I’ll never forget a few years ago when I was scrolling through Instagram, I came across a photo of a swatch wheel that was filled with these amazing neon and neon pastel colours. It was a brand I had never heard of before and immediately, I started following. Turns out, the brand was Top Shelf Lacquer and it had not yet launched and the two neon collections would be the first that would be released.
Fast forward to now, and Amy has decided to re-release a reformulated version of both those collections. These neons are similar to her first (they’ve been given different names to help prevent any confusion) however they all have an added shimmer and have been designed to be worn as regular polish or to be watermarbled. I received the Neon Lights Collection for swatch and review.
Top Shelf Lacquer – Neon Lights Collection
I’ll Be Irish In a Few Beers
I’ll be Irish In a Few Beers is a bright lime green with a subtle orange shimmer. The shimmer of this polish is completely visible when on the nail. Seeing that today is St. Patrick’s Day (a day we all pretend to be Irish), I thought it would be fitting to start with this one.
I used three thin coats (without a white base coat) to get the level of opacity that you see here. Neons can be notorious for being patchy and require a coat of white to get that neon effect, but not these. It did dry to what I would call a satin matte finish. I added a quick dry top coat to help bring out the shimmer.
I Don’t Give a Sip
I Don’t Give a Sip is red-leaning coral with turquoise shimmer. This polish freaked my camera out. Neon polishes are very difficult to capture correctly and this one is definitely in that family. In person, the colour leans more pink than the swatches are showing. It is a true coral neon, not the more orange that you are seeing in these swatches. I fiddled around with my camera’s setting, tried a DSLR, but in the end, I just couldn’t get the camera to see what my eyes saw.
The formula on this polish is great. The shimmer is more hidden than with some of the others. I used three thin coats (no white base coat) to get opacity.
Liquid Courage is a bright neon bubblegum pink with a subtle blue shimmer. It should come as no shock to anyone who reads this blog that I adore this polish. I am a pink polish lover, through and through, and this one makes my heart skip a beat. It has that really bright neon quality that I love during the summer months and I expect to see me use this polish (the whole collection, actually) for fun manis during the warmer weather.
I used two coats to get the opacity that you see in these photos. This is another polish that has a more subtle shimmer but in a marble the shimmer of this polish was so noticeable that it was almost like a shifty polish. I did not use a white base coat, which is a great thing considering you can skip that step if you want to save time (or you can add the white and blind everyone around you with this screaming neon pink 😉 ).
If Life Gives You Lemons, Add Vodka
If Life Gives You Lemons, Add Vodka is a highlighter neon yellow with a subtle red shimmer. I really like the addition of the shimmer in this polish. This is another one where the shimmer is subtle in swatches but when used in a water marble, the shimmer just screams to be seen. The camera didn’t quite capture just how neon this one really is.
I used three coats of this polish in the photos. Of the entire collection, this one was the polish that I had to work with the most to get opacity without patches. This is not an uncommon issue with any neon yellow. I waited for each coat to be almost dry before I added the next. If you have long free edges like I do, I would recommend that you use the white base coat with this polish (I could see some slight visible nail line in person).
Drink Like a Pirate, Dance Like a Mermaid
Drink Like a Pirate, Dance Like a Mermaid is a teal with a subtle copper shimmer. For those people who love bright colours but might be weary of neon polishes, this is one of a couple polishes in this collection that might still appeal to you. It is bright and cheery enough to be included in the set but it is still very wearable without having that screaming, ‘in your face’-ness that neons are known for. This is one of my favourites of the collection.
The shimmer of this polish is subtle but it is there and more visible in person than in the swatches. I used three thin coats and a shiny top coat to really show off the shimmer of this polish. I did a wear test on this polish (which is silly because Top Shelf Lacquer polishes always wear like iron for me, but if you’re new here, it might be helpful….) and I got 4 days without as much as even tip wear. Iron, I tell ya.
You Are the Gin to My Tonic
You Are the Gin to My Tonic is a traffic cone orange with a green shimmer. Traffic cone orange is the perfect descriptor for this polish. The shimmer is really noticeable in this one and the polish gave off a glow from within quality. The perfect pedicure colour to pair with a (bottled; sun is bad for you) tan this summer.
I used three thin coats to get full opacity. It dried to a satin matte finish and the top coat really helped to highlight the shimmer.
Great Minds Drink Alike
Great Minds Drink Alike is a bright purple with gold shimmer. This is another polish like the one I mentioned above; if you don’t love neons, you still might love this polish. The gold shimmer of this polish just puts it in a whole ‘nother category. As someone who doesn’t love purple polish, I have to admit that Amy makes some really outstanding purples. This is my pick for the ‘must-have’ of the collection.
I used two coats to get the opacity that you see in these photos. This polish applied like butter, smooth and creamy. Gah! Just *look* at that shimmer!
I’m On Cloud Wine
I’m On Cloud Wine is a bright cobalt blue with subtle purple shimmer. Calling all blue lovers! This is the summer polish for you! I cannot get over how saturated this colour is without leaving any stains on my nails. I wore it for 24 hours to test it to make sure (blues and I don’t usually get along) but this stunner just wiped right off with the acetone. It reminds me of Greece (most likely because of the flag’s colours) and I foresee this being used at lot by me this summer for a pedicure.
I used two coats to get opacity. This one is a little less on the neon side as well but again fits in perfectly with the collection. The shimmer is more subtle but adds so much depth to the polish. No issues with formula or application.
And now for the part that everyone wonders about with a neon collection – Do they water marble? Why, yes. Yes, they do. Beautifully.
If you wonder about a straight neon marble, some of my fellow bloggers/swatchers have done some amazing things with this collection (check the fan group that is listed below for examples). My favourite way to wear a neon marble is over a black base. With the shimmers being so evident in this collection, I was really curious about how they would show up over the black. And I was not disappointed. With the dark base coat, the shimmer in each colour really got to take centre stage. I also used the clear water marble polish called Bar Mix to add to the dramatic effect. It marbles perfectly and allows the base colour to show through the nail art. A free 15ml bottle of Bar Mix will be included if you purchase the entire collection. I love doing marbles with the clear and black or white creams over tons of nail art. Bar Mix has been a staple in my Helmer since Amy released it a couple years ago.
Another question you may be asking yourself is “Do these neons stamp?” And again, to that I say “Yes. Yes, they do.” I will preface this by saying that in my four years as a polish blogger I have not once ever been able to get stamping to work for me. I have tried a dozen kinds of stamper, plates, and polishes. Nothing has ever worked for me. Until Amy asked me to check and see if this collection stamps. I told her I would try but that I couldn’t promise anything. I was shocked….SHOCKED….by how easily I managed to 1)pick up a stamp with this polish, and 2)place it on a swatch stick. This stick is now displayed proudly on my swatching desk and I am excited to actually try stamping with this collection and my actual nails.
Neon Lights Collection will be $10 each for full size / $7.00 for 8 ml polish shots. Buy the full 8 piece collection ($80.00 for full size, $56.00 for polish shots) and receive a FREE 15 ml Bar Mix – Clear Watermarble Polish. This collection will launch tonight, March 17, 2017 at 8pm EDT. Amy will also have the reformulated set of neon pastels available tonight as well. Gah! So much to look forward to!
Do you have a favourite of this collection?