Essie Funky Limelight Swatches & Review

Essie Funky Limelight SwatchesWhen I’m feeling like crap, I hit the neon nail-polish bottle. It’s an instant pick-me-up. I’ll look down and see the retina-burning shade, and it makes me smile.

Neons can be tacky, but I really don’t care. I always have so much fun wearing them that I don’t even restrict wearing them only in the warmer months. I’ve been known to rock them even in the winter.

Essie Funky Limelight is a neon yellow that’s exactly the same as a highlighter marker. The awesome thing about this hue is that while it’s always bright, it almost seems to glow in dim light!

Note: My camera wasn’t able to accurately capture this color no matter how many photos I took of it in various lighting. It’s waaaay brighter and more shocking in person. Try wearing any true neon polish and you’ll catch my drift.

Also, check it out – I trimmed my nails super short. I like to grow my nails and then cut them really short. Not fixed on any particular length. Which length do you think looks best on me? I think neons look the best on short nails.

Essie Funky Limelight Pictures

Essie Funky Limelight Review & Swatch

Essie Funky Limelight Neon Yellow Nail Polish

Essie Funky Limelight Ingredients

Essie Funky Limelight Ingredients

Essie Funky Limelight Swatches

All swatches have:

Essie Funky Limelight Swatches


Essie Funky Limelight Swatch & Review


Essie Funky Limelight Swatches & Review


Essie Funky Limelight Nail Polish Swatch & Review

Indoors - Dim Natural Light

Essie Funky Limelight Swatch

Indoors - Dim Natural Light

Funky Limelight Essie Swatches & Review

Indoors - Dim Natural Light

Essie Funky Limelight Review & Swatches


Essie Neon Nail Polish

Indoors - Dim Natural Light


Neon yellow

Key Notes

  • Name: Essie Funky Limelight
  • Collection: Summer 2009
  • Colors Available in the Essie Summer 2009 Collection: Funky Limelight, Flirty Fuchsia, Perky Purple & Punchy Pink
  • Amount: 15 mL (0.5 fl. oz.)
  • What I Paid: $3.80 USD
  • Where to Buy: eBay & select beauty-supply stores
  • Discontinued? Yes

Essie Funky Limelight Review


Funky Limelight by Essie isn’t a sunny, cheerful yellow. It’s a yellow that screams like an obnoxious fan to get attention. Expect a lot of people staring at your nails when you wear this baby. And, of course, you’ll find yourself looking throughout the day, too.

It’s the same shade as a yellow highlighter. Funky Limelight leans on the green side of yellow, which I think is what makes it so intense.

Formula & Application

Almost all yellow nail polishes apply streaky. The companies still haven’t figured out how to perfect the formula. Maybe it’s the pigment that doesn’t play nice with some of the other chemicals.

Funky Limelight by Essie is no exception to the rule. It’s hella streaky! And you can try to add more and more layers, but the streakiness never really goes away. I used 3 coats, and you can still see streak marks. (To minimize this, you could use a layer of white polish underneath.)

The good thing is that it dries super fast. By the time I was done painting the pinkie on my second hand, the thumb on my first hand was already dry. So if you wanted to add more than 3 coats, it’s actually not bad in terms of time.

Also, the formula was runny yet goopey at the same time, which made application challenging. But for neons, it’s totally worth the extra effort.


Like most neons, Essie Funky Limelight dries to a matte finish. To really bring a neon polish to life, you need to slap on a shiny top coat. (I used Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.) This will brighten the color even more and will actually minimize the streakiness. In fact, I would even say that with this polish, you must wear a top coat or else it looks absolutely disgusting.


It doesn’t contain any Formaldehyde, Toluene, or DBP, however it does have Formaldehyde resin, which makes Essie Funky Limelight Big-3-Free.


  • Blazingly bright highlighter yellow
  • Dries super fast
  • Big-3-Free (No Formaldehyde, Toluene, or DBP)

  • Discontinued & hard to find
  • Streaky application
  • Not Big-4-Free (Contains Formaldehyde resin)

Final Verdict: 8/10

I love wearing Essie Funky Limelight because it’s such an obnoxious neon yellow that’s fun to wear. The formula is far from perfect, but I still enjoy the color and have worn it several times. This is saying a lot since my nail-polish collection includes over 200 bottles!

That being said, it’s not my favorite neon polish…but I’ll save those for future blog posts!

What do you think about yellow nail polish? Tacky, fun, or jaundiced? Will you be sporting any neon polishes?


6 thoughts on “Essie Funky Limelight Swatches & Review

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Amber!

      Yeah, and even brighter in person, believe it or not!

      Have you worn any neons this season? Which colors do you like most? I’d have to say that China Glaze Pool Party (neon pink) is my favorite so far…although China Glaze Kiwi-Cool-Ada (neon green) comes in at a close second.

      This with a hot-pink nail design would be hot – a fun, loud print. Most of the neon pinks I have aren’t pigmented enough to use with Konad, but a regular bright pink would look neat, too. 🙂

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ruthe!

      Yeah, Essie isn’t usually on my radar only because they’re more known for their nudes, pinks, reds, and sheers. So whenever they come out with neons, blues, or anything different than their typical offerings, I’m really interested!

  1. Smile!

    I got my nails done at a salon with this color, and I loved it–in bright sunlight, but not in a room with only a lightbulb. I wanted to get this color, and I went to several beauty stores (not to mention far away ones) and nobody had it. It turns out, it’s a 2009 color; discontinued. I ended up with a nice look-a-like to this color called “Did I Dye It Too Blonde?” by Spoiled (Wet ‘n Wild). It’s more yellowy than the Essie one, and less greeny, but it’s pretty close and only I can tell if I repair my manicure with Spoiled. Love the color, but hate the trouble it made me go through!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Smile!

      I agree – this beauty really looks the best in sunlight, but sometimes in dim light, it still seems to ‘glow’. 🙂


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