Test Drive: Crackle Nail Polish

We throw a polish party and pit three crackle top coats head-to-head

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Since crackle polishes have become so popular, there are many different kinds on the market. Before making a purchase, you want to know how each brand differs and which look you prefer. To help out with the decision, we gathered three of our closest friends to try out a few types of polish.

The Contenders:
Avon Mosaic Effects Top Coat, available in White and Black, $7 for two,
Barry M. Instant Nail Effects Crackle Nail Paint, available in White Frost, Black Magic, Purple Rain, Gold Glitter, Blue Print and Pink Fizz, $7 each,
Nicole by O.P.I Texture Coat, $11 each, available in Black, White, Silver, Gold, Red and Turquoise, Shoppers Drug Mart

For our test, we each tried out the polishes by applying two coats of a base colour that would contrast with the colour of the texture coat. Once those coats were fully dry, we each applied a single coat of the texture polish. After trying each of the brands, we individually filled out a brief quiz (ranking the products from 1 to 5 in several categories), along with a questionnaire.

Before we get to the results, let’s start with a couple of general questions:

After this test, would you be interested in trying a crackle polish on your own?

Polish Queen: Of course!
The Skeptic: Probably not. I’m not much of a nail polish wearer. Plus I’m usually pretty skeptical about how well these things work. (Typical!)
Wash-and-Go Gal: For the right occasion.
Miss Hard to Please: I would, but only if my nails were long so that there was a large enough surface to cover.

Would you use it on your toes, fingernails, or both?
Polish Queen: Toes. It’s too messy looking on fingernails, regardless of whether the polish crackles nicely or not.
The Skeptic: Fingernails.
Wash-and-Go Gal:
More likely fingernails, because it does not look intentional from far away.
Miss Hard to Please: I agree with Low Maintenance Chica.

Here are the results of the quiz (scores were averaged):

Fastest drying: Barry M., with a drying time of approximately one minute. The polish has a matte finish, so you’ll have to add a top coat for shine.
Best polish consistency and ease of application: O.P.I
Best overall look:
Barry M.

Which brand would you purchase to use, and which colour from that brand?
Polish Queen: O.P.I in black or silver for everyday, or white for a fun occasion.
The Skeptic: Avon in black.
Wash-and-Go Gal: Barry M. in black. It has a nice random crackle, and I like how it looks like broken earth. For a more polished look, make sure you apply a clear coat on top of the texture.
Miss Hard to Please: O.P.I in silver. I like how delicate the streaks are. They’re subtle and elegant, which is a nice way to wear crackle polish.

See more from FLARE‘s 20 Days of Nails