Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nail Art Water Marble Secrets Revealed + Tips & Tricks! (PIC HEAVY!)

Have you tried water marble manicures in the past?

Have you been less than satisfied with the results?

Did you experience air or water bubbles that made your nail art look less than stellar?

Maybe the polish all pulled off the surface of the water every time you tried to draw a design?

Would  you love results like these?

Well.  Have I got the tutorial for YOU!

LOL.


But seriously, folks...

So here's the deal.  I've seen some amazing water marbles out there on MUA and flickr, etc.  But every time (until very recently) I tried to achieve those results myself I have failed miserably.  Why?  I didn't know.  I read every tutorial I could find.  I watched countless youtube videos.  They make it LOOK so easy!  But when I tried to do it myself, the universe just wasn't playing ball.

Until about 2 days ago.  I don't even know what happened.  The stubbornness in me just took over and I wasn't going to stop until I broke the code!  ;)


This post is the result of all the attempts I made at water marbling and all the things I learned in the process.  I am NOT a water marble expert!  I just hope my tips and tricks help others out there get the results they are after.  I was pretty frustrated until I figured it out.  

Save yourself the frustration!  Read this FIRST!!!!

Enough talking about it. Let's get started.  Here's what you'll need before you begin:

Water Marble Supplies

 Gather all these supplies BEFORE you get started:
  • Distilled or Filtered ROOM TEMPERATURE water (except if your room is super hot or cold! lol)
  • Your chosen nail polish colors (at least 2!)
  • Q-tips
  • Toothpicks or an orange stick (for cleaning up the extra polish from surface of water)
  • Tweezers (for picking off stray hairs- especially helpful if you have furry babies around!)
  • Scotch tape or Vaseline (to keep your fingers mostly clean during the process)
  • Scissors (to cut the tape off when you're done)
  • A brush for clean-up ( I use an angled eyeliner brush from Target)
  • OPTIONAL- something metal and pointy. (I use a mini fondue skewer but you could get away with a toothpick or orange wood stick)

Basically in order to water marble, you are going to drip drops of polish onto the surface of the water, draw a design in the polish, and dip your nail into the design so it sticks.

NOTE:  I use both of the pictured cups.  Sometimes I find the disposable mcD cup works better, other times the little sippy cup works better.  Go figure.  I know glass works well also and the upside of that is it's NOT disposable- you can clean the gooey polish off with acetone and re-use it (for polish ONLY) till your heart's content.
Step 1:
  • Start with a regular mani.  Base coat, and at least 1 coat of a base color of polish.  White works well if you plan to use light or bright (neon) colors.  Silver can look pretty darn cool also and it's what I used in the above pic.  When the colors disperse they become slightly transparent.  The silver base gave the neon pink I used a gorgeous glow!

Step 2:
  • Tape up your fingers or cover them in Vaseline or cuticle oil.  I find tape to be the easiest to use.  There is a tutorial on youtube here for how exactly to tape them so it's easy to get off when you're done.  The idea is to protect your skin so your fingers aren't covered in polish when you dip them in the water.

Step 3:

  • Fill your cup with water.  Actually you might want to do this before you have tape all over your fingers.  ;)  Make sure the caps of your polish bottles are loose and ready to go before you start.  You need to work somewhat quickly for this to all work out.

Step 4:
  • Drop your polish into the water.  You want to be just above the surface.  If you drop it from too far away sometimes the polish will drop to the bottom of the cup or you'll get splashes of polish or air bubbles.
Note:  If your colors are coming out too pale, leave the brush over the water longer.  When the brush is JUST barely touching the water, leave it there longer and the water will "pull" more color from the brush to give you brighter results.
  • There are many video tutorials for doing specific designs.  I'm going to focus on the basics here.  Just check out youtube if you want to see all the possibilities!
  • All the designs I've seen call for building a "bullseye."  So drop one color into the center of the cup.  Then drop the next color directly in the center of the first color.  The next color goes in the middle of the last one and so on.  Continue until you have built up your "bullseye."


NOTE:  I have noticed in my experiments that the first 2 or 3 rings of the bullseye can be any color!  So if you want to conserve a certain polish, use something you don't care about to START the bullseye.  This will make more sense after you read the next step.  ;)
 Step 5: 

This is where my super duper stubborn brain comes into play.  This is when you "draw" your design.

  • Very gently drag your tool through the polish to make your design. Again I use the little metal skewer.  You can use a push pin as well.  Lots of girls use an orange wood stick- I like the precision of the sharper point on the metal tools.

Every time I tried to do this before, I would start to drag my tool through the polish and things got bad from there. The polish gummed up and all lifted off with the skewer.  It sticks to it and I can't get a pretty design.  I think I have found the solution to that problem.

I thought maybe it was my water ( I tried britta, pure, and distilled water!), the temperature of the water, the cup, etc.  FINALLY I think I figured it out!

When you start to draw your design, DON'T START FROM THE VERY OUTSIDE EDGE!!!!!

That's it!   Sounds simple, right?!  XD

Here's what I mean:

If you start "drawing" from the outside edge, things fall apart quickly!

Red means NO, green means GO! Start a few rings IN towards the center and continue "drawing" your design.
Note:  After every "line" you "draw" wipe off your tool. Polish loves to stick to polish- so it's easier to "draw" with a clean cool.
Step 6: 

  • Once your design is good to go, pick a spot that you want to aim for that you think is pretty.
  • When you are ready to dip your nail into the water, make sure you have it at the right angle.  
Before, when my water marbles looked like poo, I was essentially doing a belly flop onto the design.  Finally I learned that in order to avoid air bubbles, you need to keep your nail at an angle and dip it in more gently!  haha! 

Here's what we're trying to avoid:
See those unsightly spots? Those were air bubbles. Yeah. Not pretty.
They allow the base color to show through.





