Friday, March 16, 2012

Water Marble - Quick Tutorial for St. Patrick's Day

Hi! I really enjoy nail art, and think water marbling is a great method! I'm still very new to it and I will do future posts as I improve. It can be very frustrating when you first begin, but don't give up!
This is just a quick tutorial on the St. Patrick's Day marbling my sister and I did last night.
Feel free to ask questions if you don't understand a step, I didn't get quite as many pictures as I would have liked. Also, if you have suggestions to help me and others with the process, please share!

It is recommended to use filtered, room temperature water. I accidentally wrote 'distilled water' on the grocery list! But at a gallon for less than a dollar, I figured I'd just try it and it seemed to work very well.

First you want to basecoat your nails and allow them to dry. Usually people paint their nails in the lightest of the colors planned to use in the marbling, which is what my sister did. I actually just used ridge-filling basecoat and did not paint my nails.
Once they are dry, you want to tape around your nails. I use basic clear scotch tape.
I do a strip down each side of the nail, wrapping around under the free edge, and one piece across the finger above the cuticle.

The next step is where it gets tricky! Have your cup filled with the room temperature water. I like to use glass, but have seen success with many cups. Do not use Styrofoam because the polish will eat through it!
Not all polishes will spread in water, so there is some trial and error involved here.
When you find the colors you want and see that they will spread, you want to move somewhat quickly, dripping one drop of polish at a time, alternating colors, to form a bullseye.

This is an example using 3 polishes. You can touch the drip of polish to the water, but avoid touching the brush to the water!

Here is a second example, using 2 polishes.

Once you have made your bullseye, you want to 'draw' a pattern through it. I used a toothpick to do this. Try to keep the toothpick touching the polish, and not dipped too far into the water. Also wipe it off if too much polish is sticking to it.
I, unfortunately, only captured one picture of drawing. I will get more up for you! I find it best to start at the outer edge of the cup and bring a line in to the center, then repeat from the opposite side. Do this again to form a cross or X design. From there you can pull in from whatever area you like until you have a design you like! Remember not to take too long or the polish will dry up. You will also only want to dip 1 or 2 fingers at a time, so don't worry too much if your design doesn't cover the entire water surface!
Find the area you like best and dip your nails, trying to keep the nail flat going into the water. Once in the water you can straighten your fingers. Keep them in the water as you use an orangewood stick, q-tip, etc. to clear away the remaining 'floating' polish away from your nails so that it doesn't glob onto your nails as you lift them out of the water!

Once you clear around the fingers, lift them out! Clean leftover polish out of the water so that it's ready for your next nails. If it seems there's a lot of oils floating around, I find dabbing a napkin or paper towel onto the top of the water helps, like so...
Don't worry about the messy, dried up polish on/around the glass. It will not hurt the next dips. My cup looks like a disaster halfway through this!
Remove the tape! As you can see, it can still leave a mess, but it's so simple to clean up with q-tips, or cotton-wrapped orangewood sticks and polish remover. After clean up, apply a topcoat and you're set!
Here are our other various finished results from last night (before all clean up) The orange decided to stop spreading for me so my second hand is just the 2 green polishes! Like I said, possible frustration, trial and error!

I was really happy with this petal-like design we achieved!

These are my sisters nails, using the 2 greens.

The best advice I can give is have fun!
Some patience can be required, but it's honestly not as painstaking as it may seem!

Let me know if you'd like to see another water marble post, if you have questions, would like a picture to help show a step, or anything else! I was also considering doing a video tutorial, what do you think?

Happy St. Patty's Day!!!
Polishes used:
Lighter green is Essie- Navigate Her
Darker green is Zoya- Shawn
Orange is OPI- Home on the O-Range (not sure why that one stopped spreading on me?!)

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