Product Tutorials

Crackle Gel 101

Looking for a fun earthshaking design? Well, this Crackle Gel will rock your world! Whether you're looking for something fun and new or just love the aesthetic appeal, the crackle gel is definitely a unique design to consider. 


What is Crackle Gel?

Crackle Gel is a special polish formulated to create beautifully random separations or cracks by shrinking and drying regions of the gel. It is designed to be placed over regular polishes such as lacquer or gel. However, you may place it over builder gel or sculpture gel! 


How to Tackle that Crackle:

1. Preparation.

Have you prepped your nails yet? No worries, we got you! Prep your nail like a pro with How to Prep your Nails Like a Pro.

2. Bring out that Bond(Optional)

Let the PH Bonder fully dehydrate your nails. This would ensure better adhesion. Why? The oil makes it slippery. The slipperier it is, the harder it is to adhere to the surface of your nail!

3. Prime Time. (Optional)

To optimally remove all the oils that disrupt adhesion, add Ultimate Bond Primer! For the best results, use this after the PH Bonder for long-lasting nails. You deserve stability in your life. Take that extra step. Take care and love yourself.  

4. All About that Base!

Show off that crackle with intrinsic shades! Apply a beautiful base color to really bring out that emboss. You may choose any colorWe highly recommend high-contrast colors like black, white, gold, silver, neon, glitter, or glow in the dark colors! You could use lacquer polish, however, it wouldn't be as sturdy or as long-lasting as gel polish, builder gel, or sculpture gel. 

If you need help with applying Builder Gel or Sculpture Gel, we've got the article just for you: Builder Gel 101: Application, Removal, and Troubleshooting & Sculpture Gel 101: Application, Removal, and Troubleshooting

Curing Time: LED (30 seconds), UV/LED (60-90 seconds), UV (2 minutes) depending on lamp wattage.

5. Like it Rich? Repeat.

Didn't get that opaqueness you wanted? No worries, build it up! However, needed if adding multiple layers. Remember, build it up! As much as we love all things thick, we cannot rush evenness! There must be a balance. We must be patient. 

6. Back to Base-ics.

Here we go again! Similar to other applications, we have to apply a thin layer of Gel Base Coat. Base it Beautifully.

Curing Time: LED (30 seconds), UV/LED (60-90 seconds), UV (2 minutes) depending on lamp wattage.

7. Crank that Crackle.

Here it is! The moment we've been waiting for. That aesthetic crack! There's no need to break our backs, this application method is simple. Apply a thin layer of crackle gel, then air dry your nails. Voila!

8. Top it off with Top Coat.

For Crackle gels, we highly recommend the stickier top coats such as the Original Gel Top Coat. However, we also included a summary of the different Top Coats below.

Pro Tip! Keep it sticky! We highly recommend using the Original Gel Top Coat instead of the Matte Top Coat and No Cleanse Top Coat.

Curing Time: LED (30 seconds), UV/LED (60-90 seconds), UV (2 minutes) depending on lamp wattage.

Crackle Size

1. Small Cracks

    • For smaller cracks, we highly recommend using thinner layers. It would cause easier separation of the crackle gel.

2. Medium Cracks

    • For regular-sized cracks, we recommend using the gel polish alone (no gel base).

3. Large Cracks

    • For larger cracks, try adding gel base to the gel polish. The gel base will help create the largest asymmetrical crackle effect possible.

      Alternatively, you may add foil transfer gel before adding the crackle gel. It would be slightly less large than when using gel base. When using the foil transfer method, remember to cure the gel before adding the crackle gel.

More Tips

  • Temperature: We like Warmth!

    • If you live in a cold area and can't seem to get that crackle we might just have the solution for you!

      You may use body heat by taking the bottle and cupping them in your hands and rubbing the rolling the bottle back and forth. Imagine it being like warming your hands on a cold winter day!
  • Contrast: Complementary Colors

    • To really make that Crackle Gel pop, try taking out your basic color wheel and try using the color on the opposite side (e.g. blue and orange). If complementary colors are too strong or remind your too much of Christmas (red and green as complementary colors), you may take a pastel shade of the other color as a base. For example, a mint green with a candy apple red.

Can't seem to crack that crackle? Tell us about it! We got you, always. For assistance, you may email us at, or join our iGel Facebook community to meet fellow nail enthusiasts! It's a positive nail environment. To check it out, kindly click on our . We can't wait to meet you! 

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