It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday… Actually now that I’m out of school I can barely keep track of the days of the week anymore, but I knew it was Friday because my spidey senses were tingling and signalling it was time for a Nail Friday post.
NOTD: Waterspotted nails!
I’ve been seeing water spotted manis popping up everywhere all over Pinterest/Tumblr/all those other sources of pretty pictures lately and have been loving the look, so I decided to try it out for myself the other day. It’s pretty similar to water marbling, except you only drop one colour, and, there’s a secret ingredient: perfume (or hairspray, or even nail polish remover, which I’ve read work well too).
I thought I’d document my attempt to water spotted nails, and create a tutorial for anyone wanting to try it out. It was my first time trying this (I’ve never actually even tried water marbling yet) but I think the results turned out pretty decent! So if I can do it, so can you :p
Julep Felcity, Revlon Blackest Black, and Love & Beauty unnamed polish.
Ok, here’s what you’ll need:
- Turquoise nail polish (or a greenish blue/mint colour). I used a pretty dark turquoise I got in a swap and have been wanting to try out, but in hindsight I think it would look better if you used a brighter and lighter minty colour because the black marbling makes the colour look darker. I think Julep’s Denver or China Glaze For Audrey would look great for this.
- Black nail polish. I used Revlon’s Blackest Black. I’d say use a cheapy drugstore polish, especially if you’ve never tried this before because you’ll probably waste a ton trying to get the hang of dropping the polish into the water. I think I went through a quarter of the bottle doing this mani lol.
- Gold nail polish. I used Julep’s Felicity. Totally optional, but I think it looks prettier with bits of gold on top.
- Vaseline or tape. Unless you want to spend forever and a day cleaning up around your nails.
- A bowl or container for holding water. I’d suggest something you can just throw out afterwards like a plastic yoghurt container. Or if you’re Asian like me, a tofu container.
Got everything? Ok, here goes:
Step 1: Base coat! Make sure to use this especially if you’re using a dark polish that might stain.
Step 2: Paint your nails with a thin coat of turquoise blue polish. I’m using a nameless polish from Love & Beauty.
Step 3: Optional, but do a second (or even third) coat until the polish is opaque.
Step 4: Use a small brush or a q-tip to paint a layer of Vaseline around your nail so the polish won’t stick to your fingers. I went up to the first knuckle. This step is essential! Don’t forget to cover the pads of your fingers too. You could use tape as well.
Step 5: Fill a bowl or container of some sort with cold water and drop your black polish into it – it’ll start spreading right away. Don’t make the drop too big or it’ll be too heavy and sink to the bottom.
Step 6: Keep adding drops of black polish to the center of your original drop as it spreads. You’ll need probably around 5-6 drops but just eyeball it and keep dropping until your nail polish spreads out to a good size.
This took me forever to get just right! If the polish doesn’t spread out, or goes wonky, just use a toothpick to swirl up the polish in the water, pull it out, and try again. It might be because your container isn’t clean too. Try rinsing it out and adding fresh water. I don’t know why but cold water seems to work better.
Step 7: Spray perfume onto your polish. The alcohol will create holes in the layer of polish. The closer you spray it from, the bigger the holes will be. Spray it just once and wait for it to finish moving before deciding to spray again if needed.
This was my favourite part. It felt like spraying magic that suddenly gave life to my little puddle of black polish. Again if it turns out ugly and the holes are too big just use your toothpick to swirl it all up and fish it out.
Step 8: The fun part! Eyeball the holes in the layer of polish and decide what would look best on your nails. Most tutorials recommend doing your nails one by one but I am lazy and just strategically placed my nails parallel to the surface where I thought the gaps looked best and dunked them all at once. Your call though. When your nails are in the water use a toothpick to swirl up the extra on top and pull it out before taking your nails out of the water so it won’t all cling to you. Use a tissue to wipe up around your nails where you have the Vaseline – it should come right off. Alternatively, pull off the tape at this point if you used tape (duh).
Step 9: The not so fun part. Use a q-tip or brush dipped in nail polish remover to clean up whatever you couldn’t tissue off.
Step 10: Let the water spotted layer of polish dry and TADA! You could stop here if you wanted and skip straight to putting on topcoat.
Step 11: Drop a few drops of gold nail polish onto a piece of paper and use a toothpick (or if you’re fancy and have a fine detail brush use that) to dab on little patches of gold in random places. I think it looks best when the sizes of the gold flecks are really different and not so uniform. They look best placed on really black areas when you leave a millimeter or so outline.
Step 12: Wait for your nails to dry for a bit and then slather on some topcoat. I use Seche Vite.
…et voila! Gold flecked turquoise water spotted nails.
A look at then nails on my other hand.
Another look at my (better looking) hand
Hope this helps out anyone wanting to try out waterspotting! Let me know if you try it out and how it goes.