#31DC2015 020 // Water Marble

by - 9/22/2015

Hey guys! Guess what?!? I fought the WATER MARBLE and I WON!



A little bit...


Polishes Used: 

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
2 Coats SinfulColors Snow Me White
1 Coat Seche Vite
Orly On the Edge
Sally Hansen Pacific Blue
SinfulColors Savage
Wet n Wild Beat of a Generation
1 Coat Pure Ice Oh, Baby
1 Coat Seche Vite

Can we just stop for a moment and appreciate the fact that I actually managed to WATER MARBLE not just one, not two, not three, not four nails, but all five nails on my left hand? That was enough of a miracle on its own, so I couldn't really risk it by trying out the technique on my right hand! Sorry, I am nawt sorry!!!

When I sat down to paint this mani last night, I was fully ready to spend a lot more time on it. Thankfully, I didn't have to, and that's because of this fabulous tutorial from Hanna Rox Nails. Something about the way she explained the process definitely clicked last night. Using her tips, I was able to correct some things I didn't even know I was doing wrong! If you're struggling, her video really might help.

After watching the video, I felt a little bit better about my last failed attempt. Last year's WATER MARBLE (which shall not be linked) had a lot of flaws.

  • No base coat
  • Colors were too dark
  • My water was too cold
  • I didn't clean the toothpick in between each drag
  • Pretty sure I was pulling the polish out instead of pushing it in towards the center
  • Didn't make sure polish on the surface of the water was dry
  • Pulled my nails out of the water at weird angles
  • Used vaseline to protect my skin rather than tape or liquid latex (I'm not sure that was a thing back then, haha!)
Like I said... I was doing everything wrong and I really had no idea! Plus, it doesn't help that there's all this animosity around water marbling. It's scary and intimidating before you even try it! 

How did I tackle each of those issues? Glad you asked! This time around, I chose bright, pigmented colors for my water marble. Then, I painted on a white base coat to allow those bright colors to really show up! To protect my skin, I used Proclaim Super Bond Dark Hair Glue...

I picked it up from Sally Beauty ages ago, and it's been sitting on my nail desk unopened ever since! It's waaaay cheaper than a lot of the other options out there, and the stuff seriously works. Also, I noticed while grabbing the above image, Proclaim makes a white version. I'm not sure if that dries clear, but I'm intrigued enough to give it a try. The dark version is an almost-black charcoal color when it dries. I used a nail brush to apply mine, but I definitely understand why some girls prefer it in a nail polish bottle. Familiar territory and all that! 

Enough about Hair Glue, though... back to the WATER MARBLE! Using slightly warmer than room temperature H2O, I added drops of nail polish and created my bullseye. Using a toothpick, I carefully pulled the polish into the center of the bullseye, starting at the 3rd ring from the outside. I was practically giggling at the sight of this... 

Water Marble Bullseye

Oh so very carefully, I placed my finger in at a decent angle. I'd say it was about 45 degrees. While my finger was still in the water, I gently blew on the surface of the water, drying the rest of the polish. Using a clean toothpick, I carefully pulled the now-dry excess nail polish away from my nail and off the surface. When I was happy with my cleanup, I pulled my nail out of the water at the same angle that I had put it in at. About 45 degreesish...

Seize the Sparkle does Water Marble!

I was ECSTATIC, y'all. The black stuff on my nails is that Proclaim Super Bond Dark Hair Glue that I was going on and on about. I'm so excited to try it with a Seriotype or Gradient mani! 

After waiting about 30 seconds, I used tweezers to pull the latex off my fingers. It pulled off cleanly in one swoop! In hindsight, I would definitely paint the latex down further. At least to the bottom of that top knuckle, if not further! 

Once I had one nail done, I repeated the same steps for each nail. I cleaned up the excess polish on the fronts of my fingers before adding a coat of Oh, Baby by Pure Ice. I'm not sure that I really needed to give the marbling that much time to dry, but I didn't really want to smudge it all over the place! Next, I used a coat of Seche Vite to top everything off. Then, I cleaned up as best as I could. 

Truthfully, my immediate cleanup skills need a lot of work. Typically, I go to bed right after I polish and worry about cleanup in the AM. Also, I usually wear every mani that I paint on my nails (both hands!) for at least one full day. I was such a mess at the end of painting my left hand that I just couldn't see how painting the right hand was going to work out. And then there's the fact that while I was happy with the way this turned out, it just wasn't meant to see the light of day. Again... sorry, not sorry! 

Remember how I wasn't sure exactly how long this whole thing was going to take? It took about 45 minutes from setup until I was ready to photograph. I know that's just for one hand, but I feel like that's not bad! All in all, my experience with water marbling was way better this year. I definitely improved my technique and cut down on clean up time a little bit. That being said, I wouldn't start expecting another WATER MARBLE anytime soon! It's just a messy process and I really don't enjoy doing it or cleaning up after it! Give me a Seriotype or Jelly Glitter Sandwich aaaaaany day of the week!


You May Also Like


  1. Very good-you are made of sterner stuff than Me! I don't even want to battle the beast!

  2. I definitely hear that. I don't understand how it's so easy for some people! Way too much anxiety and messiness!!! 😄