One of this summer’s hottest selling items at the drugstore was Crackle nail polish. Crackle nail polish is made by several different companies, the two carried at the drugstore being Sally Hansen and Pure Ice. Bottles retail from $3 to $9 (usually around $3.99 for Pure Ice) and are available in many shades. Crackle is not just for summer though. Crackle offers an attractive alternative to your normal paint job and is easy to use.
What does Crackle do?
Pure Ice Crackle Nail Effects does just what it says – crackles. You first paint your nails with a non-Crackle nail polish. Once that is completely dry, then you do a coat of the Crackle nail polish on top. The Crackle will paint on solid, but will start to form cracks so that the first nail polish is visible through the cracks. If you use the right shades of nail polish together, you can have a very different but attractive look on your nails.
What I Tried & What Shades Work Best Together
I chose to try several shades of the Pure Ice version for several reasons. Most importantly, Pure Ice Crackle was cheaper than the Sally Hansen version. Also, Pure Ice offers a wider variety of shades and more attractive shades. Sally Hansen’s shades are “flat” shades of red and purple, for example. Pure Ice shades vary. Flat white and black are available, as well as shades with glitter or a sparkling look.
I have tried four different shades of Pure Ice Crackle, and I only had issues with one color. The white Crackle had a white-out look that I didn’t really care for and have not used since. I painted it over a pink nail polish.
My favorite combination is Pure Ice Crackle: Lightning Strikes (a glittery, silver shade) with Sally Hansen HD: DVD (a glittery blue/violet shade). Both shades are glittery but not so glittery they make you look like a teenager. This combination is something I would feel comfortable wearing to work.
Another combination I tried was Pure Ice Crackle: All Shooked Up (a dark violet shade) with Sinful Color: Queen of Beauty (a glittery, silver shade). The violet goes on nice, and I will definitely use it again in the future. However, the silver I used was too glittery and did not go well with this Crackle shade.
The last combination I used was Pure Ice Crackle: Strobe Light (Black) with Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear: Purple Potion. This had a neat effect. It really looked like leopard print, only in black and purple. This combination is more fitting for a night out than it is for day to day.
How to Make Crackle Work Better for You
I noticed several ways to make Crackle work better for me, and it takes a couple tries to get it to look great. My co-worker is still better at it than me. Although it’s not hard to make Crackle look good, if you know how to improve the effect, it will look better and not messy.
The first tip is to make sure your base coat dries completely before applying Crackle. The first time I applied Crackle, I was so excited to try it out that I didn’t wait completely. This only makes the Crackle effect look sloppy.
The next tip is to only apply one coat of Crackle, not two. Also, use a thin layer of Crackle. If you use too much of the Crackle, it won’t crack as well. This is very important. If you use a thick or multiple coats of Crackle, you might have bigger cracks, but a lot fewer cracks overall.
Last, I have noticed that applying a clear top coat makes the Crackle pop even more. I use a basic and cheap option (only 99 cents!): Wet N Wild Shine Clear Nail Protector.
Where Can I Buy Crackle Nail Polish?
Crackle polish can be hard to find. Most Walgreens will carry Sally Hansen and Pure Ice, but they’re hard to keep in stock. Walgreens doesn’t normally carry Pure Ice, but has the Crackle Pure Ice separate off the main wall, usually at a cosmetics table. Walgreens seemed to have more shades available than what was listed on Pure Ice’s web site, oddly. I also once saw two random bottles of Sally Hansen Crackle at Meijer once. Some people online have said they managed to find some at Wal-mart. Other than that, you might have to purchase them online.
The Pure Ice line of Crackle really works great for the most part, and I have no major complaints on its quality. I have read comments from users on Pure Ice’s Facebook page that said for some reason Pure Ice Crackle works best if used with a non-Pure Ice base coat. I’m not sure why this is, or if it’s true, but it’s worth mentioning. I didn’t have any Pure Ice nail polish before Crackle, so I couldn’t test this out to see if it was credible.
Unfortunately, the combination of nail polish chips just like other nail polish does. It seemed to chip faster to me than normal nail polish, but then again, I don’t paint my nails often usually, so this might just be me being forgetful. The good thing with Crackle is that you can paint over the chipped-off part and it will still look good because of the irregular borders that are natural with Crackle.
Overall, Crackle can really make your nails pop and is a nice break from your ordinary nail designs. I’m not even that big of a fan of painting my nails, but I have painted them a lot more lately since purchasing Crackle. It’s really fun to come up with new combinations and try them out.