Saturday, 3 August 2013

C is for Crackle nail varnish. Alphabet challenge #3

Today I'm participating in my very first blogger link up- The Alphabet Challenge. I'm not exaggerating if I said I'm extremely excited to be  a part of this, I'm also thinking of starting my own link up so watch out for that in the future in addition to some more feature type posts! (email me here if you'd like to take part/ for more information)

Sadly I missed the first few link ups and so I'm going to start on C in week 3. 


I chose C is for Crackle nail varnish. If you're kind of late on this trend then its possibly the easiest way of getting perfect nail art, as the aim is to make it look as un-neat as possible! The nail varnish itself is a special formula that when applied over the top of a certain undercoat, crackles appear in the nail varnish, like this:

So, if you're thinking of jumping on this trend train, I've got a step by step guide to help and some top tips! 

You will need a 4 way buffer block, nail varnish remover, crackle nail varnish base coat usually in a contrasting colour, crackle nail varnish and a top coat (if you are using a shop bought set then this will all be included).

First prepare your nails by removing any old nail varnish and using a file block (one of these) to smooth any rough ridges on your nails. If your nails are already prepared, rub them over with nail varnish remover to help the nail varnish stick be removing the greasy marks. Then apply a base coat to each nail. It may be easier to do one hand first and then the other, which will help prevent smudging. 

In my case the base coat was a lovely dark violet. I applied a thin layer (and I would definitely wear this colour on its own- gorgeous!) and waited 20 minutes to make sure it had properly dried. Next I layered the crackle nail polish, this colour was sort of a creamy bright pink. Make sure you shake the bottles well to get the same shade on your nails. Apply the crackle in long and even strokes down your nail. A thinner coat creates lots of faint little cracks while a thicker layer creates thick, dramatic ones. In this picture I've done 2 nails with a thick coat and 2 nails with a thin layer for comparison. 

In this case I think the thin layer looks best, here's a picture immediately after I applied the crackle polish and as you can see, some little cracks are starting to form. I was not neat at all while doing this as I wanted to cover my whole nail and not leave any gaps at the sides. I also think the messy look is best but try putting cellotape around your nails if you don't want to get nail varnish onto your skin. (I secretly love peeling the excess nail varnish off my skin in warm soapy water because it makes it all squidgy).

Wait for that to dry and then finally add the top coat and show them off! Or wait till their dry, give them a nice bubble bath and peel the excess from the skin around your nails and then show them off!
See what a difference a top coat makes?
Of course you can get loads of different colours, or even try mixing and matching different colour combinations for your own effects. Here's some unique themes you could try:
  • Zebra nails: use a white base coat and paint over black crackle glaze
  • Dalmation: use a white base coat but dab the black crackle glaze nail varnish rather than painting a full layer.
  • Leopard print: use a golden or light brown base coat and dab with black crackle glaze
  • Giraffe: use a light brown or golden base and apply a heavyish coat of brown crackle glaze
  • Pop art: use a bright pink nail varnish as a base coat and paint over in electric Blue crackle glaze.
Honestly I'm not a big fan of pinks altogether and so this combination wasn't my favourite, although for £1 I thought it was worth a go and I am happy with how it turned out. Unfortunately the set I found for just £1 at Primark is now sold out/ can't be found online, but you can find a similar one here at amazon.

Do you have any other combinations you love? Have you tried crackle nail varnish and how did it go? Let me know below!

Do you want to join in the alphabet challenge? Simply send your name and blog url to Jiawun and further instructions will be given via email. Simples.

Wondering what others did for C in week 3? Check out these posts:

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