Tutorial: Water marbling

So, it is said 1 picture > 1000 words.
Got some pictures right here.
And explanations in the end. Detailed ones.
Click on the pics to make them larger! :)

Water marbling - you either love it or hate it. I, however, learned to love it. The first maybe 20 times I stank, bad. Really bad. But after a year or so I tried it again, and it could not have turned out better! So encouraged by my newly discovered skills, I thought maybe I should share the love. Good luck! <3

  • toothpick/dotting tool/orange wood stick (I prefer making the patterns with a toothpick for its small size and cleaning up my cuticles with something bigger like a dotting tool or orange wood stick)
  • tape
  • something underneath so you won't mess up your table (I like big, opened envelopes because newspapers have ink on them which can color your hands a lovely shade of grey)
  • paper towel for cleaning up nail polish residue stuck on your toothpick/dotting tool/stick
  • plastic cup etc. with luke warm water
  • nail polishes 2-3 bottles, preferably creme texture (which means no glitter or any sorts of shiny pieces in it; I like Flormar and Barry M)
  • recommended, though not compulsory: a good friend with a lot of patience to help (emphasizing the friend here, for if it doesn't work out, you can always curse this water marbling thing and enjoy a few glasses of wine together!)
tai (Finnish) = or (English)

  1. Prep your nail by cleaning it with nail polish remover. If this leaves an oily residue, wash with soap. Oil weakens the durability of your polish.
  2. Base coat. Makes polish last longer and prevents yellowing of your nails.
  3. Cut the tape before doing any of the marbling to prevent the possibility of messing up your marbles.
  4. Tape your finger. This will help with the clean up process a lot. Personally I don't like using tape because somehow I always end up messing my marbles when taking off the tape. Instead you can use hand cream around your nail (not on the nail or cuticle area!) because the oils will prevent nail polish from sticking onto your skin. I actually prefer doing my water marbles before I go to bed because in the morning, you can just lightly scratch off the nail polish from your skin. Saves time, easy and efficient! ;)
  5. Fill your cup with luke warm water. If water marbling just won't work, then you might want to add a few drops, depending on how much water you have, 5-20 drops of nail polish remover that doesn't have oils in it. Once again, oils + nail polish = won't last. Change your water after a few marbles.
  6. You can either use your nail polish brush for dropping drops of nail polish into the water or with the help of a toothpick (the smaller, the better), try to gather the nail polish in the brush into one big drop (bottom picture). Lightly pressing the brush against the bottle from just one side while taking the brush out, helps with forming the drop too (top picture).
  7. Drop the drop into the water! Don't drop it too high above the surface of the water since this makes the drop gather too much weight and it will not stay on the water surface. Instead it will sink to the bottom.
  8. Drop the next drop in the middle of the previous one. 
  9. Continue doing this until...
  10. You'll get something like this! Circles. The more circles you have, the more nail polish, a thicker layer, will end up on your nail. 
  11. Anchor your nail polish circles by pulling them onto the sides of the cup with a toothpick. 
  12. Make the pattern you like with a toothpick. I prefer a toothpick for its small size. Clean up in between strokes if your toothpick gathers too much nail polish residue (picture 15). Blow on the nail polish to make it dry a little. If the pattern is too wet, it might spread out on your nail and lose the "pattern". Instead it'll look like an ugly mess.
  13. Immerse your nail into the water as far away from the pattern as possible since there's always an outermost circle that is, unfortunately, see through. If you happen to put your nail under water too close, this will draw the pattern under water too. Then you'll have to start again. :( I personally find this method kind of difficult since it's hard to know where is the right spot to pull up your finger. 
  14. Dip your nail into the spot that you like the most. Keep your finger under water while with your other hand, take a toothpick and roll it between your fingers so it will catch up all the excess nail polish circles. Be careful with the finger under water, if it touches the sides of the cup or the bottom, it might ruin your nail polish.
  15. Clean your toothpick by squeezing it between two sheets of paper towel while pulling it out. If you decide to simply wipe your toothpick on top a paper towel, make sure not to mess up your arm on the wet polish residues.
  16. Take the tape off while the polish is still wet. If it has hardened, it might ruin your pattern. Be careful not to mess up the nails that have already been marbled. This is the part that I always end up doing wrong. Sometimes the tape touches the pattern that is still wet if I'm not careful, and messes it up.
  17. Clean up your cuticles from nail polish while it's still wet with a orange wood stick (since it's bigger than a toothpick). This won't work if the nail polish has dried. 
  18. You can decorate the "naked" parts of your marble pattern with a dotting tool/toothpick. Put a dab of nail polish on e.g. used tape from your finger, dip your toothpick into the nail polish and lightly dab some dots onto your nail.
  19. Compare pictures 16 and 19, the latter one has the dots.
  20. Clean up! I prefer a brush with short bristles that I can dip into acetone (nail polish remover). I don't like cotton swabs because they leave lint everywhere. So annoying. Make sure your dots are absolutely dry before putting on some topcoat. I prefer INM Out the Door fast drying topcoat. Now you can kick back and relax, you've done it! Be amazed by how skilled and talented you are! ;D

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! :)
If you have any ideas about anything at all, please leave a comment! 

Sininiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii :)

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