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It always feels nice to finally wear a long-standing untried. This bottle was sitting unopened in my Helmer for four years! Illamasqua Poke is a bright violet with fine, multicolored shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was buttery smooth, but not that pigmented, so I used three thin coats for full opacity. It needs to be a little sheer, anyway, to let all that shimmer shine through. This can look brushstroke-y, but the shimmer and painting straight strokes help cover it up. It’s great that the color still looks as bold as it does, even without a high pigmentation. This is an absolutely gorgeous shade of purple! It looks rich and velvety, yet bright at the same time. The shimmer is fine but adds a very intense sparkle. It’s multicolored, but the color that stands out to me the most is turquoise, which provides a lovely contrast against the violet base color. They are not even close to being dupes of each other, but since they are both purples with greenish shimmer, I’m thinking this is like a cousin to Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie. I paired this with OPI Jade is the New Black on my toes.
I only bothered getting the shimmers from this collection, and skipped the two cremes, so now I’ve finally finished what I have from this collection with China Glaze Orange You Hot? (Summer Neons, Summer 2012) is a light yellow-orange neon with fine orange and yellow shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, but I still needed three coats to totally cover up any dark spots. This isn’t my favorite out of the collection, but that’s only because I don’t like orange as much as other colors like pink or coral. Actually, the longer I have it on, the more it grows on me. This isn’t that kind of traffic cone orange that I usually see in orange neons. It’s much lighter, and has a strong yellow tone (though it still decidedly orange.) The color kind of reminds me of Tang. Although it’s not such a bold shade, it’s still bright and neon-like. The addition of the shimmer makes me like this more than if this was just a creme. Like with all the other neon shimmers from this collection, the finish has a glowiness that emphasizes the neon quality. Overall, this was one of the best neon collections I’ve tried. My only gripe is that the formula is prone to tip pull (at least when used with a quick-dry topcoat.) But the range of colors and the lovely finish makes up for it. I paired this with NARS Ratin Jot on my toes.
I’m finishing up the month of July with the last couple of neons I have to try from this collection. China Glaze Hang-Ten Toes (Summer Neons, Summer 2012) is a bright, cool-toned neon pink with fine pink and violet shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, and I almost got away with two coats, but I ultimately needed three to cover up dark spots. I normally favor warmer pinks, but I really love this very cool-toned one! I love that there was room for both a cool and a warm neon pink in this collection. I don’t think this is as fluorescent as Love’s a Beach, but it’s definitely bright and unmistakably neon. This color just makes me think of hot weather and makes me want to go to the beach (I don’t think I’d be much of a surfer, though :p) The shimmer, of course, adds that extra lovely glow, taking an already bright shade and making it look even more vibrant. I paired this with NARS Amchoor on my toes.
I’ve been wearing a lot of glowy polishes lately. This one isn’t a neon, but is still glowy in its own way. OPI Innie Minnie Mightie Bow (Couture de Minnie) is a bold, bright cherry red with red shimmer:
Picture taken in weak sunlight. This applied very well, and went on smoothly in two coats. I normally associate this type of red polish with the holiday season, but I love wearing reds all year round. This shade of cherry red is one I’d definitely expect to see in a Minnie Mouse themed collection. This is the type of shimmer that has an almost metallic-like finish. It has very slight brushstrokes, but the shimmer covers them up; as long as you paint in straight strokes, they shouldn’t be obvious. The shimmer may be delicate, but it’s definitely noticeable, and contributes to the polish’s gorgeous, amazing glow. I paired this with NARS Kutki on my toes.
I’m taking a small break from neons by finishing up trying another small collection. I really loved Magazine Cover Mouse, so I was really looking forward to trying the other two polishes I got. First I’m wearing OPI A Definite Moust-Have (Couture de Minnie), a bright, coral-amaranth creme with subtle shimmer:
Picture taken in natural light. (I wish there had been sunlight to take this photo in, but when you enlarge it, you can kind of see the shimmer. It’s also a bolder shade in real life.) This applied very well, going on smoothly in two coats, plus some touchups to cover up dark spots. I wasn’t sure how to define this color, because it looks different in various lighting conditions. Indoors, this seems to have red-orange tones, making it look coral. Outdoors, however, it looks more straightforwardly pink; it reminds me of NARS Anardana. Whatever the color is, I love it! It looks gorgeous in the bottle, and even more so on the nail. The shimmer is very subtle, so at a quick glance it just looks like a creme. Although it’s not that obvious, this kind of secret shimmer does give a little extra something to the finish. I think OPI named this one pretty accurately. I paired this with NARS Koliary on my toes.
