Orly Breathable ‘Sweet Retreat’ Spring/Summer 2023 Collection – Swatches & Review


Being lucky enough to receive PR from a brand means I’m able to try products that I normally wouldn’t purchase on my own – I’m already trying so many other products, some shades are just outside my budget, so they were outside of the blog scope. And that includes this lovely little candy-coated and inspired set of shades from Orly!

This is the ‘Sweet Retreat’ collection, and it’s the Breathable release for Spring/Summer. It seems instead of 4 seasonal releases, the Breathable line doesn’t release as often, and just goes with 2 collections a year. And this newest release features 6 lovely cream shades, all in bright and warm colors! Perfect for the sweet candy theme.

As mentioned, this collection is within the Orly ‘Breathable’ line. For what the difference is between the Breathable line, and their regular lacquer line, Orly says “our Breathable formula is a 1-step nail color, no base or top coat needed! It prevents chipping and peeling for and is infused with Argan Oil, Pro Vitamin B5 and Vitamin C longer lasting manicures and stronger, healthier looking nails.” So you’ve got some more nourishing nail ingredients there, as well as the idea of a “1-step nail color”. With these “extra” ingredients, these retail for 50 cents more a bottle on the Orly website.

Now, I never wear my polishes more than a couple days with all of the swatching I do, so I can’t speak to any of the claims on longevity or nail health. Today, I’ll just be speaking to the formula and application of the shades themselves. Though I’m curious if anyone else has tried these for longer and can comment on the claims!

These are available on the Orly website – both in a nice little bundle or individually.

Let’s get right on into the swatches!


We’re starting right out with ‘Burst Your Bubblegum’, the brightest shade of the bunch. This one is a bright warm-toned Barbie pink shade, and it’s almost neon on my nails.

I built this up with 3 thin coats, with that 3rd coat covering any last patches I had peeking through and smoothing it all out. These do also say it’s a full manicure in a bottle, including top coat, but I might still add a top coat to this one if you really want that glassy finish – which I can say for the rest of the shades as well. They’re not incredibly shiny, though they don’t dry with a matte finish either.

I did notice all of these formulas felt thinner than any cream formulas I’ve used from Orly’s regular line – especially in the recent releases. I can’t say if that’s something that’s normal with the Breathable line because of the nourishing ingredients, since I haven’t tried any other colors in this line, but just something to note. Most of these shades required 3 coats for full opacity.

Burst Your Bubblegum – Live Swatch


Moving right along in rainbow order, we come to the orange. This is ‘Are You Sherbet?’ and it’s a warm, creamsicle orange shade.

However this one wasn’t my favorite, especially with that thinner formula as mentioned above. I used 3 thin coats for this, and it was even more thin than the rest of the shades. I felt I still had some ridges peeking through after that 3rd coat, and it didn’t feel as opaque as I would have wanted. Again, the nourishing ingredients aren’t enough of a pull for me to consider this formula over others, so this was a pass.

Are You Sherbet? – Live Swatch


Next we have ‘Sour Time to Shine’. It’s a bright, almost highlighter yellow shade, with just the tiniest tinge of green to it. I absolutely loved that green tone, and it just made this shade my favorite! It felt unique, and there’s just something about it.

And the formula on this one was even better than the 2 previously. I did use 3 coats on this, but those with smoother nails will be set with just 2. Bright, almost neon yellow formulas like this can be notoriously tricky, and this was smooth and opaque and so nice to paint on! Gorgeous, and I know I’ll be pulling this out in the warmer weather.

Sour Time to Shine – Live Swatch


‘Give it a Swirl’ is a bright aqua blue shade with hints of green to it. When filming the live swatch video, my camera was pulling all wrong, making it look more just sky blue. But the swatch photo below is the most accurate – I made sure those teal tones weren’t lost.

This formula also surprised me, being a touch thinner than the yellow above. Who could have guessed the yellow would be the most opaque of the bunch? Again, that thinner formula, and 3 thin coats to fully smooth it out and make it opaque.

Give It a Swirl – Live Swatch


‘Don’t Sweet It’ is a bright warm-toned purple shade. I love purple tones like this as well, that have just the tiniest bit of pink to them, keeping them so squishy on the nails.

Speaking of squishy, this one had a touch more jelly to the formula than the others, making it more sheer and uneven on the 1st coat. But I was able to build it up to full opacity with 3 thin coats. Depending on your application and preferences, you might be set with just 2. So again, a more jelly formula felt more opaque than the creams, and the formulas overall were a touch perplexing. Not hard to work with at all, but just curious!

Don’t Sweet It – Live Swatch


And last up, we have ‘Taffy to Be Here’. This is a gorgeous soft pink cream, with just the tiniest hint of lavender to it (the theme of this post is ‘hints of color’). That purple just makes it so soft and delicate and perfect for spring.

I was able to build this one up with 2 thicker coats. If you’re using thinner coats, or you have very ridged nails like me, you might want a 3rd to cover any last patches, but it’ll depend on your own nails and application.

Taffy to Be Here – Live Swatch


And that’s the set! I did love the colors in this one, as they were all just perfect bright spring shades. But overall, I’m not sure about the Breathable formula. I feel as I have regular lacquers in these same colors with better coverage, and the claims of the Breathable line aren’t enough to sway me over! I don’t wear polishes long enough to test the nail nourishing claims, and they just felt thinner than their normal cream formulas. But I’m still intrigued to try out some more shades to see if that thinness was a fluke, or even to see other finishes in the future.

Have you tried this line at all?


Upcoming Posts
Glam Polish Pastel Galaxy collection • Color Club Out of the Box collection • Sally Hansen Desert Oasis collection • Sally Hansen Escape the Ordinary collection • ILNP Something Sweet collection


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PR Disclosure: Though the shades in this post were sent to me, I was under no obligation to post from the brand. I never guarantee positive reviews, and all thoughts and opinions are my own. I review these shades thoroughly and in the same manner as I would with any polishes purchased with my own money.


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