Unless you’ve been on house arrest since January, you’ve probably noticed that the color palette for the upcoming summer season is all about neons.
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Neon hues have filtered virtually every part of fashion: from acid-colored denim to electric jewelry, day-glo stilettos to fluorescent belts. But, it’s hard to pull off such shocking shades with hair and makeup (unless, of course, you have nerves of steel — lime green eyeliner and hot pink highlights, anyone?). That’s why neon nail polish is such a fantastic compromise. It’s a less in-your-face (literally) take on sporting piercing pigments without sacrificing the bold statement. Here, I’ve rounded up my favorite hot hues for the torrid summer months.
Ginger + Liz Nail Polish in Show Off ($12.00)
This hot tamale red has orange undertones for a shade that looks like a poppy on fire. It literally glows under a black light, but the hue is surprisingly wearable for all year round, and looks particularly spicy on warm complexions. The vegan-friendly formula is also
perfect for the health-conscious.
Essie Nail Polish in Action ($8.00)
From Essie’s new Poppy Razzi Summer 2012 Collection, this neon tangerine is nuanced with melon tones. The jelly formula dries to a semi-matte finish, which combined feels modern rather than démodé. Two coats are enough for complete coverage with the nail line still peeking through.
Orly Nail Lacquer in Glowstick ($10.40)
Also new for summer from Orly’s Feel The Vibe Collection, this color is a pure highlighter yellow. The funky fluorescent is for the truly uninhibited—so much so that it’s probably NSFW (not safe for work). To tone it down, try it as an accent color on the ring finger with an otherwise black manicure. Or, like wearing sexy lace lingerie underneath a power suit, hide it on toes during your nine-to-five for a titillating secret only you will be privy to.
China Glaze Nail Lacquer in I’m With The Lifeguard ($3.25)
This fresh, electric green shade is part of China Glaze’s Summer Neons 2012 Collection. Acidic collections are clearly aplenty this season, but, a shocking shimmer? — now that’s nouveau. The glitzy formula is super-rich and provides excellent color payoff, even on the first coat. And at just over $3, it’s a fantastic way to experiment without having to sacrifice dinner.
Milani Neon Nail Lacquer in Dude Blue ($4.99)
Despite its high voltage hue, this blazing blue shade is as laid-back as it comes. It’s easy to find at virtually any drugstore; has a pigmented formula that glides on like a breeze, and costs less than a measly Lincoln buck. The potent color does have a tendency to slightly tinge nails, though, so be sure to sweep on a solid base coat first.
Zoya Professional Lacquer in Charisma ($8.00)
This red-toned purple shade has a creamy formula and a matte finish that looks cool and unusually sophisticated. Even for a neon, the magenta color has a pure prettiness to it that’s universally flattering. It offers solid coverage in a single coat, but apply two for good measure.
Priti Polish in Silver Flare Peony ($12.50)
This certified vegan hot pink color is for the girly girl with a sassy edge. It has a jelly-like formula that reaches full opacity in three coats. A flattened brush distributes streak-free color and makes painting as effortless as can be.
And there you have it! A psychedelic, neon shade for every color of the rainbow. Which one are you most amped to try this summer?
– Christiana Molina
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