This post is all about the Water Marble (WM) technique. I will explain how I get the best results and what there is to consider. I hope you enjoy this and if you have any additional advice on the Water Marble technique, please share it in the comments for everyone to read! Click here, to find all my recent WM designs and check out my most popular WM design of all time:
Nail Polish, Tape, Cup, Distilled Water, Paper Towels, Needle, Wooden Stick / Dotting Tool, Tweezers, Nail Polish Remover, Clean Up Brush
1. Prepare 20 pieces of tape and stick them somewhere where you can easily take them off again (for example: the table where you're working at).
2. Take your cup and fill it with distilled water. The cup should be big enough, so that you can dip your nail inside without accidentally touching the sides of the cup. But it should be small enough, so that you don't use tons of water and polish. You could also use tap water, but in my opinion it works better with distilled water.
3. Usually you will need a base color for your WM, so now is the time to paint your nails with the base color and let it dry. Most of the times I use the lightest color of the design or just white.
4. Now you can start adding the tape to your fingers. I do one hand at a time because it's usually not too comfortable. I use two pieces for each finger: one piece goes along one side to the front, under the nail and back on the other side. The other piece goes across the finger, right at the line of the cuticles, but not over the nail! I fold the ends, so it will be easier to remove the tape later.
The Nail Polish & The Marbling
It's not easy to spot the nail polishes that will work for WM. New polishes with creme finish work well with WM, while old and gooey ones usually don't work. Also, very thin polishes are difficult to work with, because they might mix with your other colors in the water. If you're doing a WM and it just won't work, you have to try it with a different polish! Sometimes it is just one of your polishes, while other times some just won't work together. WM can be a b*tch sometimes. On the left picture below you can see how I first tried a black polish from The New Black, which didn't work at all. In the middle I moved on to Sally Hansen - Night Watch which works great. My white was Flormar - 400.
Let the Marbling begin! Start adding drops of polish to the water, not from too high above. You might want to decide what kind of a marble you're going for before starting the process or you can just start with a random marble. There are so many different ways of marbling! My favorite WM artist on YouTube is My Simple Little Pleasures. I use a needle to do my designs because this gives beautiful and exact lines. Remove the excess polish on the needle every now and then. When you're done with the design, don't wait too long and slowly dip your nail inside the water. Leave your finger inside the cup, blow onto the water surface and remove all excess polish with the wooden stick. Then remove the finger.
Remove the tape carefully with the tweezers. Now comes the important part. There will be water drops over and sometimes below the nail polish and if you don't do anything right there, you might end up with missing pieces in your design. Take a clean paper towel and carefully touch the water drop with the towel. This will absorb the water and at the best let the design stay intact. This part is a bit tricky to explain! But if you have already done WM before, you might have seen the design pulling at the edges. Most of the times this can be prevented with the paper towel. After that you can clean-up the sides of your nail with a brush and some nail polish remover. It's better if you wait a while before adding the top coat, because WM does smudge easily. If I have any missing pieces in my design, I try to cover them up with a bit of polish and a nail art brush. This works great and no one in real life will know!
I know that WM can often be a tricky technique and it is not always worth the effort, but I hope my post made some steps a bit easier to understand or at least makes you want to try it again! Feel free to leave links to your water marble designs, I'd love to see your creations!