Saturday, October 15, 2011

Water Marble nails using Ulta3 Spring Collection

Beware: Messy nails ahead.
I tried water marbling for the first time last weekend. While I have a lot of improvements to make, I am actually weirdly proud of what I did and can’t wait to try again.

I used some colours from the Ulta3 Spring Collection for this marble pattern:
I used Blue Marlin, Tahitian Lime, Tangelo and Frangipani.
I used room temperature tap water in a plastic cup and toothpicks to swirl the polish into patterns. I used scotch tape to tape around my nails to protect them.

Here is my left hand:
You can really tell this was the first hand I did. Note the thumb: this is a result of sticking the sticky tape too close to the nail and when I ripped it off, I wrinkled half the polish. I also felt like part of the design wasn’t dark enough, so I dipped it again. That’s what that ugly murky colour is. Note to self: Never double dip!
The pointer finger was poor placement on my part. It made me realise I needed to make better designs.
My middle finger got smudged while I pulled the tape off. Note to self: Pull the tape AWAY from your nail, not towards! And it’s much easier to cut the tape off rather than rip.
I love the design on my little fingernail. This was the kind of thing I wanted to achieve on all my fingers!

And here’s my right hand:
Love the thumb, although the blue is a little washed out. I’ll need to make sure I use more highly pigmented colours next time.
My pointer finger, again, was poor placement and not enough colours. My middle finger wasn’t great either.
The ding in my ring finger was because I didn’t let my white base coat dry enough and I smudged it while marbling my other hand. I had to paint over it and it dried funny Sad smile Love the design, though!
And my little finger also got a ding in it because I was too sloppy pulling the tape off.

I learnt a few things while water marbling which should help so much in my next attempt:
  • Make sure you let your base coat dry properly.
  • Make sure you get your tape close enough to your cuticles/edges of your nail but not ON the nail
  • Cut the tape off carefully to avoid smudging
  • Use highly pigmented colours or it could look washed out

That’s it! Hope you enjoyed seeing my first attempt at water marbling. I promise the next attempts will be better!



  1. Not bad for a first attempt mate - I've been too chicken to try it but I'll get there soon.

  2. These are great for a first attempt, water marbling is really hard!

  3. Thanks guys! It is really hard.. I'm looking forward to trying it again though! :D

  4. The first time i tried i got about 4 great fingers (not on the same hand) and the rest i ruined with the tape! i think removing the tape is actually the hardest part haha! nubar, china glaze and zoya work pretty good for me! :)

  5. The tape is definitely the hardest part, Katelyn!! It's frustrating to get just right so it protects your nail but isn't hard to get off or actually ON your nai. Grr!
    I'll have to give some other brands a go, I reckon!

  6. Try using a combo of tape and Vaseline. Tape below the nail and then Vaseline around the edges and back of finger. Works reasonably and no smudging.
    I did mine for the first time on the 20th Oct. :)

  7. Ooh thanks! That's a good idea. A friend at work suggested lanolin too.. definitely think I'm going to try that rather than tape!
    It's tough, isn't it?