Water Marble Nails art Tutorial [14 EASY STEPS]

water marble nails art

If you want a nail design that is simply amazing and will give you lots of compliments, then try Water Marble Nails Art or strawberry nails art and you won’t regret.When the Japanese nail technicians developed the water marble nail art technique, they were onto something big.

Water marble nail designs are the latest nail art trend. They are not just amazing, but they also make you look stunning. In addition, you can easily apply these designs at home. Well, they may be tricky if you are doing them for the first time. I tried several times with less success, but finally, I was able to master this marbling technique.

This tutorial is a result of all my attempts. I share with you what I learned in the process. Learn the reasons why water marble nail art fails and how you can make it work. These techniques have been simplified for you to learn  how to do water marble nails at home. I have also put in some water marble nails videos so that you can clearly follow along. Read on for this easy step by step water marble nails art guide.

How to do Water Marble Nails Art

The technique of Water Marble nails art involve dropping nail polishes onto the surface of clear water. The dropped polish then creates a pattern/design in the nail lacquers on the water surface. You spread the design using a stick and then dipping your nails into the drawn design/pattern until it is transferred to the nails. This is easy to do and here are the steps to follow. Basically, you create a water marble using two techniques namely, free-dragging or free-dropping. This guide combines the two marbling techniques.

Watch These Videos on This Water Marble Nails Technique

1. Striped Rainbow Water Marble Nail Art Tutorial

Steps to Make Water Marble Nails Art

Step 1 : Gather all the Materials you will need.

  • An unwanted cup (preferred)  or old bowl
  • Clear water at room temperature (Preferably filtered/bottled water). If your room is super hot, you can leave the water outside for a few hours to cool.
  • Your chosen nail polish colors for free-dropping. You can choose a variety of colors if you want a rainbow stripped water marble nail art. If you prefer a more ombre-inspired look, then choose nail polish color variations of the same tone. Click here to see the best nail polish for your skin tone, nail health and length.
  • Toothpicks or an orange stick or push pin or metal skewer
  • Scissors (to cut the tape off when you’re done)
  • Q-tips
  • Tweezers
  • Scotch tape or Vaseline
  • A brush for clean-up
  • Base coat
  • Top coat.
  • Moisturizer
  • cotton swabs

Step 2: Prep your nails.

Many guide on how to do water marble nails art leave out this step. For a clean looking design, it is important that you prepare your nails as you would for any other nail designs. Nail preparations include: trimming and filling (you can use an electric nail file machine) and other steps covered in my other comprehensive step-by-step nail designs guides here on perfect gel nails and here

Step 3: Apply base coat to your nails.

Paint your nails with a clear base coat. Let the coat dry or force the drying by spraying with fast-drying spray. The base coat protects your natural nails from breaking. Also the polish/ patterns will adhere better to the base coat.

Step 4: Apply white nail vanish.

After the base coat, paint your nails with white nail vanish. Preferably two coats of the vanish, one coat at a time. White works well if you plan to use light or bright (neon) colors.

Step 5: Apply moisturizer

Apply moisturizer (Vaseline, lip balm, or scotch tape ) on the skin surrounding the nails. This makes cleaning up at the end easier in case the patterns spread beyond the nails.

Alternatively, you can put sticky tape around your skin and cuticles, ensuring that the tape doesn’t touch the nail because if it does, this will ruin the effect. The end (bad) result is that some parts of the nails will be white.

Step 6: Put Within Easy Reach

Put within easy reach as many polish colors you want in the design and loosen all the lids of the polishes. This will make work easy. Actually, you need to work quickly for the marbling technique to work out.

Step 7: Chose an unwanted cup or old bowl

Fill it with the water you are going to use. The marbling process will ruin the bowl/cup, hence do not use one you may need later for other purposes. You may want to do this step before step 6 (having tape all over your fingers).

Step 8:

Now, out of the polish colors you have chosen, pick one and take out the wand with the brush. The brush should have some polish on it. Hold the brush very close to the water surface. Tap the handle of the brush gently until the varnish drips into the water, exactly into the center of the bowl. We want to build a “bulls-eye.”, that is why it should drop into the center of the cup. You should not drop the polish from too far away as the polish will drop to the bottom of the bowl or you’ll get splashes of polish or air bubbles.

Drop the next color following the above step (step 8) directly in the center of the first color, then next color goes in the middle of the last one and so on until all your chosen polish colors are finished or until you have built up your “bulls eye.”

Step 9: Expand the nail polish ring

Use an orange stick to stir the clear water surrounding the circle of the nail varnish. You can alternatively use a toothpick, making sure it does not touch the nail polish at all. Stirring the clear water will make the nail varnish ring to expand.

