Friday, August 26, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Original Happy Birthday versus New Happy Birthday

After a few of you pointed out that the Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday (and glitter base in Candy Shop and Forget You) in the Get This Party Started set seemed like it lacked the square glitter of the original Happy Birthday, I had to take a closer look.

You're absolutely right. They're different, and it's more than just the lack of pretty square glitter. I did a quick side-by-side comparison of the original Happy Birthday and the new one:

Left to right:
Two coats of original release Happy Birthday
Two coats of Happy Birthday from the Get This Party Started set
One coat of original Happy Birthday over black
One coat of new Happy Birthday over black

For reference:
New Happy Birthday, two coats.

Original Happy Birthday, one coat over black, mattified. Apparently I have never taken a picture of the original happy birthday by itself. On the upside, the matte finish really makes it easy to see all the different types of particles.

You can easily tell the two versions apart because the old bottle has black lettering and the new bottle has white lettering. Several people have mentioned to me that they have the old version in the white lettered bottle, so unfortunately it's not as easy as I thought to tell which you're getting.

These are the differences that I can tell:

  • New version has no square glitter.
  • New version has less orange and and yellow glitter, giving the overall appearance of the polish a more silver and pink look than the original.
  • New version is more opaque and spreads more evenly.
  • Old version is more colorful and has more variety in the glitter shapes, colors and sizes.
  • New version feels more like rainbow sprinkles to me, old version seems more circus/beachball/clown colored to me.
I'm torn about this. I like both versions for different reasons. I adore the square glitter in the original, but I'm also very fond of the less orangey/yellowy and more pink/silver look of the new one. If the new one had the square glitter and the same mix of colors, it would be perfect.



  1. I think your solution sounds great - new color mix, old shapes! :D The square glitter is just so pretty... If I had to choose I'd go with the old mix because I love square glitter and I like the wider variety of shapes. The colors are important too though and the large silver hex of the old version is too obvious whereas in the new version it blends better... I'm torn now too! But if I had to choose...I'd want the old one for the square glitter. There just isn't enough square glitter in the world right now.

  2. BOO! I like the old one better.

  3. They're both pretty amazing - not sure which I like more. But...good comparison! Wow, and those people who brought up the differences have great attention to detail.

  4. They shouldn't have the same name. This is OPI MPJ all over again. Why mess with such a classic color that put you on the map. That's kinda dumb on their part. Thats insulting to the fans. did they not think we wouldnt notice?

  5. Quite a surprise to me. I had the original so was not at all interested in getting the mini set from Nordies. I prefer the original looking at your photos. Do agree that the new one blends better, lacks the yellow, the wider variety of shapes. I would however be disappointed if I had expected the 'real' HB and did not get it buying this set. HB is such a land-mark, cult classic. I am surprised they slipped it in without editors noticing the difference and reporting on it in blogs/magazines. I wonder if they wanted to have only one formula of 'a' HB and the old HB did not blend that well looks wise into the pink? I can see where the old HB might have clashed somewhat with the pink base. Either would work in the one in that set with the black. That's just a guess that they tweaked it to look more blended in the pink

  6. I can see the difference. I still don't know which one I like better. They both pretty much looks the same from a normal person staring at my nails viewpoint. Is the current HB sold everywhere the new version I wonder or is the new version only in the set?

  7. Now I'm regretting not getting the old one, I never expected a new formula!!!!


  8. I wonder if the new version will replace the old in the individually sold bottles? I just purchased HB a few weeks ago and haven't tried it yet but I'm assuming it's original. It would be nice I think to have the less clown/circus/beachball look! LOL

  9. Either way they look amazingly fun :)

    I've never came across this brand here in Portugal but they do remind me a bit of Circus Confetti by Essence:

  10. I prefer the old by far. I'm just not a pink girl and like the bolder mix of colors much better.

  11. How does the new version compare to Milani Gems? It looks to me like they ate exactly the same now. Still not regretting not getting HB and the rest of the set and frankening my own instead. Saved me at least $32!

  12. Well darn! I got the set & while it's VERY pretty & distributes nicely, I do like that there are more bits of yellow in the original.

  13. I have wanted this polish my whole polish loving life. I liked that it had different shapes, sizes, and colors. For some reason any other glitter dupe from far away looked like silver red and green glitter. You cant see the difference between the red/pink/purple/orange all look red, while green and the light blue both look green. My friend commented, "why do you have 3 different Christmas glitters?" I like that in Happy Birthday the yellow and orange stood out more.

  14. I have to old version. I don't think I need the new one that badly. I have Milani Gems which the new version looks like.

  15. Mine is the old formula in a white lettering bottle.

  16. man alive... I actually thought that my new HB had more yellow and orange in it because I thought my Candy Shop had more yellow in it!

    My old HB seemed to lack the amount of the glitter - I had to wear at least 3-4 coats to get a reasonable amount of glitter on the nail whereas the new HB looks very dense indeed. From your swatches I'd say density not an issue... wonder if I got a weird bottle.

    highly informative... thank you for the post!

  17. I much prefer the old one. I wish they had not changed it.

  18. Thanks for the comparison! I thought I saw a difference between them but I didn't know they had a different color mix. While I like the new colors, I prefer the original. The original made me fall in love with square glitter. Wish they kept it the same so I could get a backup.

  19. I got out my white lettered bottle from HSN and I looked for the missing square/etc and the one I got from HSN is not different than the original!


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