Product Tutorials

Get to Know the Crackle Gel Nail Trend


Most nail lovers and nail techs agree that having brittle and split nails can be a nightmare. It doesn't look cute, and it can hurt so much and be a telltale sign of your nail care or nail prep habits. On the contrary, cracked or shattered nail art designs are making rounds on the internet as a trend since 2012.

This crackle-like design resembles shattered glass on the ground, looks Instagram-worthy, tempting even for you to try it out. Our crackle gel nail polish can help you achieve that shiny and - perfectly looking gel nails.

What is Crackle Gel?

If you're a lover of nail polishes, then the crackle gel nail polish should be a part of your nail collection. It's specially formulated to last up to 3 weeks, highly pigmented, and easy to apply on nails. Not to mention, the crackle effect will spice up your nail art design. You may put it over Builder Gel and Sculpture Gel too!


What you need to have crackle gel nails.


How to apply Crackle gel?

 Here are the step-by step guide on how to use crackle nail polish.

STEP 1: Prep your nails


Every nail professional knows the importance of nail prep before any nail art design. It will set the foundation and longevity of your nail design. You can read our nail prep starter guide to refresh your memory.

If you want to know more about gel aside from crackle gel, you can read our beginner's guide to gel polish. Don't forget to use a PH Bonder or the Ultimate Bond Primer to fully dehydrate your nails to ensure better adhesion to the surface of your nail! 

STEP 2: Use a base color   



Apply your chosen base color to bring out that edgy nail art design. We 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 long-lasting as gel polish, builder gel, or sculpture gel. For the base color, you can use any gel polish from our iGel Match line or the Dip and Dap Duo line

If you need help with applying Builder Gel or Sculpture Gel, we've got blogs you can read: The Ultimate Guide to Builder Gel & Sculpture Gel. If you want to achieve a certain level of opaqueness, add a few layers of base color until you're satisfied with the results.

STEP 3: Apply a Gel Base Coat


If you want to make your gel mani stay longer and look smooth, apply a thin layer of Gel Base Coat, then cure your nails. When applying the base coat, the curing time depends on the nail lamp you have. 

Thirty seconds for LED, 60-90 seconds for UV/LED, while 2 minutes for UV, depending on lamp wattage. You can check out our roundup on stylish UV/LED nail lamps we have in store.

STEP 4: Apply the LB Crackle Gel  


Here comes the fun part, to achieve the crackle effect on your nails, apply a thin layer of LB crackle gel, then let it air dry.

STEP 5: Apply Top Coat


For Crackle gels, we highly recommend stickier topcoats such as the Original Gel Top Coat and the No Cleanse Top Coat. 

Application of crackle gel according to size:

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

  • Medium Cracks
  • We recommend using the gel polish alone for regular-sized cracks, which means there's no gel base.

  • Large Cracks
  • For larger cracks, try adding a 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 a gel base. Remember to cure the gel before adding the crackle gel nail polish when using the foil transfer method.

    Note: If you want to learn more about Crackle Gel. You can watch our Crackle Gel live videos in our  iGel Beauty Facebook community.

    How to remove Crackle gel?


    Step 1:


    Use a nail cutter to remove any excess length from your nails.

    STEP 2:



    It would be best if you'll just buff the shiny top coating of your nails. Just make sure not to buff your natural nail bed!

    Step 3:



    Soak your nails in acetone to remove your gel manicure. Dip your nails into a dish of acetone for 15 to 20 minutes. Additional 5 minutes of soaking is recommended if polish is still visible after removal.

    Step 4:



    Buff your nails lightly to remove any rough edges. After that, use an e-file to shape your nails.

    Step 5:


    Use a Nourish Oil afterward to ensure your nails are moisturized.

    Foil Method:

    Another method to remove the crackle gel nail polish.

    Step 1:


     Using acetone, soak a cotton ball or pad and place it on your nails.

    Step 2:


    After that, wrap your nail with aluminum foil so that the sheet of plastic entirely covers it. Put on each finger and keep it on for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the finger.

    Step 3:


    Finally, remove the foil and carefully rub the cotton ball or pad along with the foil on your nails.

    Helpful tips on wearing Crackle gel nails:

    • Be mindful of the temperature



    If you live in a cold area and can't seem to get that crackle effect. 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!


    • Use Complementary Colors



    To 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 you 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, mint green with a candy apple red.


    Crackle gel nail polish trend is another easy nail art design you should try for yourself. If you want to know more about the best crackle gel to buy and other nail best practices, join our iGel Beauty Facebook Community!