Why doesn’t my crackle polish crackle when I apply it over gels?
If you want to use crackle over gel polish or acrylic, you have to first apply regular top coat and then crackle. The reason crackle polish crackles is because it does not bond well to regular nail lacquer, and quickly crackles and dries into the signature look. There is too much adhesion with gels and acrylics, so a top coat is needed for the crackle to not adhere to it.
— Contributed by Thomas Huynh, salon owner and educator for Young Nails, and Jim McConnell, CEO of Light Elegance.