I wasn’t originally planning to do a full review of this polish, so I don’t have a full swatch of it, but I am really pleased with this polish for multiple reasons. Loreal is a brand I typically do not pay much attention to. Their colors and finishes are often on the “safe” side and as a result I only have a few of them. If I had just seen this polish in the store without knowing anything about it, I would have passed it up. Luckily, I was tipped off by @thepolishedperspective who posted a beautiful swatch that sent me over the edge like a polish lemming.
First things first: Masked Affair is part of the new Loreal Dark Sides of Grey collection. These displays can be found in many drug stores like Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid. I’d had no luck with Walgreens in my area, but I just happened upon the display at my local Bed, Bath and Beyond and grabbed this baby for $4.99.
This polish is a truly amazing offering for a drug store brand because it is a true and strong linear holographic polish. This has as much rainbow bling as many indie brands – but at a drug store price. Normally, I would say go with the indie brand, but I wanted to buy this as a way to tell Loreal that THIS is what polish lovers (at least this one) want to see. I can’t afford to always buy indie, so I appreciate it all the more because there is no skimping on the spectraflair here.
However, you’d never know from looking at this unassuming bottle:
This looks like a lavender-leaning grey micro glitter polish in the bottle. I was actually surprised in the store when I saw it because based on the swatches I had seen, I expected to see some of that holo in the bottle. Don’t judge a book by its cover in this case though!
This unassuming polish turns into this:
This picture was taken in diffuse light and those lovely rainbows are still showing up! It’s even better in direct light:
I haven’t seen it in sunlight yet, but I bet it is glorious lol! So Loreal got the look just right – but there is one caveat and that is the formula. It isn’t great. I’ve been spoiled by the outstanding formula of Color Club’s Halo Hues holographic polishes, admittedly, and Masked Affair is a far cry from that perfection. The formula is quite sheer and you need to apply it in just a few strokes. If you overwork it, the polish particles start to drag and you get some pretty bad balding. I had to apply 3 coats to get full opacity. The good part is that since the polish is rather thin, three coats doesn’t feel like much polish on my nails.
By itself, Masked Affair dries to a demi-matte finish but I think it looks much more fabulous with a shiny top coat on top. As you can see from my shots, top coat does not dull the holo at all.
As I mentioned, I had not originally planned to review the polish itself, so I have an accent nail thrown in as a bonus. For said accent, I started with two coats of Essie – Sand Tropez and top coated it with Seche Vite. When it had completely dried, I used striping tape to block outline my color block areas. I then painted on Masked Affair, China Glaze – When Stars Collide (which is also a linear holo – it does not even compare) and Butter London – All Hail the Queen (a subtle scattered holo – once again not even comparing). One more layer of top coat and the mani was done.
I’d never tried color blocking like this before but I love it and will definitely do it again, possibly as a full manicure, but I really like it as a bold accent style.
- Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition – Green Tea + Bamboo Strength
- Loreal – Masked Affair
- Essie – Sand Tropez
- China Glaze – When Stars Collide
- Butter London – All Hail the Queen
- Seche Vite – Dry Fast Top Coat
If you don’t mind having to put on 3 coats (and really, that is the only downside to this polish) then I suggest you run to get this polish! At $4.99, it is a super affordable way to get your hands on a fantastic holographic polish that will keep you staring at your fingers for hours!