how to water marble nail

How To: Perfect Water Marble Nail Art

Polish Used: L-R in top photo: China Glaze Peachy Keen, China Glaze Lemon Fizz, China Glaze Shocking Pink, China Glaze Sun Worshipper, Barry M Berry Ice Cream, Barry M Blueberry Ice Cream, Essie Mint Candy Apple. Base: OPI Alpine Snow

Watch the video for a live tutorial!

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  • Steen Langridge

    I really need to try this sometime. I have seen a few videos on this on youtube but i have just never tried it out cause it seems like so much work. Now seeing your tutorial i think i will have to try it !

    • Jenny

      yay let me know if you do it and what colors you pick!

      • ally

        i did it but it was really hard and it didnt work

        • princess

          hi jenny. i tried it out but it looks really ugly. and i was wondering if i should use hot or cold water. please reply me!!! and i love your nails

          • qudsia

            super neat

      • shania

        hey and sorry but what type of nail polish do you use you use marble nail polish because i use normal nail polish and it get like plastic

        • Leia

          What water temp do I need to use?

          • Deb

            Just make sure its room temp. if it’s too cold or too warm it won’t work out. the water has to be perfect!

        • Sarah

          Hi I always use Barry m nail paint ant I get amazing eye popping colours


        • Himee

          I think she used China Glaze

        • lucy

          I’ve used china glaze, sinful colors, wet and wild, and salley hansen. Just test out your nail polish.. but I did notice my older nailpolish did not work.

  • Allison

    I really love the colors you chose!

    • Jenny

      ty sweetie!

  • Mitii

    First water marble art video i ever watched & I Really loveeee iit! :).. i will try this with some pastels colors like something sweet, light as air, refresh mint from china glaze and a light blue from sally hansen insta dry!

    Thank you Jenn,

  • shirley

    Hey jenny <3
    for each nail do you keep the same order in which you drop the nail polishes? and does the order affect what becomes the main colour of the marbles?

    xoxo S

  • Teresa

    this is gorgeous! i love the colors :)

  • Ashley

    this looks amazing! ill definitly give this a try when i have a few days off of work. :)

  • Sandra

    Wow, this looks so cool! I didn’t even know that you can do something like that with your nails. I’ll be definitely trying this out.

  • Glamakeup

    So so cool Jen! I want to try this! Love from Italy <3

  • Izabell
  • kylie

    hi jenny! do you use a topcoat after? does it dry any quicker than normal? you are my favourite guru! love you x


    I just need to devote one night to doing this, it looks so fun! 4th of july maybe? ha

  • Hayley

    Really love this totally want to try it !!

  • Alli

    I haven’t water marbled in ages! You’ve inspired me to get the water marbling supplies out :)

  • Carolyn

    i just finished trying it on my nails and I LOVE it.
    i used china glaze: for audrey, refreshmint, lemon fizz
    Essie: cute as a button, better together, and nice is nice
    its so cute!

  • vonnie

    looks soooo pretty and creative, never knew about this technique! love it, may have to try it out one day when i’m not feeling lazy


  • Mallory Cohen

    Is that just water that you used???

  • Ailish

    what temperature of water do you use for this? I just tried it with warm water and it looked very different than yours .. thanks for the help! :) btw, the colours you chose are absolutely gorgeous, and I love the way yours turned out!

    • mia

      you have to have room temperature water:)

  • Melissa

    Hi!! I love your videos!! My mom is a nail tech and she used to do this when I was young…but she did it with lotion instead of water…she put the nail polish in the lotion and used the toothpick and then dipped the nail and then sprayed the nail with water and that got rid of the lotion…she said that was easier but I guess you waste lotion…I guess it’s not too bad if you use a cheap dollar store lotion!!, I’ll try it out and see!!

    • Nancy Tyler

      Hi Melissa,
      I’ve been going crazy trying to find things on the lotion marbling. I too am a nail tech and did it many years ago. Do you think you could get your mom to do a quick tutorial or even write me the instructions and brand she used. Thank you so much! I was starting to think I dreamed it!

  • Kaitlyn

    Hi Jen!

    After watching your extremely helpful tutorial and seeing how beautiful your nails turned out, I decided to give water marble nail art a go. Even though it was a long, messy, and at times frustrating process, I think I’m okay with how my nails turned out, although I’m not sure if I’ll be doing it again. However, like they say, practice makes perfect! Here is my post if you or anyone else would like to see how my nails turned out. I credited you and your tutorial in my post. :)


  • ellie

    the one problem that i keep coming back to with water marbling is that when i drop the colors in the water, they don’t spread out. They just sit on the surface in really small circles that dont expand. I’ve tried my best to keep the water at room temperature. Is there anything else you know of that could be causing my problem?

