Now I have to admit, I’m not usually one to have my nails painted all the time. My nails are usually a mess to be honest, too short and even bitten up (yes, I’m a nail-chewer). But earlier this year when I had my senior class art show, I wanted to do something special.
When I stumbled across a pinned video of a water marbling tutorial, originally pinned by Neelima on her craft board, I thought that it was such a neat idea and didn’t look too difficult. Plus, it works with any combination on colors.
The process actually is fairly easy. The results can be a little iffy, but the more I did it, the better I got at it. I guess practice does make perfect in this case.
You’ll need 2-4 nail polishes, nail polish remover, scotch tape, toothpicks, q-tips, and a small disposable cup filled with warm water.
Your polish doesn’t have to be fancy expensive stuff. But it cannot be old polish that starting to get thick, otherwise it won’t spread correctly and you’ll just get frustrated. I also don’t suggest using nail polish that’s getting empty. You need to work fairly quick, and if you don’t want to fussing with it to get enough polish on the brush. I definitely recommend Sally Hanson’s Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear*, like the blue and pink bottles above. It’s the best inexpensive nail polish I’ve found.
First, give your nails a base coat with a white or any light colored polish that goes with the colors you’ve chosen to marble together. If you need a photo of this to see if you did it correctly, this may not be the project for you…
Next, cover the skin around you nail with scotch tape. This makes you clean up much easier later.
Now it’s time to prepare your polish. Open up all your nail polishes so you can don’t have to fumble around with them as you work. One by one, drop a large drop of nail polish into the center of your cup of warm water, creating a bullseye of colors.
Each drop should spread out after a second or two. If it doesn’t, either your water isn’t warm enough or your nail polish is to thick. If you’re using a light colored polish like white, it may seem to disappeared into the water. But it didn’t disappear! Keep going. When you add the next drop of color you’ll see that it’s still there.
Take a toothpick and drag it through the polish from the edge of the cup towards the center until you’re satisfied with the design.
If you’re having trouble dragging the polish around, you most likely took to long to drop the polish and start marbling it. If that’s the case, collect all of the polish on your toothpick and start over.
As soon as you’re happy with your design, line up your nail to the polish. Then dunk you finger into the water, nail side down. With your finger still in the water, collect any excess polish with a toothpick. You may need to gently blow on the excess polish to dry it so it sticks to the toothpick.
Once any excess polish is removed, remove your finger and very gently pat dry you finger. Then remove the tape. Clean up any excess polish with nail polish remover and a q-tip. Repeat process to remaining nails and finish off with a clear topcoat.
As you can see above, I had varied results the first time I tried water marbling my nails. Some nails turned out really cool, like the nails on the left and in the center. Too bad I smeared the design on the nail in the center when I applied my topcoat. And then there’s the nail I bumped on the cup and completely destroyed on the right!
Although this process was time consuming and I had to completely redo a nail or two, I’m pretty happy with the results! I got several complements at my art show the next day. I even marbled my nails again a few weeks later with only two colors of polish and was happy with those results as well. The more times I tried it, the better results I got. For special occasions, it’s worth the extra time. For me, this was a pin worth repinning!
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