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Marbling is an art technique that can be used to create a variety of different looks, many times imitating the look of marble, stones, smoke, etc.

What is Marbling?

Marbling is when a combination of colours is randomly mixed on the nail.

How do you create marbling?

Using nail polish:

  • Dry marbling
    • Choose the colours, and have the bottles unscrewed
    • Apply the first colour to one nail only, quite thickly and in a random shape
    • While the first colour is still very wet, apply the second colour to merge and slightly mix with the first
    • Continue with any other colours until the nail is covered
    • Give the nails plenty of time to dry as the coating will be thicker than usual
    • Clean away any polish that touches the skin using a small brush dipped in remover
  • Water marbling
    • Take a bowl and fill it with lukewarm water.
    • Add one drop of colour to the middle of the bowl, and allow it to spread. Add a drop of another colour, in the middle, and again allow it to spread. Repeat with as many colours and as many times as you want. Ideally, stick to 3-4 colours, so it doesn’t get “muddy”.
    • Take a skewer or toothpick and swirl up the colours in the water. (make sure not to over-mix).
    • Apply base colour on your nail or just dip down your nude nails in the marble water.
    • Take your fingers off the water and remove excess paint.
    • Finish off with a top coat.  

Using UV gel polish:

There are two usual methods for this technique:

  • Technique 1
    • Follow the same instructions as for the nail polish above. Choose colours that have a good level of pigment so only one layer is needed. If the coating is thicker than usual, double cure the nails to ensure a proper cure. It is usually worth ‘flash curing’ for 5-10 seconds to make sure the colours stay in place before fully curing all nails.
  • Technique 2
    • Using a UV gel polish palette, mix the chosen colours together until an approximate design of the marbling is achieved. Take a brush (a flat, square brush works well) and pick up the colours from the palette and apply them to the nail in a swirling motion. Add more until the nail is covered. Flash cure then properly cure all nails.

Using L&P:

  • There are many coloured powders available and these are ideal for marbling.
  • You can create your own by mixing up to 30% of pigments or glitters into the powder.
  • Have all your chosen colours ready to use.
  • Pick up a bead and apply it randomly to the nail adding more colours until the nail, or part of the nail is covered.
  • You need to work quickly.
  • Coloured powders often need to be used slightly wetter than usual but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not use too wet as this will result in an undercured coating.
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