    • Brina

      You need to take a toothpick to spread it around. (:

    • Ashley

      If your water is to hard, some tap water contains to much additives in them. I use cheap bottle water that is room temp.

  • Patricia T

    I love this, adorable.

  • Julie

    can you use the same water for all fingers, or do you have to switch it out?

    • Paris

      You can use the same water but you need to redo the pattern and nail polish in the water


  • Abigail Murray

    hey i seen this video and did it right away and loved it. it was so easy with your video. thanks for answering the questions and making it easy.

  • Rachel

    OMG i love this!!! i want to try it right now!!!

  • Syrena

    Hey Jenny!

    Your tutorials are just amazing. I tried to do the same things with my nails as well but I have a similar problem like Ailish.What temperature of water did you use for it? I tried it in both lukewarm as well as cold water but the drops just settle in one place rather than spreading out evenly. Can you suggest out a solution for this please?

  • Nienke

    Hii jenny. <33

    Thank you for the video.
    I really liked it.
    I have try it and I love it!!


  • Paigeewa

    This is so cute! I’m going to have to try it out! I work at a library, so my hands are on display all the time and I like having different nail polishes on because people compliment me all the time, so this will have to be my next look! Do you have any recommendations for a good top coat that won’t chip, though? I’m so rough on my hands!

  • The Procrastinator

    I tried this once before and it TOTALLY failed – can’t wait to try it again now!

  • Melani

    I love this teqnique and i tried it last night but my nail polish hasnt got the right consistency… how can i improve the consistency? because by the time ive dropped in my nail polish in its dried and i cant dip the nail in… please help

  • sam

    which are the best nail polishes to be used for water marble nail art?

  • vertika

    This is awesome….thanks for sharing this marble art.Jenny.:)

  • Alice

    I love this, and i have tryed this three times but it never works.
    what temperature does the water have to be…?
    and does it matter what type of nail vanish..?
    also it make a crystal coat over the water, then it doesnt work…? please help me xx

    • Rylee

      I have the same problem with the water temp.

  • Liz

    So cool!! But slow down next time you’re talking kind of fast :)

  • Vasiliki Voulgari

    Just wondering for the marble water design, do I have to have the water in a specific temperature?

    Thank you

  • Tammy

    Thanks for the great tutorial!!! LOVED THIS! What fun to try all sorts of colors. Will do a post on my blog soon and then will tag back to this on. Thank you for sharing. So fun.

  • Chelsea

    I’ve tried marbling a couple of times, but the nail varnish have come out thick, wet and it runs. is this normal?

  • Veronica

    what type of nail polish is best to use when doing the water marble nail polish.
    I have tried using some nail polishes and they sink to the bottom :)

  • melina

    omg ur nail bed is so good! what nail polishes work with this cuz when i try, it just drys before i can make a design. even though i work quite fast……..

    • Emily

      I’m having the same problem.

      • sarada

        we too have the same problem………..1st the nailpolish is not spreading in the water… next its sinking and became dry… plz respond quickly….

  • Barrie

    THANK YOU ! helped me out alot :)

  • Britni

    I’ve been wanting to try this for a while now but can’t seem to get my nail polish to work right! What’s the best brand of nail poolish to use for this?

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  • jhenny

    how do you do the water marble nail art? and what is the cutics i need to do that?….

  • http://www.beginnersnailart Karen

    Nail marbling using water and regular nail polish is a lot of fun! You can really do some crazy designs with it! Just be prepared to spend a lot of time, unless you’re only doing the marbling for one or two nails on each hand. The process is very time consuming, although well worth the time and effort when you see the results. I was surprised that my 13-yr old stepdaughter actually lasted through the process of marbling all of her nails! But she loved it!

  • Lyndsay

    What temp should the water be? me and my sister have tried evvvverything.. and our polish either doesnt spread or balls up and sinks! and we have tried multiple types of polish! help?? :) thanks <3

  • Emily

    i tried w/o a base coat it worked reeeeaaaallllllly well

  • http://soccerandfootball100 hannah campbell

    do our base coat have to be dry before we put the tape on?

