For a short phase in the late '90s/early '00s, I became totally obsessed with all things neon and glow in the dark. I had a black light in my room and on every birthday I'd ask for neon baubles to decorate my room.
By the time the phase ended I had everything a child of the '90s could dream of: glow in the dark stars and planets, a lava lamp, a weird light stick with water and little fish that swam in the bubbles it produced, and even a pet green tree frog named Fruitcake. Yup, I was living the dream.
I haven’t really been into neon stuff since then--until this summer. I love the super bright color trend, and while it's not wearable for everyone's wardrobe, it is universally fabulous for everyone's nails. But neon nail color tends to fade and lose a little of its pop when exposed to the summer sun.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for faded colors (duh), but if I paint my nails neon, I want them to stay neon!
Formula X is way ahead of me on this one. They’ve developed a top and bottom coat set that promises to lock in and intensify neon pigment. To put the set to the test, I chose a few bright polishes with different formulas and got painting. I opted for one of Formula X’s own neons, a pink called Zip, as well as Deborah Lippmann’s pastel Blue Orchid (I had to know how it worked with pastels, right?) and Floss Gloss’s Pony, a neon milky peach.
I started off with the base coat, a matte white polish that works just like an actual paint primer. The application was a little patchy, and I think you need two coats to get the most neon-boosting power possible.
Next, I added the colors. The Formula X pink and Floss Gloss peach both looked beautiful on top of the white base; they popped with just one coat. The blue also looked a bit bolder, but definitely nowhere near neon.
After the colors were thoroughly dried, I added the Neon Topcoat. This little bottle of liquid practically glows. Once applied to nails, it loses its blue sheen, but definitely brightens the polish color, whether it’s a pastel, neon, or anywhere in between. That being said, I think it boosted the pink Formula X polish the best, so I recommend splurging on a Formula X neon if you're using this set.
The coolest part about this topcoat is the UV protection. It’s formulated to protect and seal in polish like any other topcoat, but it also helps create a barrier between your neons and the sunlight. The end result is a super bright, super long wear. Three cheers for fingertips that look like glowsticks!
What are your favorite neon nail polishes? Show me your neon manis in the comments!