Crackle Nail Polish: OPI Black Shatter

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

As per request, I'm back with a quick post on shatter nail polishes. If you haven't already heard of them, you simply apply on top of an already painted nail and magic happens when the polish starts splitting apart. You can actually watch the polish "break" apart on your nail, so it winds up looking the way a broken windowpane would, only with the base color underneath peeking through. (If that doesn't make any sense, this picture should clarify).

I only own one shatter nail polish--OPI Black Shatter from the Katy Perry collection--but I actually think the effect is really cool. It's a great way to spice up an old manicure or at-home paint job, and because of the INSANELY fast drying time, you could probably do a quick swipe on your way out the door. (Personally, I like to use this on days when I've got chips in my polish and don't feel like repainting. It covers them up really well!)

That being said, there are a few tricks to working with shatter nail polishes. The first and likely most important is to apply only a thin layer. (In the above picture, I actually could probably have put on even less). Polishes like this do the "crackle" thing pretty much immediately, so it's very tempting to go over the nail again. However, the thinner of a coat you apply, the more the shatter polish breaks up. If you clump on too much, there is very little shattering effect, and it's just not nearly as pretty. (Here's an awkward shot of my ring finger, as proof).

Please excuse the horrible job I did--we should all know by now that I'm terrible at painting my nails, despite how often I do it.

The other thing with crackle polishes is that their uneven texture (due to the shattered finish) has a tendency to catch on things--loose threads of clothing and sometimes even my hair. To avoid this, you'll want to follow the polish up with a good top coat.

This particular OPI shatter nail polish was limited edition, but they've just recently launched a silver version called Silver Shatter in the Pirates of the Caribbean line. And as for you China Glaze lovers, they do a more varied range of color shatter polishes which you can check out here.

If any of you have tried shatter nail polishes before, what are your favorite color combinations? I saw a girl on the subway once who had the black shatter layered over a white manicure--total zebra stripes!

Sound off in the comments section! I'd love to hear from you!


  1. i saw my friend with something similar but she did it with the sally hanson collection. it was lace like. it was really nice!

  2. @anonymous (lol)

    i didnt know sally hansen did shatter polishes!

    i'll have to look into this =)

    thanks for commenting!