Dry Marble Nail Art with a Tutorial Video

I recently saw a great nail design on Pinterest by Sam of FingerFood that made me think of mocha or hot chocolate which she called Mocha Coffee Chocolate Frappuccino. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a coffeeholic. I loved the look of the design and the rich colors work perfectly for cool weather drinks. It has a marbled look but it isn’t water marbled; it uses a technique called dry marbling. Sam referenced a YouTube video for No Water Needed – Marble nail art Tutorial by Robin Moses. It’s this tutorial video that I will be Pintesting.

This is the Mocha Coffee Chocolate Frappuccino nail art that caught my eye. Can you see the swirls of coffee, chocolate, and whipped cream? Yum! Starbucks anyone?Mocha Coffee Chocolate Frappuccino

If you’ve been following my blog, then you might remember the Four Leaf Clover Water Marble Nail Art post. It didn’t end well and, to this day, is still the Pintesting with the lowest score. I haven’t tried the technique since then, so I approached the dry marble technique with a bit of trepidation – even with a video tutorial. After all, the water marble was a video tutorial, too. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained. So let’s start this Pintesting.

The Pintesting:

This is the tutorial video. It used similar colors as the Mocha Coffee Chocolate Frappuccino with a couple of substitutions; Robin used a French manicure base color rather than the milk chocolate taupe and instead of black I used a chocolate brown.

I also made a video so that you could see the whole process rather than step-by-step photos.

So there you have it. One of the things that I really like about this is that because the swirls are random it isn’t hard to do “the other hand” whether you’re right or left-handed. There’s plenty of forgiveness as long as you don’t overdo it.

Now for the results.

Mocha Coffee Chocolate Frappuccino

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Results: 4.3 Pins

4 Pins Overall

Accuracy:  This manicure technique performed rather well. Perhaps a bit of practice would bring this from 4 to 5 Pins, but as it’s my first attempt, this will get 4 Pins.

Pintesting Rating - 4 Pins

Difficulty: The technique of dry marbling is not difficult but there is definitely a fine line between pretty swirls and a muddy mess, as Robin warns in her video. I tried this a second time with not so great results. (Maybe it’s not a great idea to do manicures late at night when you’re tired.). Due to the need for caution, I’m giving this 4 Pins.

Pintesting Rating - 4 Pins

Time: As manicures go, this one takes a bit longer than a straight up single color polish but not horribly so. The trick to “pull” the polish from the edges was brilliant and helped reduce the drying time since it reduces the excess polish. 4 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 4 Pins

Cost: According to a Glamour Magazine survey, the average woman owns 25 nail polishes at a given time. This means that the “average” woman has the supplies to do this technique in any number of color schemes. If, however, you have to purchase each of the 4 polish colors, you’d probably spend about $20 which is the cost of a good manicure so I’m giving this 5 Pins.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Practicality: I thought this was a cute manicure technique with lots of different color options. It can be as elegant, seasonal, or whimsical as you choose to make it based on the colors. The mani lasted nearly a week without chipping and, due to the swirls, when I did get a small chip on the tip of my nail it wasn’t very noticeable.  5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Four Leaf Clover Water Marble Nail Art Tutorial

I love the idea of pretty nails. They make me feel so polished (sorry for the pun – okay, maybe not 😉 ) and finished and detailed. Videos of techniques like this water marble nail art are inspirational. It’s so nice to feel pretty – until you have to do something. Seriously, just about anything will make my nail polish chip or smudge. You’d think I did construction or had a job that requires you to repeatedly smash your hand into some horrible machine, or maybe dragged my hands on the road when I walked. Nope! I have an office day job that requires typing. (NOT much manual labor there…) I cook a lot; which means I also do a lot of dishes. Okay, that could be a part of it. But still. I see the TV chefs like Giada De Laurentiis or Laura Vitale, and they always have a beautiful manicure to go along with their perfect smiles and yummy food.

It’s so frustrating to either spend the time doing a manicure myself, or the money to have someone else take the time to do the pampering for me, just to have it all messed up in a day or two – or sooner. But then I think I really want to have pretty hands and polished nails, so I try again… and again… and again… Glutton for punishment, what can I say.

So with St. Patrick’s Day approaching, I thought I’d try a nail technique that has intrigued me since I saw it shortly after I started on Pinterest. Water Marble Nail Art. These are some of the most beautiful designs I’ve seen, and I HAD to try this shamrock looking one. Collette, of My Simple Little Pleasures, made it seem very doable with a detailed video tutorial. So I went to my local Sally’s Beauty Supply Store and bought the color of polish I didn’t already have, picked up small paper cups then went to work.



The Pintesting:

I used filtered water, like the video instructed, then added drops of polish into the cup of room temperature water.



It should look like this,

Water Marble - take 1

It didn’t work out so well.

The Spread - aomeba

When I tried to make the clover, the polish dragged all over the water and made a mess.

Let’s try this a second time. I went back to Sally’s and bought all new polishes – just in case the 12-month old polish was too old.

Nail Art Take 2

After a bit more research, I found that some nail artists use distilled water rather than filtered. So with all new polishes and distilled water, warmed a bit by microwaving it for 15 seconds to bring it just above room temperature, it’s time for the second try.

Second try steps

Here are the concentric circle steps. Still not great, but better than before… here’s hoping.

Second try clover

I was able to make a small clover shape this time. I didn’t worry about it being too small since I don’t have really long nails.

Second try preped

I prepped the nail with base coat and color coat and taped the edges of my finger for easier cleanup.

Second try dunk

Poised… and Dunk. I couldn’t take a picture while cleaning up the polish on the water layer but did it as the video instructed.

Second try blob

I couldn’t wait to see the super cool shamrock on my nail but got this blob with no distinct clover or shamrock.

Second try failed

So this failed twice, I’m sorry to say. I loved how it looked and have seen several other nail art videos on water marble nail art that I’m not going to give up yet. Maybe I’ll break down and spend the money on a mani (for the research) and ask some questions to the salon techs. Until then, I’ll stick to simpler nail techniques.

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Rating: 2 Pins

2 Pins Overall


Accuracy: In two attempts, the polish didn’t behave as the video showed. Additionally, the beautiful distinct design didn’t come close to making an appearance. . And finally, the tape on the nails melted into a mess that took a lot of acetone to get off. 1 Pin.

Rated 1 Pin

Difficulty: The video made to process seem simple enough, but getting the polish to drop in the middle of the circles wasn’t easy. Not enough polish on the brush, and it wouldn’t let go. Too much, and it would drip before you wanted it to and in the wrong place. 3 Pins.

Rated 3 Pins - SMALL

Time: The whole process took about twice as long as a typical manicure. Had the results worked, then it would have been worth it, but since they didn’t – 3 Pins

Rated 3 Pins - SMALL

Cost: Sally’s had the polishes on sale at 2 for $11. Add to that the cost of the distilled water, paper cups, orange sticks, etc. and it’s a lot for a normal home manicure, but roughly the same cost of a salon manicure. 3 Pins

Rated 3 Pins - SMALL

Practicality: IF this had worked, it would have been a great way to get an awesome mani, but since it didn’t, and since it was a waste of a lot of polish, I don’t think this was a practical way to get a manicure. 1 Pin

Rated 1 Pin