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Adding a few neon nail polish colors to your collection can be an easy way to celebrate the arrival of summer! Vibrant, electric shades are not for everyone, but if you want to break away from the gloom of winter, bright nails can help.
Whether you like to use neon nail polish only on your toes, or you like to play with a bunch of shades for creative nail art, we want to make it easy with the best neon nail polish colors online! We also added a few tips to help you choose neon colors that’ll flatter your skin tone, along with some application tips.
Neon Nail Polish Guide: Contents
- 13 Best Neon Nail Polishes to Buy
- Best Nail Polish Color for Your Skin Tone
- Tips for Pulling off Neon Nail Colors
13 Best Neon Nail Polishes to Buy
From neon green to red coral, we selected the most vibrant, bright, and fun neon nail polish colors you should try this summer!
1. Orly Nail Lacquer in Glowstick
When we think of neon nail polishes, this is the shade that probably comes to mind first. It’s a highlighter yellow with a bit of a greenish shift that gives electric vibes. The loud color has made it a cult-favorite with fans of neon, but the formula also helps. It can take a few coats to get full opacity, but it dries quickly and has a very easy-to-handle, medium-sized brush. Order it from Amazon!
2. OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Nail Polish in All Your Dreams in Vending Machines
You cannot go wrong with an OPI neon nail polish (or any other color for that matter). This stunning shade is an electric pink with some purple leanings. It has a bit of iridescent shimmer that gives a metallic effect, so you can feel even more glam. It goes opaque easily, and as with other OPI polishes, it tends to last without chips for a few days and up to a week if you’re careful. Get it at Ulta or Amazon!
3. China Glaze Nail Lacquer with Hardeners in Celtic Sun
If you’d like a neon nail polish that’s gentle on your nails, this is a great choice. This vegan, 7-free formula contains nail hardeners to give your nails a boost. The color itself is a vibrant yellow-green with a quick-drying, demi-matte finish. The formula is a little sheer, so make sure to use it with a white polish. It’s available at Ulta and Amazon.
4. Nailtopia Plant Based, Bio-Sourced, Chip Free Nail Lacquer in Sol Glow
This nail polish range is long-wearing but healthy, meant to protect and reinforce the nails with different plant extracts. This stunning shade is a true neon yellow without those highlighter green undertones. It goes on opaque quickly, and the formula takes ages to chip or show signs of wear. The packaging is super cute, although the brush is a little on the small side. You can buy it from Ulta.
5. Orly Nail Lacquer in Neon Heat
This gorgeous fuchsia is the kind of neon nail polish color that’ll make you feel vibrantly feminine. It’s awesome for summer, with a creamy finish that’s timeless, cool, and flattering, though you can add a top coat for extra shine. It is wonderful to apply because it doesn’t streak and becomes opaque in just two coats. Shop for it on Amazon!
6. Le Mini Macaron 1-Step Gel Polish in Grape
If you have an LED lamp at home, this gel polish is a dream to use. Just like with a professional gel mani, the polish cures over the nails, so it is extremely resistant to chipping. Grape is a bright and beautiful cool purple that you can keep more muted with a couple of coats or make it more intense by adding an extra third coat. Find it at Ulta!
7. Essie Nail Polish in Play Date
This gorgeous lilac is a playful and lovely neon nail polish color. As with other Essie formulas, it’s extremely easy to use, with just two coats to full opacity and a creamy texture that glides on easily without any streaks. This is one of the most universally-flattering shades you can find, and unlike other neons, it’s just subtle enough to fit more professional environments. Grab it from Amazon!
8. Tom Ford Beauty Nail Polish in Indian Pink
If you’ve got a taste for luxury, then this is the neon nail polish to buy. It’s a warm pink that’ll get you living your Barbie doll fantasy. It has an ultra-glossy finish and incredible opacity, so you don’t need to sit there building up the coats. The luxury formula wears beautifully without chipping for a long time. Pick it up from Net-a-Porter!
9. Orly Nail Lacquer in Surfer Dude
Almost everyone needs at least one neon orange nail polish in their arsenal for summer, for vacations, or just for days when you want an easy source of joy. This color pops even without a base coat, and despite being neon, it also has a certain richness that’s incredibly flattering on most skin tones. Purchase it online from Amazon!
