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How does chinaglaze crackle nail polish work?

The latest trend in nail polish products are “crackle glazes” that give your nails an artsy shattered look. Both OPI and China Glaze are featuring these new glazes in their Spring collections. Today we talk about how these new polishes create this cool new look.

How does ChinaGlaze crackle polish work?

Crackling is a 3 step process. In the first step you apply a traditional base coat and let it dry completely. The second step is where the magic occurs: you apply the crackle layer over the base coat. In as little as 3 to 5 minutes the fissures form. Use a thin layer for a finely fractured pattern and a thick layer for a more chunky look. In the third step you apply a gloss coat that smooths the surface and adds shine.

What’s the magic in crackle glaze?

They’ve added a solvent (ethanol) to the polish that makes the film dry quickly and unevenly. This effect is the exact opposite of how nail polishes should normally behave – you want, slow even drying to ensure the smoothest finish. But by adding this alcohol to the formula they’ve created an imperfect film that shrinks as it dries, resulting in the cracks and crevices that show off the base coat. What should have been a formulation failure is now a new fabulous fashion trend. How clever! The chemist who thought of this should get a big raise or a Nobel prize or something!

“Regular” China Glaze Ingredient List (minus colors)

Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Propyl Acetate, Tosylamide Formaldehyde Resin, Isopropyl Alcohol, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Triphenyl Phosphate, Ethyl Tosylamide, Camphor, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Diacetone Alcohol, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Benzophenone-1, Citric Acid, Kaolin, Dimethicone

ChinaGlaze Crackle Ingredient List

ETHYL ACETATE , SD ALCOHOL – 40B, ADIPIC ACID/ NEOPENTYL GLYCOL/TRIMELLITIC ANHYDRIDE COPOLYMER, SILICA, BUTYL ACETATE, NITROCELLULOSE, ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL, STEARALKONIUM HECTORITE, STEARALKONIUM BENTONITE SUCROSE ACETATE ISOBUTYRATE, TRIMETHYL PENTANYL DIISOBUTYRATE, ETHYL TOSYLAMIDE, KAOLIN

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