Dry Water Marble Nails

This past week CutePolish shared an easy DIY method to create a different marble nails look than the messy water method. Her super quick how-to video gets straight to the point:

In my opinion this looks nothing like the blending of the water marble polish BUT it was fun and while time consuming it is not nearly as time consuming as the water method. AND it still produces stunning results.

My first attempt at dry marble nail art.

I practiced on paper first and I am glad I did as it gave me a feel for the consistency of the nail polish I had chosen for this nail art project. Which was: Julep’s Josephine (smokey dark blue base), Catrina (bright yellow), and Candace (sparkly brown gold – bottle shown below).

A closer look at Julep's Candace nail polish.

You have to be quick and you have to do one nail at a time because you are racing with the drying speed of whatever nail polish you are using; another reason practice before doing on the nail makes sense.

A super close up of the blended colors in this nail art design.

You also need to use a light touch as it is easy to gouge too deeply into the base layer and expose the nail surface. I found it hard to get any consistency with the pattern so I gladly went with whatever I happened to create. I still managed to “overwork” the pinky too much though. With marble nail art I feel less is more.

Dry marble nail art under articial lighting.

I would definitely like to try this one again. And I totally recommend giving it a try as it is fairly easy to create unique nail art without the hassle of water. Work on a paper towel. Have all your polishes open but not sealed. And have lots of extra toothpicks already out and ready to use just in case.

My dry marble nail art in sunlight.

The three colors I used were part of the September Julep Maven box but can be purchased from Julep as a collection or individually whether you are a maven or not.

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Topic Links
* Check out Cute Polish for more ideas
* Pick up any of these shades at Julep

Avon Nail Tips

I recently developed an addiction for Avon nail polish (surprise, surprise) and they have a simple and straightforward tip list for making the most of your manicure: Fall colours from Avon's nail polish collection.

1. Clean your nails before applying polish, with polish remover (even if they were not polished) or with a fresh lemon. This will remove any oils and debris and produce a clean canvas for painting.
2. Add a basecoat. It will protect your nails and even out the ridges.
3. Polish a bit over the tip of the nail.
4. Two thin layers of polish are better than one thick layer.
5. Don’t forget your topcoat!
6. Add a fresh layer of topcoat 2-3 days after to add shine and further protect your polish.

I know with nail strips you are supposed to give your nails a quick once over with polish remover but I never considered it for nail polish but it makes sense.

I can’t live without a basecoat so that should be a given for everyone — especially with neon and deep colors.

I can’t seem to brush over the tip of the nail without making a mess. My nails are pretty short. I do try to do it with the base coat though.

I have to agree that two thin coats is way better than one thick one. It gives you more control of where to polish goes, you get less on the skin around the nails, and I find the manicure lasts longer. Especially if you let them dry for at least five minutes between coats.

I almost never go without a top coat but some polishes have a super gloss sheen that just cannot be copied by a top coat, a blue Jin Soon polish I have comes to mind.

I have to admit that my polishes are usually not on long enough for me to do a fresh topcoat every few days but it makes sense if you are trying to make it last seven to ten days; especially if you use your hands a lot.

How many of these tips from Avon do you already use and do you have any other suggestions for making a mani last?

Marble Nail Art

There are a lot of marbling nail art instructional videos on Youtube and I suggest watching a few before attempting this project. It was Colette’s video that finally made me confident enough to give it a try. Even though most nails seem to be really long I felt positive enough to do it with my short nails and still get good results. What I like about her video is that she gets right to business, providing tips all along the way. Watch it a few times.

If you are going to try the marble process I cannot stress enough the importance of being well rested and in a calm state of mind. I can only imagine how bad this experience could have been had I been in a bad mood. I also think it is important to test the waters (oh, yes I did) with the nail colors you are going to use beforehand to get a feel for how they spread and to play with the drawing process.

Here is a look at my work station. I worked standing up by the counter sink. I laid down some paper towel to catch spills and set up everything I needed on two pieces. Tools I used: Vaseline gelly, plastic mug with water, LOTS of toothpicks (sitting off towel), Q-tips, and my polishes.

This is my work station I used for my marble nail art creation.

For nail polish colors, I started with Revlon’s basecoat for protection. This was followed by two coats of Julep’s white Bunny (see previous Bunny post). For my actual marbling colors I chose a red (Nan), baby blue (Bess),and navy (Char), all by Julep. I was thinking nautical.

Instead of tape to protect the skin around each nail I decided to use Vasoline; mostly because I have not had much success with tape in nail art in the past (this is a personal thing). Tape is not exactly a cheap application method either. Vasoline provides a barrier and moisturizes. I applied it with a Q-tip for more accuracy and to keep from gumming up my working hand. It turned out to be a good option for me — the excess polish slid off when I wiped it with a clean Q-tip. There were only a couple spots I had to go over with nail polish remover.

The mess one can make doing this kind of nail art.

I wanted to do the three finger dunk like in Colette’s video instead of the individual finger ones I have seen in most videos but I could not get my target big enough for three fingers hence the practicing I mentioned earlier. To me there is less nail polish waste and the whole process is quicker if you can do more than one at a time. But if you are really picky about the pattern layout you are best going one at a time.

Here is my final look, overall, I think it turned out pretty good for a first attempt:

The final look of my marble nail art experiment.

The whole process is a fun crafty project that requires some thought and planning ahead. It took me awhile to finally commit to trying it but I am glad I did and would probably try this one again with the same and new colors. I would not change anything in my process other than practicing with my color choices the day before; seeing how they react to water and drawing in the targets.

Have you tried this nail art technique yet? Are you planning on it?