Here's what I mean by the correct angle:

To avoid air bubbles, LEAD your nail into the water with the free edge and keep the angle consistent as you dip.
Step 7: 
  • Once your nail is under the water, leave it there for a sec.  While you're doing that, clean the surface of the water with a toothpick or orange wood stick, etc.  Just use your tool to scrape polish off the water.  It comes off like this:

Except your finger will still be in there! haha!
  • Once your water surface is clean, slowly slide your finger out at the same angle you put it in.
Note:  If you have any water drops on your nail you can soak them up quickly with a Q-tip or the corner of a paper towel.  DON'T TOUCH THE POLISH!  Just the water.  It should come off easily.  Anything other than a large-ish drop of water usually just dries ok and does not become a problem.
 Here's what I mean:

Gently soak up water drops.
Gently soak up any water drops.

Step 8: 
Once you're all done with that finger, you can cut the tape off (or leave it till you finish that hand) and continue the other fingers!

Note:  Sometimes the surface of the water will become "dirty."  There will be small bits and pieces of polish or something, who knows what, floating around in there.  We don't want those to end up obscuring our design or getting on our nails.  To clean the surface, drip a drop or two of polish on the water, use your tool to spread it ALL THE WAY TO THE EDGES OF THE CUP, and wait a second for it to dry.  Then use your tool to pull it off the surface and look!  All clean! 

Here's proof: 
add a couple drops, pull edges to sides of cup. wait till it's dry.
See?  all the way to the edges of the cup.

Then scrape if off by running your tool along the outside edge of the cup.

The polish lifts off easily leaving behind clean water!
*SIGH*
Well, my friends.... I think that's it!  I REALLY hope you give water marbling another try.  It can be really fun!  There's so many different color combo's I want to try - and it's hard to figure out how to make a pretty nail art design with 4 or 5 colors don't you think?  But water marbling is perfect for it!
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial.  Feel free to comment and ask questions.  I will reply!  ;)

And much love to all the girls on MUA and also to mysimplelittlepleasures for trying to help me!  Seems like in the end I always end up helping myself...
Here's some more pix of the resulting mani:
nail art water marble- neon pink and black over silver base

I think it turned out pretty!

my best water marble, yet!  XD

Although it IS hard to take pix of your dominant hand...here she is!

Until next time, love and nail polish to you all.  

PS-
Thank you so much for reading my little tutorial!  
I'm so flattered and humbled that so many girls have read this and that it's helped so many of you accomplish better water marbling designs!  You all are so kind and sweet to thank me and let me know my tips helped you.  I do read all the comments- I try to respond with answers (if I have them!) but life is busy and I may not answer right away.  There are, however, so many kind women who have offered their advice and stopped by to offer help, so to all of them, THANK YOU SO MUCH!  And remember to HAVE FUN and EXPERIMENT! I promise polish doesn't bite..... ;0)

154 comments:

  1. OMGosh, that is beautiful! And this is a fantastic tutorial! I think that maybe my problem is using paper bowls. I bet it lets the polish spread too far, and therefore dry. Never thought of that.

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  2. yeah- my fav cup to use is that tiny sippy cup. The opening is pretty small- I bet using a bowl may allow the polish to spread too far and dry quicker. Good thinkin nice! :) Try a cup!!! and show me pix!!!

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  3. This answered all of the lingering questions I had after two straight days of trying to master water marbling. So... I have no choice but to begin day three! Thanks!

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  4. LOL! I hope the third try is a charm for you! Please comment back and let me know how it went! and GOOD LUCK! =0)

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  5. Gevonden! Thanks to Google...kan niet wachten om dit te gaan proberen!!

    Groetjes Petra (@zwigles op twitter ;-) )

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  6. Cool!!!when I first tried water marbling it failed miserably! I haven't tried this yet but I hope it works! My problem is that wen I. Take my finger out there is just a big blob of polish on the nail! Help!thanx

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  7. I've had that problem, too, anonymous user! lol

    Not exactly on the whole nail, but sometimes it pools up all at the cuticle. I'm SURE it's my fault in that I didn't keep that angle of attack consistent as I dipped in. Keep that 45 degree angle the whole way down and try again! Once it's on there (while you're under the water still) you can turn in whatever way. But on the way down... 45 degrees! ;) Hope this helps you!!!!!!!1

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  8. I'm ok at design, for me it is not that hard. But when i dip the first drop, it spread, then when I drop the second drop(sometimes it works), it won't spread. Why does that happened? Any tips?

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  9. Anonymous-

    you know, I find that if I know a certain polish works well for marbling and it won't spread in the center of another polish, that maybe it's the previous polish that is giving you trouble.

    I've also learned that you will definitely have to thin almost any polish you use for marbling. The caps are loose for such a long time while you're working that they tend to try out MUCH quicker than anything else.

    So my advice would be to thin it first and try again. Otherwise I'd use a different color for the first drop. makes sense? I find esp shimmer polishes do not like to play well with marbling for me anyway. ;0)
    Hope this helps you!

    I'm actually planning to do a follow up post to this one and include other tips I've learned so far! Thanks so much for checking out my page! =0)

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    1. this is the same problem I have been having, sometimes, the drops dont spread an it just makes a big ole mess, will try again, thanxx for all of your tips, I WILL master this lol I also need more polishes, AND I always used white for the base coat, never thought of using a different color for the base, will DEF try that as well, thanx so much for your tips :) Happy Marbling~

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  10. I tried it even though I didn't get a steady pattern my model loved it.

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  11. Fayonb- YAY! It does take a steady hand to not make wavy lines during the dragging process. But so long as the end user is happy, so am I! XD Congrats on your success!

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  12. Whenever i try this, the first drop of nail polish spreads out, but the rest of them wont! Any tips?

