Dry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Friday, 22 February 2013

Right, I promised after my recent dry water marbling manicures (here and here) that I would do a tutorial, and here it is!

This is a much easier and less messy alternative to water marbling (for me anyway).  I know that a lot of people are excellent at water marbling and do some freaking brilliant creations, but I just hate doing it!  I am SO hit and miss with it, and it frustrates me after all the prep work (white base coat, taped up nails, water, polish in place, etc) that I really don't know for sure until I pull my finger out whether I've got a winner or not, and more often than not I end up taking it off as it looks AWFUL.  Or I do a great one and then dink it before it's dry.

So this method is much better for me, as you are more in control of the results before it ends up on your nail.  So, to begin, you will need:
  • Polishes that you want to use for the marbling.  Personally, I think sticking to three colours is a good idea, and make sure they aren't too similar, so there will be contrast of colours on your manicure.  For the purpose of this tutorial I grabbed the nearest to hand, so we have two of the new Barry M Gellys; Lychee (nude) and Dragon (pink), and Blueberry Ice Cream (blue).
  • Pins/needle for dragging the design; if you don't have pins, a cocktail stick will do, I just think pins are slightly better for this
  • A plastic sandwich bag, you want the slightly thicker type that will lie flat.  I bought a pack of 50 at the supermarket for about £2.
  • Scissors
  • Nail File
  • Tweezers
 
Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial
Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial


So, once you've got all your bits together, you want to start with the lightest colour out of the three (in this case Lychee) and paint the polish onto the plastic sandwich bag.  Put this on fairly thickly so that it won't dry out too quickly, and cover a surface area that equates to the area of nail you want to cover, plus a bit extra.

Dry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Next, get your second colour.  Blob on the polish onto the area you've painted.  This doesn't need to be done neatly, literally just cover the area with some thick blobs of polish.

Dry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Take your third colour and repeat the process, but this time, try and blob the polish inside the blobs (apologies, I can't think of a better word than blob.  bloblobloblobloblob.).

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Continue this process a couple more times until you've got a good amount of polish distributed on your original base colour.

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Next, we are going to create the patterns.  Get hold of your pin, and drag this through the polish.  I find it works best when you start in the centre of a circle, and drag outwards, but there's no hard and fast rule.  The main thing to remember here is don't over work it, and try and drag through the polish in straight clean lines.  If you start swirling the pin round, your just going to end up with a big splodgy mess.

If your pin starts getting too much polish on it, clean it off.  Speed is generally of the essence in this process as the longer you take, the more chance that the polish will start to dry out, and it won't drag through properly if this is the case.

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial
Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Once you've finished creating the pattern, you need to leave everything where it is for at least an hour, maybe two (dependant on how much polish you've used), for the polish to dry out enough on the sandwich bag.  Now, if you think, "well, I'll do the pattern the day before"; you can, but when the polish is touch dry on the sandwich bag, I'd suggest putting it into another sandwich bag and sealing that to stop it from drying out completely.  It's important for this to work properly that the polish is dry, but not completely dried out.  If it is completely dried out, it won't peel off the plastic properly (more likely flake and snap) and won't stick to your nails properly.

So, here's the finished pattern. 

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Now, some areas look better than others; this is fine as you can just pick and choose what parts of the pattern you want to use on your nails.  This is why it is important to make sure you do a little bit too much.

Once you've let the polish dry out sufficiently, cut the section out of the sandwich bag.  Then carefully cut out small sections using the areas of the pattern that you like the most, that will fit onto your nails.  Don't worry too much about the length of the sections (we will deal with that later), just make sure they are of a correct width, and that you cut the base end curved to match the base of your nail.

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

So, applying the water marble to your nails.  First off, make sure you've painted your nails a base colour, so that the water marble has something to stick to.  It's best to make sure this colour is the lighted colour you've used for the water marble, so I've painted my nails with Lychee as the base.  This needs to be dry, but not completely dry, as the water marble does grip slightly better to tackier nails.
Take your first piece, and carefully peel away the plastic backing.  At this point, if the polish is stretching or not coming off the plastic easily; it's not dry enough.  Give it some more time.  Otherwise, use tweezers to help you pull off the plastic backing.

