The Best Neon Nail Polish

Salon Perfect Fired Up Fuschia
Deborah Lippmann Makin' Whoopee
Formula X Hyped
Essie I'm Addicted
Color Club Jackie Oh!
Color Club Koo Koo Cachoo
Floss Gloss Pro Nail Lacquer Bikini Coral
Floss Gloss Pro Nail Lacquer Wavepool
Ricky Color Hudson Valley Getaway
Ricky Color Night at Stalkhouse
American Apparel Neon Green
American Apparel Neon Yellow
Color Club The Lime Starts Here
Floss Gloss Pro Nail Lacquer Con Limon
Salon Perfect Loopy Lime
Salon Perfect Yowza Yellow
FACE Stockholm 58
FACE Stockholm 140
FACE Stockholm 58
FACE Stockholm 116

Like neon on your nails? Actually, no, you probably don't. You see, true neon pigments are hard to come by as they are not approved for cosmetic use by the FDA. Interesting, right? So your average "neon" traffic-cone orange polish, although no less skin-tone flattering (as all ultra bright polish tends to be), is probably a pretender. This doesn’t mean you can’t find the real deal, but the pigments' “contaminant” label means it’s probably a good idea to find a way to cheat the look. So…

The Best Bright Shimmer
Adding a bit of shimmer to polish can help lift a flat finish closer into neon territory. With just a bit of luster, Salon Perfect Fired Up Fuchsia is your go-to if you’re not quite on board the glitter train. But if you’re looking for something with a more obvious glint, give Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee (awesome name) a try. And if glitter polish is like crack to you (I’m right there with you, despite the serious hate that the wannabe fairy dust gets), you need Formula X Hyped for your collection. The bold hue plus silver glitter specks is amazing.

Not Quite Neon, But Bright and Bold
But maybe you don’t want any shimmer at all; you’re only interested in adding one level of tackiness to your hands. In that case, try a bold tone that isn’t quite incandescent. Essie’s I’m Addicted is a great not-quite-turquoise option. Or if you’re looking for more traditional shades, Color Club Jackie Oh! or Koo Koo Cachoo are a great pink and orange, respectively.

If you want to go bold but don’t want to blind people in the process, try pastel neons, like Floss Gloss’ Bikini Coral or Wavepool. And if you’re still looking to go lighter, pick up Ricky Color in Hudson Valley Getaway for a light, seafoam green, or Night at Stalkhouse for a blush pink.

Best Yellows & Greens
These are the hardest colors to pull off—and for polish formulators to make. Essie herself even said yellow is very difficult to wear. They can easily make you look slightly jaundiced—but if you’re not up for a nail challenge, then neon-esque polish was probably never your thing in the first place. American Apparel’s Neon Green and Neon Yellow are great chalkier polishes that provide full and bright coverage (no dirty under-nails peaking through). If you’re looking for a real green apple nail, Color Club’s The Lime Starts Here is it. For yellow, try Floss Gloss’ Con Limon. And if you want something less citrusy and more minty, try Salon Perfect’s Loopy Lime (OK, so the name is sticking with the lime theme, but we're talking color). But for that real ugly-pretty vibe that most people won’t understand but you know is great, it’s all about Salon Perfect’s Yowza Yellow.

*Bonus* The Best Brand For Real Neon Pigments
If you’re looking for the true neons that will make your fingers look like they’re permanently under a black light (in an awesome way), Face Stockholm is for you. Hot Guava (58) and Hot Watermelon (140) are personal favorites, but Safety Vest (68) or Petunia Pink (116) are also necessary to complete your neon collection. Contaminant classifications be damned! ...Sometimes!

—Elizabeth Brockway

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • emiller1233

    I'm always ready for a nice coral, neon's are a bit harder for me to pull off. But it's summer, so risk taking time!

  • Clever Girl Reviews

    I love that DL Makin' Whoopee! Reminds me of the Newlywed game!

  • LD

    Floss Gloss con limon is the best neon ever. It doesn't even need a white base coat! I'm currently wearing OCC's Deven Green, which is also a smooth and insanely bright neon green (Pinterest photo).

  • Keely Gallagher

    A white base coat (Graffiti Nails Ice White is my favourite) and a UV reactive topcoat (eg Illamasqua Geist) will make a neon polish really pop.

  • cat butt

    Essie's "Punchy Pink" is a summer favorite of mine, it's blinding against a tan:)

  • Kelsey

    OMG. You posted SO many good ones! Sally Hansen also has some great neon oranges and reds!


  • NazNYC

    Nothing from POP beauty? Their neons are awesome

  • Rebecca

    Ginger + Liz nail lacquer have some great neons as well. My fav is called "Never A Dull Moment"!

  • thatreadinggrl1111

    Sinful Color`s "Dream On" is really nice. It`s also matte. :)

  • Larna

    I'm not sure how salon prefect fired up fuchsia made the list. It's looks great in the bottle, but as soon as it goes on, it's awful. It's clumpy and dull.

  • Mine to Five

    Great post! I quite fancy a neon-y bright polish, but do you find that despite putting on a few layers, the color still looks somewhat sheer? Particularly on the white part of the nail? I find that *really* annoying...

  • Karol

    Does anyone have problems with true polish staying on? I polish at night and the next day they're coming off and sometimes the whole thing pops off. Any suggestions? I love the color fired up fuchsia!!!


Face Stockholm
Face Stockholm Nail Polish
Salon Perfect
Salon Perfect Professional Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann
Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer
Formula X
Formula X Electrics
Essie I'm Addicted
Color Club
Color Club Nail Lacquers
Floss Gloss
Floss Gloss Nail Polish
RickyColor Nail Polish
American Apparel
American Apparel Neon Nail Polish