Creative musings in bright colors

Muted Water Whisps

My tutorial from last year might be one of my favorite manis ever. I couldn’t think of anything to top it, so I decided to somewhat re-do a mani I did a few months ago, that a reader asked me to make a tutorial for. Voila!


My last mani using non-marbled water involved bright colors. Since it is officially fall, this time I went with more muted darker tones, although I kept the rhinestone bright!



~ Nude: Zoya – Charlotte
~ Green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Pink: Zoya – Ciara
~ Blue: Zoya – Ling
~ Purple: Zoya – Monica


I used all zoya polishes because I know that zoya cremes marble well together. I did in fact test that before I started my mani, because you should ALWAYS make sure your polishes marble before you start!


And now for the tutorial!
1) After using a base coat of your choice, paint your nails white, or the lightest color you are marbling with. White will make your colors pop more, while using your lightest marble colors will tinge everything that color. If I am doing a gradient within one color (for example, all pinks) I tend to paint my base color the lightest pink. If I am using a collection of different colors, especially brights, I will use white as my base. In this case, I used my lightest color (a nude) because I wanted a more somber manicure. Add top coat and let it dry.

2) Coat your fingers with some type of liquid latex (I’m using KBShimmer) or tape. Honestly, tape is faster, easier, and less wasteful…but I thoroughly enjoy peeling off liquid latex so I used that. Regardless of your preference, make sure your fingers are covered so when you dip and remove your nails you don’t spend 2 hours cleaning polish off your fingers!

3) Marble your water. I used two techniques for this mani:
3a. Simple water drops. Drop the polish sequentially into your water cup. Do not drag anything through the polish, just let it spread. This will create a pattern like you see on my pinky and pointer nails, a cool spreading half-moon appearance. When the polish is sufficiently spread, pick your favorite part and dip your nails! Use a q-tip or cleanup brush to pull the unused polish out from your marbling cup, and then remove your nails from the water. shake your hand to remove excess water stuck to your nail, and remove the tape/latex from your finger. Repeat!

3b. Do the same as 3a except use a toothpick or thin brush to drag some of the pattern in the water outwards, creating a starbust. I wanted the nude at the base of my nail on all nails, so I dragged outwards from the nude polish so it spread nicely.

4) Clean up any polish that got onto your fingers from the marbling.

5) Add top coat and a gemstone. Ta-da!


Notes for water marbling:
– Room temperature water is best. I find I have the best spreading if I leave my water cup out overnight before I use it. If your polish isn’t spreading well, use warmer water, or move your toothpick/marbling tool around the edge of the cup (where there isn’t polish) and you will see the polish clumped in the center of the cup spread out. Make sure you have 3-5 drips already in the cup before you try this, or it will dry out too much!
– If you end up with bubbles trapped between your base polish and the marbled polish, use a q-tip to dry them gently. You might need to go back by hand and add polish to cover up the gap caused by the bubble.
– Be careful when you remove your nail from the water; any residual polish in the cup (or hanging off your nail onto your cuticle if you haven’t pushed your finger all the way into the water) can pull back and get stuck onto your beautiful design! Make sure the water is CLEAR before you pull your nail out.
– In my experience, cremes/jellies marble very nicely, shimmers make a mess and do not end up being particularly opaque, and glitters simply don’t work. Metallics are hit-or-miss. Good luck!

Comments on: "Muted Water Whisps" (6)

  1. Splendid mani and great tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

  2. looks amazing !!!

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a london year

[or more accurately: the london years]


Un blog de nailista, adepte de nail art tendance, passionnée de photos, et de jolis bijoux. Les dernieres modes en matière de vernis à ongles sont scrutées et analysées, les teintes passées au crible, et en prime des tutos super faciles à réaliser vous sont proposés... Bref, la féminité s'invite jusqu'au bout des ongles sur le blog de Pshiiit !

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