'Shatter' nail polish a hot commodity in Utah, world

Published: Friday, April 1 2011 6:33 p.m. MDT

Lindsay Reeves applies Shatter fingernail polish at Got Beauty in Salt Lake City Friday, April 1, 2011. The latest nail craze makes polish look like it's cracked.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Talk about pent up demand.

The fashion press started teasing the release of OPI's Katy Perry line of nail polish before Thanksgiving. Then came a barrage of telephone calls to Salt Lake area beauty supply stores and salons, largely from people seeking Black Shatter, a top coat that creates a cracked pattern when applied over dried nail polish.

It has flown off store shelves since hitting the Utah market in February. People are still putting their names on waiting lists, local supply stores report. When shipments come in, a precious few bottles are available for walk-in customers.

"It's a craze, for sure," said Jenni Holmstead, store manager of Got Beauty in Sugar House. "Shatter is a really cool product. It's very different than anything out there."

The product of a competitor, China Glaze's Crackle is also hard to find. Holmstead doesn't expect new shipments of that polish until May.

A random check of beauty supply websites showed supplies are limited, back ordered or out of stock.

The website purespadirect.com, for instance, says Black Shatter is on back order.  "Purchase now and get on the list!"

On eBay, one seller was asking $80.50 for a single bottle of the OPI polish. It retails for $8.50. Other sellers had priced it from $6 to $20. 

The trend — like Katy Perry's music — largely appeals to people ages 10 to 30.

But Lindsay Reeves, an aesthetician at Got Beauty, said the products line also appeal to some "moms."

A growing number request the crackle finish for pedicures and manicures, but most people buy it for home use.

"What I like about it is, they all crack differently," said Reeves.

The trend appears to have worldwide appeal, says Sandy Aholelei, manager of Trade Secret’s Gateway location. International shoppers, she has observed, snap up as many bottles as they can.

"It was kind of funny. Everyone was coming from everywhere to get it,” she said.

When the product was first introduced to the market, customers waited for the store to open on Tuesday mornings to attempt to buy it.

“Before, when we couldn’t get it in, we had a three-week waiting list,” she said.

So long as manufacturers keep up with demand, Holmstead predicts the craze will continue for a while.

“This is definitely one of the more unique things to come out in the nail industry in a long time,” Holmstead said. 

E-mail: marjorie@desnews.com

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