snap CRACKLE pop

Sunday, 24 October 2010

As soon as I heard about the new Barry M Instant Nail Effects Nail Paint, I knew I had to get hold of a bottle. In fact, I was so desperate to get my mitts on it, that when I went to Boots to buy it and there wasn't any left on the shelf, I actually opened the little storage draw underneath the display and nabbed the last bottle that was in there (I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to do that). It's basically a magic very clever black nail varnish that cracks and splits when you apply it over another colour, creating a cool, textured effect on your nails. If you want to get a better idea of how it works, there's a video tutorial on the Barry M site that explains how to use it.

It's slightly more tricky to apply than normal polish, as you're not supposed to overlap each stroke; usually, when I apply nail varnish (and I think most people use the same method), I do a stroke down the middle of the nail and then one on either side and they'll usually overlap a bit, because of the size of the brush. However, with this product, if you apply a really thick layer of it, you get less of a cracking effect, so you really need to try not to overlap too much (you can get away with a little bit), as the 'pattern' will look rubbish. Like I said, it is quite tricky; I find it easier to take each stroke slowly. If you're really finding it difficult though, you can also get away with just sort of putting random blobs of it on your nails, rather than trying to do a full layer all over; it splits anyway, so it doesn't matter if it looks a bit messy at first - the overall effect will be the same.
Once it dries, it's completely matte, which looks a bit weird if your base colour is glossy, but you can easily rectify this by either using a glossy topcoat over everything (which is what I've done) or by using a matte base colour (or a matte topcoat). I think either way looks cool.

Base Color - Models Own Coral Reef, Topcoat - Nails Inc Kensington Caviar.

There's only one problem I have with this, but I'm not sure it's something that can really be resolved. I've got absolutely no idea about the science behind this sort of thing, so I don't really understand how the formulation works, but I'm guessing that the reason why it splits and cracks is to do with the fact that it dries REALLY quickly. In fact, as soon as you take the brush out of the bottle, the polish on it starts to dry, which results in the brush becoming a bit lumpy and gloopy, making it even more difficult to apply it to your nails. I'd suggest washing it each time you use it, but to be honest, it's only going to happen again once you take the brush out of the bottle, so there's not much point.

See? Glooptastic...

Despite the tricky application process though, I'm liking this product; I wasn't sure of the effect at first but I've had it on for a couple of days and it's grown on me. I like that it's completely random each time and that it looks a bit grungey. It'd be cool if there was more colours; currently it's only available in black, but I'd love to see a white or nude version. As with all Barry M products, it's super cheap, at only £3.95, and the fact that you can use it over any base colour means that the possibilities are endless for different colour combos. Win!


  1. This is the third post I've seen tonight about it! Think it's a sign... I shall have to buy some.

  2. I'm actually obsessed with this stuff.. I totally need to get some!

  3. Great review! you've inspired me to buy it :D thanks xx

  4. ooohhh they look fierce
    great colour choice !

  5. Thanks for your comment on my blog lovely :) It's good to know other people are going through similar things - especially those close to my age and in my city! Nice to meet you.

    And WOW - I am a Barry M fan but I haven't seen this nail polish! It reminds me of the "monster crackin'" ice cream sauce they made a few years ago that turned into hard chocolate when you put it on cold ice cream! x


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