Ahem... But seriously after numerous failed (and very messy) attempts, when I finally got it right I felt like master of the universe!
I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who's looked at all the beautifully crafted marble-art nails on Blogger and Youtube and thought "that doesn't look so hard", only to be horribly surprised by how badly it can go wrong. I'm sure I'm also not the only one who has been massively disheartened when it did go wrong and written water marbling off as one of those things only doable by artistic gods.
With a little bit of patience and a few tips I picked up along the way I finally cracked it! Now there's already a load of tutorials out there so I'm not going to add to them, but what I will do is show you the results of my attempt followed by the tips that helped me succeed :)
This was attempt number one... my left hand. Now this isn't the best looking water marbling I've ever seen but for a first attempt I was happy with the results. Just by doing this hand I learnt a lot and used that to produce a much more successful right hand!
Ta daaaaa! My right hand :) its surprising how much I learnt just from one hand lol!
To create this look I used 3 colours:
- Essie's 'Muchi Muchi' for the base (see here for review)
- Urban Outfitters 'Smush'
- Rimmel's '312 Ultra Violet'
Above: Smush, Below: 312 Ultra Violet
Now for my top 5 tips for water marbling novices like myself...
- Water water everywhere. Ok so by far the most important thing I learnt was how much the type of water you use can effect how well it works. By doing some research you may find that most people suggest using bottled water, or even better filtered water, for marbling. But what if you don't have any? Well I can tell you for sure not to bother using water straight from the tap. It's too cold and too impure. However I had a bit of a brainwave. I was desperate to try marbling and had no other water to hand but from my tap. The way I got around it was simply boiling some tap water, putting it in my container, and leaving it for about an hour for it to cool to room temperature. This worked well allowing the polish to spread well and not dry too quickly. Of course the best way to do it is with room temp filtered water, but if you can't do that, try how I did it and hopefully it'll work for you too :)
- Drop the anchor. Once you have your colours set its very easy to drag it too much and ruin the pattern if its not anchored properly. By using a smaller container such as an old mug or rammakin you stand more of a chance of having the outermost ring of polish clinging to the sides of the container and therefore anchoring your pattern and keeping it secure.
- Think inside the box. When creating your patterns, try to start from the inside and work outwards. As the outer rings are the first to dry, starting from there will only drag the whole thing around and ruin your hard work.
- Put one foot in front of the other. Unless you're really a pro at this I suggest making sure you just do it one step (or nail) at a time. And by that I mean dip each nail separately let it dry, put on the top coat, let THAT dry, and only then move onto the next nail. The reason for this is because it is such a fiddly process its really not worth rushing through it and then messing up your work because you weren't patient enough (there's that word again). You're at high risk of smudging a wet or tacky nail on the edge of the container or against another finger because of the fiddly nature of the process. Also (as I learnt the hard way) accidentally knocking a nicely done nail into a new pattern while dipping another nail is a real hazzard, so having a top coat makes it easier to remove any excess polish without harming whats already there.
- Patience is a virtue. I can not stress this enough. Don't do this if you're in a bad mood. Don't do this if you're in a rush. Don't do this if you have little patience or get bored easily. It takes a long time to do it right (I watched Night at the Museum and half of Night at the Museum 2 in the time it took to finish my nails) and that's regardless of how good you are! Each nail has to be done separately, with the patterns made from scratch each time. You must wait for the polish to dry each time before moving onto another nail or you risk mucking up and having to start the nail again. Then there's no guarantee every nail will work or look right so you might have to redo bits. Its finickity and time-consuming, and whilst the results are worth it, you really do have to be in the right kinda mood for it!