Cindy's Nails.

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Sensual Amber for Bath and Body Works! It got a bit messy, so I might have to give this another try.

Sensual Amber for Bath and Body Works! It got a bit messy, so I might have to give this another try.

Holiday water marble with a twist — glitter and foil!

Holiday water marble with a twist — glitter and foil!

This has been highly requested, so I’ve finally decided to do it. It’s difficult doing a tutorial on this because you have to work so fast for it to be done right, but I don’t want to miss any steps due to the fact that I’m taking pictures at the same time.

*For tips on water marbling, click here! Hopefully that will answer most of the questions you have.

1. First, prepare your nail. It’s important to have polish on because you want your design to show. Most people use white or one of the colors that they’re going to marble with. I’m using a shimmery white-ish color called Private Collection by Finger Paints.

If you’ve watched tutorials on YouTube or if you’ve seen other people do it, they usually have tape around their nail so the polish doesn’t get on their fingers. Personally, I find that to be a waste of time and messy. What I like to do is put a good amount of lotion all around my nail and on my skin. If you’re thinking “How is this going to help me?!” you’ll see soon.

2. Now you’re going to make the marble itself. Fill your bowl or cup (do NOT use styrofoam!) with water. People say it’s best to use filtered water at room temperature, but it’s not absolutely required for this to work. Have your polish bottles (use at least 2 colors) open and ready.

You start by adding a drop of polish to the water, and you’ll see it spread out. If the drop goes to the bottom of the bowl, it’s okay — just take your toothpick/needle, pull it up to the surface of the water, and it’ll spread out. Immediately after, add your next drop of color in the middle of what you have.

Keep repeating the process until you’re satisfied.

3. With your toothpick/needle/pin, start dragging your polish across. I like to drag from the middle to the edge, then go across. But it’s really up to you! Make sure to do this with a light touch.

4. Aim where you want the design to be, and get ready to put your finger in. Make sure that your finger is positioned so the nail is facing the marble.

Let your finger make contact with the water and you’ll notice something interesting:

"What’s happening?!" It’s the lotion! It makes it so that the polish will stick to the nail, but not the skin. The lotion repels the polish, making it easier to pull your finger out and less messy.

Pull your finger out slowly, and you’ll notice the hole it makes. See how much easier that is than taping your fingers?

With a Q-tip soaked with polish remover, wipe off the excess polish from off your skin (it doesn’t take much effort at all!) and you’ll end up with something like this:

Add your top coat and you’re done!

I had something like this on my old blog at Xanga, but I’m going to put it here because I’m sure it will be useful.

1. Use a good base if you want your colors to stand out. People usually go for white, but I use shimmery colors (like in my XBox marble), bold colors, black, grey, holos, whatever I choose. You have to experiment to get something unique and different. If you don’t put anything underneath it or if you use something very sheer, you won’t get a good result.

2. Why aren’t my colors spreading? There are a couple factors to that. The first thing may be the water. It’s your preference as far as how you like it, but I find it better using room-temperature, filtered water. It just works for me. The second thing may be your polish. From experience, don’t try using polishes that have pieces of glitter in them. You are guaranteed to have a hard time. Sometimes, your polish isn’t runny enough. If it’s not, add some thinner to your polish and you should be okay. And, at times, it may be just the polish itself. Some brands have polishes that just don’t work well for water marbling. You just have to try them out and see which ones work and which ones don’t.

3. You must work quickly. I can’t stress that enough. Have your colors ready to drop in to the water, and once you do all your rounds of polish, get your toothpick, needle, or whatever you use in there and get to swirling. If you wait too long, the polish will dry (and it dries quicker in water) and you won’t be able to move it. With that being said, I wouldn’t recommend using quick-dry polishes because you’ll have to move at hyper speed if you want it to be a success. That’s from my experience, but you can try it out for yourself.

4. How the design turns out depends on your swirls and your rings. When I do my rings, depending on the color, I go for 2-3 drops in each ring, just to make sure that the colors will show like they’re supposed to. And when I do my rings, I go for as many rounds as I can to make sure I get every color on each nail. How the marble comes out depends on how you swirl it. Some techniques I taught myself to do, but to get some great help, go to My Simple Little Pleasures. Her videos are well-done and very helpful.

5. Want to avoid making a mess? Some people like to be excessively messy, but there are some of us who like to make life easier in the end. Everyone has their way of doing it, so I’m going to share the ones I’ve heard of and the ones that I use. Many people, from what I’ve observed, use Scotch tape around their nails, so that way they can just rip off the tape and there’s far less clean-up to do. I find this to be a great idea. The other technique that I use is the Vaseline (I use lotion) trick. You know that when you paint your nails, your nails should be dry and free of oils so that your nail polish has a strong attachment. Same idea. I put lotion all around my nails and a little bit down the finger (not a really thick layer, but a decent amount). When I dip my fingers in, the polish will stick to the nail, but the rest of the polish on the surface will spread out and away, making it easier for you to take out your finger. And if there is some polish left, use a Q-tip to clean up around the edges. You can find your own technique, but try these first. They will make the process easier.

6. Please be aware of what you’re marbling in! Based off of my experience (and I’m sure some others’), do NOT water marble in anything made of styrofoam. The polish eats the styrofoam away, and water will be all over the place. Please use plastic, maybe paper, or even a ceramic bowl to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Simply put, water marbling is all about trial and error because it’s never the same for everyone and for every time you do it. You have to learn which polishes work, which clean-up techniques are helpful, what swirls will make you happy, and how you like to dip your fingers in. You have to experiment in order to come up with something that you’ll love.

If there are tips that you have, add on to it!

The best water marble I’ve ever done. Done on July 25, 2010.

The best water marble I’ve ever done. Done on July 25, 2010.

My ‘XBox’ marble. Done on July 22, 2010.

My ‘XBox’ marble. Done on July 22, 2010.

Cool-toned marble. My skin tone hates it. Done on July 20, 2010.

Cool-toned marble. My skin tone hates it. Done on July 20, 2010.

Pink and black marble. Done on September 16, 2010.