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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday & I Know What Boys Like

deborah lippmann happy birthday nail polish and deborah lippmann i know what boys like nail polish summer 2011 365 of Untrieds is my personal challenge to weed through the polishes in the ALU stash that I’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t gotten around to.

It’s funny how my feelings about my birthday have changed over the thirty #$%$# years I’ve been alive. Growing up an only child, my parents spoiled the pants off me so it’s no wonder that I spent my teens and 20s turning my day into a week that was “all about me.”

When I hit 30 the world was ending, of course, and now that I’m more comfortable with that first digit in my age, I find myself not caring so much about the celebration as I used to. I just remember how lucky I am to have two amazing parents who think the world revolves around me (it does doesn’t it?), a boyfriend/partner who goes above and beyond to make my life complete and a wonderfully diverse cast of characters who are more like family than friends. And of course, I’m so so lucky to have all of you supporting me and sharing the polish love.

Today’s polish choice was a no-brainer since today is my birthday. Cue the fanfare, ha! I started off the month with a polish named Happy Birthday so it seems fitting to close it out the same way. This time with Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday and guest star I Know What Boys Like from the Summer 2011 color collection.

Formula & Application: Deborah Lippmann nail polish is 4-Free (including formaldehyde resin) and doesn’t contain camphor, which can be an irritant. Her signature glass bottle is so distinct you would know the brand even without the name on it. It’s one of the best bottle shapes in the industry. The curved cap was designed with professional manicurists in mind as it is shaped to rest comfortably between your fingers.

The Lippmann brush is short, round and average in width with flexible bristles that easily fan out over the nail plate. Both polishes have a squishy, watery feel in application. It’s as though the formula is a blend of jelly and creme. For reference, Call Me Irresponsible has the same texture and reminds me of the current Essie formula. The level of opacity in these two polishes is very different so I’m going to address that in the individual reviews below.

I started my birthday manicure with a base of Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like one of the new Summer 2011 polishes. When I first saw IKWBL last Fall I immediately thought of Call Me Irresponsible. I even asked if this was the blue version of that shade. In essence it is but the formula is much better in my opinion. Whereas I needed three coats with CMI, IKWBL is utter perfection in two flawless coats.

I feel like I’m using the word periwinkle a lot lately but it fits this color rather well. Though unlike the smoky versions of the shade I’ve talked about recently (Zoya Caitlin, Sparitual A World of Compassion) this is a rich, vibrant representation.

deborah lippmann i know what boys like nail polish swatch from the summer 2011 collection

I added two coats of Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday on top to add a little flair. Happy Birthday is nail confetti. Its clear base houses what can only be described as a sh*t-ton of glitter (nice mouth, I know). A rainbow of large hexagonal sequins are mixed with smaller square glitter. Every piece is a colored mirror begging the light to play with it. Now these types of glitter polishes are tricky to work with. If you want the most glitter impact per stroke you have to lay it down kind of thick and with authority and even then the majority of the glitter will end up closer to your tips. It’s the nature of the game.

deborah lippmann happy birthday swatch layered over i know what boys like from the summer 2011 collection

Now my original plan was to go all out with a full Happy Birthday manicure but the whiny baby in me didn’t want to deal with the removal. But after I completed my layering manicure I decided I needed a bit more bling so I removed the polish from my ring finger and turned it into my glitter accent nail. To get this look I used four thick coats of polish. And as much as I worried that it would make my nail feel really thick, it didn’t. The base is so nice and thin that all you really feel is the texture from the glitter, which with top coat isn’t that noticeable. The sequins lay down nice and flat so there’s none of that bumpy feel you get with some glitters.

deborah lippmann happy birthday swatch layered over i know what boys like from the summer 2011 collection

Bottom Line: I Know What Boys Like is so my style, that I can’t imagine not loving it. Clearly I’m having a periwinkle moment and this vivid version is perfect for the season. As soon as I saw it last September I had a feeling that it would be a favorite and now that I’ve worn it, I know it’s true. Now Happy Birthday does have several dupes on the market including the more budget friendly Milani Jewel FX Gems. I would say the one advantage HB has over Gems is the color range of its glitter. Gems feels a bit Christmas-y in that red, gold and green tend to stand out as opposed to HB’s pops of pink and blue.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: While I don’t know that I’ll use HB as much as IKWBL I’m STASHing both.

Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday and I Know What Boys Like are both available now at Neiman MarcusNordstrom and Barneys NY stores. Online shoppers can head to,,,, and I Know What Boys Like retails for $16/ea and Happy Birthday retails for $18/ea for a .5oz bottle.

Thoughts on these two shades? Do you plan to pick up either shade? What is your favorite Deborah Lippmann nail polish? What was your last birthday manicure?

Disclosure: Product samples were provided by PR reps for Deborah Lippmann. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 70 Brilliant Comments

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  1. sb_sweetie says:

    Happy Birthday! Very strange, you are one of 3 bloggers that I read whose birthday is today! I love both these polishes, but I might prefer the Happy Birthday polish on its own. Have a great day.

  2. Meredith says:

    I can’t help it, I will always love a cobalt blue polish. It’s my weakness.

  3. zephyr308 says:

    Happy Birthday! Beautiful polishes and best wishes for the year ahead. Thank you also for keeping up the 365 Untrieds- I am also really glad you seem to be enjoying this as well?

  4. Maddie says:

    Happy (yesterday) birthday! What a coincidence–my birthday was a few days ago (May 25) and I also wore Lippmann Happy Birthday…but I wore it over OPI Birthday Babe. I love both of the Lippmanns on you…Must. Have. IKWBL !!! The 365 of Untrieds is wonderful…thanks Michelle!!

  5. Natalie says:

    Happy Birthday! I really like this combo! I have Happy Birthday but my favorite Lippmann polish is Across the Universe hands down! Have a wonderful day!!!

  6. Eugenia says:

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy good health, great food, wonderful adventures and everything else your nail-polish-loving heart desires! xox

  7. love4lacquer says:

    Have a wonderful birthday Michelle, you are amazing and i know the polish world loves you!

  8. NailPolishFan says:

    I love this combo. Especailly the blue. Blues are my favorite nail polishes right now!

  9. Sara B says:

    Happy Birthday!! Today is my birthday too and I LOVE Deborah Lippmann’s Happy Birthday! Considered having it on my nails today actually :) Love your blog and hope you have a fabulous day!!

  10. tamara says:

    happy birthday!

    and i love both the polishes…i’m seriously considering asking for them for my birthday next week lol

  11. Kathryn says:

    I love Lippmann polish! haven’t gotten my hand on IKWBL…yet. I’ve had happy birthday for a while and use it on occassion and then remember why i only us it occassionally… is a mother f-ing b!tch to get off. Good luck with that removal on your ring finger! get your acetone ready! happy birthday!

  12. Lauren says:

    HBD! I’m ordering I Know What Boys Like right now. Love.

  13. CupK8 says:

    Happy Birthday!! I will celebrate your birthday with a manicure. Just for you. ;) Have a fantastic thirty @!$#@ year!

  14. Bet says:

    Happy Birthday! I’m wearing I Know What Boys Like on my toes today!

  15. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I have been LOVING that “happy birthday” polish since the first time I ever laid my eyes on it but have yet to buy it. Now I can’t stop thinking about it again. =)

  16. golden_evening says:

    have a fabulous birthday! i love these polishes, you’ve inspired me to confetti my nails today :)

  17. Sophia says:

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day (or week!) :)

    BTW, “sh*t-ton of glitter” sounds like an all girl grunge band, or the title of Ke$ha’s new album…

  18. Claire says:

    LOVE this color combo!! Beautiful. Also, happy birthday! ~–[||]

  19. Katie says:

    Happy Birthday! As far as having a whole week, isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? lol

  20. Mel says:

    I love that Happy Birthday glitter (and bought a bottle of it last year for myself). It’s SO FUN to layer with other shades.

    Happy Birthday!!! :)

  21. KittenPoker says:

    Happy Birthday to a fellow Gemini and only child! And this is the very first swatch that makes me want “Happy Birthday” in my collection. May your new year bring you loads more polishes to play with!!!

  22. Laura says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I haven’t tried it yet (somehow it’s not available in most stores), but essence has a very similar glitter top coat called “circus confetti” which is a much cheaper alternative (at least for all the Europeans).

