This is my first foray into the whole water marbling thing, so I will tell you right now that it’s not perfect. It was, however, fun to try and I think I will do it again. I wanted to try it because I think it looks cool and it’s something that I think will catch people’s attention and make them ask, “Hey, how’d you do that?” 🙂
- Your favorite base coat (I use Sally Hansen Hard As Nails)
- A base color of nail polish
- 2 colors of nail polish to do the marbling effect
- Your favorite top coat (Mine is SH Mega Shine)
- Shot glass or other tiny glass of room temperature water
- Cotton balls
- Cuticle oil or baby oil
- Nail polish remover
- Q-tips/ cotton swabs
How To Get This Look:
- Set up your work area. Lay many layers of newspaper out on the table and place all of your supplies on top. Pour a little of the nail polish remover into the cap of the nail polish remover bottle and set it on your newspapers as well. If you think there’s a chance that your nail polish remover bottle will get knocked over, put some remover in a little dish and re-cap your bottle. I have damaged every table I’ve ever owned except for my current one that my brother hand-made me with nail polish remover. Use me as a lesson. My family calls me the table killer.
- Paint your nails with your base coat, then the base color nail polish. This color won’t necessarily show, but depending on how you do your marbling it may.
- Cover your cuticles and fingers with the cuticle oil. Don’t forget the underside of your finger. Cover the finger up to the first knuckle at least.
- Open both bottles of the nail polish for the marbling and leave the lids loosely on top.
- One color at a time, load the brush, and drip a drop of polish into the shot glass of water. It should float on the top and spread out some. If your nail polish doesn’t float, try one more drip and then choose a different color/brand if it still doesn’t float. Continue dripping drops into the water inside one another (concentric circles, like a target!) until you have at least 2 of each color. My shot glass looked like this: coral, purple, coral, purple.
- Once you have the concentric circles of polish, use a toothpick to swirl the colors a little. You MUST start from inside the rings of polish. If you start from outside the polish and try to drag through, it will clump up.
- Now that you have a shot glass with swirled polish inside it, you’re ready to dip your finger in the polish. Gently lay your fingernail into the swirled polish and carefully pull straight up and out. You don’t want to set your nail in the polish, then drag it though other polish, so be careful.
- As soon as you remove your finger, you will have polish all over your nail and finger, as well as some water. Flick your finger towards the newspaper that is lining your work area until all the water is flicked off. If there is water left on your nails, you will have a slight bubble/popped bubble indentation in your finished product.
- Once the water is flicked off of your nail, grab a Q-tip and dunk it in the cap or small dish of remover and then use it to carefully clean the polish off your fingers. It should come off fairly easily since you applied the cuticle oil first.
- Use the toothpick to pick the rest of the polish off the surface of the water in the shot glass. A quick swirl around the edges of the glass will usually do the trick. You’ll have a little polish actually stuck to the sides of your glass, but don’t worry about that.
- Repeat steps 5-10 for the rest of your nails. Don’t get discouraged if your first couple of nails don’t work out. I think I did my first thumb about 5 times. I kept getting it all clumpy because I was trying to swirl from the outside in, and then I didn’t flick off the water so my nail was REALLY bubbly, etc. I’m still not an expert or anything, but after a little trial and error I got it down pretty well.
- When all your nails are done, use a cotton ball soaked with remover to do a “final clean” of your fingers. I still had bits of polish, and some staining that the cotton balls mostly took care of. Also, use a cotton ball to remove the polish from around the edges of your shot glass after your empty the water.
- Give your nails plenty of time to dry, then apply your favorite top coat and prepare for compliments! 🙂
Next Time I Will:
- Probably experiment with using less contrasting colors (for example use a dark and light blue) so the marbling was almost more of a texture than a design. Also, I’d like to try using some different finishes of polish- glossy, matte, frosty, glitter (?).
- Make SURE to flick the water off your nails. I have a few bubble marks on mine.
- Not even TRY to do this without coating my fingers with cuticle oil. I did my first thumb with no oil, and believe me, that’s an important step!
Pros and Cons:
Pros: unique, fairly easy once you get the hang of it, lots of possibilities.
Cons: wastes a fair amount of polish, difficult at first, kind of a mess, moderately time-consuming.
Yes, Please or No, Thank you:
Yes, please! I thought this was fun and due to the trial and error factor in the beginning I don’t think I’ll see many people doing this with their nails which is just what I like 🙂
Have you tried this? Did you do anything differently? Let me know how yours turned out!