Filed In: Deborah Lippmann

OPI – Peace & Love & OPI with comparisons

OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps opener


Sometimes it seems like nail polish brands are on the same wavelength; with OPI’s San Francisco Fall 2013 release coming out at the same time as that of the Essie Fall 2013 launch, the shade that stood out from both collections was a gorgeous duo chrome. Naturally, I needed to know how close the two really were and that curiosity led me to hunt out a couple more similar shades. The following breakdown is how they compared:

All swatches are with base and top coats.

index finger: Deborah Lippmann ‘Wicked Game’ – the sheerest of the four, most apparent lilac tones, grey in the base quite subtle

middle finger: OPI ‘Peace & Love & OPI’ (reviewed here) – medium density formula, a couple of degrees brighter overall, the teal & mauve tones the most predominant of the four

ring finger: Essie ‘For The Twill Of It’ (reviewed here) – the thickest formula of the four (still an easy application, however), the closest in look & finish, the thinner brush of the Essie scores points for leaving behind fewer visible brush strokes

pinkie finger: OPI ‘Not Like The Movies’ (reviewed here) – mid-sheer formula with pronounced lilac undertones, the only one of the four bearing silver & gold micro glitters, the grey base is more apparent than the others


OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps

clockwise from top left: Deborah Lippmann ‘Wicked Game’, OPI ‘Peace & Love & OPI’, OPI ‘Not Like The Movies’, Essie ‘For The Twill Of It’


OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps swatch

OPI San Francisco Collection – Peace & Love & OPI with comparisons


OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps swatch 2

OPI San Francisco Collection – Peace & Love & OPI with comparisons


OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps swatch 3

OPI San Francisco Collection – Peace & Love & OPI with comparisons


OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps swatch 4

OPI San Francisco Collection – Peace & Love & OPI with comparisons


It’s quite obvious from the swatches above, that both OPI and Essie have achieved similar results with their respective duo (multi) chrome lacquers and while to my eye there are a few differences, they are minimal at best. Deborah Lippmann’s ‘Wicked Game’ has the honour of being the first out of the gate with this ethereal kind of shade, and I like the fact that it’s still available today (part of the permanent range). Do you need both the OPI and the Essie? I’d say probably not – your choice will be determined by either your brand favourite (OPI vs Essie), or brush preference (the thinner Essie vs the wider OPI). Then again, if you are a collector of this type of finish, you’ll want both. Or all.  I’m just sayin’…


OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

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Deborah Lippmann – She’s Always A Woman mini trio

DL She's Always A Woman opener


Released for holiday 2012, I initially passed this limited edition trio up in favour of ‘The Millionaire’s Holiday’ giftset (reviewed here), as well as because I assumed the 3 shades shown here were nothing unique in my Deborah Lippmann collection of lacquers. It took my daughter to point out how gorgeous this set truly is, so that forced me to give it a second look – and realize how right she was! Then there’s the total cuteness factor of the mini bottles … how can one resist?

Note that this set (CAD $25.00) includes 3 mini sized bottles of lacquer at 8 ml/0.27 fl.oz each, versus the 15 ml/.50 fl.oz of a regular sized bottle.

All swatches are with base and top coat.

DL She's Always A Woman box

Deborah Lippmann – she’s always a woman trio

DL She's Always A Woman back of box

Deborah Lippmann – she’s always a woman trio

DL She's Always A Woman open box

Deborah Lippmann – she’s always a woman trio

DL She's Always A Woman trio

Deborah Lippmann (left to right) – My Prerogative, Raspberry Beret, Putty In Your Hands

DL Putty In Your Hands

Putty In Your Hands – a warm leaning mushroom/putty hue with slight mauve undertones in the base, in a sheer jelly/crème hybrid formula that reaches a good opacity by the second coat. Self-levelling and with an ultra high gloss at the finish, this universally neutral shade is decadently creamy looking. Coats applied: 2

DL Putty In Your Hands swatch

Deborah Lippmann – Putty In Your Hands

DL Putty In Your Hands swatch 2

Deborah Lippmann – Putty In Your Hands

DL Putty In Your Hands and comps

I was pleased to find that ‘Putty In Your Hands’ was unique in my collection of Deborah Lippmann – even compared to the other neutrals that I own:

  • index finger: Modern Love (reviewed here) -similar sheerness but more pink based, crème formula
  • middle & pinkie fingers: Putty In Your Hands
  • ring finger: Waking Up In Vegas –  grey-hued with yellow undertones, most opaque as well as least glossiest

