The first nail-focused beauty blog

Orly Surreal Fall 2013 Nail Polish Swatches & Review

By on September 6, 2013
in Blue, Fall 2013, Glitter, Orly, Pink, Purple, Teal

The Orly Surreal nail polish collection is on a different tack than most of the Fall 2013 color collections I’ve seen. They’re going for something more eclectic and unconventional in terms of fall color.

Orly Surreal Fall 2013 nail polish collection

Orly Surreal

Affiliate Link|Press Sample

With a focus on blues, purples and pinks in a mixture of finishes, it’s cohesive yet diverse. With a range that varies in opacity, Orly Surreal is an ideal collection for the nail fanatic who likes to layer.

Formula & Application: Orly nail polish is 5-Free (Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde Resin and camphor). Orly polishes come with the fan fave rubberized cap. That signature easy-to-grip topper makes it easy to control the polish. The brush is long and thin with flexible bristles. I personally would like it if there were more bristles to get more coverage in each stroke.

All of the nail polishes in this collection have different consistencies and finishes so I will address them individually below.

Orly Angel Rain is an ethereal sky blue duo-chrome that flashes a pinkish-purple. It has minor brush stroke issues in the finish and is pretty sheer, requiring three coats.

Orly Angel Rain nail polish swatch

Orly Angel Rain

Orly Pink Waterfall is a bright bubble gum pink creme. It’s uber-pigmented which makes it a bit thick and hard to control when applying. I used two coats to get it opaque but noticed that it doesn’t self-level so a couple of my nails look a little lumpy.

Orly Pink Waterfall nail polish swatch

Orly Pink Waterfall

Orly Pixie Powder is lavender glitter confection. The tinted base has a heavy metallic shimmer packed with lavender micro-glitter. This one is pretty sheer with a smooth flow though, even after three coats, it’s not opaque so I find it’s best for layering. I wore it over Teal Unreal, shown below, and I love the combo. It looks fab over Pink Waterfall as well.

Orly Pixie Powder nail polish swatch

Orly Pixie Powder

Orly Pixie Powder layered over Teal Unreal

Orly Pixie Powder over Teal Unreal

Orly Purple Poodle is a magenta jelly-esque gloss filled with royal blue shimmer and raspberry micro-glitter particles. Due to its jelly-like consistency, it’s somewhat sheer but buildable and easy to apply. What you see here is three coats.

Orly Purple Poodle nail polish swatch

Orly Purple Poodle

Orly Teal Unreal is a straight-up teal creme. It has a consistency and pigmentation similar to Essie. It flows on the nail with a squishy, easy-to-manipulate texture and gives great coverage in two coats.

Orly Teal Unreal nail polish swatch

Orly Teal Unreal

Orly Digital Glitter is a deceptive color. Based on the bottle you’d expect it to be this murky, mysterious glitter bomb but its base is actually clear with a fuchsia shimmer. Floating in the base are hexagonal and square gold sequins with a smattering of red micro-glitter. I’m showing it over white (Orly Gogo) and Purple Poodle to give you an idea of what it actually looks like and how it looks layered. I used two coats of Digital Glitter in both shots.

Orly Digital Glitter nail polish swatch

Orly Digital Glitter

Orly Digital Glitter Pink Poodle layering

Orly Digital Glitter over Pink Poodle

You guys know that pink isn’t really my thing but something about the combination of Pink Waterfall and Unreal Teal feels very 50s, in a good way, compelling me to come up with some kind of nail art look incorporating them. Even though Chevron Manicures are more art deco, I thought it would make for a fun design. Adding a layer of Pixie Powder to Pink Waterfall added a necessary sparkly punch. I free-handed the Unreal Teal tips which is why the lines aren’t as crisp.

Chevron Nail Art with Orly Fall 2013

Chevron Nail Art

Orly Fall 2013 Chevron Nail Art

Chevron Manicure

Bottom Line: I think I was more excited about this collection in theory than in reality. The promo images and descriptions drew me in but the actual shades didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Digital Glitter had so much promise but its sheer base let me down. Pixie Powder is gorgeous in the bottle and fab layered but, on its own, not so much. I love teal but I have a ton of teal cremes and you know my opinion on pink. Even Angel Rain didn’t grab me as much on the nail. I guess I’m just whelmed (to steal a phrase from 10 Things I Hate About You).

