Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Water Marbling for Nails - The Experiment!

When I was little I remember having a water marbling kit that came with paints, a big pot to work in and lots of white plastic things such as animals, bowls candles and so on. Then I started to see lots of posts from people on forums asking how this is done so I thought I'd give it a go!

The Kit:
A bowl you don't mind potentially ruining
2-4 Coloured Nail Varnishes
1 base coat
Q Tips
Cotton wool balls
Nail Varnish Remover
Tooth Picks

Now I'm not the tidiest of people to say the least so if you're anything like me make sure your work surface is covered or that you don't mind it getting messy!! First thing I did was clean my nails with nail varnish remover, shape my nails and wash them to make sure there was no oils or uneven surface to work on.
Then I added a base coat as some of the colours I'm using for the actual water marbling are quite dark and they might stain. So this is what I have now:

And now the fun part! Fill your bowl with lukewarm water (this will take several attempts to get the right temp for your nail varnishes to sit on the water and not sink or dry into a skin). As I mentioned this was an experiment so I tried two different ways of adding the varnishes to the water:

First I tried adding the nail varnish in random blobs all over the water and then I tried adding them all on top of one another. Then using the tooth pick drag the tip through the varnishes to mix them up, do a much or as little swirling as you like this is where every time you use water marbling for your nail it will be different.

This is the two different results I got:

Personally I prefer the second result, it was much bolder than the first and it seemed to last longer before the varnish started to dry out on me. You might get a whole hand done before it dries but if you don't just use a tooth pick to gather all the varnish off the water and start gain.

Now the tricky bit! You can either dive straight in nail downwards to get colour on (sometimes I found this way I picked up half of the nail varnish all at once) or as you see I've left gaps at the edge to get my hands in and lift up from under the varnish and get this :

Try not to get it as far up your fingers as I did!

Then with a q tip soaked in nail varnish remover quickly rub off all the extra varnish around your nail.

Sometimes it comes out a little messy but it's all practice!

Repeat for each nail!
Finally add a clear coat of polish if you want depending on the varnishes you've used. I didn't for these as they already had a shimmer.

I got loads of different effects from one batch so here's a few pics:

Happy water marbling!
I'll post any more experiments I do later on!


  1. I love marble effect! I sometimes do it by combining yellow and blue polish.

  2. I've not tried that combination yet, but I will now you've mentioned it!