DL Putty In Your Hands & comps swatch

Deborah Lippmann – Putty In Your Hands comparison

DL Raspberry Beret

Raspberry Beret – an intense maroon/berry base (that’s more of a jelly than a crème) filled with irregularly shaped iridescent mylar flakes, in a medium thick suspension-like formula. Completely opaque at 2 coats, the finish may not be as glossy as the other two of this set, but the flakes add such an incredible level of depth to this shade, like embedded shards of glass visible at surface level. Top coat is a must to bring out all its facets and to eliminate any visible bumpiness. Coats applied: 2

DL Raspberry Beret swatch

Deborah Lippmann – Raspberry Beret

DL Raspberry Beret swatch 2

Deborah Lippmann – Raspberry Beret

DL Raspberry Beret swatch macro

Deborah Lippmann – Raspberry Beret

DL Raspberry Beret and Raise Your Glass

Believing Raspberry Beret to be quite close to Raise Your Glass (reviewed here), I was happy to find them completely different from each other:

  • index & pinkie fingers: Raise Your Glass – lighter coloured base hue, thinner formula & filled with raspberry hued glass-like micro glitter
  • middle & ring fingers: Raspberry Beret

DL Raspberry Berry vs Raise Your Glass swatch

Deborah Lippmann – Raspberry Beret comparison

DL My Prerogative

My Prerogative – a mix of navy/royal blue & vivid ultra-marine blue in a medium thick hybrid crème/jelly formula, that nonetheless applies effortlessly along the nail. Somewhat sheer, this self-levelling shade becomes 100% opaque by the second coat, leaving a glassy finish behind and is non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2

DL My Prerogative swatch

Deborah Lippmann – My Prerogative

DL My Prerogative swatch 2

Deborah Lippmann – My Prerogative

DL My Prerogative and I Know What Boys Like

The only other solid blue Deborah Lippmann shade I own, I Know What Boys Like (reviewed here), has nowhere near the impact of My Prerogative:

  • index & pinkie fingers: I Know What Boys Like – more of a deep cornflower blue, lighter in tone by several degrees, jelly formula, glossier
  • middle & ring fingers: My Prerogative

DL My Prerogative vs I Know What Boys Like swatch

Deborah Lippmann – My Prerogative comparison

DL My Prerogative & Across the Universe bonus swatch

Bonus: I couldn’t resist adding a touch of Deborah Lippmann’s Across the Universe – love the effect!


Final thoughts: Deborah Lippmann nail lacquer not only comes in a range of colours and formula that is on par with the best of high end brands, but the bottles themselves look like little jewels and are definitely display-worthy. I was surprised that even in a mini format, neither the aesthetics that this brand is known for, nor the brush size were compromised; it’s just all shrunken down! Putty In Your Hands is such a chic neutral and eminently wearable, while My Prerogative adds an urban flavour to your nails, but it’s Raspberry Beret that steals the show with its multi-dimensional look – I love how each offers something so completely different. Now if we can only convince Ms. Lippmann to launch these in a full-size format, I won’t need to hoard my little beauties!

I purchased this set from Holt Renfrew (Montréal).

DL She's Always A Woman closer 1

DL She's Always A Woman closer 2




*Disclosure: Some products provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration.

Deborah Lippmann ‘The Millionaire’s Holiday’ Giftset (Holt Renfrew exclusive)


Tis the season … for holiday gift sets, and no one does it better than Deborah Lippmann. This weekend, while browsing through the selection on display at the Holt Renfrew Montréal store (or as I like to call it, home!) I came across several groupings that literally stopped me in my tracks. After much debate, I finally decided on ‘The Millionaire’s Holiday’ giftset – as much for the name, as for the shades themselves: 3 festively appropriate hues, but amped up Deborah Lippmann style.

The Millionaire’s Holiday

The Millionaire’s Holiday

The Millionaire’s Holiday

The Millionaire’s Holiday


The Millionaire’s Holiday (CAD $45.00 set) is one of several holiday releases from Deborah Lippmann, although this particular set is a Holt Renfrew exclusive (Canada) and from my understanding, also exclusive to Barney’s New York (US). What I find so interesting, is how Deborah Lippmann managed to reinterpret the 3 colours most associated with the holidays, and offers them up in such sophisticated richly glowing hues.

All swatches are with base and top coats


Sexy Mama – a warm leaning, deeply shimmering candy apple red shade with some understated titian undertones, in a slightly thick formula which nonetheless applies easily and in a totally self-levelling way. The intense saturation of pigment almost makes this a 1-coater, although a second coats goes a long way in enhancing the deep ruby glow of this beauty. As there is the potential for some light staining, do not skip base coat here. Coats applied: 2

Deborah Lippmann – Sexy Mama

Deborah Lippmann – Sexy Mama


Easy Money – a complex greyed pine base shade, filled with an ultra-fine mix of  blue, gold, bronze and copper shimmer. Although the formula in this lacquer is semi-sheer, it applies exceptionally well, laying down in a self-levelling way and leaving behind a beautiful shine at the finish. Absolutely nothing like this in my collection – a truly unique shade. BONUS: no staining upon removal. Coats applied: 3 (thin)

