butter LONDON Dodgy Barnett review, photos, swatches

The product: butter LONDON Nail Lacquer in Dodgy Barnett

The shade: Dodgy Barnett, one of the two holo polishes from butter LONDON’s A/W 2012 collection, is comprised mainly of silver holographic shimmer in a clear base.

The shimmer density is quite versatile; one coat delivers a see-though veil, two coats deliver a more solid effect. Three coats are fully opaque, but I think two thin layers is perfect for this one — there’s just a bit of translucence left there, which makes it a bit less intense; a bit lighter (both visually and from a tactile standpoint.) The image at the top of this post is two layers, in case you’re curious!

butter LONDON Dodgy Barnett swatches; 1-4 coats moving from index to pinkie

Possible dupes: Call me a nail heathen, but I generally feel like one silver holo’s the same as the next. Check your stashes for something similar — I know China Glaze and GOSH do silver holos (OMG and Holographic, respectively) that look to be a little more finely-milled, but I’m kind of partial to the particle size of this one. It’s not a “true” holo in my opinion, but more of a holo-glitter cross.

Try something like Milani 3D Holographic in HD for a comparable drugstore dupe — it has chunkier shimmer, but it’s 3-free, permanent (Dodgy Barnett is limited edition) and just under $5. I don’t own HD, but Kelly at Vampy Varnish has some lovely swatches of it!

butter LONDON Dodgy Barnett Nail Varnish – direct sunlight

The formula: This is the first butter LONDON polish I’ve worked with, but can I just say that the formula is (as expected) absolutely lovely? I’m used to polishes that you can just pick up on the fly at the drugstore, but Dodgy Barnett goes on smoothly and quickly, settling easily into an even, streak-free finish. 

Additionally, I find the thin layers dry nicely–no shrinking or super-long wait times,– and the 3-free, paraben-free formula is just a nice cherry on top, rather than the only selling point.

Just one (sheer) layer of Dodgy Barnett

Nail swatches of butter LONDON Dodgy Barnett (two coats)

The verdict?

As much as I love Dodgy Barnett, I can’t say that–as someone who wears nail varnish very, very rarely–I’d pay quite this much for it. I received my bottle from Nail Polish Canada, who have the collection for $17 each (plus free shipping!), which is on par with the butter LONDON site.

All that said & done, though? For my first foray into the lineup, I was quite impressed. I still think the particle size is a bit too large for an intense, solid holo effect, but (shh, it’s an open secret) I actually kind of prefer it.

I’m actually tempted to wear this one around, which is a first — I haven’t done my [finger]nails just because in five or six (or seven or eight) years. For theNotice, yes; for myself, not even once!

butter LONDON Dodgy Barnett Nail Varnish – indirect sunlight

butter LONDON Dodgy Barnett 3 Free Nail Lacquer swatch – flash

The ingredients

Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Nitrocellulose, Adipic Acid, Neopentyl Glycol, Trimellitic Anhydride, Copolymer, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Triphenyl Phosphate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Diacetone Alcohol, Citric Acid, Dimethicone, Benzophenone-1. +/- colourants, depending on the shade.

[Note: all butter LONDON polishes are 3-free (free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde) as well as paraben-free!]

butter LONDON packaging

Layered swatches

I’m always curious to see how new (to me) particle sizes will work with other products, so I had to give this one a go. From index to pinkie finger, I’ve swatched Dodgy Barnett underneath a clear topcoat, underneath a matte topcoat, below a coat of Sally Hansen Commander in Chic, & below a coat of Revlon Vixen.

I didn’t love the way it layered (especially not with the matte topcoat — talk about a failed experiment!) but I thought I’d share some photos regardless; maybe save some of you a bit of trouble ;)

(For reference – Commander and Chic & Revlon Vixen on their own.)

