Battle of the Crackle! Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat vs OPI, China Glaze

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For the past week or so, I’ve had loads of you telling me about how Sally Hansen has released their own version of Crackle polish to add on to the ever-so-popular fad, and asked my opinion on it. I recently went to ulta (to be cheesy and find my face on a NYX display) and saw that they had the crackle polishes for sale. Of the colors available, the only one that wasn’t something I already had was 06, Antiqued gold. Since OPI and China Glaze are the real front runners in the crackle competition, I’m going to hold Sally Hansen to the bars that they have set, with price, brush, color opacity, and crackle ability. Let the games begin!


SHcrackle 3

Initial Thought: The absolute first thing I thought when I opened this polish was that the smell of the polish was extremely strong! Usually nail polishes have a strong smell, but my face was about a foot away from the bottle and it smelled like i spilled a whole bottle of acetone remover. NOT a fan of that.

Price: The Sally Hansen Crackle Polish cost be $6.99, which in my opinion is quite high for a drugstore polish! I understand that they are giving in to a trendy idea, but when OPI and China Glaze are $7-8, it just throws me off to see a drugstore brand charging just as much. Though, I suppose, you are more likely to find a coupon or two for Sally Hansen (a twitter follower mentioned that CVS had $3 off coupons for the SH Crackle!)



Brush: The SH crackle brush is long and skinny, which is just about a polar opposite to a brush like OPI, which is medium length and wide, so you can get as much coverage in one swipe as possible. The SH brush covers maybe a quarter of my nail in each stroke, and my nailbed is fairly slender. this is also an issue because the brush doesnt pick up enough polish. I found myself having to swipe, dip, swipe, dip just for one nail! Layering with Crackle is considered a no-no because it diminishes the crackle, so if you don’t do it the way I said before, you end up with the polish starting strong and then becoming VERY sheer.


Color: I think it’s important for crackle polishes to be quite opaque, so that the crackle and the polish underneath it don’t mingle into an ugly color (good example- OPI Turquoise shatter. I wanted to use it on top of a neon orange, because blue and orange look great AGAINST each other, but because the turquoise is somewhat sheer, it almost left the areas the turquoise showed looking brown against the orange.) In addition to this, you want it opaque so you can do a relatively thin coat to achieve more crackle, as the thicker the coat of polish, the less crackle. This particular shade of SH Crackle definitely needs a thicker coat so that the crackle color is consistent and you can’t see the base color. In turn, this means less crackle effect.


Crackle Ability: The crackle ability on this polish is not my favorite. I like a super shattered effect, and you just cant get it from Sally Hansen crackles. You can see from the swatch, the polish cracks just a tiny bit throughout in a very thin line. That being said, that may be a selling point for some of you, if you’d rather have less crackle. I even tried to apply a thin coat to see if it would crackle more, but all I was left with was a sheer shimmery layer that looked like static on a tv, no cracks!

Shcrackle 2


Overall: Other than being more wildly available, and unless you have a coupon to make these pretty cheap, I don’t think I’d recommend them. The color range isn’t unique for crackles, and the crackle ability is okay at best. I know that the China Glaze Crackles and OPI Shatters can be difficult to find, and if that’s the case then go for the Sally Hansen’s, but if you are looking to expand your collection, wait for the China Glaze Metal Crackles coming out later this summer. Bottom Line: Buy as a last resort.


Have you tried the Sally Hansen Crackle? Thoughts?


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  1. madeline

    July 11, 2011 at 2:26 am

    omg….crackle is the best ever its so cool and awesome i have to have more of it. i only have one bottle and i still love. best sally hansen nail polish EVER <3 <3 <3

    I <3 IT

  2. emily

    July 11, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    actually i just bought a sally hansen crackle overcoat and it works fantastic! so i think its the best nail polish i ever had

    • J Miller

      July 23, 2011 at 3:31 am

      I can’t get this sally hansen crackle overcoat to crack for anything. I was so excited when I spent all that money on it yesterday at the store and it doesn’t crack at all. It just sits there thick and stinky and I paid $7 for this junk. Where can I get the other brand at? I looked all over the drug store for the crackle stuff and this is the only one that I found.

      • Rachel

        August 31, 2011 at 7:00 pm

        You can find OPI or China Glaze crackle polishes at Ulta. OPI has a really nice shatter polish and it’s only $1.50 more than Sally Hansen.

      • Carissa

        September 29, 2011 at 6:45 pm

        same happened to me. I got OPI

      • Bolormaa

        February 9, 2012 at 9:19 am

        i uusllay have to use a base and top coat for china glaze so it will last me 5-7 days without chipping

  3. Megsbeth

    July 13, 2011 at 3:12 am

    I have the red Sally Hansen crackle. i put it over silver and i think it works great. mine has way more crackle then yours does. did you use a base coat of Sally Hansen? ive noticed it works a lot better if you use the same brand together.

