Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Mani #3!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Hey ya'll - I'm typing up this post Christmas morning so it's going to be a short one!  I just wanted to make sure I showed you my last Christmas look before Christmas was gone!

Today I'm showing you a Christmas water marble!  Yay!  This is only my fourth or fifth one, so, I'm still very amateur, as you will be able to see.  Middle finger on both hands I got a little over-zealous with the toothpick cleaning up the water and I got a couple of bubbles on a few other fingers.  I'm much happier with my left hand, I did it second.  

I started with a base of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (perfect white polish, by the way).  Then I used all China Glaze colors to marble with:  Seduce Me (red), Starboard (green) and Passion (gold).  

Every time I do one of these I'm so excited I want to do another one immediately with different colors! They're time consuming but so stinking fun!  Hope ya'll all have a fantastic Christmas!


I wanted to update this post to show you a little more than I had time for yesterday.  This isn't going to be a full-fledged tutorial but I wanted to show you and kind of explain some of the steps it takes to do a water marble.  I had a lot more fun this time than I have previously doing a water marble, it really does just take practice and a lot of YouTube tutorial watching and reading other people's tips and tricks to get good.  

First you need a cup of water.  A lot of people use small paper/plastic cups so you can just throw the cup away when you're done.  I use a regular shot glass (stole this idea from Let Them Have Polish) - it uses less polish and I find it easier to get tight designs with it.  The polish can be cleaned off with acetone easily.  I use room temperature drinking/distilled water, but tap water should work fine too.  You don't want the water too warm or cold though.  The polish will dry quicker in cold water and will make it difficult to "draw" your designs in.    

Then you want to paint a base of a white or nude polish so the colors in the marble will really show up well and not be too thin.  I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.  Here is 1 coat.  It doesn't have to be perfect, just needs to provide a somewhat clean slate for the marble.  As I mentioned earlier, this white is amazing - so amazing I have two bottles.  If you find it on sale anywhere, buy it.  I didn't even do clean-up for this photo...

After you paint your base coat you will want to tape around your nails so you don't get polish all the way up your finger.  I use one piece of tape at the base of my nail near the cuticle and one piece on each side.  i pretty much do this one nail at a time, as well as remove the tape while the polish is still wet so it doesn't dry together and pull off the whole design.  A pair of tweezers works great for removing the tape.  You'll see a picture of my taped up, marbled nail later.

Then you want to choose the colors your want to marble with.  In my limited experience, I've found 2-4 colors works the best.  If you have too many colors you won't be able to get them all on every nail.  I forgot to take a picture of my bottles, but I used all China Glaze colors, Starboard, Seduce Me and Passion.  Before I settled on these colors I tried a few others and they didn't seem to spread well in the water so I kept testing them til I found some that did.  It's really all about trial and error.  Then you want to drop one drop of polish in the water, alternating colors over and over until you have a bulls eye.  

Now you want to take a tool and "draw" a design in the polish.  You can use an orange stick, a tooth pick, anything with a pointed end.  I use one of my dotting tools that has a pointy end.   It works best if you don't put the tool in at the very outer edge because those rings have likely started to dry by now and will just drag and ruin the whole bulls eye.  Start drawing a ring or two in from the outside.  You also may want to keep some paper towels handy so you can clean your drawing tool off every few strokes in the water. 

Finally you want to find a spot in the design that you like and gently dip your nail flat into the water.  Once your nail is submerged in the water you need to leave it there and take a toothpick with your other hand and clean up all the excess polish around the glass.  If you don't, you will get that extra polish on your nail when you pull it out of the water and you'll be ticked off, I can assure you.

Pre tape removal
christmas water marble
Post tape removal
After all the nails are done, do your clean up to get a clean line around the edges and put on a top coat, I used Seche Vite, to protect and extend the wear of the design.  Be careful because some top coats will drag and smear the design.  

Colette over at My Simple Little Pleasures is the QUEEN of water marbling.  She has a so many cool color combinations and designs using the water marbling technique.  AND she has YouTube videos showing you how she does each one!  I have watched a lot of her videos and they are so good...she has a lot of great tips and makes it look so SO easy!  Nothing beats a video for learning how to water marble.  Even if you don't want to try this technique, you really should check out her blog and YouTube channel!  

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