I listen to a wide variety of music. Scroll through the songs of my iPod and you’ll find everything from T.I. to Emm Gryner and The Raveonettes to The Kills. And, yes, Katy Perry’s also in the mix.
When I first heard about the OPI Katy Perry Collection, I had an internal freak out. I neeeeeeded it, but especially OPI Black Shatter, because I missed out years ago on CoverGirl’s crackle polish.
Redemption was at hand. Or so I thought. On the day of its release, it sold out everywhere. And fast!
Had it not been for my co-worker, Karen, this review wouldn’t have been possible. She performed the miracle of miracles and located a store that still carried all the colors in the Katy Perry OPI collection! (Many thanks to her for feeding my addiction!)
Is OPI Black Shatter polish worth all the hype? How easy is it to apply? There’s only one way to find out!
OPI Black Shatter Pictures
OPI Black Shatter Swatches
Unless stated otherwise, all swatches have:
- 1 coat of Nail Tek Foundation II Base Coat
- 3 coats of China Glaze Blue Sparrow
- 1 coat of OPI Black Shatter
- 1 coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
√ Deep, asphalt black
√ Creates a shattered texture
- Name: OPI Black Shatter
- Collection: OPI Katy Perry Collection 2011
- Colors in OPI Katy Perry Collection: Black Shatter, Teenage Dream, Last Friday Night, The One That Got Away & Not Like the Movies
- OPI Shatter Polishes Available: Black Shatter, Silver Shatter, Red Shatter, White Shatter, Turquoise Shatter, Blue Shatter & Navy Shatter
- Amount: 15 mL
- What I Paid: $9.95 CAD
- Where to Buy: Trade Secrets & various salons & beauty-supply stores
OPI Black Shatter Review
This truly is an asphalt black. Totally reminds me of the pavement because it dries matte and textured.
(You’ll definitely need to slick on a coat of shiny top coat to protect it from flaking off or chipping and to smooth it out so it’s not as lumpy…unless you want to keep the texture. But I think the crackle effect looks exponentially better when it’s shiny – adds definition!)
OPI Black Shatter is very thick and doesn’t apply smoothly. But that’s okay because creating the crackle effect doesn’t require perfect nail coverage as I discovered while experimenting.
It dries extremely fast, so don’t go over the same polished area more than once. I made that mistake on my middle finger, and the crackle pattern changed.
Before applying the OPI Black Shatter top coat, you must wait for your base color to dry completely. (For these swatches, I used China Glaze Blue Sparrow, which I previously reviewed.)
Work quickly with the top coat. You may think that it goes on really thick and uneven (it does), but just go with it. You don’t have to cover your entire nail perfectly like you would with regular polish. Remember, the polish is going to shrink and crackle so you see some of the base color.
Within seconds, you can see the crackling take place. It’s pretty fun to watch. And I love how each nail doesn’t have a symmetrical crackle design – every manicure you do with this will be utterly unique!
Depending on the direction you apply Black Shatter by OPI, you can achieve different effects:
- Vertical Crackle (as shown in my swatches): Apply from cuticle to tip
- Horizontal Crackle: Apply left to right
- Slanted Crackle: Apply in a zig-zag
- Random Crackle: Dot it in sections instead of swiping
You can also vary the size of your crackling:
- Wide Crackle: Apply a thick layer (good if you want to see less of your base color)
- Narrow Crackle: Apply a thin layer (good if you want to see more of your base color)
Base Color Suggestions
I used a vibrant blue jelly polish with blue glitter so it would contrast against OPI Black Shatter. While I do like how it turned out, in dim light, you can’t see the design as well.
So if you’re looking for a bam-in-your-face contrast, I suggest using a neon, pastel, or holo polish underneath. And if, like me, you dig the contrast between glitter and non-glitter, go for it! There are so many fun combinations. Can’t wait to try it out more. And when I do, I’ll keep adding swatches to this post.
Top Coat Suggestions
I used 2 coats of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat to try to smooth out the texture. As you can see from my swatches, it’s still a bit bumpy. My base color (China Glaze Blue Sparrow) dries matte and gritty, and OPI Black Shatter dries matte and lumpy.
Both of these polishes soak up top coat like it’s thirsty for more. I’ve read on other blogs that the best thing to do is to use a regular clear top coat and then a fast-drying one over that. Plus some people have polish-shrinkage problems if they use more than 1 coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. (I never do, but this is something that varies from person to person.)
Thought that the handle had the crackle graphic painted on, but when I saw it in person, it’s actually just a sheath over the regular OPI handle. I was a little disappointed, but that’s a minor complaint.
Final Verdict: 9/10
While the formula is harder to work with than I’m used to, it isn’t impossible. But to achieve this cool crackled effect in seconds makes the extra effort worth it.
Highly recommend you try OPI Black Shatter if you want to bring an edgy look to your nails and if you want to sport a unique manicure.
What do you think about the crackle nail-polish trend? Love it or shove it?
And have you tried any of China Glazes Crackle Collection that features crackle polishes in colors other than black? (I ordered it, so it should get here any day!)
Check out my other swatches of the OPI Katy Perry Collection:
Check out other crackle polishes I’ve swatched & reviewed: