Burberry Iconic Colour Nail Polish in Elderberry, swatch

Burberry — Elderberry (Iconic Colour Nail Polish) Swatch & Review

Collection: Burberry 2014 Fall/Winter, The Bloomsbury Girls

Happy Friday the 13th!

When shops like Sephora or Hudson’s Bay run occasional 10–20% off sales on cosmetics, I like to take the opportunity to pick up high-end nail polish brands I haven’t tried before. (Plus, VIBs get 20% off at Sephora this weekend, starting today!)

The last time Hudson’s Bay ran such a sale, I picked up two such polishes: a Burberry and an Yves Saint Laurent. Today, I’m reviewing the Burberry.

Elderberry (407) is a super vampy blackened plum cream that can easily be read as black if the light is low.

I’ll be honest. The main reason I chose this shade is this:

Monty Python & The Holy Grail, French insults, hamster, elderberries
John Cleese as the Taunting French Guard in Monty Python & the Holy Grail.
Image: montypython.com

I don’t think I’ve ever had an elderberry before. Hell, I don’t think I’ve even seen one before. They look pretty, though:

Elderberry bush. Image: mommypotamus.com

Before I get into the actual polish, I just want to say that I really dig Burberry’s packaging for all their makeup. It’s sleek and nicely reflects their brand’s signature plaid and khaki trenchcoats. All in all, quite luxurious. Their nail polish is also not quite as expensive as those of some other luxury brands, though the bottle does only hold 8 mL, which is barely more than half the typical 15 mL salon brand bottle.

Burberry Iconic Colour Nail Polish in Elderberry

First off, I’m going to have to complain about the brush. It just doesn’t work for me! It’s flat, and the widest freaking brush I’ve ever seen next to Dior’s. I am telling you that this brush is actually the width of my entire pinky fingernail. But the difference here is that Burberry’s isn’t paddle-shaped like Dior’s (which I love). It’s just squared off! With this brush, it’s nearly impossible for me to get neat application right up to my cuticle. Burberry…WHY? Whose cuticles are square?!

Burberry Iconic Colour Nail Polish in Elderberry, brush

Formula-wise, this color feels like it applies well, but—and I’m not sure here whether it’s mostly due to the brush or to the formula—it’s a little streaky. I used two coats in the swatch, and it pretty much looks even, right? Well, in bright light, you can see streaks in the surface. You can get away with two coats, but the unevenness would bother me and I’d really have to do three.

Burberry Iconic Colour Nail Polish in Elderberry, swatch

I’m also not totally in love with the color. A little too dark. I like my non-black vampies to actually look like a dark color. Elderberry is just a touch too close to black for me with indoor light.

I’m quite sorry to say that I don’t recommend this polish. It’s not terrible, but I expect better from a luxury brand. Monty Python, you steered me wrong! I wish I’d gotten a brighter color now, like Teal Blue or Dark Bottle Green.

Burberry Iconic Colour Nail Polish in Elderberry, ingredients

Burberry Iconic Colour Nail Polish is US$22 / CA$23 and 0.27 fl oz / 8 mL. The formula is free of toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). It is made in Luxembourg. (Guess what else is, too?! Their ingredient lists are similar, but not exactly the same.)

Burberry Group plc was founded in 1856 by 21-year old draper’s apprentice Thomas Burberry. The famous Burberry trench coat was designed in 1914 for the British War Office. Their cosmetic line was launched in 2010. The company is based in London, England.

14 thoughts on “Burberry — Elderberry (Iconic Colour Nail Polish) Swatch & Review

    • I figured a lot of people would dig the color, for sure! 🙂

      I’m not totally put off this line of polish yet, but it’ll have to be a decent sale or an awesome color, y’know?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The color is gorgeous! That very interesting that the pricey Burberry had similar ingredients as W&W. lol I may look for a similar shade in the Wet & Wild section of my drugstore. 😀 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you like the color! And yes, that particular shade of Wet n Wild that I have is made in Luxembourg. However, most of the WnWs in that line are made in China (and I have one made in the US). It’s odd that their manufacturing is outsourced to different places even within the same product line!

      I do wonder, though, if the main price difference is due to A) branding, B) packaging, and C) hopefully pigmentation, as well. It does really seem like the pigments are beautifully clean in the Burberry polish!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I only recently realized that in addition to the Bay, Sephora now carries Burberry beauty! I guess all wasn’t lost when the brand left Holts.
    Hmm yeah I see what you mean about it being streaky, I can see it from the way you angled your nails. I think that’s more due to the formula rather than the brush, in my opinion. Although, the squared off brush is ODD… I guess you could potentially turn it sideways to get a nice sharp point? 😕 I’d been curious about Burberry’s line of polishes so thanks for reviewing this. I’ll have to see if they have any unique colours.
    Haha Luxembourg is the up and comer in the nail polish market?!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I noticed the Burberry at Sephora a couple of wks ago (I think?). Exciting! But I also saw that they no longer offer Givenchy and (most) YSL nail polishes to Canadians. That stinks b/c I did want to try Givenchy, and I can’t remember if HBC has them. At least the YSLs are at HBC.

      Yeah, I think you’re probably right that it’s the formula. I think I’ll have to give the brand one more try, with a non-vampy. Vampies can be a bit tricky, after all. I really don’t like the brush, though. I think their Iconic core color selection is right down your alley: lots of trenchcoat-khakis and stuff. 😀 I love that they have so many creams and vampies, too. (I decided against getting a Guerlain polish due to the snooze-inducing color selection. Pink! Red! More red and pink! I will have to check them out in person.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah trench coat colours translated into nail polish shades = heaven! 😀
        Yeah Guerlain’s core line of polishes are yawn fest. I think only their LE shades are worth it. My favourite by far was the Sulfurous from Crazy Paris collection. I mean, will you just LOOK at that:

        I should bust it out and wear it. And post it.
        This year’s LE Guerlain nail polish Nuit Merveilleuse, looks pretty in the bottle but upon seeing swatches, I was meh about it – it’s a jewel toned purple in the bottle but a sheer purple when applied.


  3. I think this kind of brush is in nowadays. My fave ELES nail polishes changed to this kind of brush a year ago because its perfect for quick dry, matte nail enamels. With this brush we only have to use 1 or 2 strokes and we’re done. It doesn’t work for those with smaller nails though and you have to clean the side leaks right after..

    Liked by 1 person

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