Review: OPI Black Shatter nailpolish

The world knows, by now, that I’m not much of a nail polish nut. I bite my nails, and have genetically tiny nail beds to start with, so fancy nail art is out of the question, and many nail polishes don’t apply easily, due to the shortness of the nails. I’d hoped Black Shatter might be a fun way of dressing up my nails, and in some ways it is. It’s not very easy to control, though. THe product dries REALLY fast—-I usually dip the brush in the product after every few nails, but I notice a skin of dried product on the brush itself, and around the neck of the cap, that hardens WAY too fast. I have had nail polishes for years that change their consistency less than Black Shatter has in a month. I’ll probably only be able to use half the bottle before the rest is unusable half-hardened clumps.

The clumps can make it difficult to gauge how much polish is on the brush, to get the effect you want. Apply a THIN coat of polish, you get lots of thin streaks and shatters. Apply a thicker coat, and it breaks in larger areas. For small nails, you DEFINITELY want the thin coat—the large coat barely shatters at all on my pinky nails, if it is applied too thickly. It works better now that my nails are a little longer, but at their shortest, it is NOT worth using the polish, because it will barely shatter.

I find myself removing and redoing it about two-three times per nail, to get an effect I like, because of how difficult it is to control. This is obviously tedious, since you have to wait for the base coat to FULLY dry, to apply it, only to discover that it didn’t shatter in a way that matches the rest of your nails, or a clump of product on the brush meant it applied too thickly and didn’t shatter.

The effect is definitely unusual. Either you like it, or you don’t. That said, I’ve NEVER gotten compliments on my nails, except when I’m wearing the shatter. I’ve had models, random people at work all asking me to look closer at them, and if that’s black shatter on them. It’s very distinctive, and is an easy way of getting a fancier look, if you wish.

I just dislike how quickly the product ruins itself, and how difficult it is to control. The black itself seems to dull the colors underneath—I’ve only found a few colors that actually seem to show up in the teeny shatters, and some formulas of the base coat won’t work, even AFTER they dry. You apply shatter overtop, and it pulls the coat of polish with it, exactly as if it was wet. The effect is NOT flattering, because the base color is no longer visible except at the edges of the shatter.

It has taken a LOT of trial and error to feel comfortable working with Black Shatter. I’ll keep trying to make my peace with it, because I DO like the concept. It’s definitely not an “apply and go” nail technique, though, the way you would think.

Here it is, shown over Sally Henson Byte nail polish, with a glossy topcoat, and over Sinful Expressions Bleeding Heart, and Essie Matte topcoat(To show the texture of the shatter more).


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ana
    Jul 03, 2011 @ 10:01:15

    I don’t know why but I hate this trend to be honest…May be because I love pretty things and it looks wilder 🙂 Thanks for the review anyway, I love reading your reviews!


  2. dolcearia
    Jul 03, 2011 @ 10:31:37

    I go back and forth on it—I like this type of trend in regards to OTHER products—if it was a fabric print, I’d be all over it. If it was a trend in highlights or hair colors, I’d admire it, but not do it on myself.

    I like a bit of controlled asymmetry, but this was fairly difficult to handle, and with how fast it dries out, it seems like a product that was only EVER intended to be a short-term trend. I don’t really care for that….


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