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Water Marbling, Step By Step

posted in Beauty > Nails
02/27/2015
  • What you need:
Scotch Tape
Plastic cup
Room-temperature, filtered water
Orange stick, toothpick or pin
Base color (white shade works best)
Your choice of polish colors (see notes at end of tutorial)
Clear Topcoat 
Cotton Swabs
Polish remover
    What you need:
    Scotch Tape
    Plastic cup
    Room-temperature, filtered water
    Orange stick, toothpick or pin
    Base color (white shade works best)
    Your choice of polish colors (see notes at end of tutorial)
    Clear Topcoat
    Cotton Swabs
    Polish remover
  • Fill the plastic cup with the water, leaving enough room to allow your fingers to be dipped without overflowing.
    Fill the plastic cup with the water, leaving enough room to allow your fingers to be dipped without overflowing.
  • Tape around nails & apply a base color. Make sure the base is completely dry before moving to the next step. 
Note: A white base helps colors pop.
    Tape around nails & apply a base color. Make sure the base is completely dry before moving to the next step.
    Note: A white base helps colors pop.
  • Make sure all the polishes you're using are opened completely, as you will need to use each quickly.
    Make sure all the polishes you're using are opened completely, as you will need to use each quickly.
  • Carefully place a drop of polish onto the water surface by slowly touching the drop to the surface. Don't do it from a distance or it will go straight to the bottom of the cup.
    Carefully place a drop of polish onto the water surface by slowly touching the drop to the surface. Don't do it from a distance or it will go straight to the bottom of the cup.
  • The drop will spread as it contacts the water.
    The drop will spread as it contacts the water.
  • Working quickly, continue adding drops of polish to the center of the cup, alternating the colors as you like.
    Working quickly, continue adding drops of polish to the center of the cup, alternating the colors as you like.
  • You should now have a bullseye of polish.
    You should now have a bullseye of polish.
  • Gently, using the very tip of an orange stick, toothpick or pin, pull the polish from the center out to the edge to anchor it for your design. Be sure to wipe the tip each time, as polish build-up could pull too much polish & ruin your design.
    Gently, using the very tip of an orange stick, toothpick or pin, pull the polish from the center out to the edge to anchor it for your design. Be sure to wipe the tip each time, as polish build-up could pull too much polish & ruin your design.
  • After creating 4 anchors, swirl the polish in whatever design you'd like. Be sure to stay closer to the middle of the cup, as the outer few rings will be dry and pull up from the water, sticking to your tool and potentially ruining your design.
    After creating 4 anchors, swirl the polish in whatever design you'd like. Be sure to stay closer to the middle of the cup, as the outer few rings will be dry and pull up from the water, sticking to your tool and potentially ruining your design.
  • Once you have the design you want, aim your nail surface parallel to the water surface and slowly dunk straight down into the cup, then slowly straighten your finger, leaving it in the water.
    Once you have the design you want, aim your nail surface parallel to the water surface and slowly dunk straight down into the cup, then slowly straighten your finger, leaving it in the water.
  • Gently blow on the water surface to dry the polish. Then use your tool to remove the remaining polish from the water surface.
    Gently blow on the water surface to dry the polish. Then use your tool to remove the remaining polish from the water surface.
  • Make sure all polish is off the water surface.
    Make sure all polish is off the water surface.
  • Slowly pull your finger out of the water.
    Slowly pull your finger out of the water.
  • Remove tape. Then, using a cotton swab & polish remover, remove any polish on your finger.
    Remove tape. Then, using a cotton swab & polish remover, remove any polish on your finger.
  • Apply a top coat and you're done.
    Apply a top coat and you're done.
  • -White polish is recommended for base.

    -Though you need to work gently, you also need to work quickly so the polish doesn't dry too fast.

    -Not all polishes work and you will need to experiment. A good indication of failure is if the polish does not spread on the surface.

    -I've had success with thinner polishes, such as "Sinful Colors", "China Glaze", "Wet'n'Wild" and "Spoiled."

    -I've found that "quick-dry" polishes DO NOT work.

    -You may need to replace the water part way through as polish residue sometimes remains on the water surface & is hard to remove with a tool.

    Enjoy!

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