Orly Breathable Treatment + Color | Review & Swatches

Orly Breathable Treatment + Color Review Power Packed and Love My Nails

I’ve been a big fan of Julep nail polishes for a while now.  In my eyes, there aren’t too many brands out there that compete with their long-lasting, pigmented, breathable formulas, streak-free application, and ever growing shade range – that is, until I came across the Orly’s new Breathable Treatment + Color line – released just this fall.  Here’s a little bit about what makes their new line stand out.

ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color

The ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color features an all-in-one formula that nourishes the nails and provides rich, lasting color.  It’s also formulated with adhesion promoters and shine additives – in other words, the polish acts as both a base coat and a top coat, hence eliminating the need for these two extra steps.

But it doesn’t stop there. ORLY made these new formulas ‘breathable’, meaning they allow oxygen and hydration to pass through to the nail, which helps to promote nail growth, increase nail thickness, and help heal damaged nails, while eliminating the need for polish ‘breaks’.  (Although this technology isn’t new – Julep has been using Oxygen Technology in their polishes for a while now – I always like to see other brands integrate it into their formulas.)

Orly Breathable Treatment + Color Review Power Packed and Love My Nails

To top it off, the ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color contains a blend of Argan Oil, Pro-Vitamin B5 and Vitamin C, which further helps to promote hydration, which again, helps promote healing and growth.

Similar to most 4-free and 5-free polish brands, ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color is formulated without the following chemicals and ingredients:

  • DBP- plasticizer
  • Toluene- solvent
  • Formaldehyde- hardener
  • Formaldehyde Resin- film former
  • Camphor- plasticizer
  • Triphenyl Phosphate (TPP/TPHP)- adhesion promoter
  • Hydroquinone Monomethyl Ether (MEHQ)- stabilizer
  • Parabens- preservatives
  • Gluten- wheat derived protein
  • Animal Derived Ingredients- colorants/glitters from animal sources

Currently, there are 18 shades available in the ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color range, many of which are pastels and brights, and pink, red, purple, and nude tones.

How to Apply

Simply apply two coats of ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color to bare, clean nails.  No base coat or top coat is needed.

Orly Breathable Treatment + Color Review Power Packed and Love My Nails

From left to right: Nourishing Nude, Love My Nails, Power Packed

Orly Breathable Treatment + Color Review

First off, the whole application is a breeze.  Between the dense brush (packed with 600 bristles, and designed to hug the curves of your nail) and thicker formula, ORLY’s Breathable Treatment + Color polishes apply smoothly, evenly, and completely streak-free.  They easily build up to opaque coverage after just two coats (even two thinner coats).  The polish also has a decent amount of shine that just about mimics an actual top coat.

Drying time is pretty quick – I’d say around 2-3 minutes after the first coat, and 6-10 minutes after the second (much faster than Julep polishes, which tend to have slightly thicker formulas, but a bit slower than OPI polishes, which have a thinner formula.)

Now let’s talk longevity.  After my first test, just two coats of the ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color polish lasted me an impressive 5 days without any significant chipping (which is about the same as my Julep polishes, but not quite as long as the Sally Hansen Miracle Gels).  At that point, there was only some light wear to the very tips of 3 of my nails. I had expected some of the shine to wear off, but instead it lasted for the full duration of my mani, keeping the polish looking fresh and a little glossy.  (I suppose that’s because the top coat properties are literally built into the formula.)

After a whole week of wearing the polish, surprisingly I noticed no staining whatsoever.  My nails were also in great condition, and not at all dry, brittle, or peeling at the ends (like they often get after wearing polish for a full week).  Instead, they looked (and felt) strong and healthy – the same as they’d look if I’d gone without polish.

Orly Breathable Treatment + Color Swatches

Here are swatches of the three ORLY Breathable polish shades I tried out.  All swatches are of 2 coats of color (no top or base coats added).

Orly Breathable Treatment + Color Review Power Packed swatch

ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color in ‘Power Packed‘ is a light grey (can sometimes look blue-toned in certain lighting).

Orly Breathable nail polish Love My Nails swatch

Orly Breathable nail polish Love My Nails swatch

ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color in ‘Love My Nails’ is cherry red.

Orly Breathable nail polish Nourishing Nude swatch

Orly Breathable nail polish Nourishing Nude swatch

ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color in ‘Nourishing Nude‘ is a sheer nude.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I will definitely be keeping an eye out on ORLY’s Breathable nail polish line.  Their coverage, smooth application, longevity, and breathable, all-in-one formula puts them right up there with my favorite nail polish lines – now I’m just hoping they’ll release some new shades!

Available on Amazon, Ulta, Overstock, & Beauty Encounter


What are your thoughts on these ‘breathable’ polishes?  Do you prefer them over regular polishes?

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