Orly Surreal is available now at salons and mass retailers nationwide including CVS, Sally Beauty and ULTA. Shop online at, and

What do you guys think of Surreal? Do these colors feel fall-ish to you? Which ones do you plan to pick up? Do you like my Chevron nails?

Shop This Post

Disclosure: Product samples were provided by reps for Orly. Affiliate links appear via rewardStyle and Skimlinks. For more info view my Disclosure Policy

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

There Are 27 Brilliant Comments

Trackback URL

  1. Vanessa says:

    Wow, Teal Unreal is BEAUTIFUL. I know you said you feel like you have a ton like it, but I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it! Is it a dupe of anything you can think of?

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      I don’t have an exact dupe of it but I have a LOT of teal cremes so I guess that’s why it didn’t send me over the moon. It is a really pretty color though.

  2. Lou says:

    The whole collection is a bit pinky for my liking. Like the Chevron design though, its simple and effective

  3. terri says:

    I have Angel Rain and actually love it, it’s got excellent duochrome. Pink Waterfall applied really well for me.

  4. Luchessa says:

    Looks like a pretty fine collection to me.
    How strange that Angel Rain need whole 3 coats, i wouldn’t have thought that from just looking at the bottle. Good that you swatched it. :)


  5. El says:

    I like the Purple Poodle and Teal Unreal.

  6. Kimberley says:

    I really like Angel Rain and Purple Poodle.

  7. kel says:

    i’m gonna get the teal. its the one polish that i can’t seem to find the right shade for, but this one looks great. as for the rest, i’m with you.

  8. Chris says:

    I like Pixie Powder. It makes me think of colored sugar. :)

  9. Mariska says:

    The purple glitter is probaly my fav :-) Subtile but cute

  10. Ruby blood says:

    Love the review as I’d been considering ordering this! I think I will pass on this collection but I might get the pink cause I have nothing like it. Orly is my fav non indie brand I have more orly than anything. New follower about to go follow on all social media.

  11. Lara says:

    Not crazy about it either, but I still can’t get over how much I hate the bottle redesign. *gag*

  12. “Angel Rain” looks nothing like the promotional materials. I so wish it did. The Mash Up collection did this, too. I wanted “Beautiful Disaster” based on the promo pictures…and in person, there was no glitter! “Angel Rain” in person looks like something I had. I wanted the picture!

    “Digital Glitter also left me less than impressed in person compared to the promo pics. It’s a sheer glitter. I already have too many of those.

    I did, however, pick up “Purple Poodle,” which looked better in person, and “Pixie Powder,” which I thought would layer well…and I’m glad my suspicions were right, since it layered so nicely for you! I may have to grab my new teal Essie “Vested Interest” and get something close to what you put together up there! Thanks for the idea!

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Yeah, the promo pictures are what made me want to try this collection. It didn’t quite live up to it. Which is partially why I started this blog in the first place.

  13. Emily says:

    The collection is so-so. It’s not really “Fall” to me, except when you paired Digital Glitter and Pink Poodle. I really, really love the Angel Rain but am just disappointed that it is so sheer. 3 coats is too high maintenance for me, LOL. I LOVE the chevron mani you did; I wouldn’t of thought to put those colors together but it looks really sweet.

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Thanks Emily! I wouldn’t normally put those colors together for myself but once I had them on, I loved it!

  14. Sharon says:

    I love the Angel Rain – I think I will order it! It reminds me of OPI Go on Green, but the blue version. I love the colors of this duochrome. The purple glittery one is so pretty too. I might get it too… eventually. Thanks for posting those beautiful swatches!

  15. Victoria says:

    I own Angel Rain and it’s meh on its own (sheer) but IF you layer it over basically any blue or purple…omg…SO amazing! I just put down one or two coats of the base color and then a coat of Angel Rain, maybe 2. It helps it pop and you can see the base color underneath and it gives a cool effect. Try it :)