Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Butter London HRH and Cirque Queen Majesty

HRH is a royal purple shimmer polish from boutique polish maker Butter London. It is one of their core colors and I believe it's been around for a while. This polish has a dark but vivid royal purple base with a semi-metallic sheen containing beaucoup fuchsia and blue finely milled shimmers.

Application of HRH was a bear! I've swatched it now three times and haven't been pleased with any of them. After this last time, I figured just let it go. So what was the problem? Well, the consistency was very fluid and light. It goes on easily but swipes easily too, and it pools, especially along the free edge. Also, it begins to dry as you're applying it, especially if you're a slow painter like I am, and restrokes result in unevenness that is visible. 

That was my main bugaboo, getting an even finish. I just couldn't manage it! Also, for a dark polish, sufficient coverage with this was surprisingly hard for me to achieve. It just went on so unevenly that I had a hard time getting it to look nice. I ended up doing two coats, but I've read reviews where folks did three to get good even coverage and maybe I should have tried that. Although it begins drying during application, HRH took longer to dry than I was expecting and remained very vulnerable to denting and smudging for quite a while.

Overall I have to say that HRH is probably the least forgiving of any Butter London I've tried, mostly due to the formula but also due to the nature of the polish itself. The shimmer in HRH is very fine and will show brushstroke foibles as well as unevenness in the nail plate. Now maybe this is just me. It could very well be. However, I did three manicures with this polish on three different occasions and had the same problems each time. If there's a learning curve with HRH, I've obviously missed it completely.

Photos show two coats of HRH over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite. HRH didn't take kindly to the Vite, as demonstrated by the Eeek! corona you see at the cuticle and side edges of the polish. Also, the Vite didn't take kindly to being used at all for some reason and threw a bunch of bubbles into the topcoat layer to prove it. As if I needed one more thing to go wrong with this manicure!

I took these pics in the kitchen under the halogens, which do a good job showing off the shimmers in HRH but don't make for the best polish photos generally. My apologies!


Butter London HRH


Butter London HRH


Butter London HRH


Butter London HRH


Butter London HRH


Butter London HRH


Butter London HRH


Butter London HRH


Butter London HRH

Groan! These brushstrokey pics really don't do justice to HRH in person, where it is a seamless highly reflective royal purple with an almost metallic shine to it and an extra glow that is either reddish fuchsia or blue depending upon the type of lighting. Alas, it is beyond my fledgling polish enthusiast skills to apply and photograph this one correctly. I think I should pass it on to someone with more expertise -- Thithi, I'm looking at you, girl!

Why go to all the trouble with HRH? Well, because it's the PERFECT base for Cirque's Queen Majesty, right down to the name! Queen Majesty was released as part of Cirque's Arcus collection last summer. It's a beautiful brilliant purple microglitter bomb with ultrafine and fine purple microglitters plus iridescent blue microglitters to accent.

Consistency of Queen Majesty is fluid and it flows easily and evenly over the nail. The microglitters in this one aren't quite as dense as some of Annie's other full coverage glitters, but from what I've seen complete opacity can be achieved in three coats. I wanted to ensure the crisp (well, as crisp as I can make them) lines that a base polish provides and HRH just happened to arrive at about the same time as my Cirque haul, so how could I not try these two together?

I used two coats of Queen Majesty over the HRH manicure above. No problems at all with application. Queen Majesty dries naturally in very good time to a slightly sandy matte finish that has a nice glow to it, but wants topcoat to show the sparkle at its best. I used two coats, one of Poshe that was unexpectedly consumed almost immediately by the texture of Queen Majesty, and the other of Seche Vite, which decided to play nice this time and not throw bubbles. After a bit of dry down I can detect a bit of the sandiness of Queen Majesty's finish coming through, not enough for me to apply another layer of topcoat for most purposes but for zee macro, vee must haff zee glossy topcoat, no? So I scooted in a last topcoat of Seche Vite for the photos.

For continuity's sake, these were taken in the kitchen under the halogens as well. My camera has given Queen Majesty a bluer/more violet look than it has in person.

Cirque Queen Majesty

Cirque Queen Majesty


Cirque Queen Majesty


Cirque Queen Majesty


Cirque Queen Majesty


Cirque Queen Majesty


Cirque Queen Majesty


Cirque Queen Majesty


Cirque Queen Majesty


Cirque Queen Majesty


Cirque Queen Majesty


Cirque Queen Majesty


Cirque Queen Majesty, blurred to show sparkles

Queen Majesty is much sparklier and impresssive in person than any photo could show. It's all glitter so it's crazy sparkly. The larger purple microglitters throw out purpley-fuchsia sparks and the blue microglitters throw out a mid-blue cross between a royal and a turquoise. And all the glitters have potential to throw out any color of the rainbow depending upon the nature of the lighting under which the polish is viewed. They don't have to be holographic to do that -- it's all about the relationship between light and reflective surfaces.

I may try this one again on its own or with a different purple base or maybe even over black, as the red-based purple of HRH looks a little out of place with Queen Majesty where it can be seen. Plus I'd like to photograph it in natural light. Most everything photographs truer in natural light, even if that light isn't as strong or directed as the halogens in the kitchen.

Writing this has got me feeling sad and apologetic so I guess it'd be on target to call it a FAIL. :-( These bum posts happen every now and again, typically when the manicure has what I consider unredeemable flaws and subsequently doesn't photograph well. In those cases even if I do crop and size the photos, upload them and create a post to go with them, that post is almost always deleted before it has a chance to appear in public. Which may be the fate of this one! We'll have to wait and see....

love,
Liz

2 comments:

  1. Lol! I don't know why you're upset about HRH, you did a fanatic job navigating that impossible polish. The brush strokes are unavoidable but you were able to minimize them abs get that over glow to shine through. And that Cirque! I can't even. ... You paired these both up beautifully. You've great a great eye for color.

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    1. So you've got HRH already? Well now you have two! I just sent it off in a care package for you, along with some other goodies. I don't know what got into me about this polish! I guess I was just really, really disappointed with HRH, I was expecting so much and it was SUCH a PITA. Find another polish to layer with Her Majesty, because it's on it's way to you too!

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