Water Marble Effect Nails

This was such a fun manicure to do, but SO MESSY! If you can’t handle getting quite messy with your mani, I’d give this technique a miss. You can see in the pictures, even after taping all around my nails, and attempting some cuticle clean up afterwards, there is a lot of mess still on my hands and cuticles! Saying that, the result is stunning, and such a cheerful effect on your nails!



I’m going to do a brief walkthrough of this technique, even though there are loads out there! I’ll try and give it in as simple a way as possible, as I found quite a few people out there went into way too many variables.

What you’ll need:

  • Your usual manicure materials (file, buffer etc.),
  • a good base coat,
  • a base colour (white is good for a blank canvas),
  • 3-5 colours (you could use as few as 2 colours, or as many as you would like, but I would recommend you stay within 3-5!),
  • top coat,
  • Sellotape,
  • room temperature water (not hot, not cold!) in a disposable container, big enough to fit your finger nail in
  • and toothpicks.

Step 1: Prepare your nails as normal and apply a base coat.

Step 2: Use Sellotape to apply a sort of barrier around your nails on your skin – use one small piece of Sellotape on either side of your nail, and one at the base of your nail.

Step 3: Paint 2 coats of your chosen base colour to your nails.

Step 4: Loosen the lids of the 3-5 colours you have chosen, and set them out next to your container full of water – you’ll need to move quickly once you start so you don’t want to be fiddling with the bottles.

Step 5: Quickly put one drop of each colour into the water, putting each drop within the centre of the previous drop until you have a bullseye sort of effect in the water. If you’re only using 2/3 colours, feel free to do more than one drop of each colour.

Step 6: As soon as you have put all of the drops of nail polish into the water, gently use a toothpick to drag through the polish and create a swirly design. Some people get really intricate with these designs and really detailed, but for me I just swirl through randomly to get a cool, different pattern on each nail.

Step 7: The nail polish will be starting to dry on the water already, so quickly place your nail down onto the design and into the water. Leave your nail there for a couple of seconds and blow gently on the surface of the water.

Step 8: Use the toothpick to pick up the spare nail varnish left on the water in the container, then lift your nail out.

Step 9: Repeat Steps 4-8 for each nail, then finish with a top coat and remove the Sellotape.





Such cool designs for quite an easy technique! It may take you a few tries to get used to the swirling of the polish before you dip your finger, or to get used to how much polish to drop into the water for your design, but keep going!

And if you’re tempted to forgo the protective Sellotape barrier on your fingers, please don’t… I gave up on it after the third nail or so as it seemed to be getting in my way a bit, but the mess left on my fingers was just atrocious! It took way too long to clean it all off again that I just got bored of doing the clean up properly, hence the state of my cuticles!

I can’t actually remember the colours used for this manicure, some were Barry M’s, but I know the pink was definitely Sinful Colours 24/7!

I CANNOT wait to try this technique again, I’d love to do one with rainbow colours! Have you ever tried water marble nails before? Let me know!

Laura x

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