Thursday, 4 August 2011

Barry M Instant Nail Effects : Black Magic

Today's mani was at the request of my 7-year old son, who volunteered to choose my next colour, and picked out my bottle of Barry M's crackle polish (he likes the crackle effect and loves to watch it appear, and try to work out how it happens). There's a lot of crackle polishes out there; seems like every brand has jumped on the bandwagon in every colour thinkable, from black to pastels, brights and metallics, but Barry M was one of the first to start this craze and I still prefer their version to most of the others, mostly because its crackle pattern seems better and more reproducible than I've seen in swatches of other brands.

I thought it would look good over yesterday's gold mani, it looks pretty with the metallic gold peeking through the cracks don't you think? Here you see two coats of Aztec with one coat of Black Magic, no top coat. Application is interesting; if you put it on thinly you get a small crackle that reminds me of lizard skin, whilst thicker coats give this dry river-bed like effect with larger chunks of black and wider cracks between them.

Drying time is lightning-fast, a nice side effect of the crackle effect (it has to dry quickly to make the cracks form). Unfortunately this fast evaporation process also means it evaporates quickly in the bottle, too. I've only opened my bottle 3 or 4 times so far and yet it's starting to get claggy around the neck where I wipe the excess off the brush. This doesn't seem to affect the application, luckily - a couple of quick swipes of the standard style brush across the nail and you can watch the cracks appear!

Unfortunately, beyond the speed and thickness of application, and the fact they tend to follow the line of the brush strokes, you can't really control where the 'chunks' will appear. So sometimes you get a weird looking nail (that you probably notice more than other people, in all honesty) but despite this, it's a really fun effect that gets a lot of comments and compliments. I've used this polish with top coat before (it's usually matte) and it made it look kind of like snakeskin!