I ran down to the mall last week, and while shopping around for a care package, I found this on sale:
Upon first seeing this nailpolish art category in photos, I thought “this is a horrible 80s-esque fad!” It just came across as counter-intuitive. Usually a good manicure and pedicure job is classified as even, smooth, dried coats of vibrate color on your nails. However, curiosity got the better of me, and I bought a golden bottle of the crackle formula to experiment.
Methods and Materials:
1) Apply the base coat. It is recommended to use a highly contrasted color from the actual crackle nailpolish for best results. Make sure the basecoat is completely dried by the time you apply the crackle polish or else you will have a goopy mess on your brush! I used a mildly shimmery deep purple.
2) Apply the crackle layer. Thin layers of paint yield many, delicate cracks, while thicker coats will give you less number of cracks, but more significant and bold cracks. My crackle polish was a shiny, bright gold.
3) Apply clear glossy coat! Nothing makes or breaks a nailpolish job than a shiny coat of clear gloss to bring it all together.
I tried to take photos of the outcome, however they can be difficult to see 😛 Overall, I liked it a lot more than I originally did! After trying thin and thick layers, I have concluded I prefer thinner layers of crackle polish to produce more tiny cracks. It creates kind of a distressed or antiquated effect on the nails (which is a nice change of from supremely bright colors for the summer).
The Science: How does it work?
According to TheBeautyBrains, ethanol is added to the regular nail polish formula. If you ever used rubbing alcohol, you notice that it evaporates quickly when exposed to air because of its lower boiling point (due to weaker chemical bonds). Typically, you want your nail polish formula to be not too viscous and to dry slowly to create even layers of color. However, in crackle formula, the ethanol underlines the pigment polish layer, and the nail polish layerrs shrink because it dries so rapidly. This creates the crackled style look.