10. China Glaze Nail Polish in I’m With The Lifeguard
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try a neon green nail polish? This limey shade has a touch of shimmer to it, so it doesn’t feel too radioactive. It covers the nail easily without any sheer spots, though the formula can be a little thick and slow to dry. It’s worth the fuss, though, since it lasts for so long. It’s sold on Amazon.
11. Essie Nail Polish in Geranium
This is one of Essie’s most popular nail polish colors, and with a good reason. It’s a stunning shade that exists somewhere between coral and red, so it is very bright but also rich and sexy. It’s very shiny, so it’s stunning for summer, though it can be a little sheer, so you might need three coats to get your nails totally covered. You can get it on Amazon.
12. China Glaze Nail Lacquer with Hardeners in Orange Knockout
This is a slightly richer neon orange that’s flawless for hot summer nights. It’s warm and vibrant, but in certain lights, it seems deeper like the orange of a sunset. The demi-matte formula is versatile, though we like it best with a glossy top coat. The color is opaque but can be a little streaky if not carefully applied. Order it from Ulta or Amazon!
13. Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in Kundalini Hustle
This is the kind of color we’d call a neon red! The tone is neutral but the level of saturation is intense, making for a color that is vivid and eye-catching with a ton of seductive appeal. The formula is exquisite since it’s easy to apply but quick to cover and long-wearing. Lastly, this polish gets bonus points for the super chic bottle it comes in. It’s available on Dermstore.
How to Choose the Best Nail Polish Color for Your Skin Tone
Choosing a flattering nail polish color is important, but it’s even more critical with neon polish since those bright colors seriously stand out.
The great thing about neon polishes is that they stand out against any skin tone and darkness level, so no matter where you are on the spectrum, it’s going to be a good look… as long the undertone suits.
That’s why it’s critical that you actually know what your undertone is! The main categories are cool, warm, neutral, and olive.
Those with cool undertones have slightly pinkish or reddish skin. Contrary to popular belief, those with cool skin don’t have to be especially pale, though as the skin tone gets deeper, the cool undertone tends to be a little redder rather than pink.
Those with cool undertones will want to avoid neon green or yellow-green nail polishes, but they can definitely rock blues, purples, and pinks. Orange and yellow tones are not going to be the most flattering, but they won’t clash either, so you can still give them a try.
Those with warm undertones have slightly yellow skin, and veins that can appear a little green. If you have warm undertones, you may want to avoid very cool purple, cool pink, or blue nail polishes, which can make the skin seem a little sallow. On the other hand, yellows, corals, oranges, and reds will look amazing. When it comes to green, it may not flatter, but it won’t clash.
Next, we have those with neutral skin that has an equal balance of warm and cool tones and can appear very even. Those with neutral skin look fantastic in all neons since they don’t have to worry about any color clashing.
Lastly, there are those with olive skin, which appears a little greenish. It’s very easy for those with green undertones to appear sickly if they wear the wrong colors, which are especially oranges and warm reds. Yellows, blues, purples, cool pinks, greens, and even blue-based reds can look fantastic, however.
Tips for Pulling off Neon Nail Colors
Here are a few tips we have to make sure your neon nails look amazing and fit with your look!
• Make sure that neon nail polish is appropriate for your workplace. More conservative environments may not allow anything brighter than a soft pink, but in a more creative environment, even a wild neon yellow is fine. If your workplace is conservative, you can still experiment with neons on your toes as long as you wear shoes that cover the polish.
• When it comes to applying neon nail polish, our biggest tip is to also have a white nail polish on hand. You can apply the white nail polish instead of or in addition to a base coat, and it will help your neon polish stand out more and look opaquer.
• Make sure the polish is applied evenly, and clean up any mistakes with a cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover.
• Experiment with neon nail polish as an accent on just one or two nails, or use it to draw on colorful French tips.
• Once your nail polish starts chipping, touch it up or remove it immediately. Chipping on bright nails is readily noticeable and looks very sloppy.
• When it comes to putting together the rest of your look, remember that wearing neutral tones like beige, white, or black will allow your nails to stand out more.
• You can also match your nails to a color-blocked outfit, to neon accessories, or have them be a punchy addition to a monochromatic look.
Photos via Instagram