Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lippmann Happy Birthday and Friends

Happy Birthday was the first Deborah Lippmann polish I ever bought. At the time, I'd never seen anything like it and decided it was worth the money to indulge my love of glitter. I know some (a lot?) of people look at this and think there's just too much going on; I look at it and think "party!"



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).


Left to right: Happy Birthday, Gems (original), Gems (current), Party of Five Glitters, Piñata-Yada-Yada.




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).


Thumb: Happy Birthday. Fingers, top to bottom: Gems (original), Gems (current), Party of Five Glitters, Piñata-Yada-Yada.




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.


Top to bottom: Gems (original), Gems (current).


This isn't the last of these you'll see from me today; Nail Wheel Wednesday is coming up later.

16 comments:

  1. I didn't even know there are 2 versions of Gems, never looked close enough to see if mine has any pink. Awesome post!

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  2. Karen, GREAT work on breaking down the differences between the polishes! I don't have any of these (and frankly I guess I'm not a fan of the removal period) but it's good if I'm interested to see how they stack up against each other!

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  3. Ive always said you do the best comparisons :)

    I didn't even know there are 2 versions of Gems either. Great post!

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  4. They are SO alike. And the Lippmann has gone unattractively yellow for such an expensive polish.

    btw OCC is totally a US brand. Not British at all...

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  5. We must be on the same wave length with having dupes. :)

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  6. Great comparison! I'm not really one for big chunky glitter, but I did cave and pick up the WnW Party of Five Glitters (horrible name!). Your nails remind me of cupcakes with all that glitter! :)

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  7. Those polishes definitely say "party!" Great comparison! It's weird the Lippmann polish has gone yellow

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  8. HB actually does have a yellow tint. The first time I wore it I had worn it over white, and you could definitely see the yello look to it. As much as I like the look over white, I hate that it has a yellow background.

    Darker colors obviously mask that.

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  9. I only splurged once on lippmann. I bought this really unique gold glitter with gold specks in it for christmas/birthday. it was so worth it as i can see myself wearing it in a lot of ways.. :-D

    Happy birthday is fun but I wouldn't splurge on the lippmann one. I don't see myself wearing it often. I'm glad that so many brands(ones i can afford) are making nice dupes! Nice comparison!

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  10. Whoa, I would be suuuuuuuuuuuper p.o.ed if an 18 dollar polish went yellow. Thanks for the warning.

    Didn't know about the two version of Gems. I wonder which one I have. I can't really tell, because when I look at the bottle I am blinded.

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  11. Now I want Funfetti cupcakes.

    My Lippmann went yellowish as well. Hmph, you would think that wouldn't happen for the price.

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  12. Great post :)

    I dont have any of this polishes but soon Essence will have something like this and I cant wait to buy that polish.

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  13. Thanks for this fantastic post! I really like DL Happy Birthday, but haven't wanted to spend the $$ on it because I think I'll only wear on my birthday or on others bdays. Now to find the Milani and Wet and Wilds....hrm.

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  14. Thanks for the comparison ! I don't have your paticence so this post was pretty helpfull ;)

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  15. Thanks for this post! I picked up Ulta's version last weekend and I thought it was a dupe. Surprisingly, I'm stumped over what it layer it with. lol

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  16. I have the Milani, the Ulta, and the WNW....Not sure which Milani I have though. I love them sooo much!! I don't have Happy Birthday..I could only justify the $18 on Across the Universe.

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Thank you for reading and commenting! I greatly appreciate knowing I'm not just talking to myself here. :)