Sunday 5 May 2013

How to: Marbled nails

So recently I've been really getting in to doing my nails in new and interesting ways. I used to do French tip manicures a lot, with either white tips or coloured tips, and I would do manicures for me and my friends. However recently I've gotten into this new fashion craze of doing marbled nails. So here is a step by step guide on how to do marbled nails!

Things you will need:

  • Tape
  • Scissors to cut the tape off
  • An old bowl, container you no longer want or don't mind getting damaged
  • Nail polish, at least two colours; one of which can be your base colour
  • A top coat
  • A pointed tool to create the design or a good old fashioned bobby pin!
  • Nail polish remover/acetone
  • Cotton pads
  • Cotton ear buds     
  • A bin very close to dispose of material as you are going along!

NOTE: About an hour before marbelling the nails place water into the bowl or container you will be using and allow it to get to ROOM TEMPERATURE.

1) Firstly you need to apply a base coat of a colour. This can either be white or it can be the lightest colour in the colours you have chosen to marble on your nails To tape up your nails you need to wrap one piece of tape around the bottom of your nail, around the finger. The next piece of tape needs to be placed on top of the finger. This is to make the clean up much easier. I would suggest painting all of your nails your base colour, waiting for them to dry then applying tape to one hand to start the process off.

2) Next take your room temperature water that has been sitting out and begin to dip your nail polishes. How you do this is by letting one drop of each colour drop into the water. Do this about one centimetre to two centimetres away from the water and try to keep the polish central to the bowl. Remember to dip each polish into the centre of the last drop you just places in the water. You will notice the colour will spread out to be an almost bullseye affect as shown below; 

3.Next is where your own creativity can come into it, take your pointed object or in my case I find you can just use a bobby pin that can be chucked out after you have used it, and drag the polish into the centre into a design. You can do this by swirling the polish, doing wavy lines or whatever you choose! Its all about experementing with how the polish lands in the water! As you can see below I dragged mine into the centre;

4. Time to dip your nails! Depending on how big your container is and how big the nail polish circle you created is depends on how many nails you can dip at a time. Just so I can be precise and clean when I do this I usually do two at a time. With your nails at a slight angle just place your nails into the design and then the water. Leave them there for a few seconds then lightly blow on the water. After this take a cotton ear bud and clean the surface of the water of the nail polish you haven't used. Then remove your fingers! The fingers after they have removed should look a little something like this; 

As you can see the polish and swirl design has transferred onto my nail. You can also see how the excess has gone on to the tape which you can clean up later. Leave the polish to dry then cut the tape off of your fingers and place in a bin! After removing the tape place a cotton ear-bud in to some acetone or nail polish remover and remove the edges of nail polish that may still be on your skin.

After all of this apply a top coat and anything you want to your design! Usually I add a bit of glitter or some extra sparkle and then I add a top coat which I re-apply every few days to keep the shine. The finished result can be seen below!

Of course its all about experimenting with this and finding different colours. Below are a few examples of the water marble nail art I have done in the past! Enjoy!

If you're looking for a more visual idea of how to do water marbled nails I would suggest DearNatural62 on youtube. She offers a bubbly commentary alongside her doing water marbling as well as a few tips of things that you could be doing wrong if you're water marbling isn't coming out exactly right! She has a lot of videos on the topic so head over there! She also shows a great combination of colours in her designs which may give you some ideas!

A few tips before I leave you guys to try this!

  • Make sure the water is clean and at room temperature, this helps the polish spread
  • Make sure your nail polish is not too old as it will then be too thick to spread across the water
  • Nail polishes such as crackle nail polish or effect nail polish don't tend to spread that well on the water
  • If your bullseye is having trouble opening tap the surface you are working on or the container a little bit to help the polish spread
  • Make sure you apply a base coat and top coat to your nail
  • Make sure once your nails are done that you moisturise!

Overall I love doing these on my nails, they last for around 7 days for me which is fantastic and they are great to do on a night to treat yourself! They don't take to long, I'd say around half an hour, and definitely stand out amongst plain nails!

Have  Fun!

If you would like to see some other nail art click the links below:


  1. I love this kinda nail art! It looks so effective xx

    1. Thank you Sophie! I post on here regularly about nail art looks I do so follow the block to see them and catch up on some of the ones I've already posted! Thank you for checking out the blog! xxx

  2. Thanks for giving me this link, it looks amazing and so simple. xxx

    1. Thank you! I post regularly with nail art ideas so give my blog a follow if you like them and thank you for checking out the blog!