ORLY Epix colour Step 1, Seal Coat Step 2 and ORLY Nudes collection swatched

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Nudes are probably the most commonly worn nail shades in the world. They are easy and can be anything from casual to chic in terms of the look they provide and support. Also, even though nudes can look all the same to some of us, there’s a bunch of them, really, and for those who like them, they are all different. Very much so. Pink, rose, white, beige, coral, cream, lilac and so much more. By the way, did you know that Jeff Pink, the founder of ORLY, created French manicure in 1975? Can you believe that? I’m not a fan of the French manicure myself, because I don’t like sheer nail colour. I can’t explain that, I just don’t want my nails and that line between the tip of the nail and the rest of it show through nail colour. It’s my own and very personal preference. Also, I just can’t help but want to paint my nails with some colour as opposed to no colour but… even I realize what a huge impact French manicure technique and look had on nail colour world and on our life. The best thing about it is that it can get you through all kind of looks and outfits and makeup options and occasions and look good and match all of them whatever they are. That’s what this manicure was designed for. For actresses who had to change wardrobe scene to scene and needed the kind of manicure that looked awesome and didn’t attract too much attention and stand out too much against the beautiful dresses background. Anyway… 🙂 Before we talk about the shades, let’s talk about ORLY Epix formula, as it’s my first experience with it, so I have all kind of impressions here to share.


ORLY Epix is a two step manicure formula that’s one of those really popular now textures that are mimicking gel manicure finish and feel without actually being gel and without requiring any lamps or stuff. The thing that puzzled me most here is that it’s a two step thing, did you hear that? A TWO step thing – nail colour proper with this special Epix formula and top coat. Well, I couldn’t help but think – how about base? And could not find an answer to this question up front. There’s no indication that we’re even supposed to use any base under this nail colour formula, because the nail colour is called Step 1, so it’s supposedly the first thing that we are applying on our nails. So, as apprehensive as I was, because I got used to using base on my nails – and I have to tell you, base does help to keep your nails healthy or healthier compared to when you just paint your nails with nail colour – I tried Epix by ORLY the way it’s recommended to use it by following the steps and applying just colour on my nails as Step 1. I have to tell you, I had no problem whatsoever with it, given we’re talking the French manicure collection, and the colours are not bright in any way, obviously. But even without base, the nail colour didn’t stain my nails, went on and came off easily, didn’t damage my nails in any way and lasted and shone, although that’s probably due to the top coat, that is, Step 2 🙂 Well, not only due to the top coat. I, finally, figured out why there’s no base here. It’s because this flexible Epix colour formula is designed to get a grip on your nails to be able to show a major gel like lasting power. Ok, ORLY, I get it now, no base 🙂


Let’s see the six shades now.


Ok, so, we’re talking the French manicure here, right? Who wants to guess the first shade in the batch? Yep. It’s white 🙂



29927 Overexposed



Overexposed is a great name for a white shade. I mean, what can be more overexposed than just pure white? Right? Well, this shade is as overexposed as it gets.



I’m presuming that this white is going to be a pure and full coverage like white colour for the tips. When I take the bottle in my hand though I realize that it’s fully covered by some sort of plastic or something and that I can’t really see the shade proper through it. So now, as opposed to seeing the shade, I see this coloured plastic thing. Hm. Ok. Not sure I like that.



White it is. White is one of the toughest nail shades to pull formulawise. Almost always something goes wrong with white. It’s not full enough coverage, it’s not sheer enough, it’s not white enough, it’s streaky, it doesn’t get dry fast enough and so on and so forth. Streakiness is probably the biggest and most common flaw of white nail colour.



Well, I’m sorry to say that even Epix formula by ORLY doesn’t save us from this streaky business. On the contrary, this was honestly and truly the hardest white nail colour to work with I’ve ever come across.



It proved to be humanly impossible to evenly distribute this white on my nails. Trust me, I’ve tried several times. Wiped it off and then tried again and again. Once it came out sheer, by the way 🙂 So, shake that bottle well before you apply to mix whatever’s in there.



