Tutorial: Watermarbling 101

Good morning, class is officially in session! Get out your pens and paper or bookmark this post as I am here today to help you with WATERMARBLING!

It’s no secret that I love watermarbling but that wasn’t always my story or even something I thought I would be saying. But trust me, I get it, when it comes to watermarbling, it’s not the easiest nail art technique to achieve, it’s down right frustrating and if I can be honest, pisses you off… I was where you are. But since we’re being honest, it has come to be fun, exciting and a technique I love to do.

The first time I attempted watermarbling, back in 2015, I failed miserably. I actually failed several times and gave up on it for months. One day, I got tired of seeing all the beautiful manis and making excuses for not learning to watermarble. *insert pouty face and folded arms here* “I wanted pretty manis like that too!” I decided that enough was enough and I committed myself to watching videos, following as many people as I could and I sat down to learn the dreaded watermarble.

I started with the black and white polishes from Wet n’ Wild. I went through 2 bottles of each before I was even close to liking the outcome. I practiced on my mom and myself to get a process that I liked and felt comfortable with.

These attempts date back to 2015 (see below) and today, I feel like I’m getting better but not perfect. I still get air bubbles or smear or something but in those instances I just add glitter and stamp! Because glitter and stamping are the key to all great manis! Am I right?!

I decided that I wanted to share not only my journey but some of the tips that I’ve picked up along the way. Why? Because after doing a live video on IG/FB about a week ago and hosting the watermarble tutorial table at Polish Con NYC 2017, I hear a lot of people sharing my same feelings of frustration with the technique and I want them to love it just as much as me! 

Again, I’m no pro so use the following with caution. 😊

Be Ready! Have the following:

  • Polishes in order 
  • Loosen caps
  • Small cup/dish with room temperature water
  • Supplies (paper towel, watermarble tool/needle/toothpick, q-tip)
  • Nails and cuticles prepped with base coat and latex/tape


  • Set your water out 30-45 mins prior to watermarbling. Personal Tip: I use an old gallon jug to store water and leave it in my designated nail area. This ensures it’s always room temperature and the same temperature as the polish.
  • I use regular tap water but if you notice that your polishes don’t spread using room temperature tap water you may want to try bottled water. This may be due to the water in the area you live in.


  • Beginner Tip: start with using polishes from the same brand, finish and collection (if possible). My personal thought is, all of these polishes should have the same formula and work well together!
  • I personally preferred working with cheap cremes because you don’t want to waste time, resources and especially money using expensive indies when your learning.
  • Once you feel comfortable with the speed needed to drop the polish, you can introduce other brands and finishes.


  • Clean whatever watermarble tool after each drag of polish. If you’re using a tool specifically for watermarbling, a needle or toothpick, wipe off polish onto a paper towel
  • Place your finger in the water at the designated area at a 45 degree angle
  • If you see air bubbles, use your tool to pop them in the water
  • To help prevent air bubbles, roll, do not shake, the polish before use
  • When creating your design, try to avoid the outer most rings, usually the first 2-3 as they have already dried and with pull your design/pattern

Clean Up 

  • With finger(s) in the water, blow on the surface of the water to dry the polish and remove with a q-tip
  • Cut latex/tape from the back of you finger to avoid smearing your marble.

Through the course of my blogging journey, I have shown a few watermarble looks. If you haven’t had a chance to see them, check them out here;

Tutorial: Spring Watermarble

Be Inspired: Easter Watermarble Mani

Tutorial: Tie-Dye Jellies Watermarble

If you not been as successful as you would like with watermarbling, I hope that these tips and tricks help. Please stay encouraged, don’t give up! YOU GOT THIS!!

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Eat, Laugh, Polish, Repeat

Queen of Nails 83💕

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