My regular readers will know that I have a long running enemy. There seems to be one technique in the nail art world that I just cannot conquer.
For those unaware of what watermarbling actually is its the process of dropping polish into water and then creating a design using a pin/tool. It requires quick hands to avoid drying, a steady eye and ninja level positioning to capture the desired image.
It’s a complex and advanced method of nail art and whenever I try it, I feel so amateur and foolish for even trying it in the first place.
Over the last 3 years of being on Instagram I’ve seen so many epic watermarble designs. Some of my favourites have come from my very of group of friends. Lorna aka @thewellpolishedblog and Freya aka @freyahowden seem to access a whole other level of nail art when they watermarble. I’ve sat and watched the videos and tutorials, I’ve bought specific marbling polish and yet I still cant do it.
Then it was decided that the lovely Bex aka @polishplaytime and Freya would come visit for the weekend. And so the idea of a watermarble master class was created. If anyone on this earth was going to teach me how to watermarble it would be Freya. She even transported some water from her home in Leeds incase southern water is too harsh. That’s true dedication to the cause.
The master class began with Freya demonstrating how she would achieve the look. The biggest advice she gave, which I was shocked to discover, is that dipping is not necessarily the easiest way.
So all this time I’ve been dipping my nail in the puddle of polish and it never works. Now I’m discovering that letting the polish dry and peeling it off the water as a decal could be my salvation.
I started off by using swatch sticks in the dipping method just to assess whether it was working and I managed to capture some pretty awesome art.
Pleased with my success with the swatch sticks I then created a design that I planned to use as a decal. I achieved this using some Nautical Star polish prototypes I was sent to try.
Nautical Star Nails is a brand new Indie brand based in the UK. This is their very first collection so I was more than happy when Vicky asked me to help her work out any kinks.
For this watermarble I used Beast, Belle and The Rose.
Using good old Northern water provided by Freya, an old plastic pot and a watermarble tool I had in a set from Born Pretty Store, I managed to create this!
To say I’m happy is an understatement. The look of pure joy did not leave my face throughout the whole process. Its a thing of beauty. A flawless watermarble decal hand created by yours truly!
As you can see, Belle is such a sheer shade it appears see through in the decal. However Beast and The Rose are quite striking. Also, when you get up close you can still see the faint shimmer running through all the polish. It’s just lovely to look at.
Now comes the slightly fiddly process of cutting and shaping the decal to work on my nails. I am a woman who suffers with curved nails. Its something that doesn’t bother too much unless I compare my nail shape to others. Its genetic and there isn’t anything you can do to prevent it so I live with it. However having curved nails does make decals and water decals really hard to apply. They never fit to the shape of my nails correctly.
That is one of the reasons I never got to wear my decal.
My heart broke in two when not only did the decal snap from over drying but then it wouldn’t lay flat to my nails either.
I had a small (extreme) tantrum and decided I wasn’t doing this crap again only to realise its my first attempt. Keep going you mad woman!
So I then went for an all blue design using A England polishes.
For this I used Whispering Waves, Order of the Garter and Galahad.
The three blues worked together beautifully and I managed to create a pretty decent watermarble flower decal. Instead of spending ages admiring it I went straight in to applying it.
I decided to use a base of Galahad. Then cut the decal to shape and managed to apply it to 7 nails. I was pretty impressed considering Freya suggested I might only get 4 or 5 out of one but now I’m wondering if this is why the design isn’t flawless.
Here is what I came up with.
My favourite nail has to be my pointer finger. Perfect lines which are evenly spaced out and no air bubbles from applying the decal. A pretty awesome watermarbled nail. The others however have air bubbles from applying the decal and the design didn’t look as fabulous on the nail as it did on the decal.
I took a close up shot of my middle finger to show the best and worst details.
Excuse my awful clean up, the blue stained my cuticles horrendously so they don’t look as clean as I would normally have them.
The air bubbles are most prominent in the centre of my nail which I know is from applying the decal. The design itself is shimmery and sparkly which is lovely but I wanted a clearer design.
Overall, I think for my first successful watermarble decal and application, it’s pretty decent.
I still have loads to learn. I think the hardest part for me will always be the dipping or decal process. The curved shape of my nails makes the whole process very hard. But I will conquer this technique and come back again with more epic designs!
A huge thank you to Freya for not only bringing me bottles of Northern water but also spending the time to demo her techniques. Next lesson will have to be decal application!
Thanks to everyone for reading!