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Since I spent a good chunk of summer manis on metallic polishes, I have a bit of a backlog of brights. I didn’t think I would buy more satin finish polishes, but the colors from this collection were too nice to pass up. Since I didn’t have a green to try in my last round of brights, I’ll start with Illamasqua Nurture (Rubber Brights, Summer 2012) is a vibrant neon green creme (originally with a satin finish):
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; I needed three coats for full evenness and opacity. Like last year’s collection of rubber polishes, the formula is nicely thick and pretty smooth, and goes on like a regular polish, then dries to the satin finish. I have all the polishes from this collection, and I’ll be presenting them all with topcoat. I do like the look of the satin/rubber finish but I don’t like its impracticality. In my past experiences with this kind of polish I’ve found that they dry to the touch quickly but still get scuffed up so easily because they take a while to harden/set completely. By adding topcoat I’m sacrificing the finish but preserving the condition of the mani. I like the color so much I was okay with making that tradeoff (and the color appears to pop more with topcoat)! This is definitely the best neon green I own, in terms of both formula and color. The formula was non-sticky and not overly thick so I experienced none of the tip pull I got with other neon green cremes. This is also much more pigmented, so the color looks extra vivid and vibrant. It’s considerably more green compared to other neon greens I have, which look significantly more yellow-toned when I view the bottles side-by-side. I’ve said how neon greens remind me of frogs, but this one truly does, like those tiny ones that are really poisonous. I love how apt the name is for the color, too, as it’s totally lush and green. I paired this with Misa Speed of Life on my toes.
I haven’t tried as many neons this month as I’ve done in previous years, but I wanted to try one more before jumping into what I have planned for the Olympics. Illamasqua Stance (Human Fundamentalism, Spring 2012) is a neon purple creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. This was well-pigmented for a neon and applied well in two smooth coats. I thought this was similar to other neon purples I own, and it is, since practically every neon purple has that sort of fuchsia tone to it. This one, however, manages to look more purple-toned than the others, at least, when I hold up the bottles side-by-side. It definitely looks purple in low light. It’s not so glowy, but I find that neon purples don’t reach the retina-searing levels that colors like yellow or pink do anyway. It’s still a true neon, though, drying to that telltale satin finish. Illamasqua already has a neon yellow, pink and orange, so I figured it was only a matter of time before they came out with a purple. I’m glad to have this one, for being so slightly different than my other neon purples, and of course for its stellar formula. I paired this with Orly Lemonade on my toes.
As I tend to do when my nails get long, I picked a polish that would be suited to more length. I also had one mood polish left untried, so it was the perfect time to finally try Claire’s Fabulous/Funky (Mood Nail Polish), a neon pink creme that’s cool-toned when cool, and warm-toned when warm:
Picture taken in natural light. Regrettably, the mood effect did not photograph well, but you can see what the cool shade looks like in the bottle. This applied well; I used three coats for full coverage. Since the color change is between two tones of the same color, the mood effect is subtle, but you can see it at times. When my mani was newly done, my free edge was noticeably cool-toned, though this became less perceptible with time. It definitely color-changes when I touch something cold, though! I don’t mind not seeing the cool shade as often, though, ’cause I love the warm shade! It’s so warm that it practically makes the cool shade look purple. This is a true neon, and it has a lovely glow, almost at retina-searing levels. Even though I only took this photo in natural light, you can still tell how glowy it is. I paired this with Color Club The Lime Starts Here over white on my toes.
I thought I wouldn’t buy any more crackle polishes (and I don’t have that many anyway) but I saw this and I just really wanted it. OPI Super Bass Shatter (Nicki Minaj Collection) is a fuchsia-purple microglitter. I thought it was interesting how different it looked when put over different colors, so I put it over both Color Club Age of Aquarius and Color Club MODern Pink:
Pictures taken in sunlight. I used three coats for each of the Color Club polishes. Super Bass Shatter applied smoothly. I wish it was made into a regular polish too, because it’s gorgeous; something I’d definitely want to see on my whole nail. You’re not supposed to do multiple coats of the shatter or else it won’t crackle, so it looks a little bit sheer over MODern Pink (but looks perfectly opaque over Age of Aquarius, strangely.) Over the pink, the color looks more fuchsia, while over the teal it looks more purple; it’s like I have four colors on my nails! Since this is a microglitter crackle polish, there’s a nice contrast in not just color, but finish as well. I paired this with Sephora by OPI Never Enough Shoes on my toes.
