Water marbling is one technique of creating nail art. Differently-colours nail polish droplets are dropped on water (as much as you like, with the maximum being half a cup, and no more). Water marbling was developed by nail art professionals in Japanese nail salons. It gained popularity in 1990 through commercial publications in China, Japan. From 2010 onwards the technique spread to the acrylic paints,gels and artificial nails industries. The act forms an abstract art pattern, which is then applied onto the nails. There are two types of water marbling:
Free dropping: Droplets of nail lacquer are dropped either straight or diagonally into the water one after the other. The pattern is formed (it floats on the water). The user then applies the pattern on her nails. Spirals and geometric shapes can be created with this technique.
Free-dragging: This method gets the popular vote. Droplets of nail polish are parachuted on the water (similar to the technique described above). The user then uses a tool such as a toothpick or pin, and draws patterns on it before applying the nail art. Different patterns like hearts, flowers, spiderwebs, etc., can be created and applied.
How can you water marble your nails?
Things you’ll need:
- At least 2 to 3 nail polishes
- Nail polish remover
- Base coat nail polish
- Top coat transparent nail polish
- Bottled water/ Filtered water
7 Step tutorial:
Step 1. Fill half cup (maximum) with water and gather nail polishes around the cup for easy reach.
Step 2. Apply a base coat on nails — preferably a light color such as nude, beige or white that matches well with most patterns/colors. The base coat also helps create an even look and a better finish.
Step 3. Stick tape on the skin around the nails (because to apply the pattern on your nails you will have to dip your nails in the polish).
Step 4. Now start creating the pattern. Pick one nail polish and drop one to two droplets into the water, aiming at the cup’s centre. Repeat the process with as many colors you like.
Step 5. Either the pattern looks good by now, or you want to modify it with a toothpick or pin — this is your choice. If you choose modification, dip the toothpick into the pattern and drag it as your like. Avoid the outermost ring because needling it could ruin the pattern.
Step 6. Dip your nails (1-2 fingers in one go, no more) horizontally into the pattern and keep them under water for about 10 to 20 seconds. Extract. Repeat for all nails. Now, use the toothpick to remove nail polish that has gathered on the tape around your nails.
Step 7. Leave to dry. After the nails have dried, apply a top coat for shine and longer lasting nail pattern.
Top 10 water marbling tips
- Use clean water while marbling. Unclean water contains pollutants that prevent nail paint from creating patterns.
- Drop the nail polish droplets onto water from as close as practical, else the drops will hit the cup’s bottom instead of floating on the water.
- Open the nail paint bottle lids before starting the marbling so that you can let go of the nail paint quickly.
- Vaseline applied along the nails helps you remove leftover patterns easily and quickly.
- Bobby pins work better than toothpicks (in pattern creation).
- The base coat must not be streaky else it will show up on the pattern and ruin the look.
- Use a new toothpick or wipe the polish off a used toothpick in between each pattern-creating swirl. This ensures clean lines and distinct patterns.
- Experiment with glitter polishes to lend a cool touch to your patterns.
- If the nail paint dries too quickly, use lukewarm water. If it is runny, use moderately cold water.
- Pouring the nail polish drops diagonally or from a slightly tilted angle creates interesting ring patterns.
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