  • Jenna Bradford

    hay jenny I’ve tried doing this a million times and every time i try it never works the problem is that when i dip the nail polish in the water the first time it spreads out but the second time i do it it just sits there and does not spread or anything please let me know more about this wonderful creation that i found on this website but could never figure it out thanks :)

  • Chantal

    What a revolutionary wonder for nailart!!!!!!!!!!The time of difficulty in making stripes is over.I`m so enthousiastic!!!!!Who discoverd this?Today it`s the first time that I see this. Wow.I`m going to tell everyone that I know!!!!!!!

  • divya patidar

    why the nail paint is not spreading in the water ???

  • Margo Isadora

    Loved this tutorial, I finally got around to doing it myself. Enjoying my blue marbled nails! Posted about it on my blog and linked my readers to your post! Thanks for the inspiration

    -Margo Isadora

  • Stephanie limon

    Can I use any brand of nail polish??

  • Iqra

    I have tried the marble effect but it does not work
    I tried it with Revlon nailpolish

  • isha datta

    its not working….paint doesnt spread…..can u tell which brand nail paint should b used….it should b easily avalible in india….plz reply fast….m waitng…..

  • sophia

    i really need help with doing water marble nail polish cause it’s hard i just need much more help can you just come to a nail salon in east 3rd street between courtaleyou

  • layla

    Omg I truer this like 20times it is not working please help

  • veronica

    how do you get the nail polish to spread out and stay on top

    • Mary

      I no rightist does not stay on top for me.

  • Rylee

    Hi, does the water need to be a certain temperature?

    • Kelsey

      roooom temp (:

  • Chanicee

    can I use like the sponge instead of water?

  • Charlotte

    Love this! I’m gonna try this one day soon! Have a lot off colors, my friends always come to me to get there nails done :D

  • Stella Faye

    It took me my whole right hand to get it to look good, but my left hand is fabulous. I did the DIY nail caviar with purple and once the beads fell off I did the water marbling with pink, purple, yellow and orange. The texture left from the beads shows through a little which is fun. Thanks for the tutorials!

  • Gabriella

    This is really cool…my friend does it all the time with red, pink and white- it looks amazing! Even I can do it! Thanks for this video…
    one question- could you tell us the names of the colors that you used? I loved them!

  • Freshwater pearls

    I think in making of water marble nails, designs sounds good but coloring is just wastage of your art.

  • jessica

    im wondering why the nail polish is drying so fast before i can get the toothpick in and swirl? anybody know what i might be doing wrong?

    • shetaz71

      air conditioning in the room.. water is too cold

  • Terry

    I just did this myself and it turned out pretty good. I took the prep one step further and used rubber gloves to help mask my fingers. I cut off the finger tips off a cleaning glove and used that in conjunction with taping my nails. Now I just remove the tape and glove and I’m done.

  • Mary

    Wht if it does not work

  • biesma

    I love the colours but like we only need nail polish and cold water and nothing else

  • Brie

    The first time I tried this I didn’t use a base color and the polishes are just really sheer but it still looks ok.

  • lizmelly

    when ever i drop the nail polish it doesnt expand it just stays there. why doesnt it expands ?

    • shetaz71

      u using warm bottled water or just cold water?

  • rebekah

    I helped my friend do her nails and it wasn’t hard at all.

  • Faith

    I love them I tried it and it turned on perfect thanks for the video imma do it a lot know

  • kenyatta

    i need help doing this i cant even cant do it right what do you do….in your water…….what kind of water you use Im using sinfulcolors does that work

    • shetaz71

      room temp or warm bottled water

  • Regan

    Do we have to use white nail polish as a base colour ??

    • shetaz71


  • Saarah

    So i tried this water marbling art thingy and i put the nail polish in the water and it just stood there like a blob why doesn’t it work my water was room temperature and i tried different colours and it still didnt work.

  • Sara B

    So I tried this last night. It was a total success!! I posted on FB and everyone LOVES THEM. thank you!!! Where can I submit my picture to you? I was going for bright but ended up with Rasta colors. Love it

  • emily

    I tried this but the colour didn’t spread out in the water, it just kinda stayed as a blob and wouldn’t even move out when I shook the bowl. What am I doing wrong?

    • shetaz71

      Try room temp bottle water. Don’t use tap water or cold water.

  • melissa

    So when i do this it is all chunky on my nail. how did you do it without it being chunky?

  • Vivi

    Hi I like your video u answered a lot question in one video and for me doesnt work very well I really dont know how to fixed when the polish nails dry fast and dont spread at all just the first drop and the second be like a dot and I think its the you know some brand name that u can suggest please thanks

  • Jani

    my nails are very short so i ware fake nails will this still work on them

  • Claudia

    this might seem like a dumb question but what type of polishes do you use I have none but I want to buy some where , and what type do you reccomend me getting ?

