Ahh water marbling. Made to look so easy on youtube videos, so hard to properly pull off in real life. I've been struggling with of late and it's been bugging me that I haven't been able to pull off the proper "marbled" effect. Talking with my mum over Skype tonight (I'm in Toronto, Canada and she lives in Australia) her curiosity made me want to try, once again, just to get it to work. Everyone say hi to my mum now, she reads my blog :D:D
I must have made the ritual sacrifices in the correct order tonight because, joy upon joy, I ACTUALLY GOT A WATER MARBLED MANICURE TO LOOK LIKE MARBLE! For this particular iteration, I used Essie Vermillionaire and Fifth Avenue, China Glaze Papaya Punch (marbling is all it's good for, it applies terribly) and Orly Green with Envy.
The Verdict: Part of what's been bugging me about this technique is that it's been so hard to pin down what hasn't been working. The big problem I've been having lately is that my first drop will spread out properly but then the next one will just sit in a blob, not spreading out at all. I tried changing the water temperature, different brands, nothing seemed to work. I can't be 100% sure but here's what I tried this time that seemed to work:
- Warm water. I've said that the water needs to be room temp in the past but I think I was doing it wrong with not enough polish that time. Warmer means it spreads more, which is what you want.
- Essies, China Glazes, Orlys are all good for marbling. Anything that totes itself as being quick drying will probably be too dry by the time you get to making the patterns.
- Ten drops are about the amount you need. This will let you get enough wet polish to draw the patterns.
- Don't get too attached to a particular colour, be prepared to try different brands to find those that spread the best. This was my biggest problem in the past, I think.
- Don't forget to tape up your fingers and use a white coat for the base.
One day I'll be able to let this technique go, but NOT YET DAMMIT.