Neon Nails, the Safe Way

Sophia Panych, Allure magazine

A few weeks ago, nail enthusiasts were dealt a blow when the creative director of CND Colours, Jan Arnold, mentioned in an interview with More that neon-colored polish is actually not approved for use in the United States. According to the brand's chief scientific advisor, Doug Schoon, it's not because the lacquers are toxic; it's because the the Food & Drug Administration hasn't signed off on the safety of the colorants they contain-a necessary step for marketing beauty products in the U.S. that takes both time and lots of money. That means those neon polishes you've seen are most likely imported, or they're not really neon at all-just very, very bright. Either way, I am going to wait to pick up a neon polish until they've gotten the okay from the FDA.

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But that doesn't mean you can't, with a little ingenuity, get psychedelic right now. Yesterday, at the launch event for Revlon's new nail colors, I came across a dual-ended polish. One end of the bottle was filled with white lacquer, and the other with a superbright, neon-esque hue. The line is called Nail Art Neon, but the brand's PR rep assured me they're not real neons, so they're completely legal. To make the colors look electric, you first paint a layer of the white polish, then brush the colored polish directly on top. Together, they replicate the effect of a neon polish.

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Sadly, you'll have to wait until summer to get your hands on one of these Revlon double-enders. But until then you can easily layer any bright color over a coat of white polish. O.P.I. Nail Lacquer in Alpine Snow is a good choice (it's matte, which helps brighten the color even more), or pick up a bottle of Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in White Out at the drugstore.

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