A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Two halves of a whole: a black and silver nail marble

I haven’t done a nail marble in a while and when my good girl friend Isabelle came over to watch movies and have some nail fun.  She wanted to play with the Zoya jelly polishes and make “jelly sandwich” nails and I felt like marbling because it had been ages since I had.

silver and black nail marble

I started with a white base on all my nails.  I used “Paper Mache” by Fingerpaints.  It required 2-3 coats for completely opaque coverage.

good white nail polish

I wanted do use neutral colours and nothing too bright.  So I actually opted for a black and silver.  I used “Liquid Vinyl” by Orly as my black nail lacquer and “Platinum” from Mary Kay as my silver nail lacquer.

black and silver nail marble

Using scotch tape you want to tape around your nails, exposing just the white and covering the skin about one-third of the way down your finger.

silver and black nail marbling designs

Using a small bowl (that you don’t care about ruining) fill it with room temperature water.  I am using the bottom half of an old pop bottle.  Given the dried drips down the side, you can see I reuse this all the time.  Then, alternating each time, drop your polish into the centre of the water.  Let each drop expand before dropping your next one.  It should create a bullseye like pattern similar to this:

water marbling - silver and black designs

Then, using a toothpick, create a design in the water.

nail marbling tutorial

Then, simply dunk your finger in the water.  Remember that your nail will pick up the exact pattern of wherever your nail makes contact with the design.  If you are going for a specific design or pattern, you will likely only be able to do one nail at a time.  Repeat for all nails, so your hand looks something like this.  Also, don’t forget, that while your nail is submerged, use your toothpick to grab the extra “skin” of polish on the water before pulling out your finger.

nail marbling tutorial - silver and black nails

Give them a few minutes to let them dry before removing the tape.  Then simply clean up your fingers and skin with a q-tip soaked in nail polish remover.

black and silver nail marbling

nail marbling

Do you guys like how this nail marble turned out?  Do you have a favourite colour combination for water marbling or something new you would like to see?

Thanks for reading everyone!



If you are completely new to marbling I have a more complete photo tutorial here.

water marbled nails - black and silver

45 responses

  1. That’s so pretty!

    October 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    • Thank you!! It had definitely been too long since I marbled and it was a lot of fun! 🙂

      October 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

  2. Kyla Guffrey

    You posted the exact same blog and procedure on four or five seperate occasions. I think we get the point. *yawn* your blogs are boring. I’m starting to regret my subscription. You need new material honey. It’s just so repetitive…nothing new.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    • Hi Kyla, sorry to hear you find my blog boring. I have new followers and visitors all the time and I certainly don’t expect them to comb through all of my posts and review content that is months old. So if some people see something they’ve seen already, they can take 2 seconds and scroll past, I don’t believe that hurts anyone. As for you regretting your subscription…you aren’t actually a subscriber. So that would make it seem like you simply type in my blog address anytime you feel like coming and running someone down…impressive use of your time.

      October 30, 2012 at 8:27 am

    • Really? You think it’s OK to say that to someone? Who are you? You’re weird.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      • Kyla Guffrey

        Ya I do. 🙂

        October 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm

  3. wow, nice tutorial, I never had marble nails…but for sure I’ll try them!

    October 30, 2012 at 12:51 am

    • Hi Laura, they are a lot of fun. I hope you do give them a try. Definitely looking forward to seeing what you come up with! 🙂

      October 30, 2012 at 7:43 am

  4. Miranda R.

    I love how this one turned out! Pretty!

    October 30, 2012 at 10:16 am

  5. Now that is super cool.

    October 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    • Thanks Marisa! It is actually super fun. Have you tried nail marbling before?

      October 30, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      • No I’m very challenged when it comes to nails. I can’t even get my home manicures to look nice but I LOVE having polished nails so I do it anyway. I just apply and let all the polish sticking to my skin flake off like it does in 24 hours.

        October 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm

        • I went years and years never wearing polish on my hands, only ever on my toes. But there are so many fun ways to fancy up your nails nowadays and express yourself, I couldn’t resist and started trying new manicures. Now my nails are almost always painted. Like you, I LOVE having them painted. They are just fun to look at and I just feel happier when my nails are looking cute. Practice makes perfect though, marbling was tricky the first couple of times. But half the battle is finding polishes that work well in the water. It is pretty easy when you get the hang of it though. Jelly sandwiches are still my favourite manicures though I think. They are really fast and easy to do and you end up with nails slightly fancier than just solid colours. 🙂 Have you tried them before?

