Sunday, 28 February 2010

NAILS - Butter London Review and Tips

Make-up testing

The other day I shared with the Twitterverse how horrid and hideous my nails were. Broken, flaking and generally uncared for. Click here if you want to see how bad - Not a good look. Loads of people came back with some good tips and product recommendations and the lovely people at Strawberry and Cream sent me over a load of goodies from Butter London. They were confident I'd love them and I have to say they were correct.

The priority was giving my nails some TLC so that meant attending to those cuticles, dry skin and flaked nail edges. Here is the nail overhaul kit that was sent over. Everything I needed to get my nails back in tip-top shape.

Make-up testing

Butter products are great because the product line is completely free from FORMALDEHYDE, TOLUENE and DBP. I love the fact that they don't offer false nail services out of principle, I've always thought they must be horrifically damaging for your nails. I'd rather have my own nails in good condition than have to keep paying for falsies to cover up ruined nails. You can find out moer about the people and idea behind the company over here.

After testing all the products out, my absolute must-have from the range is the Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil, it smells like a Pina Colada and I'll have no trouble remembering to apply it regularly. It's also full of nourishing vitamins and costs £14.68 for a generous bottle that's sure to last you ages. I did see the difference and I'm sure with regular use this will keep my cuticles soft and manageable.

Coming in a close second to the cuticle oil is the Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat which is a great product. Putting nail varnish straight on top of dry or flaky nails is probably the worst thing you can do. You need something that will help fill the ridges and gaps while not doing further damage. This base coat gives nails a silky matte finish which can be worn alone or under nail colours. They also say it's great for male manicures too as it's subtle and non-glossy.

I'll be using the Melt Away cuticle eliminator and Horse Power Nail Fertilizer regularly to see if they make a significant difference and I'll be sure to update this post if I've anything else to report. The cuticle eliminator seemed to work well when using the brush to get rid of any left-over bits. The nail fertilizer did sting rather a lot though so I'll have to remember to only apply that when I've got no broken skin. It may be more natural than most brands but still not the best thing to put on an open cut - ouch! I wasn't a huge fan of the banana files just because they seemed a little rough for my nails, maybe because the tips were already slightly damaged.

nail varnish quality
Overall I absolutely loved the range and thought the quality was excellent and worth the money. I'll definitely be going back to Strawberry and Cream when I need something for my nail kit. I've been eyeing up the hand creams and pedicure products too. Luckily it's only a day or two after pay day so a splurge may be on the cards.

You can Buy Butter London at Strawberry and Cream.

And just for fun I decided to get out all the nail colours I'd bought or been given lately and put them all on. It's a great way to compare the quality too. I used the Butter London Basecoat and Topcoat over them all (the glossy finish is down to that hard-wearing, yet non-toxic topcoat).

Make-up testing
1. Models Own nail polish in 'Deep Purple' 2. Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer in 'Come to bed red' 3. Models Own nail polish in 'Nude Beige' 4. e.l.f nail polish in 'Fire Coral' 5. Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer in 'Rosie Lee'.

Make-up testing
6. Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in 420 'Sunrise' 7. Max Factor Nailfinity in 223 'See Through Peach' 8. Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer Jelly Sheer Colour in 'Twee' 9. Models Own nail polish in 'Lemon Meringue' 10. Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer in 'Primrose Hill Picnic'.

I was sure to give my nails a good day to bed in, I did the washing-up is hot water and did some chores to put the nails to the test and here is the verdict. Not one of the Butter London nail polishes have chipped, both the Models Own colours are slightly chipped and so is the Max Factor one. The cheap and cheerful Rimmel polish and e.l.f nail colour both remain as perfect as when I applied them too. It's hardly a scientific test, but definitely gives you an idea of which brands have staying power.

My favourite of them all was definitely the Butter London in 'Primrose Hill Picnic', a fabulously bright pink. My boyfriend liked the Jelly Sheer colour, and I'm coming round to it too although sheer nail colour isn't my favourite look as a rule. I'm not removing these yet either, so I'm probably going to get some strange looks tomorrow at work, but Pixie Lott was recently spotted with multi-coloured nails so if it's good enough for her...

Other tips for winter battered nails:

Here's what the lovely bunch on Twitter had to say about how they keep their nails looking lovely...

@Rosie_Writer says "no need to invest, I use boots basic hand and nail cream, it works wonders, keep it in your bag and use often through the day"

@Emilymskinner says "I just had the 3 week manicure at Nails Inc. It's AMAZING."

@Be_Gorgeous says "vaseline before you go to bed!"

@Sololisa says "Between manis, I coat my nails by painting them w/ @sephora cuticle oil pen. After 1-3 days they're not dry anymore."

@StyleTelevision says "Try Vaseline's Healthy Hands and Nails! It's cheap and in a tall pink bottle. Repairs cuticles and cracked skin almost"

@MouseToMinx says "Mouse to Minx recommends a holiday in the sun for good nails....!"

@Shortcouture says " for nails I use Sally Hansen Maximum Growth. Not an instant repair but nails grow strong so always in good nick."
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