Butter London – ‘Wallis’ (swatches & review)


First seen as a Nordstrom exclusive and soon to be released as part of Butter London’s Fall 2011 collection, ‘Wallis’ just begged to be mine. An intriguing mix of olive green, tarnished gold and hints of black, this is like draping aged brocade upon your nails. Named for Wallis Simpson, the American socialite that King Edward VIII gave up the throne for, I couldn’t understand how a shade like this could represent this historic woman…and then it came to me; while the golden flakes swirling throughout obviously give a nod to royalty, the murkiness of the overall hue is symbolic of the strife this union almost caused in the UK, and thus so absolutely colour appropriate.  All swatches are with Seche Base Ridge Filling Base Coat, 2 coats of lacquer and Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat.


Wallis Simpson (June 19, 1896 – April 24, 1986) seen here in a photo taken in 1931, almost caused the biggest scandal in Great Britain’s history. Having been married twice before, and purportedly Edward VIII’s mistress prior to divorcing her second husband, the then-King Edward VIII abdicated the throne for her, throwing the British monarchy in upheaval. They were eventually given the titles of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (by his brother George VI) and lived out the rest of their lives socializing.  After Edward’s death in 1972, Wallis retreated into a life of privacy and seclusion, and not much is known about her last few years, even to this day. Now…on to the glory of ‘Wallis’, the nail lacquer!


In this first view taken in full sun, the angle of light perfectly captures all the nuances that go into a colour as complex as this one: golden, olive, hints of black, and even some fine pink and green shimmer thrown in for added depth.


This second view taken again in full sun, shows off a more light-hearted feel to the overall shade, emphasizing the golden glow it gives off, with the olive base playing a perfect counterpart.


While the next two photos may seem similar, enlarging them will show you how in the shot above, the light once again plays with the yellow hints of this lacquer, lending an overall brassy hue to the finish.


This closeup shot emphasizes the darker side of ‘Wallis’, by making the golden/bronze flakes the focus, and giving a deeper cast to this colour.


I absolutely love how shaded light lends a seething, almost feral look to this shade, at once understated and yet almost vibrantly alive.


Something about this view, once more taken in shaded light, reminded me of “Tiger’s Eye”; I love how all the swirling colours come together to give a unique topaz look to this polish.


Final thoughts: I am so totally thrilled and impressed with this lacquer, on so many levels; first of all, the colour is truly unique and while I have seen a few close relatives of this shade, the combination of hues in ‘Wallis’ still makes it stand apart.  Secondly, the application was absolutely sublime; I almost had full opacity with the first coat, and yet the formula wasn’t thick like you’d expect, but so free-flowing, it almost applied itself. Removing the outer cap, the inner ridged cap makes it easy to hold, with a slightly rigid brush that nonetheless fans out beautifully on the nail.  Dry time was super quick and even before I added a top coat (for photo purposes), the gloss at the finish was practically mirror-like.  Like the Duchess herself, Butter London’s ‘Wallis’ is an exotic, yet somewhat reclusive shade…perfect for us modern socialites! It is available exclusively at Nordstrom (for now), and retails for US $14.00/ o.4 oz size.




The above photo is of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Edward and Wallis, taken after their marriage in 1937.


*Photos of Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII courtesy of  Betty Swallow


16 Responses to Butter London – ‘Wallis’ (swatches & review)

  1. Latoya says:

    I love how you include a bit of history or a little blurb about everything you write about…one of those great things that make your blog unique :) I assume this is THE shade you were mentioning on my blog…I have this on my ‘To Check Out’ list, I love the feel of this polish but it may go either way on my skintone – absolutely gorgeous or completely hideous. So I have to see it in person first, but fingers crossed that it looks as nice on me as it does on you!

    • Eugenia says:

      Wow….thanks so much for noticing about the little blurbs/history! And you’re 100% correct: this is THE shade I referred to! I feel pretty confident when I say that it will look even better on you than it did on me, so have no fear my friend! I hope you do pick it up as I’d love to see your swatches! :)

  2. This is an amazing polish and an amazing review! Did you watch The King’s Speech? I hadn’t really seen the historical pics and was stunned by the resemblance between the actors and the real Wallis and Edward in the last pic you posted. Wallis the polish is a stunner and I’m going on the hunt again thanks to you!

    • Eugenia says:

      While I haven’t watched The King’s Speech yet, it’s on my “to watch” list…I’ve heard nothing but brilliant things about it. So glad you liked my review and let me know if you pick it up – something tells me that this shade will look absolutely stunning on you!!

  3. pajammy says:

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! I’m so happy I order this.. I was reluctant at first because I thought it would look too close to Chanel Or De Russie, NARS Mash and Dior Czarina Gold but thanks to your swatches now I see that Wallis is unique! Unique and super pretty! Thanks Eugenia! 😀

    • Eugenia says:

      I thought it might be too close to the NARS & Dior as well, but not only is it different enough to stand out, but the formula —- Pam, you’re going to absolutely LOVE it! Dying to see your swatches! :)

  4. Shimmer says:

    The story of Wallis Simpson has always fascinated me. THis color looks amazing!!! I need to pick this up soon!

  5. Wow, this is amazing! I need this nail polish ASAP – it’s gorgeous and it has history 😀 being a huge British history fanatic this is just.. Wow! Amazing post you did here, just like you did with the Royal Wedding this spring (which convinced med to buy Essie – Allure, hah!) – I’m gonna go buy this polish right now 😀
    Lots of love

  6. Adina (A England) says:

    Beautiful colour, amazing swatches, great story and great pics!

    • Eugenia says:

      Thank you, Adina! Believe it or not, I was thinking of you and your affinity with England as I was preparing my review! Something told me that you would truly appreciate it! :) :) :)

  7. princhipi says:

    It so nice that Brands get inspired from this kind of storys. The color is nice for the fall. Very nice pictures

  8. Rie says:

    Wallis is simply beautiful, I have been drawn to this polish since I viewed the first promo pictures for it. I think this may have to be my first Butter London purchase. :-)

What are your thoughts, beautiful?