Water marbling is a nail technique in which you place drops of nailpolish into water to create a whimsical swirl design. You can use as many and any combination of colors as you’d like so this look is perfect for creative designs. The thing I like most about water marbling is that because when you swirl the polish it creates a certain pattern, allowing each nail to have its own individual design.

The design looks intricate and specific so I thought I would never be able to do this (especially with my poor coordination). But it turned out to be fairly simple and you can learn how to achieve this nail look here.


My roommates and I did a trial and error session with water marbling and tested out nailpolish brands: China Glaze, Sally Hansen, OPI, and Essie.

We found that Sally Hansen and China Glaze worked the best (so if you’re worried about nailpolish cost, Sally Hansen is the way to go). OPI worked efficiently but did not transfer to the nail as well as China Glaze and Sally Hansen did. Essie’s formula was too thick and did not swirl well into the water.

Sometimes, everything can go wrong with water marbling.

One tip to help you Lovelies when doing water marbling is to not use fast-drying formulas. Timing is key for water marbling, so if your polish dries too quickly, you won’t be able to add in the different colors and get the effect you want in time. Also, to avoid getting polish all around your fingers you can tape the surrounding skin for easy clean up. Your water should be at room temperature and in a small paper or plastic cup. When you clean the water between uses, you can just drop in some top coat polish into the water and it will clear out the leftover color polish. 

What is your experience with water marbling? Would you want to try out this look?