1. Let me begin with some important things you must do before you even sit down to marble. Have room temperature water. I keep a bottle of water on my desk with the lid on it. That way, the water is room temperature. Water that is too hot or too cold simply will not work. I have seen it mentioned on different blogs and tutorial videos that certain water works better than others. I don't seem to see a difference. I use water from my tap, or I use spring water. Both work about the same for me.
3. Get your supplies ready BEFORE you start. Reaching for a toothpick while the polish is in the water can cause the polish to set and become useless. Also, keep in mind when choosing colors that because you are adding them to water, some colors may bleed over into the next color in the water bowl. Try to be mindful of colors that compliment each other. Do a trial run of your colors in the water to see if they spread well and the colors will compliment each other.
4. Use a base coat of polish. "Undies", if you will. I almost always use white. It allows the colors to be more vibrant. When you add polish to the water, it spreads out, and for some polishes it dilutes. You will see me use the word spread quite frequently in this post.
5. Tape around your fingers with tape. Trying to use Vaseline can make your water greasy, and can affect the spread of the polish. I prefer scotch tape. It is easier for me to tear off than painters or masking tape. Tape I GREAT for making clean-up simple and quick.
6. Make sure the polishes you want to use are open and ready. Fumbling around with bottles can cause the spread to set and then it will stop spreading.
7. Be quick. Drop one color, then the other inside, and so on. Do not pause in between!
OK! Now we are ready for the fun stuff! I highly suggest as a new water marbler, you do not use sheer, metallic, or sparkly polishes. They do not marble as easily as a good solid cream polish. For the purpose of this post, I used only opaque creamy polishes. Also, as a newbie, I would not recommend starting with more than three polishes. It can become difficult with four or five. For the purpose of this post, I also chose o keep brands together. You can mix and match brands by all means.
(water does not change for any of these marbles, I used the same bowl of water for all of them)
I am trying to make a point with this next information. Please bear with me if I sound confusing.
I will use a scale of 1-10, 10 being the BEST and 1 being the WORST. (This is my opinion, others may have different experiences.)
First set of polish:
First up is China Glaze. I used Light as Air, Rich and Famous, and recycle for this demonstration.
I add a drop at a time of each color. Now, notice how even the "spread" of the polish is. China Glaze spreads nicely for me, and the color concentration stays strong and doesn't dilute very much.
This is a successful marble, and on a scale of 1-10, I rate China Glaze a 8 for marbling.
Next, I did Orly. The colors I used were Red Flare, Lemonade, and Snowcone.
As you can see from the photo above, the first color spread fine, and the others just sat in the middle of the bowl. I call this a bad spread. It probably will not come out as nice as other marbles. Many people at this point might tell you to check your water temperature, but remember the China Glaze spread really well in the same bowl of water, at the same temperature. In my opinion, it's the polish that doesn't spread very well.
These colors bled into each other. It's not entirely awful, but not the look I was hoping for. I would give Orly a rating of 6 on a scale of 1-10.
Next up is OPI. The colors I used were I Theodore You, Amazon...Amazoff, and You're Such a Budapest.
From the photo above, you can see that these polishes spread really well. Two of the three diluted a little. I realized after that they weren't the most opaque colors I could have chosen, which could have been the issue. Since the argument could come into play again about water temperature, remember I used the same water bowl in the previous marbles.
The final result for the OPI is above. It has a very cool effect and I wouldn't call this a failure. I would rate the OPIs a 7 on a scale of 1-10.
Next we have Julep. For this marble I chose Nina, Lauren, and Courtney.
notice the spread is not equal, and it did not stretch very far towards the edge of the bowl. They started drying too fast. Same water as the previous marbles here as well.
I couldn't draw a great design because of the polish drying too fast.
It was a horrible mess! I have tried several times to marble with Julep with no success. In my opinion it's too goopy and dries too quickly to get a good spread on the water. I would rate Julep a 2 on a scale of 1-10.
Finally to close out this round, we have Sephora by OPI. Colors used were: Havana Dreams, Add a Cherry on Top, and What Aura Gonna Do?
That is an awesome spread!! There is even pooling of colors, and it stretches to the sides of the bowl very nicely. Again, same water as used for all of the other marbles.
Drawing a design in this spread was so easy and so pretty!
The final product came out very nice! The light blue of Havana Dreams sort of dilutes and fades out, but it blended nicely with the other two and gave a very pretty effect. This would be super for Valentines Day. On the 1-10 scale, I would rate this brand a 9 for marbles.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the second half and more brands with my ratings. Let me know down below what you think. Do you think these tips and tricks will help you? Will you try to marble using a different brand if it hasn't worked for you in the past?