The world has gone crazy for neon, and I’m living for it!
I’m a child of the 80s, where Lisa Frank’s neon acid trip illustrations were the hottest thing every school shopping season, girls just wanted to have fun in day-glo fabrics, and the world had this artificial brightness that only neon can create. I adore it!
Huda Beauty recently added three new palettes to their Obsessions line of 9-pan mini palettes: the Neon Obsessions in Pink, Green, and Orange. They retail for $29, $2 more than the previous Obsessions palettes but these come in sturdy plastic palettes with a click closure instead of the magnetized cardboard of the previous palettes. There are 9 shades in each palette, with each pan containing 1.1 grams of product for a total of 9.9 grams of product. If we round that up to 10, that makes it about $2.70 per gram, pretty competitive with most of the brands carried by Sephora.
Here are the three palettes:
L to R: Neon Pink, Neon Green, Neon Orange
The three palettes all have strong neon influences, but the color stories are very different. Neon pink stays the closest to the inspiration, giving us a bunch of bright pinks and purples. Neon Green is perhaps the most perplexing: there are three greenish shades across the top and then a bunch of shimmers and one peach matte that doesn’t really seem to fit. Neon Orange is the most neon of the group, and includes shades of orange, berry, and yellow.
None of the palettes have shade names, so I’ll just go through each palette individually and present swatches of the shades over a primer (Ulta’s Matte Eye Primer) in order from the top of the palette to the bottom. The top shade is the swatches under my studio lights with no flash and the bottom is my studio lights with a flash. There is a brush swatch and a finger swatch for each shade.
Let’s start with the Neon Pink palette. For this palette, I forgot my own process and the brush swatches are on the left, with the finger swatches on the right.
The two matte shades in this row look very similar in the pan; luckily when they are applied you can see more of a difference, but they are still a little too similar for my preference. I would have preferred a deeper shade in place of the one on the right, maybe a blue-based purple. The shimmer is a bit chunky, but it wasn’t the hardest to work with from this collection. You get a nice baby pink shimmer from it.
The pink is nice and bright in the pan but it does tend to darken a bit on the skin. It’s a little more berry on the skin that true bright pink. The purple shimmer is nice and smooth and looks pretty nice. The matte purple is one of the best shades in the palette, pigmented and applied fairly evenly, which can be tough for purple shades in general!
The lavender shade is pretty but it tends to go on a bit sheer. A white base would be helpful, and that’s true of most of these shades. The shimmer pink the middle is little more purple than the one from the top row but again they aren’t different enough to really warrant both being there. The hot pink on the right is nice, but definitely has more payoff when applied with a finger.
Next let’s take a look at Neon Green. For this palette the finger swatch is on the left and the brush swatch is on the right.
The first shade is a pretty pale green – it sort of looks like the color of glow in the dark plastic! It applies fairly nicely, but it’s so pale you definitely want a white base if you want the color to have more impact. The middle shade is a bright yellow shimmer. I was hoping that it would have a bit of a green shimmer or a green undertone when applied, but it’s a pretty straightforward, sunny yellow. The last shade in this row is a swampy green matte. It’s nice, a little patchy with the finger swatch but overall a pretty good shade.
The first shade is a pretty sheer cool taupe color with just a hint of green shimmer to it. The white shade in the middle is where you get the most green flash and it applies nicely. The shade on the end is a deep brownish purple with strong green shift. These shades are fairly chunky and while you don’t get true hard pan, it does tend to chunk up in the pan a little bit.
The first two shades in this row…don’t really make sense. The first is a rose gold shimmer, pretty, but not a great match for neon green! The second shade is a matte peach, great for a transition shade on lighter skintones, I guess, but again an odd complement to the green theme. The pink on the end is pretty and when you apply it, it has a really interesting green shift making a unique combination. I appreciate all of the green shifts in this palette, but I wish they had stuck a little closer to the greens, maybe brought in some neon blues!
Finally, we have the Neon Orange palette.
The first shade in this row looks more orangey yellow, but it applies with more of a strong yellow tone. The shimmer orange in the middle is gorgeous, and has a sort of gold radiance. The matte shade on the end is sort of a neon red/coral – really pretty!
The first shade is a neon red shimmer, and it almost seems to flash a little bit of blue or purple when it applies. Sort of an undertone, not a direct blue flash, if that makes sense. The matte shade in the center is a bit chalky, but it’s a nice true light orange, sort of macaroni and cheese made neon! The final shade in this row is a matte violet purple, nicely pigmented and a bold color.
The first shade in this row is a perfect neon orange! It’s a little sheer, and would work best (like most of these) over a white base, but it is one of the best in terms of capturing the feel for neons. The middle shade is a pretty coral pink, a little sheer with a brush but pretty good overall. The yellow shimmer on the end is very similar to the one in the neon green palette, maybe just a touch lighter.
Overall, I thought that these palettes were good but not great. If you really, really want neon, then you’d want to go for the Neon Orange palette – these shades are the truest to the neon inspiration. The Neon Pink palette is great if you want a coherent color story with some neon influence, some pastels, and really dig pinks and purples. The Neon Green is a bit of a disappointment. I don’t know if they didn’t want to go too green because they thought people wouldn’t like it or because they were trying to differentiate it from the Emerald Obsessions palette, but it just hits a weird note. The shades have the least pigmentation, and the bottom two rows only fit because of some green duochrome…or not at all. it’s an odd mix and it just seems to miss the mark.
For fun, I decided to try some of the shades over a white base to show you how they looked. I also decided to use setting spray to foil some of the chunky shimmers. I forgot to photograph the neons over white without a flash, so that’s what the top photo is (over the Jeffree Star concealer in C0, White). The bottom two photos are foiled shimmers. The middle photo is studio lights without flash, bottom photo is same lighting with flash.
I think I rushed and left the concealer too wet before applying the neon mattes, but even with that mistake you can see that they are much brighter and more impactful with that white base. Any sort of white base will really help these mattes really pop! The shimmers definitely are more consistent and shimmery, almost metallic when foiled. I usually don’t swatch wet, because I want a show that works without doing any special techniques, but I wanted to really show them off!
So what do you think? Are you in Neon Love?