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    1. I found that using quick dry polish has not worked... the paint separates. I think the type of polish makes all the difference. My sister and I are novices, still trying to master the technique. Thanks to everyone for all the great tips, and this has been thus far the best tutorial! TY Laquerish

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  13. Morgan- the only thing I can say is- are you sure the polishes are thinned out well? And that you're using the correct water type/temp? Lastly, some polishes just don't work for marbling! lol. I have a lot of trouble with some metallic/shimmer polishes spreading. or they will spread but not let other polishes spread on top of them as you said.
    keep trying! ;)

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  14. Do you have to start the design process over again after every finger?? Or do you just do all of them and clean the spot you are going to pull out of as you go?? Very confused lol

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    1. well in most of them it says to do 1 at a time i know it takes more time but it also prevents air bubbles

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  15. I just started water marbling and love the designs, but did not want to keep trying it on myself. So I went to dollar store and got fake nails. I glued them to toothpicks and practiced with them. Found colors that spread well, got to practice designs, and see finished product. Saved alot of time from trying them on myself. Try this if you want to practice first.

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    1. hey if anyone knows who is selena gomez number i lve it

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  16. I've tried several times with normal water, with acetone, with dylient with alcohol but is never open and nail has fallen at the end of glass. I have a solution yet.

    Thanks in advance :)

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  17. can you do more than one nail at one time???

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  18. Thank you! :D I will try your tips, when I've bought some new polishes, used quite a few in my failed attempts :/ :D

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  19. Geez! i couldn't do it right at first either! and now i know why!
    you said you weren't a pro at this but it seems like you are!
    thanks so much for the awesome how-to!

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  20. I had a hard time doing it myself at first, but I kept getting better and better. And I prefer to use tape rather than vaseline because vaseline will leave your hands feeling greasy. Just make sure not to dip your finger in farther than the tape covers, but if you do have some polish on your fingers, just use nail polish remover to take it off. I've seen some pretty cool nails using this technique, and I have a hard time deciding what colors to use!

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  21. What colors did you use here? I LOVEEE THIS combo. What is the base color you started with?

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  22. dear anonymous-

    This marble was done with a base coat of silver (I used "Live" from LA colors which is a $1 dupe to zoya trixi). Then for the marble itself I used sinful Fasion Neon (sic), a neon pink color along with wnw ebony hates chris (plain black).
    Glad you like it! XD

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  23. Thak you so much!!! I wouldn't have been able to do that without your detailed explanation (:

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  24. Finally I know how to do this!!I have always wanted to but i couldnt but it worked thxx!!!!!

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  25. yay! Thanks, Anonymous! That's totally why I DID this tutorial! lol. I had read others and looked at TONS of youtube vids, but still couldn't get mine to come out decent. I felt that there HAD TO BE some stuff they all left out! =) I'm so glad my little page helped you succeed!!!!! Makes me smile real big like. ;)

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  26. Thanks for all the tips!!! I've tried this many times before, but it never worked until I saw this page. I just have a hard time swirling the colors and getting a good design to transfer to my nails. Any tips to help me with this???

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  27. Do you have to clean the water after you dip each nail in or can you wait until all ten are done?? I am very very confused

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  28. can you did 2 or more nails in? i think it is a waste to dip only one nail into a lot of nail polish... =.= kinda paranoid about using up all my nail polish...

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    1. Same here. Mum won't let me do it until I find out. She doesn't want me to waste all my polish!

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  29. Hi i did the same as you, I failed and got poo looking nails to! so i have read and studdied your blog and am going to try again, i will post how i go. Thanx ;)

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  30. Hi i tried your awesome advice and it worked on one hand thanx :)

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  31. Hello! I've never tried water marbleing before and i am a bit nervous to try but hey! we all make mistakes right? Wish me luck!!

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  32. I've never tried it either but my friend showed it to me recently (it wasn't the best, but i went online and checked out other pics and they're really good!!) and i decided i deffy have to try it.

    I have a question though...put your nail at an angle...clean the polish around it...???...so you have to renew the design for every nail?? I don't like spending so much nail polish...idk, maybe im just not processing it right. Im confused, help plz??

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  33. Thank you soooo much!! Every time I did my nails with water marble I had all of those ugly air bubbles and didn't know how to fix it. This helped so much and my nails come out smooth now :)

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  34. This looks hard...

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  35. thank you for this tip!!
    so grateful!

    www.candyvioleta.blogspot.in

    Do you wanna follow each other??

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  36. I can't do it I have tried ten times but it won't spread any colors I have tried opi sinful colors and and I don't know what I am doing wrong I have used tap water and drinking water and I have it room temp and I try to do marbling and no colors spread and so do you have any advice on what to do or what brand of polish I should use thanks

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  37. hey I found two brands that will work for marble nails in cold water the brands are NCY and sinful colors the do the job good but my mom won't let me do her nails and I can't do mine cause mine are too short what should I do to to be able to do marble nails on long nails cause my sis has short nails and I have short nails like bitten nails and my mom is the only one who has long nails thanks please help

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    1. you can try marbling on fake nails- you can find them at the drug store. just use some silly putty or something to attach one to the eraser end of a pencil and you can dip it in! or you can glue 'em to popsicle sticks (I use those for swatching colors and call them "swatch-sicles!" lol
      good luck!

      to all others having trouble, thin your polish and use filtered water or distilled water. That's my best tip, seriously! =) good luck! I plan to do a follow-up post soon, I swear! =0)

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  38. Hey would fake nails ruin your nails like the glue?
    I am trying to grow my nails really long quick and I dont want my nails ruined so I need to know if fake nails and glue would ruin it and vinger will that ruin it and if it doesn't ruin it how long should I soak them in vinger thanks pls help

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    1. Fake stick on nails aren't like acrylic fake nails. The glue used is not that harsh and won't ruin your natural nail but they can feel unnatural when wearing and personally I've not worn any since I was a teenager because I don't like them and back then the nail sizes were all a bit too big for me. Most people have recommended using fake nails to practice the technique on rather than using them for actual wear.

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. After trying for several hours and getting nail polish all over myself and my table, I gave up. Every time I tried to drag my toothpick through and make a design, the stupid polish clumped up on the toothpick just like yours did. Or the polish wouldn't spread, or I got air bubbles. Now I know how to avoid that. Thanks! I'll try and give water marbling another chance.

