Product Type: Barry M makeup
Newest Review: ... nail varnishes last much longer but I think this is my standard experience with Barry M as a brand. A clear top coat does help it stay... more
Barry's cracked it!
Barry M Instant Nail Effects
Member Name: MrsD76
Barry M Instant Nail Effects
Advantages: It really does work and it creates a quite unique effect
Disadvantages: I just don't like it!
I had read so many reviews of this nail varnish - and I must admit it took me a while to work out what it even did! And once I did I was still a bit unsure about how the effect would actually look - or if I would like it - but I was intrigued and decided to give it a try.
Barry M is a well known fun fashion brand of make-up at reasonable prices. I have liked other Barry M products that I've tried (I adore their dazzle dust eyeshadows) so I was happy to spend the £3.99 this cost me in Boots. Although there are loads of Barry M nail varnishes out there, the crackle range comes in six shades, including hot pink, blue, white, and black, and I opted for the dark purple shade called Purple Rain.
These are easy to spot amongst the other Barry M nail varnishes as the lid has a crackle effect pictured on it! So they are easy to pick out in store.
So what is this supposed to do? The idea is that you paint the crackle polish OVER another dry coat of nail varnish. When the crackle top coat dries, it cracks, giving the nail a shattered effect and revealing your existing "undercoat" of nail varnish underneath!
As soon as I got home I decided to try this out over the nail varnish I was already wearing, which happened to be a mint green glossy polish (and by total coincidence is the only other Barry M nail varnish I owned at the time!). Although this looks in every way like a normal bottle of nail varnish, with the usual screwtop lid and slim brush, the first difference I noticed is when applying the varnish. Although it seems to be a pretty normal texture, it dries almost instantly after application. I found this made it very hard to apply as you can't run the brush over your nail twice or even overlap strokes as the varnish already on your fingers has dried so quickly. I also found it really difficult to apply the right amount - too thin looked dreadful and too thick didn't quite work either. You really need to get somewhere right in the middle, which is tricky. This really takes practice to get just right so I definitely recommend trying it for the first few times over your old nail varnish!
So as I mentioned, this nail varnish dries almost immediately - and to my surprise it does indeed give that cracked effect to your nails straight away! I was surprised at how quickly the polish cracks, and how it really does do exactly what it promises to do! Although application can be tricky, if you get the right amount of polish on to your nail (and before it dries!) it definitely does just what it says on the bottle. The effect it gives is a crackled effect over the whole surface of the nail so you can see the polish underneath. To me it was quite a gothic effect - and was a good one for Halloween as it looks almost cobwebby! The finish of the varnish is also very matt - it's almost a bit murky looking - so you may want to apply gloss over the top if you prefer a shinier finish.
Incidentally, the other thing I learnt was that dark purple and mint green are a dreadful colour combination...
It really works!
So now I had mastered the art of applying the varnish (just about) I decided to try it over a brand new coat of varnish. I have tried a few colours, including hot pink and silver, and the effect definitely works every time, although how it looks with the colour underneath obviously depends! There are so many different ways you can experiment with this so you can have loads of fun with different colour combinations. And every time you are guaranteed to get a unique effect on your nails, and also lots of comments I expect!
Not for me
So it really does work and it gives nails a really eye-catching effect. But .... I have to be honest and say that I just don't like it. To me the effect just looks a bit unattractive and I think at a glance it looks as though I've applied my nail varnish after a few too many glasses of wine. It just looks a bit messy and ugly on my fingers. I think this may be partly because I have quite short nails - the effect may be more striking on longer nails - and I suppose I am not a massive fan of nail art, whether simple or elaborate. So although the product really does deliver a crackle effect, and I was amazed with how well it delivered, I am not convinced I am ever going to use this much, if at all, since experimenting with different colours. It just isn't really my style of thing and overall it isn't really for me. It is possible that I would prefer a different colour as I do find the dark purple to be a bit dull and murky, but I'm not sure if I'll be forking out on another bottle.
I should also mention that lots of other brands now have their own "crackle" nail polishes so shop around if you want to experiment as some are cheaper than Barry M (and others more expensive of course!).
This is a really clever product that does exactly what it is supposed to - and it really works! Personally I don't like the effect but this is a personal preference and I still think it's a good product so I'm giving it three stars.
Thanks for reading!
Summary: A clever product but may not be for everyone