Review & Swatches: China Glaze Summer Neons Collection for 2012

I am moving right along onto my next fave neon craze, the China Glaze Summer Neons Collection—it’s scorching hot! Ever since I laid my eyes on someone’s handbag that was the color of a yellow highlighter a few months ago, I’ve been completely obsessed. I realize that I’ll likely outgrow it in the future, so I’m not going to waste any time by not wearing them. Ready to check out all 12 of the new nail polish shades? Let’s go!

Surfin’ for Boys, Orange You Hot?, Love’s a Beach

Splish Splash, Under the Boardwalk, Pink Plumeria

Sun-Kissed, I’m With the Lifeguard, Flirty Tankini

See more photos, swatches, and details…

Hang-Ten Toes, Beach Cruiser, Ride the Waves


(All swatches were done with two coats, unless otherwise noted.)

Surfin’ For Boys is a pearly and vibrant coral shade. What a great summer color!

Orange You Hot? is an intense orange with gold glimmer. This shade kind of reminds me of Cheetos!

Under the Boardwalk is a bright raspberry cream, but I think it’s pretty close to a jelly finish. With two coats, I can still see a little bit of visible nail line. If that bothers you, try using a thin third coat. It looks more purple in the bottle than it really is, as it turns into a berry shade on the nails.

Sun-kissed is a day-glo yellow highlighter shade which gave me a tiny problem with coverage. After two coats, I still had some balding, so I had to add a third coat. I imagine this would pop even more with a layer of white underneath!

Splish Splash is a glimmering bright blue.

Pink Plumeria is a light peachy-pink with subtle gold glimmer.

Ride the Waves is a dark ocean blue cream, but I think it looks like a jelly.

Love’s a Beach is an amazing strawberry hot pink glimmer, and for me—it couldn’t be any more perfect! My absolute fave of the bunch.

I’m With the Lifeguard was the other polish I had a little trouble with desired opacity. It’s probably user error on my part, but I needed three coats for this one too.

Hang-Ten Toes is a bubblegum pink with purple glimmer.

Flirty Tankini is a coral-pink with a little bit of glimmer.

Beach-Cruiser is a glimmering grape shade, with a little bit of fuchsia flash.

Like what you see? Leave a comment and tell us which are your must-haves!

Bottom Line…

As a whole, I love this collection for summer. It was really hard to pick favorites, but if I had to, I’d say that Love’s a Beach, Flirty Tankini, and Pink Plumeria are my overall hot picks. The day-glo shades are so fun too! Orange You Hot?, and Surfin’ for Boys are top summer pedicure picks. I know I’ve said this before, but China Glaze is one of the few brands that actually stays on my nails longer than 3 days, and still looks great. Not only that, but I’ve been very impressed with their releases so far this year.

Price & Availability…

$7 each, salons and beauty supplies nationwide

An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine our opinion of the product in this post. Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding our policies for using editorial samples.
  • Stacie

    Your nails/hands should be in commercials girl — perfect! I am liking Hang-Ten and Loves a Beach.

  • Amber

    @Stacie Thank you so much! I’m blushing.

  • beachgal

    After so long hearing of these but not having CG ship any samples to bloggers for swatches, finally I have now seen 3 bloggers swatches…I think yours by far are the more true to real shade this collection is. Love them all – no mention that you layered over white on any of them – so encouraged that despite some are true neon, they won’t need ‘underwear.’ I think CG was really silly in waiting until June to release these for sale. All the summer collections are out in May or before for some. Many would have been sporting these shades all over – esp in the warmer areas of the US (and world wide for that matter)…the stores are going to be thin on summer clothing by end of June. So this entire trend of neons really needed to be released end of April or first of May at the latest. Poor marketing decision in my opinion by CG.

  • Amber

    Hi Beachgal, I didn’t layer any white, but I truly think they would pop more if I did! I just wanted to make sure you guys can see the true color of them all. I’m so glad to hear that these were the closest you’ve seen!

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  • Swatch And Learn

    Incredible swatches! I’m in love with this entire collection, and you wear these shades so well.

    :) Gotta love neon nail polish, especially in the summertime!

  • Amber

    Thank you, Swatch and Learn!

  • Tammy

    Loooovvvvveee the colors and your swatches!!! Is the collection out yet?

  • Amber

    Thanks, Tammy! It is slated for a June release, but keep your eyes peeled now in beauty retailers. Sally Beauty sometimes puts things out early 😉

  • Skin Care Expert

    Wow! I super like the variety of colors, especially I’m with the Lifeguard and Ride the waves. Green and blue hues were always my favorite colors. Now I want to paint my nails. :)

  • Samantha

    Wow do you do your own manicures?  Your nails always look great in all of these swatch pictures!  What’s your secret?

  • Amber

    Thanks, Samantha! I am totally neurotic about my cuticles. I use a product from CND called Cuticle Away (I think it’s pro-only) but Sally has some great cuticle removers. I use an argan balm on my nails every night from a brand called Four Truffles, and during the day–I apply cuticle oil like a maniac! Really, any cuticle or body oil will do 😉