Frequeantly asked questions about water marbling:
What type of water/cup works best? I use filtered natural spring water from a jug I buy at the supermarket. I tend to pour my water out a little bit before I begin to marble, this way the water has time to get to room temperature, which for me is usually around 73F/ 23C. So all in all room temperature filtered water is what your want. The cups I use are 3 ounce disposable plastic cups. They are the best size to help anchor the polish onto the sides of the cup, this helps you gain a neater design.
What are the best finishes? Creams work the best for marbling, that is that. BUT not all creams are created equal! You really must test out the combination of polishes you want to use before marbling them onto your nail. I always have a little seesh with my swatch sticks before I even start prepping. Sometimes they shrink in the water or dry to fast. This could be due to the make of the cream in the polish or the polish might be too old to use. To revive an old or ‘tacky polish I sometimes add a few drops of polish thinner. It doesn’t always work but it’s worth a try to get that color combo I want. Every once in awhile you will find a nice shimmery or holographic polish that works well for marbling as well which you can really create some cool designs with.
What are the best brands? One of my most asked questions. I even have a little note in my phone that I sometimes copy and paste when people ask me this question. I tend to recommend two cheap and readily available brands, in the US, which are Wet N’ Wild’s wild shine line and Sally Hansen’s hard as nails xtreme wear line. The brand new creams work great all the time. Now if you don’t have access to brands such as these cheap ones I also use Zoya, Butter London and Julep polishes quite a bit for marbling. Some indie brands I use are ones such as Cult Nails, LaCC and Tillie Polish. Some brands I tend to veer away from are China Glaze, Sinful Colors and Essie. These all usually shrink in the water. Again it really is all about testing it out, using the same brand together gives you better results.
How do you achieve evenness on each nail? Sometimes with marbling you don’t even want to have the same design on each nail, an advantage of this technique. But when you do you want to start out by making sure you drop the colors in the water in the same order one after another. (Ex. I dropped in Wednesday, Shelby and then Mira to start every bull eyes) Some colors dissipate more then others because they are thicker so by doing this you can really achieve an nice equality on each nail. You also want to drag your stick in the same motion for each design.
How do you prevent bubbles? I don’t feel that I can answer this one with sole confidence. But from my experience it really just depends on the polish you are using. I try to search for the bubbles before I dip my nail. Some always have bubbles because thats the way they dissipate in the water. Other polishes that are too old sometimes also have bubbles. At times there is only one little bubble on the surface of the water which can be popped or picked up with an orange stick, or the tool you are using. Also having a smooth base will help prevent bubbles.