Tag Archives: neon

American Apparel Neon Orange nail polish review

This summer is all about neons. The other day on the train, I spotted two girls who looked like they’d got dressed with the sole purpose of glowing under UV lights at a rave – fluorescent yellow vest top, fluorescent pink bandage mini skirt, it literally was like they’d coloured themselves in with highlighter pens!

For those seeking a slightly more subtle take on the trend, a pop of neon nail polish is your best bet. China Glaze, Essie, OPI, Orly and even Deborah Lippmann have all jumped on the bandwagon with neon collections hitting the shelves in time for summer. However, American Apparel got there first with their neon collection last year – and luckily, I have a prime make-up mule Nunu to supply me with such fluro goodness from across the seas!

I already showed you Neon Coral (LOVE); this time, it’s American Apparel’s Neon Orange. You’d typically expect neon orange to be more similar in colour to that of Neon Coral (errr… I can see this is going to get confusing!), but this was an awesomely unexpected take on the shade.

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American Apparel Neon Coral nail polish review

It is officially summer in the 852 , which means I get even more insane with my make-up than usual! Being my usual stupidly-prepared self, I bagged myself the hottest most searing neon nail polish money could buy around three months ago, thanks to Stateside make-up mule Nunu. First up to give my nails a dose of radioactive summer was American Apparel Neon Coral.

Well, it does what it says on the tin! It is neon. It is coral. BUT IT IS SO MUCH MORE.

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China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise nail polish review

Have you cottoned onto the fact that I like turquoise – a lot – yet? It should come as no surprise then that, after seeing pictures of China Glaze’s Turned Up Turquoise on some blogs, I just knew I had to claim that turquoise for my own too!

Part of the Summer 2008 Ink Collection, which were somewhat bizarrely based on the hues of tattoos, it proved pretty difficult to track down – but as you know with me, the journey is half of the fun… or something like that (see tracking down Gosh Cosmetics, flakies and even Waterball Bay for further evidence!). The whole collection is made up of bright buzzing neons that practically jolt you to attention and Turned Up Turquoise is no exception. It’s an intense saturated turquoise colour that floods the senses with its zing. So far, so amazing.

But unlike Essie’s Turquoise & Caicos, I don’t think I can describe this as true turquoise. It’s simply not content to be just one colour! Turned Up Turquoise is a bit of a tropical chameleon in a way that I don’t think most Internet swatches have shown. Sometimes, it really would look like the perfect turquoise adrenaline rush; other times, it leaned massively towards a mouth-watering candy-coated green. All the pictures on this page were taken in daylight (apart from one I’ll mention later), with only minor adjustments to hand positions and the natural variations of sunlight and shade to blame for how differently they all turned out!

The greenest shades remind me of the most vibrant green of cartoon palm trees whilst the most truly turquoise make me think of the clearest, jewel-like tropical oceans. Either way, they’re all violently vivid, although some seem to have had a heftier dose of lime juice than others. As you may guess, my favourite hue is the most traditionally turquoise one… but to guarantee that colour, you have to stay in the brightest sunlight or the whitest lighting possible at all times!

Like many neons, Turned Up Turquoise dries to a semi-matte finish. I think it might look even more awesome glossy, but the matte effect is stopped from falling flat by a slight shimmer that’s been thrown into the mix too. It proves somewhat elusive to catch in photos; the slightly blurry one below taken under artificial light comes closest to capturing the subtle glow that stops it from looking chalky and dull.

Application-wise, I found it a little difficult to work with simply because, like many mattes, it dries quickly. Unlike all those OPI Suedes that I’ve loved, Turned Up Turquoise seems to have a thicker consistency that meant it was difficult to make perfect, without visible brush-strokes, in the short time before the lacquer started setting. Even though the colour was so strikingly strong and intensely-pigmented to only require one coat for opaque coverage in a colour that looked exactly like it did in the bottle, you might need to go for two just to try and clean things up a bit. But like the other matte finishes I’ve tried, this didn’t wear too well, with chips appearing after just one or two days.