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  41. What happens if the china glaze nail polish won't spread?????

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  42. I'm hoping that your advice will work, I've tried many many times , and never even came close to succeeding. :) Thanks !!

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  43. Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial!!!! I shared it on facebook and hope to maybe start a local "nail club" where I can get a bunch of lady friends together once a month to try new nail decorations!

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  44. How to adjust the temperature? I think that's why my nail polish can't spread :|

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  45. thanks for the tips I got water bubbles and didn't know why I think I'll go the route of practicing on fake nails too.

    gemini

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  46. @Lacquerish- What are the polishes you recomend for marble nail art?

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  47. Ughh , well my problem is the nail polish won't spread ! Tried it over and over but nothing . Can you help me ? (:

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    1. Have you tried adding thinner to the polish that isn't spreading? most of the time when I see it bounding off the surface of the water and not spreading, it's because the polish has thickened up enough to be un-spreadable if that makes sense. Add thinner and try again! Also some brands/colors just work better than others. Trial and error kind of thing. Keep trying! xD

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    2. what is the thinner ?

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  48. First time ive ever heard about this... d: It blew my mind! Great tutorial,and your nails look amazing!

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  49. when i did this and made a design and brought my finger out of the water it left a big glob of nail polish sitting on my nail but when i don't make a design it looks good on my nail but the design is boring because its just stripes how do i fix this?

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  50. hi i have not tried yet but im scared to try!My friend did it soo easy but i don't know?:{

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  51. I did it totally wrong GRRRRR!:{ I messed up when.... Well i just messed up! HELP HELP HELP! send me back a reply HURRY!

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    1. i did marble nails i messed so i was lookig for oil well i found vinger and yoused vinger it work your a little viniger and then put water in it put white nail polish on then dip it in and it comes on fast and the viniger in the bottle dont mack it dry so you can dip it in a lot hoop it helps

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  52. Donna
    Every one keeps saying they are afraid of using to much polish. With a regular manacure you put on two coats of color. I don't see that much difference besides with marble you can use cheaper polish. Thanks for your tips I'm having fun with it. I went to Dollar Tree and bought 15 bottles of polish for 15 bucks. Have a hard time waiting a week to try a new color and design.

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  53. do u use the dollar tree nail polish cuz if u do can you tell me if it works pleast thank u!:)

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    1. i know huh i've been watching water marbling a long time and the nail polish is expensive so i went to dollar tree i've only seen la colors so i have been wondering if it works for water marbling so can u please tell me if it works thank u:)

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    2. yea i only seen la colors nail polish at dollar tree too so can u please tell me if it works thx

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    3. I can say w/ 100% certainty that cheap nail polishes work great for marbling. I have successfully marbled w/ the following brands/colors (I'm did/am doing rainbow patterns lately so if anyone wants a great rainbow combo I've included the colors/brands), all of which were available at Walmart for $1.50 or under a piece. For my base white I used NYC Long Wearing French Wht Tip. The other cheapo colors/brands that I used & worked perfectly are the following: WNW (Wet N Wild) Megalast "On a Trip", WNW Wild Shine "Red Red", *WNW Fast Dry "How I Met Ur Magenta", *WNW Fast Dry "The Wonder Yellows", NYC Long Wearing "Times Square", Sally Hansen Hard As Nails "Limestone", & Kiss Nail Art Paint in a Turquoise/Blue color (it came in a kit w/ other nail paint and is not individually named). Now for the "*'s" above, I know that many of u are saying that quick/fast dry nail polish will NOT work or spread but I can promise you that WNW Fast Drying nail polish WILL and DOES work -just like a charm-. I've made numerous water marbles for my nails & used the above listed 2 WNW fast dry polishes & both spread every time. Now the NYC fast dry polish on the other hand I know will NOT spread/work. I just went out and bought NYC In a New York Minute Quick Dry polish in "Water Street Blue" today & went to incorporate it into my marbling & it is garbage (ae: it won't spread)!! So to sum it all up, YES there are readily available cheap nail polishes that you can buy/use & the quality outcome of using them is equivalent to the more expensive polishes that I've used/tried w/ water marbling in the past: both brands of either NYC & WNW nail polishes are all very affordable ($1 - $1.50 ea) & for WNW brand you CAN use the "Fast Dry" style In any color & it will work for u but stay away from the NYC Quick Dry (all other NYC polish should be good to go). Hope this helps & saves ya'll some $ while marbling!!

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    4. They do? I have been told to use fancy nail polish! LOL! All that time....

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  54. are there certain brands that do and do not work? if so wat are they?

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    1. i only know 3 that works china glaze,sally hensen extreme wear,and o.p.i nail polish:)

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    2. "ice" polish from Wal-Mart works great and is only $1.97 a bottle!! I also like the Sally Hansen Extreme Wear and it too is inexpensive. I have tried the more expensive polishes, O.P.I, China Glaze, Essie, etc. and do not find that they work any better than the ice or Sally Hansen!!
      Happy Marbling!!

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    3. Wet N Wild nail polish (even the Fast Dry line) works wonders, as does NYC brand (except for any of their Fast Dry line). Both of these brands are available at Walmart many for $1 a piece, but costs no more than $1.97 a bottle. Sally Hansen (also available at Walmart) has worked for me as well. I'd buy these polishes if I were everyone as they are some of the most affordable nail polishes that I've ever found and they are tried and tested to work for water marbling & they look just as good (on your nails) as more expensive polishes IMO. If anyone prefers the more expensive polish, I'd suggest that you go out & buy some of the brands I mentioned above -at a fraction of a cost- to practice with until you get the hang of water marbling so you aren't wasting your more expensive polish(es). I'm willing to bet that once you try these cheapies out that you will like the end results just as much -maybe even more- as if you'd have used your more expensive polish(es); and there are TONS of different colors to choose from between all three brands that I've listed so you shouldn't have a problem finding a specific shade or something very close to it (unless it happens to be sold out). I promise you that these brands work & if you try them out and they are not working for you then you have something wrong (either the water type &/or temp or there's a thin veil of hardened film made by previous polish built up on the surface of the water - which if it's there when you go to start a new bullseye design, your very first drop of polish onto the water will not spread. Sometimes you can't see this veil of polish as sometimes it can appear very transparent. So when I go to put a drop of polish into my water to start my bullseye design & it does not spread, I just take a qtip or toothpick and stick it in the water and the thin film veil of polish gathers and I remove all of it & start over. This takes care of the prob of my 1st drop of polish not spreading 100% of the time.)

