Monday, September 26, 2011

water marble nail art

I found this out via pinterest (my newest obsession) and knew I would try it at my very first opportunity! After some research I found and watched the YouTube video (here) for a tutorial and guidance. When I put it on facebook I got a lot of feedback... "it doesn't work", "looks cool", "old trick, oil and water"...

As soon as I got back into town on Sunday evening I hoped up at my kitchen island and got to work! Keep in mind as you read through this that being speedy is helpful, but not so quick that you accidentally knock a bottle of polish over! (No, I'm not talking from experience. Yes, I swear.)

This evening I stopped by a fabric store in Falls Church to collect some fabric on another DIY craft I have coming up and the man at the register asked about my nails. After briefly explaining the basics of the process he replied "Wow, you did that yourself? You should work at a nail salon." That just about made my day! He thought they looked professional :)

Now, on to the good stuff!

On top of normal grooming tools, other supplies you'll need!
Glass jar (the smaller the mouth the better... but large enough to fit your finger. A shot glass could work if you have one... I used a small mason jar. I'd suggest using something that you don't plan to ever put food in again.)
Nail polish (one for a base [e.g., white] and two or three colors for the marble.)
Orange stick (or toothpicks to swirl the polish and pick up excess polish on water.)
Scotch tape (to wrap around your finger and keep the polish from going everywhere!)


Step 1: Ready your nails... cut, file, buff, and apply base coat.

Step 2: Apply scotch tape around your nail, this will help keep polish off your entire finger.

Step 3: Paint your nail a base color, something opaque and simple. I used Marshmallow by essie as I felt the white would help the water polishes pop.

Step 4: Fill a small glass jar/cup/container with water. *The water must be room temperature... if it's too hot or cold the nailpolish won't set right.

Step 5: Ready your nailpolishes (shake them), open them and keep them right next to your water jar. (I may or may not have accidentally let a drop or two fall on the counter.)

Step 6: Drop one or two droplets (I did one) onto the water's surface (a select few dropped straight to the bottom) alternating colors. They will spread across the surface of the water. **Depending on the width of your container's mouth, the polish may or may not reach the edges of your cup/container. This is important to note because can cause error or frustration in Step 7.

Step 7: When you have all the colors on the water's surface, take an orange stick or toothpick and drag across the surface to create lines, blends, swirls, etc. Don't get too crazy, simple is good! ***Note, if the polish hasn't reached the edge of the container, start the toothpick within the confines of the polish. If you start the drag of the toothpick outside of the polish (between the polish and edge, as shown by water in the diagram below) you'll pick up all the polish sitting on the surface and it won't work.

Step 8: Bend your finger at the first knuckle to submerge into the water. The polish on the surface, exactly where your finger hits it, will adhere to your nail! Keep your finger submerged.

Step 9: Using the toothpick or an orange stick, swirl around the top of the water to collect the remaining polish floating on the top.

Step 10: When the water's surface is clear, lift up submerged finger. Repeat this for all ten fingers.

Step 11: Remove scotch tape.

Step 12: To remove the excess polish on the sides of your nail and cuticle I suggest using a brush with nail polish remover. 100% acetone works the fastest, but whichever you prefer will do the trick. You can use a Q-tip as well, but I much prefer using a small brush... I found mine in the cosmetics aisle of the supermarket!

And... VOILA! You have beautiful water marble nails. Here are a few of mine. Last night Ross and I were looking at them like clouds, "What do you see?"


  1. Wow!! That looks so cool! I'm very impressed. You've got some talent there. That would NEVER work for me!! :)

  2. Atlanta was a "shortly thereafter?!"

  3. I want to try this when you come to visit!