Deborah Lippmann – Easy Money

Deborah Lippmann – Easy Money


From Rags to Riches – a similar semi-sheer formula as that of ‘Easy Money’, this is a deep baroque gold/brass hue, with an interesting mix of golden-caramel undertones, and a slight greenish tinge seen in certain angles. Definitely a whole “aged/patina” vibe going on here (think “old money” rather than “nouveau riche”) and made eminently wearable due to its warm cast. Note that you need a steady hand in application, in order to avoid any visible brush strokes. Coats applied: 3 (thin)

Deborah Lippmann – From Rags to Riches

Deborah Lippmann – From Rags to Riches


Final thoughts: Not having been able to test these before buying, I sincerely hoped that they wouldn’t disappoint, but I needn’t have worried; I have yet to be let down by any Deborah Lippmann lacquer. The price tag was a nice surprise as well, coming in at $45.00 (CAD) for the three, versus the $20.00 (CAD) each I usually pay (if not more, for some of the specialty releases). The shades are all fabulous, jewel-like tones, and if you’re looking for that perfect gift for the lacquerista in your life, I highly recommend this trio of beauties. Then again, you could always gift it to yourself …

Sephora + Pantone Universe – ‘Reflecting Pond’ Jewel Lacquer (swatches, comparisons & review)


I have a confession to make: I don’t really know all that much about Sephora’s 2nd collaboration with Pantone, and I only picked up one item from the previous collection (which I STILL haven’t reviewed), but as soon as my eyes landed on ‘Reflecting Pond’, I was captivated. Something about murky, aquatically-themed hues just get to me every single time. Probably has something to do with the fact that I’m a water sign … or it could be the storm-tossed allure of this lacquer …


Sephora + Pantone Universe ‘Reflecting Pond’

Sephora + Pantone Universe ‘Reflecting Pond’

the beautiful opalescent box


‘Reflecting Pond’ is a jewel, and just as luxurious colour-wise. Starting with the opalescent box it comes in – which is pretty enough in its own right, the densely pigmented, medium-thick formula makes application almost effortless. The charcoal infused teal of the base colour is filled to the brim with ultra fine brilliant teal shimmer “dust”, along with some deep blue, scattered green & lavender/pink specks throughout, which lend some elusive indigo flashes to this shade (seen clearer in direct sunlight) and a complex depth of tone. Indoors turns ‘Reflecting Pond’ into a murky & blackened teal, leaving behind an almost metallic after-image (really weird and cool effect, actually), but I love how the sides of the nail look like a frame for the gorgeous center teal colour. Brush stroke-free and self-levelling, the final finish is somewhat dull; addition of top coat is an absolute must, as it literally brings this beauty to life.

The square bottle shape is a nice touch as well, made with heavy, sturdy glass and while the wand may seem a little long, I found the brush to be well formed, with just the right amount of length & flexibility to allow for a fuss-free application. Bonus: absolutely no staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2

Unique touch: on the back label of the box you’ll find a box with a colour swatch and a corresponding number, in case you want to paint your walls the same shade! According to Sephora:

What it is:
A thrilling collection of nail lacquers inspired by exotic gems, precious jewels, and vivid natural beauty. 

What it does:
Fall under the spell of the Alchemy of Color Collection, an enchanting collaboration between Pantone Universe and Sephora that marries the hottest shades of the season with exclusive formulation and finish. The collection includes a kaleidoscope of colors and each of the multi-dimensional lacquers feature an innovative texture and futuristic finish, from metallic, to sparkle, iridescent, and never-seen-before metallic matte. The formulas are long-wearing, chip-resistant, and promise full-color payoff. Bring the brilliant hues to life as you mix and match to create your own magic. 

What else you need to know:
This collection takes inspiration from Pantone’s View Colour Planner Autumn/ Winter 12-13 Book, predicting a radiant color breakthrough in fall 2012 and a leap into bright reds, energizing oranges, and sumptuous purples. Each formula is formaldehyde-free and dibutyl phthalate (DBP)-free.

