Cracked out: Test-driving Etude House Crack Nail Color

Crackle nail polish intrigues me. When I first saw swatches of OPI’s Black Shatter on other blogs, I thought, WTF, that looks so messy! It reminded me of those grungy wallpapers and Livejournal icons Mumu and I used to make out of J-rock pictures and magazine scans. But as I saw more pictures of crackle polish and the combinations people come up with, I got interested.

Last week’s trip to SM Southmall ended with my going on a mini-shopping spree at Etude House and buying more bottles of nail polish than I can reasonably finish before they start going bad. Sigh. I already posted my pictures of my new Aloha Cocktail Syrup Nails kits. That haul also includes this:

When I was mulling over whether to buy Crack Nail Color, I thought about the pastels in my growing collection. I love pastels, especially pink, but some of the shades I own just don’t complement my skin tone. When I wear them, they look murky. Also, some pastels are just too tame and boring, and I end up wanting to take them off almost immediately after I brush on topcoat. I thought a layer of bright blue crack polish would make my pastels more wearable.

I played with it and took pictures last week but didn’t have time to blog about it right away because my Rescue Beauty Lounge and NYX orders came in the mail on Monday and I got too excited to write anything coherent.

For my first crack at crackle polish, I chose a bright pink, a shimmery mint, a peachy pink and a muted lavender.

LUCIDarling Fantastic Nails 05 and 03

I wore LUCIDarling Fantastic Nails 05 (a mint green with fine silver glitter) and 03 (a peachy pink with fine gold glitter) on my left fingernails. I don’t think I’ll ever stop getting a kick out of Etude House’s product names. Some of them make no sense at all, and that makes them secretly awesome.

I only wish product quality was just as awesome. LUCIDarling’s’ formula is anything but. The consistency is thin but frothy, like beaten egg whites. I think the formula and the glitter just don’t go together. It’s uneven and streaky. I painted three coats to even out the polish but I just got a goopy mess. I wish I hadn’t bought them but I have them now. One reason I chose to wear LUCIDarling under Crack is that the crackle coat hid the streaks.

Looks much better, no? Weird, but better. I applied thin coats of Blue Crack and the individual cracks came out fine. Like fingerprints. I think I applied a second coat on my middle fingernail. That’s why the cracks are bigger.

Petit Darling Nails PK010 and Petit Darling High Beam PP901

These went on my right fingernails. You’ve seen PK010 before. It’s bright, it’s happy, and it’s possibly my favorite shade of pink. I paired it with PP901, a muted lavender. I like Petit Darling’s formula. It goes on smoothly and doesn’t produce bubbles when it dries, even if my coats are thick. It isn’t long-lasting, though. The polish cracks and peels off the sides of my nails after a day. I remedy this by wearing an adhesive basecoat, like Orly’s Bonder.

I think I like these better under Blue Crack than the warmer shades. I applied thicker coats of Crack here.

The Crack polish dries in a matter of seconds. When you paint it on your nail, it sort of shrinks as it cracks, exposing a generous area of base color. Unfortunately, the polish dries on the brush and the mouth of the bottle just as quickly. After painting the nails of one hand, I had to tissue off blue goop from the mouth of the bottle, cap it shut and give it a good shake. I have a feeling it’ll thicken up in the bottle before I get a chance to finish it.

I wore these for about half a day before changing my manicure to something more tame for work (I did these on a Sunday), and I couldn’t stop staring at my nails and going all, “Ooooh! Shiny!” It’s interesting. I don’t know if I like it but I don’t hate it. It looks strange, but not in a bad way.

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