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  55. How many drops would you say to use on each level in the "bullseye"?? And how many levels of the "bullseye" do you recommend?

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  56. When I touch the nail polish to the water it does not disperse ( spread out) into a bullseye. I'm using bottled water and a glass dish. Any suggestions?

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  57. This was amazing! ps I also watch simplelittlepleasures. If you like her you should check out cutepolish. Thanks for this very helpful information.

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  58. i have some colors i want to try, going from black, to purple, some shades of magenta, and finally hot pink. what should my base coat be? i have a gold, but i dont think it goes... (no silver!)

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  59. Thanks for your wonderful tips!! I have been water marbling recently and am getting fairly good at it. Your tip to clean the top of the water is great, can't believe I didn't figure that one out!!
    For those asking about nail polishes that work....believe it or not I have found that "ice" polish (found it at Wal-Mart) works great and is only $1.97 a bottle!! They have lots of colors to choose from. Also, most of the Sally Hansen polishes work for me and are under $3.00. I have tried the more expensive polishes and don't find that they work any better than the two I mentioned above.
    Also, I found that if I am about out of a color I want to use, I use that color as my base coat and use a clear polish in the "bullseye" where I would have used what is now my base coat!!
    Anonymous, if your polish does not disperse, try holding it just above the water and let it drip into the water, instead of actually touching the water.

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    1. Also NYC brand (except for their "Quick Dry" style/type of polish) & Wet N Wild (all styles/types, including the "Fast Dry" have worked for me) brands work perfectly for H2O marbling... Both brands are available at Walmart as well & many of their individual bottles of polish are priced close to $1 & will not cost you more than $1.97 a bottle. These are even cheaper than the Ice brand if you buy the right style(s) of each brand that are around $1 even. Tons of colors/shades to pick from & just like you mentioned I've found these cheapie's to work & look just as good as the expensive polishes. And for such an affordable price, I think it makes them more valuable/better than the expensive brands as you can buy more bottles/shades of polish for the same amount that it would cost you to buy one bottle/shade of more expensive polish. I would never use expensive polish for marbling. I think that is so dumb & frivolous when you can buy any shade of polish that you'd like (you could always mix a couple cheapies to make a shade that is the same or very similar to your expensive brand of polish if you can't find a shade close to an expensive brand that you want to incorporate into your marbling -or- close to any shade of polish) for a FRACTION of the cost, w/ NO difference to appearance. Hope this helps you get an even better bargain the next time your at Walmart. At least now you can check out these 2 brands, on top of your Ice & Sally Hansen, & be able to pick new shades from them knowing that they will work for marbling!! *NOTE: Believe it or not, the "Fast Dry" line of polishes from WNW WILL & DO work for water marbling & spread out just like their opposite drying counterparts. The "Quick Dry" line/style from NYC -on the other hand- WILL NOT work. So as far as I know, ALL WNW styles/types of polish that I've tried so far -including the Fast Dry- have worked, and all of the styles/types of NYC brand that i've tried worked; except for the Quick Dry style/type (steer clear).

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  60. Hands down best review and info ever! I have struggled with this once, and the second time I was able to do it wayyyyyyyyyy better thanks to this!!

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  61. i cant get my polish to spread out????? And what should i use to thin my polish?

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    1. Banana oil is great for thinning polish just a few drops works wonders.....

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    2. I've never heard of this before. Thinning polish with banana oil... Will definitely have to look into it! Wonder if it's easier to find and or cheaper than regular polish thinner? Thanks for the tip deltonya! =0)

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  62. GURRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!! I'm trying to get my polish to spread out so I can make the bulls eye but it just stays together and is just stays as dots of polish on top of the water :( I've been fighting with it for about 2 hours now and I can't get it. I've gotten each color to spread out at least once in all my failed attempts but not once has it all just spread out all nice and neat like ALL of the youtube videos I've watched and articles I've read :( I'm getting super frustrated and am giving up until further notice unless someone knows something that can help. I would appreciate it. I'm sure my boyfriend would too cause he almost got taken out by a flying bottle of polish in one of my many fits I've had trying to get this stupid polish to spread out.. So yeah, PLEASE HELP ME!!!!

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    1. I have to agree with deltonya on this... If you're having any problems with the polish not spreading well, make sure it's not too thick. Add whatever you use to thin your polish normally (just it acetone!), and try again. Leaving our polish bottles out for a couple hours while we're trying to do a water marble can thicken them up. Even a new one. I believe this tip has been covered already in comments but I seriously need to amend this post with more tips & tricks like this one to make them easier to find! =0) good Luck!!!!

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    2. *Edit*
      I just noticed it says, "just it acetone" when I meant to say just NOT acetone. ;) oops! But a lot of y'all know that already, I'm sure!

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  63. I tried water marbling for the first time yesterday and it came out great I found all your tips helpful (made me look like a pro:)) .I normally use Isoamyl acetate aka banana oil (i don't know who invented the stuff but I love that person)to thin my polish out and so I had no trouble at all with it spreading out. I would advise checking the consistency of your polish before you start so that you know before hand if you have to thin it out.

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  64. every time I try it either go to the side of the cup or it doesn't spread it even dry to fast.

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  65. thanx alot 4 hlping iraly had the sam prblms as urs and now i wish my designs also wrks . once again thanx 4 tips,

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  66. hey are there sm special nail polishes 4 water marble nail art????????????????????????