I thought I would be switching things up by trying a purple, but I’m wearing what turned out to be another pink. China Glaze Beach Cruise-r (Summer Neons, Summer 2012) is a neon fuchsia with fine pink shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. (I had to double-check my bottle to make sure I used Beach Cruise-r and not Hang-Ten Toes; this doesn’t look quite as pink as it’s photographing here; the bottle color is probably more accurate.) This applied well, and I was pleased to get full coverage in only two coats. I was under the impression that this was a neon purple, since neon collections tend to have one. Most purple-toned neons are fuchsia toned, but as I look at this, I just see fuchsia; it doesn’t seem purple. If I looked at this next to a pink polish, this would probably seem more purple, but just on its own, I would call this a fuchsia before saying it’s purple. This doesn’t have that true neon fluorescence, but the shimmer does give it a nice glow and it’s still a bright shade. I paired this with Illamasqua Optimist on my toes.
I called my previous NOTD, Surfin’ For Boys, one of my favorite polishes in this collection. Today I have on my other favorite, China Glaze Love’s a Beach (Summer Neons, Summer 2012), a bright hot pink neon with fine pink shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; I ultimately needed three coats for full, even coverage. I love this for many of the same reasons I adore Surfin’ For Boys. It’s really bright and fluorescent, plus the shimmer gives it an extra glowy quality. It also looks really intense because of its strong pigmenteation. I like all kinds of neon pinks, but I really love seeing a warm-toned one. I’m glad that in a collection that has so many pinks/corals already, there was room to have both a warm and cool-toned neon pink. This one looks so vibrant, yet sweet at the same time. I can’t help but think “neon candy” when I look at this (which, in turn, makes me think of Spring Breakers. :)) This may have my favorite name in the collection, punny as it is. I paired this with Illamasqua Nurture on my toes.
This is the last of the coral-toned polishes in this collection, and my favorite of the three (and one of my favorites in the whole collection). China Glaze Surfin’ For Boys (Summer Neons, Summer 2012) is a neon red coral with fine pink shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, though I still needed three coats for full, even coverage. It was quite pigmented but that extra coat was necessary to cover up dark spots. I had such a hard time photographing this! Its neon qualities were difficult to convey; this is not just bright, but very, very glowy as well. I love this color! Initially I thought this was just a red-orange, but the addition of the pink shimmer makes it look more coral. This is one of the most intense-looking polishes in this collection, since it’s both really fluorescent and strongly pigmented. I typically favor the more sweet-looking, pinkish corals, but I absolutely love this more red-leaning shade in neon form. It’s definitely the most fiery coral I’ve ever tried, perfect to wear during this heat wave. I paired this with Illamasqua Serenity on my toes.
I’m not sure if blue (especially a medium to deep shade) is a color that’s capable of being a true neon, but there is definitely space for a very bright one in a neon collection. China Glaze Splish Splash (Summer Neons, Summer 2012) is a bright, vibrant blue with fine blue and purple shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, though it wasn’t as pigmented I was expecting it to be, given that it’s not such a light shade; I needed three coats for full coverage. This doesn’t have a fluorescence like a neon yellow or green, but it is still quite bright. The shimmer does give it a certain glow, making the color look very vibrant (much more so than if this had been a creme, for example.) I think this is so aptly named; it does make me think of playing in the water in the summer (something I could probably use right now, as it’s been incredibly hot and humid lately.) I paired this with NARS Lal Mirchi on my toes.
Just like yellow, I love seeing the color green in neon form! China Glaze I’m With the Lifeguard (Summer Neons, Summer 2012) is a highlighter neon green with fine yellow and green shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, and pretty smoothly, considering that most of the neon greens I own have a sticky and thick formula. I got full coverage in three coats, with some touching up. The shimmer gives the color an overall yellow tone, but it’s still very much green. I love this color; I feel like it’s a shade you’d see on those tiny poisonous frogs. This type of green definitely comes close to that retina-searing level most highlighter yellow neons are on, so the color by itself is already very bright and loud. The shimmer just adds an extra, alien-like glow to it, which makes it look even more neon. This polish makes me think of Spring Breakers, which I saw just recently, and absolutely loved! I paired it with Illamasqua Devotee on my toes.