Water marbling nails are a fun and creative way to spice up your manicure. The look involves dropping nail polish into water and swirling the colors together. This creates beautiful designs that resemble natural marble patterns. With just a few simple steps, you can create this stunning effect on your own nails at home.
Supplies Needed for Water Marbling Nails
This lovely tie-dye nail art technique requires a few supplies:
- Regular manicure tools to prep your nails: Clippers, file, cuticle pusher
- A cup or bowl for the water
- One to three different nail lacquers (not gels) in different colors
- White nail polish for a base coat
- Clear top coat
- A toothpick
- Cotton swabs or rounds for cleanup
- Nail polish remover
- Vaseline, coconut oil, school glue, or liquid latex
Specifically, you’ll want to use room temperature water as cold water will make the polish set too fast. And the process works best when the polish has a thin consistency. However, glitter lacquer is a little more challenging to use.
Although your first attempt might not turn out Instagram-worthy, don’t despair. Grab your trusty nail polish remover and try again.
Expert Touch Lacquer Remover
OPI makes one of our favorite non-drying polish removers. Although it contains acetone, it’s enriched with grapeseed oil, aloe, and vitamin E to hydrate the nails. Moreover, it clears off dark colors easily without extra scrubbing.
Once you have all these supplies ready, take a look at your nails. Do they need a manicure?
Prepare the Nails
First trim, shape, and smooth your nails just like you would before any other manicure. Push back the cuticles, too. It’s much easier to do this part if you use cuticle remover.
Blue Cross Cuticle Remover
This easy-to-use remover leaves cuticles soft and pliant, while effectively removing dead tissue without harsh chemicals or abrasives. Plus, the lanolin-enriched formula nourishes and moisturizes the skin around your nails to ensure healthy-looking hands.
Apply a Base Coat on the Nails
Make sure the nails are oil-free by swiping them with a cotton pad soaked with alcohol or acetone. Then apply a base coat to help your manicure adhere better and last longer without staining your nails. We’ve found that white polish works best to set off the marbling colors, but feel free to use clear.
LDS 148 French White
This formula is 9-free, with no formaldehyde or other scary toxins. Furthermore, it’s vegan and cruelty-free. It’s ideal as a breathable base layer for water marbling nails as it goes on smooth and resists chipping for at least a week.
Coat the Fingers but Not the Nails
Here’s where you’ll need liquid latex, Vaseline, or coconut oil to protect your skin. Using a cotton swab, smear the product of your choice all around the nail but not on top of it. It will keep the polish from adhering to the skin and makes it straightforward to neaten up your nail art.
Prepare the Polish
Now, you’re ready to get creative. Step-by-step, here’s how to do water marbling:
- Fill a cup or bowl with room-temperature water – not cold.
- Unscrew the caps of the colored nail lacquers.
- Let a drop or two of the first polish fall into the water.
- Follow this with a drop of the next color right in the center of the first.
- Repeat again with the third color if needed.
- Use the toothpick to swirl the colors.
- Scoop your nail at a 45° angle into the colored swirl and out again.
Once the polish dries, wipe the excess off the skin and clean up around the edges with nail polish remover if needed.
Seal the polish with a clear top coat and dab on cuticle oil. All done!
Kiara Sky Fast Dry Top Coat
Kiara Sky’s fast dry top coat is the perfect way to complete water marbling nails. It helps resist chipping and discoloration, ensuring your vibrant designs stay put.
Colored Nail Lacquers for a Stunning Marbled Finish
Here are some gorgeous color combinations, starting with one for the holidays:
Kiara Sky Nail Lacquer - N425 Glamour
This rich, glossy red is ready for the holidays when you swirl it with green and gold. Happily, the formula is free of DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde and packed with pigment.
Kiara Sky Nail Lacquer - N448 Green
This luscious green will make onlookers envious, especially in holiday-themed nail art. It dries quickly to a high-gloss finish, so don’t delay as you dip each nail.
Kiara Sky Nail Lacquer - N433 Strike Gold
It’s a little tricky to marble nails with glitter polish, but gold is the perfect accent for green and red.
Try swirling the colors in different patterns like circular or zigzag for different results.
Morgan Taylor 920 - Love Me Like A Vamp
What happens when you marble nails with burgundy, hot pink, and heather gray? You’ll soon find out when you snatch up these affordable nail lacquers.
Now you can get your favorite Gelish colors in Morgan Taylor nail polish! They offer extra-long wear with smooth flow. Plus, all the colors are free of toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP.
Morgan Taylor 858 - Go Girl
Oh, it is on! Here’s a hot pink that’s hard to resist. It’s a gorgeous accent for water marbling nails.
LDS 025 Gray Heather
Not every color has to be dazzling when you do water marbling. In fact, the real stunners stand out more when next to something soft like this shade of gray.
Water marbling nails is a fun and imaginative way to change up your manicure. With a few simple steps, you can create intricate designs that look like works of art. Experiment with colors and patterns to make this nail art design your own. Check out our wide selection of affordable nail lacquers to get started.