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  67. My problem is that, as soon as I drop my nail colour, it spreads real quick and ends up drying. No matter how quickly i drop my next nail colour, it just doesnt spread!
    I'm tired of this! I first thought it was the water temperature then thought it might be the cup I was using, then I thought it was my nail colour itself and ended up using branded nail colours but no avail!
    God! This is totally driving me crazy!

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  68. You are awesome - thank you so much!

    I was stuck on the pattern making part, had the same problems you did and followed your advice. Now I have my first marbling success and am excited to try some more!

    It's a shame that other tutes don't seem to have the "don't drag from the extreme outer rim" advice as well as that's a pro-tip and a half!

    Also, I have my own tip to offer!

    I'd been eating my son's left-over recess which he had in a zip lock baggie so when it was empty I useed it to clean the water after a couple of nails. I had the bag on the table and when I couldnt get the left overs off the surface I wondered if it would cling to the plastic and it worked like a charm! I then cut the bag up to use after every two nails and I will be adding that to my future routines for nail marbling!

    Thank you so much - you were there when I needed you! lol

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  69. Thank you so much for these tips! I've tried water marbelling so many times, without success. Today I decided to give it another go and found your tips- particularly about not starting from the outside of the bullseye when you swirl the colours- to be exactly what I needed to end up with a gorgeous looking manicure. So thanks!

    Incidentally, I used three OPI polishes and found they spread perfectly.

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  70. Yay, thank you for this. Bubbles are my biggest problem with marbling, and I couldn't figure out how the heck to avoid them.

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  71. I found i had to use brand new nail polish and it worked every time when i used older polishes they dried too quickly...but if I use new bottles it always works...so its all about the polish.

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  72. OMG thanks so much!
    I have one question though,
    could we use room temperature bottled water?
    some people say its fine but since your tutorial works
    I might as well ask you :D

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  73. i found that the first drop spread quickly and then dried, but when i put the second drop in and it just sat there as a drop i pierced the center of the dried skin and it magically spread and so did the drops after it. I'm still ahving trouble making patterns though as it stick to my toothpick. i might try a needle next time.

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  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  75. Ah, Wonderful. Thanks a bunch! (: Inspiring work i must say. :D

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  76. i did it so many times n i had probs but after seeing this i wanna try it again. lets c wether it will work.

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  77. hey it worked!!! it didnt come out perfectly but it worked!! =) thanx.

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  78. I am so happy I found your blog! Finally did some beautiful marbling.
    Greetings from Finland :)

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  79. can you water marble with homemade colour polishes

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    1. sure! almost any polish will work! if in doubt, TRY IT! =) Only things I know for sure to avoid are glitters and chunky shimmers- at least for me, I find that really metallic shimmers tend to spread great, but not play well with other colors, or bleed into the other colors a lot. It's all about experimenting to see what works for you! I have used everything from my own frankens, to dollar tree polish, to China Glaze and OPI.

      Like so many of these wonderful comments say- if you're having trouble with polish not spreading, THIN IT OUT! Just make sure you use "Polish thinner" and not acetone or polish remover. I still want to try the banana oil tip-just haven't found any yet.

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  80. Can we use any nail polish or should we use branded one's?also when i am about to draw the design the nail polish is already getting dried, wat to do to avoid this?
    Please help

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    1. Marbling is one of those nail art methods where you do kind of have to work quickly. Lots of factors effect the process- from the type and temp of the water, to the polish consistency. Once the design is made though, I've left it for a few minutes before dipping with success.
      But yeah, the point is, once it's actually DRIED on the surface, it won't play well or spread. =( so practice and work quick!

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  81. Hi, i struggle to keep colours crisp? they seem to merge and become blurred?

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    1. You know, I've had this happen to me, too. Particularly when I tried to do an all Black and White design for Halloween. They would kind of muddy up and I got more grey than I would have liked. You can't help SOME mixing, I don't think, but I'm not quite sure what's going on when it happens to the extreme like that.
      Maybe someone else here has some thoughts?
      I would just try a different polish in the same color- like for my b&w design, I tried a couple different blacks and a couple different whites until I found the best combo that held up and made the crispest design. =)

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    2. I've only done marbling a couple times with a couple different colors, but I had this problem the first time I did it. I've only tried with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear (so a different polish might react differently), but I found that when I used my brighter colors as the first drop it would blur less or be less noticeable. My first try I used blue and orange with blue as my first drop; I had quite a few ugly brown stripes. So I tried using orange as the first color and added white as a third color (dropping it in the cup orange then blue then white) and found that it was better but still had some blurred lines. I was using warm tap water at the time, so I decided to try again with cold filtered tap water with the same color combo/order and I had no blurring. So try using brighter colors for your first drops and maybe colder water. I didn't microwave or refrigerate the water I used, but I did get it from the tap which was colder than room temp. I haven't tried with white/black so you'd have to experiment with that one. Just sharing my experience. Also, I don't know if this would affect it, but maybe try drawing fewer lines or perhaps try not to cross your lines too much? I generally only draw lines into the center or away from the center and try to avoid crossing my lines and not drawing too many of them as a personal preference. Maybe if you're drawing a lot of lines and crossing them over and over, it could increase your chance of blurring since the lines stretch and thin out the polish. Don't really have anything to back that up with, just an idea of possible culprits.

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  82. Thanks! I'm trying again soon!

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  83. seriously, this is the best website i've seen showing how to do the water marble nail art. GREAT JOB!!! I was having issues with water bubbles, too. I'm going to try using distilled water next time. I'm going to take your advice on putting my finger in the water at an angle. i was just putting my finger in faced down and now I see that's a no-no lol. Thanks again for such a great tutorial!!!

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  84. Hello There,

    this is really very nice blog and looking very nice. this blog is very helpfull for shopping .. we want come back on this blog...

