Friday, May 4, 2012

Ways to wear neons: Water Marble

Last night, I wanted to do just one nail using water marbling but I ended up doing a full mani! Woot! Now, I've only done two successful water marbles.

Water marbling is time consuming and there are many factors that can negatively affect the final outcome.  I will post a brief overview on how to water marble but please see Youtube for a plethora videos on how to do this technique.


My right hand came out better. 

There was no sun today. I tried to capture the colors as accurately as possible. Obviously, these are way more bright and fluorescent in real life.  

Sinful Colors Pink and Summer Peach seemed to work well but Neon Melon didn't want to spread in the water.  I wouldn't suggest using neons as your first water marble.  The formula wasn't easy to work with once it hit the water.  I also had issues with my water being too cold. 

A Brief Water Marbling Overview:

What is water marbling? 
Water marbling consists of placing numerous drops of polish into a bowl of water and swirling it to make a design.  You then dunk your nail into the polish to make a design. 

What are the basic steps? 
  1. Paint a base color. Use white or a light base color. 
  2. Using a cup or bowl of room temperature filtered water, place 10-12 drops of polish into the bowl to form a "bullseye". Colors must be alternating. You can use as many different colors as you want.  I've had better results with just two different colors. 
  3. Lightly draw a design through the bullseye with a toothpick or safety pin. The design can be swirls or petals or anything. 
  4. Once you have a design you like, dunk you nail into the design. 
  5. While your nail is submerged, clean the excess polish off the water with a Qtip. 
  6. Pull your nail out of the water slowly.
  7. Clean excess polish off your finger with a Qtip dipped in remover. (Or you can use tape around your nail to avoid getting polish on your fingers.) 
  8. Repeat on all nails.  If you have a bowl big enough, you can dunk two nails at a time.
  9. Apply top coat once finished.
  10. It is best to not re-use the cup or bowl for food consumption.
Can I use just any polish?
Yes and no. Test a few different polishes. Cremes work well.  It has to spread evenly to form a bullseye and dry slow enough to allow time to add the other colors.  I'd suggest using Sally Hansen or Wet n Wild, something inexpensive because this technique does use a lot of polish. 

I'm too scared to try this. I fear I might fail!
Yes there is a lot of trial and error involved. There are many different factors that can affect the final outcome.  If you're unsure, I like to use a fake nail taped to a stick as a test run.  That way I don't mess up on my nails and expose them to unnecessary remover.  Yes there is a technique called dry marbling as well.

I'd like to have a more in-depth water marble tutorial.  I just haven't perfected this technique yet.  

Thanks for reading!


  1. They are absolutely gorgeous!

  2. This is super gorgeous, what nice neons and pattern!!

  3. Awesome mani! Great marbling!

  4. I love this! Looks so hippy-esque!

  5. This is awesome, water marble = practice makers perfect :)


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