NOTW: Butter London Branwen's Feather

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I am irked, people.

The kind of irked that could only come from a nail polish company I have come to associate with consistently good formulas having a dud. It's not just the fact that the polish itself is crappy, it's the thrilling opening of a new beautiful nail polish, eagerly painting it on to expect the same lovely formula and instead being met with splotchy, streaky, sheer nails.


Typically, the first coat of any Butter London nail polish is patchy and a bit streaky, but the second and sometimes third coats always smooth everything out to a gloriously rich and even color. How did this formula turn out so wrong?

As you might known from this post, if there's anything more annoying than a nail polish with a bad formula, it's a beautiful nail color you've fallen in love with that you discover has a bad formula. Of course, that's precisely what happened here. 

Branwen's Feather (I have absolutely no idea what this refers to, leave a comment if you do!) is simply stunning. I have a lot of vampy purples, but this one absolutely takes the cake. It's incredibly multi-dimensional, with swirls of a rich deep brown, and violet shimmer running through it to create a gorgeous fresh spin on a deep purple. Branwen's Feather is a rare kind of nail polish that makes me feel both sexy and cozy at the same time, and I have no intention of seeing anything else on my nails anytime soon.

But is the delight that comes from wearing such a pretty polish worth going through four coats of color? I don't have any bubbling, luckily, but it does look heavy and built-up around my cuticles which distracts from the loveliness of the shade. This picture was taken without a top coat, but I'm sure adding one would result in an even thicker feeling around the edges, and possibly even the dreaded bubbling.

I'm entirely too in love with Branwen's Feather to stop using it, but it's frustrating to have to deal with a crappy formula when the brand normally does such good nail polishes--especially when the color in question is rare and hard to dupe.

Tell me about any brand's nail polish disappointments you've had in the comments! (For Sephora by OPI, let's just assume it's roughly a third of their stock).

Hope you're well!


  1. I've been wanting to try some butter nail polish but have been deterred by the steep price :-/

    1. I know what you mean, Tiffany!

      I justify it by thinking about how Butter London uses fewer chemicals--they're one of the 3 Free companies. They're also not as expensive as Deborah Lippmann or Jin Soon, and certainly not Chanel, so $14 feels like a ok price point.

      But my rule of thumb when buying more expensive nail polish is that I'm only allowed to purchase it if the color is different. Butter London has such lovely and unusual colors that it feels acceptable to buy them because I couldn't find dupes (or it would be really difficult).

      They're a little pricey, but I can honestly say that I love each of my Butter London nail polishes, and the shades I have are some of my favorites out of my entire collection.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Branwen is a Welsh name and character in mythology. In this case I think the color refers to ravens' feathers. I really want this color but have heard so many negative things about the formula. :(