Crackle Shatter Polish: Barry M nail paint review

Crackle/Shatter nail art

If you haven’t already heard of the crackle/shatter nail polish trend, then you’re missing out.  Lacquer addicts stand up and take note because it’s just a matter of time before this nifty new product makes its way to a store near you.

I see a ship sailing towards me. What do YOU see?

Can you find this ship on my nail?

This trend in nail art has reemerged in a big way ( I believe Cover Girl did it first ages ago, long before I was remotely interested in makeup) and bottles of this special paint have been flying off  shelves.  People are gearing up everywhere to flash their artfully shattered nails to curious onlookers this Spring.

I took my carefully crackled nails to the streets of Toronto today and literally everyone who I interacted with stopped to comment and exclaim over  my flashy digits.

Crackle (or Shatter…it depends on the brand) polishes are a coat of nail paint you apply over a vivid base colour.   In under a minute this special top coat starts to separate and pull apart resulting in the comic book like shattered effect you see above.  It dries to a matte  finish so if you like the shiny look I’m sporting you’ll need to follow up with a good top coat.   (I used two coats of Seche Vite for this demonstration.)

Many brands are coming out with their own version of  Crackle polish.  OPI collaborated with Katy Perry and released a black  shatter polish.  China Glaze came out with a black version too plus a slew of bright colors and Barry M (UK brand) has what I’m showing you today.  As far as I’m aware Barry M’s only crackle polish colour available is black.

(left) Black Nail Effects (right) Cobalt blue

My favorite black crackle product hands down is the Barry M version.  I find it applies easier and shatters in a much more aesthetically pleasing manner.  You get more chunky square like pieces (when you apply it thickly), while I find the other brands crack in vertical strips and don’t break apart as much, letting less of the base color show through.

Here is a super short video I made demonstrating  how fast this product does its magic. (Please excuse my poor dry hands – they’ve been subjected to lots of nail polish remover today and look a little parched.)

I love how my nails look unique each time I apply this stuff.  You can never be sure what you’re going to end up with and the unpredictability is half the fun.  The end result is like having a mini modern art painting on your  nails!

I purchased my Barry M products from a UK seller on Ebay.   I believe you can also order it online from the company itself.  Those in the UK should be able to waltz into their local pharmacy/drug store and pick it up for just a few dollars.  (Lucky you.)

Helo - getting a face rub

So what do you guys think? Do you love this trend or would you rather pass?  It’s not a look for everyone.  I was turned off by it at first until I discovered a polish that shattered in a way I thought looked amazing.   I love Barry M Nail Effects!

Enjoy.

Disclaimer:  All these products were purchased with my own money.

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. Kimmy says:

    Nice! I like the combination of colors, and of course the effect, even though I have yet to try it myself.

    1. Hey Kimmy. It’s a lot of fun actually. Easiest nail art ever! OPI just announced that they’re coming out with some gorgeous bright blue crackle polishes soon, so keep your eye out for those if you’re interested. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Nice Blog with Excellent information

  3. Tipsy Reader says:

    I love it! I’m so happy it’s back. I’ve been in a good 7 year withdrawal 😛

    1. Crackle polish is back with a vengeance. It’s hard to keep on top of all the new shades. As soon as I finish a post they come out with yet another new collection. Barry M still make the best black color though.

  4. Meghan at what point are you putting the seche vite on top of the crackle? I normally do my seche vite fast dry top coat while everything is still wet but I’m worried about it stopping the cracking process. I’m using China Glaze Crackle right now and I’ve never used a crackle/shatter before. So far I’m less than thrilled with it, but I’ll try it again.

    1. Hey Sarah,

      You definitely want to let the crackle polish finish crackling before you put a topcoat on. I waited until mine was dry before I put the Seche Vite over top. I know you’re supposed to apply Seche Vite while the base polish is still wet, but it didn’t seem to matter much in my case. It turned out well. If you’d be happier putting Seche Vite over top wet polish why not let the crackle stuff dry, then paint on a thin layer of clear nail polish and then finish this off with the Seche Vite?

      EDIT: I forgot to add that I have also been disappointed by China Glaze Crackle polishes. Some of their Crackle polishes just split into a single fracture line down my nail and it looked awful. They don’t crackle very nicely at all aren’t aren’t worth the money in my opinion. OPI is a bit better, but Barry M made the best one I’ve ever tried.
      Good luck!

  5. Tribe of Mannequins Creator says:

    I love the colours! I’m wearing a bright blue by Nailstation at the moment, but this Barry M one is so striking!

    1. I know right? I loved it to. It was sold with the Shatter Polish as a set when I purchased it on e-bay. I didn’t want to buy another blue (I have SO many), but when it arrived with my Shatter Polish I fell in love with the color.

  6. Barry M definitely does a shatter polish in white, and I think also a bright pink.

    1. Yes, they have a pink white and blue out now if memory serves. 🙂

  7. joelyroely says:

    I love my Barry M black shatter. I’ve got it reviewed in one of my posts. I’ve got the silver shatter by OPI on its way and I’m excited to try it out. The cobalt blue barry M is GORGEOUS! Eeeek.

    1. Have you tried the new magnetic nail polish that they have out in stores? If you’re loving the whole crackle thing, this might take things to the next level! 🙂

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