July 21, 2011

Marbled Nails

I willingly hold my hands up and say that I cannot, for the life of me, do nail art with a pen or a brush. I don't have the patience and I seem to have perpetually shaky hands. However, I do seem to be able to do nail art with printing, dipping, anything else you please really.

After the very positive response to the newsprint nails I featured I few months ago, I've been on the lookout for something else artsy that clumsy old me could try and give you guys a step-by-step guide to and, I think I've found it. Nail marbling has been floating around on YouTube for awhile now and, having watched countless videos in awe, I've lumped together a few of the different tips to come up with what I think is an easy tutorial to marble nails!

What You Need

Kitchen roll, a skewer (or any sharply pointed object e.g. orange stick), glass of cold tap water and nail polish of choice (You can choose up to 6 shades, I only have three with me so I chose Sally Hansen Polar Bare, OPI Chapel of Love and Sally Hansen Black Platinum).

Step 1

Tape nails along cuticle lines using sellotape, scotch tape or masking tape. You need two pieces of tape for each nail, one running horizontally across the nail bed and one running up one side of the nail, around the top and down the other side of the nail as is marked in red above. Paint nails with one coat of your lightest shade to act as a base!

Step 2

Using the nail polish brush, allow 1-3 drops the lightest colour, in my case Polar Bare, fall into the water and spread. Then add the next lightest (Chapel of Love) inside of this and then the darkest (Black Platinum) inside of this. Repeat this drop pattern so that the colours form rings inside of each other. Stop when you feel you have enough rings to create a good marbled effect.

Step 3

Using the point of your skewer, begin to draw a pattern from the center out. I chose to create a spiderweb effect but, this is entirely up to your creative side! You must keep the point of the skewer clean and sharp so use the kitchen paper to clean this after each stroke. Don't piece the layer of polish, barely touch it and then gently drag outwards.

Step 4

Once you have your desired design, dunk as many of your fingers as you can fit through the nail polish film. I managed to get three done out of my design. Hold these in the water for a minute and, using the skewer, remove any excess film from the water, being careful not to touch off the now marbled nail surface.

Step 5

Carefully clip the tape surrounding the nail and peel away. Use a cotton bud and nail polish remover to clean up any escapee nail polish from your skin and finish with a top coat. Repeat steps 2-5 for the remainder of your nails!

Top Tips

Test polishes in water prior to beginning. Some polishes don't spread as easily in the water as others so you may need alternative options.

When using dark shades, especially black, hold the nail polish brush close to the surface of the water so only a tiny drop enters and spreads in your design. Otherwise, a big drop of a dark colour will take over your entire marbled design.

In step 4, be sure to immerse your nails through the nail polish film in one swift movement. If not, the polish risks breaking and separating meaning that the nails won't be adequately marbled.

Use very pigmented and vibrant colours for best results. I only have these three shades in my dads with me so I was limited in choice but, for future marbling experiments, I'll be using some better colours.

Don't expect your nails to be identical. They won't be! 

Great YouTube Tutorials

Will you be trying nail marbling?


S x


  1. i saw this on you tube a while ago, i think it looks deadly, although i am so messy i should stay far away from it

  2. Not at all Mags! Like I said, I'm so clumsy and shaky but, even I can do this!! S x

  3. I tried it a week ago, didn't go well. I think I'll try again though, love the effect x

  4. Yeah it's a tricky one to get right first time round! I had to throw out the water and start over more than once! It is lovely though! S x


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