Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Alternatives to Black Shatter

Depending on what parts of the internet you frequent, you may be aware that OPI recently came out with a crackle polish called Black Shatter, available as part of the Katy Perry collection and as one of the polishes in the first two-pack of the Serena Williams collaboration. You may also be aware that it's been selling fast, buy it now prices on eBay are jacked up (or sellers are posting low prices with excessive shipping to try and fool people), and some stores are limiting quantities or refusing to hold bottles for regular customers. It's the sort of hubbub that makes my head hurt, so after checking one Ulta and finding five or six displays with no Black Shatter, I decided I'd stop hunting. If I see Black Shatter at some point at a reasonable price, I may pick it up, but I'm not going to pine for it. It's not as if we've never seen black crackle polish before. It's not even a matter of no other brands having a black crackle on the market right now.

I recently got a black crack polish sent to me for review by Born Pretty, a nail art store based in China. I used one coat of it over two coats of Borghese Ipnotico Gold and this was the result:

Because I am impatient, I waited only a couple minutes for the Borghese to dry before I added the crack polish so it was still a little bit tacky; I think I should have waited a bit longer. I applied the crack polish thickly, so it took a while for it to dry and for the cracks to start forming, maybe 10 minutes or so, which seemed like forever when I was waiting to see if it would work. For these swatches I didn't put on any top coat, and the crack polish was plenty shiny on its own.

I am sadly monolingual (despite trying to learn Spanish, French, and Japanese at different times), so I don't know if these characters on the side of the bottle translate as "crack polish" or not.

I was curious how this polish compared to other black crackles in my possession, so I got out my BYS black crackle and Cover Girl Boo, both of which I got in swaps. BYS is an Australian brand, and Cover Girl hasn't made crackles in years (but they have been showing up at some Dollar Tree stores in the U.S. recently, though not at mine).

BYS was the quickest to crack, the Cover Girl took almost as long as the Kelier. None of these have the same sort of pattern as the photos I've seen of Black Shatter, but I'm okay with that.

Top to bottom: BYS, Kelier, Cover Girl, Kelier.

I left the un-topcoated swatches on for a while, through grocery shopping and doing several loads of laundry, and got a lesson in why one should use top coat with crackles unless one likes and ever more "antiqued" look. Here are a couple examples the day after I applied them:

Top to bottom: Kelier, Cover Girl.

When it came time to remove them, I used the same foil method as I do for glitter and had no trouble.

As of right now, the Kelier polish is available at Born Pretty for US$4.52 and shipping to the U.S. is only $3 with tracking for one polish (I haven't actually ordered from their store before but I do plan to, as there are other crack colors and nail art things that look interesting). That's less than I'd pay for the OPI at retail, if I could find it. Born Pretty has kindly offered a discount code for my readers: if you use code KARENDK31 you will get 10% off from now through March 31, 2011. Note that they are currently on holiday for Chinese New Year until February 8th, so orders placed now will not be processed immediately. I do have a few other things from them to review, so I'm going to wait to do my order.

The Kelier polish in this entry was provided to me for free for review purposes. The content of the entry was not dictated by the provider, and I get to keep the polish for my own use.


  1. I got the same polish from born pretty!

  2. owww, you found the CG polishes. i've been thinking about trying the Kelier crack too. i think its so pretty!

  3. Their crackle is different from OPI and CGs....have you noticed? It's more tight and reminds me of a giraffe print on how it breaks.

  4. I found Shatter easily which was good because I wasn't about to pay a lot for it...I think it is something I'll only wear once or twice a year. :(

  5. I'm so annoyed with the black shatter panic right now. You'd think OPI reinvented the wheel!

    Either way, I'm planning on getting the four pack of shatter polishes from Born Pretty. I'm so excited about that store!

  6. This was such a interesting post I liked it a lot! From seeing and having the OPI black shatter (which actually wasnt that hard for me to find only went to 2 different Ulta stores) so many times I though it was very interesting to see the other brands that have crackle nail polishes that I have never seen.

  7. Alas, I know your plight. I, too, have tried to track down shattered to no avail. I do have a Barry M cracked and a BYS so I'm not feeling totally out of the loop - but I know its not the same. Here's to good fortune on your (and my) continued search for OPI Shattered. :)

  8. i really love the crack polish and i really like to try the OPI crack polish coz I want to know if its stays on the nails for a week.. coz I have 3 different crack polish brand which is locally available here in Philippines for aarpoung 4$ each and many colors are available and mostly they last on my nails for 2 days with a visible chip on the tips..

  9. Lovely post! It's good to see all the different crackle effects. I only have the Barry M one. It's a really hardy crackle, I don't use topcoat with it and the polish below it tends to chip before the crackle does! :)

  10. Some great effects here, great pictures :-)

  11. I love the idea of crackle polish! Can't wait until China glaze releases their line!


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