Butter London + Pantone 2018 Nail Lacquers Swatch & Review


Butter London and Pantone have become the best of friends over the past couple years and I believe we are all the better for it. I love any reason for Butter London to give us a new collection, and when it is a collection consisting entirely of purples, sign me the hell up! I am known to favor blues and greens, but purples (also in the cool-toned family) are also a favorite of mine. Purple used to be my ultimate favorite color. I had a purple backpack, purple TI-84 calculator, a collection of purple pens, numerous purple scarves, and my first favorite nail polish was a purple from Sinful Colors. I think it was called Noel or Noelle. I wish I still had it. No need to dwell over lost purple polishes, though, when we could be looking at the six new purples Butter London has graced our nails with this year. I have them all for you, so sit down, turn on some Prince to get yourself in the mood, and let’s go!

All swatches today are over Butter London Nail Foundation and are topped with Seche Vite where noted.


Butter London Ultra Violet, 2 coats plus top coat

The most important polish in this collection is Ultra Violet, which is of course Pantone’s color of 2018 (I kind of assume you know this already because you made it to this blog post). Butter London calls it “a violet crème,” while I would personally describe Ultra Violet as a vibrant grape. It is a cool toned purple with a striking boldness to it. A brave choice for color of the year, I think.


Butter London Ultra Violet, 1 coat

Ultra Violet has a crellyish formula,which does make it super shiny but also a tad sheer and patchy. The formula is easy. It is not thick and buttery, but it is thick enough to be easy to work with and stay where you paint it.


Butter London Ultra Violet, 2 coats

It is completely opaque with two coats, with a nice even color. You can see it cools down on the second coat to match the bottle. The first coat made the color look warmer than it really is. You can go ahead and manipulate this polish to your liking, I did not find that there was any drag or patchiness. A crelly formula you can actually work with!


Butter London Purple Reign, 2 coats plus top coat

Now we begin with all of Ultra Violet’s sibilings in this collection. Butter London really took the purple theme to heart (too bad they didn’t do the same with greenery last year). First up is Purple Reign, which Butter London simply calls “a metallic purple” which does not do it credit. It has a slight shift to it, from darker to lighter purple, like a duochrome but within the same color family.


Butter London Purple Reign, 1 coat

Purple Reign is sheer on the first coat, but the coverage is very even. Brushstrokes are visible, so you will want to exercise caution (I usually only follow this advice when applying the last coat). The color does not look as dynamic with one coat, but there are hints of the light/dark purpleness.


Butter London Purple Reign, 2 coats

A second coat definitely brings Purple Reign to opacity and the color shift is more obvious. I wish it was a true duochrome as in the bottle you get hints of blue at the extreme edges, but it is still a delightful color.


Butter London Mauvelous, 1 coat plus top coat

Those chunky things you see are from my base coat so ignore that, it has nothing to do with the polish! Mauvelous is next up and Butter London lamely describes it as “a mauve crème,” but I see it more as a dusty, light raisin. Mauve usually is more pink-toned.


Butter London Mauvelous, 1 coat

It is a one-coater, woohoo! The formula is so buttery and is thick enough to get amazing coverage. I did not find that it self-leveled very well, but we can forgive that, right?


Butter London Misty Lilac, 3 coats plus top coat

The last 3 polishes in the collection are all much lighter-toned, and they begin with Misty Lilac, “a soft lilac grey shimmer.” The shimmers look like flakies to me and they are a very light blue tone, which is hard to see here.


Butter London Misty Lilac, 1 coat

Misty Lilac is unsurprisingly very sheer and streaky, like light colors tend to be. The flakies have a strong presence in this polish and they help thicken up the formula a bit and make it easy to apply. I noticed that this polish had a stronger smell than Butter London polishes usually do, not sure why.


Butter London Misty Lilac, 2 coats

The coverage looks more even with a second coat, but still is sheer. Misty Lilac is one of those milky polishes that some might like with just 2 coats, but I know I prefer with full opacity and therefore require a third coat.


Butter London Misty Lilac, 3 coats

I love this polish at three coats, I feel it looks better with my skin tone at full opacity. I did say earlier that the flakies are blue, but after this coat I noticed they seem to be shifty flakies, from blue to pink.


Butter London Misty Lilac, 3 coats plus top coat under lamps

You can see a hint of the color shift that the flakies have here, especially on my ring and pinky fingers.


Butter London Iced Lavender, 3 coats plus top coat

We go from one interesting polish to the next! This is Iced Lavender, “a metallic cool lavender,” but it really is more of a metallic foil. There are chunkier pieces than you would see in a regular metallic and it is super reflective.


Butter London Iced Lavender, 1 coat

Iced Lavender is very sheer and frosty on the first coat. You can barely tell it is purple, though you can already see how reflective it is!


Butter London Iced Lavender, 2 coats

Iced Lavender is closer to opacity with the second coat than I thought it would be. It also could be that the reflectivity is distracting more from the nail line. The formula is really easy to control, which is good because you also need to careful about brushstrokes with this polish.


Butter London Iced Lavender, 3 coats

I am happy to say is is fully opaque at three and matches exactly what you see in the bottle! This polish may be a bit too frosty for some, but I kind of adore it. It would be a fun polish to wear in the spring, as it has a pastel quality to it.


Butter London Hydrangea, 2 coats plus top coat

Lastly is Hydrangea, which Butter London calls a “lavender” but I think it’s more lilac. Between these descriptions and the name, you now have three flowers to go from 😛 I am a bit let down by Butter London’s polish names this collection, they are quite boring compared to their usual puns and spunk.


Butter London Hydrangea, 1 coat

This has a medium consistency, a smooth formula that can be manipulated without streaking. I found this quality necessary as it does not want to self-level much. Hydrangea is almost opaque in one coat!


Butter London Hydrangea, 2 coats

This lovely polish is opaque in just two coats, but grab a thick top coat because it is a struggle to get it to dry evenly. I was patient and was able to manipulate it for a while, but this was the best I could get.

I’m not going to pick a favorite because there are so many qualities to credit this collection. The mixture of finishes is fantastic, we got 3 great creams and 3 other polishes to mix it up. If you are looking to expand your purple collection, look no further! I really wish that Butter London would come out with more seasonal collections like they used to, let’s hope that the Pantone set is only the first of many new polishes for 2018. Clearly they can still make a good polish and it would be nice to see more.

What polishes are you wearing to capture Ultra Violet? Have you gotten anything from this new collaboration?

xx, Ashley

You can visit Butter London on their website here. I got my bottles from Ulta.


3 thoughts on “Butter London + Pantone 2018 Nail Lacquers Swatch & Review”

  1. Purple is my favourite colour! Has been since I was a kid. I must pick up the Ultra Violet… I actually don’t have a ton of straight up purple cream polishes. Also digging Misty Lilac and Mauvelous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t have a lot of purple creams in my collection either, most of my purples are metallics or shimmers or whatever else. You really can’t go wrong with anything from this collection, I think they did a decent job of making something for everyone who loves purple :]


  2. As a design nerd, part of me wants to start collecting the Pantone colors to have! Of course I would have to have Ultra Violet, but I surprisingly love Iced Lavendar! It just looks like its glowing and I’m so into it!


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