*All swatches are with Seche Clear Base Coat and Seche Vite Top Coat, but I did notice some shrinking away from the nail edges after this step – an obvious sign of incompatibility.

in sunlight

alternate angle


in shade

with flash


Going through my collection of polishes, I came across several that are in the same colour family as ‘Reflecting Pond’, but I narrowed things down to Deborah Lippmann’s ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ – for being the closest in base tone, and Nailtini’s ‘Stinger’ (previous reviewed here) – for having a similar duo coloured effect. All swatches are with 2 coats of lacquer, as well as base & top coats. How they compared:

  • index finger: Deborah Lippmann ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ – the thinnest flowing formula, almost identical blackened teal base with a pine green ultra fine shimmer – no other colour flashes, the darkest in overall tone, very glossy natural finish
  • middle & pinkie fingers: Sephora + Pantone Universe™ ‘Reflecting Pond’
  • ring finger: Nailtini ‘Stinger’ – formula, flow & opacity similar to ‘Reflecting Pond’, underlying base shows more of a prune hue (1st coat), visible purple overtones (naked eye), much more prominent cobalt flash with shimmer leaning more towards emerald, superb glossy finish

in sunlight

alternate angle


in shade

with flash


Final thoughts: I am a total sucker for these types of shades; apart from its obvious brooding qualities, I love all the complexities of colour and tone that go into ‘Reflecting Pond’. The formula was unexpectedly thick, but very easy to work with nonetheless and even though you can almost get away with one coat, I highly recommend a second as it enhances the vivid colour of this beauty. I passed on the other 4 shades released – pretty hues, but nowhere near as eye-catching; I’m not sure at this point if they’re limited edition, but the collection is definitely a Sephora exclusive. The price seems to be quite fair as well, coming at CDN $11.00 for 11 ml/.37 fl oz, slightly more than an OPI but definitely less than a CHANEL. Definitely worth seeing with your own eyes – but be forewarned of its mesmerizing effect!

Deborah Lippmann ‘Raise Your Glass’ – celebrating Holt Renfrew’s 175th Anniversary! (swatches & review)


Deborah Lippmann, über-manicurist to some of the most famous people in the world of beauty, fashion & film, and noted as the woman responsible for making glitter lacquers chic & sophisticated, recently collaborated with another grand name – Canada’s very own Holt Renfrew. To celebrate the luxury retail giant’s 175th anniversary, many of the store’s brands created exclusive & unique one-of-a-kind items just for the occasion … all managing to incorporate Holt’s’ signature magenta colour (vivid fuchsia Coke bottles anyone?!). The limited edition ‘Raise Your Glass’ Deborah Lippmann varnish, made specifically for the store’s birthday milestone, means that you can now have a piece of Holt’s always at your fingertips … literally!

the original Holt Renfrew store, founded in 1837 – Québec City (source)

the art deco building of Holt Renfrew Montréal, 1937 (source)

Holt Renfrew Montréal today (source)

the legendary & stunning art deco bronze doors of Holt Renfrew Montréal (source)

Diet Coke for Holt Renfrew (source)

Christian Louboutin exclusive for Holt Renfrew (source)

Giorgio Armani exclusive lipstick for Holt Renfrew (source)

Deborah Lippmann – ‘Raise Your Glass’ for Holt Renfrew

Deborah Lippmann – ‘Raise Your Glass’ for Holt Renfrew

Deborah Lippmann – ‘Raise Your Glass’ for Holt Renfrew


‘Raise Your Glass’ – is a lusciously deep & rich magenta hue, filled with vivid fuchsia fine hexagonal glitter. The rather thick formula which gives excellent coverage and opacity even by the first coat, which also means that it will stay put exactly where applied, without running or pooling into the cuticle area. Its crème base seems to have some jelly-like qualities to it, brought out clearly with the addition of a top coat. The ultra-fine glitter doesn’t sink into the depth of this colour, but seems to float near the surface level – giving the final appearance a slight “sandwiched” tone, or as though seen through a filter.

Paradoxically, the glitter – which is very visible to the naked eye, seems quite camera-shy here, with the swatches only barely revealing hints of its brilliant flashes, but it certainly serves to add a beautiful dimension of depth overall. While the application is relatively smooth despite the glitter, the final finish not only looks a little rough, but feels gritty to the touch – I applied 2 layers of top coat here, in order to truly enhance this vivid beauty. Some elbow grease is definitely required for complete removal, although on the plus side, it’s a 100% non-staining shade. All swatches are with Seche Clear Base Coat and Seche Vite Top Coat. Coats applied: 2

in sunlight

in sunlight/alternate angle


shaded light

with flash

shown against the iconic colour of a Holt’s shopping bag


Final thoughts: For all you non-Canadians out there, I want you to know that Holt Renfrew is our “holy grail” department store … or, at least it is for me, and has been since I was about 3 (I believe my first word may have been “luxe”). I tend to shy away from many pink shades, mainly because I’ve always felt that it wasn’t a colour suited to my particular skin tone. ‘Raise Your Glass’ is a far cry from feeble, and I absolutely love its strong intensity; the fine glitter looks especially gorgeous when sunlight glints off the nail surface, giving your mani a sly “zing” – captivating, really. As this is a Holt Renfrew exclusive (retailing for CDN $22.00), it is only available through the store itself and if my sources are correct, for a limited time as well. Get some of your “Canadian” on, eh?!