Orly Desert Muse Fall 2020 Collection – Swatches & Review

Wow. It’s certainly been QUITE a while since I’ve posted here. I don’t know what it was, but apparently I just needed a break. I needed to just not post and write here – even though I love doing it and nail polish in general. I was still posting on my Instagram, but in this medium, it was just a brief pause. (For reference I’m finishing this on September 19th, but adjusting dates to line up to when the swatches were posted on Instagram, and to space them out a touch in the blog timeline).

I know in the end I’m the only one who ultimately decides for this blog. When I write, how much I write, if and when I ever truly step away from it forever. (Though that won’t be for quite a while, I can already tell, so no worries there). But I did miss it, and I did feel guilty just not posting at all. Who knows if anyone even noticed except me! But if you did, here I am again, and I’m glad to be posting again.

There will be a bunch of reviews posted within the next weeks, as I catch up on a backlog. So you might get a smattering of random summer posts as I continue to post up the new fall reviews. It’ll be just like the weather outside here in Chicago! 60 degrees one day, back up to 80 the next. It’s not only fall weather here, and won’t be on this blog as well, at least for the next couple of weeks. But thank you for reading, and thank you for always sticking around, whether to the end of a little break, or the end of my novel paragraphs.


We’re starting with the collection that officially kicked off fall reviews over here on the blog and Instagram! This is the Orly Fall 2020 collection, called Desert Muse. It features 6 rich cream shades.

As always, I received as part of my Orly Color Pass. Color Pass is where you pay up front once, and then throughout the year you are automatically shipped 4 Orly collections in each season. And there are always fun extras in each box as well – you’ll see one from this box in action down below.

Color Pass is absolutely great if you’re like me and already planning on purchasing all 4 Orly collections right off the bat, or would like to try out a lot of their polishes for a year. BUT if you’re just looking for individual polishes, you can find them on the Orly website, as well as transdesign.com.


There’s already been so much waiting, let’s get into the swatches!

Up first is ‘Roam with Me’. This is a rosy blush-toned neutral cream shade. This had a beautiful formula and was almost opaque in just 1 coat. It was so smooth and just glided onto the nails. This was 2 easy coats.

Orly – Roam with Me

Now, as I mentioned, each Color Pass box comes with extra goodies! This box happened to come with a full-sized bottle of the Orly matte top coat, so of course I had to show each shade with a matte finish!

This is one coat of the matte top coat. I’m not sure if it’s my application, or the lighter color, but I did get some brushstrokes with mattifying it. Those brushstrokes don’t appear on the other colors though, so I wonder if it was applying it too early.

Orly – Roam with Me + Matte Top Coat


Continuing right along we have ‘Canyon Clay’. This is a warm-toned medium brown cream. This one had a more squishy formula, like a cream with just a touch of a jelly finish added to it. Because of that it’s more uneven on the first coat than ‘Roam with Me’ above, but I was able to get it opaque easily with 2 coats.

Orly – Canyon Clay

And then that same shade with 1 coat of matte top coat. I absolutely loved this shade (and okay, yes all of the other ones as well) mattified. It really embodies fall on the nails!

Orly – Canyon Clay + Matte Top Coat


‘Red Rock’ is a deep, burgundy wine cream shade. This was similar to ‘Canyon Clay’ above, in that it’s just a touch squishier than a normal cream formula. So again, a more uneven 1st coat, but it was again easily opaque with a 2nd coat. The color also deepens up to match the bottle in the 2nd coat.

Orly – Red Rock

And then of course, ‘Red Rock’ with a matte top coat – it’s so luscious and rich on the nails!

Orly – Red Rock + Matte Top Coat


‘Sagebrush’ is a smoky, deeper gray cream with an almost green undertone to it. It pulled much more warm than other grays in my collection.

This one has a similar cream formula to ‘Roam with Me’ and it’s absolutely stunning, again almost opaque in just 1 coat. It has a thicker formula so even if you do thicker coats, it’s easy to control and won’t flood the cuticles. This was 2 smooth coats.

Orly – Sagebrush

And with matte top coat.

Orly – Sagebrush + Matte Top Coat


‘Wild Abandon’ is a deep, warm-toned plum cream.

This is the only one that was a touch finnicky with me, and I was surprised that such a deep color was a little more uneven and sheer on the nails. This was 2 coats, and it looked opaque in normal lighting, my brighter lights did pick up some patches that I could have used a 3rd coat on. Not the best formula, but I think everyone can get this opaque in 2-3 coats.

Orly – Wild Abandon

The matte top coat did seem to even the color out and make the patches seem less noticeable.

Orly – Wild Abandon + Matte Top Coat


Last but certainly not least, we have ‘Midnight Oasis’. This is a deep navy blue cream, with a touch of warmth to it. Another stunning formula, this one is absolutely opaque in just 1 coat. So smooth, so easy to paint on. Perfect for fall!

Orly – Midnight Oasis

And with matte top coat, of course it’s absolutely stunning. Catch me mattifiying every shade from now on.

Orly – Midnight Oasis + Matte Top Coat


And that’s the collection! Overall, there were some stunning cream formulas. ‘Roam with Me’ and ‘Midnight Oasis’ were the absolute standouts, while most of the other shades were easily opaque in 2. ‘Wild Abandon’ was the most “finnicky”, and the only one that might need a 3rd. But I think it’s a perfect roundup if you’re looking to add a “fall capsule” to your collection!


Upcoming Posts
Essie Fall 2020 • Sally Hansen Mermaid Vibes • OPI Muse of Milan Fall 2020 • Loud Lacquer Back to School • Essie Let it Ripple


Even when the blog stalls, I’m always posting swatches on my Instagram!



3 thoughts on “Orly Desert Muse Fall 2020 Collection – Swatches & Review

  1. I usually don’t like matte nails (makes me think of chalkboards too much *shudder*) but these all look SO GOOD matte!!! Either my brain is broken right now or this is just a perfect fall collection 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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