Imagine—it’s 2012 and you’re painting over your red base nail polish with black crackle polish top coat, waiting for the pigments to separate and the deconstructed finish to reveal itself. Rihanna’s Diamonds, which has just been released, plays in the background and—once your polish successfully “crackles” and dries—you throw on your wedge sneakers and meet up with your friends to post 30 unedited photos straight to Facebook.
For those born in the ’90s (or even early 2000s), bringing your mind back to the “crackle” or “shattered” nail polish trend may feel like a bizarre fever dream. The trend took off in 2012 on the internet (hello Tumblr) and fizzled—or crackled—out a couple of years later. But last week, to the shock of many, the trend showed signs of a major comeback. On TikTok, Essence Cosmetics revealed black crackle polish to be one of their upcoming new product releases.
In the now-viral video, the brand shows the polish crackling over a metallic silver shade. “Should we try out new colors underneath?” they wrote in the caption. However, many have begged for the trend to not be part of the current 2010s revival. “This cannot be happening,” wrote one creator in a video fake crying at Essence Cosmetics’ video. “Gen Z here and I used to wear that nail polish when I was like 10," another creator commented on the video. "The terror of millennial nail polishes," wrote another.
With side bangs, low-rise jeans, and bright hair streaks all coming back into the trend cycle over the past few years, the return of crackle nail polish comes as little surprise. In fact, last year someone even predicted that we were “so close to crackle nail polish coming back” in a viral Tweet. Last month, other people on the internet compared Twitter’s new logo to “crackle nail polish from 2010”. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before crackled nail polish reared its shattered head.