  • Kelly

    I have tried this multiple times and cannot get it to work can you give me some tips?

  • amber

    i tried and it didnt come out as good as yours but what do you expect for a first try

  • Vivianna

    Did you or do uyou perfer fake nails ot real nails?

  • evelyn

    Can i use nail polish that contains glitter? :)

    • Expert

      No it wont work :)

  • amy

    Ive tried this but my nail polish doesn’t spread like yours does. Any ideas on why it does that?

  • Jeanny

    can you tell me if what i need to make that water marble..i try that before but the nail polish does’nt can i ask how can i do that just like yours…? :)

  • Viva

    Hey Jenny,

    The technique of water marble nail art is awesome. I was very surprised to see how beautiful it looks!!!!!!
    even i tried to do this marble nail art, but landed up with few problems…..When i drop the colors in the water, they don’t spread out. They just sit on the surface in really small circles that don’t expand. Do i ve to use special nail polishes for this nail art?????

  • Rachel

    Try chapstick instead of tape or vaseline, it works great!

  • Shyla Hoam

    Ok when you water marble when your done doing the colors it it supposed to be like a flim over top of the nail polish!!!!!!!!!

  • Mel

    The photos look amazing and the tutorial is so clear but mine just didn’t work. I think nail polish didn’t ring well. Other than that, I’m really not sure where I went wrong.

  • me

    Definitely going to try this it looks so cool !!! Is there any specific brand of nail polish that works best or can you use any kind?

  • Janine

    I’ve watched a lot of water marbling videos on YouTube and I think someone asked this question already but I’ll ask it again anyway. Can you use nail polish with glitter or shimmer in it?

    • Expert at Watermarble

      No i dont think so since the polishes with glitter or shimmer are quite thick. and even if the polish with glitter spreads, the next colour wont work on top of it since its too thick



  • emily

    thanks for the great video tutorial! it really breaks the process down. i’ve seen pictures but thought that it would be to difficult to do, after watching you video it really is a simple process. get wait to give it a try!

  • Sadia Faisal

    Which type of nail polish use for marble designs ??

  • Derpy Hooves!


  • Natasha

    is it okay if you use masking tap for you fingers instead of scotch???

  • qudsia

    super colours and very neat

  • diannamanebo

    hi miss jenny .. i am from philippines ?,, i try to do watermarble but it was not succsessful !! what should i do ? what nail polish should i use ? tnx

  • Misty Dawn

    You can use nearly any BRAND of nail polish. I have successfully used everything from the dollar tree LA Colors brand to Wal-Marts Love My Nails brand, Sally Hanson (even the insta dry varieties) to the more expensive brands like China Glaze, Orly, and OPI.

    The trick is to be sure your polish is thin enough and that your water is clean before EVERY round of dripping. You can thin your polish with nail polish thinner or a good laquer thinner from the hardware store (sometimes you can find them in the paint section at Wal-Mart) like Orange oil, Xylene, Toluene, or PURE acetone. DO NOT use nail polish remover. Most removers contain water and skin conditioners which will RUIN your polish. Thinning your polish will not only extend the life of your polish but will also increase the smoothness and drying time making even the most stubborn polishes suitable for water marbling.

    If you use clear polish or a polish with a shimmer or a very slow dry time you will sometimes have “floaties” left in the cup after you clear the surface and remove your fingers. The best way to clean this up is to put a few drops of a solid color on the surface of the water and run a toothpick around the edge of your cup to pull it all the way to the sides. Allow it to dry on the water COMPLETELY then pull it off with your toothpick or cotton swab. Your water will be sparkly clear and ready or your next dip.

    Also remember to dip your fingers at a 45 degree angle instead of a finger belly flop on the polish. This will help avoid bubbles and “blobbing” of the polish onto your nails.

  • Hazel

    hi when i try this, the nail polish colours never like open.. they remain a dot in the cup! i use all different kind of nail polishes cant find the reason why

    • marlen

      Same thing happens with me

    • M18

      I have was having the same issue but i figured out the problem. You have to drop the nail polish in the center of the previous dot and you have to layer up the colors quick, otherwise it starts to dry. Hope this helps!

  • Sup30

    Dose this work on short nails like really short nails?

  • Kaye Reheiser

    I did it and this is how my turned out

  • Kelly

    I have done it like 5 times it dose not work

  • shetaz71

    Do NOT use cold water! Use warm bottled water.