Marbled Nails

DIY & Crafts, Nails

So, we’re gong to a fancy dress party and I already have my outfit (details to come), and worked on the nails this morning. The inspiration came from ModCloth’s blog. They had their nail expert show a simple way to give your nails the marbled look and I knew this was the style for the fancy party!

Their full tutorial is here along with a few ideas for mixing colors. I tried it this morning, and here’s how it went:


  • Cup/small can for polish
  • Nail Polish (thinner the better)
  • Glass of room temperature water
  • Toothpicks
  • Cotton rounds or Q-tips
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Patience

I live in a 97 year old house and it’s not exactly “warm” this time of the year, so I used a cleaned olive can as my “cup”. This let’s me put the water on my mug warmer to keep the water at what others might say is room temperature.

Also I’m using painters tape to wrap up my fingers, and toothpicks to swirl out the remaining polish. Of course nail polish remover and cotton rounds or q-tips are necessary for clean up.

For the polish I chose: by Sinful Colors: Love Nails (blue), HD Nails (green), Scandal (pink), and by Wet n Wild Fastdry Everybody Loves Redmond (red). My base coat is also Sinful Colors Bubbly. It’s a light beige color that I absolutely adore for a base coat on styles like this because it makes my nails look like they are on a mannequin. I also decided for this to be an accent to the majority of my nails that are painted in Sinful Colors: Sweet Treat.

1. Choose the color combo you’re going to use. Two-tone is fab!
2. Cut some tape to wrap your fingers in so they don’t get polish all over them.
3. Apply a base coat to your nails and let dry completely.
4. Take your room temperature water and place it into a disposable cup.
5. Shake all your polish and open all the tops by your water cup.
6. Tape all around the top of your finger, only leaving your nail exposed

Here is a rundown of my procedure in images along with the dress (ModCloth: Bloom Bayou) I’m wearing with it:

Marbled Nail Process

Tip to get you through:

  • If the swirl doesn’t look right, don’t use it! it takes forever and is more fun playing with the polish dried on top (it’s oddly reminiscent of peeling glue off your fingers…).
  • Remember that as you swirl your toothpick will start to collect polish, so keep an eye on both the swirl and the end of your toothpick. Don’t make too many swoops through it.
  • Take the time to tape up your fingers really well. This makes it incredibly simple to clean up. I only had a small area about a half inch below my nail to clean each time. It made for less mess ups and quick clean up! Painters tape worked perfectly and I cut it a bit rounded to match up with my nails.
  • Before moving onto the next nail, give your newly marbled nail some time to dry. These are thin layers of polish, so it doesn’t take more than a couple minutes and can go a long way to ward off smudges.
  • Taking a break between fingers also gives you the chance to inspect your swirls to see if your multiple color marble needs adjusting. The beauty of this is that each nail is different so if you mess up, it’s hard to tell.
  • Replace your water if you see there’s a crust forming around the edges. I found my little can incredibly handy for also cleaning them a bit with some remover.
  • I think two tone would be fabulous for this technique. Switching up between base coat color and marbled color would give it that extra pop.
  • Stay calm and carry on.

Overall: this is quite a process, but like most things, the more I practiced, the better I got. Take your time, tape well, and give two toned a shot if you aren’t having much success.

Great tutorial! Thanks ModCloth!

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