Sunday, March 25, 2012

butter LONDON: Flawless Basecoat and P.D. Quick Topcoat

I received butter LONDON's Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat and Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat to test out and after using both products for several weeks have a quite thorough review to share with you.

Quick note: When it comes to finding the "best" base and top coat, there are individual differences in everyone's nails that affect how well the products work for us. Think of hair products! Your favorite shampoo might not work as well for your friend :)

The Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat dries to a silky smooth almost matte base. This reminds me of Orly Ridgefiller which also evens out my nails, except Ridgefiller is milky white and Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat is nude. I think Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat is very versatile because of the nude shade.

Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat dries decently fast and really gets the job done. It has a thinner consistency than other fast-dry topcoats so you aren't tricked into thinking your nails are dry but then end up denting them because underneath they are still mushy. Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat does not dry as slick to the touch as Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat and isn't as self-leveling, but it also doesn't cause any shrinkage.

Wear Test

I chose butter LONDON Wallis for the wear test, which I actually won from fellow New Yorker Carly aka Lacquered Lover :) Worth mentioning - I didn't do anything that would cause more or less wear to my nails than usual.

In the first 48 hours, wear was basically unnoticeable. Tip wear set in after three days, and after four days some chips started showing up. Really, nothing too dramatic. The tip wear could easily have been filed down a little if I wanted to stretch this manicure a day or two longer.

the end of day 4


The Size
Both products are 17.5 ml/0.6 fl oz. A butter LONDON nail polish is 11 ml/0.4 fl oz.

Comes Without a Warning Label
butter LONDON's products are made without Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens.

No Shrinkage
Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat does not shrink up around your cuticle. Google image search "Seche shrinkage" if you're not sure what this is.

No Sheet Marks
I've tried other top coats that claim to be fast drying, but in the morning I wake up with my sheets imprinted on my nails. I didn't get any sheet marks while using Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat.

Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat gives your nails just a little - but enough - color to even out and prepare your nails for a manicure.

Both products had an even consistency that was easy to work with.


Topcoat Doesn't Self-Level
Hardwear P.D.Quick Topcoat dries fast, however I noticed some streaking up close and could feel tiny ridges. Doubtful, though, that anyone other than you would be able to detect this.

Tip Wear
This may be due to my personal chemistry, but I experienced a little more tip wear than usual (yes, I do wear one nail polish for 4 sometimes 5 days!) Possibly though the 
Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat is designed to wear down instead of chip off?

Hardwear P.D.Quick Topcoat isn't quite as glossy as Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.

butter LONDON's Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat and Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat retail for $18.00 each. *Tomorrow, 03/26/12, you can pick up both products (Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat and Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat) at Ulta for $19 as a promotion for the 21 Days of Beauty*

Where to Find Butter London Nail Polish in New York City

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.


  1. I can see imagine using the basecoat as "underwear " for super.sheer shades. Do you think the top coat would work equally as well for a non Butter London polish?

    1. Yes you're so right, it is really great underwear!

      I've been using the top coat - and base coat - with Butter and non-Butter polishes for a few weeks(Essie, OPI, China Glaze) and found so far it works the same. Great question :)

  2. Thanks for the review. I had been wondering about these and read nothing unbiased about them till now. I also like a nude tint in my base coat. I have been using Orly Nail Armor after trying tons of them and always coming back to that one. I don't have ridges but it is also a ridge filler if you need that. I use it because it helps protect my nails & as said, like the color in the base coat. Thanks for the heads up for Ulta 21 days for tomorrow on this duo.

    1. I'm very pleased that you find my review unbiased! I haven't tried Orly Nail Armor but that sounds like it plays a similar role. When you keep coming back to a product that's how you know it's "the one" for you!

  3. the design of the bottle is interesting. looks like foundation, but I still would not give up my seche vite. I do want to try Nubar's Diamond top coat.

    1. It totally does look like foundation! lol!

  4. I love Butter London and thinks their base and top coat are awesome. The basecoat sort of reminds me of my favorite Essie Fill the Gap which I love to use with sheer colors. As for the topcoat I actually love the butter London alot. But I find the trick is to do two coats rather than one. As it comes out much more shinner and last forever and a day! All in all im quite happy with the brand...

    1. Oh I actually picked up Fill the Gap on a really crazy sale once, but I haven't tried it yet! :0 Good tip about using 2 coats of the top coat!