Creating an easy marble nail art effect! #nailart Last night I came down with a pretty bad cold. It hit me like a train. Luckily, my university is close enough that I can go home when I’m sick, since I wanted nothing more than a warm blanket and home cooked food.

Whenever I’m sick I get a really huge urge for 3 things. Grilled cheese and tuna sandwiches, I Love Lucy re-runs, and being creative. I always get the biggest craving for doing something incredibly creative when I’m sick. Since I had left most of my craft supplies at school, I settled for the one thing that I have at my house but not at my dorm: Nail polish.

Nail art is something that I find fascinating. A couple of months ago I remember watching nail art tutorials on  Instagram with my mom and finding something where you can create a marble nail art effect using water. So we decided to give it a shot.

Trust me, it is not as easy as it looks in those tutorials. If you want to see some videos on how to do it (which I recommend doing) you can just Google “water nail art” and a ton of things come up. I’ll be doing my best to explain that to you here, without the video. This style is a bit different than the normal style, and much much cleaner.



First, I gathered my supplies. What you’ll need:

  1. A cup that you’re ok with ruining (the polish will more than likely stain the cup.) – I recommend a disposable cup of some sort.
  2. Room temperature water.
  3. A base nail polish coat and a top nail polish coat.
  4. Scissors and cuticle clippers.
  5. Toothpick.
  6. A zip-lock baggie.
  7. Colorful nail polishes (preferably new, that will drip well)
  8. About an hour of time to kill.

After some trial and error I figured out that the majority of the polishes I had would not work for this, as they were a bit older and did not drip off the brush fast enough or spread well. So I stuck to light lavender, red, light pink, and black colors. They reminded me a little bit of American Horror Story: Freak Show colors, which made it perfect for Halloween themed!

The Swirl

2Here’s what I did:

  1. Pour the room temperature water into the cup.
  2. Put a base coat on your nails, and let it dry.
  3. Open up your first color and drip one drop onto the top of the water. This will be the color that will be the “base”. I put about 4 drops of my base coat (lavender) because the color I chose was very light. Just do it until you like the color.
  4. Open up the next color and drop it into the center of the first.
  5. Repeat dropping small drips into the middle of the colors, quickly. This is time sensitive, the longer you wait the more it will dry, which will make it difficult.
  6. Take a toothpick and very ever so lightly drag the tip of it through the colors. You can do this in any pattern you want, however I kept mine simple and just went from the outside in and the inside out in a web sort of pattern.
  7. Let it sit and dry for 30 minutes.


The Application

4At this point you should be able to pick up the nail polish and it should stick together. Then this is what to do:

  1. Lay down the zip lock baggie.
  2. The nail polish is going to be sticky from the water on one side, so lay it with the sticky/wet side up on the baggie.
  3. Wait about 5-10 minutes until the polish has dried a little bit.
  4. Cut the polish into different sizes and patterns to fit your nails.
  5. One nail at a time, place the cut polish on your nail and push it down against the nail.
  6. Seal it with a top coat and then trim off the excess polish with your scissors and cuticle clippers.

That’s it!


Note: When I did this, I messed up quite a few times and didn’t cut them to the right sizes, so it didn’t leave me much polish left for my nails. So I only put the marbled polish on my ring fingers and thumbs.

I filled in the other nails with black polish to still match the Halloween mood. I would recommend starting with your ring fingers and thumbs just in case you mess up like I did.

Do you like nail art? Would you ever try something like this?

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Water Nail Art
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