans call a bachelorette party. I caught on to this one quickly, as I heard it often this past fall as my Kiwi best friend's Maid-of-Honor. Learn more about all of Butter London's names here!

underwater photo, trying to capture the iridescence

Manicures/nail art that use this nail polish:

All Butter London lacquers are "3-free," and the company is proud to "never add Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, phtalates or parabens to any of (their) products." Learn more about Butter London here!

Disclaimer: I will give my honest opinion on any reviews and swatches that appear on this site, regardless of origin. All products mentioned in this review were purchased by myself <3

No comments:

Post a Comment