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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Water palaver! (How I do water marbling!)

Hahahaha, I'm so punny. Anyway, its been going around so I thought I'd do my own water marbling post. Its such a hit and miss process the first few times you do it so I thought I'd share how I'm doing so far.

Basically, the key is to work pretty fast so your polish doesn't dry on the water. If your polishes aren't spreading well, then check your water. Room temperature is best and filtered water is recommenced by lots of YT gurus - I don't have a filter, but I do have hard ol' limescaly water so I use bottled when I can. Evian doesn't work well for some reason, but Buxom does. No idea why. (Edit: I realise that Buxom is an adjective I normally reserve for bosoms. I meant Buxton.)

You'll need:

-Your polishes and top coat
-Disposable cup/old mug
-Room temperature, preferably filtered or bottled water
-Orange stick/needle/something point
-Polish remover
-An old cloth or kitchen roll to protect your surface and to wipe your orange stick.

Put a base coat of colour on your nails as water marble patterns are pretty sheer. Put the water in the cup (doy!) and place the cup on the cloth or kitchen roll. I use a small round cup so the polish stays in a small area and its easier to draw patterns on (I've used odd shaped yogurt pots, etc, and its just not so good.) Get all the lids off your polish bottles so you are ready and then tape up the nails on one hand like a-so:

One piece of tape goes under the nail and around the finger, and another goes behind the nail and folds down the sides. It can be tricky but the more skin you can cover the easier the clean up will be and the nicer your cuticles will look in the end. Try to make sure your tape is nice and tight and secure around your nails or you can get bubbles when you do your dipping:

Pop these with your orange stick while your nail is in the water or they can ruin your design a bit.

Now you want to start making the target on the water! Drip one colour on the water, let it spread a little, add another, and repeat with as many colours as you want. I've really found that its a total trial and error thing as to which polishes work. I don't own posh polishes like China Glaze or OPI, most of my polishes are cheap ones like Barry M, so cheap ones do work! Theres variations within the brands I have, though, which is annoying. Some polishes spread, some don't, some won't spread with others. I had to ditch this color combo as it wasn't spreading right...

...and try another color combo...

...which worked, yay! So then I could start making the swirlies with my orange stick. You have to go pretty gentle, just kind of skim it across the top. I used to use needles, but orange sticks give you more control. You might need to wipe your stick off on your kitchen roll as you go.

Swirly! Pick a spot you like and slowly dunk your nail in.

Then clean up the surrounding polish with your orange stick - if you see a clear scum, you need to get all that off too or it'll stick to your design and you'll have to do it again! Wipe your orange stick off. Then, slowly pull your nail out at the same angle you put it in to help stop bubbling...

...aaaaargh! Messy! Go ahead and make a mess on all your other fingers now! If your water looks really scummy after a few fingers, change it.

Once you take the tape off it looks so much better! There's a bit on my fingers but its easily removed with a Q-tip soaked in remover. Some people say you can use Vaseline round your nails instead of tape but I've tried it and its just as messy as not using anything. I'd recommend taping up one hand, doing your marbling, then removing the tape before you tape up your other hand or the tape stick to more tape and makes a big ol' tapey mess!

So that's basically it, bar letting it dry! I don't really like Seche Vite top coat that much as I find it chips, but because its thicker its great for nail art and marbling as it doesn't smudge the colours together when you apply it. However I couldn't find my Seche Vite so I just went careful with a generic one.

And the final result!

I thought the colours were pretty 70's so I added the little yin-yang! I used Beauty Uk polish in Soft Green and L.A. Colours Color Craze in Lightning - its super neon and my camera gets confused by it! Maybe it wasn't the best combo but hey, its all about experimentation.

If you want more advice from someone who knows what the hell they are doing and doesn't just want to sound like it, I really really recommend going and checking out the My Simple Little Pleasures blog and YouTube - Colette is seriously awesome!

Hope you liked, thanks for reading all my crap! :D


  1. Really smart move!Thanks! :)
    And they look amazing!

  2. That's great! I've tried marbling twice with two BIG FAILS! I tried again last night on just one finger and it worked. LOL I might do this one in a couple weeks. Thanks for posting how you do it.

  3. GORGEOUSSS! i've seen marbling videos in the past but they were all using fake nails. thank you for posting this because now i know you can actually do it with your own nails! lol! :D will try this one day :) thanks!

  4. Of course you can, it looks amazing on short nails!

  5. Wow, that's so unusual! I haven't seen anything like this before I watch tonnes of YT vids! I'm tempted to give it a go when my nails get a bit longer!

  6. The tape is brillant! I have tried this with acrylic and natural nails and for some reason It never worked out. I think the tape will be the right think to keep it wromg pulling on the side. Thanks so much for this!

  7. Wow you succeeded so well! :D So pretty nails!!
    Oh thanks for the tip.. Especially the tape, such a great idea! I didn't think of using it.. Next time I definitely will. Though I guess there won't be next time too soon, as we run out of nail polish remover. hahah. :D x

  8. There's few blogs that everytime I comment on their posts, my internet falls and I have to open it again. Your blog is one of them.. I wonder why it happens, and do anyone else have the same problem? :o x

  9. Cool!! I've tried it once and failed so never went back lol

  10. I wish I would have thought of using tape before! Good idea. :)

    Your nails look great! :D

  11. That looks great! If only I didn't have crappy nails *sigh* I love the 70's colors, very cool!

  12. so kewl! ok now i am officially a

  13. Hey, there's a tag for you on my blog :) nukleopatra xx

  14. Great idea...when my nails have officially recovered from the revolting breaking phase they're currently having I'm gonna be trying this!

    On an unrelated subject...just subscribed and I think I may be your 100th!! So here's an early congratulations on reaching 100! :) It was your 'My Little Pony 1980's purist' comment (on 'Dreams That Glitter') that made me laugh and stop by your blog to have a look!

  15. This was a great, informative post. I followed that and I think it's a very detailed, useful description of how it works. Thank you! I'm going to backlink, if that's alright?


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