I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t get Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines out of my head. As a proud owner of Pure Funk, Blurred Lines’ Marvin Gaye roots touch my soul. Add in Thicke’s silky voice plus Pharrell’s sick beats and you’ve got my perfect summer jam.
This summer, Essie is joining me in the club as she gets her groove on with the Neons 2013 collection, DJ Play That Song.
Six hot, eye-searing neons that will make you stand out whether you’re lounging on a beach or twerking on the dance floor. Gimme a beat!
Formula & Application: Essie is a 3-Free brand. The salon bottles are embossed with the Essie logo and the smooth plastic caps include an embossed ‘e’ on top. The mass retail version is not embossed. The brushes are thin, round and shorter than most. The bristles are very flexible, allowing you to easily fan out the brush to cover your nail width.
With one exception (Boom Boom Room) the Essie neons all have a squishy consistency and jelly-ish, semi-sheer appearance. Boom Boom room is more creamy and opaque. Regardless they all glide easily on the nail allowing for precise application. One of the major benefits of the Essie consistency, and a reason I’m a fan, is that it self levels. So even when you think you jacked up a nail with uneven application, give it a minute and the polish will settle out.
Underwear – Essie suggests using a white nail polish base beneath neons to make the colors pop and avoid VNL (visible nail lines). Nail slang for that white base is underwear. To show you the difference underwear makes, in all my swatches two nails (middle & pinkie) have Essie Blanc underneath while the ring finger is without. I used three coats of color whether it was on a bare nail or over Blanc.
Application Tip: When using a white base, always leave a bit of a gap between the skin and nail. You don’t want any white to peek out around the edges. A mistake you’ll notice in a couple of the swatches below. So, you know, do as I say, not as I do.
NOTE: Neon nail polish is notoriously hard to photograph so while I did my best to capture each color, please understand that there will be differences in real life. Also, neon nail polish dries with a satin finish but I am showing it with top coat.
Essie Boom Boom Room is the one creamy shade of the bunch. It’s fortunate in that it doesn’t get chalky and for such a light color, it gives good coverage without being streaky. I also wouldn’t call it a true neon. It’s a bright bubblegum pink but not a slap-in-the-face bright. This one is pigmented enough that you can probably get away with two coats. I used three just to be consistent.
Essie Bottle Service, when applied over white, is your stereotypical hot pink neon. What’s interesting, is that on its own it has a rosy tint that reminds me, in a way, of China Glaze Rose Among Thorns. It’s vivid yet sweet. Though Bottle Service is much lighter than Rose Among Thorns.
Essie Bouncer, It’s Me really shows off the jelly-ish quality of this collection. This electric blue neon doesn’t quite become opaque with three coats and, in that respect, reminds me of the L’Oréal Miss Candy jellies.
Essie DJ Play That Song is a charged up red grape. In the bottle it looks like the neon version of Clinique Grape Ice but on the nail it’s much more pigmented and purple.
Essie Saturday Disco Fever is a slightly mellowed traffic cone orange. It’s an eye-searing neon, don’t get me wrong, but it has this slight melon tone that softens it just a bit. Of all the shades, this was the hardest to capture. You REALLY need to see it in person to get how bright it is.
Essie Shake Your $$ Maker is a kelly green neon. At its core, its the kind of clover green that would fit right in on St. Patrick’s Day, yet the neon aspect makes it so summer. Like Bouncer, It’s Me, this shade is more sheer than the rest thus it’s not as bright sans underwear.
Bottom Line: Neons are a summer staple and Essie (and other brands) have been putting them out for years. So, unless your nail wardrobe is neon-less, half of these aren’t necessities. Bottle Service is more unique on its own so it’s a keeper for me. Bouncer, It’s Me and Shake Your $$ Maker are both gorgeous but only if you’re willing to put in the effort to layer them. One their own, not worth it.
Are you a neon nail polish fan? Do you prefer to wear them with or without underwear? Which shades are calling your name from this collection? Have you found your summer jam yet?
Disclosure: Product samples were provided by reps for Essie. Affiliate links appear via a third party link service. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.