Before I begin, I just want to give some serious accolades to any bloggers out there that have swatched an entire nail polish collection for our viewing pleasure. O.M.G. I’ve done maybe 4 swatches at a time, which was still quite a task, but 12 shades!?! Good grief! I spent most of my day Saturday and part of my day Sunday painstakingly applying each of the 12 shades of the Summer Neons collection from China Glaze, fearful that I was going to lose my sun, waiting between coats, hydrating and rehydrating my cuticles, and taking shot after shot of my nails to capture each shade as accurately as possible. Man Oh Man. It was truly exciting to have the opportunity – receiving the big box in the mail and knowing I’d never otherwise have such a chance – but I just wanted to give a shout out to the more established bloggers who are used to this sort of thing. You rock!! It’s quite a job, and I will forever have a different appreciation for collection swatches moving forward. Thank you, my lovelies
Ok, with that out of the way – let’s get to the polish, shall we? Today I bring you the first part of my swatchapalooza; there really wasn’t a defined split between the shades, so I just kind of put them together in a way that made sense to me. The collection as a whole was a surprize hit for me. In promotional shots, I was unsure how I felt about a bunch of neon shades with shimmer – typically odd colors like electric green and eyeball-searing yellow do NOT do it for me, and I’m not a fan of shimmer overall – but somehow they made it work in a big way with this collection.
First up, we have Sun-Kissed, described as a ‘hot highlighter yellow’, and it was exactly that! I would never in a million years imagine I’d like a shade like this, but consider me converted! Somehow, this super-bright shade won me over, and I definitely see a full manicure with this in my near future. Obviously, I don’t have much experience with yellow polishes, but from what I hear they can be tricky to work with – this shade, while slightly streaky, was relatively painless to apply; you can get away with 2 coats but I applied 3 for the best opacity. Like many shades in the collection, it dries semi-matte.
Next up, Orange You Hot? - a ‘bright orange with attention-grabbing gold glimmer.’ I find the shimmer particles very fine, and the gold tone is lost in the base shade, but it’s still lovely. I liked it but didn’t love it on my skintone – I think it’ll be more of a pedi shade in my rotation than anything else. I felt similarly about the formula; it was good but not great. I applied 3 coats to get the smoothest application possible.
~Ah~ Pink Plumeria. My personal favorite of the whole collection. A ‘light pink with gold shimmer,’ it came out more like a coral-pink on my nails, and was soo flattering. It retains quite a neon look but in a way that’s tasteful and eye-catching rather than gaudy – it’s actually brighter in person than I was able to capture in these photos. The gold shimmer really gave it an extra-pretty sheen. Application was pretty good – 2 coats was sufficient, and how I wore it as a full mani, but I think 3 would probably be better, as it had a hint of patchiness on a few nails.
Hang-Ten Toes was actually the first polish I tried on from the collection; a ‘bubblegum neon pink with iridescent purple shimmer’, it looked and sounded far too enticing to pass up. In person, this shade is searingly bright – I found it difficult overall to capture the true neon nature of most of the polishes in the collection, this one in particular (I took about a million shots of this polish, and I’m still not satisfied!). Easy flowing with good consistency (you don’t need too much on the brush), it dries to a semi-satin finish. At an angle, the shimmer is somehow both obvious and elusive, which gives it mysterious depth. 2 coats is enough to reach good coverage, but 3 erases any VNL. I found the drying time of this shade was slower than I’m used to – which I found for a handful of shades in the collection (perhaps because I was applying 3 coats for many of them).
On of the best formulas of the bunch, Beach Cruise-r is a ‘glimmering fuchsia grape’, which only required two smooth coats to full opacity. On the nail, it reminds me a lot of American Apparel’s Neon Violet except with shimmer. This kind of color is a bit unexpected in Summer I think, because it has a deeper jewel tone that makes me think more of Fall, but the brightness makes it appropriate and fun for the warmer months too. Like Neon Violet, I’m slightly ambivalent toward it as a mani, but quite like it as a pedi shade. It’s brighter and more richly hued in person – closer to the last shot, below.
Finally, we have Splish Splash, a ‘bright sky blue shimmer,’ also with a great formula, though 3 coats is still best. This is not at all my kind of shade, but is an absolutely glorious color on it’s own – I want to own other things in this shade (just not wear it on my nails). Looking at these photos, I’m mesmerized by this color; but with my skintone, it looks a bit garish. In person it’s much more blue than aqua like it looks in these photos – closer to the last shot, below.
And so we conclude Part I of the Summer Neons collection! Overall I felt that there were some beautiful shades, even if they all didn’t ~go~ with my skintone. While many of the shades required 3 coats to look best to my liking, I still felt that the formulas overall were quite good; they didn’t dry too quickly and cause dragging, and applied very easily for the most part, with an excellent consistency in formula. Mostly I found that they were just a touch sheer and just the slightest bit patchy, but applying 3 coats cleared any of those issues up with ease. I also normally do a fast-drying top coat, whereas I used none in the swatches above (nor base coat), which could be why they seemed to take longer to dry than normal. In any case, I liked some of the shades so much that I’d be more than willing to put up with the extra coats. They all scream Summer to me, and just make me happy looking at them!
What are your thoughts on these shades from the collection? Are you into neon brights? Would you prefer them with or without shimmer?
*Product samples were provided to me by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.