I thought it was fitting to end my streak of neons with a real retina-searer. American Apparel Neon Yellow (Neon, Summer 2011) is a neon highlighter yellow creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied fine; I could manage the formula well but I ended up needing four coats for full, even coverage. Next time I try this (and a couple of others from this collection), I’ll use it over white, but seeing as it can build to opacity I wanted to see what it looked like on its own first. This feels a little strange to say but this is more yellow than I thought it would be; I expect neon highlighter yellows to have a little more green in them. It’s probably just as well that this looks different than the others I have in my collection. While it is very glowy (I don’t see how this color can’t be), it doesn’t stand up to my favorite neon, Illamasqua Rare. I paired this with Essie Perky Purple on my toes.
This polish came out a little later than the others in the collection. I had the rest already purchased and when I saw this in the display, of course it found its way into my collection. American Apparel Neon Blue (Neon, Summer 2011) is a bold, bright blue creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. Thankfully, this was another one that applied very well; I needed just two easy coats for full coverage. It isn’t really a true glowy neon, but it is quite bright. Since it’s well-pigmented, it has a strong presence on the nails. It may be pigmented, but the finish doesn’t exactly look solid. Its opacity has a somewhat translucent feel. I know that’s contradictory, but that’s the only way I can explain it. It’s a quality that makes it look more neon than a regular bright blue creme. I’m trying to pinpoint exactly what shade of blue this is. It’s a little turquoisey, but not enough to approach bright sky blue territory, and it’s not quite a true royal blue either. Neon blues aren’t so common, so I love seeing more (even if the color doesn’t really lend itself to being glowy.) I paired this with Essie Flirty Fuchsia on my toes.
When I first caught wind of this collection, I was most excited to try this polish, as red cremes are my favorite to wear and I also love neons. I didn’t quite get what I was expecting but I’m still happy with the result. American Apparel Neon Red (Neon, Summer 2011) is a neon reddish coral creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. (This looks just a little bit more pink in real life.) This applied well, although I needed three coats for even coverage. I think the formula is like a really opaque jelly, not the most pigmented but definitely not sheer. The finish has this juicy, fruity look to it. At the same time, it has that lovely neon glow. Funny how American Apparel went about naming some of the colors in this collection. This doesn’t really look red, this one is the one that looks coral to me (while Neon Coral looked orange and Neon Orange was practically goldenrod yellow.) I do love this color; it’s like a reddish-orange hot pinky-coral blend that’s perfect for summer, even more so with its neon glow. But I am disappointed that it isn’t actually red. A neon pin-up red-red is something I’d definitely like to see, if it can be done. I paired this with Essie Aruba Blue on my toes.
The summer neon streak continues with American Apparel Neon Green (Neon, Summer 2011), a neon green creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied pretty well, even with its sticky consistency, but it wasn’t that pigmented so I used three coats. I wish the formula was more solid (like those very lovely stark pastels from last year’s summer collection), because I like the color. My biggest gripe with polishes that lack pigmentation but are also thick and sticky is that since they create such a thick mani, they’re prone to tip pull (which is actually due to topcoat, but I can’t not put on topcoat; I do want it to dry/harden fast, especially because it’s such a thick mani.) Maybe this shade of neon green is prone to such issues. Despite not having that totally solid look I love, I still like the color. It’s glowy and reminds me of frogs. I paired this with Essie Punchy Pink on my toes.
Even though I already have a few neon purples, I didn’t want to pass this up, especially after seeing this whole neon collection lined up in the display. American Apparel Neon Violet (Neon, Summer 2011) is a neon purple creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied very well, easier than the other ones I’ve tried so far. That’s probably because neon purple pigment creates a smoother formula than orange/yellow neon pigment. It was practically a one-coater; it looked decently opaque and even in a single coat, but I used two for a stronger color payoff and more solid opacity. This shade of neon purple looks more purple than others I’ve tried before. It’s still a warm shade, but this one doesn’t seem to be as overwhelmed by fuchsia tones. (It may not be that apparent in this photo, but when I swatched a bunch of neon purples next to each other on paper, this one seemed purpliest.) It’s enough of a variation for me, and the great formula makes this a winner. I paired this with Essie Funky Limelight over white on my toes.
After my previous crackle mani, I’m returning to something simpler. I’m still keeping up with the neons, though! American Apparel Neon Coral (Neon, Summer 2011) is a corally orange neon creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; I used three coats for an opaque, even finish. I’m not sure why this is called coral; it doesn’t have enough pink in it to look like a true coral. It’s orange, but it’s not traffic cone orange. The shade has a softer, sherbet-like quality to it. It probably does have some coral tones in it to make it look this way, but overall the color seems more orange. (Although not as orange as it appears in this photo. It was difficult to capture the true tone and sherbet-ness of the shade, but it does look just slightly more coral in real life.) Whatever it’s called, it’s such a pretty color! It looks so creamy, and the neon, slightly glowy quality also makes it look bright and punchy. I think I like this more than traditional orange! I paired this with Essie Haute as Hello on my toes.