  23. Rachel says:

    Happy birthday!! I LOVE this polish, but can’t even begin to think about shelling out $18 for it D:

  24. Alyson says:

    Happy Birthday! Love IKWBL. Would never have thought of putting it under HB, but I like the combo. In fact, I’m wearing HB now, but over black.

  25. vettelicious says:

    I can’t help but love IKWBL… Such a vibrant periwinkle. I’ve yet to try Happy B-day (shameful admitting this!) but I want to save it for my special day too :)
    Happy Birthday!

  26. Adrianna says:

    Happy birthday!

  27. Gwen says:

    Happy birthday, you share the same birthday as my hubby!! Love, love your blog!!

  28. circusgirl says:

    Happy birthday dear Michelle! I wish you many more “swatches and reviews”, because we love them so! All the best! :*

  29. Rachel says:

    Happy Birthday!!! Now I know why it’s been so nice & sunny here in the Cleve-in honor of your birthday week!!

  30. KayDiKat says:

    I have both and the layered combo looks so fun – but I’m loving the HB solo accent so much! Must try :) Periwinkles are quite popular lately and I’m loving ALL of them! Happy Birthday, Michelle!

  31. Linda says:

    Happy Birthday!! Thank you so much for posting. I literally check your blog EVERYDAY–right after my email.

  32. Penelope says:

    Happy Birthday, Feliz d

  33. Andrea says:

    happy birthday!!

  34. flipflopgal says:

    Happy Birthday to you! I discovered your blog by accident a few months ago. I love, love, love it! You are the best! I don’t buy polish without checking your website first to see if you have a review, recommendation, alternates, etc. I cheaped out & got Ulta Pinata Yada Yada instead of HB a little while back, but I think I’ll have to break down & get I Know What Boys Like, it’s so gorgeous & I don’t have anything like it. (I’ve been keeping myself away from DL’s polishes because I shudder a bit at the price tag, and I once I get over that hurdle, I’m afraid I’ll go hog wild with all the beautiful colors she has!)

  35. Ulmiel says:

    Happy birthday! I love them both, but I prefer to search for cheaper dupes, sadly they are a bit much for the wallet. :)
    Can I ask a question? How many untrieds do you actually have? Just out of curiousity. :) Since you’re making it a one-year challenge just to weed them out, I’m really wondering about the actually number. :) If it’s not too much to ask. :)

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I honestly have no idea. I’ve never counted them but there are certainly enough to get me through a year, at least. Sad I know!

      • Ulmiel says:

        Not sad, it’s cool, I absolutely adore this challenege of yours! I actually got infected by it, as I use only my untrieds now, trying to get trough them. The number is not nearly as big but the thing is, bottles just keep on growing in the untrieds box, so I honestly doubt I’ll empty it at some point. Keep up with your challenge, I hope it’s as fun for you as it is for us to read about it!

  36. Katy says:

    What a pretty blue! I bet the glitter would look nice over a light purple, like Essie Nice is Nice.


    • Katy says:

      Also, Thursday was my birthday, and I wore Zoya Ivanka for the first time. It’s probably one of my favorites now.

  37. Chris says:

    Happy birthday! I love IKWBL. It reminds me of a periwinkle version of Dating a Royal.

  38. Cat says:

    My birthday is this weekend and I am extremely tempted to hit up Nordstrom and buy a bottle of Happy Birthday to celebrate. Decisions, decisions. This manicure is great– love the color of IKWBL.

  39. Leann says:

    Happy Birthday!

  40. Happy Birthday!!!!
    Although I own neither polish and have no plans to get them in the near future, you made them into a really pretty and fitting mani.
    I hope you have a spectacular day! :3

  41. Melanie says:

    Happy Birthday!!

    I have had my eye on I Know What Boys Like for a while. It looks so pretty!

  42. Emily says:

    Happy birthday! how closely does IKWBL compare to Sally hansen Pacific Blue? which is my current cobalt/cornflower blue love. Ulta also has a version of the Happy Birthday type polish (pinyadta-yada) which has a nicer range of glitters than the wet & Wild version.

  43. allison says:

    It’s a very pretty shade.