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  85. I have never tried water marbling before. I saw this on pinterest last night and tried to do it tonight. It came out pretty good! Your tutorial was so helpful and detailed, that's probably why it went so well!! Lol, Thank you so much for sharing!! :)

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  86. I love this look, but I was unsuccessful in my attempt. I tried several brands my first dot was fine but subsequent dots did not spread. I could never get the "bullseye" Perhaps I need to thin out my polish? What do I use to thin out polish? Also one tutorial suggested warm H2O and sanitizer is that necessary? Please HELP I am dying to rock this look.

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  87. I've become completely obsessed with figuring out why I can't get my polish to spread! I have tried tap water, filtered water, and bottled water, all at varying degrees of "room temperature." I have used glass bowls, paper cups, and plastic cups. I have thinned my polishes so that a good-sized ball falls off the brush, held very closely to the surface of the water. Yep, I've tried everything. Watched tons of youtube tutorials and searched blogs and forums.

    But my polish still won't spread. Grrrrrrrrr!!!

    I'm gonna try one more time using the one and only thing that I haven't yet - different polish. I'm going to get some cheapies that reportedly work very well - Wet n Wild and NYC.

    Wish me luck! :-)

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    1. ok I'm not one to give up and it seems you're as determined as I am...I tried like you did, and finally, I was able to master the art of marbling and this is what I did...First I used bottled H2O room temp in a plastic bowl, polish varied in price & brand & toothpicks & Qtips (I even put the polish in warm H2O to loosen it up) when making the "Bullseye" I tilted the bottle and literly scoop it on to the brush using two colors 4 drops of each color, and YES the bullseye was formed!!!Once it forms you have to work fast and don't use the outer two lines it drys fast...Give this method a try hope it works

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  88. I just tried water marble for the first time the other day and it actually worked great, so I decided to go to the store and get some spring colors to try out, and from then on it was a disaster! Every time I stuck my finger in, the nail came out with the polish all watery and just a big pooly blob on my nail! I got so frustrated with it, I even stayed up until 4am trying to figure out the problem! Then today I tried again and the same thing was happening, so I came to Google to figure out what I'm doing wrong, and low and behold, I read your page and I was putting my nail in belly flop style!! So I think now tomorrow I will see if the angle thing works better! I will let you know how it goes!!! FINGERS CROSSED!!

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    1. Gave it a try today and it still wasn't working. the nail is still coming out really watery, and blobby. I did change my water because even though it was room temperature, its snowing today so the room wasn't as warm as it could have been so the water felt cold. But even after that, it still wasn't working. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I think I'm going to give it a rest for awhile. My nails looks crazy from all the nail polish being wiped off of them lol. If anyone thinks they know the reason for this, please let me know, the nail polish I'm using is sally Hanson Xtreme.

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    2. So I decided to give it another try today, with the polishes I used the first time I tried it. And it weren't great. I guess the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear just doesn't work for me.

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  89. Thanks for all these tips. I tried today for the first time, and...of course ....a complete mess :)). But then i read your blog and i understood that i made some mistakes. And , if i may, i might add a tip. In my country, the classic manicure is still on ...you know, the one where you cut your cuticles, not push them up. So i think , if any of you girls still do this kind of manicure,is best to do the marbleing before cutting your cuticles. Even though mythumb's nail looks awful because of the colours not blending in right, i could give it aclean edge by cutting the cuticles after the nail polish dried completly.

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  90. WOW OMD I had the same problems the first times i tried and got really annoyed - ill try this and let u know how it turned out but THANKS SO MUCH

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  91. Hi! Can I use purified water instead of the distilled one? Thanks! (:

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  92. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
    THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is the best tutorial i have ever read seeing as you had troubles too but you figured it out thank you soooooooooooooo much again i gonna try this the minute i get time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    -Shanaya

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  93. THANK YOU! I am gonna try it, How many drops of polish did you use to build your bullseye?

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  94. hey' when i do , the first nail polish spreads but the next ones fail to spread and thus they make huge lumps of nail color on the dish

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  95. I clean out old candle jars and use those as my marbling cups! Recycling! Lol

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  96. shall i use simple water???????????????????

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  97. wow! This looks absolutely stunning; I'm definitely trying it out today!

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  98. Ok, ur nails look great and ur tutorial is amazing!!!!!

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  99. Awesome!!! Thanks a million!! You saved me some work!

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  100. I just wanted to say thanks also. I tried this on my stepdaughter's nails & they turned out perfectly but then when I tried to do it on my own they turned out like crap with the exception of usually a couple nails.I had the mid-grade polishes that people repeatedly recommend, I had the right water, I'd tried in a couple different cups... I was practically at my wit's end. I tried several times 2 nights in a row, then on the 3rd day I searched Google for "nail marbling tips & tricks" and your page was the top hit. The best tip that I think you gave, or at least for me, was all about the dang angle. After reading this post by you and everyone's comments, I eliminated the glittery pink in my cup, got a few of the cheaper $2 polishes from Walmart, made sure to tilt at 45 degree angle, & YOWZA! My nails looked like they were supposed to!! Mostly, anyway. LOL I figure practice will make perfect going forward & I will gradually get more definition between the colors. Half of my nails only juuuuuust barely show any hint of more than 2 colors, but since it ends up looking like it was on purpose I went with it. I'll be sure to check more stuff on your site since you were so helpful!

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  101. Hi I am a beginner at nail art and a few days ago I read your post. So I tried to follow the steps you did and it worked! The only problem was that there were bits of nail polish floating around but I totally forgot that you also showed a way to solve that problem! My bad :(
    So I am trying that water marble again and hopefully it will be even better this time because the water is clean! Thank you very much for the advice!
    Feel free to check out my blog at abisimanjuntak.wordpress.com and you can see some of my nail art designs (that are really bad because as I said before, I'm only a beginner!) I also love to draw so you can see some of my drawings that are also not that good! I've even posted a couple of chapters for a story I am writing and hopefully it will get published because my dream job is to become an author! I am still very young as you will notice on my About page, I am not in high school yet so that is also why my nails are quite small.
    Again, thank you very much that was very helpful!
    P.S. Certain brands of nail polish do not work for me such as L.A. Colors it does not spread.

