Water marbling is a nail coloring technique, where you drip drops of different colored polishes on the water surface, make a design with a pointy tool and dip in your finger. Or you can spill two of your favorite polishes on the floor and just roll your finger in here for a quicker solution.
Hey guys! Water marble is such a cool nail art technique. It looks so easy when watching the tutorials where pros are doing it. But when you try to do it yourself, you bump into a lot of problems. I was there myself, I figured that water marble nail art is actually very tricky.
There’s just a lot of rules we need to follow if we want to make it work. So I did a thorough research, I read many articles, I tried so many different nail polishes… and here I put all the secrets and hints together to share them with you! I’m going to show you how to make this design and along the way I am going to tell you all the tips and tricks you need to know about the water marbling.
So let’s get started! First of all it is important what kind of container for water you chose. Don’t use a big bowl, but rather try a small cup or a glass like this. Mine is from an old candle. If your container is too big the polish may spread too much and dry too quickly.
It’s recommended to use filtered or distilled room temperature water, and here’s why – unfiltered water may contain different minerals that can prevent polish from spreading on the surface. This depends on where you live, so try your tap water out first; it may work if you are lucky.
I find that both warm and cold water cause my polish to dry quicker making it impossible to drag a toothpick through polishes to make a design. To get the water to room temperature, simply leave it in a bottle for 2 hours before starting with water marble.
Another important tip is to always use clean water, or your polish won’t be able to spread, see? When you drop your polish into the water, you want to be just above the surface. If you hold your polish brush too high the polish drop may sink to the bottom.
The drop will get much higher speed due to gravity force and the water surface won’t be able to catch it. Therefore, you need to drop the polish close to the surface like me or even closer. For more opaque effect you can touch the surface gently with the polish brush and the water will pull more color from the brush, giving you brighter results.
You can also drip two or three drops of the same polish in a row. Now your colors will be much more opaque. It’s important to know that not all polishes will work with water marbling. You really need to test different polishes you own to see which ones you can use.
And remember, what counts is the texture and not the brand. Generally glitter polishes don’t work. They are too thick because of the glitter and even if the polish itself may spread on the water surface, the polish on top of it most probably won’t.
If a polish is too sticky and thick it’s almost impossible to drop it and if you do, it won’t spread as it should. A nail polish thinner can help you if your polishes are too gloopy and thick by texture.
Nail lacquers are supposed to work better than polishes. In addition, marbling won’t work with base and top coats, fast drying polishes, crack polishes, satin and matte effect polishes. It is also important, which polishes you combine and in what order you’re dripping different colors.
See here… This yellow polish is not working with my blue one. The yellow one is much more watery, while the blue one is thicker – we can say stronger. The yellow one cannot spread on top of it. Therefore you need to find polishes with similar density.
They must be equally strong! Here, I am using the same blue color as before, and it works great together with this peachy orange one as they are of similar thickness. It is like in the martial art sports.
Fighters are grouped in weight categories. Only the ones with a similar weight can fight each other! Ok, now let’s do some water marbling and I will give you more tips along the way. We need a cup with water, colored polishes, base coat, white polish, tape, toothpick or a needle, paper wipes, scissors, q-tips, nail polish remover, disposable work space like an old towel and a long stick.
First, protect your nails with a base coat. Next, apply 2 coats of white polish. White canvas assures that the colors on your nails will be bright and opaque. Tape up your fingers as close to your nails as possible.
and make sure to tape around the cuticle and not over the nail. You can always remove the polish on the cuticle with a nail polish remover, but if you tape over your nail, this part will remain white and it will ruin your design.
You can also use cuticle oil or vaseline and apply it around your nails, but I prefer a tape. Before you start with the water marbling it’s very important to have all the tools close to you. You have to work very fast, otherwise the polish will dry and you’ll make a mess.
Drip the first drop of the polish aiming in the center of the cup. With the next color aim in the center of the previous, and so on until you get a bull’s-eye. You can use more than 2 colors of the polish; to keep it simple, I just went for two.
If you have short nails like me, designs using more colors may not fit on your nails at all. To help the polishes spread you can shake the cup from time to time. See how it helps spreading the blue polish? You can also use a pointy tool and drag around the water to help the polish spread.
Look how well it works…. When drawing a design it’s important not to start dragging from the outer most ring. It’s from the drop you dropped first so it’s probably dry by now… This is what happens if you start with it.
Oh no, we messed up! Sorry… the tutorial is over. Just kidding! I always get you right. Ok.. so remember to always start dragging the tool through polish from the safe zone in. For a neat and sharp design, wipe your pointy tool each time you drag through polish.
There are many different designs you can make with the water marbling. I really like the flower design and that’s the one I am going for today. Just drag straight lines towards the center to end up with a beautiful flower.
You don’t have to go all around as your nail is probably not that big anyway. Now we need to dip the finger in! Keep your finger at 45 degree angle against the surface and dip it in gently. This way you avoid air bubbles that may appear under the polish when you take your finger out.
Leave your finger in the water for few seconds and in the meantime blow on the polish to help it dry faster. Then remove the polish from the surface with a toothpick. You need to clean the surface properly before pulling the finger out of the water.
If there are any bigger water drops on your nail, soak them up carefully with a corner of a paper towel. If the drop is smaller just leave it and it’ll dry on the air. Carefully remove the tape around your nail and clean up any polish from your finger with a q-tip soaked in acetone.
Look how pretty this design turned out! Just apply a thick coat of the fast drying top coat and we’re done for this nail. On my other hand I’ve taped all of my fingers — it looks kind of funny, haha.
You can make countless designs with water marble. In the bottom right corner I am dragging the tool from the center out and this way you get a wavy marble design. I am using a needle to draw the design, but a toothpick or pencil will work great too.
To save up on time and polish you can dip multiple fingers in the water at once. I did it in the upper left corner. Just be careful not to bump with one nail to another as this can damage the design on both nails.
Apply a top coat to give a beautiful shine and protect nails from chipping. Water marbling applies a thin layer of polish to your nails so they may chip easily — therefore a top coat is a must. I really, really hope you find this video helpful and if you’re gonna do the water marble nail art yourself, good luck! You’re now equipped with all the secrets and hints so I’m sure you’re gonna do well! If you want to see my nail care video, click right here.
And of course don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for more nail art videos in the future. Thank you so much for watching and see you next time! Bye, bye! If you still have problems with water marbling, let me know in the comments what your issues are and I will try to help you.
Also if you have any other water marbling tips leave them below so we can all learn together and become water marble experts!