Review of "Barry M Instant Nail Effects 323 Croc"

published 06/05/2012 | darling89
Member since : 15/01/2012
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Not for me
Pro Good idea, clear instructions
Cons Just doesn't seem to work!
very helpful
Value for Money
Chips Easily?

"Mock Croc Effect? What Croc Effect?"

Barry M Instant Nail Effects: Mock Croc Nail Polish

A year or so ago, I was very excited when Barry M brought out its 'Crackle' Nail Effects nail polish in black, as it offered an affordable version of OPI's 'Shatter' nail polish. I immediately went out and snapped it up, and absolutely loved the designs it enabled me to create on my nails - my favourite effect was to layer it over gold nail polish to give a leopard-print appearance. The only problem I had with the 'Crackle' polish was that it became clumpy and clogged within the bottle, which made applying it more and more difficult as time went on.

Nonetheless, when I heard that Barry M were bringing out a similar nail polish, this time designed to give a 'Mock Croc' effect, I eagerly went out and hunted it down. Excitedly I got home and painted my nails with it, following the instructions given on Barry M's website. And......I hate to say it, but I was very disappointed with the results. This review will explain why.

The Product

As the name suggests, this is a nail polish which is designed to crack as it dries. It is similar to its predecessor, the 'Crackle' nail polish, except the pattern it creates is supposed to be more uniform in shape, size and design, similar to that of crocodile skin. It comes in just the one colour (black) and is designed to be painted over either a coloured nail polish or a basecoat.

The nail polish comes in a rectangular pot (the same shape as that of other Barry M nail polishes), but rather than having a plain black lid (like other Barry M polishes), the lid has a mock croc design printed on it in gold, making it easy to identify in shops. There is minimal writing and decoration on the packaging; the clear bottle simply displays the colour of the nail polish and there is some text to display the company and product name and some brief instructions:

1) Apply a thin coat of your chosen nail varnish.
2) Wait 1 to 2 minutes until nails are touch dry. Do not apply to dry polish.
3) Apply a thin coat of Croc nail effects.
4) After 3 minutes the effect will start to appear.

With an RRP of £3.99 (for 10ml), this nail polish can be found in Barry M stands at selected branches of Boots and Superdrug. It can also be purchased directly from Barry M through their online shop (​asp?id=166) and is available from some other online retailers such as Amazon.

My Experiences

As I'd enjoyed using Barry M nail varnishes in the past, I was really excited to test out the Mock Croc nail polish and rushed home to paint my nails in preparation. I followed the instructions to the letter, shaking the bottle before use and applying over tacky, touch-dry paint, and sat down and waited for the crocodile pattern to start to emerge. Three minutes ticked by. Four minutes ticked by. Five minutes ticked by. And still nothing. Looking at my nails, it looked like I was just wearing solid black nail polish with a few patches where the gold nail polish I'd applied underneath could be seen ever-so-slightly, but there was no discernible pattern to be seen at all.

After leaving my nails to dry for a further half an hour, I wondered whether I had perhaps done something wrong and removed all my nail polish, logging onto the Barry M website to see if they perhaps had more detailed instructions for usage online. I managed to find a video guide to applying the polish (​/video-tutorial.asp?vid=113) but all it confirmed to me was that I had used this product exactly as it had been intended to be used. Not one to give up on a product without giving it a fair trial, I decided to give it another go, this time applying it over a coloured polish rather than a metallic one. But again....nothing.

I've since re-tested this nail polish on numerous occasions and have no luck with it. Each time I use it it just looks like I'm wearing black nail polish that has worn away a little bit on a couple of tiny areas of my nails - there is no uniform pattern or 'crackle' effect like that of this nail polish's predecessor. I've tried modifying the instructions too, applying thick coats and thin coats, or waiting for different lengths of time before painting on this nail polish, but I've had no luck whatsoever.

My Conclusions

As I hope this review has established already, I've been incredibly disappointed with this nail polish. Try as I might I simply cannot get a crocodile-print pattern to appear on my nails, no matter what nail varnish or basecoat I choose to pair it with or how I apply it. I guess I might have got a dud bottle, but to be perfectly honest I'm unwilling to spend another £3.99 testing that theory when there's a good chance that I'll just be disappointed again.

All in all, much as I love the idea of this product and I know that some people have had more positive experiences with it than myself, I simply cannot recommend this nail polish. One star out of five from me, and it would be a zero if I were able to give it a mark that low.

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Comments on this review

  • taleoftwobooks published 11/04/2014
    I always find the product works excellently - are you using the nail varnish correctly? It doesn't work as quickly as shatter nail varnish does. I think the fault is with you rather than the nail varnish - you need to apply a moderate layer with clear brushes, and once it is semi dry, leave it completely.
  • jimmychoogirl published 06/05/2012
    I find this sometimes works really well and at other times will not work at all- I have found the best way for me is to apply a very, very thin layer it over just applied nail varnish. Great review :) x
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Product Information : Barry M Instant Nail Effects 323 Croc

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Product Details

Manufacturer: Barry M


Listed on Ciao since: 13/02/2012