Winter Pastels in Water Play

You know when you’re wading into a pool and there’s a point where your belly is about to feel the cool water…so, you take the plunge and jump in quick. That’s sorta what it’s like to do water-marble nails the first time. At least it was for me anyway. I was slow and hesitant at first…and then, dove right in.


When all dry, I was quite pleased with myself for my 20th challenge design using the water marble technique. (Oh, if you’ve just joined and want to find out more about the challenge I’m following: click here.) For these, I used soft pastel colors and white for a winter color theme. Even though I ended up with more of a skittle look (each nail different) – I smiled every time I peeked at them.

So, what are water marble nails? A while back, Sarah from Chalkboard Nails described it this way:

“…water marbling involves dropping
polish onto the surface of some water, swirling it around, dipping your
nail in, removing the excess polish from the surface of the water, and
pulling it back out.”

Sounds simple, right? Hah! Just like with the galaxy nails, I scoured my favorite nail blogs for tips and tutorials. Laurie of Dressed Up Digits just posted this one which includes a link to the water marble queen, a.k.a, Colette’s My Simple Little Pleasures channel on YouTube. I also came across Corynn Musser with her gallery of water marbles and shared wisdom. Even with all of the advice available, I still had to learn on my own.


It is said that doing water marble nails is something that you’ll either hate or love. After my very first dunk into marbled waters and I knew immediately that I loved it. It was like being back in elementary-school art class. Remember making a huge mess and then calling what you did ART!


My base for these nails was white. As a side note, I really, really need
to get a better quality white polish – at least one that levels out.
Anyway, moving on with each nail’s water design I played around with the
order of polish drops/rings. Also I varied the colors; sometimes using
white, sometimes not (index & thumb), and sometimes using pink,
sometimes not (pinky, middle).


I did these nails from pinky to thumb – and you can kinda see that I got a little better as I went along. Although, I cheated and went back and did another dunking on my ring finger because I got even less polish up than I did on my pinky. There are lots of patterns that can be made using this method. However, I was more into experimenting and was happy if I got any kind of swirling pattern.

This was addictive fun; however, it is definitely time-consuming (at least until practice). Two-breaks later and I had only done one hand. So, I had to call it quits this time. But, I’m looking forward to
trying more of these in the future.

Polish Palette:

Top – my test/first dunk into the water marble (white, mint, purple).
Polishes (L to R) China Glaze: mint – Kinetic Candy, purple – Sweet Hook, pink – Dance Baby (not shown: White On by Sally Hansen)

Inspiration Source(s):
Adding white with these pastels made me think of winter motifs, sweaters, etc.

I’ve made it through the first two of three sections in the challenge. Next are the “Inspired By” prompts. Got your eye on any one in particular?

Image Courtesy of Chalkboard Nails

Till next time,