However, when I saw (and absolutely fell in love with) these turquoise stone nails by Lacquerstyle recently and discovered they were done with a simpler version of water marbling, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and brave using water in a manicure once again.
I'm still leery of turquoise polish because of a recent nail-staining incident, and i wanted to put my own spin on the look anyway, so I decided to go with a purple turquoise stone look (yes, purple turquoise is actually a thing!) instead. And since I've already talked about the fact that purple & black is one of my favorite color combinations, I hope it doesn't sound too terrible to say that I'm just absolutely giddy about how this manicure turned out!
I followed the tutorial linked above almost exactly, with the exception of one step: instead of using one solid color for my base, I started with SUPER BLACK Lacquers Majestic and then dabbed on SpaRitual Illume with a crumpled ball of saran wrap. You can see in the two pictures that follow (one with each of those two polishes) that the final base color I ended up with doesn't quite look like either of them, but has a stone-like depth that I really like a lot.
Once the purples were dry, I dabbed on a little of my gold (Sephora + Pantone Universe Latte) and sealed everything with topcoat. Then I tackled the black as the tutorial describes: one drop of a england Camelot onto the surface of some water and spritzed with hairspray to create the crackled, veiny look. My sister was visiting while I was working on this manicure and we were leaning eagerly over the water cup when I hit that first drop of polish with the hairspray, so we both gasped in amazement/delight when it worked exactly as advertised. It was such a great moment!
I learned a few things while doing this that the tutorial doesn't fully mention:
- Spraying the hairspray with just the right amount of force is actually surprisingly tricky, and will probably take a few attempts to get right.
- Taping off your fingers well is very important. You wouldn't think one drop of black polish could make too terrible a mess on your finger, but it definitely can! Especially when combined with sticky hairspray.
- Working in a well ventilated area is also very important! Fumes from nail polish, acetone, and hairspray all combined together can be strong and seriously unpleasant, and are probably not great for your health, either.
- Having some extra water on standby will make your life a lot easier, especially if you have a few attempts that don't turn out as well as you'd like and you need to redo them. Too much hairspray in the water eventually affects how well the marbling works and it's not easy to clean out like the polish, so all you can really do is swap the water out for fresh.
All that said, however, the whole process really was a lot easier than I was expecting. As someone with zero successful water marbling experience under her belt, I was worried that I'd have at least a few nail fails along the way, but that just wasn't the case. I definitely recommend this technique if you've been wary of water marbling like me and want to start off with something easier.
I freely admit that I'm kind of obsessed with this look—expect to see different versions of it from me in the future. There are just so many possibilities!
Thanks for looking!