  44. Gaby says:

    Happy Birthday! I wore Happy Birthday over Chanel Black Satin for my Birthday and received compliments. I’m loving this duo and must get IKWBL to try it out myself.

  45. Kimberly says:

    That blue is amazing! My current pedicure is Funky Dunky with Happy Birthday over it. So addicted to the chunky glitter

  46. Kimberly says:

    Hmmm I Know What Boys Like isn’t listed on Sad panda.

  47. Susie says:

    Happy Birthday (ok, the emails alerting new posts come in the middle of the night, so technically not your birthday anymore).

    Love, LOVE that blue. Wow! Must have.

  48. Steffi says:

    Happy birthday! Mine was on the 30th!

    Love Happy Birthday, but got the cheaper alternatives instead.LOL.

  49. Katarina says:

    Happy Birthday!!!
    I love both colors and all three versions of mani. IKWBL on it’s own, with HB and HB on it’s own.

  50. Wanda says:

    Happy Birthday Michelle! Or belated birthday at this point. Love IKWBL! I think I will have to get that color.

  51. Marisa says:

    Happy B-day. Yesterday was my b-day, too and I am so in love with the IKWBL since the first time I saw it, that I would love the wear it on b-day if i had it, but DL don’t ship to my country =( I am looking for it.

  52. Julie says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I wore DL HB on my b-day (May 28) but I used Essie Splash of Grenadine as the base. It looked like cupcakes!

  53. Nudie says:

    I adore your blog but I’ve never commented. Here to say Happy Birthday! You do a fantastic job of running this blog, your swatches and photography and incredible, and the posts are never dull to read! Hope you have a fantastic day :)

  54. meme says:

    I really prefer the light dusting of these DL glitters like Happy Birthday and Up In the Air. They look more classy vs over done when it’s one passing of them as a topper. I like to see the rounds and the hex shapes discrete and on their own to really take in the beauty of what DL does with these kind of glitters.
    Your over all project here looks beautiful. I am a fan of DL – they never bubble and go on so smooth. Just not the color range that I look for in a line is my only issue with DL.
    This blue is beautiful – but I know from having bought shades like this, I will do it once or twice and retire the bottle. So I really try now not to buy any more in these ranges when I know it’s really a phase/impulse I am purchasing.

    • meme says:

      Oh and I forgot to say – happy b’day! We are months (and I am sure years) apart. Birthdays are great – what a super way to do up your nails for the event! I will have to do something like it for my day – Oct 31 – which being that’s Halloween – I always have lots of ideas of what to do for my nails for my b-day!

  55. Amy says:

    Happy Birthday!! I hope it was wonderful! I agree about the Milani gems, I think of it as a Christmas polish. Happy Birthday looks fun though!

  56. Iris says:

    Happy Birthday! Love the manicure. You always choose wonderful top coats.

  57. Jaztee says:

    Happy birthday lovely! Great combo, with a name like Happy Birthday, who could resist on a day like this?

  58. Kate says:

    Happy Birthday!!!! I have tried the Happy Birthday DL polish and loved it. Enjoy!

  59. Ishah says:

    I wanted HB, but I got Gems so I killed that lemming! Both of these look pretty together though :)

  60. Sam says:

    Just got my bottle of IKWBL. It’s beautiful and goes on great. Will definitely be a staple in my collection!

  61. Phyllis says:

    I fell in love with this color as soon as I read this post! In fact that same day there was a bidding war on EBay for two bottles (I got one of them lucky me)…this is really a gorgeous blue and your photo is spot on for the color. Periwinkle is accurate and it’s a blue that makes me think ceramics from the 40′s. I just love it!

  62. Nicole says:

    Happy Birthday reminds me of one of the new Sally Hansen nail polish strips. You get the same look(its a bit more glitter than your ring finger) and they stay on forever.

  63. Serena says:

    I love Happy Birthday. It’s one of my all time favorite shades–I wear it literally all the time! :D
    It’s a b*tch to remove, though.

  64. Ashley says:

    A dead on dupe for Happy Birthday is Nicole by OPI Rainbow in the S-kylie. I was going to order Happy Birthday but I already have S-kylie and they look completely identical. Regardless, it’s a beautiful glitter polish and I love this mani!