What better day to wear Milani Gems (the polish that is said to be a lookalike of the popular Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday) than on my actual birthday? I picked up Milani Gems a few weeks ago when I finally spotted the display at my local CVS. Luckily there was one bottle of Gems left, so I had no choice but to buy it. I mean, this combination of glitter is just about the prettiest I've ever seen at the drugstore.
In my opinion, the biggest difference between Milani Gems and Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday is the color of the glitter pieces. The size and density of the glitter seem to be comparable, but the color is where it varies. To me, Happy Birthday contains a combination of traditional "birthday" colors like pink, baby blue and kelly green, while the glitter in Gems is truly gems-based (emerald, citrine, ruby, etc.). Take a look at KellieG's swatches, and then compare them to my pics below and I think you'll understand.
I decided to try Gems two ways and for my first attempt, I used Milani White as a base coat (I should note here that I was sent Milani White for review a while back but somehow forgot to post a review--it's a great white that gives me full opacity in just two coats).
After applying two coats of Milani White, I used three coats of Milani Gems, followed by two coats of Seche Vite. There is a TON of glitter here, so it really required two layers of top coat to make it smooth. The good news? It was quite smooth to the touch after two coats of Seche Vite, which I find to be a minor miracle considering how big the glitter pieces are in this polish. Despite their size, the glitter lays pretty flatly on the nail. Yay!
And folks, THIS is why this polish is named Gems. With three coats, it looks like you've got gems of every shade on your nails and they truly dance in the light:
Please enlarge this photo to see the glitter up close!
Here are some more pics of this combo taken in different forms of lighting. You've really got to enlarge these photos to get the full effect:
So for the second look, I used Milani White as a base coat again, but this time I only used ONE coat of Gems, followed by one coat of Seche Vite:
Enlarge this one to see the glitter in detail
Honestly? I love BOTH looks! I love the intense jewel effect of the first look, but I also love the sparse confetti-like look of the second. One look is dramatic, while the other is playful. Either way, this is one festive polish and I cannot wait to wear it on my toes. I think I might be forced to wear my flip flops in the winter (not really unheard of in Southern California actually) if I wear Gems on my toes. I'll want to look at it all the time!
So that's my take on Milani Gems. What do you think? Are you a glitter gal? Do you think you need this one? I'd love to hear from you!
A sample of Milani White was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. Milani Gems was purchased with personal funds. All reviews on NouveauCheap.blogspot.com are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.