Ode to Deborah Lippmann’s Across the Universe

As a make-up junkie since my teenage years, I’ve always had a highly covetable item in my personal wish-list. It has been a lipstick, most of the time, an eyeliner or a blush, but a nail polish has been firmly sitting on top of my list for a long long long time. I’ve finally got my hands on it and I cannot explain my sense of fullfilment. It’s just a nail polish, one might say, but let me disagree: Deborah Lippmann’s Across the Universe is NOT just a nail polish, because it’s mystery and poetry and drama in a bottle.

Here it is in its transparent plastic box (my heart is quivering). “Luxurious nail color” reads the writing on the box and I couldn’t agree more.

Here it is in all its glittering glory. Here my heart goes “boom” with excitement and the urgency to try it on. A few words about the bottle: I’m a sucker for anything vaguely old-fashioned, so this one has totally won me: it’s like using a beauty item from a long time ago. Its squared shape and the cap curved on top are both lovely.

Many Lippmann nail polishes are named after famous songs and this one is no exception. Across the Universe is probably my favourite Beatles song ever and this is surely one of the reasons why I’m hopelessly in love with this nail polish. Now, don’t judge me, because I know that many out there are ready to fall (or have fallen) for a make-up item with a catchy/intriguing name.

Sparkling explosion! The websitesays this shade is blazing blue and metallic green glam in sheerest navy, a very accurate description. Sorry for my crappy application abilities 😦 I should have cleaned the dirty finger tips with some remover, but I was so eager to snap some pictures and I left them there. As you can see, the amount of glitters in different sizes is intimidating and the complexity of the colour is impressive.

The only downside? You have to apply four coats to get a perfect coverage. If you like sheer nail polishes, you can apply three coats, but let me tell you you can’t achieve this multi-dimensional effect with three coats only.

This picture is a bit out-of-focus, but I’ve decided to post it anyway, because it gives you the idea of the depth of the colour. If I had to use a poetic description of it, I would say Across the Universe is like diving deep into the ocean, where the dark blue waters turn into green when they’re pierced by sunrays. To be honest, I would have called this nail polish Down by the Water (hey, this is another music reference!), because I think the deep water effect is so much present.

The best way to close this ode to an amazing nail polish is posting a very intense rendition of the song it’s named after. Rufus Wainwright, Moby and Sean Lennon sang Across the Universe during the event Come Together: A Night for John Lennon’s Words and Music, which took place in 2001. Originally written by John Lennon in 1967, it was first included in No One’s Gonna Change Our World (a charity compilation album) in 1969 and, later, in Let It Be (in a different version),  the last album released by the Beatles. It’s incredible to see how Lippmann has been able to translate words and music into colours and into a nail polish form; she did the same stunning job with other two of my favourite shades from her collection – Marquee Moon and Glitter in the Air – but in general her artistic sensibility is amazing.

Just before closing, many many many thank yous to Chiara, a friend of mine who lives in London, thanks to whom I’ve finally turned my nail polish dream into reality!



  1. Wow! Beautiful shades! I’m more of a naked-colour-nails girl (my searchin’ for the perfect nude is always on) and deep red à la Chanel Rouge Noir is the only colour I (rarely) wear but Deborah Lippman’s nailpolish are quite impressive! I have a thing for “Satin Doll” and I’m really into “Single Ladies”. No glitters for me but I have to admit “Some Enchanted Evening” is mesmerizing…
    (Deborah Lippman’s nailpolishes are not available in Italy, are they?)

    1. I have Chanel Rouge Noir but I’ve used it a couple of times only. “Some Enchanted Evening” is beautiful, but it’s quite sheer, and I’m not a fan of sheer nail polishes.

      No: unfortunately, Lippmann’s nail polishes are not available in Italy.

  2. it’s truly amazing! to me, it looks like coming from the outer space 😉
    but…how would you wear it? not for the day, I guess – it seems just the right accessory for a dramatic night look but currently, as a superbusy working mum I do not have so many chances to wear such a look! Well, I guess one can buy such a gorgeous item just for the sake of it!
    Love your blog!

