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L’Oréal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque 1-2-3 Swatches & Review

By on May 16, 2014
in Gray, L'Oreal Paris, Peach, Red, Wear Test

L'Oréal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque 1-2-3 swatches and review

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If, like me, you tend to stalk your local drugstores for the latest and greatest in the world of nails, you’ve undoubtedly seen displays popping up for this new line of lacquer from L’Oréal. Though, in my area, the displays are cleaned out. Like I’ve said in the past, you include the word “gel” in a nail product and it flies off the shelves.

L’Oréal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque 1-2-3 is a new three part system that claims “the high-shine of a UV-Gel and the perfect nail shape without harmful UV rays.” Now, you know how I feel about these gel-like claims (I call shenanigans) but I’m always game for being proven wrong so I put Gel-Lacque to the test.

Formula & Application

L’Oréal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque is 5-Free (Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor). It comes in the same square L’Oréal bottle as the Colour Riche line which features the flat, curved brush with firm, dense bristles. I’m a fan of the L’Oréal brush as it allows me to create a smooth curve along the cuticle.

The three part system consists of the Gel-Primer base coat, Gel-Lacque color and Gel-Glaze top coat. For best results, it is suggested to wear the complete system. Like the Colour Riche polishes, the Gel-Lacque line has a squishy texture that reminds me of L’Oréal-owned Essie (coincidence?). It flows well on the nails and packs a lot of pigment (two coat coverage). The only issue I had was with the lightest shade. It was a bit streaky and needed three coats.

L’Oreal Diamond In The Buff is a peachy nude with a pearly shimmer. It has a creamier consistency than the other shades which I think made it a bit more streaky.

L'Oréal Diamond in the Buff Gel-Lacque swatch

L’Oréal Diamond in the Buff Gel-Lacque

L’Oréal Lacque-red is your basic cherry red creme. It reminds me of Zoya Asia.

L'Oréal Lacque-red Gel-Lacque swatch

L’Oréal Lacque-red Gel-Lacque

L’Oréal Vintage Vinyl is what you might call a gri-olet. It’s a dark grey creme with purple/mauve tones. Think Zoya Kelly or Essie Smokin Hot.

L'Oréal Vintage Vinyl Gel-Lacque swatch

L’Oréal Vintage Vinyl Gel-Lacque

Wear Test

So let’s talk about how this system works and wears.

Gel-Primer – The base coat claims the nail surface will be “instantly smooth and flawless.” My nails have ridges and while it didn’t quite achieve what a ridge-filling base would, my nails were a bit smoother.

Gel-Lacque – One of the claims is that “nails are visibly thicker,” and I can’t say that in my experience it’s true. It doesn’t have that thick gel-like look.

Gel-Glaze – The top coat is nice and thin and dries fast. Like, within 10 minutes I was rubbing pretty fiercely on my nail and left no marks. That’s impressive. And while it is certainly shiny, it’s not without its flaws. The surface isn’t quite glass-like, as you can see in the pictures above. It’s a bit streaky if you don’t use enough product.
L'Oréal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque Wear Test

I did two separate wear tests and, both times, I made it to Day 7 without significant chipping. It wasn’t until Day 9 of my initial test that I got my first major chip and it happened to be on the nail I use most, go figure. The shine certainly held up on my first go round but it dulled a bit on my test with Vintage Vinyl.

L'Oréal Gel-Lacque swatches
Bottom Line: Gel-Lacque certainly held up well in terms of wear, though it’s still not the same as gel polish. Considering what a process it is to remove gel, I don’t mind. With 20+ core colors, including blues and purples, there is a great range of shades to choose from and, with the exception of Diamond In The Buff, they deliver a great formula and coverage.

The system is more of an investment than your typical drugstore polish but certainly cheaper than gels. I’d say it’s worth trying if other brands aren’t lasting on your nails.

L’Oréal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque is available now at drugstores and mass retailers nationwide including, and The Gel-Lacque polishes retail for $7.99/ea and the Gel-Lacque Kit retails for $12.99.

Have you tried this new Gel-Lacque system? How did it work for you? If you haven’t, do you plan to give it a whirl? Have you found any nail polish that actually wears like a gel?

Disclosure: Product samples were provided by reps for L’Oréal. Affiliate links appear in this post. When you purchase through an affiliate link, you help support this site. For more info view my Disclosure Policy
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There Are 20 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Lisa N. says:

    Great review on it! Its great to see that it lasted for quite a while too.

  2. Bite Buff says:

    I like that Vintage Vinyl shade!

  3. Amie says:

    It would be really cool if you did a comparison post with this polish using the recommended base and top coat vs. this polish with your normal base coat and polish… I have been hesitant to try it because I don’t want to invest in a new system. Very cool post; thanks!

    • Hi Amie! That’s a great idea but it’s an issue of time constraints. I test polishes for 7-10 days, depending on the system, and to then do that again with base & top coats that they aren’t intended to be worn with, is just not feasible for me.

  4. collar wilson says:

    I’ve tried it and I have pretty much the same opinion as you do. The wear time is about 7 days. I did the same kind of test that you did, though normally, I tend to change my polish about twice a week. I found this system at Walgreen’s last year. Since then, more colors have been added, some better than others. Overall, I like it and as new colors are introduced, I’m sure that I will purchase.

  5. Courtney says:

    Had not tried this line yet, but had been thinking about it! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Takia says:

    I used this system before with the absolutely timeless color. I actually ended up keeping it on only for one day because I hated the color. It’s supposed to be like a really pale creamy light pink but it was really whitish and super streaky. My favorite gel like polish would have ti be revlon colorstay line. Regular polish never lasts 10 days on me but with the colorstay line I truly get the longest wear.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience Takia. I’m sorry the color let you down. I haven’t tried it myself. I agree, the Revlon ColorStay line is fabulous. Though I heard a rumor that it might be replace by a new “gel” line.

  7. Lesa says:

    I would love to see you test more shades because I’m tempted to buy them but do not know how they look outside the bottle. Your blog is so awesome for the real nail swatches!

  8. Anna says:

    Looks like they held up well to testing. In the buff really suits your colouring too

  9. Kasey says:

    Just based on the results I’ve seen from your application, I’m willing to try. I also tried CND VinylLux which didn’t last the full 7 days for me.

  10. Faye says:

    i’ve used this product, and yes the chipping does occur, but I’ll touch up sometimes. I agree sometimes the actual polish seems to get a bit “gooey” but I’ve read keeping polish in the fridge can help with any brand of polish.

  11. angie says:

    O nooo bought this product had noo idea it was three steps. Bought the gel color had a 2 on bottle…put it on my toenails..left on for 2wks, now my toenails wanna fall off!!! So upset.. one of my nails came right off and started bleeding. What the hell???