Then position the water marble over your nail, be careful not to place it on your nail until you are happy with the positioning. 

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Once you are happy, press it down, and carefully smooth it down from your nail base to tip.  If you do this too quickly you may get ridges, so take care when pressing it down.

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

So, once it's smoothed down, you can see it's starting to take shape.

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Next, get your nail file, and file downwards.  Don't go up and down, just downwards; one direction.  This will trim the excess off your nail and will also seal it to the edges.

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Voila! I actually think this looks pretty cool on it's own as an accent nail. 

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Now; continue the same process for the rest of your nails.  Once you've finished, apply top coat, and there you have it, dry water marble nails done!  You can also use the water marble to just cover sections of your nails, or just a line down the centre, whatever you fancy.  Also, afterwards it can look pretty cool to add some polka dots to the pattern also.

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

Dry Water Marble Nails TutorialDry Water Marble Nails Tutorial

I hope this tutorial is helpful!  And if you do have a go please let me know how it goes; and post your pictures to my facebook page; www.facebook.com/nuthinbutanailthing.

34 comments:

  1. Awesome, thank you thank you thank you for posting this. I am going to have a go this weekend if I get a chance. I'll try and post to your facebook if I do. x

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  2. Wow, this looks sooo easier and much less messier than actual watermarble. I need to try this! Thank you for this ;)

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  3. Great tutorial Claire. Really good technique and I love your choice of colours :)

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  4. Oh.You.Are.A.GENIUS! Thank you, can't wait to try this - water marbling is the devil, but this actually looks fun and has brilliant results:)

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    1. Ah thank you! I can't take the credit though as its not my idea, I just hadn't seen any specific tutorials on it. Good luck, hope it goes well! x

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  5. VERY helpful tutorial. I might have a go at this with black and gold.

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    1. Ah thank you! That would be a nice colour combo indeed!

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  6. Wow, this is so easy! I've always hated water marbling because it was so messy, but this is so nice <3

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  7. OMG!!! I never mind to do a water murble like this, once i try it with the water but it's not so easy and i let go.
    But i have to say it, you're a genius!!!! :D

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    1. Ah thank you! Do give it a try, it's a million times easier and you are far more in control of the results! x

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  8. Great tutorial! I definitely want to try this out!

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  9. This is awesome! Thanks so much for doing this tutorial. There's so much detail. I'm definitely going to try this soon. Thanks for all the nail art inspiration! :)

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  10. I really need to try this, you make it look so easy!

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  11. Looks great! Water marbling is SO messy! Applies just like OPI Pure Nail Lacquer Apps and they're fab... Will this withstand a GelColor top coat do you think?

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  12. Do you know what nail polishes would work for this because I only have Pure Ice and Revlon to use? I try this but when I do it the nail polish dries to fast so I'm starting to think I'm using the wrong types(as in brand)! :(
    I am super disappointed at this prospect because I was looking forward to doing it on account of water marbling not working out a bit for me!:(
    Also do you have a recommended time for letting the nail art dry before applying? I would really like to know so I don't mess it up if I try again!
    What I notice about a lot of people is that they get it perfectly right and then when you try it the exact same way that they did it you mess up horribly and then they give all these tips that don't work a single bit!
    I just hate it sometimes when they are all like "It was so easy and fun and not hard at all!"
    I just hate it when they practically rub it into your face!
    So now that my rant is over I really hope that you won't be like them! Although something tells me that you won't be!
    So now can you plz give me every tip you know on how to do this tutorial!!!

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    1. I think generally any polishes should work AS LONG as they aren't too fast drying. I've used a lot of Barry M, or Kiko, or Sinful Colors for these types of manicures and they've worked really well, just make sure you put quite big blobs onto the sheet of plastic and it shouldn't dry as quick.

      I usually let this dry for 1-2 hours, you can check if it's ready by seeing how easy it peels up from the edge of the sheet, if it's stretching, leave it a bit longer. xxx

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    2. Thanks! That really helped me a lot! I tried it the next day and it kinda worked. I need more nail polish. I've only got 3!

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    3. BTW I love this blog!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. Crackle nail varnish works fantastic with this method! Xx

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    1. Oh really? Interesting! I will have to give it a try. xxx

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