    1. Hi Roberta!

      I’m a working mum like you and I have very few (and I mean, VERY FEW) occasions to go out at night. I wear “Across the Universe” as if it were an ordinary nail polish, and I do the same with some very sparkling, disco-ball-effect nail polishes I own. I usually buy nail polishes because I want to wear them. I love playing with unconventional shades and sparkling effects; sometimes, a bright nail polish or a glittering one is like a sun-ray in a dull or hard day, so I don’t want to keep it in a closet and wait for the “right” moment to wear it, but enjoy it whenever I want.

      1. thanks for replying! well…I’ve started wearing nailpolish on my hands only very recently and I’m sticking to red – I just think it’s more “appropriate” both for my workplace (University) and for the shape of hands and nails (short and square nails, big hands with long fingers). But I’d love to see more women around with that nailpolish!

      2. I know what you mean: red nail polish is so classic, it can be worn in any occasion and is definitely appropriate for work. I always keep my nails short, not squared because I like keeping the natural shape of my nails, and I think most of nail polishes look good on short nails. I’ve never had long nails because I think they’re so unpractical, but it’s true some nail polishes (metallics or holos) look better on longer nails.

  3. Deborah Lippmann fa degli smalti bellissimi, i glitter son grossi, tanti e definiti – così dovrebbero essere – con Across the Universe è stato amore a prima vista, mi piacciono molto anche Happy Birthday e Glitter in the Air. Peccato che per noi italiani non ci sia la possibilità di acquisto, (i siti che lo permettono hanno prezzi decisamente esagerati). Quindi, per adesso, l’unica cosa che mi rimane da fare è ammirarli sulle tue unghie 😉 Bell’acquisto!

    1. Grazie 😉

      Sono d’accordo con te: Deborah Lippmann crea smalti molto particolari, ma il fiore all’occhiello delle sue collezioni sono quelli glitter, caratterizzati da colori inusuali.

      Happy Birthday è bellissimo, ma da usare solo come top coat, secondo me (io ho comprato Rainbow Connection di OPI che è abbastanza simile); stessa cosa vale per Glitter in the Air, anche se usarlo da solo mi intriga (quell’azzurro pallidissimo è favoloso).

      Senti, ma in quali siti vendono smalti Lippmann e spediscono in Italia? Io ho trovato solo House of Fraser qua in Europa, ma purtroppo niente spedizione fuori da UK e Irlanda.

  4. I’m not a huge fan of glitter polishes on my nails, but i own several shades from OPI and D.Lippmann i reach for clubbing and special occasion, actually i love playing with essie “School of hard rocks” topped with Lippmann “I love the nightlife” . Across the universe is a must to have and works well with short nails, i think is beautiful use sparkling or disco ball style nail polishes instead of a jewel for a day look.

    Deborah Lippmann polishes aren’t sold in France too…

    1. I love “School of Hard Rocks” paired to “I Love the Nightlife”, it sounds great! Though not a fan of sheer glitter nail polishes, I must admit they’re great for layering and for experimenting different combinations.

      Yes, I agree: “Across the Universe” is lovely on short nails, it wouldn’t have the same effect on long nails. In any case, I prefer short nails: long nails look so aggressive and kind of tacky (besides the fact that it’s not easy to work & do the chores with long nails).

  5. Appunto ^_^ ti ho detto che hai fatto un ottimo acquisto proprio perchè Across The Universe é il “protagonista” in quanto può essere steso da solo e non come top coat. 😉

    Mi sono espressa male, scusa, per siti intendevo:

    eBay http://www.ebay.it/sch/i.html?LH_AvailTo=101&_nkw=deborah+lippmann&_arm=1&_armm=63&_ruu=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.it%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_nkw%3Ddeborah%2Blippmann%26_arr%3D1&_rdc=1

    Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=deborah+lippmann

    Nordstrom http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/deborah-lippmann?origin=brandindex

    che si, spediscono in Italia ma poi, devi fare i conti con la dogana. 😛

    1. eBay lo escludo a priori. Ho pagato alla dogana italiana non so quanti soldi in passato e non intendo farlo più. Lo stesso dicasi per Nordstrom, visto che comunque spediscono dagli USA. La mia speranza è Amazon UK, anche se non è detto che spediscano in Italia (mi riferisco agli smalti Lippmann in particolare). Controllerò 😉

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