Friday, 16 August 2013

Water Marbling nail art

So after watching a ton of water marbling video's on YouTube, I thought it was about time I gave it a go myself. The pictures in this post is actually my second attempt at water marbling. The first attempt worked out well, but when I attempted to take off the tape I smudged a few of the nails, so decided to have another go. I also changed the colours at the last minute, as my original attempt was a coral and red combo, but I opted for a more contrasting combination which was inspired by one of the female tennis players dress worn on the road to the US Open and actually picked out by the boyfriend.
Here is what you'll need;
A small plastic container with a small opening (the smaller the better)
At least two different colour polishes
Room temperature water
Cotton buds
kitchen towel/napkin
Dotting tools
base and top coat
I first filled my container with water from the tap (some YT video's advise you to use bottled water, but I found tap water to work just as well.) Whilst this was acclimatising to room temperature, I used this time to prep my nails. First applying my base coat by OPI, then painted the lightest colour I had planned to use in my design on top of the base coat to create my base colour (Pink Flamingo by Barry M). It is advisable to do this so if you do have any mishaps when water marbling you can hardly notice them when you have finished. Some YouTubers suggested painting a white base colour, which you can also do and would advise if you are using neon colour, so you get the true colour, but it is not totally necessary. I then applied a top coat of SV to speed up drying time and allowed to dry.
Once my nail polish was dry I taped around my nails to prevent excessive polish on my fingers and cuticles and so I didn't have to do a massive clean-up afterwards. Just make sure you do not tape over any part of the nail as the polish shall not apply underneath the tap. Another tip is to use a lip balm or Vaseline around the nail to help prevent the polish sticking to your skin. Again make sure you do not put it on the nail, as the oils shall prevent the nail polish from covering the nail. Use which ever technique you fell comfortable with. I opted for tape.
Once this is all done I was able to start creating my design. First of all you need to create a bulls eye effect in the water using your polishes. I did a test polish drop to make sure both polishes would work and found the formula of the Barry M polish too thick to spread in the water so changed it to 'Pink-ing of you' by OPI at the last minute. Although this is a runny sheer pink, I knew it would be able to spread but I would also get the pop of pink in my finished design due to my base coat I had painted earlier.
I started off by dropping one drop of 'Pink-ing of you' by OPI very close to the water, once this had spread I dropped one drop of 'Belgrave Place' by Nails Inc, again, close to the water and allowed this to spread. This polish does have a very thick consistency, but it still worked for me. you need to alternate each polish until you are happy with the bulls eye effect. You need to make sure you work quite fast when creating this, as the water will naturally start to dry your nail polish. It is best to be prepared by shaking the polishes and unscrewing the lids of both polishes before you begin this process. Please note that all brands of nail polish can be used for water marbling, but not every colour of every brand can be used. It is just trail and error, so don't give up if you find your polish either doesn't spread or just sinks to the bottom. The polish may have been dropped from too far a distance to the water or is just too thick to spread.
Once you have finished dropping your polish you need to grab a toothpick or needle to create your design. Lightly drag the toothpick in the polish from the inner circle to the outer circles or vice versa (the inner circle shall be the most wet, so less likely to ruin if you start there.) You can create many designs and can either swirl the polish if you like. Have some fun and just play around with it. Just make sure if you drag from the outer circle in, do not start with the first ring of polish as this is probably almost dry by now and shall just attach itself to your toothpick and lift off the water, ruining your bulls eye.
Once happy with your design you need to choose the section you would like on your nail and dip one finger into the water at a 45 degree angle and submerge it slowly into the water, and leave it there. Blow onto the surface of your container to dry the leftover polish and insert a cotton bud to pick up the remaining polish. This is very important as if you do not remove all of the polish you will end up applying more polish to the fingernail when you lift your finger out of the water, which shall probably ruin you manicure, unless you are looking for the double dipped effect. Once polish has all been removed, slowly remove your finger at the same angle you entered them into the water. blow softly onto the nail so any water droplets filter off  to the side of the nail, which shall prevent any water bubbles ruining the end result. you can also use a corner of a tissue or kitchen towel to gently soak up any water droplets. Nail one is now done.
Now it is time to repeat all of the above steps for each individual nail. You can dip more than one nail in at a time, by as a newbie water marbler, I wanted to play it safe and opted to do each fingernail individually. Once I get more comfortable with the process I shall probably venture into the two/three finger submersion. If you do choose to do more than one finger at a time, be carefully not to knock or damage the polished nails when entering and removing your fingers into the water. You also need to make sure all fingers enter the water at exactly the same time. This is a must!
Once your nails are dry, remove tape, apply a top coat, and let it dry fully. I had quite a lot of blocks of colour on my nails, so I used a dotting tools to create some small dots in the areas I wanted to break up and add a little extra design. I then sealed it with a topcoat of SV.  I cleaned up the manicure using a small nail art brush dipped into 100% acetone.
I really like how every nail is different and some of the patterns are really beautiful. I have to say I even impressed myself with how my first attempt at water marbling went, and I shall definitely be trying it again with some different colour combinations.
What do you think? Have you every tried water marbling before? Have you got any more tips/tricks you would like to share? Will you be giving it a go?
Until next time...