All Buttered Up

After passing by many times in the past few years, I finally sat myself down in a chair at butter London for a "Butter Me Up" manicure. Butter London is a Seattle-based company that set out in 2005 to bridge the gap between high-end and low-end nail salons. Their goal is to provide moderately-priced, fast, hygienic manicures and pedicures using non-toxic lacquers and treatments. They describe their style as "British elegance with a hint of rock and roll" with details such as naming the lacquers in British slang.

What is clear from the start is that this is no ordinary manicure experience. Upbeat Beatles tunes saturated the air as four nail technicians diligently worked their dry manicure magic. There were some clipboards to fill out with name and requested service but it wasn't at all clear what to do with the paper after it was completed, so that could have been more organized. The manager's desk was at the back of the tiny shop and once I made contact with someone, they fit me in right away.

The "Butter Me Up" manicure takes 20 minutes and costs $20. It is the usual manicure routine except that they pride themselves on offering waterless treatments. The nail technician explained to me that the idea is to provide a more hygienic experience by avoiding the usual water tubs and bowls where bacteria can linger. So instead of soaking your hands in water, they just apply the cuticle remover directly to dry skin that has been washed with an alcohol based sterilizer.

After shaping and buffing the nails, I chose the color
Aston (as in Aston-Martin) which can be described as taupe mixed with mauve. I've heard complaints on MUA about difficulties from the square shaped bottle, but the nail tech denied having problems with it. The polish was applied just a bit too thick in my opinion and took a long time to completely dry even with the "quick" topcoat. The 20 minute treatment promise seems to be true, but that doesn't count drying time. Overall, my butter London experience was satisfactory. They do seem to fulfill their mission of providing a fast and affordable manicure with style. The color selection of lacquers is fantastic and the Beatles music is a big improvement over the usual salon soundtrack.

inside lighting, no flash
inside lighting, with flash
Butter London has three Seattle locations, including one at Sea-Tac airport. The can also be found in the terminals in the Sacramento Airport and Dulles Airport in Washington D.C. The airport idea is grand, I'd love to step in for a manicure during my next 3 hour layover.



Misti said...

Oh wow! A manicure during a layover; sign me up!!

September 26, 2008 at 10:21 AM
Kyl said...

It is a good idea, isn't it? Kind of surprising that no one thought of it before.
September 26, 2008 at 10:31 AM

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