The Shock of the Neon

When it comes to cosmetics, spring is always about bright color. Think pastels, dusty shades, berry reds, and so on. Neon, however, is like a comet, only returning every few years—and with much fanfare. By our estimate, the last time we saw a neon revival was back in 2007. Now, once again, we’re awash in a neon glow. And while we wouldn’t recommend a face full of fluoro, a dab here and there is a nice pop of intensity. Forget the shock of the new; this is the shock of the neon…

  • Yves Saint Laurent’s Duolumieres pressed powder ($30) is the ideal place to start. The bright yellow can be applied to the inner or outer layer of the eye. Complementing it with brilliant blue risks an unintended athletic look, but it’s worth playing around with. If you’re a true team player, grab YSL’s Dessin Du Regard eye pencil in absinthe green ($28).


  • Givenchy’s Le Prismissime Yeux in Acid Lights ($62) is a limited-edition eyeshadow palette featuring no fewer than nine neon shades. This will be the best value for your money as you’re spoilt for choice with acid colors, with no chance of a bad trip.

  • Guerlain has sumptuous shades as part of their Le Rouge Automatique lipstick range ($40). For something a bit different, opt for a vivid purple.

  • For an even brighter lip, MAC has launched a lipstick they’re calling, cutely, Morange. It gives a matte finish for less shine, and looks great with a bit of balm on top. It’s also a steal at $14.50.

  • If you want to embrace the neon beauty trend without looking like an Andy Warhol portrait, nail polish is always a safe bet. Chanel has introduced a vibrant summer shade called Mimosa ($25), for a brighter than bright yellow.

  • For something more exotic, try Dior’s Aloha ($35). It’s long-lasting and a great way to take adopt neon into your life without going completely over-the-top—even though, sometimes, that’s the idea.

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