          October 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

  6. By the way – NOT BORING! Love what I see so far and you have a fun community spirit.

    October 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    • Awww you are sweet, thank you! ❤

      October 30, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    • No I haven’t. Never anything beyond a basic polish job.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      • I’m sure when you start branching out, you will go banana’s! I bet you will surprise yourself too! Most manicures are much easier than they look.

        October 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm

  7. darksugarose

    These are so beautiful! Great job!

    October 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    • Thanks my dear! Kind of you to say. 🙂 I was happy with how they turned out too. Have you marbled your nails before?

      October 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm

  8. Kyla Guffrey

    I love how you actually went through all your subscribers to check lol. You need your little internet friends to defendyou. Really? It’s the internet, you chose to share your life with the world than be prepared for what they throw at you. Also, you clearly missed my point about youblogging the same things over and over again. People who subscribe to you see all posts you make (which is almost on a daily basis) and eventually boredom will set in. Ohh another nail marble…like you teach the exact same technique over and over and over again. Spice it up abit.

    October 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm

  9. Love it!!

    October 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm

  10. Your water marbling is amazing

    October 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    • Sweet of you to say – thanks! I thought this one turned out pretty good. They don’t always! lol I tried to keep a consistent pattern on each nail throughout and was pretty happy with the finished look. 🙂 The black and silver was also a nice break from the bright, bold colours I normally pick.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:43 am

  11. So JEALOUS u can make this work 🙂 I end up with a big ole mess with polish all the way up my fingers even after ive used tape, lotion and other stuff. Oh well, still fun to do 🙂 Great Job!

    October 31, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    • Hehe – thanks! It is a lot of fun, you are right about that! Can I ask what size of bowl/cup are you using when you try? I like using a pretty small opening, so you don’t have to do an endless amount of rings. The more polish in the bowl, the further up your finger you can expect the “polish skin” to go and the bigger the mess. Let me know, I’m curious, and would like to help if I can! Because believe me, everything that can go wrong with marbling, has probably already happened to me. lol

      November 1, 2012 at 6:47 am

      • Oh my, I never thought about that! Duh, use a smaller cup! So simple! Instead of the small bowl I use I will definitely try a cup…I think it might actually work! thank u 🙂

        November 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm

        • You’re welcome! You will have to let me know how you make out. 🙂 Good Luck!

          November 4, 2012 at 12:45 am

  12. Great combination Shannon! The pattern is a beauty. I have tried nail marbling before but I’ve never bothered about getting a uniform pattern done, so I usually end up with a mix of colours on all sorts of patterns.
    My fave combinations are different shades of blue, maybe because I own so many blue clothes! I’ve also done a black and gold combo which turned out great.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:49 am

    • Hi! Usually I don’t worry about the pattern either, but every once in a while I try to give them a consistent pattern and I’m always glad I did. Different shades of blue do make a really pretty marble. That is actually what my Brazilian penpal did when she was visiting here from Sao Paulo and it looked fantastic! I bet different shades of purple would look really nice too. And I have no doubt that black and gold would be stunning as well! Something like red and gold would be lovely over the holidays too…hmmmm so many options, so little time. lol Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

      November 2, 2012 at 9:13 am

  13. These look amazing!!!!!!! I’ve tried marble nails before but they never came out the same.

    BTW I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award!

    November 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    • Thanks hunn! I’m really glad you like them. 🙂 And thanks for the nomination – sweet of you to think of me!

      November 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm

  14. This is amazing! I’ve never seen this before, will definitely be trying it at some point 🙂
    Read your other post, the step by step one and you’ve made it sound so simple! (Tricky though yes)

    November 6, 2012 at 7:29 am

    • You will have to let me know how you make out. 🙂 It is really quite easy. It might just take a bit of experimenting around with your water temperature and different polishes. But once you find something that works for you, it will be a breeze. Good luck and thanks for commenting!!

      November 6, 2012 at 7:38 am

  15. This is amazing!!!!

    November 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    • I’m so happy you like it! I hope you give it a try. I want to see what you come up with! 🙂

      November 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

  16. cool thanks for sharing this! i am so excited to try it!

    November 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    • So glad that you like it – thanks! Good luck!! It is a really rewarding manicure. You’ll find yourself staring at your nails all day long! 🙂

      November 13, 2012 at 12:16 am

  17. Beautiful, great work!

    November 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    • Thank you! Happy you like it and thanks for taking the time to comment. Means a lot! 🙂

      November 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm

  18. thats so cool!!! :O

    November 20, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    • So glad you like it, nail marbling can be a lot of fun!! Have you tried it before??

      November 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm

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