THIS Nail Polish Collection Contains the Boldest Neon Colors I've Ever Worn

No doubt about it, neon is fun.

Especially given the summer months ahead, nothing says swimsuit and sunnies like some bright pops of color to accompany the look. And what better way to do that than in the form of our nails, amirite?

Summer or not, I'm generally a colorful person. I live for a bright pink or a bold print—so neon and I go hand-in-hand. That's why when I read about the launch of Orly's Retrowave collection, I absolutely needed to get my hands on it (literally). A rep for the brand graciously sent over the set for review, and I'll let you read my thoughts below!

The Products

The collection comes with six vivid shades, labeled as follows:

Gotta Bounce – Denim Blue Crème

Far Out – Cornflower Blue Crème

So Fly – Neon Green Crème

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Oh Snap – Neon Yellow Crème

Psych! – Deep Burgundy Crème

Hot Pursuit – Bright Red Coral Crème


The polishes cost $9.50 individually, and $57 as a set. Each polish is Leaping Bunny Certified cruelty-free, vegan and free from harmful chemicals.


The Experience

The colors caught my eye immediately. Covering much of the beauty industry for a living, you can probably imagine I'm well-stocked with nail polishes. I really don't seek out new polishes to purchase or review (with the exception of Olive & June's at-home mani kit a few months ago). But when I came across Orly's Retrowave collection, I seriously couldn't turn away.

Not only did I love the contrast between bold dark and bold neon, but there's so much creativity to be had with such a selection. You can go anywhere from watermelon-inspired to Pride, and everything in between. Most importantly, however, these are great as standalone shades. My experience with neon in the past has been either bold and beautiful, thanks to rich formulas in gels or dips—or the need to apply layer upon layer on top of a white polish in order to make the hue shine through with regular polish.

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Such is not the case with the Retrowave shades. Not only does the paint glide on smoothly, but the shades sure are vivid. As evidenced below in my Pride aesthetic (the thumb and pointer fingers were not from this collection), and in my standalone neon yellow toes, the colors truly pack a punch with only two to three coats, depending on how you feel.



Bottom Line

I think it's pretty clear from the photos that this collection is a must for anyone who lives for a bright pop of color. I can't tell you how many color combos I've played around with since the set arrived on my doorstep.

While the polish does chip on the hands as normally as any other, it has some serious staying power on the toes. The color appeared good as new for about two and a half weeks, and then developed dark ridges on each toe, but never actually chipped. It's definitely time for a polish change, but a month later, that's only expected.

The especially cool part about Orly as a whole is its customizability features. After getting my hands on these neons, I can't wait to dive into more! With Orly Color Labs Mobile, customers can sign up for access to the Color Labs Online platform. Once on the platform, they choose a photo inspiration for its color palette or upload their favorite picture to create their own palette. They then customize the shade by adjusting the brightness and saturation, and naming their very own polish. One of ORLY's mixologists will then custom-blend the shade and ship it to the customer's door. So, all I need to do is find an exact example of a neon hue I want to recreate in liquid form, and voila!


Need more neon in your life? Look no further than THESE six easy ways to nail neon makeup!