Part Craft / Part Cosmetic Experiment: Water Marbling Your Nails

Every now and then, I find a new blog that totally inspires me. Last week, it was Killer Colours, a blog based in Sweden. Her pictures are amazing. And in one of them, her nails were marbled. Needing to know more, I googled it right away.

I am not one to really cover polish that often as I am terrible at doing my own nails. TERRIBLE. However, I am good at crafts, which is what this seemed like. So I gave it a shot.

Water Marbling is a really messy way to get a totally unique look to your nails. There are tons of tutorials online which you should watch if you want to give this a go because, as we all know, I am no supreme nail authority. I can barely paint inside the lines and need a shower to complete a pedicure. (There is no better way to get polish off of your toe skin than a shower!)

Here is how I got this look:

I filled an old plastic dish with room temperature water. Designate a bowl for this and don't dump the old polish down the drain, please!

I picked out several colors to do a blue look. Open the tops of the polishes so they are ready to go, as you have to work fast!

(Obviously, you have to cut a slit in the top of the finger condom or the polish won't reach your finger! Stretch it just below the cuticle line to protect the skin on your finger!)

I prepped my nails with a base coat. I also used finger condoms to protect the skin on my finger and added Josie Maran's Argan Oil stick to my cuticles to stop the polish from adhering to the skin around my nails. Any kind of chapstick-like product should do the trick.

(After the first drop of blue was added.)

(Adding the third drop, a glitter-blue polish.)

(How the final blob of color looked after I added silver, before I dipped.)

Drop in a few drops of the colors of polish you liked and quickly use a toothpick to blend them slightly. A skin may form, so work quickly and delicately! If a skin forms that is ok, just hurry up!

(I'm reenacting this for you, hence the finger protection.)

Then dip your finger into the colors, covering the entire nail bed. The polish will grab everywhere that gets wet, so don't dip more than you have to. You'll have to do new polish "drops" for each finger.

(Here is what my reenacting finger looked like when I removed it from the water solution.)

I count to 10 and then remove the finger. Use the toothpick to brush off the "polish skin" from your finger. Be careful not to pull the "skin" off of your nail itself.

Then remove the "skin" from the top of the water and prep for another finger. The polish dries very quickly and the excess can be removed with a Q-Tip. Then you can add a top coat and voila!

(It takes some practice to get the technique right and to get all of the polish off of your surrounding skin!)

This isn't for everyone, but if you find yourself snowed in, it's a fun look to try! Let me know if you have any tips on doing this. I had to do several nails more than once the first time I tried this technique!

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  1. I would never have the patience but it sure looks cool! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. It was a fun experiment. I am not that good at it, and I am especially not good at removing the excess from my cuticles!

  3. Kelly, what an ingenious idea!! I love it! I wonder if it would work on artificial nails.....would you happen to know?? I may just have to try it on my days off from work for Christmas. I get Thursday & Friday off this week, so I'll have some time to kill. I really need to wash my brushes too...

  4. Hi Shayne!

    It should work on artificial nails. I can't imagine it wouldn't. It sticks to everything. I mean everything. It takes some practice, but it's fun!


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