Boy, Overexposed is a cute name, but this shade is a pain. Whatever you do, it doesn’t want to go on smoothly and, most importantly, evenly on the nails. And that’s me trying to just paint my nails. How you could possibly even it out when painting your tips while doing the French manicure… I’m not sure you could.



Next shade is a delicate warm beige shade. Very a propos for the French manicure collection.



29957 Chateau Chic



This name sounds great. I love this alliteration. It’s a very chic name too. Chateau Chic. Cool. Also, this name seems suitable somehow for this nice and easy and casual chic like beige.



Oh-oh. I knew these bottles I can’t really see through will fire back at me at some point. Instead of this cozy and close to skin warm beige I get here a noncolour almost. Just a little shine on the nails and, maybe, a bit of colour correcting warm beige that you can’t really discern.



That’s a problem. If I can’t tell what colour I’m getting by looking at the bottle, how am I supposed to know what I’m actually getting? I don’t like that at all. I have to know my colours, I have to ‘meet’ them in the store and be able to fall for them without having to suffer a huge disappointment at home once I apply them and find out they are totally different from what they looked to me in the store.



It’s such a pity. This problem extends much further than Chateau Chic. It means I’ll be afraid to get not the shade I wanted to get every time I buy ORLY Epix. Ouch.



Ok, so this shade is a classically French manicure thing where you get more of a well groomed look than painted nail look. If you like stuff like that and don’t mind it leaning to warm beige just a little, almost inconspicuously so, then it’s perfect for you.



There’s a lot of shine though here, it’s true. It’s not due to the nail shade itself, really. It’s due to Step 2 – the top coat 🙂 Well, good, I like this shine. Gel like. Truly so.



Here’s one more shade for you. The bottle looks coral, but you already know how it goes with these bottles, right?



29956 J’Aime Natural



Yep. Turns out this shade only looks coral. Once we get past the bottle and apply it on our nails though, we get an almost sheer kind of thing. Another noncolour colour.



There’s a touch of coral to it, but it’s only a touch. This shade is another colour correction shade that helps you to get your nails all perfect and taken care of and chic.



Why do we need such naked manicure? Well, to be able to wear it with anything we like. Also, it’s truly exquisite when your nails are so awesome that you don’t even need to paint them but can just go nude instead.



What I do love about these shades and especially that top coat is all the gloss. There’s so much gloss here, you won’t believe it. So that every time you move your hand it will reflect all the light there is around you.



I think this coral shade is nice, even though there’s almost no shade here to speak of. But there’s something inherently nice about this colour that dresses your nails in the thinnest possible warm veil.



If you like natural style, this shade can become your favourite. It will look just right with that classic white tip kind of nail look. Womanly and hot, because what can be hotter than being this natural?



Moving on. This shade here is pink judging by the bottle. We’ll see how much pink there is in it.



29953 Bonjour L.A.



Ok, there is some pink here. A little. Not too much. The shade is still sheer, mostly, and yet there’s this pink edge to it that makes it different. A little more than just well groomed nail shade.



This pink is a cooler pink shade with something lilac about it lingering in the background. It’s like a nude shade with a pink zest. I have to tell you, it’s interesting. Modern looking. Special.



There might be just enough pink in this shade to attract pink manicure fans. So, this shade can do both – be the French manicure shade and then be just a sheer pink nail colour.



I like this shade enough where I’m sorry it’s so sheer 🙂 It’s a well balanced cool pink that would be very nice if it were full coverage. As it is, if you like sheer shades, check it out.



The idea of pink and white French manicure as opposed to just sheer and white French manicure appeals to me. If you do wear French manicure a lot, this is a good way to introduce some variety in your own nail look collection.



There’s one more thing about this shade that you might want to know of. It’s such a cool pink it can help you with nail colour correction, if you want any. Also, it’s cool enough where you can wear it as a lilac or else borderline lilac shade.



