Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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.

30 comments:

  1. Wow, I have never tried this, but this post makes me think I have to try it soon!!! Thanks for the tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love water marbling. Its one of my favorite nail art techniques. I think Sasha has a video also, I know I watched a video at one point after my first nailfail marbling. Thanks for pointing out you can do it w/ more than two colors!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the tutorial, it clears up a lot of questions I had.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think I just might try this today - thank you for the tutorial!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another trick if you use colors that don't have as much pigment, is to use a base color the same as one of your marble colors, and it will be show up more vibrant.

    I love water marbling, I just put up a Christmas swirl water marble tutorial last night & have done one other tutorial & lots of other pics with different polish combinations =)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'll have to try this one of these days. Yours is the best tutorial I've seen yet, Laine... thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is excellent - thanks! I love the Vaseline tip.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That looks awesome ! Thank you so much for this tutorial, I have to try it some day :-)))

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great tutorial! I might just have to give this a try!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Laine, your tutorial rocks! I love the final result and the colors you used. I'm gonna try this. Using those cups and the Vaseline should make things easier.
    DanaCerise

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love the dixie cup idea, when I did this I used a plastic party cup and it was way too big..PLUS some polish dripped and settled on the bottom and ate threw the cup..it was a mess!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, I was really on the fence about marbling but now that I've seen your post, I am ready to try it! Your nails look amazing. Very pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I actually have your original water marbling tutorial on my favorites list. Guess I'll have to update it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am first time visitor. I use to do this in middle and high school. I'm glad to see this making a return. AWESOME blog.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love also how easy it is! You don't have to go out and buy all these fancy exotic materials.

    ReplyDelete
  16. my water marbling keeps sticking. do you know what im doing wrong

    ReplyDelete
  17. ooh!!
    wenever i try this it goes miserably wrong..but i'll try this way..thanx! it really helped!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks so much for your tutorial. I used the dixie cups for my first water marble & it worked great! I wanted to use vaseline too but I couldn't find any in my house which seems impossible. I have seen people use tape but that was too fiddly for me. I grabbed a chapstick and used it around my nails and it ended up working pretty well! I did do one thing differently though. I dipped my nail straight down into the water and then brought it out of the water nail up. I had total control over which part of the marble went where & it just seemed more natural to me. In fact I didn't know that I did it differently than everybody else until I went back and looked at tutorials. Thanks again for giving me the courage to try water marbling!

    ReplyDelete
  19. ok hey ladies. i just tried this tutorial and it def did not work. the first drop of nail polish created this film and then i could not swirl on top of it. epic fail. plz tell me how to make this work :/ !!!!!
    signed,
    ugly nails

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow!! That is amazing! Is there a technique that could make it work for toes as well?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I can't wait to try this! @Bradioactive sent me this via Twitter, I am always talking about my nails. I love it!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. F*cking hell this did not work.
    I tried mixing them on the water and it didn't mix. It just stuck to the toothpick.
    Then when I dipped my nail in it clumped.
    Then when I dumped the water down the sink it stuck to all the edges of the sink so I had to scrub it with nailpolish remover!
    Worst experiment ever!

    ReplyDelete
  23. any other suggestions besides vasoline or like substances to keep it from sticking to your fingers? I'm WAAAAAAY allergic so I can't use that...

    ReplyDelete
  24. i tried this and all the nail polish stuck to the tooth pick!! do u know what i'm doing wrong??

    ReplyDelete
  25. OMG
    This is like totally awesome!
    I just did it and it worked! One hand worked better than the other but yeah.
    You have to work quickly or it wont work.
    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh, and i didnt mix it with the toothpick and it worked well :D

    ReplyDelete