How To

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How to: DIY Marble Manicure

Mon, 23 July 2012 11:04AM

Our current nail art obsession at PRIMPED HQ is marble nails. We spotted them at the Tadashi Shoji show at A/W ’12 earlier this year, and although you can get a similar effect from using magnetic polishes, using the marbling technique means you have control over the colours without needing to paint countless coats. And if you’re anything like me and love a little DIY action, then this one is for you.

Before you begin, think about what colours you would like to use. I chose these gorgeous pastel shades, drawing inspiration from the dreamy summertime prints seen at the Zimmermann MBFWA ’12 show. When it comes to nail art, find inspiration in aspects of your everyday life – it might be your favourite item of clothing, a sunset, or you could even theme it for the holiday season.

Without further ado, let’s get started …

What You’ll Need:

  • Sticky tape or Scotch Tape
  • Depending on how many colours you want to use, of course you’ll need nail polish! Pictured L-R: Chanel Le Vernis in Beige (out September 2nd), $39, Limited Edition Thakoon for Nars Nail Polish in Kutki, $32, Mecca Cosmetica, M.A.C Nail Polish in Saint Germain, $22, M.A.C Cosmetics, Essie Resort Collection 2012 in She’s Picture Perfect (out August 1st) $18.95, from David Jones
  • Sally Hansen Quick Care Conditioning Manicure Corrector, $16.95, from Priceline or nail polish remover and a cotton tip
  • Nail file, for shaping
  • Cuticle sticks or toothpicks. I use the Manicare Cuticle Sticks, $2.70, from Priceline for a pack of four
  • Small clear plastic containers. You can get these from your local craft store for under $5

Step 1:

Begin by applying one thin coat of your base colour. I used Chanel Le Vernis in Beige (out September 2nd), a soft, delicate beige. It’s just enough for a hint of cream showing through in the final product. The reason for applying a base colour is if you miss a smidge of nail with your marbling, you’ll still have a pretty polish peeping through. Once dry, grab your sticky tape and apply one strip in line under the base of your nail. Next, apply one around the sides and across the top of your nail.

Step 2:

Fill your small plastic container close to the brim with water. With the nail polish you have chosen, begin by popping one drop of nail polish in the water at a time. And then add another drop of polish in the centre of the previous colour. You’ll notice each nail polish will react differently, but it all works to create a different effect. Here’s what it should look like:

Step 3:

And now for my favourite part. Grab your cuticle stick or toothpick and begin drawing a pattern in the polish. I find it looks best if you begin in the centre and drag the polish to the outside of the circle. Do this 5-6 times, drawing from the centre outwards.

You should hopefully get the pattern looking a little something like this:

Step 4:

Now it’s time for the dipping! Start with your pinkie, and gently lower it into the water, ensuring that your whole nail is covered. You need to work fast, as the polish will dry up quickly in the water, creating a film. Then go onto the next finger. If you find that the polish has dried, empty out your container and refill the water, and repeat Step 2.

Step 4:

Unwrap the sticky tape from your nail and, using the Sally Hansen Quick Care Conditioning Manicure Corrector, wipe off any excess nail polish that may have gone onto your finger or cuticle. Quick tip: if you don’t have a nail corrector pen, use a cotton tip dipped in the remover, as you don’t want to remove the polish from your nail.

And here’s the finishing product!

Tell me Primpettes, what do you think of the marble nail art? Love it?

Have you tried it? If so, do you use any particular techniques to get it right?

What colour combination would you choose?

Hayley x

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  • Posted by: loopy-lexy // Mon, 23 July 2012 06:51pm

    I love it! Have never tried it though, heart it takes ages to dry?

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Mon, 23 July 2012 07:32pm

    Totally obsessed with it! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I would hever have though oof doing it this way, and it really doesnt look too messy, cant wait to try it!

  • Posted by: Hayley Bennett Enthusiast // Mon, 23 July 2012 07:39pm

    Thank you! I’m so glad you both liked it. lovefashionangel, it’s so much fun, make sure you post on here how you go, or link to us on Instagram. loopy-lexy, it didn’t actually take too long to dry, but definitely work quickly so it doesn’t get stuck on your cuticles and skin. You can add a top coat too if you like for a little extra gloss xH

  • Posted by: Coconal Master Fan // Mon, 23 July 2012 10:25pm

    Hayley, that’s an amazing tutorial and thank you so much for taking time to do a step by step pictorial too!

