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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last minute gift ideas from Butter LONDON (swatches and mini reviews)

I'm not big on holiday gift guides or round-ups and I have done very few of them here on the blog over the years. But when Butter LONDON sent me some gift sets recently and I tried them out, I knew that I wanted to do a gift idea post because, well, these products are fabulous. I honestly think that any of these sets would make a beautiful last-minute gift for friends or family. I would be thrilled to receive any one of these sets, which is why I'm featuring them here today--I would never recommend something to you as a gift if I wouldn't personally want to receive it as a gift!

So let's not waste any time...

 Butter LONDON Tops & Tails Set
(retail: $25, two 0.6 oz bottles)

Keep reading for lots and lots of photos and swatches...

First of all, I love that these are extra-large, 0.6 oz bottles (Butter LONDON polishes are 0.4 oz) because we all blow through top and base coat much quicker than nail color, right?

As with all Butter LONDON products, these products are cruelty-free, Three Free and made in the USA:



You will see in a minute what this base coat can do for your polishes--it's kind of amazing. I find the top coat to be a true quick-dry formula and provides some nice shine as well.

Next up:

 Butter LONDON  Sparkle, Sparkle Holiday Lacquer Collection
(retail: $36, three 0.4 oz bottles)

As we all know, Butter LONDON polishes retails for $14 each, so you're getting $42 worth of polish for $36 in this set.

Shambolic, Jack the Lad, Scuppered


 Don't even try to get me to say which polish in this set is my favorite, because I adore each one. For all of my swatches, I applied one layer of Nail Foundation to each nail, followed by two coats of color and one coat of Hardware:

Here's what I love about each polish:

Jack the Lad - I love that it's such a deep, rich emerald and that there are little bits of blue in this formula that catch the light when you see it in person.

Shambolic - What's not to love about a multi-colored purple with fine and chunky glitter? Stunning.

Scuppered - You think this is a bronzey-coppery-rosegold at first glance, but then those little pieces of green glitter come out to play. This one just gets even more beautiful the longer I wear it.

Next up:

Butter LONDON Sparkle, Sparkle Holiday Lippy Collection
(retail: $34, three 0.25 oz tubes)

Fiddlesticks, Chancer, Fairy Cake

Given the way these look in the tube, you may think they're opaque and more like super glittery liquid lipsticks. But actually, they're sheer, and I think they work best as toppers over lipstick or lipstains. The real draw with these three glosses is their glitter. The combinations are unique and very stunning when on the lips:


These glosses smell and taste like vanilla (more of a bakery type vanilla--almost like cake or cupcakes). They're a tiny bit sticky, but coming from someone who generally despises sticky glosses, I found them quite tolerable and they get less sticky over time. Staying power for all three shades was good, and they seem to stay put when I wear them over lipsticks and lipstains for a good 2-3 hours. I also love that these glosses contain shea butter, which helps keep my lips moisturized throughout the day.

Next up:

Butter LONDON Nail Lacquer in Fiddlesticks
(retail: $14, 0.4 oz)

I was also sent the polish version of Fiddlesticks (see gloss above) and I wanted to show it to you so that you could pair it with the gloss set above, if you wanted to. I think it's a nice complement to the Fiddlesticks gloss:


If you need a gift for the magenta lover in your life, this would perfect. It's such a gorgeous shade and it's almost fully opaque after one coat. The little bits of violet-blue in this polish really come alive in the light--it's so much prettier in person.

Next up:

Butter LONDON Lips & Tips Set
(retail: $25, one 0.4 oz bottle of polish + one 0.25 oz tube of gloss)

The minute I opened this set, I thought: "What a beautiful gift for a young girl." Both the polish and gloss are subtle, yet very pretty and sparkly.

Polish and Lippy in Rosie Lee

Rosie Lee lacquer would make a great top coat over just about any color, but if you really wanted to, you could layer about four coats for good, super-sparkly, coverage. If you look at the swatches above, you'll noticed that I showed you this polish two ways. The top swatch was taken after two coats over Butter LONDON Nail Foundation. The bottom swatch was taken after two coats with NO base coat. 

Do you notice how much more dense the glitter looks in the top swatch? That's the incredible thing about Nail Foundation. It's almost like a face primer in that it grabs and hold the polish and it seems to pull even more glitter from the brush than when I apply this polish with no base coat.

Last but not least, we have Rosie Lee Lippy. Unlike the glosses I showed you earlier, this one is pretty opaque and could easily be worn by itself for a nice bit of color. It's a beautiful pinkish, Your Lips But Better shade on my lips and I think it would ideal for a teen as well.

This concludes my Holiday Gift Guide for 2012. As I said at the top of this post, I would be absolutely thrilled to receive any of these gift sets this holiday season. Not only are they gorgeous, but the packaging is adorable, which always makes a gift that much better, right? Sets like this are the type of thing that I always want to buy for myself--but rarely do. So in that respect, they're the perfect gift for me personally, and I hope this gives you some last-minute ideas for the people in your life!

You can find most of these sets at Ulta (both in-store and online) and of course on the Butter LONDON website (which is currently offering free ground shipping on all orders, no minimum required, no code needed).

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. OMG I love all of these! I normally don't think polish has to be expensive to be good, but butterLondon is one of the few I will spend the money on. The colors are fab and they really do apply like, well, butter ;) I've never tried their base coat but I might have to now. Thank you for the review and the great gift suggestions!!

  2. I saw these at Macy's- not sure if I'd buy any as it's way too expensive for nail polish:( but I'm between jobs so my budget is lower than others. Saw cute Essie mini sets at target though!

  3. Right now at Dillard's, at least the one I work at, the Butter London Holiday sets are 25% off. (:

  4. These are 25% off at Dillard's currently.

  5. oh man! Guess who is going to take a trip to Ulta on lunch hour today?! Lol!! Thanks for the great photos G. you created some real lemmings! Fortunately I do have one more niece that I need a gift for! And a sister!

  6. Wow! I just ordered stuff from them last week, and now I really wish I had picked up that basecoat! That's going on my list for sure!

  7. I am sort of burnt out with Butter London glitters - every one I have is a gluey mess that seems like it needs to be thinned but already most are not opaque even with 3 coats so I don't want to thin them more. I peal from most every lip gloss I try so I don't try new ones now that I found 2 brands I can wear (Tarte Lipsurgance and Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer)

  8. I love my Butter London polishes. I don't much like the tiny brush, but the polishes I've used go on smoothly and are chip resistant and long lasting. I saw these polish sets in Ulta and really wanted them but I had already hit my spending limit. Drats! Great bargain as these are normally $14 each.

  9. I loveeee BL's top coat! I bought this in the bundle from Coterie. It really works as a quick-dry formula!
    I don't have to worry about my nails being ruined overnight after a fresh coat of polish.


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