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  • sophie

    Gorgeousss colour :)

  • I wouldn't have thought to leave them semi-translucent, but it does look very pretty like that! Any reason why you don't wear polishes more often? :) And I agree about the formula. The one butter polish I've tried applied soooo smoothly.
    My recent post Lancôme UV Expert GN-Shield BB Complete SPF 50 PA+++ (UV エクスペール エッセンス イン BB)

    • A combination between being lazy & not being used to it, really — my nails have been bare for so long that it feels strange (and rather startling) to have anything on them! :p

  • mostlysunnybunny

    I'm not big on silver either, but I'm really looking forward to see what you think about Trustafarian!
    My recent post Blurple is the Word: Estee Lauder Bête Noire Nail Lacquer Swatch, Comparison (& an Update on My Nails)

  • Katherine

    I really like the 2 coat effect, maybe I'll give that a try with the Milani one (which I've had for quite awhile and haven't tried yet). But what I'm really excited about is Trustafarian. It looks so amazing and really unique! I can't wait to see the swatches!

    • How on earth have you not tried it yet?! *flails* Hope it goes well!

      (P.S. Trustafarian is up here, in case you missed it ;))

  • Whoa–hello Rae's perfect nails/cuticles!!! I'm so jealous–no matter how much I moisturize, trim, manicure, and file, my cuticles always look like absolute sh*t about 2 days later. Grrrr….

    On to the polish–this is simple but gorgeous. And I LOVE how it looks over Commander in Chic. That's one of my absolute favorite polishes for Fall!
    My recent post The Sample: Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Eye Shadow Set in #1 Review & Swatches

    • Nah, it's all in having flattering lighting. My cuticles are pretty okay in real life (because I moisturize like a fiend, don't tell), but I think they look better on film! :p

  • toyarosie

    I have GOSH Holographic so I probably wouldn't 'downgrade' per se to this (I do agree this type of holo-shimmer has a place though!), but I love the look of it on you! I usually want to wear in-your-face prismatic polishes, but I do like the soft look of this shade. You have such fabulous nails – I can understand not needed to bother painting them, but you certainly wear it well my dear!

    • Thanks, love! I have to admit, I'm a little curious about GOSH Holographic — it's probably too attention-grabbing for me, but it always looks lovely online ;)

  • Kate & Zena

    *whispers* I think it's pwetty.

    But then…I love holographics and I love silver AND I love butterLONDON. >.< (I do own 12.)

    And, what's up with it being $17? It's $14! Wait…..that's right, you're in Canada. *temporary lapse blogger geography*

    • Yeah :( Dammit, Canada! (I was going to pick up a lens last week, but balked when I saw the Canadian markup — $300. Three freaking hundred! *helpless flails*)

      If you love holos, silver, and butter LONDON, I think you need this one, too! ;)

      • Kate & Zena

        I know. Too bad I have NO MONEY at the moment. *is sad.*

        And for the life of me, I can't decide which e-mail I usually use for this site. I could swear it's my g-mail…yea, it is. XDDDDD I'm going mad.

        • I think it is! Sometimes you use your other one, but I think that's in error :P

          (Sorry to hear, love! Maybe try one of the dupes in the future? :))

          • Kate & Zena

            Nope, I have two, I just have a habit of forgetting which I use. XD

            No, I just wait for the next pay check. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. XDDDD

          • Ha! What are you up to nowadays? Something in the field of animals? :)

          • Kate & Zena

            Going to the dentist, walking Zena, relearning how to drive so I can get my license AGAIN, trying to get an appointment to go downtown and check out the school I want to go to…..buying polishes….you know, being me. XD

          • Well, it's good to hear you're still keeping busy! Send Zena my love ;o)

  • I have only one butter London polish, All Hail McQueen and it has the same glossy holo formula as this! I love it so much, it's actually one of my favorite polishes. I don't think I'll pick up this one because I need another silver holo like I need a hole in my head, but I'm definitely going to get the other holo- Trustafarian!

    • ;askdfjagh. All Hail McQueen looks so pretty — I kind of want it, limited-varnish-wearing and all!

  • I actually really love it on top of the darker shades. Must try that. :)
    My recent post NOTD: Darling Diva Polish in Dangerous Driver

    • I think it looks super pretty when sheered out with other shades — I mixed a bit with a clear topcoat (not photographed in this post) before applying, and the super-sparse glitter veil is just lovely!

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