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  102. Hi I love your post to help other people learn water marble it took me a long time to master it and I finally did I have a very helpful hint to help keep that outer layers of polish from drying fast.... before you start dropping the polishes in use clear polish first it worked wonders for me. and it also helped from the colors spreading to much so you get more vibrant colors. :o)

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  103. I just found this amazing water marble tutorial on Youtube. I really recommend watching it and perhaps Lacquerish can even include it somewhere in the article so people searching for water marble tips can find it and learn a hint or two from it:

    http://youtu.be/3A5onIW9j3Y

    The tutorial explains water marbling step by step and it also show fails that may occur along the way. All in all I found it extremely useful and I hope someone else will too. Happy water marbling!

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  104. Instant boiling hot water is Australias premier manufacturer of filtered boiling and chilled water units for use in private and commercial applications. Manufactured in Victoria and represented nationally.

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  105. Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge.The topic here i found was really effective to the topic which i was researching for a long time. picasso paintings

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  106. -First of all LOVE THE BLOG!!! It's fabulous!!! :)
    -Second, I used your tutorial and my marbeling still turned out horribly. :(
    -My nail polish won't spread enough for marbeling. :(

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  107. Wow. You are amazing. I am so inspired by you and your awesome nail tips and tricks;) Keep up the awesomeness:)

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  108. Great tips! Here's some additional tips that may help some people out in the future...

    I've found that the best place to start your design is from the middle. The nail polish is not dry at all there so you take your designing tool and pull from the center out to the edge, wipe it, go back to the center and pull out from the center again.. and you do this 4 times until you have a cross-Shape going right through the middle of the cup.(or X depending on what angle you are looking at it.) Then you can start doing your zig zags or any other designs you choose off of the cross in the middle. When you have a good design you can dip your finger in any area of the cup that looks good to you, if you pulled a good design quickly enough, with not a lot of lines to make it blur together, sometimes you can fit 2 nails in at the same time. Oh and another good tool metal tool I didn't see mentioned is a sewing needle.

    In regards to the temp. of the water. If the water is too cold the polish will dry faster, if it is too hot it won't dry fast enough. This is why room temperature is perfect for water marbling.

    If the polish isn't spreading it could be the brand of polish, a lot of people already pointed this out in the comments though. If your polish is just sinking to the bottom, make sure when you are adding the polish to the water you are getting really close to the water with the polish brush, sometimes just barely touching the surface of the water with your brush.

    Love your blog!!

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  109. Instant boiling water is Australias premier manufacturer of filtered boiling and chilled water units for use in private and commercial applications. Manufactured in Victoria and represented nationally.

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  110. I tried this again this morning, I still have trouble with bubbles and water drops messiing up my nails. I read the tips on keeping the angle of my nail the same and I will try that next time! I tried using vaseline instead of tape and that worked better for me today, things turned out good enough that I came to work without giving up and taking it all off! I am getting closer to making it work the way I want it to! I am a perfectionist so this is making me crazy until I get it "just right!" thanks for the tips I will be doing this again!

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  111. I linked to this tutorial on my new blog http://marblesforpolish.wordpress.com/ I have to thank you for this post, it's really helpful.

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  112. does it have to be distilled water? can it just be tap water at room temperature? I don't know if its the water or not but every time I try to draw a pattern it just all pulls up with the pin:(

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    1. Distilled or filtered. NOT TAP! I bought a gallon for like $0.89. If polish doesn't spread, ADD THINNER!!! It's too thick/dried out. That's why when ppl get frustrated and go out & buy brand new bottles from walgreens away 2am it works way better!! �� good luck girls! I'm still amazed that this post helped so many of u! ��

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  113. Filtered water totally is the key. I was trying to use tap water and the polish wouldn't spread for anything, so I ran it through my filter pitcher 1st then tried. BINGO! Thanks so much for this blog. You've saved my sanity.

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  114. I really want to try this, but it looks like you have to have really steady hands, and mine shake like mad. Am I out of luck, do you think?

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  115. Hii @lacquerish... can i ask you some thing??
    Is that just a normal water??
    Or i have to put some thing in there???
    I only try with a normal water...
    But it doesn't work at all...
    Can you give me some solution... ×-×

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    1. I used normal tap water, but leave it out all night. Fill a bigger bottle and let it sit out all night. Then pour some into a small, glass cup/dish. Milani polish is the only one I could get to spread in the water. Drop the polish on drop at a time close to the surface of the water. Hope this works for you :-)

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  116. I just did my 4th go and it finally worked so much better then before except for water bubbles grr! I don't know how to get rid of them and stop them I used sally hansens xtreme wear nail polish it works the best I've found! I also used a pretty pink glitter polish and it spread so well!!

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  117. Tried it and it worked..

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  118. Very helpful-Had watched a ton of tutorials and failed miserably. Went back on-line a day later to learn what I had done wrong and found your site. Thank you! Most helpful things I took away - Use room temp water. I tried to "make" room-temp water by adding hot / cold to get it right. Didn't work. Let water sit out all night and then it is truly room temp. Use glass cup, not plastic. Use a small vessel not a bowl. Milani polish was the only brand I got to work. Tried random other brands and they just wouldn't work right. But, my Milani nail art polishes worked like a dream and I was finally able to succeed in marbling my nails!

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  119. I have been trying the water marble nails. I love how they look. But, I was getting water bubbles every time. So, I did a search and found you. I will adjust my entry angle and keep trying. Thanks for all your tips.

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  120. This'll be my first try - maybe I'll have it down by Christmas! :D

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WHERE TO BUY LYNNDERELLA POLISH

Ok guys. I get SO MANY EMAILS AND COMMENTS asking me where to get Lynnderella polishes. And I totally understand why! But it's gotten so overwhelming to answer you all individually. I don't have time! lol

Lynn has her own blog (and blogsales) here.

And Llarowe sells her stuff here.

So go forth and buy tons of it! And make sure to tell 'em I sent ya!
Thanks for understanding! Lacquerish =0)