Four Brilliant Picks from Butter London

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There’s just something about the Butter London line that makes me want to drop phrases like “bloody brill” and “chuffed” into everyday conversations. And after being lucky enough to test out four products, I can confidently confirm that from nail polish to mascara, these products are quite fit.


Butter London was founded in 2005 as a nail polish brand, but the line has expanded into a full offering of cosmetics and their products are often featured in fashion spreads and the runway. With cheeky product names, vivid colors, and phthalate/paraben-free formulas, there’s a little something for everyone.

As an added bonus, the packaging is divine: my favorite part is the little raven wearing a crown, featured on nail polish and outer packaging (says the girl with a raven tattoo). This design, of course, pays tribute to the Ravens of the Tower of London—the group of captive birds believed to protect both the Tower and the very Crown itself.


Lovely packaging aside, let’s get to the products themselves. First up: Ladybird Nail Lacquer ($15). I’m already a devotee of Butter London’s polishes; the formula is consistently smooth, vibrant and long lasting. Ladybird is amazingly opaque with just one pass, and the color is SO good. It’s a warm tomato red—picture that first tomato harvest, where the crimson globes are all KAPOW against the green vines. It’s fresh, bold, and summery, but there’s something classic and movie-starlet about it, too. It’s one of those shades that makes you happy just to look at it.

Plus, I got a solid six days of wear before any chipping/flaking commenced, so it’s a real workhorse.


Speaking of workhorses, let’s look at the Iconoclast Mega Volume Lacquer Mascara ($20) in Brilliant Black. This conditioning formula is imbued with “Patent-Shine Fusion Polymers” and claims to provide a “300% Increase in volume with one coat.” I’m super picky about mascara, and volume is one of my top concerns; I often end up cocktailing two formulas to get the full look I love. But the Mega Volume mascara passed the test with flying colors; no cocktailing necessary!


The formula is lovely—it dries down softly, without crunchiness, and I was able to do two full coats without clumping. The wand, though, is the real secret to success here. The dense, compact bristles, paired with a ball at the end, allow you to really coat every single lash, even the pesky little ones in the corners. I was even able to hit up my near-invisible lower lashes, with subtle yet noticeable results. The piece de resistance? I wore this on a hot, muggy day of hiking (glam hiking: it’s a thing, y’all) and emerged WITH NO SMUDGING. Angels sang, obviously.

The natural pairing to the mascara is the Wink Eye Pencil ($18) in Union Jack Black, a non-automatic and creamy liner that sets quickly. I have hooded, oily eyelids (shakes fist at eyelid gods) and my favored look is a cat eye—this presents problems. The flick portion is often the first to go, smearing and fading as the day wears on. With the Wink Pencil, my primary line held strong, without primer, but my flick looked a bit worse for wear after around three hours. However, I ‘d generally use a pencil shape like this for my primary line anyway, not the flick, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy and long lasting Wink was in my waterline. I was able to apply it with no sensitivity or watering, and it held strong throughout my glam-hike.


The jewel in the Butter London crown, though, might just be the Lippy Bloody Brilliant Lip Crayon ($20), in the same vibrant Ladybird hue as the nail lacquer. This is the perfect product to throw in your bag for touch ups, with its slim pen shape and built in sharpener, and the formula is just delicious—creamy, moisturizing and laced with mango seed and marula oil, along with niacinamide to help even your lip tone. Now, I often shy away from red tones in my lipstick, but this one is so pretty I’ve thrown caution to the wind. It is super bright, to be sure, but on my skin it leans a bit more coral-orange and perks up my entire face. If you want to go a bit more subtle, you can easily blot it down a bit.


Another major plus is how this formula wears—it has the opaque coverage and pigment of a matte, but the shine and comfort of a gloss, so it’s the best of both worlds. I got about four hours of full wear before having to reapply (more like six with lip primer underneath), but it faded softly down into a stain, without drying or cracking. I love how non-fussy the formula is, and the soft peppermint-vanilla scent is a bonus.


Final verdict? Butter London is aces in my book.


we heartsters, what is your favorite Butter London product? Bonus points if you describe it in British slang.


  • Amity

    Amity teaches rhetoric, composition, and creative writing in Central PA. Her non-fiction has appeared in xojane and Story, as well as on Snap Judgement and This American Life; her fiction has appeared in Hobart. She is the cohost of Bone Palace Ballet, a true crime podcast focusing on murder, mysteries, and the macabre.


  1. I am a huge fan of Butter London nail polish with my favorite shade being Marrow-A gorgeous purple inspired by Alexander McQueen. I am embarrassed to say that I have yet to try the other products in their line but this post has encouraged me to give it a whirl.

    1. Gah, how do I not have Marrow in my collection–that sounds lovely. And these are great products–I think you’ll like them!

  2. Brilliant indeed! You make me want to run out and buy every single one of these products, @amity! As it is, I’m testing a bunch of Lippy Bloody Brilliant Lip Crayons for a future post, and you’re not kidding about the jewel in the crown thing. Creamy and so pretty!

  3. The Ladybird lip crayon is that perfect sheer orange/red/coral that looks amazing against my pale skin/dark hair. It’s that perfect color that I’ve only found once before in a lip gloss that looked amazing on me, but I ended up being allergic to (story of my life). Anyhoo, Ladybird is pretty much completing me lately. I swipe this creamy, semi-sheer coral-red on and pop some coral cream blush on and BAM–I am ready for summer. I especially love the hint of mint it leaves behind and how it seems to “stick” on my lips—it’s surprisingly long lasting! If you don’t have this shade, get it. You’ll be happy you did!

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