Shattering news: these hot new nail polishes are meant to crackle

From nail art pens to Minx stickers, special-effect manicures are all the rage right now. Nailistas' latest favorite? New two-color crackle polishes.

Started by one of the industry's most innovative companies, OPI, the look - which consists of a popping color shining through cracks of a mostly black top coat - has quickly prompted other brands including China Glaze, WAH Nails, and Barry M to release similar lines.

The fast rising popularity of this manicure is due to the fact that it can be easily achieved at home despite looking as if it were created by a nail artist. After the base coat has dried, a differently colored top layer made from an incompatible solvent is applied, causing uneven drying in a shatter pattern.

Here are some of the crackle lacquers that have recently been released:

OPI Glam Slam

Teaming up with tennis player and nail art enthusiast Serena Williams, the label has released the Glam Slam duo, consisting of a glowing green Simply Smashing, and a Black Shatter top coat. Both retail for $8.50. Black Shatter can be applied onto other OPI shades, too.

http://www.opi.com

Barry M Instant Nail Effects

The brand's collection consists of four colors: Black Magic, Pink Fizz, White Frost and Blue Print, selling for around $6.40 each from April.

http://www.barrym.com

China Glaze Crackle Collection

There are six colors available from this label, including Black Mesh, a grey Cracked Concrete, and a white Lightning Bolt, all priced at $6.49 each.

http://www.chinaglaze.com

Models Own/WAH Nails

Nail polish brand Models Own has once more joined forces with hip London-based salon WAH to launch the graffiti-inspired Smash-Up collection, available in yellow, blue, purple, pink, orange, turquoise, silver, white and black. Being rolled out from April 20, the polishes ($9.60 each) will be sold at UK drugstore chain Boots as well as internationally online.

http://www.modelsownit.com

How to nail the look in three easy steps:

- Apply a maximum of two coats of your contrasting base color and let them dry completely.
- Apply crackle top coat very quickly as it dries fast.
- The thinner your top layer, the more cracks you will get.

Watch a tutorial by China Glaze at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGau_QMgQaA.

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