We’re going to see one more pink here that’s more or less this pastel like cool whitish pink that usually comes in full coverage finish. I wonder whether it’s going to be that.



29954 Hello Mademoiselle



Here we go. This shade – for once in this collection 🙂 – fully covers my nails. It is this white pinkish like shade that’s very nude without being all transparent. A very clean shade providing a very clean look.



Hello Mademoiselle is a good name, because this shade is very mademoiselle like indeed. There’s something elegant about it and something young at the same time. Very fresh.



You might like this shade if you’re generally into lighter pastel pinks without any pearl or sparkle in it. Then this pink is right up your alley, if only you don’t mind it being so cool.



I happen to like this kind of pink and think it’s very classy. Seeing it here in this collection though makes me think that it can step in for white in French manicure. Imagine having pink tips instead of white. Nice, isn’t it? 🙂



If you do sheer nail colour with pink tips, you’ll give a pretty twist to a good old classic. And then you can also do sheer pink colour on the nails and pink tips. Or sheer coral colour on the nails and pink tips. All good.



Or, if you just paint your nails with Hello Mademoiselle, you’re in for a treat, because the result will be very ladylike. Devoid of any kind of overused, overdone or too baby doll like implications.



And here’s the last shade of the batch. It’s a cooler beige, and I have a feeling we aren’t going to see much beige here 🙂



29955 Fair Lady



Fair Lady is a good way to describe this yet another noshade kind of shade. No beige, no white, no pink, no coral, no nothing almost here, just gloss, mostly and solely. Which isn’t a bad thing, when we’re talking French manicure.



The only thing there is colourwise is a possibility of colour correction. If your nails could use some cooler beige tone, a tiny little bit of it, then go right ahead with Fair Lady.



What’s so appealing about this naked nails manicure? It’s very natural. And we do like being, looking and feeling natural rather than made up. Not all the time, maybe, but sometimes.



Fair Lady is noble looking and clean and clear. This sheer nail colour can be womanly and sophisticated or it can be girly and in the day depending on what you wear with it and how you wear it.



This cool beige is a very nice and flattering shade. I like it being so cool. I wish it were a real life shade and not this ethereal, super delicate, breath of colour stuff. I’d wear this tender cool beige with great pleasure.



As it is this colour can be used all over your nails, and then you can do that cool pink on the tips. Cool beige and cool pink are a pleasing combo and a new and exciting way to interpret the French manicure classic.



Ok, so now that we’ve seen the six shades from ORLY Epix Nudes collection – each of them is Step 1 in their Epix system – we are going to see Step 2.



ORLY Epix Step 2: Flexible Sealcoat



It’s a high shine and then some more shine transparent top coat. It ‘seals’ Step 1 colour well, dries fast, even if not too fast, makes the colour last. It works well together with ORLY Epix nail colour. And doesn’t change the colour, which is essential to me in a top coat. It’s a good element in the system 🙂




All in all, I like ORLY Epix formula. Although that white shade scared me, and now I’m wondering how would other full coverage shades work. I hope not the way this white shade does. I’ll be sure to try out some other shades, as they have some nice greens and blues in the range 🙂 Once I make sure full on colours apply easily, then I’ll be able to open my heart fully to liking ORLY Epix two step system 🙂 Also, I don’t like that I can’t see the shade through the bottle, can’t tell whether the shade is sheer or not, sparkly or not, pearly or not. I want to see that shade and know all about it BEFORE it gets on my nails, not after. After is too late 🙂 And I don’t want to find myself in a position where I was counting on nail colour and matched it to a certain outfit, and then I have to redo my manicure just because the shade proved to be not what I expected it to be. Maybe, it doesn’t bother other people, it sure bothers me though. Ok, so bottles and that white shade aside, Epix system by ORLY is a good take on nongel nail colour that looks and wears like gel nail colour that’s ever so hot in manicure world right now.

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