I have two lists: the must-haves and the lust-haves. One of the top lust-haves on said list is the Deborah Lippmann polish “Happy Birthday”. I can never justify buying $19 nail polish when I can buy Milani “Gems” for $6.

Well, as luck would have it, Sephora has a great nail polish sale on all their Sephora by OPI collection. 3 polishes for $10! On top of that, one of the 100 point rewards for Beauty Insiders is a sample size of “Happy Birthday”! I have no choice but to buy new polishes and “cash in” my rewards points. 😉

Below I compare the two polishes. Is it worth buying the full size version of “Happy Birthday”? We will see.

Milani’s “Gems”

Two coats of Milani’s “Gems” over Essie’s “Blanc” and Wet n Wild’s “Black Crème”. There are more large hex glitters than the smaller counterparts. They are mostly gold or silver with a few colored ones mixed in. The small glitters are blue, pink and purple and very sparse.

Deborah Lippmann’s “Happy Birthday”

Two coats over the same. There are fewer large hex glitters, in more colors, than the small hex glitters, also in more colors.

“Gems” on index and ring finger; “Happy Birthday” on third and pinky finger

There is very little difference when seen side by side.

There is a difference in formula though. The Milani formula feels thicker because of the amount of large glitter but it is still easy to mix in the bottle and does not clump. The Deborah Lippmann formula is thinner and easier to apply but on the flip side I do have to manipulate the brush to get more pieces.

Overall, I enjoy the Deborah Lippmann polish more because there is more color to it and the formula is better, but I have not decided yet whether I’ will purchase the full size since Milani is a great dupe for it.