Water Marbling 2.0

One of my first posts when I first started my blog was about water marbling. How many people actually read it, I don't think many. But I have made an updated tutorial on water marbling and I am sharing it today! The reason for this is because I love marbling but it is kind of a pain, but I have a couple tricks for making this semi-difficult nail art a bit easier.

Tip 1: Use 3oz Dixie Cups. When I first started doing water marbling, I had a very small Tupperware container dedicated to my water marbling. That was fine, but there are a couple reasons why using the Dixie cups is better. First, they are disposable. When you do water marbling, the polish sits on top of the water, and then you pick it up with your nail. Some of the polish stays on the water, however, and it creates a sort of invisible shield, even if you think you picked it all up, and that restricts new polish from flowing out on the water if you want to reuse the water. That means you have to change the water for every nail. Using the Dixie Cups allows you to set up ten cups of water when you begin, and then you don't have to spend time changing the water. The other reason I like this better is the area to fill is smaller. My tupperware container was small, but still much larger than this little cup. When you drop in the polish, it spreads out to the outer walls of your container. If the container is larger, you are going to have to used more polish since it keeps spreading out and out.Tip 2: Apply petroleum jelly, or "Vaseline" on all the skin on your finger, around your nail. I think the worst part about water marbling is that there is sooooo much clean up involved. It takes forever, is wildly annoying and you have to use a ton of nail polish remover, which gives me a headache! If you use petroleum jelly, you can easily wipe off the polish on your skin with a tissue.

Tip 3: Clean your nail surface with alcohol (I use OPI-Chip Skip) to clean any petroleum jelly that may have gotten on your nail. You don't want to repel the polish from your nail... just your skin.

Now pick your colors! I used 4: Zoya - Malia, Sally Hansen - All The White Stuff, Sally Hansen - Blue Me Away, and Sinful Colors - Black on Black. You don't have to use exactly 4 colors. I have done it with 2 or 3 and you could probably do it with more than 4 too. Unscrew all your colors and get ready for the dropping!

Begin by getting enough polish on your brush that it will drop off, hold it right above the water and let a drop drop in. It will spread out across the water's surface.

Add the rest of your colors into the center, one after another. The circles will get smaller and smaller.

Next, take a toothpick and swirl the colors around. There are several ways to do this. You can start at the outer edges of the polish circle and just keep pulling inward. You can go back and forth left to right and right to left, or just go all around in no particular pattern... just what looks pleasing to you!

Next you dip your finger, face down, into the swirl you made. The pattern will stick to your nail just the way it appears on the water, so pick the area that you want on your nail. With your nail still in the water, pull away all the excess polish. If you try to lift your finger out without doing that, you will get the excess following your finger out of the water and it will fold over your desired design.

Here is how it is going to look once you get your finger out of the water. Not to worry! Since you put Vaseline on first, you can just wipe the polish on your skin away with a tissue.

And here is the finished result!
I wasn't too pleased with the end result just because the colors didn't really excite me. I tried again with Blue Me Away, Zoya - Pinta and Misa - Dirty Sexy Money.

Ahhhh. That is better!

And the last tip is to use colors that are well pigmented, and that get full, or close to full, coverage with one coat. The polish ends up spreading out very thin, so if you use a polish that normally requires 4 coats, it is not going to look like much marbled. My favorite polishes to marble with are China Glaze - Romantiques because they are definitely opaque in one coat and look amazing water marbled.

The first time I ever heard of this was on the China Glaze website and there was a tutorial with still pictures. Now there is a link to a video here. I suggest you watch the video to see what I mean about the swirling technique where you pull inward and how to pull away the excess polish before taking your finger out of the water. The problem I have with the video is that they make it look so easy because they are using a false nail on a stick instead of your finger, so the issue of clean-up is not addressed.