I have so many posts I really want to write, particularly about nail polish so today I thought I’d do a two for one for you and cover two of the more recent Barry M Instant Effect Crackle varnishes.Can I please apologise for the quality of the pictures as they are from a really poor quality camera.
I have a love hate relationship with crackle tops. I love the concept but very rarely like them on. Today I will show you one of my favourites that I actually love and one of the ones that didn’t hit the mark with me. So like with good new vs bad news, I’m going to go for the one I didn’t particularly like first.
The Gold Glitter Crackle from Barry M was an idea that I fell in love with. I love glitter and, as I said previously, I love the idea of crackle tops so I thought it was a match made in heaven. I was a little bit wrong. I initially tried this on a light colour naively expecting it to be delicate and almost forming pretty, whimsical shapes but it really didn’t. It was chunky and didn’t crack well so I removed and started again.
This time I applied Barry M’s Dusky Mauve (which is one of my favourites, it’s a beautiful brown with a purple shimmer and I’ll write more about it another day) and used the gold crackle with a more realistic expectation. The application was a bit… gloopy. It dried on the brush and I had to shake the bottle between each nail so I wasn’t entirely overwhelmed by the quality.
Like most crackle tops the thicker you paint the nail the chunkier the cracks. This, however, left big patches of varnish as the cracking wasn’t as effective. This isn’t an entirely unpleasant effect and with a high gloss topcoat it looks not too dissimilar from having gold leaf on your nails from afar but to be honest, I didn’t really like it. I was hoping it would be a little bit more delicate and a looser consistency but that could just be me.
I think my main problem with it is that the colour didn’t suit me and I was hoping for something a little more, I guess, elegant. The glitter is really noticeable and people did ask about it but it’s not something I would wear often.
From the slightly disappointing we come to the adored. The purple crackle is everything I was expecting. I used it over the silver foil, which I reviewed in a previous post and it worked really well. Unlike other crackles I’ve tried the purple worked how I expected it to. The cracks were chunky with great shapes and made me feel like a bit like a rock star. The formula was great and didn’t dry on the brush too quickly. The application was smooth and even. The developing time was pretty quick as was the drying.
I must admit that initially I wasn’t sure until I put a topcoat on. The matte effect isn’t entirely attractive and rubs off really quickly but with a topcoat you get a lovely sheen making the colour richer and the wear longer.
You have to be really selective when choosing which colour you use as an undercoat on both crackles. It’s really easy to dip into tacky with these but if you choose carefully and make sure it suit your skin tone you’re on to a winner.
Barry M’s crackle effects retail at £3.99 so why not give it a go. You might be surprised.