Monday, April 9, 2012

Butter London Knackered

I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for anything chameleon-like. In that I mean the color changing aspect not the whole reptilian thing. Basically, if it shifts colors (in different angles, lights, with temperature, with UV exposure), I'm all over that. So it really comes as no surprise that when I saw a color shifting nail polish from Butter London, I knew I had to have it despite the over $10 price tag I've limited myself to. But as awesome as the promise of a color shifting nail polish is, when the colors it shifts to aren't as unique as you first thought, it can be a let down. Read on to see if this was true for Knackered:

What I expected.

What I got. Color shifting, check. But strangely familiar looking...

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Butter London Knackered
Color: Multichrome Grey to Purple to Green to Teal
Formula: Multichrome sheer base with holographic microglitter
Finish: Multichrome shimmer
Price: $14 CDN for 11mL
Seen at: Nail Polish Canada, Ebeauty, Spa Boutique, Glowing Beauty and wherever Butter London is sold.
Note(s): Knackered is part of the Spring 2012 release of Butter London, along with Bossy Boots, Disco Biscuit, Trout Pout and Slapper.

The Fun Facts

Token bottle shot.

Back of the bottle.

Yay for removable caps!

Standard Butter London brush.

Silvery purple on the inside, greenish teal on the outside!

More green/teal in this angle.

More green/grey here.

Knackered is (yet) another iteration of the silvery grey/purple/green/teal multichrome. I honestly thought that it would be more purple/teal from the press release photos. Granted, it does readily flash more teal and green than the other past iterations, the one thing that really does set it apart is the sprinkling of holographic microglitter in the otherwise plain shimmer finish. Another thing to note is that the grey/silver base seems a lot lighter resulting in an almost pastel-like take on a multichrome color staple.
***All nail swatches were done with Orly Bonder Base Coat and four coats of Butter London Knackered unless stated.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
Grey/green/teal at the edges and purple full on.

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
Flash brings out more of the purple/silver aspects of Knackered.

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
See that sprinkling of holographic microglitter?

I definitely appreciate product design that takes into consideration ease of usage. That square cap coming off to reveal an easy to hold, ribbed (for easy opening) brush cap makes me wish all similarly awkward and outwardly bulky brush caps had the same design feature. (Nars, I'm looking at you.) The brush itself worked wonderfully with the Butter London formula that (pardon the pun) really flows like melted butter. No issues at all other than the unhappy discovery of a ridiculously sheer formula. Even at four coats, you can still see a hint of VNL (visible nail line), especially so in bright lights. Otherwise, the shimmer finish hides it fairly well if you don't look too hard for it. I would have gone for a fifth coat for 100% coverage but I thought that would be overkill. I didn't even expect it to cover this well at four when I first started application. But aside from an otherwise phenomenal formula, another redeeming factor is the innate shine of Knackered. It dried to a nice, even finish with minimal visible brushstrokes.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
Top coat really amp'd up the shine!

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: Suprisingly, the VNL doesn't bother me. As much.

Sunlight/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie says: How interesting that it looks almost foil-like in bright sunlight!

Top coat really made Knackered shine.

The Lowdown

Like I mentioned earlier, there's a whole host of other options for multichromes that have the same colors that Knackered showcases. Off the top of my head, there's Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game, Wet n Wild Gray's Anatomy, Misa Shields Up and OPI Not Like the Movies. I'll definitely have to do a comparison post for these and the ones I actually have in my stash in the next few days. Just take my word for now when I say that alone, they look fairly different, with Knackered looking distinctly paler than the others. As for the color shift, I also noticed that Knackered flashed more teal/green while the rest flashed more predominantly purple. I didn't really have much trouble trying to get decent photos of the shift with Knackered, at all, unlike some of the others that look similar to it. But over black, they suddenly all look pretty similar, except Knackered stands out with that sprinkling of holographic microglitter. Similar, but different enough is how I'd put it.

I must say that I was very disappointed when I first swatched Knackered on a nail wheel. I honestly doubt I'd wear it alone as it takes way too many coats to really full opacity. But as someone who likes to look for the silver lining, I figured this would look amazing as a layering polish! Just see below:

From left to right, Knackered over: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Calypso Blue, Nina Ultra Pro Ink-ling, OPI Love is a Racket, and Ruby Kisses Purple Fever

As for the price, it's still definitely a bit more expensive than all the others I've mentioned above as dupes (except for Wicked Game, of course) so if you're after the same look and you already have one of the other purple/green duochromes, just layer on a holographic glitter top coat like China Glaze Fairy Dust to mimic the effect and it's close enough to call fraternal twins. Honestly, if I had known exactly how similar this was to all the others already out there, I probably would have skipped on this one and gone for Slapper or Disco Biscuit instead. As it were, I'm still determined to make it work and luckily, it looks great layered.

Hammie isn't very happy about the non-unique aspect of Knackered. He isn't a fan of (albeit possibly unintentional) misleading press release photos that give you an actual product that isn't exactly what you thought it would be. At any rate, the fantastic formula (despite the sheerness) and the ability to layer it over various other colors redeems Knackered for him. Nonetheless a couple points had to be docked for the other infractions leaving Knackered with a total of:

8 Hammie Points!

Happy Easter Monday! Here's to hoping you got recharged from the long weekend! Have you ever purchased a nail polish expecting it to be a certain color and getting something else entirely? Would you keep trying to make a color work or would you readily chuck it in the "swap/share" bin? What's the most disappointing-on-the-nail nail polish you've ever purchased?


  1. As you brought up, Knackered looks a little bit too much like other polishes (Grey's Anatomy, Wicked Game, etc.), and so I can't justify owning this one. I already have OPI Not Like the Movies and I feel like that takes care of all my silver/purple/green multichrome needs :). However, I do really like how the sparkly bits in Knackered are a lot more evident on the nail than in NLTM.

  2. Sorry that you were disappointed in this polish. But, wow, I love how it looks when layered over other colours - it almost creates a galaxy-nails effect!

  3. Agreed! The sparkly bits are what separate Knackered from the rest of the pack. But like I mentioned, if you already have a holographic micro glitter top coat like China Glaze Fairy Dust, you can create the same effect with NLTM. :)

  4. That's exactly what I thought, too, Mary! I particularly love how it looked over the grey and purple. I haven't tried it over paler colors but I have a sneaking suspicion it would look great over a pale lilac or a min green, too!

  5. I prefer the polish layered over other colors. I hate being disappointed by polish. Sorry :(. I would use it again layered, just because of the cost.

  6. Aww, thanks, Marisa! That's exactly how I'll be sporting this one. By itself, it just takes way too many coats to reach the opacity I want. If it was more blue/purple like the promo photos, I probably would have loved this one more. Just as well that it works as a layering polish so it doesn't feel like I wasted too much money on this one!

  7. You know, my most disappointing shade is actually by this brand: No More Waity Katie... It is just too bright purple on me and waaaaaay too thin of a formula.
    I have to say that this shade you're featuring is really pretty... it does remind me of OPI Not Like the Movies which I actually really like! (despite it's green shift in color). I had never thought to layer it over anything but I really like how you layered it on the nailwheel!!!

    You can make ANY and ALL SHADES look awesome!


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