Nail Art - Water Marbling

A few weeks ago, I decided to "take the plunge" and attempt to water marble my nails.  It takes some extra time to get prepared, but it really wasn't as time-consuming and annoying as I originally thought.  And the results were pretty cool; Even Mr. Diva commented on how great it looked.

To start, you will need some paper towels, toothpicks and Q-tips (or orange sticks) at the ready, scotch tape, a cup filled with water, and some nail polish colors.  I don't have orange sticks and found the Q-tips to work much better than toothpicks for cleaning up the nail polish residue.  It is a bit of a messy process, so lay out some newspaper or paper towels, just in case.

Your polish choices should not be too sheer and should be similar in consistency.  I used two different brands and it was a little tricky.  The better pigmentation they have, the better they will go on and the less you will need per "ring".  Leave the polish tops unscrewed during the process.

  • Use the tape to cover the skin around your fingernails.  I found it easier to do one piece on each side of the finger and then a bottom piece to hold those down.

  • Start adding drops of nail polish to the water.  Each drop will spread out into a circle.  When you add alternating colors, it creates rings.  I ended up doing 3 drops per ring because both of my color choices had a bit of sheerness to them.  (I used a gold sparkly OPI color and a blue Orly color)

  • Use a toothpick (not a Q-tip) to pull lines through the polish to create a design.  This is completely up to you.  I did this sort of seashell design.  But you can start in the middle and go out or make separate swirls or "S" curves.  Your imagination is the limit really.

  • Dip your finger in, nail first, onto the part of the design you want on your nail.  Hold your finger in the water while you use a Q-tip to clean up the excess polish around your nail.  Pull your nail out of the water and check out your design!  The polish is still wet, so keep that in mind.  It dries a lot faster than painting your nails regularly, but the tape is going to get in your way a little bit.  
  • Use a Q-tip to clean up any polish residue floating on top of the water.  If your polish doesn't spread out in a circle and create those rings, this extra residue is the problem.

  • Repeat the process for each finger.  I tried doing two or three nails at a time, but I kept having to redo ones that didn't get proper placement.  It is way easier to do one nail at a time.  Once you get started, it goes by pretty fast.  I was probably done with both hands in 45 minutes.
  • Clean up any stray polish from your hands with some polish remover on a Q-tip or cotton pad.

You can watch someone's helpful Video Tutorial on YouTube.  It is what I watched to get started.

Have fun!!


  1. Replies
    1. Isn't it!?!?! I NEVER would have come up with this on my own. It never dawned on me that the polish would last after being in water. But it turns out pretty darn awesome.