Blogger Widgets

Water Marbling, Two Ways

Water marble is, for me, one of the most challenging techniques in the world of nail art. Very few things have made me curse so loudly or so creatively. Turns out there is more than one way to make a blogger cry create a water marble. I decided to give it a try... after all, I don't think I had scared the neighbors with my language in a few weeks.

Like I said before, water marbles can be challenging. But they can also be stunningly beautiful when done right. Not to mention the fact that it is a bit of an ego-boost when a stranger stares at your fingertips in abject wonder. I do enjoy that.

Apparently, you can DIY decals with nearly the same technique as a water marble...but without the mess. I decided to give it a try. It was not as easy as I anticipated.

Colors Used
Sally Hansen Mighty Mango
NYC Tudor City Teal
Octopus Party Spume Fed
Octopus Party On a Cliff
OPI Amazon Amaz-Off

after 24 hours. totally not because I forgot about it

I made a goofy face in my water, because I wanted a more abstract and less swirly design. I had this 70s mod thing swimming around in my head after the Miss Argentina manicure. I decided to use the same colors and try the decal method. I plopped my colors randomly into the water and waited a day. 

After 24 hours, I slid the decal out of the water and blotted the underside dry. I was pretty hopeful. I easily applied it to my ring and pinky fingers, though I didn't measure as well as I could have. I was encouraged by how simple this was to do. Could I have been introducing myself to a whole new hobby?

As it turns out, the answer was no.

On my index and ring fingers, I had far less success. There were drags, lumps, bubbles and tears. Finally, after 4 tries (and using up the entirety of my decal on one fingernail) I gave up and did the marble the old fashioned way on my middle finger. I used to think that water marbling was a time-suck, but not anymore.

decals vs tradition. I vote traditional, all the way.

I think, in the future, I will reserve the decal method for making accents and weird details as opposed to full fingernail designs. Even when considering cleanup and prep, for me, traditional water marbles are more efficient and better looking. 
Tl;dr its a pain in the ass and not worth doing.


  1. Aw, that's a shame. :( I was really hoping that would work. I love water marble manicures, but I hate the cleanup. Or what it takes to avoid the cleanup.

    I love those moments when people gawk at my nail art silently too. Or when cashiers grab their coworkers and go "ZOMG LOOK AT HER NAILS!" Never gets old!

    1. I admit that I don't tape my fingers off anymore, unless I'm using a color that stains my skin. I'd rather spend the time cleaning my hand than taping.

      I consider any design a fail that doesn't get at least one cross-wise look from a stranger.

  2. FWIW, I just watched a tutorial on this, and that blogger lets the polish dry in the water for only 20-25 minutes, and then a few more minutes on the plastic bag. Maybe it would work better?

    Link here. It's all in Russian, but there's a video of the process. Not affiliated.

    1. maybe that was my problem. I may try taking it out after a short period next time. But really, ugh...I think its less hassle to just water marble if I'm going for a full nail. I will keep this technique in my pocket for decals though.


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