Water Marble Nail Art Tutorial

Difficulty - Advanced

Water marble nail art creates a fantastic look but it's a tricky technique to master. I get so many compliments when I marble my nails, but it can be a little messy and time consuming. One bonus is that you don't need any brushes, dotting tools, rhinestones or anything.

All you need is a shallow bowl of room temperature water and some vaseline (or lip chap) or tape. You can either rub vaseline onto the skin around your nail bed or tape it, so when you dip your finger into the water you can remove the polish from your skin. But I'm getting ahead of myself! Read through the tutorial and there will be more helpful hints at the bottom of the page.

Water Marbling Tutorial
Water Marbling Tutorial Tutorial

My first tutorial ever! Don't judge! ;)

Tips & Tricks

  • If your first drop doesn't spread out as much as you want, you can gently pull the sides out.
  • Leave the lids of your polish unscrewed so you can get the drops in quickly.
  • The vaseline is really good for your cuticles, and it helps with polish removal! If you would prefer to tape, here is a tutorial.
  • If the water from your tap is too hard the polish won't spread out, try filtered water.
  • Make sure your white (or whatever color you want!) base coat is smooth, if it's streaky or lumpy it will show through after you dip your finger.
  • I use toothpicks when I marble, but you could use a bobby pin in a pinch.
  • Wipe the polish off your toothpick in between each "swirl" when you're marbling to ensure clean lines.
  • Glitter polish works too, although you'll find through experimenting some polishes work better than others.
  • Pull your finger straight out of the water, angles can sometimes cause water bubbles. If you do get some bubbles, try to blow them off, or do what I do and hide them with rhinestones.
  • A thin angle brush dipped in acetone or polish remover works really well for clean up.
  • If you drop the polish too high it will fall to the bottom of the bowl.

My Water Marbles

I may have done this drunk... Raspberry Ripple Pastel Marble

Reader Submissions

Nails by Lydia C
By Lydia C
Nails by Sarah
By Sarah H
Nails by Tia G
By Tia G
Nails by Shelly
By Shelly P

Back to Tutorials

Still have some questions? Send me an email and I'll talk you through any problems you're having. Happy marbling!

New! Comments

Let me know what you think! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Copyright 2012 Lisa Bailey © Nail-Art-101.com
All Rights Reserved