ORLY Breathable swatched

Leave a comment

Colour and care, man. Wherever you go. Whatever you do. It’s going to catch up with you 🙂 First it invaded lip colour and has been pretty much ruling it ever since. Now this trend got so big it overflowed, sort of, to nail colour. Even though the good old classic rule of – we paint lips and nails one and the same colour – doesn’t work anymore. Or else, it works, you just don’t have to follow it nowadays 🙂 So, what I’m trying to say here is that even though it’s not a must, there’s still a correlation between lip colour and nail colour. Say, the whole big matt thing started in nail colour and then came to lips. Or was it vice versa? Whatever it is, you got my point. As long as there’s been so much colour & care stuff going on in lip colour world of late, it was bound to come to manicure world at some point. And it did. Color Therapy by Sally Hansen and what not. Everyone seems to have a care element in their nail colour now. Or if they don’t, they probably will soon enough 🙂 Before it was all about non gel but gel like formula in nail colour. Now it’s going to be all about colour and care 🙂


Seemingly, colour and care is a very good trend. I mean, what can be better than not just making up and painting our nails, but knowing that at the same time and in the process we’re doing something good for our skin, nails, etc.? Nothing. Well, almost nothing. But there’s a very big but, when it comes to colour & care in anything, and unfortunately, nail colour is no exclusion to the rule. I’ve already talked to you about it, when I showed you multiple colour & care lip product releases. The catch that’s rather obvious here is that it’s hard enough to do one thing right. Colour or care. Think about it. How many awesome skin care products do you know? Not that many, right? And how many perfect makeup products? Yeah, I get it. It’s not a huge number. So, when you try to combine the two, something always seems to go wrong. If you have the care element in place, the colour seems to suffer. And just when you think the colour really works, the care part of it all slips right through your fingers.


So, as much as I like the idea of colour & care, all quick, easy and efficient, I’m always very careful, when such promises are made. In my personal experience, so far there’s only one product in lip colour that managed to come up to my expectations and nailed both colour and care in one run – Lip Lover by Lancome (the gloss, not the lipstick, mind you). So, something tells me it will take time to find something in nail colour, where I’ll actually feel the care that’s supposed to be there alongside with colour. I don’t expect to get lucky at the first try. Who knows though. Maybe, I will get lucky, after all. And if I won’t, well… I won’t get too upset, because I can live with colour and care actually coming separately. I can take this extra step to make sure it all works the way I want it. And if I get another solid quality nail colour product that I’ll get a kick out of every time I wear it, and that I can rely on, I’ll be more than happy. We’ll see what this adventure with a new nail colour formula and range will bring us. In the meantime, let’s get back to ORLY Breathable.


ORLY promises not just care. They actually promise treatment. And that’s a serious declaration to make, because it means that this product is not designed to just condition our nails and make them look better, it’s actually designed to make them healthier. How is it achieved? By having argan oil, pro-vitamin B5 and vitamin C in it. Well, argan oil is nice, but I’m not sure it can treat anything for real, at least, on its own. As for B5 and C, vitamins in general are very shy creatures, so to say. That is, they fall apart so easily that the chances of any of those actually getting in your nails are very slim. Still… the second part of ORLY promise is interesting. They state that their new formula is breathable. That’s really something. Most damage in makeup comes not even from the products we apply proper and their ingredients. It comes from our skin or nails or hair not being able to breathe under makeup, nail colour and other beauty products. So, if ORLY really pulled the breathable thing, it could really made a difference. Hm. Who knows. Maybe. We’ll see.


