31 Day Challenge - Day 3 - Water Spotting

Oh my goodness this was a messy one!  I've never tried this technique before and I needed quite a few goes before I managed to have more than just a splodgy, gloopy mess.  It looked really simple and straight forward in the YouTube videos, but I've fallen into that trap before.

More details after the jump.

I've gone for watery colours to match the theme and I really like the way the finished mani has turned out, but it's been really difficult to do it justice in the photographs.  The first picture is more true to the colours, while the second shows more of the detail.

 I started with a base of China Glaze Sci-Fly By.  This was covered with a few coats of Orly Mermaid Tale.  The glitter in this is quite spread out in the clear base so it takes a few goes to get the appropriate level of coverage.

So far, so good.  A standard mani with lots of lovely green holographic sparkles.  Next came the tricky bit, the water spotting.  I've struggled with water marbling in the past and I thought this might be a bit easier.  I learned, however, that a bit of trial and error is required to find what works for you.                                                                                                                                                                  Room temperature water is recommended for this, but as my room is quite cold I used slightly warm tap water in a large plastic cup.  I added about 6 drops of Sally Hansen Teal Steel onto the water, then spritzed some hair gel spray (which contains alcohol) from a pump action bottle over, but not directly into, the cup.  The falling droplets create the desired effect in the polish.

As with water marbling you choose the section of the design you want on your nails and dip them into the water to pick it up.  My aim is terrible, so this stage is more luck than judgement and planning, but I like the finished effect.

Finally there is the clean up and adding a top coat to merge the layers together and make the glitter sparkle a little bit more.

To see what the others have done for day 3 click on a link below:


  1. So glad it wasn't just me who struggled with this technique! I like the watery colours you chose they work great together.

  2. Thanks, I think this one might need a few more goes before I feel comfortable with it.


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