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How To...apply Crackle Glaze varnish

Crackle Glaze tutorial

Crackle glaze nail varnishes are a really fun and easy way to create nail art - and you don't need to be an artist.  In fact, you don't even have to be good at applying nail varnish!  This is because it's a nail varnish that is specially formulated to crack as it dries - a bit like a glaze on china.

I've written this tutorial to encourage anyone who hasn't used this simple technique before to give it a go - and if you know and love Crackle effect polishes, it might just help you perfect your technique and experiment with new ways of applying it!

Step 1 - first prepare your nails as per your normal manicure routine, choosing a base coat that will show through the 'cracks' in your Crackle.  You can use any good quality nail varnish to get the look you want - think about how the colour will contrast or complement the crackle colour that you're going to apply over it. Here are some colour combination ideas:Product image

  • Zebra nails: use a white base coat and paint over black Crackle glaze
  • Dalmation: again, use a white base coat but dapple the black Crackle glaze polish rather than painting a full layer.
  • Leopard print: use a golden or light brown base coat and dapple with black Crackle glaze
  • Giraffe: use a light brown or golden base and apply a good coat of brown Crackle glaze
  • Pop art: use a shocking pink nail varnish as a base coat and paint over in Electric Blue

Step 2 - once your base coat is touch dry, paint over the Crackle polish of your choice.  As you paint it on, it will look matt and unappealing - yuk! - but don't panic! The magic cracking effect takes place in seconds as the polish dries...and as it dries quickly, you won't have to wait too long.

The crackle effect you end up with will depend on how apply the Crackle polish.  For instance, paint on a good thick layer of Crackle polish for an all-over crackle effect - just as if you were applying normal nail varnish.  Altneratively, paint a mean, thin layer if you want it to break up into spots for a leopard or dalmation effect.

Experiment with the direction you brush the glaze in as this will affect the direction of the cracks.  Instead of painting from base to tip, try painting across the nail or even painting it on in a swirl!

Step 3 - Top coat. It is essential to topcoat any Crackle nail varnish. All crackle glaze polishes are matt so you need to top coat them to add shine as well as to protect and prevent flaking.  As you can use any good quality topcoat, just use your usual favourite to get the look and finsh you want.

Step 4 - sit back and admire your amazing nails!

by Julia Brooksbank * copyright Nailtopia Ltd *


Further Resources: 

How to Do Crackle Nails

China Glaze Crackle polishes