  4. Brittany

    July 13, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    I don’t like Sally Hansen when compared to OPI. Price wise or crackle wise. :/

  5. Mandi

    July 19, 2011 at 2:07 am

    I purchased the purple SH Crackle polish at Target for my daughter for around $7. I too, found the brush to be of poor quality and very skinny. I did not achieve the desired crackle effect on my daughter’s nails. We were very disappointed! I will be off to get real deal tomorrow!!

  6. karen

    July 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    i purchased the SH for $7 too , because i could not find the OPI nor China , i’ve got issues with the brush because my nails are long so i have to dip and swipe over and over and the effect does not seems very good :( i’m still waiting to find the OPI , but about the colors , i’ve got no complain , they look good enough :)

  7. Kate

    July 23, 2011 at 3:23 am

    It also can depend on which color you use. I used the black Sally Hansen crackle (and other than the poor brush) it worked great! It had a great thick crackle.

  8. Stephanie

    July 24, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Sally Hanson is the bomb! I used some cheapie blue I had and put Fusia crackle over it… Awesome!!! Did just the tips because they’re long. Ya, love it. Can’t wait to get more colors.

  9. Adrienneinky

    July 24, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I have the OPI Shattered in black and it is obviously a superior product. I found it at Kroger of all places. As for the Sally Hanson, I think that maybe the solid colors work better than the foils. The solids are thicker, and more similar to the OPI product. The pink crackle worked great on my daughter’s nails over a turquoise blue shade, but when I used the fractured foil over my hot pink nails, it just sat on top looking like silver glitter on my nails. When I put on another coat, it fractured just a little bit, but it was so thick that you couldn’t see the pink underneath. I just removed it because the effect was terrible. I used all Sally Hanson products together, and that didn’t help. So, I would say go for the colors if you can’t find the OPI, but leave the foils on the shelves.

  10. Mallory

    July 28, 2011 at 2:27 am

    I just got this today at walmart! I got the SH Ink Splatter shatter polish and Lightning SH Quick-Dry polish. I found the crackle worked great, so I don’t know why yours didn’t work well. I do my nails different every single day, and this was my first try on crackle. It’s so cool to watch it dry! XD The thin brush bugged me, so I just pulled out an actual PAINTBRUSH that was the width of my nail. One swipe and amazing crackles. I suggest using this method if you can! :)

    Peace to the geese,


    • cindy

      August 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      thank for tv advice Mallory ! :) I will deffienlly use it when I get my nail polish boltle . Even If this advice was’not for me I’d still use it :)

  11. cindy

    August 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I was thinking of getting a sally handsen crackle nail polish botle but now I’m not so sure. I have heras that the opi nail polish is really good and I have tried it on and it is really good. I also have tried the sally handsen nail polish and it’s also really good. But I have never tried on the china glazed nail polish and I was thinking about getting that one too. But now I’m not so sure . Please someone tell what the cost of each one is and if you think if it’s good or not. Please!! :)

  12. Stephanie

    August 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I think the solid colors work better the the shimmer/matellic ones, such as gold. I have the white SH Crackle and, despite the painfully thin brush, it looks great and crackled beautifully. I think the fact the the shimmery colors are thinner has a lot of do with it. As long as you load up the brush before you paint and don’t blot it off on the sides of the bottle before you apply, SH works just as well as any OPI I’ve seen. For me, at least.

  13. Samantha

    August 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    One of my best friends has the Sally Hansen Crackle nail polish in Fractured Foil. I put it over my hot pink fingernails and toenails and it crackled BEAUTIFULLY. It was my first time trying any crackle/shatter nail polish, and I was very satisfied. I didn’t find the skinny brush to be a problem; just don’t wipe off so much of the polish on the edge of the bottle. I will definitely be getting some of the Sally Hansen polish for myself. :)

  14. Stephanie

    August 11, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I bought the Sally Hansen crackle in vintage violet and was disappointed :( I haven’t tried any other crackle nail polishes but I was hoping for something better than what I got. I found that it was a pain to apply, it was almost clumpy and the thin brush only made it worst. The colour is nice though

  15. Megan

    August 12, 2011 at 4:06 am

    I am a hard core OPI fan. I was at Target the other day and happened to notice the Sally Hansen brand Crackle, so I bought it in black. I used some cheap shimmer gold as a base coat and then applied the black crackle, it looks awesome! I will say the brush seems thin and the polish was kinda chunky, but I think you will get the right look if you apply it correctly. I have not tried the OPI or China Glaze kind yet, but so far I am happy with the results of the SH. I have had it on over a week and it has barely chipped! Give it a try for yourself, just be careful and you should get gorgeous nails! :)

  16. Michelle

    August 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    I actually bought the Funky Fingers brand crackle nailpolish from five below ($3 each) and it’s great! The gold and silver turned out exactly like the Sally Hanson one, but the black one is very opaque and looks amazing. I would recommend trying this, I was super excited when I saw they had it since I could get three colors for the price of one of the others!

  17. Nichole

    August 14, 2011 at 1:22 am

    I am carefully typing this as I just applied the Sally Hansen Fuchsia Shock Crackle and the Fractured Foil Crackle to my nails atop of L.A. Colors Black Velvet. It went on without a problem (I didn’t find the brush to be too small). It crackled awesomely!! I am soooo happy with the result.

