Retro Water Marble Mani
I’ve tried doing a water marble mani a couple of times before but they were epic failures. It was messy. The polish didn’t spread properly. I couldn’t drag correctly. The frustration led to a strong dislike, even fear, of the technique. I love what others are able to achieve; I just felt I wasn’t going to try it again.
And then I saw this beautiful flower water marble by NaiKai or @nadeekay on Instagram. It was so pretty that I really wished I could re-create it. According to her, she picked up the technique from Aubrey Hannah, who has a pic-torial on her blog. Aubrey makes it look really simple and her instructions are very clear. Her tutorial made me a lot more confident to try water marble again, and I really wanted to achieve the flower look. And so, I set up my work area and gave water marble a third try.
It took me a while to get the polish spreading correctly in the water. The first drop kept drying up really fast and the subsequent drops would not spread due to it. I tried turning off the fan and it made a lot of difference!
I started dragging to try to form the flower pattern. I couldn’t quite get it but I did realise I was now able to form the pattern used in the conventional water marble look! That was an achievement for me as I’d never been able to do it before!
After more trial-and-error, I finally felt confident enough to work on a proper mani, to the extent of dunking two fingers into the water each time, to minimise the number of times I’ll have to work on the patterns. And I’m pleased to share the results here, even though they are not perfect, with bubbles and all!
After trying out different polish combos, I settled on three piCture pOlish shades – Coral Reef, Tiffany, and Wisteria. I painted my nails one coat of white before dunking them into the water. I applied Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat after the nails have had time to dry, although I still got some streaking. I was too excited at my first success at water marble to care anyway!
The colour combo has a slightly faded retro look, hence the title of this post. Flower Power!
And on the right hand.
You may notice that when my right index and middle fingers are put together, the effect looks like a butterfly! I can’t say it was deliberate as you’ll never know exactly how the pattern has been positioned on the nails until the fingers are removed from the water. This was more of serendipity!
Now, this project did take me a few hours starting from the preparation of the materials to the cleaning up after the photos were taken. If you are as apprehensive about water marble as I was, but still want to give it a try, do pick a day when you feel relaxed and are not in a rush to do something else.
As expected, a lot of polish got on the skin too, and I used up many cotton swabs to clean up the excess polish. I guess I was too excited to apply cream to make the cleaning up easier, although my trusty Zoya Remove+ was already pretty efficient at that. Some people use tape as well. I may explore that option in future, though I don’t exactly look forward to removing tape with a fresh mani on.
I am really excited that I have finally figured out water marble! I fully intend to try it again and eventually work towards making that flower pattern.
If you have any tips or tricks to avoid the bubbles, as well as when to apply top coat, I hope you’ll share with me.