Friday, November 18, 2011

Water-Marbled Nails

Finished design from this tutorial
Do you want to achieve salon-grade manicures at home with interesting designs but you're not very artistic? Well, I have the solution for you. Don't bother spending your money on magnetic nail polishes or nail polish strips, you can learn to do this right at home without having to go out and purchase anything.

Tools for this project
What you'll need:
  • Q-tips
  • Toothpicks
  • Nail polish colors (at least 2, must not be fast-drying)
  • Top-coat (can be fast-drying)
  • Nail polish remover 
  • Nails (real or fake will do)
  • Tape (any kind really)
  • A disposable cup
  • Room temperature water
  • Paper towels

You will want to prep your nails before you do anything else and make sure they are well cleaned, and apply a coat of nude colored nail polish so that the variation in color in your own nails does not affect the water-design and show through. Then you will want to set up your work space by placing down a paper towel to cover the table you're working on so you don't get it all dirty. Fill your disposable cup about three quarters of the way up with room temperature water (you can use filtered or tap water, some people say filtered water is better because there will be less bubbles in it). It is important that you use room temperature water because hot water will cause the polish to spread too fast and cold water won't let it spread enough. Place tape around your nail and on your fingertips so that you don't get your fingers all messy and have to go back with tons of acetone to clean them off. This step is a definite time-saver, although it may not seem so at the beginning.

Open your nail polishes up because time is of the essence when you are doing this, this doesn't mean rush, be meticulous but quick. Carefully place a drop of nail polish in the water and then place the next color inside the middle of the previous color. Do this over and over until you have your desired bulls-eye of colors.

Then use your toothpick to swirl the polish or drag it in and out to create a pattern. My personal favorite is starting from the second line and dragging it into the middle, but make sure you do not pull up, push the toothpick into the middle so that the nail polish does not separate. Wipe your toothpick clean after each swipe with the toothpick because the colors will stay on it and affect your design in a not-so-pretty way when you place it back in.

Place your fingernail down into the water wherever you think the design looks nicest. You can even put all of your fingers in at once if you want a random-looking swirl on each finger. Do not lift your fingers out of the water immediately. You will want to leave your fingers in the water and wait about 30 seconds until you take a q-tip and clean out the excess polish in the water (around your fingers). This will clear away any potential polish like a thin skin so that it does not affect your beautifully designed nails. Then you can lift up your nails. Wait a little while for them to dry and then remove the tape from around your fingers carefully so that you do not smudge anything. Use a q-tip dabbed in nail polish remover to clean up the sides of your nails and your cuticles of any nail polish. Repeat this process with all of your nails.
Before removing the tape
After removing the tape

Apply a topcoat as the final step to stabilize your design and make it glossy and this will also help to get rid of any excess water bubbles floating on the surface of your nail. You can make all kinds of designs with this technique, I only experimented with two nails so far but I've seen some beautiful designs on Google!

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