  18. Cynthia

    August 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Where can I get a refund for this sorry Sally Hansen Crackle Polish??? I bought all three sally hansen products and it justlooks like I’ve smeared my polish! VERY UGLY AND NOT WORTH ONE RED CENT!

  19. Jennifer

    August 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I litterally just bought Sally Hansen Crackles. I really didn’t know a lot about the different kinds. I just saw Crackles on a couple other people and loved it, but obviously they didn’t have Sally Hansen brand. I bought the 04 Fushia Shock and but it over a plain black color and it looks horrible. On some of my nails it didn’t even crackle at all. The nails it did crackle on it just looks horrible. I’m very sad that I wasted $6.99. Its way worth it to spend a little more and get a better crackle. I would NOT recommend getting the Sally Hansen brand. NOT even as a last resort. Its a waste of money.

  20. travis

    September 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    i just have to say i luv the crackle polishes…all of them..u have to kno how to use them though..also i have to say that turqoise and orange dont go togethere so thats why it looked brown..idk why ud think that would look good..and last i highly highly doubt ur face is on a nyx cosmetic add seeing as ur r on the internet blogging ur probly not busy thanx for the retarded review …it was rather useless

    • Mandy

      February 28, 2012 at 2:49 am

      Wow. Such a witty retort from someone who doesn’t understand even the basics of spelling and grammar.

  21. Carissa

    September 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    This SH nail polish sucked for me. I tried on 3 different sally hansen polishes and it didnt work on any of them. But then i tried the OPI brand and it worked like a charm. Do not use sally hansen crackle, but their other polishes are fine.

  22. delilah

    October 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    i bought a bottle of the sally hansen crackle overcoat and i was thrilled with the results! i bought the black crackle and put a layer over a bright orange color, and it looks amazing! since i was so excited to get more of the crackle overcoat i went and bought more this time i got the silver color, it looks amazing over a dark purple. my friends love it and so do i! :D

  23. Kalli

    November 6, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I purchased the SH pink Crackle yesterday and love it. My friend has silver OPI and SH and it jusst looks like shimmer. The solid colours by far look the best. I have black OPI and the first time I used it, it had thick crackle lines, and the colour was amazing. Now my crackle effect looks like nasty lines and instead of jet black colour, its almost grey! And OPI’s lid wont unscrew :( Im very dissapointed with my OPI and like my SH much more :)

  24. Alya

    November 29, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Sally Hanson Crackle made me very irritated its hard to apply and it looks cheap. Gonna go and get a refund tomorrow usually I never do it but this product made me frustrated.

  25. Denise

    December 17, 2011 at 12:37 am

    I have found that the only SH that crackles is the silver. I have white and gold and very disappointed. Going out to buy OPI tomorrow

  26. Mandy

    December 18, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Got the Sally Hansen “snow blast” the other day to use on top of some red for a candycane like winter look. I was so siked, but.. it never cracked! Did all of my toes with a relatively thick layer, and it tried it again more thin.. and nothing. literally nothing. so disappointed!! I have an OPI crackle and will deff only be buying that from now on.

  27. Anne

    January 9, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Omg my dad gave me the crackle for my 14th birthday and i LOVE IT! I have 3 shades and they all worked really well for me. Love you Sally Hansen! <3

  28. MeganThetford

    January 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I just bought the Salley Hansen black Crackle and i LOVE it! I was skeptical at first and I never paint my nails. The first time I tried it the polish didnt crackle but i tried agian and it worked. A light coat works best and no redipping, it only makes it worse. I put a white SH undercoat on and then the black crackle plus a few clear coats when it was done. Hope this helps.

  29. Angghaa

    February 9, 2012 at 1:29 am

    I LOVE how you did your hair in this video! Could you peasle do a tutorial on how to do it? Thank you!

  30. jsoqarw

    February 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

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  31. courtney

    February 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    i like the SH crackle but i just didn’t like the smell of it i was foot away and i couldn’t stand the smell of it at all.

  32. Mandy

    February 28, 2012 at 2:52 am

    I bought the SH crackle in Snow Blast. I thought the white would be really cute on hot pink. Boy, was I wrong. It barely cracked, and my nails ended up looking like I’d tried to paint over hot pink nail polish with white-out! NEVER again.

  33. Krysten

    March 24, 2012 at 12:16 am

    First off I just have to say that the price is absolutely insane, especially for a Sally Hansen nail polish. I paid close to $7 for this at my local walmart. Getting past the price, I did like the result I got from it. I purchased the Black Crackle and put over a yellow almost gold color, and it reminded me of animal print. PLEASE JUST APPLY A THIN COAT, anything to excessive will just make it look clumpy. Bottom line, I would recommend this product!

  34. Gina Carpellotti

    May 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I tried the Sally Hansen Crackle this morning, and I was wildly underwhelmed. Zero crackle effect. If I still have my receipt, this is going back. 

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