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
I'm not impressed, Barry!
Barry M Instant Nail Effects
Member Name: chrisandmark
Barry M Instant Nail Effects
Advantages: Could be such a good product!
Disadvantages: Awkward to apply (mainly due to the brush), doesn't provide the effect I was hoping for
I bought a bottle of Instant Nail Effects just before Christmas last year as both myself and my fifteen year old daughter had places to be and we fancied a change from the usual block nail colour. With four kids (five if you could Mark!) to look after I simply haven't got time to visit a nail bar, so tend to look out for products I can use in the home to create fabulous looking nails but in a fraction of the time I'd need to spend if I went out to get my nails done. Instant Nail Effects was being promoted in Superdrug at the time as THE way to get salon results at home; the idea of the product being that you paint it over your nail colour, as the colour dries it cracks so that you can see the nail polish underneath. In theory, well actually in practice too - it's just that the results are so hit and miss that I really can't be bothered with using it and could rather stick to plainly painted nails.
At the time Instant Nail Effects was available only in black and while although you can now choose from pink, blue, gold and purple. I have the black which I went for as I thought it would be more vampish than the white, but my daughter has since bought the gold and pink shades and they give much different (although not particularly better) results.
To use this product you paint your nails as usual using whatever shade of polish you want, allow it to dry completely then apply the Instant Nail Effects over the top. Sounds easy? Pffffft! The problem is that black coat must not be overlapped otherwise you'll end up with a grotty looking dark smudge on your nails - but the shape and length of the brush bristles doesn't make this easy as it's too thick to comfortably make two non-overlapping lines on your nails, but too narrow to be able to do my entire nail in just one stroke. Very annoying. This is something you will eventually get the knack for, but from Barry M I would expect them to have shaped the brush to make life a little easier.
As soon as it's applied the polish will start cracking and this is quite a mesmerising point in the proceedings - it doesn't crack evenly on each nail which is a bit of a nuisance as sometimes one nail will have lots of black remaining and the next door nail will have tiny slivers of black with a huge amount of base colour showing through. This can make my nails look mismatched and isn't the most pleasant look, I honestly can't imagine anyone other than a teenager beginning to experiment with her (or his!) nails being impressed with the finish as although you can get good results on some nails I've found it's virtually impossible to make all ten nails look as good as they would if you'd simply used polish or had them done in a bar.
I've tried the black with all sorts of colours, but the only one I really liked was a shocking Nails Inc. pink as the black was incredibly striking when teamed with such a bright colour. I had excellent results when using the Instant Nail Effects over Barry M's yellow Nail Paint, excellent results because the black cracked neatly and pretty evenly - but the actual finish of such harsh black and yellow shades was far too talon-like for me and I ended up removing it all and going for a simple red. The Instant Nail Effects is very dull once dried and this takes away from any shine from your base colour, this is easily countered with a coat of glossy clear nail varnish but you must ensure that the black is completely dry before applying this top coat as the colour can drag quite badly if still even slightly tacky.
The black colour lasts at least as long as the polish I have used as a base colour; it tends to start peeling away at the same time as the base, which is to be expected, but I've found that when using the Instant Nail Effects my colour starts to deteriorate slightly quicker than when worn without this (messy and irritating) top crackle coat. When the time comes to remove it it can be a little stubborn, perseverance is definitely the key - that and a huge amount of cotton wool balls as it kind of smears around my nail and looks appalling during the removal stage!
I've owned this particular bottle of Instant Nail Effects for eight months now and removing the top this morning I can see it's gone much thicker and gloopier than it was the last time I used it, there's nothing I can see on the label about recommended 'use by' periods but I assume this is due to the time that has elapsed between uses. Doesn't matter anyway, I won't be using it again as I just don't like the way my nails look after painting them with Instant Nail Effects - I'd expect it to last a little longer in the bottle though, especially considering the lid has been screwed on tightly when not in use.
I won't buy this again, if I desperately want the crackle effect (and I probably won't) then I'll pop to the nail bar and hand my £20 over - for me paying £3.99 for this useless stuff has been the bigger waste of money as after just a few uses (and only once have I obtained results good enough to wear out) I've realised that it's a huge gimmick and not a purchase I plan to repeat.
Summary: A complete gimmick, even my nail expert friend struggles to get good results with this naff product!