Turned Up Turquoise does have its faults, but for that extreme rich colour pay-off, it’s definitely worth it. When it does decide to give you a glimpse of its turquoise side, it’s a turquoise so eye-poppingly amped up to the max that you’re shocked into submission, yet without appearing garishly fluorescent. And hey, those green shades aren’t too shabby either, right?

Looks good with: neons, high contrast, high NRG
Drying time: <2 mins
Coats required: 1-2
Chips: 1-2 days

China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise nail polish, Summer 2008 Ink Collection, $160, Nails From The Heart, Admiralty Centre

Zoya Bekka nail polish review

Ever wish that nail polish manufacturers had a direct hotline to your imagination, so that the perfect colour you envisage yet are never quite able to find actually becomes reality? Well, it seems someone at Zoya has such a hotline, because Bekka was exactly the colour I was looking for.

Ever since I saw the video for Pixie Lott’s Boys & Girls (below and still my favourite song of hers, by the way), I’ve been madly in lust with the fluorescent yellow nails she sports whilst whipping out a pinkie-perfect dance routine. Admittedly, over a year is quite a long time to be hung up over a nail colour and it had thus developed mythical properties in my mind. After torturing my boyfriend by umming and ahhing over various yellows in Cher2 for several agonising minutes (too yellow… too neon… too pale… not yellow enough), I eventually settled on Zoya’s Bekka, despite it having a gold glitter in it.

When I got back into the nail polish groove, I made several promises to myself and one was: NO GLITTER. I just felt it was too immature, reminded me too much of playing dress-up and, from what I remember, was a total pain to clean off. But Bekka was the colour that most closely resembled the edgy fluro yellow in my mind so I put my prejudices aside and gave it a go – and thank God I did, because it was a gamble that paid off.

Firstly, a bit about Zoya itself. Not a brand I’d heard of before and at $80, the most expensive in Cher2, despite seeming to have the dinkiest bottles of the lot. It’s formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) free, which is a very good thing indeed as I’ve since discovered this ‘Big 3’ of nasty-sounding nail varnish chemicals can, amongst other concerns, cause severe allergic reactions. The brush is more of an Essie than an OPI, i.e. smaller, thinner and much easier to use (for me, at least). In fact, I’d say it’s my favourite brush so far. Thin enough to get into the nooks and crannies, fat enough to cover the nail nicely, whilst the way the brush fans out ensures pretty perfect coverage with minimal mess.

But onto the colour. It was PERFECT. Though I was dubious about the colour in the bottle, it looked exactly as I’d imagined in the flesh (or should that be on the talon?!). It was a light, bright, eye-catching yellow with just the right amount of fluorescent to it, boasting flashes of lime green undertones. Unlike so many of the yellows I had seen, it was neither sunny, buttercup-y nor highlighter pen-y, but instead the perfect shade of lemon-lime I’d been hoping for. Zesty, edgy and super cool. Even the much-feared gold glitter turned out to be nice – a subtle shimmer that enhanced the colour, made it less flat-looking and was only noticeable if you really got up close and personal with it. And it wasn’t a total pain to clean off. Pixie would be proud.

However, the consistency was thin and streaky, with at least three coats needed for even opaque coverage. If you’re a perfectionist, you might even need four. Although initially impressed with how quickly it dried, a word of warning – even when it’s totally dry to the touch, it’s still alarming susceptible to smudges, knocks, scratches and dents, so be delicate! But the best thing is, once it’s there, Bekka doesn’t budge. It remained chip-free even when I eventually removed it, seven days later.

It’s an unusual colour that just exudes cool. When it looks good with something – which it does surprisingly often – it doesn’t just look good, it looks great. Expectedly, it looks awesome with black but also with other dark shades, like navy, aubergine and grey. More suited to nights out than high tea and distressed tees than prom dresses, I think it’s a brilliant alternative for people who don’t want girlie shades but are bored of always going for dark colours.

Of course, when I later re-watched Pixie Lott’s video, I wasn’t sure her nails looked anything like mine after all. But you know what? I think I like mine better anyway.

Looks good with: dark colours, vintage look t-shirts, nights out, dancing shoes
Drying time: 3 mins (but be delicate!)
Coats required: 3-4
Chips: +7 days

Zoya Bekka nail polish, Summer 2008 Chit Chat collection, $80, Cher2