    Fantastic job and I love how that looks…I bought a marbling kit the other day but have yet to give it a try, I will definitely have to do it soon!


  • Posted by: mud // Wed, 25 July 2012 01:11am

    What a clever thing you are.
    Flying home at the end of the year,cant wait to try this on my mum,she loves to have her nails painted.
    Great job team.

  • Posted by: Sue // Wed, 25 July 2012 03:03am

    i want that so bad lol

  • Posted by: Sara // Wed, 25 July 2012 07:43am

    Wow the finished nails look amazing! I’m betting they won’t look like that when I do it, but since it’s a marble look, I guess it doesn’t matter. Great tutorial, going to try it this weekend. Thanks :)

  • Posted by: ditzybub // Wed, 25 July 2012 09:48am

    i tried, it took me a few tries till it worked, i used white as a base, with pink and black (which turned grey on the white background) i think i really need to practice some more though. (try covering your fingers with vasaline to stop the nail polish sticking, it helps) XOXOX

  • Posted by: Hayley Bennett Enthusiast // Wed, 25 July 2012 03:36pm

    Thank you all again so much!
    And ditzybub, that sounds like a great tip.
    Just to let you all know, I just got an email question about doing the marbling using gel polish cured by a UV light. I asked the peeps over at OPI who said it should work. I personally haven’t tried it, but if any of you decide to, let me know how it goes xH

  • Posted by: yal // Wed, 25 July 2012 06:38pm

    sounds easy. have you tried dots. do a base coat wrap a band aid (the kind with holes)around finger nail use a darker colour paint over the holes, when you take it off youve got spots, you can do a clear top coat to help keep the colours longer

  • Posted by: JENNY // Wed, 25 July 2012 10:34pm

    OMGOMGOMG LOVEE ITT!! :D:D:D: soo trying this out 😉

  • Posted by: Mellie Enthusiast // Thu, 26 July 2012 02:02pm

    Wow that looks amazing!

  • Posted by: shreys // Mon, 13 August 2012 10:06am

    When and where do you put to sticky tape on?

  • Posted by: Louise-1295043242 Master Fan // Thu, 23 August 2012 08:06pm

    That’s so cool! I doubt I’ll be able to get even half as good as job as yours, but I can’t wait to try it out!! :)

  • Posted by: karleymichelle Enthusiast // Wed, 5 September 2012 09:13am

    I love this technique.
    does take a little bit of time – and can get messy – but the results are worth it!
    I use vaseline instead of tape – works the same and is a little less fiddly!
    I also make sure i have tissue/papper towel and just skim the top of the water to remove polish and create a new pattens/swirl for each finger ( i useally only get to nails done before the design is merky)


  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Sun, 7 October 2012 12:57pm

    Absolutely amazing!

  • Posted by: Knyholm Master Fan // Sat, 13 October 2012 08:03am

    It looks amazing. What a great step by step guide – you just make it look so easy!

  • Posted by: Stella-1335070716 Enthusiast // Mon, 26 November 2012 07:16pm

    I have tried this before and it works great but it is a bit of a hassle

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Tue, 4 December 2012 05:38pm

    wow really nice

  • Posted by: Tina-1291133452 Master Fan // Tue, 4 December 2012 08:08pm

    LOVE this look.. i have tried to do it with so many nailpolishes and it never ever works :( i dont know what i am doing wrong :(

  • Posted by: Bantam Master Fan // Sun, 9 December 2012 11:24pm

    LOVE IT! So much easier and I don’t have the patience of painting each on of my nails hahaha.

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Thu, 13 December 2012 03:28pm

    AWESOME! Will be trying this one out this weekend! LOVE IT!

  • Posted by: Sparkles17 Master Fan // Tue, 22 January 2013 10:56am

    Wow this is so awesome!! I am going to experiment, but dont think I could achieve such a perfect finish!

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Sat, 23 February 2013 12:40pm

    i’ll try this

  • Posted by: thecatwhosawstars Master Fan // Wed, 5 June 2013 04:08pm

    Oh wow this totally awesome. Very very clever.

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Thu, 18 July 2013 04:03pm

    thanks for the great tutorial

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Wed, 20 November 2013 08:45pm

    Wow, it’s amazing, I love this look, thanks for sharing. Very clever.

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Wed, 25 December 2013 08:09pm

    great idea

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Thu, 12 March 2015 02:51pm

    So I finally gave this a go today! I love how my nails look, but it’s sooooo messy!!!

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