Here’s another thing I like about this formula by ORLY – treatment or no treatment. It doesn’t require base or top coat. How come, you’re asking? Well, if most damage to your nails comes from them not being able to breathe under whatever you apply on them, this whatever pretty much includes base and top coat. Not just colour. So, if you wear anything underneath or over ORLY Breathable, you’ll nullify its effect. It’s a good thing to know, because I’m sure you reach out for your base and top coat automatically, when you are about to apply nail colour. Just consider this for a second – how much time and effort you’ll save, if you skip the base and top coat step? I, for one, apply nail polish so often, I’ll save a whole lot, no doubt about that. Now, I’m so used to having to apply base under nail colour – or else I’ll damage my nails, that’s what I think – it’s not easy for me to force myself to apply it on bare nails, but I pulled myself together and did it in case of ORLY Breathable. Oh-oh…


And I’ve got to tell you, whether there is any treatment that comes with it or not, at least, it didn’t damage my nails in any way, that’s for sure. So, I can tell you that this nail colour formula can save you time, if not make your nails healthier. And time is one of the most precious things in life. You can spend it applying some extra beneficial nail care products on your nails, the ones you know for a fact work for you, or doing a lot of other fun things as opposed to doing this. Apply base coat – sit and wait for it to dry – apply nail colour – sit and wait for it to dry – apply top coat – sit and wait for it to dry 🙂 Now, ORLY says not having to use base or top coat under and over ORLY Breathable and the way its formula is put together also means better adhesion and less chipping. I don’t know about that. Maybe, it’s me being a traditionalist, but if I had to have my nail colour last really long and over the course of days, I’d use a base coat and a top coat (at least, top coat) – just to be sure. I don’t know about you, but I would 🙂


Now let’s talk about the range and the shades. There are eighteen shades plus one shade that’s not quite a shade. I’ll explain. Eighteen regular shades of ORLY Breathable Treatment + Colour first.


20903 The Antidote is Bordeaux

20904 Stronger Than Ever is a sparkly red (you’ll see it in this post)

20905 Love My Nails is a bright and happy red

20906 Power Packed is a light grey

20907 Nourishing Nude is a nude like beige

20908 Barely There is white

20909 Light As a Feather is a light pink

20910 Happy and Healthy is a medium pink

20911 TLC is a bright lilac

20912 Pick-Me-Up is a dark violet (you’ll see it in this post)

20913 Pamper Me is a light lilac

20914 Rehab is a pink beige

20915 Give Me a Break is a bright fuchsia purple

20916 Beauty Essential is a coral red

20917 Fresh Start is a shy and delicate cool green (you’ll see it in this post)

20918 Just Breathe is a tender lilac (you’ll see it in this post)

20919 Nail Superfood is a bright warm pink

20920 Feeling Free is a medium lilac (you’ll see it in this post)


And then there’s 24903 Treatment + Shine. It’s transparent and can be worn as is to give your nails shine without colour or used as a top coat for ORLY Breathable shades, if needed.


On looking at this range I feel a heavy tilt towards lilac and purple shades. There’s a lot of red here, not as much as purple though. It seems, there are not enough pinks and, maybe, nudes. I’m surprised to see this one green shade here, but happy to have it 🙂 Also, I kind of miss something artsy here. Like blue and yellow, even black, to tell you the truth. I’ve never seen a permanent nail colour range with such a major lilac twist to it. Lilac – of all things. Not pink, not red, not nude, I could understand that – but lilac? Hm. If you’re a lilac or purple manicure fan, you have to get to know Breathable range by ORLY up close and personal. As for me, I do like lilac manicures, but not THAT much 🙂


We’re getting to the shades here.





20920 Feeling Free



Feeling Free is a nice shade name. It sets the right mood. Feeling free is a good thing. And you can definitely have it with this bold and bright shade.



It’s a bright violet. So bright it’s actually rare. Generally speaking, violets in nail colour are more pastel and subdued.



That’s exactly why I like this shade so much. It’s not green or blue. It’s more traditional, because we’re used to purple in manicures already.



At the same time, it’s artsy enough, because it’s so vibrant and, well, free in its core. There’s a little of a rebellion going on there in this shade, but just a touch.



As a result, this shade is ever so versatile. You can treat it as a classic with an extra kick or as a trendy and edgy modern shade. It’s your choice.



This bright violet shade is magnificent, because it’s perfectly balanced. If it were lighter, it’d be just lilac. If it were darker, it’d probably start sliding into ink purple. But it doesn’t do any of that, luckily 🙂






20917 Fresh Start



Fresh Start. How cute is that? If fresh start has a colour, it’s this green. All fresh and all about new beginnings.



This green came as a surprise to me here. They rarely include greens in permanent nail colour ranges.



