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It’s A Neon, Neon World With Essie & Orly

As my favorite nail color queen, Rihanna, has already shown us, bright, bold, in-your-face shades are what’s hot right now. She’s been spotted wearing orange, teal, purple, etc. and even though she’s driving the bandwagon other young celebs are jumping on board. Take Lindsay Lohan for example. She wore a hot pink to match her prom-tastic dress at her 22nd birthday party and was caught lighting up (don’t do it!) with glowing orange tips.

To feed your need for neon, Essie and Orly have hit us with a one-two punch of bright, four color collections for Summer.

The Essie Neons are quite a departure for the usually subdued brand. They tend to target the conservative, classic nail fanatic. I give Essie two thumbs up for addressing the trend. Unfortunately I have to give a thumbs up/thumbs down to the formula. While half the shades (Mini Shorts & Short Shorts) were OK, the others (Bermuda Shorts & Shorty Pants) were pretty nightmarish. As expected, the neon pigments cause these polishes to dry matte but for some reason they don’t smooth out easily. You have to put in some work to avoid an uneven texture. But the colors, love them! Mini Shorts is definitely my favorite.

Shorty Pants

Short Shorts

Bermuda Shorts

Mini Shorts

Orly High Voltage is a mixture of saucy shimmers and punchy cremes. The gold shimmer in Heat Wave is captivating. As soon as I picked up the bottle, I had to have it on my tips. It’s really a stand out lacquer for me. Charged Up is a nice grape but it’s also the only polish I had application issues with. I needed three coats to get even, full coverage. And if I were picking a hot reddish pink, Hot Shot would be my choice. It’s way more vibrant in person, somewhat shocking.

Hot Shot

Live Wire

Charged Up

Heat Wave


The polishes pictured are shown with a top coat since the majority dry matte. I chose images for each lacquer that best represented the color so they aren’t all shown in sunlight.

The Essie Neons and Orly High Voltage collections are available now online and in stores including hair and nail salons, Trade Secret, ULTA, Sally Beauty Supply and Regis. Contact your local retailer to check availability.

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There Are 28 Brilliant Comments

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  1. m says:

    wow, those are bright! they look terrific on you.

    I got me Estee Lauder polishes yesterday, thanks very much!!!

  2. Tracez of my Lipstick.... says:

    very pretty. hmmm could orly hot shot a dupe for rose among thorns?

  3. CincyFan says:

    M – Thanks! I hope you enjoy the polish!

    Tracez – It’s too bad I couldn’t capture the vibrance of Hot Shot because it’s brighter and more pink than Rose Among Thorns (which is on my toes right now).

  4. Fei says:

    Thanks for doing this review. I’ve been hunting for the Essie Shorty Pants ever since I heard about it. I received my Estee Lauder polishes today! Thank you!

  5. erica says:

    i love this blog so much!

    thanks for making it so much easier to pick nail colors! i love the orly heat wave& cant eait to go get it!
    thanks again your blogs awesome!!!

  6. jenabma says:

    Hi! I just discovered your blog… and lemme tell ya.. I’m in love!!! I’m super excited that someone else is just as in love with polishes as I am!

    I have a question. I can’t quite get my “Shorty Pants” to apply evenly. I’ve tried with & without a base coat. What can I do? TIA :)

  7. brazenspider says:

    Thanks for the reviews once again! You prompt me to buy the best polishes with the least application problems. Thanks!

  8. Steph@polishaddict.com says:

    I’m afraid the neon trend is going to end soon and I’m going to end up with all these polishes I love, but feel a bit silly wearing. *sigh*

  9. Anonymous says:

    I guess I was lucky not to have any problems applying Essie’s Bermuda Shorts… it applied like a dream for me.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have bermuda shorts on right now, and i swear my bottle is labled wrong. my color doesn’t look that purple at all. it almost has a slight redish pink tone in it. maybe its just me…

  11. Lydia says:

    Wow I need like all these colors lol! They are so bright an pretty!

  12. stubby..... says:

    I have all of these in the mini’s. Wasn’t brave enough to take the plunge and buy the big bottles for such of the “moment” colors. I kind dig them but I don’t like the matte finish. Oh well, can’t always be pleased???

  13. Ordessia C says:

    Today I saw people putting 2 new trends together. They do the reverse french tip using neon colors, so people are sporting neon pink and orange tips~!

  14. N. says:

    Strange, all the Essie Neons applied wonderfully for me with the exception of the yellow one, but I’ve yet to find a bright yellow that applies well.

  15. Sanna says:

    I actually think they all look awesome!

  16. Lydia says:

    i have bermuda shorts–it’s not that nightmarish to apply, but definitely need a good coat of top coat… (eh?)

    a reverse french using neons, why didn’t i think of that! doh!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I have Bermuda Shorts on my toes right now. Great color. I’m not sure I agree about application issues either, but since my was done by a salon I can’t say for sure. She only did two coats and it looks great….appeared to be smooth to apply, the tech didn’t *look* to be having problems….

  18. BeautyChick101 says:

    Wow oh wow! Excellent coverage as always. I agree with you on the Essie neons, something just seemed off about the formula for them. But I love all your pics — great post!

  19. tooshytostop says:

    I just discovered your site, and I love your posts! This is great. I saw the neon collections at a local beauty store the other day and was wondering what they looked like on the nail. I also like that you do both the sunlight and artificial light photos. Keep up the great work!

  20. kirsten says:

    Its really too bad Orly’s Charged Up had application issues because I was kind of hoping it would be a glitter-free sister of China Glaze’s Flying Dragon which I loved the color of, but unfortunately due to the glitter had a very bumpy finish.

  21. Jen aka MAC Whore says:

    Dayum! Essie’s Bermuda Shorts is the magenta-purple I have been looking for.

  22. alyria says:

    Thank you for this incredibly detailed and helpful post! I base many of my polish purchases off your reviews. Your opinion is invaluable.

  23. ashley says:

    the entire essie neon collection is on it’s way to me now and i can’t wait. i have CG’s pink voltage in on my toes right now and can’t wait to try more neon colors.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Your pics don’t show how truly neon the colors are, especially the orange and the pink! The pink reminds me of a super bright Barbie pink, and the orange is really shockingly bright on the nail! A color match for the purple is Zoya’s Charisma, but Charisma is really, really matte.

  25. ines says:

    avert your eyes! it’s so bright.
    although they look great on you, not something i would voluntarily get.

    a great orange i like is rimmel tequila sunrise (a great bargain), CND souvenir junkie, and this color from OPI that i believe is called don’t be koi about it (although i’m not sure). the last one is almost red, kind of like kid orange by MAC.

  26. carimell16 says:

    How does your mani always look so PERFECT. I can’t get mine to look even for the LIFE of me. Is there some sort of tutorial on here? I am in dire need of some teaching.

  27. Vanessa says:

    I have the Bermuda shorts and not only does it go on unevenly, it chips really easily. Like I swear half of it’s gone by the time 3 hours have passed what can I do?! I love the color but it’s just been a nightmare

  28. Jenn says:

    wrapping your tips would be my suggestion, and also going with nice, thin coats.

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