Crackle nail polish – How does it work?

OPI China Glaze crackle nail polish

Crackle nail polish is one of my favorite innovations in nail polish. It’s the lazy girl’s manicure saver and a minor marvel to watch. It’s caught on in the recent years and it’s available almost everywhere, in various colors.

Here are some of my favorite designs. The combinations are endless and always unique:

Crackle nail polish red and black

crackle nail polish silver and black

crackle nail polish colorful glitter

crackle nail polish rainbow and black

crackle nail polish black on ombre gradient blue

crackle nail polish red and black matte

crackle nail polish black and blue tiny cracks

How exactly does crackle nail polish work?

I did some research, and it seems like it could be the brilliant result of product testing gone wrong. In fact, it does the exact opposite of what regular nail polish does. In regular nail polish, you’d want it to dry evenly to give that smooth, glossy sheen. Ethanol, a solvent, is added to crackle nail polishes so that they dry quickly and unevenly instead. What happens is the nail polish then shrinks as it dries rapidly, creating cracks that reveal the base nail colour. Hurrah for science!

How to apply crackle nail polish:

1) Apply your nail polish as you would normally as the base coat. Make sure it dries completely.

2) Coat the crackle nail polish over it. If you want thinner fracture patterns and more cracks, use a thin coat, but go for a thicker coat if you want a more chunky look. The cracks will form in about 3 to 5 minutes, depending of the brand you use.

3) The crackle nail polish will be matte when they dry so finish with a layer of top coat to give it a shiny gloss.

Try this over a gradient mani or splatter nail design if you’re feeling adventurous. I find that I get the best effect when the base color is very different from the crackle color – the contrast makes the design ‘pop’ more. Happy experimenting!



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One Response to Crackle nail polish – How does it work?

  1. Destiny says:

    i tried using the CRACK Nail Lacquer from Nabi but it really didn’t work so i never used it until now. The color is Silver.