Friday, August 24, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream

My earliest memory of mermaids have had to do with a certain red-haired, half-fish girl who had an adorable blue and yellow fish friend, and sang of whatsits and gizmos aplenty. So when I heard about a nail polish called 'mermaid's dream', it had me thinking: what do mermaids dream about? Do they dream of causing shipwrecks and sending sailors to their watery deaths? Maybe of songs to sing to lure the unsuspecting? Or maybe they dreamt like Disney says they did, of walking on land and learning about fire. Seeing as there are no documented living mermaids, there's no one to ask. Famed celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann dreamed up her own version of mermaid dreams and it looks like the sand in the shallow waters of a green-blue sea:

Perhaps mermaids don't dream in technicolor, they do one better: in sparkles!

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream
Color: Pale seafoam green
Formula: Seafoam green foil/shimmer base with aqua hex glitter, and gold and silver microglitter
Finish: Glitter/foil hybrid
Price: $18.6- $22 CDN for 15mL
Seen at: Holt Renfrew, Murale, The Bay, Nail Polish Canada, Spa Boutique, Nordstrom (watch out for duties tho)
Note(s): As far as I know, Mermaid's Dream isn't a limited release for Spring 2012. I purchased my bottle from Spa Boutique when they were running their no minimum free shipping promo earlier this year. I managed to snag my bottle for $21, taxes included.

The Fun Facts

Token bottle shot.

Label at the base.

Info on the box, including the ingredient list.

Somewhat skinny (compared to the prevalent wide brush movement) DL brush.

In all its seafoam glittered shimmer splendor!

This is one complicated color to describe. There's so much going on! The base is a very pretty seafoam green foil that's mixed in with some silver and gold bits. You probably wouldn't even notice the metallic bits in the foil finish unless you look closely in very bright light. Add to the mix are small aqua hex glitter that bring to mind bubbles in the water. Despite being a foil, Mermaid's Dream actually dries down to a surprisingly gritty texture. It's not just the glitter in the mix, but the actual base has some sort of texture to it, too.
***All nail swatches were done with Nail Tek II Foundation Base Coat and two coats of Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream unless stated. I apologize for the lighting in the photos; I took them on an overcast day so I've also had to substitute artificial light for the usual sunlight photos.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
Yes, it feels as gritty as it looks.

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
Shiny, nonetheless, because of the foil finish.

Artificial light/No top coat/No flash
Bright light brings the tiny gold and silver bits to life.

I like the Deborah Lippmann brush. It's thin enough that you can get into the nook and crannies without creating a mess, while it can fan out nicely so that you can probably cover a smaller nail in one stroke. I'd take these sort of brushes over those newfangled 'pro-wide' brushes any day! Consistency on this one was somewhat thick, but that's expected when you're dealing with glitter. It did, however, flow nicely despite the higher viscosity and leveled itself upon drying. I have to note that this is one pigmented formula. I probably could've gotten away with one medium to thick coat but decided to do two medium coats just to be sure. As with other glitter bombs, you'll want to use the foil method of removal. It comes off easily with no staining. Dry time is just a tad faster than average.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
I swear to you that this one has top coat.

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: I..I have no words..

Artificial light/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie says: SPARKLES...!!

You'll have to be generous with top coat; this one tends to eat it up so you'll probably want to layer on a few coats. The photos above have a layer of Gelous under a thick coat of Seche Vite. It's smooth to the touch but still retains the textured look to it.

The Lowdown

I hate to play enabler when a nail polish is pricey like Mermaid's Dream. But if you consider yourself a nail polish connoisseur or go crazy over pastels/glitter/anything sparkly, YOU NEED THIS. I'm sorry, but you really do. I have absolutely nothing like it and I have seen absolutely nothing like it. This one is in a class all its own. I've heard that some people didn't like the textured finish or the foil/metallic look to it, so if you fall into that category, then you'd best stay away and spend your $$ elsewhere. I, for one, am beyond thrilled that this is one of those heavily hyped nail polishes that actually exceeded all expectations. The color is so reminiscent of the sea and has such a summer-y vibe that just looking at it puts a smile on your face. I kid you not. I was probably grinning like an idiot the entire time I had this on (for the record, it lasted a week on my tips without any visible sign of tip wear, only growth at the cuticles. Yes, 7 days. That's a record right there.) but I couldn't help it! Maybe Hammie is rubbing off on me.

If you have yet to bite the bullet, Mermaid's Dream doesn't seem to be a limited release (but don't quote me on that). It is still available at most online retailers, even on the official Deborah Lippmann website (unfortunately, they only ship to continental US). I can't vouch for the brick and mortar stores as I never even saw this one at a store myself. Since it is a spring release, I would wonder if they still have stock (especially with all the new fall collections coming out), but you can take your chances if you prefer to shop in store.

Yes, $22 CAD is a hefty price to pay for a single bottle of nail polish. I rationalized my own purchase as a birthday gift to myself to take the sting off some. But I will say that you do get 15mL of product which is pretty good for the price if you compare it to other luxury brands like Estee Lauder ($25 CAD for ~9mL) or even Chanel ($25 CAD for ~13mL). With such comparables, it doesn't seem like such a bad deal. And you do end up with a very unique color and finish. That's got to count for something.

Hammie turned strangely catatonic after that sparkles outburst. He seems completely mesmerized by Mermaid's Dream and isn't really responding to questions. Maybe he needs a minute but we'll move on, anyway. So while I know he'll balk at the price tag, the superb application, unique finish and color easily make it worth your while to own your own bottle of mermaid dreams. It comes as no surprise that we've scored it:

10 Hammie Points!

Aren't you glad it's Friday? We hope you have some awesome plans for the weekend! We have a busy one but we hope to have a super relaxing one right after. Mostly because we think we'd have deserved it. Before you ride off into the sunset and get on with the R&R, we'd like to know: How expensive is too expensive when it comes to nail polish? What's your most pricey bottle of polish? Would you be willing to shell out the $$$ for a color that you really want?


  1. This looks wonderful on you, Carmela! I passed this one up because of the foil/glitter combination. But I'm glad that you're loving it so much! Even when the price is on the high side, if you really enjoy it and think you'll wear it often, it's totally worth it. :)

  2. Thanks, Mary! Oh, wow, I can't believe you passed this pretty up! I would've thought it would be right up your alley, being green and sparkly. But I guess people either love it or hate it. Luckily, it was head over heels in love for me! So yes, it is *totally* worth it. :D

  3. This looks incredible on you!!!
    I have heard many rave reviews about this one... but I will pass on it. Peridot is still my most expensive shade and it is my favourite (only likeable) duochrome/metallic shade ;)

  4. Looks so much nicer in person! You rock this polish :)

  5. Thanks, Marta! :)
    If you pass on it, then all the more $$ to spend on more nail polish! ;) If it's not something you like, $22 is too high a price to pay. It was a no-brainer for me, tho. I *did* wait a couple months before getting it because I wanted to be sure that I really, really wanted it not just because of the hype. Peridot will always have a treasured spot in my collection and it's still my most expensive shade, too! :)

  6. Thanks, Achi! I'll bring it this weekend. ;)
    (P.S. You can sign in to DIsqus so you won't show up as "Guest" in the comments. :D)


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