Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Taking the plunge... into water marbling

Hey guys,

So last post I mentioned water marbling my nails and unfortunately I didn't get to try it for St. Patty's Day (to be honest I didn't do much for St. Patty's day). I had done a few mock up nails with some acrylics I had laying around, but unfortunately the colors I liked for my St. Patty's look weren't working with the water. I learned that not all nail polishes or colors work. So far OPI has worked the absolute best. I managed to make my first successful water marbling on my own nails about a week and a half after the last post. I used OPI's I'm A Princess, You're Not (a color that I absolutely love! It has gorgeous purple and green sheen to it as the light hits it, it's a sheer iridescence.)OPI's No Room For The Blues (a fun, bright, mid tone blue), and Victoria's Secret Midnight Glamour from the Winter 2010 Midnight Glamour collection (a gorgeous metallic navy blue that's very rich in color). I marbled the three of these over Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle in Gentle Blossom (a pretty, slightly shimmery mint green.)

I watched about a dozen tutorials and read tips online before starting and I think that really helped. I recommend watching a few videos just to get an idea of how the process goes. Here's how I did mine:

What you will need:

- A glass (not too wide, and one that you don't care if it gets dirty)
- Room temperature water (I use water that's slightly warm, cold water just won't work)
- Toothpicks or an orange stick
- 2 or more colors you'd like in the nail look (I don't recommend more than 2 or 3 colors to start since it can be a little tricky. If you want to try more colors after you've done a few, go for it!)
- Cheap lip balm stick (or tape if you can figure it out)
- Nail polish remover
- Cotton balls
- Q-tips (cotton swabs)
- Paper towel (to wipe the toothpick or orange stick)

- Remove old polish, push back cuticles, apply cuticle oil and base coat, etc. (Basically prep your nails as you normally would. I also happened to file and shape my nails that night.)
- DO A TEST RUN! I can't stress this enough, some colors really won't work for water marbling as I learned. It has nothing to do with price or brand. I had some that were $1 polishes that were working great and some more expensive ones that either just sat there or sank to the bottom. As I mentioned before OPI seems to work across the board (I've tested about 8 colors so far with equal results.). Before you start painting your nails attempt to marble the colors on the surface of the water.
To do this, fill the glass almost all the way with the room temperature water. Shake the nail polishes and open them, leave the handles resting on the rim, you will need to be able to pull them out of the bottles fairly quickly. Take the brush out of the first bottle and instead of wiping the excess on the sides as you normally would, drip a drop of color gently onto the surface of the water, don't have your hand too high or the color will just sink. The polish should spread over the surface and become more transparent. Next take the second color and do the same, but within the first color, it should do the same. Keep repeating this until you have a bulls-eye. Next, take a toothpick or orange stick and drag it through the colors making whatever designs you like. Try dragging it into the middle, out of the middle, or even swirling, be creative! If this all happens then the polishes will work! If one or all of the polishes sink or just sit at the surface, you may need to use a different polish. Glitters tend to be difficult, but some do work!
- Now that you have colors that will marble, apply a base color. This isn't a necessary step, but is nice if you are using any glitters or transparent colors since the base color will show through. If you are using opaque colors, feel free to skip this.
- Once your nails are dry rub the lip balm all over the edges of the finger, the fingertip, and down the finger. Something I learned is that there really isn't too much you can apply. Make sure the nail itself is free of lip balm. By doing this step you have an easier clean up at the end. I also tried the tape method on my second water marbling, but wrapping my fingers in clear tape was difficult to do, but the clean up was fairly easy. I just prefer the lip balm method since it was easier to apply.
- Repeat the steps you did to test the nail polishes.
- Find a piece of the design you like and with your nail facing the water (fingerprint side up) insert your finger into the water just enough to coat the nail, HOLD IT THERE!
- Take a toothpick or the orange stick and insert it into polish around your finger. Twirl and sweep, removing the excess polish from the surface, then once removed, remove your finger. It will dry on it's own. You can sometimes do 2 fingers at a time and this helps the process to go faster. Be careful that you get all the polish off the surface, since if there is polish left behind it will "double dip" your nail so to speak and the pattern will be ruined and you may get bubbles in the nail polish as well.
- If you notice that the polish isn't spreading at any point, place a large drop on the surface and using the toothpick or orange stick drag it to all the edges and give it a few seconds to dry (it's ready when a gentle blow shows a tense, and therefore solid skin of polish) then twirl to remove any bits and pieces that the skin will have picked up. Voila! New, clean surface!
- If the toothpick or orange stick is accumulating polish, just wipe it off on a paper towel.
- Once all the nails have been coated you will want to start cleaning your nails. Using a cotton ball, clean up the finger and hand, basically any large splashes of polish on the skin. Then with a q-tip (cotton swab, clean the area near the nail, be careful not to get too close since you don't want to ruin your design.
- Clean up the edges with an orange stick with polish remover.
- Add a clear topcoat to protect your design.
- Take in all the compliments!

It takes me about 30-40 minutes from start to finish, but I have the feeling it gets faster with practice. A lot of people complimented my nails and I've never met anyone else around here who has done them, so it was fun and totally worth it. (I was tempted to write Totally Fort-Worth It [very cool new color from OPI Texas line] I'm such a dweeb!) I bought a few new OPI colors and did a new marble today with I'm A Princess, You're Not, Chapel of Love (a medium to light pink) and Red Hot Ayers Rock (an almost red, hot pink) and I think it looks pretty good (though I managed to smudge two of my nails while hastily leaving the house (drying drops are on my shopping list.)I have a few other OPI colors I've been eying and I'll probably pick them up this week. I'm debating a bright orange, though I usually HATE oranges and yellows, maybe I'll try something out of my comfort zone.

Quick updates outside of makeup, got all of our furniture in the house (woo!) and we only have a few things left to get moved in! Greg got a job in the Macy's fine jewelry department and I am not complaining.

Well that's all for now (I'm pretty sure this came out as an enormous post...) pictures of the nail looks will be up soon as well as pictures of my beautiful new mint green lipstick :)

So I leave you with this:
What crazy nail looks/colors have you tried or wanted to try? Any suggestions?
Do you want videos?

(I have two looks I'm going to be doing Laffy Taffy/Cotton Candy and Creamsicle :) and once I do those I'll post those too.)

Take care until next time!