Epic Fail with L'Oreal Nail Polishes - Midnight Muse and The Color of Hope

A little background info on this post: I haven't purchased a L'Oreal polish in years. I have seen some really cool vintage shades on MakeupAlley's nail board, and in recent years, a few interesting colors have come out but nothing that really drew me in completely.

Then I saw the Midnight Muse display. I love, love, love dark vampy colors, and even the display reads "...to reveal your inner vamp." The single bottles per display also nudged me to seal the deal and buy a couple. (Side note: L'oreal - please at least put two out per display. One is so stingy! C'mon!)

In the bottle, these seemed like a dream to me. There were two shimmers and two cremes. I thought the shimmers looked more interesting, so I got those. Luminescence is a dark, vampy purple with purple shimmer (almost black on the nail). Femme Noir is a duochrome rich mahogany dark blackened red.

Not once, not twice but THREE TIMES and still not a great application. The formula is thick. I thinned and thinned with Poshe Restore, and it was never thin enough. Two lightly applied coats resulted in bubbling the first two times. The third, I tried extremely hard to have a very, very light hand, and even still, the application wasn't perfect. The formula also never seemed to dry. I used my usual Poshe base coat and top coat for all applications. The third I applied it was early evening. I went to bed 3+ hours later and woke up to sheet marks and dulling.

If I had it in me, I would try to thin it again and then apply only 1 coat. Such a pity because the colors are just stunning.

Luminescence (left) and Femme Noir (right)

I mean look at these in the bottle! Just so pretty (especially Femme Noir).

Tim Gunn, I'm sorry, but I couldn't make it work.

Just gorgeous in the bottle. Luminescence in sunlight.
On the nail? Totally different story.
Should I just keep thinning it?

Again. To.Die.For. (in the bottle only).

This is attempt #3 at application. After many many drops of Restore nail polish thinner.

Femme Noir. I cry because of you.

I thought, maybe it was just the Midnight Muse series. I went to another L'Oreal display and picked up a couple from The Color of Hope collection.

The display.

Delicate Dusk and Imperial Plum

After 3 attempts with Femme Noir, 2 attempts with Luminescence and 1 big time fail with Delicate Dusk, I could not bring myself to try Imperial Plum. Just too much pain.

Delicate Dusk may in fact be too delicate for application.
Same issues as the others.
Put on at 7pm, went to bed at 10:30? Woke up to this mess.

Bubbling bubbling bubbling.
It was actually worse with Femme Noir.

I just get mad looking at this.
Such a pretty shade otherwise.

I don't have a grade system for reviews here on Beautyburg (at least not yet), but if I did, these would be a big fat F for EPIC Fail.

So question for you guys... what to do when a formula just isn't working for you?