Step 10: Now draw your designs

This is the crucial part, where many people fail. If you get this right, then there is nothing to stop you from making amazing water marble nail art.
Using a tooth pick or orange stick, very gently drag the stick through the polish to make your design. when you start to draw the patterns/design, do not start from the very outside edge as other people tell you to do. If you do this, things will start to fall apart very quickly. The polish will gum up and lift off with the stick. It will stick to the stick and you will never get a pretty design.

Instead, start drawing your design a few rings IN towards the center (from about the 3rd ring out). Place the toothpick on the water in that ring and drag the toothpick inwards, towards the center of the bulls-eye. Continue that way to draw your designs/patterns. Draw as many lines as you want to create designs  such as marble, hearts/peacocks,animals, flowers, leaves, parallel lines, spiderwebs, and random patterns. However, after every line drawn, wipe off your toothpick, or use a new one because polish loves to stick to polish.

Step 11: Transfer the design onto your nail

Pick a spot in the drawn pattern that you want to aim for. A spot with the pattern that you think is pretty. Then exactly at that spot, dip the nail into bowl. Then wait for around ten seconds for the outer nail polish to dry, and take out. In order to avoid air bubbles, you need to keep your nail at an angle (Preferably 45 degrees to the water surface) and dip it in more gently. As you wait for the outer nail polish to dry on your nail, clean the surface of the water (to scrape of polish from the water). Do this using a toothpick in a spinning motion.

Step 12:

Once your water surface is clean, slowly slide your finger out at the same angle you put it in, making sure not to smudge the design.
Gently soak-off water bubbles with cotton swabs or clean tissue. Then leave the nail to dry. You can use a Nail dry (Led or UV) for quick drying.

Step 13: Peel off the tape

Peel off the tape from your finger. Do this carefully so as not to smudge the design. Start with the tape that you put on last.

Step 14:

Use nail polish remover to remove any polish on the skin around your nails. Make sure not to remove the polish.

Final step: Paint with clear top coat

When the water marble design is completely dry, paint over it(over the nail) with a clear top coat. Repeat the above steps for all the nails.

That is it. Now that you know how to do water marble nails, go out and impress your friends.

6 Reasons why water marble nails art fails/ why water marble nails art doesn’t work

If you have tried every step above and your water marble nails art doesn’t seem to work, you may be doing some of these mistakes. Any of these or all of them may be the reason why water marble nails art fails.

1. Not using filtered water which is at room temperature

Unfiltered water (e.g tap water) may contain minerals which could interfere with the nail polish and cause it not to spread very well.

Cold water (filtered or unfiltered) can cause the polish not to spread very well. Cold water can also cause your polish to dry quicker. This will make the design pull and mess up when you try to drag through it.

On the other hand, polish spreads very well in warm water. However, warm water presents two main problems which may cause the water marble nail art to fail.

  • Since warn water is so good at spreading polish, if you do not have enough layers of polish in your cup, when you make your design, it can cause the polish to “leak” and spread more.
  • Secondly, it presents a problem with clean up. This is due to the fact that warm water prevents polish from drying quickly. So, after you dip your nail and try to clean up the polish before pulling your finger out, the polish will be very difficult to get up and will not stick easily to your toothpick/orange stick because the polish isn’t drying.

2. Using nail polish that is too thick, too thin or quick dry

Not all polishes work well for water marbling. Usually, the thicker the polish is, the poorer it will spread in water. Too thin or sheer nail polishes may just sink to the bottom and thus not spread at all. This is basically a trial and error thing. So you may have to try different polishes and brands. My trials have made me to discover that most Matte polishes will not work. Yes I have tried many brands (OPI, Nicole by OPI, Ultra, Zoya , etc. with very little success). But you can do your experimentation. The brands that seem to work for me for water marble nail art are Sally Hansen and China Glaze.

3. Using a dish that is too deep or white around
4. You may be doing it slowly, you have to do it quickly so that outer layers do not dry as you put the inner layers
5. Try do make sure it spreads all the way out.The bigger it spreads, the easier it is to transfer and the bigger your designs will be.
6. Try to use a cup instead of a bowl. With a cup, it is easy for the outer most layer of polish to touch the sides of the cup. This helps anchor the polish so when you drag through to make the design, it doesn’t spread around – which is the case when you use a bowl.

External links to water marble nails designs

1. Illustrating pictures
2. Instructables
3. More on wikipedia

You May Also like these Articles:

  1. 5 Best Manicure Tables – A REVIEW [Nail tables, Nail desk, Nail Station]

Leave a Comment