I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant about this whole “test out a new nail polish” thing. I have many skills: I’m a fairly good cook, I can rock some liquid eyeliner and, if pressed, I’m pretty sure I can still start a fire with two sticks (thank you, girl guides!). But I have a deep dark secret that I have never shared with anyone until now: I suck at doing my nails.
I’ve hid my shame for years, getting cheap manis in sketchy nail salons, spending late nights prowling online coupon sites for mani-pedi deals and once, I even got a French manicure airbrushed on my nails before a date. They looked awful! Thick almost-two-inch strips of white nearly covered my nails. Not so classy. So I’ve decided to give this whole ‘texture coat’ thing a shot and see if I can master the DIY manicure.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve tried doing my own nails! I can handle a quick-dry polish and as long as I keep a bunch of nail-polish remover soaked Q-Tips on hand, sometimes, it doesn’t even look like I let my dog do my nails. The prospect of a nail polish with stylish cracks that might hide my poor brushwork was the most thrilling thing to happen to me since I found out about nailstrips.
My local drugstore didn’t exactly have the widest selection of colors, in fact, finding a bottle was an adventure that involved speaking with two salesgirls, a manager and a visit to the mysterious ‘back store’ where I was presented with 3 colors of Nicole by OPI’s Texture Coat: red, silver and gold. I’m a classy gal so I went for the gold; I figured it would be easier to match with a suitable undercoat.
I went home, popped a chick flick on the TV and got out my manicure materials — Tip: when doing your nails, it is important to pick a film that is interesting, but that you can follow without having to look at the screen the whole time (it is a vital element of your DIY manicure). I filed my nails, put on some cuticle oil and got down to business, applying a clear base coat. I let it dry, then applied a coat of base color to my nails.
The color I tried first was a deep navy, which I chose after reading a few articles online that suggested going with a darker color so that the cracks showed through better. I let my nails try for a while so that the crack coat would not get smudged with the undercoat, about twenty minutes. Apparently that wasn’t long enough because as I began to apply the gold crackle coat, it meshed into the base. The end results were less than stellar.
I was really set on doing this D-I-Y manicure right, so I stripped the polish off my nails and started again. This time I picked a muted green that I fell in love with after reading Ange’s Nail Trends piece. I carefully applied the polish and let it dry overnight:
The next day I applied the crackle in a thin coat and it worked! The cracks were thinner, better defined, and there was no fusing-of-the-two-colors! Here’s the finished product:
After reading a bit about it online I learnt that a thick coat = big cracks while a thin coat makes smaller ones. The most important things to keep in mind when trying a crackle nail polish, is the color combination and drying time. Your base coat needs to be totally, without a shadow of a doubt, dry for this to work. All in all I’m pretty happy with my foray into DIY manicures and I can’t wait to try another color… on my feet!