I have been impatient for the Butter London Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection to be released since I first laid eyes on the promotional images back in May. I love everything fall- fall weather, fall clothes, fall colors- so fall collections tend to be my favorite of the year.
When I heard they were at Nordstrom this weekend, I ran to go check them out in person. I was not disappointed!
I grabbed three of the five colors: Shag (an orangey coppery metallic), Gobsmacked (charcoal gray with silver sparkles and an interesting matte and textured finish), and Lovely Jubbly (a fine but dense magenta/blue/red/gold glitter in a clear base)- passing on Dodgy Barnett and Trustafarian (a silvery gray holo and golden sage holo, respectively. Not a fan of holos, can you tell?)
Swatching a full mani of each new polish in a collection takes a special kind of dedication that I do not possess (and frankly, requires more polish remover than I have on hand at the moment) so I hope you''ll forgive my single nail swatches.
First up: Shag
I wasn't planning to get Shag because I don't generally go for metallics unless they're super neutral (silver, gold or copper) and even then, I prefer them as an accent and never as a full mani. They're a little too flashy for me (says someone who regularly has 6+ different colors on her nails, with full awareness of the irony)... I don't know... they always remind me of paint jobs on cheesy sports cars or something. But Shag is close enough to copper to fall on the right side of that line for me. It's a sparkly metallic burnt orange, very warm toned but still wearable for a pale, cool toned girl like me.
I feel pretty confident there are dupes for this out there. Maybe CG Harvest Moon (from the Hunger Games collection), Zoya Penny, or something from SpaRitual (they seem to have a lot of warm metallics)? But I don't have anything like it myself. It's a fantastic fall color, regardless.
Oooh sparkly: Lovely Jubbly
This is the one I can definitely say I didn't need. My love for glitters far outweighs my actual interest in wearing them. (How many times have you seen me wear glitter on this blog? And I have TONS of them.) But sometimes you just get sucked in by the pretty sparkles, and these are very pretty sparkles. Interestingly, the press release for this one described it as "a fusion of gold, red and blue sparkles set in magenta" which had me expecting multicolored glitter in a magenta base. But this is actually a clear base, and when they say "set in magenta" they mean "set in magenta GLITTER." I was a teeny bit disappointed about that, because I think colored glitter in a magenta base would have been a little more unique. But still... sparkly...
There appear to be two types of glitter (not that you can tell without a macro lens)- tiny hex glitter and microscopic square glitter. Magenta is the dominant color, with blue, red and gold sprinkled in. At arms length the overall impression is pink glitter but the blue is visible as well. I hear this may be a dupe for Sally Hansen Rockstar Pink - I don't own it, but from the swatches I've seen: yeah, they definitely look similar.
The best for last: Gobsmacked
My husband and I have this joke about the word "gobsmacked." I don't know if you watch any Gordon Ramsay shows, but we've watched Master Chef and Best Restaurant (and Kitchen Nighmares, but I hate that show, and not Hells Kitchen- even the commercials for that one stress me out- too much yelling) and he has this habit of latching onto a word and totally overusing it to the point of being distracting and ridiculous. On Master Chef (this season anyway) it's "wow!" Seriously- watch the show. Every other word out of his mouth is "wow" and mostly in situations that totally don't call for it, which makes it sound like he's being facetious and making fun of people, which makes him look like a total asshole and is super funny. Anyway, on Best Restaurant (which was actually a very good show) he said "gobsmacked" a bunch of times, and we thought it was hilarious.
That was a terrible story, where was I?
Oh, right. Gobsmacked is a really unusual polish. I was a little skeptical before I saw it in person- are they just trying to pass off an annoying gritty glitter as something deliberate and covetable? But look at it. It's so freaking cool. It's a matte charcoal gray base with tons and tons of gritty silver glitter in it. It dries lighter than it looks in the bottle, due to the whole matte thing, and the overall effect is like asphalt or sandblasted iron or one of those textured non-stick pans (hmm.. funny enough, I think Gordon Ramsay makes a line of those...)
You can put a shiny topcoat over it (like I did on my pinkie in the photo above), if you want, and it changes the look entirely- the base color deepens, the glitter jumps out, and it's very pretty and sparkly (if maybe a little dupable). So in that sense it's two polishes in one. I'm really liking the original matte finish, though, myself. And lest you worry that the durability is compromised by the lack of a top coat (I normally consider my Seche Vite a non-negotiable necessity if I want to wear a mani for more than six hours) this polish gives all indication it's going to wear like iron (how appropriate!) I swatched it for these photos, and then immediately took a shower. Normally I try to wait 24 hours after applying polish, even with SV, because water + my nails = chip city. This polish had been on for no more than 10 minutes (it dries almost instantly, btw- another perk of the matte finish) and it came out looking immaculate, and has stayed that way all day.
I hear Illamasqua has something very similar coming out in their fall collection, so it will be interesting to compare the two. We may well start seeing a bunch of "sandpaper" polishes in the not too distant future- if history is any indication, the polish world loves to jump on any new texture or finish (matte, crackle, magentic, etc.) and overwhelm us with it until no one can stand to wear it or buy it or see it again.
Until then, I'll be wearing Gobsmacked and feeling very fashion forward, thankyouverymuch.
All three of these polishes applied beautifully, in typical Butter London fashion. All were opaque in two coats. Gobsmacked was a little thick but it didn't hinder the smoothness or ease of application.
Where to get them: butterlondon.com will have them eventually, but they're not up as of this writing. Nordstom has them now, though.