While I’d like to see greens in permanent ranges and limited editions and all over the place. I just love them so much.



If one has to have a green shade in one’s nail colour range though, this green is just the green to have there.



It’s not too bright. Rather light, in fact, but not enough to lose all colour and become pastel and off white.



Instead this green shade is full of romantic colour, even if this colour is on the lighter side of things. So what? It’s still green.






20918 Just Breathe



Just Breath is the lightest lilac I have here. Just like that green shade – Fresh Start – it manages to keep its colour and be proudly pale at the same time.



I usually like ORLY shade names quite a bit, but Just Breathe in Breathable range sounds too linear and too direct to me and not exciting enough. I’ll hope for the better though in the shade names to come 🙂



The best part of Just Breathe is that it’s just so cool. There’s no warmth in it. None whatsoever. And that’s what makes it interesting.



This coolness makes it multi purpose. If it were warmer, it would be all romantic, that’s for sure. As it is, it looks modern and has a certain edge to it.



So, if you thought before that you’d never go clubbing with a lilac manicure – because why would you, right? – this shade might make you change your mind.



Just Breathe is pretty rare and pretty special. And that’s a high mountain to climb, given how many lilacs keep getting released by nail colour brands.



One but last.



20904 Stronger Than Ever



Again, the shade name. It seems to me, Stronger Than Ever is just too on the nose, when it’s part of a colour and care – Ok, Ok, treatment and colour – range.



The shade is much more interesting than its name, in my opinion. It’s one of a handful of reds ORLY has in this batch of shades.



And this red is the most fun of all. It’s a darker bright berry like red with a lot of golden sparkle wrapped in its red depth.



The shade itself is superb, because it’s metallic as opposed to just cream. And because of all the sparkle that’s not that common in red nail shades.



Stronger Than Ever is a perfect example of classic modernized and turned relevant with all the main elements of the classic still standing.



It’s an explosion of happiness and good humour. This shade reminds me of berries that burst and splash juice all over the plate. Mix some golden ‘sugar’ in, and my berry metaphor is complete 🙂



The last one.



20912 Pick-Me-Up



Pick Me Up? It’s a bold statement, even for a flower 🙂 This shade seems to challenge us by its name. Let’s see why it’s so full of itself?



Guess what, it’s purple. Cool purple. I would say lilac, if this shade weren’t so dark. Really dark.



Violet is more like it. Dark violet. Even darker than Feeling Free. This shade is lush. So lush. And hot. Big time.



If all other shades here are fun, romantic or artsy, this one is sultry. Like those tropical flowers that have all the sunshine in the world hidden in them and all the sea in the world reflected in them.



You know why Pick-Me-Up is special though? It’s not ink purple and not dark plum – the two most common darker purples there are out there in nail colour.



Instead it’s violet, even if dark, and it doesn’t slide into off black territory, fortunately. As a result, we get this marvelous violet shade. Exquisite.



That’s Breathable by ORLY. I like the idea of nail colour that breathes. As for making nails healthier, I don’t know. I’m fine with it just not being damaging. And it’s definitely cool that I can skip the base step and throw my nail colour right on. And that I don’t need to finish it off with a top coat. It’s back to the basics. And it feels good. As for the colour range proper, it’s puzzling to me. Honestly, it is. Eighteen shades are enough to put together a nice batch, I think. And those lilacs are nice, no question about that. But there are so many of them. So many. Maybe, it’s a good chance to stack up and get your stash full of artsy and chic lilacs. They will last for a long time. The fresh green is crisp and spring like, even if not super original. And the sparkly red is hot and has this ever so appealing golden edge to it. All in all, I appreciated the shades I swatched here very much. And I’ll wear them again and again. And hope that there’ll be some nice seasonal collections or limited editions too. And even though I’m not that much into sheer glossy nail polish, I’ll pick up ORLY Breathable Treatment + Shine and see how it behaves. I think it’s a good idea to use it as a top coat to help ORLY Breathable Treatment + Colour last, because I’m a little worried about its longevity, as there’s no top coat. But just a little 🙂

img_5488   img_5724

img_6013   img_6295





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s