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It’s new! I love L’Oreal polishes! Widely available, relatively inexpensive, they generally have good pigment, coverage, and brushes. What’s not to love? Well...

So I’m wandering through my Shoppers store lookin’ at polish (weird, right?) and I spy this display with these polish wand thingies in it. I move closer to inspect and discover this new product from L’Oreal Paris. What is it? What’s the deal with the double-end thingy? Don’t they know that Revlon moved away from this dumb design? Why would they do this? 

LOreal Infallible 2Step Square

l'oréal infallible 2-step nail colour

Well, they didn’t. One of these stick things comes apart to be 3 parts; colour coat, top coat, and black middle thingy piece. Smart!

I have things to say about this design; we’ll get to that later, k? First, let’s look at pictures of the three shades L’Oreal sent me.

LOreal Infallible 2 Step Irresistible Bonbon 005

l'oréal infallible irresistible bonbon 005 no top coat (aka step 1)

If you have a look at the bottle, you’ll notice it’s the 5mL L’Oréal bottle that they recently used for the Pure Reds collection. I like these little things. To me, they’re the perfect size and usually the right price.

The colour here is pretty much perfect. That’s two wickedly easy coats and the stuff goes on splendidly. It seems to dry a little slower than I thought it should but that might just be because I have my humidifier set on “kill” because it’s so dry here in winter.

LOreal infallible 2 step BonBon w Topcoat

l'oréal infallible irresistible bonbon 005 + top coat

If you recollect from the opening photo, there’s a top coat that goes with this colour coat. It’s a jelly-lookin’ pinky-violet and you can see it peeking at you in the top right of the above photo. Here, I’ve used one coat of the corresponding top coat over Bonbon. The difference in colour is barely noticeable. It’s a teeny tiny smidgeon more violet, but really it’s negligible.

What’s the point of a tinted top coat? Well, I dunno. Apparently though, the top coat is a “sleek new hybrid gel-lacquer that’s supposed to deliver up to 12 days of colour and shine perfection that rivals a salon UV manicure.”

Uh huh. I need another top coat like I need a hole in the head. Movin’ on!

LOreal Infallible 2 step Keep Magenta no Top

l'oréal infallible keep magenta 010 no top

For real, this stuff goes on like a high-end polish. It levels, it shines, the pigments are solid, and really, it’s just pretty. Uncomplicated and pretty. I like that. That makes me smile. The brush does all the work and I just get to slap it on, sit here ‘n go “Ooooh… ahhhh.” The product is solid.

LOreal Infallible 2 Step Keep Magenta w TopCoat

l'oréal infallible keep magenta 010 + top coat

Again, I’ve used the corresponding top coat over my two coats of L’Oréal Keep Magenta, and again the difference between before and after is indiscernible. The shade of this top coat is a touch more pink than the more violet one that went with Bonbon (reference opening photo, please).

LOreal Infallible 2 step Always a Lady 021 No Top Coat

l'oréal infallible always a lady 021 no top coat

Oooh! A blackened burgundy! I like a blackened burgundy, especially when it gives me full coverage in two easy coats.

LOreal Infallible 2 Step Always a Lady 021 w Top Coat

l'oréal infallible always a lady 021 + top coat

Add the top coat that comes with it and look – exactly the same with zero change to the shade of the colour coat. Seriously, I need this top coat why?

I have a best top coat. It’s clear and it’s good. I don’t need another one with every 5mL bottle of polish. I’m just gonna come right out and holla “gimmick.” I would be much more likely to take my $10.99 and buy two colour coats than buy one colour with a top that I’ll never use. Further, I'd rather take my $22 and buy three colours and one top instead of two colours 'n two tops. Right?

But wait. You remember the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel that won all kinds of awards for best new beauty product last year? This stuff is built in a similar fashion to that stuff. The colour coat and top coat are "scienced" to go together. You'll get best wear if you use the two together and you'll get 90% of best wear if you don't (or that's been my experience when mixing and matching top 'n colour of these long-wear polishes).

Now let’s talk about the price. Here in Canada, we’re lookin’ at a whopping $10.99 suggested retail price. Is that too much? I think it might be too much. Well, maybe not. I mean you’re getting a shade AND a top coat, right? And if you can never have enough shades, perhaps you can never have enough top coats? Hahahahaaaa! No.

LOreal Infallible Nail Top Coats

the un-named top coats

Oh! And, we should get back to this three-piece design too: it’s dumb. How am I going to store these in my Helmer? Like, how? And the top coats aren’t even labeled to show which colour coat they’re supposed to go with. Now that I’ve separated them all, the only way I know which goes with which is my first photo. If I have to keep the corresponding colour and tops together, I’m screwed.

LOreal Infallible storage option fail

epic storage fail

If I have to keep them together and stand them up to store them, then one of these bottles is gonna be upside down. I never, ever store my polish upside down. It jacks up the brush and makes it spread. The longer you store your bottle upside down, the more likely the brush is to fan out and stick in a shape that isn’t good for polishing. I don’t lie my polishes down either. I mean, why would I? They take up too much space that way. If you haven't guessed, space is a pretty valuable thing for me 'n The Archives.

L’Oréal is not going to like me for this review and perhaps it’s their own fault. The product designers should have gone to the end-users to see what they thought about this particular design for a 2-step nail colour. But wait, you’re an end user! What are YOUR thoughts? Am I about to be blacklisted, or what? Does it even count that I loved the colour coats of polish, the brushes, and the size?

For more information on the L'Oréal Infallible 2-Step Nail Colour system and the 12 available shades, I invite you to visit L'Oré

Manicures ‘n photographs by Karen Falcon (she really doesn’t like to slam stuff and she’d really love to hear your opinion).