General Education

How to Create a Water Marble Nail Effect

How to Create a Water Marble Nail Effect
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Destany Bogue profile
Destany Bogue April 29, 2019

Creating a marble nail design is simple to do for anyone who likes to do their nails without having to spend a lot of time or money at the salon. All the materials you need to create this

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Creating a marble nail design is simple to do for anyone who likes to do their nails without having to spend a lot of time or money at the salon. All the materials you need to create this design are ones that you may already have at home, and if not, you can get them almost anywhere at a really cheap price.


  • Cup/bowl

  • Toothpicks

  • Vaseline

  • Cotton balls/cotton swabs

  • Nail polish remover

  • Nail polish clear base coat

  • Two or more nail polish colors

  • Water

  • Paper towels

How to:

Step 1: Arrange your materials.

Find a spot with enough room work on, like a cleared-off table, because you are going to need plenty of space. Lay plenty of paper towels around the area you are going to be working on because it is going to get a bit messy.

Step 2: Apply clear base coat.

Apply a clear base coat to all of your nails and wait for it to dry. This will help prevent staining and will help the nail polish last longer.

Step 3: Find a small cup or bowl.

Find a small cup or bowl that is not going to be used for anything other than this activity. You can use glass or plastic as either will work to create a marble effect.

Step 4: Choose your nail polish colors.

You will want to choose at least two different colors. Try using new polishes rather than old ones, because old ones tend to set too quickly. You may want to have a different brand of polish on hand as well, as not every brand will work for this marble effect.

Step 5: Fill your cup with room temperature water.

Make sure the water is room temperature so your polish doesn’t set too quickly. It might take a few tries to get the temperature just right.

Step 6: Apply Vaseline.

Apply Vaseline all around your nails, even the underside. Using Vaseline will prevent the polish from sticking and staining the skin around your nails. If you don’t have

Vaseline, cuticle oil, Scotch tape, or even Elmer’s glue will do the same thing. Using Vaseline will also help you clear the polish from around your fingers much more easily when using nail polish remover.

• Note: Shake and open all nail polishes before applying Vaseline so everything doesn’t get all messy.

Step 7: Drip one color into the water.

Find one color, hold the wand over the water, and wait for the polish to drop into it. The polish should spread out into the water and thin out a little.

Step 8: Repeat with other colors.

Take your next color and drop it into the center of the first circle. Repeat with all colors.

Step 9: Create your marble design.

Taking the toothpick, drag it through all of the colors to create patterns. You don’t want to do this for too long as the polish will set and the technique will not work and you will have to start over.

Step 10: Decorate your nail.

Lower your finger onto the pattern and hold it there until the polish sticks to your nail.

Step 11:  Lift out your nail.

Lift out your nail slowly out of the cup as the pattern should be on your nail.

Step 12: Clean your fingers.

Clean your finger with nail polish remover on a cotton swab or cotton ball. Using Vaseline keeps the cleaning process easy and quick. If you’re using scotch tape, leave it on until the polish has dried on your nail.

Step 13: Repeat process.

Repeat steps 7-12 for each of your fingers. If there is still nail polish in the cup, use the toothpick to pull the dry polish from the water and put it on a paper towel.

Step 14: Apply top coat.

Once your nails have dried, apply a top coat to give them a shiny and finished look.


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