Sunday, November 7, 2010

Black and White for Halloween and a Nail Tip

As a Halloween Manicure, this is way past due, but I wanted to use this as a Nail Tip, so I'm sharing my Halloween Manicure as well!

This Nail Tip is more of an addition to water marbling, rather than an explanation or a How-To. Now I know there are a few preferences out there for how to prep for a water marble, but this was my first attempt at a water marble manicure, and I found the prep I did helped so I had none-to-a-little clean up, so I thought I should share it.

When I think of Halloween, my mind irrevocably goes to black and white Horror films. Forgetting the fact I've seen very few Horror films, I still connect the two. And thus the inspiration behind my Halloween manicure.

image from

The 1922 black and white film Nosferatu is not only considered the "original" vampire movie, but also a classic horror film.

No bottle pictures here. Why? Because this isn't about the colors used specifically, it's about the manicure and how to achieve a similar look. So let's jump into Step 1!

To prep your nails for a water marble manicure, I definitely suggest laying down a base color. While I did just mention that the exact nail polishes don't matter, I do have a preference for layering, and it works well for me so I'll share it here, too. My choice: Alpine Snow Matte by OPI. The matte dries very quickly and you get great coverage in 1 - 2 coats without it being goopy or streaky (which is great for a white)!

Here is the step that you may or may not have read on other blogs. I've heard people recommending using different mediums to protect their fingers from getting covered in the nail polish left on the water's surface after dipping your nail in, and I've found using blue painter's tape to be quite helpful.

While being a tough sort of surface, the tape itself is papery and bends and flexes well, so it seems to mold better to the finger than other tapes I've used before (such as clear "Scotch" tape).

The best way to go about applying the tape would be to cut some medium-to-thin strips from your tape roll and then cut each of those strips into short segments so you have a bunch of small rectangles.

This part is important so that there is less clean-up at the end point. Taking those little rectangles, start at the side of your finger and line up the edge of the tape so it touches the edge of the bottom coat of nail polish. You'll want the tape to do this to cover your cuticle and sides of your finger where the nail polish can pool and trap, making clean-up harder than it has to be.

Going around the edge of the base color of nail polish (the matte white in the picture above), use your little rectangle strips to angle around the nail bed, until all edges are covered with tape. If you see any big gap where two strips have left an angle where the polish might stick to the skin, go in with a small strip of tape and cover that up.

Next, take one of the longer strips of tape and press it down under your nail, so it covers the underside of the nail along with the underside of your finger. It is okay if the tape strip surpasses the end of your nail and sticks out a bit, that will not interfere with your water marble effect on the nail.

Now, cut a few larger pieces of tape and wrap them around your finger so that your finger is covered up to the second joint/knuckle (or anatomically speaking, where your middle phalanx and proximal phalanx meet). Using larger pieces of tape at this part makes it faster and easier to put on and take off the tape.

Here you can see that the tape from Step 2 really did keep my middle finger clean. If for some reason you have a bit of excess nail polish from the water marble on your finger, this would be the step to clean off your finger.

Keeping with the Halloween theme, I added a dash of color to my nails by painting my ring finger a neon orange over the matte white (which helped so I needed less coats of the orange polish). (Also, the orange shade is Sinful Colors Summer Peach if you're wondering).

And add a top coat!

In terms of a water marble, I liked how this one turned out, and with how easy the clean up was with the blue tape, I'll definitely be doing this again! Have you tried water marbling before? Do you do prep beforehand to make clean-up easier? And if so, what? (I'd like to know if there are any good ideas that could also be incorporated into this Nail Tip to be helpful for everyone.)

While I'm certainly not a pro at water marbling, I searched YouTube and looked at water marbling videos there to get ideas. I also looked at a few videos on Colette's blog My Simple Little Pleasures. She has some great videos on how to water marble and shows how to swirl the colors around in the water so you can get a preferred design.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this Nail Tip/Halloween Manicure, and if you haven't tried water marbling, consider diving into it, it's really not as horribly detailed and messy as it first seems! Bye!


  1. Thanks for the tip! I've never tried water marbling, but it definitely encourages me to hear that it doesn't HAVE to be that messy. :)

  2. nice work!! love the whole look! :D

  3. gosh i need some blue painter's tape. i keep seeing so many uses for it in the nail world. lol

  4. Menina ficou lindo! Parabéns!

  5. You made painter tape really a true (nail) art tool, I like your creativity!

  6. I always do water marbling but I have never used the tape technique! I should try it because all this acetone is killing my skin! Thanks for the tip!

  7. OMG, I MUST HAVE that tape! What is the "original use" of it / were can I buy it?

  8. Thanks for fallowing my blog!
    I love yours and i'm already a new fallower ;D

  9. I must try marbeling some day. I love what you did here.

  10. Ficaram lindas as suas unhas,amei seu blog e estou te seguindo!!!

  11. So that's what it's called!! Water marbling! Thank you!! I've always wanted to try that!
    Reallly neat blog and REALLY neat nails!! Love the orange accent on this design!


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