In the last few months, there's been a flurry of Happy Birthday look alikes show up at much lower price points than Lippmann's US$18. Of course I bought them. First there was Milani Jewel FX Gems (US$4.99). Not too long after that came out near the end of last year, observant ladies on the nail board noticed that it lacked the pink that Happy Birthday has. Not too long after that, bottles of Gems with pink in them started showing up. Curious. After Gems came Wet 'n' Wild Fast Dry Party of Five Glitters (US$1.99), then just this past weekend I came across Ulta Piñata-Yada-Yada (US$5).
I usually layer Happy Birthday over a blue like OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue but for swatching comparison purposes I used a white background this time (Sally Hansen Salon All the White Stuff). So I wouldn't mess up the white dragging glitter around, I put a layer of Massini PDQ top coat on. Given that the top coat bottle says "Massini" instead of Studio M, it's an old one, but it didn't seem yellowed at all (this point will become important in a bit).
Okay, so what do you notice in those pictures above? Besides the fact that I had some trouble getting all five fingers in focus at the same time and got bubbles in the Wet 'n' Wild because I shook it and didn't let it rest enough before applying. The Lippmann—it looks yellower than the others, doesn't it? I think it does. I think it didn't always look like this, but I could be wrong since I generally use it over darker colors.
See? That's yellow-ish. That also gives you a good look at the little square glitter in the Lippmann, which the others don't have; their little bits are hexes, like the big bits. The squares aside, I think any of the newcomers make a fine substitute for Happy Birthday, even the original Gems with no pink. Depending on the luck of the brush, you might not get that much pink on the nail with the new version anyway.
This isn't the last of these you'll see from me today; Nail Wheel Wednesday is coming up later.